You may be thinking, what is influencer marketing? Well, let us tell you, it’s something worth knowing about. Essentially, influencer marketing leverages popular figures, real or not real, to promote a brand. You see, at the end of the day, people connect better with other people and having an influencer enables a brand to reel in new business using this connection.
Influencer marketing has been around for a long time and has included fictitious characters or real-life people. For instance, Coca Cola first started using Santa as an influencer in its marketing in the 1920s.
It’s important to highlight here that an influencer does not always have to be the biggest name around. The point of an influencer is to build a connection between your brand and your target consumer. Influencers can be bloggers, vloggers or social media superstars.
In fact, it’s been found that non-celebrity bloggers are 10 times more likely to inspire an in-store purchase than actual celebrities.
In this blog, we’re going to explain how influencer marketing can take your business to new heights.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
As mentioned before, people connect better with other people and the trust that is built between the influencer and its audience can be a really powerful tool for your brand.
Today’s generation appears to favor recommendations provided by a third relatively impartial party, who act as an advocate, rather than a spokesperson for the brand.
Influencer marketing can also provide new and inventive ways to promote your brand and will provide your business with a different angle in approaching prospective customers.
Influencers come with a follower base and because they know their followers well, they will also know how best to position your brand to their following. They also know the kind of content that will drive their followers to engage and become curious.
Did you know word of mouth marketing results in more than double the amount of sales than using paid advertising campaigns?
Just think about this potential in the digital age of social media. Every time your influencer posts something about your product or service on social media, that post will be seen and shared by someone who may not have known about your product until that point.
With an influencer, you’ll be able to leverage the power of word of mouth to increase your bottom-line sales. Just imagine the potential.
And the benefits of influencer marketing are not limited to B2C marketing, as influencer marketing for B2B has also become very popular.
In fact, potential B2B buyers who feel a ‘high brand connection’ have been found to be 60% more likely to make a purchase or even pay a premium price. So, exploring influencer marketing for B2B may also be worthwhile if your brand markets to other businesses.
For example, tech giants like Salesforce and Canva have hired Vala Afshar and Guy Kawasaki to bridge the connection between the value proposition of their brand and their target audience.
Alright, now to get started with creating an influencer marketing campaign for your brand.
How to find the right Influencer for your brand
Before you can do any form of influencer marketing, first and foremost, you need to decide on your influencer. The type of influencer you need will depend on your brand, as well as the product or service you provide.
Think about who you want to market your product to and what your target audience looks like. If you intend to undertake influencer marketing for a B2B brand, you need to think again about how you select the face of your business.
You will also need to think about your marketing objectives in using an influencer. Is it to create awareness for your brand, or to actually make sales?
Once you understand both your audience and your objectives, then you can start the search for your ideal influencer.
There are many ways to find them.
Google will always be your friend and it’s a good starting place if you are not sure where to find your influencer.
Deciding your target audience and your marketing objectives doesn’t always provide you with the definitive person you want to use. So, having a look around Google may give you some ideas or may even provide you with a sudden epiphany.
Do you know about the Influencer Marketplace?
Yes, you guessed it, there is a marketplace for influencers. These days, there is a marketplace for everything, so it only makes sense that there is a marketplace to find you influencers.
You could look for your influencer at Famebit, Tidal or TapInfluence; to name just a few. They’re actually a little similar to dating apps, you can use the influencer marketplace to find profiles of a really wide range of people to show off your brand.
Influencer marketing agency
You can contact an influencer marketing agency and they can put you in touch an influencer who is appropriate for your brand.
You can look at who is talking about your brands on social media and approach them with an opportunity to partner with you.
Or you may find certain influencers having conversations about topics that are relevant to your product or service and have similar values to your brand. These people may be good choices to act as advocates for your brand.
- Stalk one
You may have heard in passing about a particular influencer who may be passionate about the product or service you are offering.
If this happens, you may have found the ideal candidate to start your influencer marketing.
But before you get too excited, do some research – stalk them – not in a creepy way of course. Rather, find out more about them and how they would gel with your brand. In fact, 70% of consumers believe it’s important for influencers to have a natural affinity with the brand they are endorsing.
You are looking for someone who will build a connection between your brand and your target audience. Keep this in mind as you research your potential influencer.
And remember, your influencer doesn’t have to be a person, or even real. You could use a well-known puppy or, as Coke did back in the 1920s, a fictional character like Santa Claus.
Engaging with your Influencer
Once you decide on your influencer, you need to approach them with a plan for engagement.
You don’t need to rush, take your time to introduce yourself to your influencer and build a friendship. You could follow their social channels, subscribe to their email list and if you’re feeling it, share their content.
Building this online friendship will allow you to create a rapport with your desired influencer, and ultimately enable you to start the conversation with them about promoting your brand.
Once your influencer has shown interest in becoming an advocate for your brand, you will need a plan – a marketing plan that will allow your influencer to experience your product or service so they can then market it to your target audience.
Provided that all goes well, your influencer understands your brand and is ready to market it to the wider public, then you can start creating marketing plans with your influencer.
Don’t forget to discuss compensation, that is, payment for your influencer. There are a number of different ways for you to compensate your influencers, of course you can provide a fixed payment, but there are other options. You can compensate your influencer with your products, provide commission or maybe boost traffic to their site.
How to develop a marketing plan for your Influencer
You’ve got your influencer and now you’re ready to undertake influencer marketing. To do this, you need a marketing campaign for your influencer.
You can get very creative with your marketing campaigns when using an influencer. What’s more, your influencer may also have some ideas.
The platform you choose for your influencer marketing campaign will depend greatly on where your target audience is active and the type of content that is successful on such platforms.
Whatever plan you decide, make sure you set up goals for your influencer campaign. This is highly critical because any decision you make on your campaign will depend on your goal.
Examples of marketing plans for your influencer are:
Your influencer can provide a review of your product or service on their social media channels or as a testimonial. You could also use the review to start an email campaign.
When your influencer writes about their experience of your brand, your target audience is provided with an opinion that helps to establish trust in your product.
Contest or giveaway
A contest that is coordinated by your influencer can drum up significant exposure for your brand. And is a fun approach to provide your target audience with your brand’s unique selling proposition.
Take a look at this example from Sony, promoting their Xperia with Influencer, Katie McDonnell.
Tweet promoting your product
Twitter is a great platform to have discussions. Having your influencer promote your brand through a tweet is a good opportunity to get people engaging in your value proposition.
A tweet from your influencer will start a conversation about your brand. You’ll then be able to see responses from your target audience, that you can use to improve the positioning of your brand.
Live events are another fun approach to influencer marketing. You can either host your own event or attend a bigger event with your influencer.
Having your influencer nearby provides your brand with a third-party endorsement that your target audience will want to know more about.
Video sharing an experience
Video is an extremely popular medium for sharing everything and anything, with statistics showing video content accounts for 69% of internet traffic. So, video is a good medium way to showcase your influencer’s experience of your product or service.
To make the most of influencer marketing, you need both a strong influencer and an effective marketing plan.
Depending on the amount of time and money you want to spend on influencer marketing, you can make your marketing plan as big or small as you like. But either way, make sure it’s effective.
Another thing you want to be mindful of when using influencers in your marketing plans is to allow them to remain true to their tone and voice.
You can of course give them a script as to what you want to be included in the review or video they are going to put together. However, you should provide your influencer the opportunity to maintain their authenticity. After all, that’s why you hired them!
Track and Measure Results
As with all marketing campaigns, make sure you track and measure results for your influencer marketing plan.
If it’s succeeding, or failing, you need to know.
If you are engaging an influencer marketing agency, they can also provide you with this data and make suggestions as to any changes or improvements you could make to your influencer marketing campaign.
This is where setting up goals and KPIs can be very helpful. Once you have your goals and your KPIs, you can refer back to them as you embark on your influencer campaign.
This way, you can also revise and adjust your marketing plan depending on what is or what is not working.
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time if it’s working well, but you always want to keep improving and developing your campaign to maximize your ROI.
There you have it, how to start Influencer Marketing for your brand.
These easy steps should answer all you need to know about what influencer marketing is and guide you in putting together a successful influencer marketing campaign.
Now that you know how to develop your very own influencer marketing campaign, do you want to learn about other marketing channels and how to make them work for your business? Take a look at our Courses and find one that matches your learning style.
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