Did you know that when referred by social media, 71% of people are more likely to make a purchase?
Customers are more reliant than ever on reviews and recommendations when it comes to buying a product or service. This means that recommendations from influencers on blogs and social media have become a powerful marketing tactic utilised by an increasing number of businesses.
The market was estimated to be worth $2 billion in 2017, and this is set to reach a staggering $10 billion by the year 2020.
Research by Activate by Bloglovin’s has also found that 67% of marketers believe influencer marketing has helped them to reach a more targeted audience, which has created stronger results.
So if you’re not using influencer marketing as one of the strategies to grow your business and reach a much wider audience, you’re missing a potentially lucrative trick.
In this post we’ll be explaining:
- How to find the right influencers for your product or service
- How to build strong relationships with these influencers over time
- How to create meaningful content that will highlight the benefits of your offering
- How to track your ROI on these campaigns
Let’s dive in!
What is influencer marketing?
In a nutshell, influencer marketing is when you pay a particular person to share your product, service, or message with their (usually substantial) social following.
For this to work, it’s not just about the numbers though.
This influencer must have an actively engaged audience who trust their opinion, and that audience must represent the target audience for what you’re selling.
How to find relevant influencers for your business
Say the product you’re selling is luxury suitcases. You would naturally want to reach out to travel bloggers and writers, and other influencers who travel frequently (e.g. fashion bloggers, models, and celebrities).
It’s vital you pick an influencer who is in your niche or has an audience that is made up of your target customer.
You also need to get clear on what your goals are for each campaign you create:
- How much will you spend
- How long will the campaign last?
- How many posts do you want for this particular campaign?
- Which platform(s) do you want to use?
- How much revenue do you hope to generate?
The key here is to set realistic, but very specific goals for each campaign.
Once you’ve done this, you can select your influencers.
Here are a few key details you should begin to compile and compare when it comes to selecting an influencer:
- Their background
- Name and age bracket
- Social media platform numbers (look for engagement level too)
Start using influencer marketing tools
The two biggest challenges most businesses face when it comes to influencer marketing are:
- Finding relevant influencers
- Managing those relationships
Many businesses will currently reach out to and engage with potential influencers directly through social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
They’ll usually have a back and forth about a partnership, negotiate a price, payment will be sent, and then the influencer will create a post and share it with their audience.
Over time, this becomes hard to manage and keep track of.
Most businesses who are taking their influencer marketing efforts seriously will be using some kind of tool like this to help them. These are designed to save you time, and help you track performance, so you can see which of your campaigns are the best performers.
Best practices for creating content
There are a number of different ways to utilise influencers and expose your product to a new audience.
Influencer shares your product with their audience
This is where the influencer creates a product or service review, a product placement shot, or creates a video of themselves using your product.
Chances are, the influencer will know what works best for their audience, and where you will get the most engagement. So trust them, and allow them to inject their personality into it.
This will help build a stronger partnership, and make them likely to want to partner with you again in the future.
Influencer creates content for your account
When an influencer takes over your account, their audience will follow them to it.
They can go ‘live’ on your Facebook or Instagram platforms, or create posts using your product which is then sent to you to post on your account in your own time.
Join together and create a competition
This is a great way to build a stronger relationship with the influencer, and bring a lot of engagement to your account.
This might be done on either one of your accounts, or both to create an even bigger audience.
The whole point of using an influencer is you’re able to capitalise on their personality, and current lifestyle, which their audience has already bought into.
So, if you’re able to show your product in a way that highlights the benefits in their life, without it looking like an ad, you’re likely to see much better results.
After all, no one likes the feeling of knowing they’re being sold to.
A piece of great content will always create some kind of emotion in the audience, whether that’s entertainment, education, or something else.
So get clear on the story you want to tell with your offering. How can you tell it in a fun and creative way that’s going to capture people’s attention?
Measure your ROI
At the end of the day, businesses engage in influencer marketing to increase sales and generate more revenue. If you’re not seeing results, it’s your precious money going down the drain.
So how do you make sure you avoid this?
As we mentioned briefly earlier, there are tools you can use to track campaign metrics. It’s also vital you’re using UTM parameters (tags you add to a URL, which is tracked when that link is clicked on) so that you can track the specific actions of all visitors that are driven by the influencer to your site.
Some businesses also choose to give each influencer their own promo code which they share with their audience and are then able to track exact revenue figures to each influencer.
This will help you to see what’s not working, and what is so that you can make adjustments to your strategy in the future.
Focus on building real relationships with influencers
Influencer marketing is continuing to grow at a fast pace, so there’s no better time than now to start planning your strategy and building your team of influencers.
Businesses will see the best results by building real, long-term relationships with the influencers they work with. Because these are the people who are likely to be loyal to your brand and promote you with a more authentic enthusiasm, which will naturally be felt by their audience.
What results have you seen from your influencer marketing efforts so far?
Let us know in the comments below!