The digital landscape is expanding fast. From print and TV, to the internet and social media, marketing today largely takes place in the digital arena. It’s a huge place, and the more you explore the possibilities, the more there is to gain in terms of customers and revenue. One of the fast growing digital marketing tactics is influencer marketing, which is gaining traction every day and in some industries, even leading the way. Let’s take a look at what influencer marketing is and what you can gain from it.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a method of reaching out to your customers via people – advocates or ‘ambassadors’. Influencers are not necessarily celebrities with millions of followers. More and more, the niche of micro-influencers is growing in popularity. Influencers may be regular people who are travelers, photographers, journalists, public personalities, industry experts or bloggers in various niches.
How are influencers changing consumer buying patterns? Let’s look at the facts;
- A survey by Collective Bias stated that 60% of shoppers in store are influenced by social media posts or blogs.
- 70% of millennials’ buying decisions are influenced by their peers.
- Around 81% of consumers make their purchase after seeing products on social media.
Today, people are spending a large chunk of their time on smartphones scrolling through social media and browsing the net. You want to make your mark, and leave your footprint to lead potential customers to your product or service. A really effective way to do this is through influencers. Influencer marketing works by creating trust. Consumers put more importance on a brand that is seen to be endorsed, recommended or honestly reviewed by influencers. And influencers typically have a lot of followers, or a follower base that comprises your ideal audience. Don’t you want to reach them and increase engagement with your brand?
How Does Influencer Marketing Affect Brand Awareness and Sales?
Influencers endorsing your brand can help you create a rapport among their followers, which in turn helps you gain new customers. Here are some of the many benefits of influencer collaborations:
Influencers already have a following. By collaborating with them, you gain access to their followers too. Choosing the right kind of influencer for your brand can help you reach your target customers quickly and effectively.
Consumers trust influencers. They pay attention to their reviews and opinions. When influencers endorse your brand, their followers are more likely to buy your products. This helps you convert likes to sales.
Influencers can help create new audiences for you by exposing your brand to people who may not have heard of it before. The influencer platform is an ideal way to tell your brand story to a new, high quality audience.
New, Powerful Content
Influencers are content creators, and they know what their audience loves to see. Influencer content about your brand is likely to be high quality and focused for the target audience, which means you’ll see results.
Influencers can backlink to your website, blogs or social media accounts. This helps generate traffic to your own channels too.
How to Kick Off an Influencer Marketing Strategy
The first step is connecting with the right influencer. Just because an influencer has thousands of followers doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right match for you. Do your research before deciding on a particular influencer. Even better, instead of going for a single influencer with millions of followers, go for multiple micro-influencers. They have a solid engagement ratio when it comes to reach.
Start by researching the influencer landscape in your industry:
- Identify your target audience on each social media platform
- Find the influencers who are already working in your niche
- Track the engagement of influencer content in terms of likes, shares, and comments
Before reaching out to a potential influencer, create a shortlist of potential matches by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do they have the appropriate knowledge of your industry and its products/services?
- How many followers they have, and what is the make-up of their audience
- Are they a fan of your brand and your product or service?
- Are they already using a product similar to yours?
- Are they working with other brands in your industry?
- Do they take payment or are willing to barter for your product/service?
Your work will be made easier if you can find an influencer who is already in love with your brand. Their endorsement will be genuine and heartfelt, and their content about your brand will come across as authentic and believable.
How to Prepare Your Digital Strategy to Accommodate Influencer Marketing
There are several ways influencers can present your brand to their followers. It could be in the form of photos or videos, or a long-form blog post or product review.
Sharing on Social Media
Influencers can share posts about your product or service on their social media pages. They can use hashtags that are unique to your brand or product, including those you use in your campaigns.
Influencers can offer giveaways or trials of your product or service to their followers in exchange for liking your brand account, or providing their email address. You decide the type and number of free giveaways on offer.
Influencers can run contests or raffles, encouraging their followers to share your brand-related content on social media using hashtags or tagging your brand profile. You provide the prizes to the winners.
Influencers can guest blog on your site or other sites about something connected to your product or service. It can be in the form of a review, or an interesting aspect of your offering or industry. They can then include the link on their own blog to drive more traffic to your blog.
Influencers can appear on your brand’s page in the form of interviews or Q&A sessions. They can then share the interview on their own platforms.
Influencers can review your product/service and share on their social media channels to promote it among their audience. Reviews can be written articles or video reviews.
How to Measure the Benefit of Influencer Collaboration
When collaborating with an influencer, keep a close eye on the changes in traffic and engagement of your online assets, as well as revenue from conversions. Make sure to check the following:
- Changes in the number of followers/subscribers/visitors
- Website traffic patterns
- Engagement on social media, such as Likes, Shares, Comments, and Tags
Of course, all those likes and shares are not necessarily going to convert to sales. You can track conversions in the following ways:
- Provide a unique promotional code for each influencer
- Create unique links using UTM codes to check the results of influencer-created content
You can get in touch with the right influencers and manage influencer campaigns with the help of platforms like Klear, FameBit, TapInfluence and many others.
Final Wrap Up
The digital space is not going to stop expanding. And you need to try a range of digital tactics to reach more potential customers. Influencer marketing gives you access to pre-built audiences who may be very happy to hear about your brand. It’s a matter of finding the influencer with the right followers, and creating targeted campaigns that get your message across. Leverage influencer marketing in your native advertising and social media marketing strategy, and start expanding your audience reach.