You’ve heard the phrase, but have you ever considered what and how important it actually is? A few years ago, the term “influencer marketing” would never be considered to be a persuasive strategy in your marketing campaign. Flash forward to 2021 and 75% of marketers are using influencers in their digital marketing strategy and 90% believe that influencer marketing has been an effective marketing tool. In addition, 80% of customers have bought something recommended by an influencer and 41% of customers discovers new products through influencers every week.
So, based on the statistics above, should you be using it in your marketing strategy? Short answer, yes, without a doubt. Let’s begin.
What exactly does it mean?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that uses an “influencer” to endorse a product or service to promote to their audience. Influencers usually have a substantial following and are often seen as experts in their field.
Influencer marketing leverages the existing influencers, that are following, to increase brand awareness, tap into new markets and drive sales.
What do you get out of it as a business?
The answer is simple. Authenticity and credibility. Influencer marketing makes your offering more relatable, humanises your marketing campaign and assists in reaching a wider audience.
Some other benefits include:
- There is a high amount of trust associated with influencers as they are seen as experts in their field.
- They are speaking to an existing following.
- It’s a powerful tool for social proof.
- Builds brand awareness.
- Reaches new audiences for your brand.
- Improves credibility and brand advocacy.
- Generates leads and drives sales.
Convinced? Let’s look at the different influencer campaigns you can use to boost your brand awareness.
How does the influencer benefit?
Now that we’ve informed you of all the benefits of including influencer marketing into your strategy, you’re probably wondering what’s in it for them? Well, there are different ways of making sure that your influencer marketing campaign is beneficial for both sides.
- Affiliate programmes: This is when the influencer encourages the audience to buy a product from your business and gets a percentage of the revenue. An example of an affiliate programme is “use my discount code and get 20% off.” This is the most common method used by businesses as it’s easier to track the success of the campaign and you can see exactly how much revenue each influencer is generating.
- Paid promotions: These are when you pay per post for the influencer to promote your business. Paid promotions are hard to measure and are not a clear sign of how well your campaign is performing.
- Partnerships: This works for big brands with an existing following and offers exposure for the influencer. It’s more of a collaboration than a paid promotion.
- Gifts: The influencer is paid in free products or gifts from the brand.
If you’ve read this far it probably means you’re ready to get started, right? Let’s dive in.
Getting started with influencer marketing to boost brand awareness, generate leads and increase conversions
1. Research and find the right one
Before you can start on a winning influencer marketing campaign, you need to do some research to find an influencer that makes sense for your brand and overall ROI (return on investment).
Here are some of our top tips on how to find the perfect fit.
- Make sure their values align with your brand. The audience is not going to buy into a campaign that isn’t authentic.
- Spend some time researching their audience’s demographic. An influencer in Kenya might look good at face value but does that speak to your target market?
- Be sure you’re not hiring a robot. Looking at the legitimacy of an influencer’s account is the most important variable to consider when trying to find the right fit for your brand. Check the engagement rate on their accounts instead of how many followers they have. If they have millions of followers but little to no engagement, it’s a red flag.
- Choose the platform you want to use them on. For example, if you are promoting a product, find an influencer with a big following on Instagram. If you are looking to position yourself as an industry leader, look for an influential voice to promote your business on LinkedIn.
- Consider your budget. How much can your overall marketing budget be spent on your influencer marketing campaign? Remember, the bigger the following they have, the more expensive it will become.
2. Decide what you want to achieve
You’ve found the perfect fit. Now you need to consider exactly what it is you want to achieve with your campaign. Is it to increase sales? Build brand awareness? Form relationships and build trust with your audience? Grow your following? Generate leads? Launch a new product?
Influencer marketing can assist in reaching a specific audience. So, defining and setting your goals is important to help the influencer deliver the correct marketing message. Setting goals within your influencer marketing campaign also helps make it measurable and allows you to see how well the campaign is performing.
3. Get in touch with the right influencer
It’s finally time to reach out and get in touch with the right influencer. Remember, they are human, so connect with them on a human level.
Professionally approach them and provide them with a comprehensive proposal that highlights all the necessary information to avoid any back-and-forth communication.
Your clear, thorough proposal should include:
- Business goals and expectations.
- Campaign period.
- Posting frequency.
- Terms and conditions
- What you’re offering to the influencer.
There are different ways of reaching out to an influencer and this includes:
- Agencies specifically focussed on influencer marketing.
- Direct messaging on social media channels.
- Profile contact information on their social media profiles or via their website.
- Through networking within your community.
4. Track results
Don’t forget to track your results while your campaign is live to see if the influencer juice is worth the squeeze. Here are some ways on how to do so according to your campaign goals.
- Brand awareness: Measured by the number of likes, engagement, comments, shares, reach, and impressions.
- Trust and relationship building: Tagged posts, mentions, enquiries, and direct messages.
- Lead generation: This is calculated by conversions and sales. A great way of tracking this is through the influencers affiliate codes.
- Follower growth: This can be measured by the actual number of followers during a specific period.
Have a look at this blog for a more in-depth understanding of how to measure social media success.
The truth is influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. So, it’s important to make sure you have the correct influencer that is aligned with your business voice, message, values and goals. And after reading this blog you should feel confident on how to get started with your influencer marketing campaign, boost brand awareness, generate leads and increase conversions.