Influencer marketing has become a bit of a hype. Almost every online marketing professional is talking about it – and not without reason. An influencer’s audience trusts the influencer. Additionally, an influencer probably can achieve better engagement rates than plain old corporate communications ever could. And it’s not always just about the Kim Kardashians and Pamela Reifs of the world. This blog post will show you why influencer marketing will benefit your social media strategy – and this without having to pay half a million dollars for a post.
Three Good Reasons for Influencer Marketing
More Trust When Compared to Corporate Content
Influencer content is perceived as more trustworthy by the end-user when compared to content that comes from corporate communications and PR. Why? A common thought that occurs when consuming PR/corporate communication is: “Yes, naturally you will claim that your new product is the best, and that I should buy it – because you’re the company that makes it!” However, some individuals are actual experts in a given specific area. For example, someone who reads many books and writes insightful and factual reviews might be a person whose opinion you, therefore, value and trust. If this person recommends a book, his audience/followers will trust this judgment and also read it. As such, they trust the individual’s recommendation more than they trust your company’s communication.
Authentic, High-Quality Content
Influencers know how to create the best content for their audiences. They know their followers very well as they regularly interact with them. Thus, they know what their followers want to know and what content they are interested in. Hence, they can produce content in a very authentic way. If they fail to do so, they may lose credibility and followers.
Better Engagement Rate
Working with an influencer can lead to better engagement rates on your social media channels. Suppose you share your latest products on your Facebook channel. In that case, fewer people might interact with your posts because they don’t know the people behind your company page. In contrast, if an influencer promotes your product using, for example, stories and posts that share your product used in their everyday life, their followers are more likely to start engaging with the product. Social media users prefer to interact with someone they think they know, someone who has a tangible personality. This higher engagement rate can lead to more views, more reach, and more Brand awareness.
How Do I find The Influencer Who Fits My Brand?
First, define your target audience: what is their average age? Which social media channels do they use? What other interests do they have? What media do they consume? In other words, what makes your target group tick?
Second, You might want to conduct a field study: Log on to your target group’s preferred platform, search for the relevant interests, read the comments, subscribe to the appropriate channels. Proceed as your target group might act. During this process, you’re bound to find an influencer or two who could be a good fit for your brand or product.
If not, there are online tools such as BuzzSumo that can support you in finding an appropriate influencer. BuzzSumo lists relevant influencers, bloggers, and journalists according to region and topic and provides information on the number of followers, page, and domain authority.
Incidentally, quality also takes precedence over quantity with influencer marketing. Therefore, we suggest you instead rely on micro-influencers who may not necessarily have a super high follower count. Instead, focus on individuals who fit your brand exactly and are in close, personal exchange with their fans. Your budget is probably better off with them, and you can invest in several micro-influencers in parallel if necessary.
How Do I Build an Always-On Relationship with Influencers?
Once you have defined several influencers that fit your brand or products, the next step is to identify the influencers’ motivations. Are they celebrities, with as many followers as Switzerland has inhabitants? Then they are probably more interested in making money by mentioning your brand name. Are they experts in a specific field? An efficient approach is to ask them for their opinion, give them detailed insights, or provide them with the product for a hands-on test. Are they activists? Then maybe – very old-school – they can start a conversation about the topic in question.
A crucial tip is to stay in touch with successful influences. Don’t limit your thinking and planning to the campaign coming up next. Ask your defined influencers what they plan to do moving forward. What’s driving them? Is there a way to support them and their plans? After all, that’s the point of a relationship: give and take. An influencer you’ve helped will be more willing to support your next campaign. That way, you’ll already have a foot in the door!
Next step: “Schmooze Optimization,” as Greg Jarboe, influencer marketing strategy professor at Rutgers Business School, calls it. Give influencers what they’re interested in, flatter them, maybe even invite them to dinner. Show that you are interested in them as a person, not as a campaign object.
How can Influencer Marketing Success be Measured?
The Right KPIs in Influencer Marketing
When it comes to measuring your influencer campaign’s success, you can use several key performance indicators (KPIs). Many marketers focus on views and clicks. However, these KPIs are not relevant if you want to show economic value. We recommend the following metrics to accurately measure an influencer campaign quality: Brand Lift, Conversion Rate, and Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
Brand Lift is a KPI that indicates how a campaign influenced your target audience’s thinking and behaviour. Using an online survey before and after your campaign, you can answer the questions:
- Is your target audience more likely to buy your products?
- Have their preferences changed?
- Do they think more positively about your brand now?
Google and Facebook offer such surveys (make sure you meet the minimum budget requirements).
Another KPI worth measuring is conversion rate. Suppose you lead millions of users to your website and spend even more advertising budget, but you don’t sell more. In that case, the traffic you gain is of low quality and relevance. However, if you generate only 100 visitors to your website but all buy something, your conversion rate is 100 percent. In this case, you have reached relevant, high-quality users.
The third KPI we recommend measuring is Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). Since every influencer has their price, you should know if they are worth it. Does every dollar invested earn you five dollars – or just 50 cent?
Track The Campaign Outside The Corporate Cosmos
To measure ROAS and conversion rate, you need to track campaign activity to ensure you can analyze your campaign results. When tracking actual sales, it is necessary to set up e-commerce tracking. Use UTM tags to track the campaign outside of your company website. UTM tags are codes that you can add to a URL in a link. Thanks to UTM tags, your tracking tool will recognize, what channel traffic is coming from, and what campaign content is being advertised.