A successful strategy for influencer marketing is key to help your business grow rapidly, along with increasing brand exposure, build authority in the market, and reach out to new audiences and engaging them. Influencer marketing is all about focusing on key leaders and influential people to drive the brand’s marketing campaign, instead of marketing directly to a large group of consumers. Using influencer marketing, you promote, inspire, and influence your customers to buy or consume your products or services.
Influential people and celebrities run this campaign; hence, influencing consumers is much easier. In this marketing, the brands collaborate and share a partnership with the influential people and celebrities, who agrees to promote the brand’s message and market the products on behalf of the company. Influencers and celebrities usually have a large and engageable audience, who are already his or her followers. Hence, the brands reap the benefits when these people promote the products and services of the company.
Influencer marketing has an array of benefits to offer to your business as well as boost up your sales. However, to reap the benefits completely, it is important to run influencer marketing perfectly. This complete guide helps your brand run a successful influencer marketing campaign, with tried and tested strategies.
Need for influencer marketing
How many of us look at advertisements on the Internet or banners ads? Yes, we look at them just to block the pop-up ads or skip them. Since the world-wide click-through rate is 0.19%, you cannot claim that the display ads of your brand are successful.
Image Source: http://www.richmediagallery.com/learn/benchmarks.
In a recent survey, it has been seen that more than half of the Internet users never click on online ads and more than 35% of the users click on less than 5 ads per month. On the other hand, social media ads are gaining popularity, since most people are connected through social media nowadays. With influencer marketing, the engaged audience of the influencers and celebrities form a major part of the target audience. This endorsement from influential celebrities makes it easier for brands to spread their message and promote their products through influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is very much different from conventional marketing. Here the establishment of relations, with the customer has a major role to play in the success. Successful influencer marketing is a win-win situation for both, the rand as well as the influencer. If the marketing wins, the brand wins and success becomes a success story for the celebrity as well, as he/she is seen as the face of the particular brand.
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Checklist to follow, before running the influencer marketing campaign
1. Find your target audience
The first step, before running the influencer marketing campaign is to find your target audience. It is essential to determine which age group you target, which class of the society they belong to, their niche, their interests in your products and services, and so on. While you define your target audience, it is important to understand their demographics and areas of interest, along with the geographical region they belong to. Various tools can be used to find your target audience, the most popular choice being the Google analytics.
2. Define the goals
Defining the goals you want to achieve and the motive that drives your influencer marketing campaign is important. Whether your brand’s target is to boost the revenue or increase customer engagement and brand awareness is important to define and work towards the achievement of that goal.
After the goals are set and understood, it is important to define KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the campaign. For each goal you set, you should define the KPIs differently. For example, if your goal is to enhance the brand awareness of your brand, then you should consider the customer engagement rate or social media following as your KPIs.
3. Choose the right platform
Choosing the right social media platform is important before you run a perfect influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing content needs a perfect social media platform to meet your goals. Moreover, it needs to be tailored according to the social media platform that you choose.
For example, if you choose Instagram, it is more about visual content and aesthetics. Hence, the marketing approach should be Instagram friendly. However, if YouTube is selected, influencer marketing needs to be videos. Each of the social media has an audience from various demographic backgrounds and ages. Hence, it is recommended to choose social media, where the target audiences are most active.
4. Find the appropriate influencer
Finding the most appropriate celebrity or influencer is the most important step in the entire process. To find the right influencer to promote your brand needs in-depth research such that their personality matches with the products and services of your brand.
For example, an influencer or celebrity who is not a fashion icon is not suitable for promoting luxury fashion brands. Thus, the public image of the celebrities needs to match the promotional products and the message of the brands. It has been seen that most brands face difficulties while choosing the most appropriate influencers for their brands. Hence, in-depth research needs to be done beforehand.
Checklist to follow, after running the influencer marketing campaign
1. Track the success
Tracking the success of the influencer marketing campaign helps your brand understand the fruitfulness of the investment for the campaign. When the influencers and celebrities share your brands’ posts in various social media, it is important to track the number of customer engagements and sales generated from the posts. Keep referring to your KPIs defined to track the success. Influencer marketing tools are often recommended.
2. Ask for testimonials from influencers
Getting influencer testimonials at the end of the campaigns has a major role to play in influencer marketing. Along with social media posting, this also enhances your brand value and reaches out to various potential customers.
Types of Influencer
The influencers in influencer marketing can be categorized into three types:
1. Celebrity influencers
This is the oldest and most popular kind of influencer marketing that has been prevalent for ages. Brands and companies have been involving celebrities for a long time, to promote their brands and products.
However, celebrity influencers are expensive. A report highlights the fact that the celebrity Kim Kardashian charges $250,000 for a single post on her social media account, on behalf of the brand, promoting their products. Businesses often find it difficult to work with celebrities as they charge an extremely high amount of money for influencer marketing.
However, the fans and followers are maximum in the case of celebrity influencers as they are popular faces across the world, irrespective of their field of expertise.
2. Macro influencers
Macro influencers include people who are also famous and has a huge fan following. Moreover, these people are considered experts in their fields. They are less famous than the celebrities in the way that common people on the roads might not be aware of their identities but people working in the same domain are aware of the influence they have. Since they are already considered to be experts, they charge a huge amount of money from the brands and companies, approaching them for marketing and promotions.
Micro-influencers are scaled-down macro-influencers. They are considered experts in their genre. They are lesser-known outside their genre and companies often prefer them for influencer marketing, as the charges are considerably less as compared to the other two categories.
How do influencers add value to your business?
The level of benefit and value add that the influencers have on your business, depends on the type of relationship you share with the influencer or celebrity. For example, in the case of a very formal and strictly professional relationship, you might expect to pay him/her only for the campaign they are assigned for.
However, in case you share a positive and friendly relationship, they can create blogs and articles featuring your products and services. They can also share promotional articles for your goods and products in their social media accounts. In a much closer relation, the celebrities might also give you access to their sites, where you can post and promote your brand on their behalf. Your target customers can read and share the posts, thus getting influenced by their recommendations, ending up buying your products and services.
Benefits of influencer marketing for the brands
1. Builds trust faster
With influencer marketing, trust-building is faster. This is because an already famous influencer or celebrity, with a huge fan base, is promoting your products and services. This gives the idea to the common people that the celebrity themselves are using the products and services, hence they are bound to be good and trustworthy.
The credibility of the brand is already created, with the influencers being promotional about the brand and people respect their content and prefer their recommendations. Hence customers and common people gain trust in the brand faster, thus buying them or availing the services.
2. Enhances brand awareness
Influencer marketing enhances brand awareness among the people as they see their favorite celebrities posting and promoting certain brands and their products in social media. The active users start noticing your brands and products, and customer engagement increases more and more.
Increasing brand awareness increases the likeliness of increased customers, thus a major boost to the revenue. The key to maximize the benefits of influencer marketing is to ensure that quality and promotional posts are being posted in the influencer’s social media.
3. Reaches the target audience effectively
Influencer marketing helps you reach the goal that you had defined before beginning the campaign. The effectiveness of any marketing strategy lies in reaching the target audience effectively, which is completely achieved. The fund allocated for influencer marketing helps you reach the target audience, with their promotional content, and photos, posing with your products or recommending your services.
After your brand’s message is reached to the target audience, your job is more than half done. Following the success of the campaign, the customers will come pouring in.
4. Builds mutually beneficial partnerships
Successful influencer marketing is beneficial for the brand, as well as celebrities and influencers. The mutually beneficial relationship helps in offering a good name and fame for the brand. With the huge success of the brand, the influencers often become synonymous with the brand. Thus, a successful influencer campaign is beneficial for the image of the celebrity, along with the promotion of the products and services of the brand.
5. Offers value to customers
The heart of inbound marketing includes content that offers information about the products to the customers, along with offering tutorials and guidelines. This, in turn, helps the customers know more about your brand thus helping in value-adding. The recommendations and social media posts from the influencers act as an easy trust-building factor for the customers.
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Influencer marketing has great importance in business. To start with you can send free samples of your products to bloggers and influencers active in influencer marketing. While they are happy to use the products, get a testimonial from them. The unboxing videos on YouTube are a new trend and you can start with such video requests from micro-influencers, with good payment for the video on YouTube.
If the influencer likes the products, you can request them for a social media post with recommendations. Thus, with small and planned initial investments, you can start the journey of influencer marketing for your brands.
This kind of marketing is usually taken up by small brands with micro-influencers. As the brand grows, it moves towards celebrity influencers. Follow the steps as described here to explore and unveil the world of influencer marketing. It helps gradually growing your business and increasing brand awareness among potential customers.
Analyze the needs, set your goals, target the potential customers, and choose the most appropriate social media. And finally, look for the most effective influencer for your business and you are good to go.
Additional Resource (Infographic)
As an additional resource, please check the following infographic elaborating the pros and cons of influencer marketing for your brand:
Infographic source: shanebarker.com.