Influencer Marketing – we wonâ€™t spend a lot of time going over it, because itâ€™s likely youâ€™ve seen it everywhere. If not, here are some classic examples:Â
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By definition, influencer marketing â€“ particularly on social media â€“ is a strategy of targeting the followers of athletes, celebrities, or influential social media figures with your brandâ€™s message. Influencer messages are everywhere â€” but if you need a heavy dose, head to Instagram. Up and down your feed, brands are reaching out through bloggers and trusted voices to try their products and speak to their followers about their products.
Why so popular? This equation usually generates more ROI per post than any other type of paid placement. (Specifically, 11 times as much ROI as a digital banner ad campaign.) On average, businesses using influencer marketing are making $6.50 for every dollar spent. The answer to why this works so well is a simple one: consumers trust their peers and people who already have their attention more than anything else when making purchasing decisions.
Itâ€™s an equation for brand loyalty: (Someone I look up to/trust likes something) + (I usually like the things they like) = Iâ€™m gonna check out that thing. It sounds like a recipe for success, right? But put it on pause for a second, before you dive headfirst into your influencer strategy on social.
Ask yourself these 5 questions before you decide that hiring an influencer is the way to go.
1. What are my goals?
What do we want to use an influencer for anyway?Â The first step to consider when implementing a new strategy is: Does it fit with my overall objective? Take a look at which benchmarks stand out â€“ what can you improve? Are the key performance indicators you aim to increase going to be boosted by influencer marketing?
A recent survey of brands that implement influencer strategy found that the most common objectives are:
Content strategy – 89%
Driving engagement – 77%
Driving traffic – 56%
Source: Linqia survey
Influencer marketing has tons of benefits, from reach to engagement, audience sentiment and traffic; just be sure to consider beforehand whether hiring an influencer is going to boost your key KPIs and lend itself well to your overall business goals.
2.Â How am I going to measure success?
Once youâ€™ve taken stock of the KPIs you want to improve, make sure your measurement method is identical before and after implementing the strategy. This way, your results can be compared to the pre-influencer days seamlessly.Â However you decide to measure, make sure you monitor brand engagement closely. A primary reason that brands are hiring influencers is because of their insane ability to engage with their followers â€“ take advantage of this and pay close attention to the kind of responses your posts drum up. Â
3. What type of lifestyle is associated with my company or product?
Consumers no longer see brands as creators of products, but purveyors of a certain kind of lifestyle that comes imbedded with their products.
What kind of lifestyle is associated with yours? If your consumers were neatly wrapped into one individual, what kind of life would they live? The closer that imaginary person is to the influencer you choose, the better. Doing this creates a narrative for your audiences to follow and guides their ideas about how they feel about your brand. Plan your positioning carefully and seek out an influencer who doesnâ€™t just hype your product, but advocates for what your brand stands for.
4. Who is the right partner for the job?
If you read number 3, you know that itâ€™s important to select someone whose personal brand and audience are a good fit for yours. Your focus should be fit over followers. It doesnâ€™t matter if youâ€™re reaching 500k people if none of them are interested in your message.
According to Kyle Wong for Forbes, â€śInstead of simply looking at followers, a better equation for brands to consider is:
Influence = Audience Reach (no. of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Â Strength of Relationship with Followers
Ideally, the members of your influencerâ€™s audience are part of a key demographic you want to reach. Itâ€™s also important to pay attention to their tone, values, and personality. Do the way these things are displayed support those of your brand?
5. How will I incentivize the partnership?
Influencer marketing is a little bit different than contracting a vendor or outsourcing to a freelancer. When hiring an influencer, approach it more so as a partnership. After all, even the motivations behind branded work are non-traditional.
Turns out, many influencers will post for perks. On the list of influencersâ€™ top motivations, earning money is fifth with only a quarter of respondents listing it as their primary motivation.
So consider other options for incentives like trade work, free products, trips, or discounts. However, if you do end up paying straight dough to execute your strategy, chances are itâ€™ll be worth it.
After at least briefly considering these 5 steps, youâ€™ll be more readily able to decide if executing an influencer strategy is going to be the right move. Itâ€™s important to note that just because something is popular, doesnâ€™t mean itâ€™s right for everyone, but this list should help you decide. Has your brand done any influencer work lately? Let us know how it went.