What on earth is Influencer Marketing? And what’s it for? We’re explaining everything concerning this special kind of marketing strategy in the post below.
What is influencer marketing?
Have you ever read a post of your favorite blogger where he or she’s recommending a certain product and then you find yourself buying that product?
Well then, dear friend, you have been the “victim” of influencer marketing!
Basically Influencer marketing is a collaboration between a brand and a person. It’s a type of strategy in which a brand can work with influential people for multiple purposes. This can be to promote a certain product or even to create a whole new kind of content. The possibilities are plenty.
What most of those influencers have in common though is a great social media presence and that’s what brands are looking for: people who can really put their mark on social media and who create beautiful content. Those influential people usually have a strong relationship with their followers, which means that by using the voice of influencers, you can really get your product or brand out there. The principle of word-of-mouth is definitely a key factor in this case.
What is an influencer?
Influencer meaning: someone who affects or changes the way that other people behave, for example through their use of social media.
– Source: Cambridge Dictionary
It’s false to assume that the big influencers are all celebrities. They’re just a tiny part of what we call the influencer world. A social media influencer is someone you can collaborate with, because they have the right capacities to influence people or because they have a great eye for content creation. As an influencer, you don’t necessarily have to have a huge social media following to have what it takes.
What’s more important is the relationship influencers have with their audience. People follow that influencer for a reason, because they’re interested in what that person has to say, or because she has great style or maybe because she’s a real people person.
The reasons can be endless but it does all come down to one thing and one thing only: those influencers respect their audience. They talk to them, want to know their opinion and vice versa. This creates a bond between them and that’s the thing that makes influencer marketing so special and different from other ads.
1. Mega – influencers
Mega – influencers are the celebrities, athletes and social media stars that have over 1 million followers on social media and have an average engagement rate of 0.5% to 4%. A great part of their whole existence happens on social media and it’s the best way for people to get a peek inside their otherwise shut off lives. Mega-influencers are very useful to be the face of a campaign because almost everyone knows them, they’re easily recognizable to the public eye and they’re usually pretty popular.
They’re mostly paid to post branded content on their social media and in return, companies get more attention, maybe even from groups of people that are not a part of their usual type of consumers. It sounds great, but it’s not always the right way to go for your brand. Because of their huge following, they don’t have one specific type of audience and mega – influencers usually also have another form of income besides their social media. They can have a business that’s more important than the influencer life which makes influencing usually not their number one priority.
2. Macro – influencers
Macro-influencers mainly consist of bloggers and people with a larger social media presence such as BV’s. They have between 10.000 and 1 million followers on social media and they often focus on one specific subject like travel or fashion. Just like the mega-influencers, macro’s have an average of 0.5% to 4% engagement rate.
By focusing on a specific kind of content, they have the ability to create a very loyal audience. For instance, people who are interested in travel follow a travel influencer on social media because he or she brings the best content for that specific subject. It’s right up their alley and travel agencies or hotels can take perfect advantage of this to form a partnership.
3. Micro – influencers
Micro – influencers make up the largest group and consist mainly of consumers and friends and family. They’ve got between 500 and 10.000 followers on social media and have an extremely loyal audience. It should be no wonder that they’ve got an engagement rate of 3% to 15%.
It may not seem like it, what with the relatively low amount of followers, but it’s a very smart move for companies to invest in micro-influencers.
Why? Because these people don’t have an extreme amount of followers, they’re still approachable to the audience. People aren’t afraid to ask them questions or make conversation because they know that there’s a big chance the influencers will answer.
They’re able to create a one-on-one interaction with their audience which then leads to trust. One of the most important words when talking about influencer marketing. This kind of trust is simply unique and something that big companies can’t obtain with normal advertising campaigns.
To really amplify the importance of working with micro-influencers and why it’s good for your company, we’ve put together this article.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Maybe hold your horses for just a sec, because there is a downside to all of this. It appears that when an influencer reaches a certain amount of followers, their engagement rate decreases.
This phenomenon isn’t that shocking if you think about it. As we’ve said before, influencers with a lower amount of followers are more approachable to the audience. When they start to gain more and more followers, it gets harder for them to get back to everyone and to maintain the same amount of interaction they had before. They may not be able to answer everyone’s questions and because of the higher follower count, people have the tendency to distance themselves because the influencer is now a “big” person who seems unreachable.
Take macro – and micro-influencers for instance. While macro-influencers have more followers, their engagement rate is lower than that of micro-influencers.
What are the purposes of influencer marketing?
There are tons of purposes to Influencer marketing:
- direct traffic to website
- increase conversions
- acquire e-mail subscribers
- collect survey data and insights
- collect user – generated content
- repurpose user generated content
- event promotion
- search engine optimisation
- referral marketing
- focus groups
- solid media advertising
- hiring and recruiting
Benefits of influencer marketing
Overall there are several benefits to Influencer marketing, such as:
- content marketing
- social media marketing
- community management
- media relations
- reputation management
Advantages of influencer marketing
Now you’re a bit more up to date on influencer marketing, it’s time to dig a little deeper. Why should your brand use this kind of marketing strategy? What are the advantages for your company?
In 6 short points we explain to you why it’s a good idea to hop on the influencer train before it leaves the station.
1. The authenticity
A collaboration between a brand and an influencer gives a more unique image to the outside world than a regular advertising campaign. It’s more personal and speaks to a bigger audience.
2. Save a penny.
Working with influencers is overall not as expensive as working out a whole advertising campaign. For instance, when you’re making a commercial for television, the costs can be enormous, while influencers take the experience as part of the earnings. In this case, we’re mainly focusing on the micro-influencers.
3. In your brand we trust.
Over the past few years, consumers have lost their trust in advertisement. They don’t believe the ads they see and hear anymore and it’s created a gap between the brands and their audience. They’ve lost the connection and that’s where the influencers come in handy. Since they usually have a great bond with their followers, there’s a lot of trust and that’s exactly what companies are in desperate need of.
4. Sharing is caring
Social media wouldn’t have become such a huge thing if it wasn’t for the ability to share anything with everyone. Same goes for influencers. By sharing their posts, it only enhances their chances of reaching a bigger audience.
5. Succeed we must.
When influencers have a high engagement rate they’re able to reach a lot of people. By posting the right kind of content, they have the ability to really succeed on social media. They become bigger, more recognizable which then leads to…you guessed it: a bigger audience.
6. Lots of possibilities
When thinking about influencer marketing, we mainly think of promoting products and brands but there’s so much more to it.
Take content production for example. Influencers have their own style, their own way of editing and are for sure up to date on the newest trends in graphic design and photography. They can offer a new, bright look on ways to create content. Working with influencers can open up a whole new way of content creation for your brand.
Building an influencer community is a given at this point. It’s extremely useful for content production or affiliate marketing. It’s time we realize that influencers are capable of much more than just promoting a specific brand or product. Once you’ve figured that out, the possibilities are endless.
The do’s and don’ts of influencer marketing
Carefully think about how you want to put your brand out there. Put up a marketing strategy and focus on your goals, what do you want to achieve with this campaign? Make an estimate of your budget and a risk analysis is never a bad idea.
Also and more importantly, don’t forget about your KPI’s!
Be patient. Don’t forget you’re working with real people. They have their own schedule and usually appreciate it when a company makes an effort to meet with them.
You have to keep up with your influencer and the easiest way to do so is to make a schedule. When’s the best time to call or e-mail them? Do they want this to be a monthly or bi-monthly thing?
Just to clarify: the point of Influencer marketing isn’t to just throw some money at your influencers in order for them to promote your brand.
Influencers have worked hard to be where they are today and that can make them picky. They’ve put effort into their social media presence and have a certain style that they want to maintain and in order to do so, they’ll only work with brands that fit their kind of content.
Popularity isn’t everything. An influencer doesn’t need to have a lot of followers in order for him to be exactly what you need. The most important part in influencer marketing for you is to find people that perfectly fit your brand and what it stands for so together you can create beautiful new content.
We’ve come a long way and we’re almost there but there’s just a tiny bit of information that we still need to discuss! Influencer marketing seems like the perfect addition to your marketing strategy but in order for it to work, you need to ask yourself some pretty important questions.
1. Ask yourself: who is your audience? Who is your target customer? These are the key questions you need to answer before you can even begin the next step.
2. Brainstorm about campaigns and try to fill in the blanks. Once you’ve done this and you’ve come up with the perfect concept for your campaign, you can focus on finding the right influencers.
At Influo, we have two types of campaigns, namely public and private campaigns. Public Campaigns are posted publicly on our website so every influencer that has an account on Influo, can see the campaign and apply “for the job”. When they’ve applied, they can then pitch why they think they’re perfect for that specific campaign.
Private campaigns are private which means that not every influencer can see it. When a brand is putting together the concept for their campaign, they may already have a certain type of influencer in mind that would fit perfectly. When this happens, they put up a private campaign and send it to the influencers at Influo that fit the frame.
3. There may be a misconception about how Influencer marketing works inside a company. You don’t need to get rid of your existing strategy in order for you to work with influencer marketing.
You simply find ways to implement it in your already existing marketing strategy.
4. Stay ahead of your ongoing campaigns. How is everything going? Are the influencers doing their job? Are they getting enough engagement?
Once you’ve developed a fixed pattern on how to stay up to date about the campaigns you can push this to a constant presence. You make it one of your biggest priorities to be in the know at all times.
5. Support your influencers. Follow them and share their posts but also keep an eye out for other influencers. Social media is filled with people who may be perfect for your brand.
Are you ready to join the influencer marketing world?