Influencer Marketing: Join or Get Left Behind

As social media continues to attract and keep the attention of millions, influencer marketing has exploded. Social media channels, like Instagram and TikTok, have steered this marketing movement. Influencer marketing is now expected to be worth 13.8 billion in 2021 alone. 

Brands that haven’t started their influencer marketing campaigns are now seeing, more than ever, that it’s time to join in or get left behind. If you’re curious about the benefits of influencer marketing, but you don’t know how to begin, start with this guide to learn more!

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product reviews from influencers who have built trust among their audience. Digital marketers use this type of strategy to identify people who have a strong voice in their specific industry or niche. They will then pay this influencer to share their product or service with their followers to help increase brand awareness and/or sales.

This type of marketing typically involves a rapport between the brand and the influencer. There is a collaborative element to this relationship. The company and the influencer will work together to develop a plan and strategy to represent each other in the best way. Typically, the brand shares its product or service with the influencer at a free or discounted rate, and the influencer leads the content creation piece.

What are Influencers?

Influencers are people who have built a social media following. They’ve established a reputation for having an expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field. An influencer is able to affect the consumer buying decisions of a group of people through trust. Influencers tend to have a very loyal following, which makes influencer marketing very attractive to digital marketers.

Influencers build their relationships with their followers by being present. They respond to their follower’s comments and messages in a quick timeframe and speak directly to them when they post a photo or video. An influencer’s relationship with their followers is authentic and special. An influencer will even consider their audience friends or extended family.

Micro vs. Macro

It’s important to note that the size of an influencer’s following only matters to a point. A person becomes an influencer when they have a higher than average following. This could be as much as 1 million, or as low as 1,000. 

In fact, according to experts, the smaller the following, the higher the engagement and conversion rates tend to be. Deciding to work with either a micro or macro influencer all depends on your industry, product or service, and goals.

Why Is Influencer Marketing Effective?

Influencer marketing works the same way word-of-mouth or user-generated content does. It’s been proven that customers trust their friends, family, and product reviews more than they trust actual companies. Influencer marketing works because a trusted source is the one doing the promotion.

When a post is put in front of a viewer by someone they trust and have chosen to follow, it gives them a more positive association with the brand being shown. The consumer is much more likely to connect to that content. A more positive attitude towards a brand gives a higher probability they will buy.

Traditional advertising can get your content in front of a much larger audience. However, influencer marketing is more targeted towards people who have a higher chance of engaging. This type of marketing is also highly effective if your product or service is in a specific niche. Finding the right influencer to promote your brand who specialises in that niche can be a huge promotional gain. 

Gaining Popularity: Why Influencer Marketing is Starting to Grow Up

In recent years, there has been a huge societal shift towards being more authentic and transparent, especially online. Consumers want to see brands adopt this methodology as well. Using real people to review your product or service has an immense effect that traditional marketing tends to lack. 

The relationship between an influencer and their followers also helps to increase authenticity. Influencers are able to interact with their audience in a more personal way. They can like and respond to comments in real-time about the product or service they’re promoting. This also helps to showcase excitement around that particular brand. 

89% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective. As well as, 42% use this as their top ROI-generating marketing strategy. Simply put, influencer marketing is becoming so popular because it works.

How to Start Influencer Marketing

Now that you know the importance of influencer marketing, it’s time to integrate this into your marketing plan. Like any other marketing strategy, you need to plan, organise, and figure out your budget. 

Before contacting an influencer, it’s important to decide which product or service you wish to promote. It’s critical to find someone who has an angle or a niche following that’s relevant to your business. 

Set a schedule. If you’re trying to sell education software, for example, you may not want to promote it during school vacations. You can also work with your influencer to decide the length of promotion or how many posts you’d like to purchase and when.

Be sure to have a budget set aside. This is where you’d want to decide if you have the budget for a micro-influencer or a macro-influencer. Prices range depending on the social profile. Macro-influencers with larger followings tend to have a higher price tag. 

Finding the Right Influencer

Make sure the individual you choose has a character and personality that fits your company’s culture and mission. For example, if you want to promote your new vegan sauce, a vegan chef can use your sauce in their newest recipe. This type of brand promotion feels natural and trustworthy. 

You also want to make sure the influencer you are seeking has a reputable brand and social following. It’s not uncommon for people to buy followers to make themselves look legitimate. You don’t want those pages promoting your brand. Look at their comments and be sure the influencer is commenting back and that the array of comments are majority positive. 

Finding the right influencer can take time and energy. You need to find common ground between your brand and their brand. One way to do that is to search specific hashtags on the social channel you want to use. You can then vet the highest-ranking profiles to find the right influencer.

Contacting the Right Influencer

If you find a profile you think is a good match, follow them and like a few of their recent posts to establish rapport. Look for their information in their profile or send them a direct message to start the conversation. Be conversational and present your idea as a win-win partnership. 

Some established influencers will already have a link in their profile to an agent or agency that represents them. This is another way to find the right influencer. Instead of looking on your own, you can work with an agency that specialises in doing all the vetting for you. 

What Is an Influencer Marketer?

Marketing with influencers is a long-term partnership. Most companies run their traditional marketing tactics alongside influencer marketing. Digital marketers are stretched thin and do not have the bandwidth to find the right influencer. 

An influencer marketer is an agency that specialises in talent. They have an array of high-level, experienced content creators on staff. These creators are already well-versed in how to work with a variety of brands across a multitude of niches.

Companies can hire from these agencies and take the stress away from their organic search. In addition to that, influencers looking to be represented can find an agency that will match them with the right company that aligns with their brand. 

Influencer Search

Companies can use an influencer marketing agency to match with an influencer who has a specific look, demographic, or message that aligns with their brand. These agencies have influencer profiles that ensure finding the right talent. A digital marketer could spend hours going through influencer profiles and still not find the right fit.

These agencies work to be sure both the company and the influencer are taken care of. 

Partnership

Influencer marketing is not just about paying a random person with a big following to promote your business. It’s important to remember that influencers have worked hard to build their brand and cultivate their audience. The influencers you want to promote your business are the ones who aren’t just in it for the money. 

This type of marketing is a two-way partnership. As a company, you want to find an influencer to align with your brand. However, the influencer also has to feel they’re being represented the right way, so they don’t lose trust with their followers. Working with an agency guarantees you will save time, energy, and stress trying to find the right fit. 

That’s why, if you want to find the best influencer to promote your brand, contact an influencer marketing agency today!