Do you want to expand your brand’s reach on social media? Influencer marketing is the fastest way to do it, and here are several tips on how to make it happen.
You may also want to read our guide to Common Social Media Mistakes.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a social media method where a brand pays an influencer to endorse its products or services. Pay can be in cash, discounts, or free products.
An influencer is a person who has built an online reputation, usually within a specific niche. In simple terms, you could think of influencers as Internet celebrities. Through their reputations, influencers have followers who may be willing to take their advice or trust their recommendations. As such, influencers can serve as brand ambassadors for companies looking to gain more followers, increase sales, etc.
Does influencer marketing work? Statistics from MediaKix show that 80 percent of marketers believe it does. And that fact three out of four businesses are estimated to have an influencer marketing budget suggests that it certainly works in today’s ever-growing online environment.
Instagram is the top platform for influencer marketing since 67 percent of brands use it. It is not the only place where influencer marketing works, though, as you can also use other popular channels like:
What are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?
How can influencer marketing help your brand or business? Here is a sampling of some of its top benefits.
An influencer already has a sizeable online following built up over time. By tapping into their audience, you can hopefully gain some of their existing following to expand your reach and make a name for yourself without waiting for your social media presence to grow on its own.
Influencer marketing is not just about expanding your reach in terms of numbers, though. Sure, you can touch large audiences quite quickly through an influencer. But more importantly, you can touch specific audiences for more targeted marketing within a niche, provided you pick the right influencer for your needs.
Better Social Engagement
Increased reach is a big reason to use influencer marketing, but it is not the only one. With the right influencer from the proper platform for your niche, you can also see an increase in social engagement that can build brand awareness. If your brand responds to such engagement by being communicative and informative, you can gain even more loyal followers and advocates willing to spread your message.
Deeper Customer Relationships
As mentioned, influencers have already done the work of building a reputation and gaining a loyal follower base. The trust is already there. As long as your brand matches the influencer in terms of industry, targeted audience, and values, you can enjoy a deep relationship with customers in a minimal amount of time, making it easier to spread your message or sell your products and services.
More Bang For Your Buck
Influencer marketing can give your brand a higher earned media value or EMV. Defined as the return on investment from third-party responses to your marketing efforts, a higher EMV essentially means getting more bang for your buck.
Have you noticed more connections and social media mentions due to your influencer marketing campaign? That is a good sign that it is working and you are enjoying a higher EMV. And it could mean that increased sales are in your future.
As for how much bang for your buck you could expect from an influencer marketing campaign, a Tomoson survey found that businesses earn $6.50 for every dollar they spend on this social media strategy.
Read: HootSuite Social Media Management Tool Review
What Are the Different Types of Social Media Influencers?
You will likely run into several types of influencers as you make influencer marketing part of your brand’s growth strategy, such as:
- Nano – Affordable influencers with 1,000-10,000 followers that typically offer the highest engagement rates.
- Micro – Influencers with 10,000-100,000 followers that make up the largest group of Instagram content creators.
- Mid – Influencers with 100,000-500,000 followers that still may be easy to contact and work with so you can leverage their well-segmented audiences.
- Macro – Costly influencers who may charge $1,000 to $10,000 to collaborate so you can reach their audience of 500,000-1 million followers.
- Mega – The top social media celebrities with 1-million plus followers. While you can gain instant credibility working with a mega-influencer, it could cost you $10,000 and up.
Tips For Influencer Marketing
Now that you see the bevy of benefits influencer marketing can provide, here are several tips on leveraging this powerful brand-expanding method to your advantage.
Define Your Goal
What do you want to achieve by working with an influencer? Do you want to build brand awareness? Boost your SEO? Increase your sales? You will have to define your goal first before moving any further, as that will help you pick the right influencer for your needs.
For example, if you want to build brand awareness and expand your reach, you will need an influencer with a high follower count trusted by many in your niche. But beyond the influencer, your goal will also determine which platform you use, as each has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to marketing.
Once your goal is defined, you will need to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs) that are measurable, have a time limit, and are highly specific.
Pick The Right Influencers
What makes an influencer a good match? One that matches your brand values with their persona, has the same goals as your customers, etc. To do your research to find a good match, you will need to review their previous posts and their comments to ensure they engage with their audience and give quality advice. If you see no engagement, move on to the next influencer.
Just because followers trust an influencer does not mean they will blindly pay for something they post on your behalf. To gain conversions, get an honest testimonial from the influencer that can be shared with their audience. With an honest influencer review of your product or service posted, you will be more likely to see the EMV you desire.
If you are just starting with influencer marketing, avoid the mistake of thinking that you need to pick someone with a massive amount of followers. While that can expand your reach, micro-influencers can give you the most social media engagement and bang for your buck since their followers can be the most loyal and involved.
Combine Influencer Marketing With Paid Ads
Does influencer marketing work? Absolutely, but because it works so well, influencer marketing can put a huge dent in your bank account, and its costs do not appear as if they will decrease anytime soon.
Instead of relying solely on influencer marketing to expand your brand or increase sales, try paid ads too.
Although your primary goal may be to gain more followers or make more sales, try to be relatable with your marketing message. If possible, tie your marketing to a good cause that creates an emotional connection with customers. This will make it easier for the influencer to make an impact, and it can increase the chances of your message going viral.
Mix It Up
There are many ways to get your message out there via influencer marketing. Some may work better for your needs and audience. Some of the top influencer marketing methods nowadays include:
- Relaying your message through a popular podcast, either by going on it live with the influencer or asking for an endorsement where you have their followers’ undivided attention.
- Creating Instagram stories, which are number two behind Instagram posts, as the top methods for influencer marketing.
- Making TikTok videos that are still growing in popularity and somewhat untapped in terms of influencer marketing.
Looking for more influencer marketing tips or social media optimization tutorials and tool reviews?
Now that you know more about influencer marketing, we suggest you read the following search engine optimization and digital marketing guides: