Influencer marketing is the process of using the influence of an individual to market your products or services through various marketing channels. For marketing, the influencer creates a campaign with engaging content, relevant to your business, and shares them in his digital marketing platforms. Social media influencer marketing is quite popular now and widely used by businesses as part of their digital marketing efforts.
Why influencer marketing?
In a digital world, where people research in the internet for reviews, feedback, testimonials or comments before buying anything, influencers play a critical role in the decision making process of individuals. Studies conducted by various marketing institutions have proved that the relationship and trust building potential of influencer marketing is way higher than traditional advertisement methods.
For a marketing campaign, influencers will be researching, testing, using and reviewing the products or services of a business before giving recommendations, which traditional marketing campaigns lack. Based on their experience, they will create and share content, which will generate awareness, engagement, sales and long lasting relationship among customers and brands.
People can also reach out to influencers with any questions or concerns through their blogging platforms and clarify them. This authenticity and approachability of influencer marketing motivates people to follow influencer recommendations and take decisions.
Who is an influencer?
An influencer can be any person who is talented enough to influence large numbers of people through various content and social platforms. In the digital world, influencers work through social media, blogging platforms, vlogging sites or micro-blogging websites. People having thousands or even millions of visitors or followers or subscribers in any of the above platforms can be considered as influencers.
Types of influencers
Macro influencers: They are often celebrities or social media buffs having millions of followers. They are widely known and eminent personalities, able to influence large numbers of people. Macro influencers have wide reach, but less engagement and credibility.
Micro influencers: They are people having less than 100,000 followers. They might not be popular or prominent, but having strong influence over a niche audience. Micro influencers generate much higher engagement and conversion.
Power of influencer marketing
The following aspects attracted me to influencer marketing. Let me explain that in little detail below.
- Highly targeted audience.
- Trust that people have on influencers.
- Influence of recommendations on digital customers.
- Cost effectiveness.
Highly targeted audience: An influencer is a person who has above-average authority over a particular niche. So his audience is highly targeted and motivated for information on that particular subject. Hence if your business aligns with the influencer’s niche, you can benefit from his audience.
Trust on influencers: The knowledge, influence and authority the influencer has on his audience builds trust among people. When an influencer agrees to promote your products, he will test, use and review your products or services. Once the influencer is confident with your products, he will start sharing authentic content with his audience. People will believe his words because of the credibility that he has built over a period of time.
Influence of recommendations: Digital buying habits are influenced largely by recommendations from influencers, family members or friends. People check recommendations, comments, feedback and testimonials before taking a buying decision. Internet and hand held devices have empowered people to check all these at their fingertips. So influencer marketing helps you to tap into the potential of recommendations and boost your business.
Approachability: Influencers are approachable by common people through their blogging platforms or social media pages. People can send emails, comments or feedback to influencers regarding their recommendations and address their concerns. Approachability builds trust and credibility among people and influences decision making.
Cost effectiveness is in terms of the targeted audience you get when compared to traditional advertisement methods. Traditional ads appeal to the masses who might not be interested in your products or services. But influencer marketing gets into the heads of a group of people who are targeted, motivated and eager to know about a particular product or service.
How to select an influencer?
The following factors should be closely analyzed before selecting a particular influencer for promoting your brand.
- Quality of content generated
Niche: The first thing to consider is the segment that the influencer is working on. His topic and audience should coincide with your business and goals.
Audience: The second thing to consider is the number of audience the particular influencer has. You should research on this aspect and figure out how many people actively follow or participate in the influencer’s social media channels or blogs. You should also try to find out how many people take action according to the influencer’s recommendations rather than just following him.
Quality of content: Read some of the influencer’s blog posts and social media shares. Watch videos published by the influencer. Assess content quality and relevance and how much value he adds to the segment.
Remuneration: Talk to the influencer and find out his rates. Influencers usually charge according to the number of audience they have. It can be blog visitors, channel subscribers or social media followers. Type of platform used and competition in the segment also determines the rate charged. Videos are charged more than blog posts.
Influencer marketing must knows
- Find a couple of micro influencers actively contributing in your segment through extensive research.
- Expertise brings in credibility, so evaluate the influencer’s depth of knowledge on a particular stream.
- Engagement brings in business, so check how much engagement the influencer generates through his social profiles.
- Device an influencer marketing strategy according to your customer behavior and psychology.
- Fix a package befitting the influencer’s expertise and influence and set a budget for your campaign.
- Set clear engagement and marketing goals for your campaign and monitor results frequently.
- Relationship matters in running a successful marketing campaign, so manage influencers diligently and professionally.
- Should maintain the credibility of word-of-mouth marketing in your campaign, so don’t force the influencer.
- Creativity of the influencer brings in business, so give him freedom to generate and share relevant content.
- Spamming the influencer’s social channels will spoil the entire campaign, so focus on adding value and credibility through comments and feedback.