Getting into influencer marketing in this day and age is somewhat like a gamble. Years back, you’ll have the upper hand since the landscape hasn’t been saturated yet. But now that many businesses have already incorporated their marketing plans, it would be difficult for you to get your marketing ROI if you have the same marketing strategy and provide similar products or services.However, worry not as we’ll provide you an in-depth discussion on influencer marketing and how to use it to grow your business. With these new insights, you can make influencer marketing work better for you and help you generate sales and a greater ROI (Return on Investment).
Influencer Marketing—What Is It?
Influence marketing falls under the umbrella of the social media marketing that involves social media personalities. These personalities often have many social following and are perceived as experts in their respective niches. Influencers can either endorse your product or create content that supports your products to help you increase your brand awareness, generate leads, and drive sales.The way influencer marketing works is that for every post influencers make, be it a product photo or a video describing their experience with your products, these influencers earn. At the same time, you also earn nearly the same trust that their followers have for them.This is how influencer marketing exactly works—with the amount of trust that these social influencers gained from their audience, whatever they say about your brand will become social proof to your prospects. Basically, you’re trading trust in this landscape, and yet, it has worked many wonders for many businesses to date.
Why Bother With Influencer Marketing?
It has been said that the influencer marketing strategy has become so saturated that you wonder if you’ll still gain leads through this strategy. The good news is that influencer marketing still works to this day. Before the social network hit it off, many businesses have sought celebrities who have a well-established profile and social media audience to raise their brand awareness. With the continuous rise of social media influencers coming from different platforms, this type of strategy is becoming more accessible even to brands that are yet to build a name across the globe.With every passing year, the influencer marketing strategy continues to grow. The more it grows, the more it delivers 11 times higher ROI than other marketing strategies. Additionally, its growth can be attributed to the gradual increase of social media users. In 2019 alone, there are 1 billion Instagram users, 2.27 billion Facebook users, and 1.5 billion YouTube logged-in users. With that amount, it’s nearly impossible not to find an audience who will notice your brand through an influencer.
Using Influencer Marketing to Your Business’ Advantage
Now that you know what influencer marketing is, you need to apply this strategy to your business. How can you use influencer marketing to your advantage? Here are the best tips and ideas.
Gauge the Power of Influencers
To learn how to make influencer marketing work better for you, you must understand the power that every influencer possesses.Influencers are more than just those people you see posting sponsored photos on your Instagram timeline. They have the power to influence people to purchase your products or avail of your services with just one post. Because creators have a strong influence on social media, you should expect that most of them work on a paid collaboration. Some may agree to barters, ex-deals, and complimentary hostings, but you still need to pay for some services. Also, your influencers should experience your product or service firsthand, or they won’t be able to promote your brand effectively and genuinely.
Understand the Influencers in Your Industry
You may know how influencers generally work for brands, but you need to understand that each influencer has their own way of promoting products and services. One influencer may post creative photos on Instagram, while the other focuses on uploading videos on YouTube. Moreover, some influencers may not do well on feed posting — they utilize the Live features of Instagram and Facebook more. Nevertheless, you should consider the promotional ways when choosing an influencer. If your business markets well on Facebook, find an influencer who’s active on that platform. If you’re gaining more sales on Instagram, work with an Instagram creator. The technique is to determine the best social media platform first, then find an effective influencer on that platform. You may also try cross-promoting and hunting on social media for higher chances of online success.
Know What You Want Out Of It
Is your goal to advocate your brand, raise brand awareness, or gain new target audiences? Whatever your goal may be, always know what you want to achieve the best out of this marketing strategy. In 2017, more than 70% of marketers found influencers’ selection as the most challenging part of influencer marketing.If it’s your first time getting into influencer marketing, know that it will feel like a gamble since you won’t generate any marketing ROI right away. Take your time to set clear goals so you can conveniently determine the best metrics and key performance indicators to decide whether you have met your business goals.
Build a Solid Influencer Strategy
Once you have a specific goal in mind, it will be easier for you to build a successful influencer strategy. One strategy includes a further understanding of the influencer landscape. You can start by knowing the various influencer marketing trends that you can possibly invest in. Some influencers mainly produce video content via YouTube, while others create valuable and instructional content instead of straight-up posting an advertisement.Another thing to include in your strategy is to apply the best type of influencer marketing campaign that works well for your business. You can use discount codes and affiliate marketing or sponsoring competitions and giveaways.
Market a Good and Creative Content
Aside from discounts and giveaways, you should always create high-quality and interactive content. Like any online marketing endeavor, influencer marketing won’t work if you publish poor content. To create good content, you should work hand-in-hand with your influencer. Most influencers are creative in their own ways, and you’re lucky if you find one that creates awesome videos and photos.You see, influencer marketing not only saves you time but also money. Instead of hiring a social media specialist and graphic designer individually, you get the whole package with an influencer. Most importantly, influencers are more confident to promote creative and unique posts than mediocre ones.
Cultivate Influencer-Brand Relationship
If you find yourself the best influencer who has the most suitable and influential voice for your brand, make sure you cultivate your influencer-brand relationship. This cultivation is one of the ways to make influencer marketing work in your favor. Yes, you may have hired an influencer who has impressive industry relevance, produces high-quality content, and exhibits a pleasing personality. But all of these factors won’t benefit your business if you have a poor relationship in the first place and if you don’t share the same vision. You can hire micro-influencers and achieve impressive engagement rates if you have cultivated a strong relationship with them. For example, the skincare brand Glossier changed the influencer marketing game by launching their products and sending these out to regular customers whom they treated like influencers. The company then re-post their photos on their Instagram page, which is one reason why the brand reached its success today.
Use Relevant Influencer Tools
Social media and influencer marketing is a wide scope. You may have a dedicated marketing team, but doing your online strategy manually can cost you more time. If you want to get better results, you should invest in some relevant influencer marketing tools.Most software will help you get connected with the best influencers on the internet, and you can sort out your search based on your niche and goals. The influencer platforms also allow brands to manage and track their influencer campaigns through different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Essentially, using influencer marketing tools can improve your influencer hunt and will help you find the best creator for your brand.
Summary & Takeaways
Getting an influencer to feature your business on their social media platforms may sound easy. However, this type of marketing isn’t a one-and-done strategy that could catapult you to success right away. You’ll still spend your resources on campaigns, trials and errors, influencer assessments, and maintaining your partnership. You may still have a long way to go, but you’re already a step ahead in understanding how influencer marketing can work in your favor by having read this article.If you feel like influencer marketing can help grow your business, don’t be afraid to take the plunge. Take it minimally, keep on learning and growing, and watch your brand soar to greater heights.