What is influencer marketing
¿What is Influencer Marketing?
First, let’s define what an influencer is…
Social media has given ordinary people the opportunity to build their own brand through engaging and compelling content that invites audience participation. These new influencers are more relatable than traditional celebrities. Influencer marketing is not about seeking TV or movie stars, nor is it about individuals who are unattainable for both the audience and the brand.
An influencer is someone who, as the name suggests, has the ability to influence the behavior or thinking of a group of people, persuading them individually or en masse, depending on the size of their audience, popularity, and reputation.
So, they can have a broad reach if they influence their entire audience or, conversely, they can impact smaller groups within a community.
The more this person relates to personal characteristics similar to the target market, the more potential their impact will have when creating messages for your product.
With this in mind…
Influencer marketing occurs when a brand partners with real people who have the ability to influence a large group of followers to promote a product or service. In return, the company can reap many benefits, including gaining new potential customers who enter the conversion funnel. Since the company aims to gain benefits, it is essential for the company to measure the value of influencer marketing.
It’s like the new ‘word of mouth’ used more in traditional marketing.
Objectives of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has the following objectives:
- Increase brand mentions by an influencer and promote one or more products through the use of hashtags.
- Expand the reach and engagement of new audiences.
- Boost lead conversion rates by increasing website traffic.
- Strengthen the brand’s reputation among a specific target audience.
¿Why Does Influencer Marketing Work?
As more people join social media platforms every day, businesses have realized they can harness these platforms for marketing. Let’s look at some statistics that highlight the benefits of integrating this type of strategy into your marketing plans.
It’s understandable that you may not be entirely sure about starting to implement commercial partnerships with influencers because it may not seem to yield quantifiable results. However, 90% of marketers believe that the Return on Investment (ROI) from influencer strategies can be comparable to or better than other channels for advertising campaigns.
Incorporates Multiple Social Networks
In some European countries and the United States, influencer marketing is more prominent on platforms like Snapchat. However, according to statistics, Instagram remains the go-to social network for its ease of presenting campaigns. An image and a caption may require less investment than longer video formats. Instagram also has fewer requirements for publishing commercial content.
Thus, Instagram’s Stories format is the second most effective option for marketers. Its popularity is due to the approximately 500 million active users on this platform who actively use Instagram Stories. This makes it an excellent choice for small businesses or startups looking to boost their followers and achieve new goals on a tighter budget.
Trust in Influencers
Social media has become a crucial communication channel for businesses to connect with their audience, contributing to the growth of this marketing strategy. Other research shows that about 49% of consumers tend to trust recommendations from influencers more. In fact, 40% mentioned making a purchase after seeing influencer reviews of a product on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. You can leverage the trust influencers provide to make it easier to convert new leads into customers, as they are more likely to make a purchase after such a campaign.
Limitations of Influencer Marketing
While influencer campaigns can provide many benefits, there are also some limitations to consider. For example, collaborating with an influencer who is not suitable for your brand, is dishonest, or is embroiled in controversies can hinder your marketing efforts. This can also harm your brand since the influencers you work with are a reflection of your company. Additionally, partnering with an influencer from the wrong industry can make it difficult to sell your products or services.
That’s why you should always carefully evaluate your influencers. You should review their track record and ensure that their lifestyle aligns with your company. Otherwise, the influencers promoting your products and services could reflect negatively on your company. It’s a good idea to have professionals in your company who can communicate with the influencers you want to partner with to get to know them better.
What Influencer Marketing Is Not
Influencer marketing is not simply about finding someone with an audience and offering them money or exposure to speak positively about you. For that, you might hire a celebrity or a model.
Influencers are individuals who have invested time in building their own brand and nurturing their audience; naturally, they protect their reputation and the people who trust them. They are people who have the patience and dedication to succeed on social media, one organic follower at a time; individuals like these are not interested in influencer marketing solely for the money.
Influencer marketing is also not about achieving quick results. It’s the same kind of slow and steady approach as content marketing and social media, where your campaign is not about directly selling your products. Instead, it’s about demonstrating your authority, credibility, and intellectual leadership within your industry. It’s about becoming synonymous with what you offer, like when people say they’re going to “xerox” a document instead of “photocopy” it or “vacuum” the floor instead of “use the vacuum cleaner.”
With social media marketing, it’s about acquiring loyal and engaged followers. So, it’s tempting to think that partnering with influencers will be an easy way to reach the hearts and minds of their followers, but it’s not that simple. Because to ally with influencers, you must earn their trust and respect.
How to Design an Influencer Marketing Strategy
To start designing an influencer marketing strategy, you can begin by considering the following elements to help you achieve your business goals with these techniques.
1. Content Quality
Before partnering with an influencer, review their content and compare it to others in the same industry. See what type of messages and content they deliver, whether they are quick, superficial, and short “express comments,” or if they are creative, eye-catching, and thoughtful.
2. Analyze the Target Audience
It’s essential that the influencer’s audience is part of your target audience. Check if they have socio-demographic data and profiles that align with your target audience.
3. Analyze the Engagement Rate
The engagement rate is by far the most commonly used metric for this type of influencer marketing. The engagement rate of a post is calculated by adding up interactions (likes, comments, etc.) and dividing it by the influencer’s total number of followers. Keep in mind that this rate tends to be lower in sponsored content than in organic posts.
4. Brand Content and Messaging
Evaluate whether the influencer you want to choose meets your expectations regarding their way of expressing themselves, the language they use to convey their messages, and whether the design and production of their videos or content align with your brand archetype. All of these are elements that can benefit or, conversely, jeopardize your brand’s reputation. Therefore, it’s best to do a thorough analysis of influencers who can have a better influence on the target audience you’re seeking.
5. Allocate a Budget
All influencers have their price ranges and ways of reaching agreements on content, the frequency of appearances, etc. The budget should also consider production costs, influencer fees, product costs (if you will be sending samples), and the costs of the platforms where you will run advertising campaigns.”
Tips for Working with Influencers
If you want to partner with social media influencers to expand your audience, there are several tips you can follow. These include:
- Partner with influencers aligned with your brand message. You don’t want to work with someone who might reflect negatively on your business.
- Don’t focus solely on the number of followers they have. Instead, pay attention to the relationship they have with their followers. A campaign may not succeed if an influencer has a million followers but a low engagement rate.
- Create a written agreement. Establishing a formal written agreement helps avoid misunderstandings and ensures that each party knows their responsibilities.
- Provide value. While you can pay influencers, you also want to offer them more than just money. For example, can you help increase their exposure? Will this partnership be mutually beneficial?
- Research influencers before reaching out to them. Finding the right influencer is much like hiring the right employee for your business. Take the time to review what they post and assess their past partnerships to ensure they are a good fit.
If you find the right influencer to promote your products and services, you can enhance your presence in your industry.
Juan Esteban Yepes