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Influencer Marketing: Everything You Need to Know Why You Should Work With Influencers

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - Digital Marketing, Digital Marketing>Social Media Marketing (SMM)

It’s no secret that social media has taken over our daily lives. Networks like Instagram and Youtube have paved the way for new and lucrative career opportunities for those with large followings; these people are known as influencers.

‘Influencer’ isn’t just a trendy internet-era buzzword. This type of social media user can actually help your business thrive – if you know how to use influencer marketing correctly.

Brands have capitalized on the influencer phenomenon by building strong relationships with influencers, who in turn advertise their products and services on social media.

According to Business Insider, the influencer marketing industry could be worth up to $15 billion by 2022. In other words, now is certainly not a bad time to get started.

The following guide will teach you everything you need to know about the world of influencers, including:

  • How influencer marketing can benefit your brand

  • What types of influencers you may come across

  • What kinds of brand campaigns you may launch

  • How to make the most of the relationship between influencers and your brand

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a strategy that involves publishing content that showcases your brand through a social media account with a high follower count. The owners of these accounts are called ‘influencers’ – they often influence trends, or act as important voices in niche industries. Influencer marketing takes place over every corner of the internet, through platforms like Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, Snapchat, Twitch, and many others.

Benefits of Influencer Marketing

Is influencer marketing actually effective?

YES! According to a study by Twitter and Annalect, 40 percent of users have purchased a product after seeing it used by an influencer.

Here are some of the benefits of taking on this marketing method.

Trust

Trust is one of the most important elements needed to build a strong relationship between an audience and your brand. Fortunately, influencers already have a trustworthy relationship with their followers. These audiences have similar tastes as the influencers they follow, or are interested to see what they recommend. As a result, the audience will already be actively engaged when your brand appears in their feed. 

High ROI

Want a marketing strategy with a high return on investment? Look no further: influencer marketing is more than worth it. Some of the success comes from the fact that every influencer’s following is different. This is particularly obvious with influencers in niche markets. For example, if your product is a vegan snack, you’d find a high engagement rate through a vegan influencer. There are more niche markets than you could count – try to think about who you would market to.

Improves Brand Awareness

Influencers don’t just tell their followers about your brand; they show your brand in action. They’ll usually post an engaging photo or video showcasing your product or service, and they’ll usually attach a caption with some kind of narrative. As a result, the audience quickly becomes familiar with your brand. These static techniques bring your brand to life far more than a plain old advertisement would.

Quicker Customer Acquisition

It’s easy to turn a social network user into a customer through influencer marketing. In fact, a survey from Influence Marketing Hub found that 28 percent of marketers considered influencer marketing to be the #1 fastest-growing method to acquire customers.

Here’s why. If you choose an influencer with the right audience, you’ll easily reach people who will be interested. Plus, social media platforms regularly improve their user interfaces to make it easier for users to shop with one or two clicks.

Cost-Effective

Influencer marketing is great for your wallet, too. That’s because it gives you plenty of options for any budget. Here are some of the choices you may consider:

  • What kind of influencer you work with (these are listed below!)

  • What kind of campaign you wish to launch

  • How long you want your campaign to run

With such a high ROI, you can make any campaign work for your brand.

Types of Influencers

You can split influencers into four categories based on how many followers they have. Each division has its own set of pros and cons, and the type of influencer you choose to work with may depend on a few factors.

Mega-Influencers

These influencers have at least 1 million followers. They are usually celebrities, but many influencers in the world of food, fashion, and travel have managed to build their following just as high. Mega-influencers have a large audience to show your brand off to, but that audience is broad, and you will need a large budget to work with them.

Macro-Influencers

These influencers have between 100,000 and 1 million followers. Most influencers at this level are social media stars, reality TV personalities, star athletes, or popular users within specific markets. These users may not be as big as celebrities, but they still have a recognizable image and can bring your brand to a large audience. However, they may have a low engagement rate, even for niche markets.

Micro-Influencers

These influencers have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. Most influencers at this level are popular content creators, reality TV personalities, or fairly popular users within specific markets. These users often have a niche audience, which allows them to reach a higher engagement rate than influencers with more followers. They are also less likely to turn away brands, as many of them are still building their following.

Nano-Influencers

These influencers have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. These influencers might seem ineffective compared to the types listed above, but don’t be fooled by the relatively low follow account; nano-influencers are great for marketers. These users are often trusted voices within niche markets or particular regions, and they can achieve a high engagement rate – especially if your brand is relevant to their following.

The Basic Types of Influencer Partnerships

As the world of influencer marketing grows, many more types of partnerships are popping up. You may choose to create your own strategy, or work with an influencer to form an agreement. However, you should be familiar with the most basic types of agreements with influencers.

Sponsored Posts

This is the most common kind of influencer content, and it’s the most straightforward, too. The influencer agrees to make a post about your brand, and you pay them in return. You may work with the influencer to determine what the content looks like; you may give them full creative control, or ask them to hit on certain “talking points.”

Free Items in Exchange For Posts

Also called product seeding, this strategy involves giving your products to influencers for free so that they can post about them. This is common among influencers who review products or film their reactions to using them.

Commission Link or Discount Code

Customers love discounts and sales. This strategy helps them get your product at a discounted price, and it helps you turn an influencer’s followers into customers. It’s simple, too: the influencer posts content about your brand, and offers a clearly-stated discount code in the description.

How to Facilitate Relationships With Influencers

In order to successfully market your brand with the help of an influencer, you’ll need to build the right relationships. This means fostering trust between yourself and the influencers you choose to work with.

How do you approach an influencer? We recommend taking the “slow and steady” approach – here’s what we mean:

A healthy relationship takes work, and that’s true for your brand’s representatives as well. When you find an influencer you’re interested in working with, don’t dog pile on them with a ton of interactions. Instead, spread them out, slowly working your way into their frame of mind.

Start by simply following them. Over the next week or two, start liking and commenting on their content. Then, you will have developed a minor rapport, and you are ready to send them an offer.

When you reach out to them, make sure you make it clear that you understand their brand. If they call themselves a “wellness” influencer, don’t mistakenly refer to them as a “fitness” influencer. If they have a cheerful tone, consider matching that tone in your correspondence. Ask if they have an email address or agent to speak to, as social media messages tend to get lost.

Tips For Building a Strong Influencer Strategy

Make Sure Your Brand Values Line Up With The Influencer’s Values

If you’re selling luggage, you wouldn’t reach out to a tech influencer – a travel influencer would make more sense. The influencer’s area of interest isn’t the only indicator of a good match. You might also consider:

  • The age group targeted (gen Z? millennials? families?)

  • The tone (cheerful? family-friendly? crass?)

Allow the Influencer to Have Some Freedom Regarding Content and Messaging

Influencers are technically doing business, but they still take pleasure in using social media. By limiting their creative control, you’ll take away the influencer’s ability to insert their natural voice. The end result will be content that seems unnatural, and the audience will catch on.

Instead, let the influencer do what their audience has grown to love, and ask them to hit on certain key points that you wish to get across.

Set a Budget

As with any marketing campaign, you should stick to a clear budget. Remember, you can always continue the relationship you have with an influencer down the road. Otherwise, plenty of short-term options are available that can get you plenty of bang for your buck.

Set Goals

Influencer marketing doesn’t have to feel like an aimless attempt to reach new customers. You can actually shift your strategy to reach a specific goal. Here are some examples:

  • Gain loyal customers

  • Increase sales

  • Develop your brand identity

  • Reach a high engagement level

The Takeaway

In this article, you learned:

  • How working with influencers could help you

  • How to distinguish the four types of influencers

  • What to do before you reach out to an influencer

As the world of influencer marketing continues to grow, make sure you get your piece of the pie.

Wade Morris

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

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