What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is a marketing strategy businesses use to promote their products and services by partnering with popular social media influencers.
But what is an influencer, you might ask? Influencers are personalities with a numerous and devoted following on one or multiple social media platforms. They are viewed as experts within a specific topic. With regular uploads of content within that topic, they earn trust from their followers. Their recommendations serve as a social proof of products or services that their audience, and therefore potential customers, might be interested in.
How can your company benefit from Influencer Marketing?
In 2019, the social media influencer industry reached a total worth of $8 billion. Numbers keep increasing year by year and by 2020 it is expected to reach $10 billion in worth.
There are multiple benefits you could get if you decide to invest in Influencer Marketing. The most significant profits are:
- Reaching a bigger audience
- Upturning number of leads
- Growing your own social media following
- Augmenting traffic on your website
- Expanding sales
According to approximately 90% of marketers questioned in a survey, Influencer Marketing can create up to 11 times the ROI compared to traditional advertisement and the remaining 10% say it at least compares to it. As a consequence, most brands chose to create long lasting partnerships with their chosen influencers over settling for single promotions to keep their ROI high.
For consumers, Influencer Marketing comes across as more personal and truthful than regular ads.
What do you need to get started?
First of all, you need to create a strategy and define specific goals you want to achieve with this tool. Based on your strategy, you can evaluate the results and measure the success of your campaign once it has been out carried.
After you created the strategy and defined your goals, you need to decide which tools you are going to use. There are two categories:
There are uncountable social media platforms out there, so which one should you promote on?
When deciding which network to use, research where other brands within your sector promote and most importantly, where potential customers are most active. For example, image/video-friendly businesses like fashion and beauty companies lead Instagram and YouTube. For video games, Twitch is the right fit.
Do your research and find out which platform is best for your business. But before you start your promotion, make sure you are already present on said platform.
Within the category of influencers, there are different sorts of personalities. During the selection, you should always keep your goals in mind and chose based on them.
The main 3 types of influencers
Influencers with accounts that sum a following of 1k to 100k. Most may have just started with influencing.
Influencers within this category generally focus on only a few topics, if not even only one. This makes it seem like they got a solid knowledge within that topic. Therefore, their audience tends to believe what they say due to their image as specialists.
Their following is smaller than the next two categories but they are generally more invested. Thanks to the influencer’s expertise, followers are more likely to do whatever they say. This makes them perfect if your goal is to create action (sales).
Now depending on the influencer’s engagement, reach and following, the price for the partnership may vary. However, compared to the following categories it is quite affordable as they are also keen on building partnerships with brands.
As stated above, they do have a smaller following and most of the time their audience has very specific interests. As a result, the reach will be pretty limited. Also keep in mind that a smaller audience means smaller chances to make sales.
Lack of brand awareness
Let’s say you run a successful campaign and you made a good amount of sales. The promotion might have increased the sales number for one of your products, but what about your brand? Do people recognize you?
Maybe the ones that ordered and if you are lucky, a handful of followers that saw the promoted post. But that is not enough to be recognised as a brand. In conclusion, the campaign might have brought you short-term sales growth but it did not have an impact long-term.
Take a closer look at Micro Influencers. There are a lot of cases, where they buy followers and engagement (mostly likes) so they can inflate their metrics. This is commonly the case when someone is trying to work with brands so they can earn “easy money” and are not really interested in building a real community.
It is difficult to see if followers were bought or not. Some details give it away, like loads of inactive followers without a profile picture. Another thing you can check are likes: if they have 50K followers but only get around 200 likes on each picture, something is off. But keep in mind that one can also buy likes! Check for huge inconsistency from post to post.
Influencers with accounts that sum a following of 100k to 1Mio.
Macro Influencers typically got their rise to fame online. Either by creating videos, blogs, sharing their knowledge about a topic with their audience and some mainly because their content is aesthetically pleasing and trendy. In this category, you will also find a lot of reality stars that kept their fame after the show.
Macro Influencers have a larger audience, making it possible to raise brand awareness and increase sales numbers. They are able to reach a much larger number of people at the same time with one single post. They will likely also offer a more diverse audience as they are not as specific and don’t lay their focus on only one topic.
Because these type of influencers are mostly managed by agencies, it makes it much easier to deal with them. The agency will provide you and the influencer the terms and conditions and whether they work for your brand or not, you accept or decline them. The treat is therefore much more professional.
Additionally, having these agencies involved makes life much easier for you as they will be checking up on the influencer and if they are doing their job appropriately so you do not have to worry about it at all.
Macro Influencers are highly unlikely to have fake followers. Usually, because they are genuinely popular people. Lots are socialites, musicians, actors, and fashionistas who got their rise to fame online.
Lack of trust
Even though they have a huge following and people engage with their content, this does not translate into trust. The audience sometimes misses the personal angle and can notice pretty soon when a recommendation is staged and when the influencer actually really uses and enjoys the product or service.
Rates and accessibility
So handling with an influencer’s agency is more professional but if you are looking for a specific influencer who gets loads of offers, your demand could drown under the mass.
If you are lucky and your request gets accepted, the rate of a Macro Influencer is pretty high, not comparable to one of a Micro Influencer. So be aware of it when setting up your budget.
Make sure that you pick an Influencer that really fits in with your brand and your brand with theirs. If you do not, the ad will turn into irrelevant content and their audience will not be aware of your brand nor buy your products.
This category is not defined by the number of followers. But it does surpass the million.
Mega Influencers are celebrities that apart from their main profession (music, acting, sports etc.) also have a dedicated social media presence. However, they did not become famous because of social media but because they are famous, people follow them on social media. For example Kylie Jenner.
Massive audience creates brand awareness
There is no other way than hiring a Mega Influencer if you want to reach as many people as possible through social media. We are talking about millions of people that will see the endorsement and therefore hear about your brand. If you want to become a name, that is the way to go. Active followers will see your brand and recognize it immediately in the future.
Fans get attached to their favourite celebrity and generally trust them a lot. Seeing them attaching their name to your product or company, reassures them of the quality you offer. This is because a celebrity would not want to risk their reputation just to promote a bad product.
Access to new markets
If you are trying to expand, choosing an internationally well-known celebrity will open up the doors for you. Furthermore, if you are introducing a new service or product in a different field you have not been operating until now, choosing a celebrity that is well known within that market can help detach people from a certain image they have of your company.
Obviously, hiring someone from this category will cost your company a lot of money. For example, Kylie Jenner makes an average of over $1 Mio. per sponsored post!
If you are not a multi-billionaire company, you should really consider if the revenue is worth the expensive investment.
Scandals and reputation
When you hire a celebrity with a good reputation to endorse your brand, you want to benefit from their credibility and the sympathy people have for them. But because they are so famous, rumours about them spread instantly so they get involved in scandals pretty easily. If the situation is the scandal is really bad and people attach your brand to them, your company will suffer as well.
Overshadowing and Overexposed
Because promotions are a very lucrative job for celebs, they usually endorse multiple brands at once. As a result, their credibility can suffer and the public opinion will be negative. The audience will assume that they promote everything as long as they get good money for it.
If the celebs are very popular, they might even overshadow your ad. If it focuses more on the promoter than on the promoted product, people will remember the celeb using that kind of product but not the provider.
Influencer Marketing has now definitely settled as a marketing tool for every kind of company.
Your brand can obtain multiple benefits like brand awareness, reputation, grow your own online presence and of course, as a result, increase website traffic and sales.
To get the highest ROI possible, define your strategy and based on it, choose your network and influencer. Nevertheless, do not forget to consider the cons as well.
How Snob Monkey can help you…
Snob Monkey specialises in all things digital. Not only can we optimise your online social presence, but we can create high class websites using WordPress and incorporate our SEO services to boost your site in Google’s ranking. As a London digital marketing agency, Snob Monkey is at the centre of innovation, creativity and technology. From social media management to accelerate your social growth and web development to improve your organic site traffic, we can provide a wide range of services to suit your marketing desires and budget.
Written by Sandra Dominguez