Part of being a marketer is the constant search for new ways to connect consumers with our products and services. More importantly, we want those connections to be meaningful and authentic. Thanks to a wealth of online product reviews, ratings and information, modern consumers are more informed than ever before. Add the fact that these highly informed consumers have more purchase options and less trust in advertisers (according to the annual Gallup report, which found advertisers to be the fourth-least trustworthy profession beating out Congress, car salespeople and lobbyists), and the uphill climb steepens. Today’s consumers don’t want to hear about a brand’s product from the brand itself. According to a 2012 Nielsen report, “92% of people trust recommendations from individuals – even if they don’t know them – over brands”.
Enter influencer marketing, which involves a brand using key advocates to promote its messaging organically, typically through the advocates’ social media channels. These relationships provide brands an avenue to reach and deliver messages to targeted audiences in an authentic way that’s more likely to resonate. They’ve got the trust of their followers and the numbers indicate they’ve got marketers’ trust as well. According to a piece by influencer marketing platform, NeoReach:
- 81% of marketers that tried an influencer campaign report it as an effective channel
- 84% of marketers plan to run influencer marketing campaigns in the next 12 months
- Marketers received an average of $7.65 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing
Here are a few things to keep in mind when launching an influencer marketing campaign:
- Set clear goals: Determine which metrics you use to indicate success. Does your company thrive off site visitors? Registrations? Email subscriptions? Sales? Information requests? Set specific goals and establish a time frame to reach those KPIs.
- Find the appropriate medium: Like traditional advertising, you want your messaging on a platform that’s relevant to your target demographic and complementary to your brand to afford you the opportunity for conversions. For example, a recruiter targeting MBA graduates is more likely to be successful using LinkedIn as opposed to Snapchat.
- Find the right influencer: Pairing your business with the right influencer is what makes this model work. An influencer partnership is not just throwing money at the personality with the largest following. For example, Copart as an online auto auction platform may benefit more from pairing with a car restoration YouTuber with only 1,000 subscribers than a makeup artist with five million Instagram followers.
- Set your budget: Once you find the right influencer, outline your budget. Keep in mind, influencers know how valuable their platform is so be sure to negotiate respectfully. In one instance, a large influencer (over 10 million followers) was so offended when a publication offered $20 for an Instagram post that she vowed never to work with them and urged her peers to do the same.
- Produce content: Content falls largely on the shoulders of your influencer but it’s crucial to establish parameters. Let them know what you want to convey but give them enough room to put their voice and spin on it. After all, they are the reason the audience is there. Ideally you want content that conveys your message while still being interesting and within the influencer’s brand.
Once your campaign is underway, make sure to communicate with your influencer. They may have a better grasp on what is and isn’t working. Those insights can be invaluable for future influencer work, especially if the partnership continues. Continue to monitor patterns and trends to find areas for improvement.
How have you seen influencer marketing impact your business? Tell us about your experience with influencer marketing in the comments below!