Social Media Influencer Marketing Strategy
By Angie Bolotin on May 23, 2018 in Digital Marketing
In the age of traditional marketing, word of mouth (WOM) was the way to move the needle for brands. Now, in a time of online marketing and low attention spans, brands still recognize the importance of WOM and look to online influencers to generate a digital buzz for omnichannel sales.
While the influencer landscape is ever-evolving, here's everything you need to know to stay on top of the newest marketing technique.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is the practice of brands partnering with industry thought leaders and experts for promotion and exposure to expanded online audiences. Through creative, credible and authentic campaigns, influencers are able to guide follower purchasing decisions and increase brand partner affinity.
“An influencer is an influential and credible person that uses their online platforms (social media, blogs or websites) to build relationships and share information.”
What qualifies someone as an influencer?
Much like the title given to them, an influencer is an influential and credible person that uses their online platforms (social media, blogs or websites) to build relationships and share information about products or services pertaining to specific industries or areas of interest. Influencers are well established as thought leaders within their vertical and are respected for their opinions.
A large subscriber or follower count is no longer a requirement to be considered an influencer. In fact, recent micro-influencer research shows that, while a single micro-influencer will reach less people, their engagement rates and impact on their community is significantly higher than influencers with 100K or more subscribers. In fact, Digiday reported that “Instagram influencers with 10,000 to 100,000 followers see a 2.4 percent like rate, compared to 1.7 percent for those with 1 million to 10 million followers and more.”
“Influencer marketing statistics prove these partnerships have a HUGE ROI. In fact, it can bring a return of roughly $6.50 on every dollar spent on the campaign.”
Why is influencer marketing important?
Influencer marketing statistics show that influencer partnerships have a HUGE ROI. In fact, it can bring a return of roughly $6.50 on every dollar spent on the campaign. In some industries, that number is even higher.
Consumers crave honest reviews and information from reputable sources to drive their purchasing decisions. Influencers bridge the gap between brands and consumers to generate sales, change or elevate brand perception, introduce new products or gain overall awareness.
The additional benefits of influencer marketing are the creation of inexpensive content, including User Generated Content (UGC) and videos.
How do I create an influencer marketing campaign?
- Define your goal: Do you want to create awareness? Change brand perception? Generate hard sales? Start with a clear, measurable goal.
- Set your influencer strategy:
- Size & Number: You can work with a single, large influencer, partner with multiple micro-influencers or do a combination of both
- Platform: Blog, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are the top influencer platforms. Choose the platform where your audience engages most.
- Partnership Ask: Prior to reaching out to influencers, outline your request.
- Do you want the influencer to create content for your brand’s use (UGC, videos ads, etc.) or promote your brand via his or her own channels (contests, blog entries, photos or video).
- Create a list of influencers: Many brands conduct manual searches via platforms. There are several tools that will do the work for you, including The Shelf or Socialix.
- Outreach: You can reach out to influencers via email or with an influencer tool. During the outreach, inquire about rate sheets and engagement rates.
- Negotiate: Influencers are often willing to bundle services. It never hurts to ask if they have some wiggle room!
- Plan and review: Once the contract is defined, the planning and content development process begins. Most influencers pride themselves on creating quality content, so allow ample time for this phase to avoid negatively affecting the process.
- Push out the content: Engage with and repurpose any content that your influencer publishes.
- Report: Upon completion of the campaign, review the success of the partnership. Important stats include reach, engagement and conversions.
How long does it take to show results?
Depending on the strategy, influencer marketing can show an immediate impact on sales and awareness. While it is possible to see a fast lift, small influencer initiatives must run consistently and for an extended period to show more impactful results. So, stick with it! Over time, your influencer community will drive the lift you’re looking for!