Influencer marketing seems to be the ultimate digital strategy for so many businesses in 2018. However, how does it work exactly? How do you know if influencer marketing is right for your small business, startup or project? There are quite some points you should take in consideration before changing your digital marketing plan. After all, influencer marketing is not a smart strategy that can magically benefit all businesses.
In the last couple of years, influencer marketing has conquered the digital marketing industry. It has taken consumers and brands by storm with the promise of incredible ROI (return on investment) value, and great conversion rates.
This strategy has been successful for marketers all over the world and it is still rising in popularity in 2018.“Influencer marketing has arguably become the most effective, long term marketing strategy as it is more cost-effective than paid advertising and leads to more credible brand recommendations, which consumers are more likely to trust.@gessell @onalytica… Click To Tweet
“Influencer marketing has arguably become the most effective, long term marketing strategy as it is more cost-effective than paid advertising and leads to more credible brand recommendations, which consumers are more likely to trust.”
Let’s look at the facts and figures.
Influencer Marketing on the Rise
According to a study conducted by Marketing Hub, 2017 was the golden year for influencer marketing. In Google alone, the number of searches for this keyword increased over 300% in twelve months. More than 230 new platforms and agencies dedicated to influencer marketing emerged in 2017. Impressive, right?
The same study also showed that marketing managers consider this strategy as the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition method. It comes before the typical organic search results, paid search and even email marketing.
Even more impressive is that influencer marketing has generated around $7.65 of ROI per $1 spent. 27% of the surveyed marketers already claimed to have a dedicated budget for influencer marketing alone.
What is Influencer Marketing Exactly?
If you’re not too familiar with this term, think about influencer marketing as selectively networking your products or services. By reaching out to industry influencers, you access their well-established audiences.
In other words, influencer marketing is a promotional strategy that relies on individuals who are highly reputable and influential within a specific market or niche. They share content and reach out to their customer base through different channels, such as blogging, images, and videos.
All of them build trust and credibility for the product or service they promote. People who follow influencers tend to positively react to their advertising and take it as a word-of-mouth recommendation.
What are Influencer Marketing Best Practices?
According to Chris Henley from PerformanceIn:
Influencer marketing is an ever-evolving and fast-moving area of digital marketing. Guidelines and guides on best practices change frequently it would seem, however, the key steps to implement when starting to work with influencers for the first time have seemed to have stayed the same.
Before starting any campaign make sure everyone involved is aware of what it entails and what influencer marketing actually is.Before starting any campaign make sure everyone involved is aware of what it entails and what influencer marketing actually is. @gessellw @PerformanceIN @GastroHenley Click To Tweet
Strategy development is the first stage. and
Platform to use,
Demographic – who to target,
Promotion-particular product or the whole business,
Activity –affiliate arrangement, ambassador partnership, sponsored blog post, hosted competition etc.
KPI’s & Benchmarking- Set goals & set a main objective for the campaign. Look at the stats & data as the campaign is running
Influencer Discovery & Outreach- stage 2
Who are the right influencers for your story/promotion? Using a platform will make this process significantly easier & take some risk away it will, however, cost more.
Hashtag spotting is another way you may want to consider finding an influencer but brings with it risks as you will not know if the influencer has fake followers.
When approaching an influencer be friendly, personable and ask for a media pack. Let them know why you want to work with them.
Campaign support & collaboration – Talk about the work and get them involved. Have guidelines but also allow them to be creative. Keep in contact throughout the campaign.
Reporting & ROI analysis could be sales data, website traffic, Social media growth, referral sources, number of click through to affiliate links or discount codes.
How Do You Know If Influencer Marketing is Right for Your Small Business?
Before you jump to conclusions, it is important to understand if influencer marketing would benefit you and your business. You don’t want to invest time and resources into a strategy that simply won’t do anything for you.
It’s not a matter of efficiency but rather a matter of compatibility. Influencer marketing does not work for all types of businesses. Here are five ways to tell if influencer marketing is right for your small business.
1. Getting Potential Customers to Trust You Beforehand
Have you ever asked if your product or service really needs to build customer trust? If the answer is yes, then this strategy is a must-have for your business. There is no better plan than to get someone with a lot of industry influence and notoriety to speak wonders about you.
Customers often turn to brands and people they trust, especially when it comes to products that need a lot of consideration. Social validation has become the online insurance for customers who have no prior experience with a brand.
That’s why influencers are so important for products that need to be trusted beforehand. They can drive and shape the consumers’ sentiment for buying the same products they do. They promote brands without 100% adverts because it is also their valued opinion and experience.
2. Building Trust with Your Target Audience
Getting your products featured on influencer’s pages and social media will not just build trust with their customers. It will also increase the general trust on your brand and with your target audience. After all, if your products were lacking big time why would an influencer promote them?
Getting your products featured on influencer’s pages and social media will not only build trust with their customers, it will also increase general trust about your brand and with your target audience. After all, if your products were lacking big time why would an influencer promote them?
Getting in touch with a few trendy influencers might change the path of your business as it’s showing your customers that your brand is totally safe and trustworthy. It’s like having minor celebrity reviews to back up your own product and service descriptions without the celebrity fee.
3. The “Cool Factor” and Other Status Influencing Elements
The best way to know if influencer marketing is for you is to look at the cool factor. In some industries like fashion and beauty, being glamorous and cool is the key thing that converts consumers into buying. Who better than a beauty guru to tell people this one product is super cool?
Luxury products can also benefit from this strategy by refreshing people’s memory about why their products are so high profile. By getting influencers to wear their products and speak out about them, they re-emphasize the value and status of their brand.The most straightforward benefit of influencer marketing is the ability to increase your brand awareness. Click To Tweet
4. Brand Awareness Increase
The most straightforward benefit of influencer marketing is the ability to increase your brand awareness. How? Well, every time someone digests your influencer’s content there is a great chance they’re also becoming familiar with your brand.
If you really want to get your business’ name out there then this could be the best choice. You can reach different and well-established audiences within your industry through influencers. They can help you increase your brand awareness faster than other marketing methods.
5. Standing Out from the Competition
Is your business sector quite competitive or homogenized? Well then, it’s probably time to stand out from the crowd and become the key player. In these sectors, price is generally the key point of competition. But no fear: you can really differentiate your brand by building brand equity.
Reaching out to influencers will provide you with the opportunity to move to the top of your industry. To be different and make a difference in your market.
Reaching out to influencers will provide you with the opportunity to move to the top of your industry. Once you are seen as different and trusted in your particular market, the conversions come fast. And that’s why influencer marketing is the right choice for most small businesses.
To learn a lot more about Influencer Marketing then you may want to consider attending the Influencer Marketing Show this October in London. *Free tickets* are available for start-ups, charities and influencers themselves.