There’s no doubt that one of the fastest growing marketing strategies in the social media space is Influencer Marketing. This is particularly popular on Instagram, where “influencers” show off sponsored products to their loyal followers as companies search for a more authentic way to advertise.
What the heck is Influencer Marketing anyway?
According to HubSpot, “Influencer marketing employs leading, niche content creators to improve brand awareness, increase traffic, and drive your brand’s message to your target audience.” This is a pretty good explanation of it. Companies provide products or cash (or both) to social media personalities with loyal followings, and in return, those personalities show off the products to their followers.
Influencer Marketing by the numbers
More and more, marketers are seeing eye-popping Return on Investment (ROI) from Influencer Marketing strategies – in many cases 8x to 11x ROI.
And why is this?
We are programmed to take into consideration the recommendations of others. In fact, 49% of consumers say they depend on influencer recommendations when making a purchase decision and a staggering 90% of people trust peer recommendations (Varma, 2019).
Categories of Influencers
In the world of influencers, there are actually multiple categories, based on the size of their follower base.
- Celebrity Influencers: Think Kim Kardashian. With over 104 million followers, she may be a bit out of the price range for many companies.
- Macro Influencers: 100-499k followers. They’re trusted in their category and they carry clout.
- Nano Influencers: 26-99k followers. They have highly engaged audiences and are trusted by their followers.
- Micro Influencers: 5-25k followers. Very budget friendly. Highly engaged niche audiences. Extremely relatable and authentic.
The cost of influencers varies based on these categories. According to a 2017 study by Influence.io, the average price per post was $271. The average for influencers with less than 1000 followers was $83, while the average for influencers with more than 100,000 followers was $763.
The current trend is for brands to target smaller niche communities through Micro or Nano influencers, reaching highly loyal and highly engaged audiences within a geographic area or category. Read about more trends here.
7 Top Tips for Developing your Influencer Strategy
- Determine what the goal of your Influencer Marketing strategy is. Are you trying to create brand awareness? Do you want to drive conversions and link clicks?
- Choose the type of campaign that best suits your goals. The main types of campaigns are: content driven, giveaways, click-throughs, and ambassador programs. Content and ambassador programs will help drive awareness, while giveaways and click-throughs will get you new followers and drive traffic to your website or products.
- If you’re not sure, connect with an Influencer Marketing agency who can help you develop the right strategy.
- Don’t skimp on the research – find the right influencers for your brand or product. Make sure their audience is YOUR audience too.
- Don’t underestimate the need to include Influencer Marketing in your overall strategy – and in your budget.
- Develop messaging for your influencer. What do you want them to convey about your brand? What products would you love for them to feature?
- Ensure you have a written contract in place with your influencers, but don’t make silly demands of them. This will only serve to turn them off of representing your brand. It also may just backfire. Check out this video below from a well-known YouTuber who was approached by a large company with a sponsorship proposal.
And above all, measure the results.
How to find influencers
There are several ways you can find the right influencers for your campaign, including:
- Google: Look for industry related keywords and articles talking about the top influencers to follow in this area.
- Social Media: Search for keywords and hashtags that are relevant and go through the results to find popular content creators. Take some time to review their posts and the engagement they’re getting on them.
- Referrals: Find out who people in your circles are following.
- Influencer software and agencies: There is a whole industry popping up with tools to help you find (and vet!) influencers. Check out these 17 FREE Influencer Marketing tools for more on that. As well, check out ShopandShout.com, a Canadian company specializing in this space from both the influencer side and the brand side.
Are you currently using influencer marketing in your marketing strategy? Who are some of your key influencers you’d like to engage with? Drop your comments below.
Social Media Posts
Hey Brands! If you’re ignoring Influencer Marketing, you’re getting left behind. Don’t miss this guide to the world of influencers and how they can help you get 11x ROI! http://bit.ly/2w5xExS
Influencer marketing is one of the largest growing digital marketing trends. Brands all over the world are enjoying huge lifts on ROI, brand awareness, and conversions. If this isn’t already in your mix, it should be. Find out more about how to create a strategy that really works: http://bit.ly/2w5xExS
Baker, Kristen. (2019, December 2). HubSpot: What Will Influencer Marketing Look Like in 2020? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/how-to-work-with-influencers
Chen, Jenn. (2019, December 2). Sprout Social: What is influencer marketing: How to develop your strategy [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/influencer-marketing/
Smith, Christine. (2019, November 30). Write a Great Influencer Marketing Proposal [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://www.influenex.com/blog/write-great-influencer-marketing-proposal.html
Varma, Vinod. (2019, October 18). ShopandShout.com – Influencers: A Love, Hate Relationship [Presentation at SocialEast 2019, Halifax, Nova Scotia].
Sehl, Katie. (2019, March 4). Hootsuite: The Complete Guide to Instagram Influencer Rates in 2019 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-influencer-rates/
ryanm. (2017, February 15). Influence.io: Instagram Influencers – How Much are They Really Making? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: http://blog.influence.co/instagram-influencers/
Influencer Marketing Hub. (2020, January 15). 17 FREE Influencer Marketing Tools to Find Influencers [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://influencermarketinghub.com/free-influencer-marketing-tools/
Media Kix. (n.d.). 15 Influencer Marketing Trends in 2020 [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: https://mediakix.com/influencer-marketing-resources/influencer-marketing-trends/