The Best Influencer Marketing Tips for Beginners You Should Know Now
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Influencer marketing is not a new concept, in fact it is a millennia old practice, from Ancient Greece orators to nowadays celebrities and superstars. Just that in our digital era it reaches new dimensions and found new ways of evolution. When Jacqueline Kennedy appeared in public wearing a jaguar coat, half of the world rushed to buy and wear a jaguar coat. Well, that’s an influencer marketing example.
So, How We Define Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is the practice of collaborating with influencers – third parties that enjoy the trust of a certain audience, in the purpose of raising sales and brand awareness. Practically influencers have the ability to influence the consumers in their buying decision. While using influencer marketing you have to identify the right influencers, built relationships with them and use their influence as a promotion channel for your products/services.
Influencer marketing is a collaboration between influencers and brands, a mix of old marketing tactics and new digital ways of promotion.
In the category of influencers, we can count: celebrities, public figures, journalists, experts in an industry, bloggers, social media stars, YouTubers, Instagrammers, etc. Influencer could be a recognized expert in digital marketing, a travel photographer on Instagram, a makeup artist on YouTube or a technology executive on LinkedIn.
Today influencer can be literally anyone and you can find them anywhere. What defines an influencer is the dimension of his following on social media and on the web in general. Each industry has its influencers, they are to be recognized primarily by the large number of followers, hundreds of thousands or even millions.
And to convince you that influencer marketing is worth giving a shot, I am going to show you some influencer marketing statistics:
· The influencer marketing market was estimated at $2 billion in 2017 and expected to touch $10 billion by 2020
· A research made by Activate by Bloglovin’s reveals that 67% of marketers consider influencer marketing to be the channel that helped them reach better results via a more targeted audience
· 88% of consumers sustain they fully trust online reviews in the same way they trust personal recommendation
· A Reuters Institute Report from 2016 found out that ad blocks range between 10% and 35% and is higher among young people under 35
· Social networks have the power to influence 74% of buying decisions made by consumers
· Rhythm One Report of 2016 on Influencer Marketing sustains that well managed influencer marketing campaigns can bring up to $11.20 ROI for each dollar spent.
How Can Influencer Marketing Help You?
When done correctly you will see shortly great results. Here is how you can benefit from influencer marketing:
- Expand your reach to new audiences – those of influencers you collaborate with. The engaged audience of an influencer will react better to your targeted promotions
- Build credibility and brand awareness through the association with a certain influencer
- Increase engagement and connection with your buyer persona
- Minimize costs and improve conversion rates, as influencer audiences are more targeted and help reaching the right buyer personas
- Create great content that your audience will love. Influencers have wide experience in creating highly valuable content that their audience consume and will help you with creating content for your products.
- Increase search engine rankings and SEO authority, thanks to influencers backlinking to your site
- Expand social media following thanks again to influencers, as part of their followers will follow you
- Increase sales – this is the final scope of influencer marketing: attracting more sales and high-quality leads for your business based on influencer endorsement and reviews. This way you can close larger deals, shorten sales cycle.
How Do You Find the Right Influencers for Your Niche?
By now you should be convinced that influencer marketing may have a great impact on your business.
Of course, primarily you have to establish an influencer marketing strategy, your goals and how are you going to use influencers to achieve them. Establish a budget that you want to invest in an influencer marketing campaign, what type of influencers do you want to reach, outline the campaign, identify the KPIs to help you measure the results of your campaign.
Now let’s get to work and see how to identify relevant influencers for your niche.
You have two options, either search for influencers yourself via search engines, social media, etc or using an influencer marketing platform like Fame Bit or Hypr where you can create campaigns and influencers will pitch to collaborate. We will talk about influencer platforms a bit later in this post.
Tip: Take into consideration that if you want to maximize benefits of influencer marketing, you have to consider it a long-term game. In order to attract influencers, you need to put in place a strategy that emphasize long term partnerships and creates for you reliable brand ambassadors.
Search and identify reliable influencers for your niche
Your purpose is to find voices and influencers that not only have a good following, but even more important appeal to your buyer personas and can entice them.
The most relevant influencers for you might not be the most popular with the largest audiences, but those voices that can influence your audience. Investigate who your buyer personas listen to, where they go to obtain the information they need.
The starting point is to make a list of industry leaders and experts, speakers that your audience pays attention to.
After that go to Google and do a simple search with “keyword” + blog, for instance travel blog, wordpress blog, cooking blog, etc. And check the first most promising results. Here is an example search for “digital marketing blog” and it’s obvious you arrive on lists of influencers:
To help you decide among the results you obtained you may need further support of tools like MozBar, a SEO toolbar that indicates the domain authority of a blog. The higher the number indicating the domain authority DA the better. Aim for blogs with DA higher than 25, in general they are established sites with large audiences, rank well and can provide valuable SEO benefits.
Another modality to identify influencers is to search with hashtags or keywords on social networks. Check on the persons that B2B marketers mention or retweet often on Twitter. To find influencers via Twitter just write the target keyword in the search bar and click the “People” tab:
For other social media networks, you proceed in a similar manner: to find influencers on Instagram search with the hashtags related to your niche, to find Youtubers search after videos valid for your niche.
Selection criteria for influencers
When deciding to put an influencer on your list, first do your research and check the following factors:
· Relevance for your brand. The content published by influencer is relevant for your products and brands? Is his audience overlapping with yours? Take a close look to the content that the influencer creates.
· Engagement. Has the influencer an engaged audience? Inspect social shares, comments, likes, etc. Is the influencer involved in discussions? Does he answer to his followers?
· Following. Verify the overall audience that the influencer has across all channels: blog, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google +, etc.
Among the above three factors the following ranks the last. Be aware that an influencer with a smaller following but a more engaged one may be more valuable and provide better results.
Here is an infographic comparing the results obtained by micro and macro influencers on a sample of 700 Instagram sponsored posts made by MediaKix. But for specific niches the results may be different.
Also take into consideration other supplementary elements as:
· Quality of content that the influencers publish
· Consistency of content publishing
· Knowledge or expertise in the niche
· Relevancy of content for their audience
· Focus on a specific topic
· Connections with other influencers in their niche – verify LinkedIn and Facebook page
· Their voice. Do they use a cynical tone, a funny one or maybe a sarcastic one?
Pick influencers that know their stuff and have the power to sway prospect leads. Also, pay attention to contact influencers whose content is aligned with your brand strategy. They will be your brand ambassadors finally. Pick them wisely!
After identifying the marketing influencers that you are interested in, put them on a list and start contacting them. You can of course contact them directly, but if they are huge authorities in your niche, a strategic approach is better. Meaning take the time and invest the necessary efforts to build connections and earn the trust of influencers.
To engage with leaders and experts you need to appear on their radar and attract their attention. So, choose an indirect way. Concentrate your efforts to build solid relationships. Don’t just contact them with your request, there are high chances to fail obtaining the results you want. Instead comment on their articles or on social media, share their best content or the one you found most helpful, start a conversation by asking a question or with a pertinent observation.
Mistakes to Avoid While Using Influencer Marketing
When you work with influencers you want to obtain the best results possible. So, avoiding mistakes that other businesses made with influencer marketing might help you improve the score.
Decide for influencers in your niche that do not match with your brand
Targeting influencers in your niche is a no brainer, but keep in mind that you need to be specific also. If you have a product for those who practice yoga, it’s better to approach yoga instructors or yoga experts than fitness bloggers or healthy life influencers.
To help you decide, create a buyer persona profile and decide if the influencer’s content is of interest for this persona. Would this persona consume the content created by this influencer, would she follow him on social media?
Getting impressed by huge following without digging deeper and analyzing engagement. Shares, likes and comments give the exact measure of the influence and impact an influencer might have. Also, asking for referrals and past results for other campaigns would be helpful to support in your decision.
Pay close attention to posts that promote products and inspect if followers are really interested and ask relevant questions and not just write generic comments like “super”, “great stuff” or a collection of emojis.
Failing to build strong relationships with influencers
Influencers receive lots of pitches for sponsorships and collaborations. To be successful you need to differentiate yourself to entice the influencer to work with you. Remember that influencer marketing offers the best results in the long run.
When contacting an influencer don’t send an all-fits-one pitch. Personalize! Write for each influencer a dedicated copy, speak a bit about him, tell him how you identified him, why do you think their work is great. Emphasize on the reason you consider the respective influencer will be a good fit to evangelize for your brand.
Skipping on influencer marketing strategy and goals
Having a clear simple strategy and realistic, measurable goals will ease your efforts. Will give you the right direction to concentrate, the platforms that the influencers should use in your campaigns, the content that is likely to help you hit your goals.
Set for your influencer marketing campaigns other goals than simply increase sales. Strive to help your customers, educate them and support to use the full potential of your products.
Failing to track and measure results
Track the influencer campaign and check analytics to know exactly what results are generated by which influencer. Use coupon codes or tracking links to clearly identify which clients are redirected from which influencer. As influencer marketing is a long-term endeavor, the gathered data will support you in your future decision for future campaigns.
Influencer Marketing Example: Bigelow Tea Case Study
Bigelow Tea created an influencer marketing campaign to emphasize the health benefits of drinking tea. Main scope was to promote tea products and stimulate a healthy lifestyle.
The selected influencers creatively incorporated the Bigelow tea products into their promoted content. For instance, Ashley Thurman, the pen behind Cherished Bliss, created an iced tea recipe that mixed together iced lemonade with Bigelow tea.
Blogger Jess of A Million Moments, came up with another creative idea, she conceived a guide to teach her audience how to create flower pots using tea package. You can see below the result:
Output of the campaign
Influencer bloggers generated for the sponsored posts about 32,000 page engagements. Bigelow Tea obtained a sales increase of 18.5% and their media value tripled. The key element in this campaign was the flawless integration of the sponsored posts within the usual content that influencers provide.
Influencer Marketing Platforms You Can Rely On
If you are a brand planning an influencer marketing campaign and thus in search of influencers or an influencer in search for new collaboration, influencer marketing platforms might be the answer to your endeavors.
For brands in general, using micro-influencers might prove to be a winning card.
Here is a selection of top influencer marketing platforms you can choose from:
HYPR claims to be “the World’s largest and smartest Influencer search and discovery directory that provides real-time analytics for social Influencers across major social platforms.” They host over 10 million influencers indexed via demographic information, interests and revenues. Also, detailed audience analytics is provided for brands to better support them in finding the right influencers for their own niche.
HYPR is proud to reveal that more than 30% of the largest brands across the globe trust their data and their services are used by more than 500 brands and influencer marketing platforms.
Find Your Influence (FYI) is the first SaaS acting as influencer marketing platform and gathers more than 100,000 influencers. Brands like Sony, Honda, BestWestern, Nivea and Walmart trust this platform for their influencer marketing campaigns.
FYI covers a large variety of niches from fashion to culture and is a marketplace that allows businesses to easily find relevant influencers. They provide a full option platform with analytics tools, secure payment and active support.
Shoutcart is one of the largest social media influencer marketplaces. Their model is different from other influencer marketing platforms because it is conceived as an e-commerce platform. Influencers publish their prices for posts or “shoutout” and brands shop what they find convenient as on any other e-commerce site.
Shoutcart provides scalable campaigns, followers demographics, tracking and statistics and lower fees.
Revfluence rely on the power of machine learning to propose the most relevant influencers for your influencer campaigns. They leverage data from over 500,000 influencers, containing audience demographics and content quality and deliver it via a sophisticate search engine.
Julius allows brands to sort influencers via a comprehensive collection of forty search filters. They promise to connect you with highly targeted if not the perfect influencers through “one million hand-curated influencer data points”.
It offers a handful of campaign management tools as integrated messaging, fast activation, comprehensive reporting and extensive influencer data.
So, there you have it, a general introduction to influencer marketing. It’s up to you to decide if you are going to use such strategies or not. Just keep in mind if you decide to go for it that, this is a long-term game and you should constantly make efforts to engage with influencers and build solid relationships.