Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful business tool delivering an ROI that’s 11 times higher than other digital marketing channels.
Influencer marketing can benefit your business by helping to boost your company’s credibility, trustworthiness, and authority. It gives you instant feedback through social media. And if you choose carefully, the right influencer could save you money on marketing costs.
When it comes to promoting your brand, the input of a trusted influencer could be just what you need to propel your business to success.
People trust celebrities/influencers
The key to a successful influencer marketing strategy is to find the right influencer for your business goals.
Consumers are far more likely to buy a product or service if it’s been recommended by peers. But if that recommendation comes from a well-known name (someone your target audience knows and can relate to), then your chances of success will be even greater.
There was a time when influencer marketing basically meant a celebrity endorsement: a trusted and familiar name to promote a company’s products or services. Now, with the domination of social media and the growth of channels such as Instagram, influencers can come from all areas of life. It’s less about someone simply having a lot of followers, and more their ability to change behavior.
So your chosen influencer doesn’t need to be a celebrity. They don’t even need to have a large Instagram following. In fact, studies have shown that those with a smaller following may have a higher engagement rate than those with 10,000+ followers.
An influencer is a trusted, authoritative source who has the power and confidence to convince others. Consider the types of influencers who come across as niche experts with enough credibility to appeal to your target audience:
Social media gurus
Choose a network to focus on, define your target audience, and identify which influencers they follow, trust and admire. This will give you access to a well-established (and better qualified) base of potential customers.
Choose an influencer who shares the same goals and messages as you. They will help you reach a more specific audience that is more likely to be interested in your content, brand, and products.
Don’t just follow influencers on social media. Engage with them. Comment on their posts and share their content. In other words, make yourself visible. By interacting with them on social media you’re already building a relationship. When the time comes, it will be easier to approach them directly.
Influencer marketing gives you instant feedback
The whole point of influencer marketing is that it’s driven by social media. The advantage of this is that you can get instant feedback on reactions to your chosen influencer.
The average person spends almost two hours per day on social media. So if they’re following your influencer, it’s likely that at some point during their day, your target audience will be reading about your brand.
Let’s say an influencer shares your content or makes a comment about one of your products. Within minutes you could get feedback from their followers. Good or bad, the benefit is that you can gauge reactions and take action.
The immediacy of social media can help you decide whether your influencer marketing strategy is working or not, enabling you to respond quickly and make tweaks if needed.
Use metrics to measure your results:
Use social media analytics to track and measure the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign based on engagement and follower growth.
You will also need to do some manual tracking in order to understand exactly how effective a particular influencer has been – looking at your social media growth right after a specific influencer post about you.
Use Google Analytics to get real-time reports on your website traffic, site users and conversions as a result of your influencer marketing campaign
However, it’s important to understand that instant feedback doesn’t mean instant results. Like other forms of marketing, influencer marketing is a long game which focuses on awareness rather than direct selling. Building up a credible and authoritative reputation takes time.
You can save money if you’re smart about who you choose
Not only can influencer marketing deliver a great return on investment, but choose wisely, and it could be an incredibly cost-effective form of marketing.
The best type of influencer is not someone who is paid to endorse your products or services, but someone who is genuinely interested in what your business has to offer.
You may not have the budget for a celebrity or an Insta-famous influencer. So instead, look for a nano or mid-range influencer who is an expert in their field with a small, niche following. This type of influencer may be looking for brands to collaborate with in order to widen their own reach.
Rather than paying your influencer, you can consider other types of collaboration and compensation. This might include co-creating content (that runs on your website as well as the influencer’s site) in addition to guest posting for each other; offering free products to your influencer for review; using affiliate marketing so the influencer is rewarded when they bring a customer to your company, as well as giving them discount codes to share with their followers.
Choose carefully and it could be a win-win outcome for you both. Finding a mid-range influencer who has yet to make it big could be the start of a rewarding, long-term relationship: an ambassador who is happy to promote your brand while establishing their own reputation.