Did you know that 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations above all other forms of advertising?
Many consumers have grown cynical towards advertising, which is why influencer marketing has dominated the marketing industry and became more impactful than most forms of traditional advertisement. People have learned that most advertisements from brands can't be trusted and rely more on reviews, testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations from our favorite social influencers.
Marketers have found that it's easier to target our favorite influencers (who we already follow on social platforms) to promote their marketing campaigns and endorse for their brand. Influencers also impact your SEO through more content amplification and increased backlinks.
Influencer Marketing is less about paid ads, and more about building honest relationships between your brand, your ideal customer and the people (and websites) they are already following/visiting online. Influencers can quickly and effectively boost your sales, leads and brand credibility.
What businesses have to master is learning how to identify the right social media influencer for their brand, and how to create a long-term strategy that increases brand awareness, reach and drives sales.
How to Search & Identify the Best Influencers for Your Brand
Your ideal social media influencer is someone who already shares content similar to your tone and style AND has similar values as your brand. Their following also fits into one of your ideal customer avatars.
You want to chose people who wouldn't have to change who they are to share your brand message with their audience.
Some Tips to Remember when Searching for an Influencer:
- Have a loyal and engaged audience
- Relevant to your customers
- Appear to be authentic
- Have a positive reputation
- Active on social media and post frequently
- Have a tone and style that matches your brand
Looking for the perfect influencer and remembering who your favorite influencers are can be a overwhelming. Use key tools to help keep you organized throughout the process.
Here are Some Awesome Tools to Keep you Organized and Help you Find the Right Brand Influencer for you:
This is a great influencer marketing tool that easily helps people find true influencers. BuzzSumo can be used to find your ideal influencer or it can be used to search and quickly identify high-quality content that performs well.
Filters allow users to sort by influencer outreach, authority, influence, and engagement.
Keyhole is an influential marketing platform that tracks the most influential people engaging with your brand, and promotes your content to increase your brands reach.
The hashtag tracker performs best with Instagram and Twitter.
A hashtag search is an easy influencer marketing strategy that helps find any brand advocates that are already posting about your brand, industry or competitors online.
It tracks all of the following stats for hashtags:
- Number of average retweets
- Number of posts
- Number of users
- Number of followers
- Number of average likes
Kred is a website created by PeopleBrowsr that measures online social influence. It provides two scores, called "Influence" and "Outreach." It tells you everything you could possibly want to know about marketers.
They have a cool rewards service that will connect brands with online influencers. It also has audience engagement analysis and influencer leader boards.
How to Build Relationships with Influencers
According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, brands are mentioned 3.3 billion times every day in America.
Every business can benefit from creating a buzz about their brand or product, and influencers help do just that. Influencers help display diverse forms of social proof, which helps build credibility.
One of the most important steps to building a relationship with your ideal influencer is putting out a ton of high-quality content on social platforms. You can never have too much content!
Remember to properly amplify any content that you create. Content creation on its own isn't enough to get the results you desire.
You want to make it easy for a social influencer to discover your content, share it with their followers and integrate it into every aspect of their online foot print.
Here are Some Great Ways to Build a Relationship with an Influencer:
- Analyze & study their needs
- Like their posts on social media
- Ask them to contribute a guest post on your blog
- Create addictive content
- Share their content online
- Follow them on social media and engage regularly in their content
- Be respectful and genuine
- Send them a brief email, unrelated to any content you would like them to promote, to introduce your company and brand.
After you build a relationship with your influencer you might have to offer an incentive to get them to agree to working with you.
Some Ideas of Incentives are:
- Give exclusive access to a product that hasn't been released yet
- A bonus for representing your brand
- A face-to-face meeting with you
- A monetary bonus in exchange for the endorsement
There are also ways to have influencers market your brand without paying them a big chunk of money.
All brand influencers don't want to be paid with money.
Other Ways to Pay Influencers:
- A year of free products or services
- Help shape their image
- Help grow their audience or influencer outreach
- Create quality content for their audience
- Free samples
- New experiences (trips, events, travel)
- Discounts codes for their following
Once you have established a relationship with your favorite influencer, its time shift your engagement to a more direct manner.
First, communicate through social media platforms and then send your influencer a personalized email.
Your email could say something like:
"Hey! I loved your latest post on XYZ. I really enjoy all of the high-quality content your share on social media! I have this new product that I think you will love. I would love to connect!"
How to Build a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
When creating a successful influencer marketing campaign, you want to create a budget that allows for multiple influencers (How Much Does Influencer Marketing Cost).
Instead of having one influencer who charges a ton of money, it is more beneficial if you have multiple lower-level brand influencers. These influencers are usually more engaged with their audience, which can increase KPIs for your brand.
In this example, BuzzSumo gives you a list of potential influencers. It shows you their page authority, domain authority, number of followers, etc.
A Quick Guide on how to Create a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign:
1. Determine your Goals & Objectives
Who is your target audience? What type of budget can you have? What do you consider to be success?
This is the time to outline your influencer strategy and expectations for your marketing program AND it is an absolute must to have clear and well defined goals.
Identifying who your target audience is and establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) will help increase the overall success of your influencer program.
Important KPIs to consider:
- Audience reach
- Click-through rates
- Increase in followers
2. Identify the Right Influencer
Choosing the right influencer can be a tough process. One important thing to remember when choosing your influencer is to avoid confusing size with influence.
You want to choose someone who is highly engaged with their audience, not necessarily someone who has the biggest following.
Usually the best influencers have around 10,000 and 100,000 followers.
3. Create a Schedule & Stay on Track
To make sure your influencer campaign is successful, make a schedule of every time you want to publish and AMPLIFY content.
You want to schedule every event, blog post, press release, product launch, book launch, publishing times on social media platforms, etc.
If you add all of these factors into your influence marketing campaign it will help push your audience through your sales funnel.
4. Optimize & Edit Content Before Publishing
Work with your brand influencer to create content that makes sense for their audience. Marketers can create all of the content if they desire to, but influencer generated or user-generated content has been proven to be more valuable to target audiences.
The influencer understands their audience and already knows what kind of content relates with them.
It has also been proven that consumers react well to benefit-driven content. For example, how it makes their life easier, hassle-free, etc.
6. Paid Ads
To amplify your campaign results, you want to find which high-quality content gets the best results. Create an affordable marketing budget that allows you to launch paid ads to can increase reach, engagement and over-all sales.
You also need to promote posts before and after they are launched.
Your social influencer can promote any posts throughout their social media platforms, especially if you can't promote your product on social media.
Marketers also need to add calls-to-action (CTA) to posts for better optimization and publish more content related to their influencer marketing campaign.
7. Monitor & Measure your Results
Marketers should revisit goals every few months to track the success/failure of their influencer marketing campaign. You also want to see if your campaign is delivering any ROI and successful.
Try to answer these questions:
- Has my campaign made any progress so far?
- Have I found my ideal audience?
- What content is performing best?
- How is my influencer performing?
- What is my ROI?
- Have we increased reach and engagements?
- Are any posts under-performing?
It is important for marketers to track key metrics and provide their social influencers with the necessary tagging and tracking elements they will need to ensure the success of the marketing program.
There are a number of influencer marketing platforms that help you keep a record of your influencers information and posts, that will also keep track of any growth your campaign has made.
The influencer marketing platforms tell you what is being said and who is talking about your industry or brand.
3 Examples of Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Jim Beam Partners with Mila Kunis #MakeHistory
The campaign is by FutureWorks, who names Mila Kunis the new face of Jim Beam. This is their first ever marketing campaign, where their influencer marketing strategy hoped to reach millennials and all time highs.
Jim Beam saw a 43% growth in the year following the "Make History" campaign.
Stride Gum released a new Snapchat takeover campaign that partnered with social media superstar DJ Khaled. The campaign promotes their new collection "Mad Intense Gum."
It has been said that each one of DJ Khaled's snaps get over 3 million views on average. The campaign was a huge success.
Sperry launched a campaign that worked with over 100 micro-influencers on Instagram to share engaging content with their followers.
Sperry found fans who were already promoting their brand and invited these users to develop content for their official Instagram account.
You can also use popular and trending hashtags to get the most reach a larger audience and get the most engagement.
Marketers are always looking for a better way to connect with their audiences. We hope you learned how influencer marketing can increase brand visibility, brand awareness, reach, engagement and so forth. Now go implement our tips and strategies into your marketing strategies to share your brand message with the world!