How to Dramatically Grow your Business Leveraging Influencer Marketing
If you’re looking for an easy, affordable and very effective way to grow your business, well this is the blog for you! Influencer marketing has been thrown into the spotlight on the web and personally I believe that it changes the way brands should market online.
Everyone is talking about search engine optimisation, Google Adwords and social media pay per click and for good reason these are fundamental to any digital marketing strategy.
But I think influencer marketing is too often overlooked. Businesses, brands and agencies stick to the status quo and continue to use the same of strategies.
Influencer marketing gets left to those who are innovators, the early adopters, and I am telling you those guys are winning.
And throughout this blog I will shed some light on just how effective influencer marketing is.
To develop a successful influencer marketing strategy there are a few things you need to know. And after reading this blog you should feel confident to get started with influencer marketing in your business.
What is a Digital Influencer?
For those of you who don’t know what the heck i’m talking about. The idea of an influencer has been around for decades, but in the past an influencer has been a famous celebrity or sports star.
In the new age of technology, and social media there has been a rapid rise of the “digital influencer”. More often than not these digital influencers are everyday people that make a connection with a large following of fans.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is when you form an agreement with digital influencers to endorse your brand, product or business through their network.
Using digital influencers is a super effective way to increase brand awareness amongst the influencers loyal following.
A survey by Nielsen found, a staggering 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals, in the form of word-of-mouth and recommendations, over advertising from brands.
This is why influencer marketing is so effective, its online word of mouth from someone consumers look up to and trust.
And as you can see below, it is seriously trending and 2017 will be the year of the influencer marketing so don’t miss this opportunity to lead the way.
What is a micro influencer?
A micro influencer is an industry term used to describe someone who falls between the 10,000 to 250, 000 followers range on a social media channel.
Using micro influencer is not only more affordable from a budget standpoint, but research from Marketly suggests they have a more engaged following.
This first of its kind research really paints the picture that micro influencers are powerful and need to be utilised by your brand.
How to use them?
Now let’s say you have $10, 000 to spend on influencer marketing. Option 1 blow the entire budget on one celebrity who has a massive following.
Or option 2 which I personally would recommend, run a series of campaigns across multiple micro influencers accounts. You will likely receive similar reach and have a much higher engagement rate.
And ultimately engagement rate is going to lead to your return on investment.
How to work with them?
The key thing to remember when approaching influencers is they have a brand of their own. What I mean by this is that if what you’re offering doesn’t align with their interest it’s unlikely they will want to work with you.
Before you jump in and formally request to work with an influencer, follow them and engage with them on their posts. This will give you the opportunity to pre-screen them and ensure that they are a good fit for your brand. Also this prior engagement will make your formal approach more welcomed.
Offer personal discount codes
This is your bread and butter for influencer marketing giving influencers a discount code for their followers to use in your store. At the beginning of their influencer journey a discount code alone will often be enough for them to promote your brand.
Additionally the association with your brand gives the influencer credibility and something to offer to their followers. It also is great for your brand because it ties in a call to action to their post and gives their followers an incentive to buy.
Finally, when you are approaching influencers, go back to marketing 101 send them a message that speaks to their needs and provides value. Don’t be the brand who doesn’t care and says, “here is product X and here is your discount code”. Make reach out personal and offer them value.
Here is a template for you to try:
There are many factors that go into a successful influencer marketing campaign but I will stick to three that I think are most important.
Running a great campaign
The 3 R’s of influencer marketing
Before choosing the influencer you will use in your campaign you need to consider the 3 R’s of influencer marketing.
Is this influencer sharing content that is relevant to your business? This comes back to marketing 101, would you positioning a sporting product on a cooking show? No. It’s the same with your influencers, pick influencers who are relevant to your brand.
Is the number of people you can reach through this influencer enough? Personally, I think anywhere above 5,000 followers is good enough and you should be more concerned over relevancy than reach. But it still needs to be considered.
What is the level of engagement this influencer can create with their audience? This goes back to why micro influencers are becoming more popular, because they attract higher engagement rates. And engagement with your campaign is highly important to its success.
When starting out your influencer campaign remember to determine whether an influencer is a good fit for your business by evaluating the three R’s.
Consistent Tone, Look and Message
When building out your influencer marketing campaign in addition to the three R’s consider how the influencer fits within the tone, look and message you want to promote.
You want to find influencers who are producing similar content as each other but they also use the tone that is appropriate to your brand.
Identifying these influencers will make the whole process much easier because your brands will align and make sharing ideas feel much more seamless. Also you will not have to compromise either party’s brand values to make the collaboration work.
Give the influencer control
The goal of influencer marketing is for your brand to feel native within the influencers posts. And that’s why you want to give the influencer creative freedom because they are the ones their followers resonate with and not you!
If they make your brand feel natural within their posts their audience is much more likely to want to make a purchase than if it feels forced.
Measure the results
Like any marketing campaign it’s important to measure its success, because there is no point spending budget if you’re not getting results.
A Report by Group High, found that 47% of respondents indicated that proving value is the biggest challenge in measuring influencer marketing. So, how do we prove our influencer marketing campaigns are working?
There are two things to measure when running influencer campaigns:
- Brand awareness
Social media influencers should be able to provide analytics and detailed reports on the reach of their posts. This will help you measure brand awareness and engagement rates but will also help with working out conversion rates.
This is why I mentioned early that discount codes are the bread and butter of your influencer marketing campaigns. Due to the ability to give attribution of a sale to a specific influencer.
Here is how you work out conversion rates on influencer campaigns:
50 (sales) / 1,000 (reach) = 5% conversion rate
Another key metric in influencer marketing is tracking mentions of your brand and campaign hashtags.
There are many tools out there that allow you to do this, but my personal favourite is Hootsuite.
This tool lets you do amazing things with all your social media channels, but importantly allows you to track, measure, and share your key social media metrics.
Influencer marketing is one of the hottest trends in digital marketing right now, and should be top of mind for every marketer in 2017. But you still need to do your research as it will not work for every brand. It must still align with your overall marketing strategy and your brand.
Be sure to test it first, track your results and try to improve its performance for your business, as you would with any new initiative.
But overall I think influencer marketing is here to stay. As consumers become more savvy to ads, reports suggest that 32% of internet users expected to be using an ad blocker in 2017, marketers need to find new ways to reach our target audience.
What better way than through influencers they trust and get inspiration from.
I’d love to your thoughts on influencer marketing, and I am more than happy to answer any questions or help you get your influencer marketing strategy up and running.