Influencer marketing has burst over the past several years with the rise of social media stars. This type of marketing is much more powerful than it may appear which is why you need an influencer marketing strategy.
Influencer marketing strategies are more difficult to guide than ever as a brand, but we’re here with a guide to making sense of it all.
influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.
Influencer marketing employs leading, niche content creators to improve brand awareness, increase traffic, and drive messages to brands’ target audiences.
But in today’s digital world, social content creators with niche audiences can often offer more value to brands. These people have devoted and engaged groups of followers on social media.
Influencer marketing is an investment — to get it right, you have to devote time to ensure you find the right influencer to promote content that appeals to your target audience.
You also have to spend money and/ or resources to reward the influencer, run various campaigns with the influencer, and more depending on your specific marketing goals.
Here are some statistics to help you understand the lay of the land.
- In 2021, roughly 58% of marketers said influencer marketing was the most effective marketing trend, ahead of SEO, experiential marketing, and short-form video content.
- 80% of marketers say influencer marketing is effective, and 89% say it works just as well (if not better) than other marketing channels.
- In 2022, 86% of marketers plan to continue investing the same amount or increase their investment in influencer marketing.
- Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing. However, Facebook is considered the most effective social platform for influencer campaigns.
- 71% of marketers say the quality of customers and traffic from influencer marketing is better than other sources.
- The biggest challenge marketers face with influencer marketing is measuring the ROI of the campaign. Cost is the second biggest hurdle marketers face.
Types of Influencers
They create relevant content for their audience and communicate with them via social media platforms, blogs, other written publications, websites, and forums.
Due to the size of their following and the type of content they create, they typically have high engagement rates.
Having a smaller audience allows micro-influencers to bond with the people who follow them more regularly via their channel.
Due to the manageable size of their base of followers, they’ll be able to engage with your target audience on the content they share about your products and brand.
This way, they can answer any questions the audience members may have about your products, communicate their experience with your products, and direct audience members to your website or customer support team if necessary.
They’re widely recognized and, therefore, have the potential to be very successful in influencing your target audience.
Even if your target audience doesn’t overlap with all of your celebrity influencer’s fans, having them promote and/ or use your product or service is a powerful form of social proof.
A blog influencer is someone who writes for their established blog and has thousands, or millions, of subscribers and readers.
To collaborate with a blog influencer, you may write a guest post for their blog, ask to be mentioned in one of their posts, or sponsor a post about one of your products or services.
Social media influencers are well-recognized on social platforms, such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter, and are followed by thousands or even millions of people.
How to Find Influencers
An influencer is already creating content in your field and reaching your target audience. So, a Google search for industry-related terms and keywords will surface experts in those areas.
Review articles related to various topics in your field, conduct individual searches for people you’ve heard of or know are already high-impact contributors, and scan industry-specific sites and web pages for influencers.
You can also search for influencers on various social media platforms. Whether or not you’re going for a social media influencer, most influencers will likely have some sort of social media presence their profiles serve as a great way to learn more about them.
On social, search for keywords and phrases, specific users, hashtags, and tagged audience members on specific posts and look in the comments sections of high-traffic posts related to your industry or type of work as influencers may have posted comments and interacted with members of your target audience there.
Scan for the people mentioned in the blogs. Perhaps the blogger is reviewing their work, mentioned a quote from them, or asked them to contribute to the piece. You can research the individual further to determine if they’re a good fit for your business.
Look for KOLs on LinkedIn and ask your team if they’ve recently followed any micro-influencers on social who regularly post content that’s compatible with your brand and image.
The number-one goal for brands using influencer marketing is to reach new target customers. This makes sense since an influencer campaign extends your reach to that person’s followers.
Think about how your influencer marketing campaign will fit into your broader social media marketing strategy and create measurable goals you can report on and track.
Different influencers may have different ways of connecting with your audience, but your business’s overall marketing goals and buyer personas don’t change.
Before moving forward with your influencer marketing strategy, work with your marketing team to develop and learn about your buyer personas.
This will help you identify the exact type of customer you’re going after and, therefore, help you determine what type of influencer and content will appeal most to them to ensure your target audience is aligned with that of the influencer.
When considering someone for a campaign, ask yourself (and the influencer) the following questions:
- Do this influencer and their lifestyle fit my brand image?
- Have they worked with any of my competitors?
- Who is this influencer’s current audience?
- Is my target audience active on the platform/channel primarily used by this influencer?
- Does working with this influencer make sense for my budget?
- Has this influencer used any of my products or services before? Are they a customer?
- Does this person have a personality I want to work with?
- What will this influencer expect from me?
Work with your marketing team to develop your campaign messaging and determine what content your influencer should publish.
For more established ones, click around their profile and they may list contact information for business inquiries in their bio. They may also link a website that denotes brand partnerships.