Influencer marketing is on the rise. Customer behavior especially on social media platforms nowadays is mostly driven by influencer marketing. Today, it has become a core marketing strategy that has made millions for brands and companies. Experts suggest that it will only increase with time.
However, when it comes to running an influencer marketing campaign, things are neither that easy nor cheap. You have to consider several important factors to make it successful. These factors are related to brand loyalty, awareness, sales, and website traffic. So let’s take a detailed look into the process.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a marketing technique that involves influential people influencing their followers or customers to take an action. These influential personalities have a huge following on social media platforms that encourage their followers to follow their direction.
For example, Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas for his Yeezys shoe lineup. Although customers have multiple better options in the same price bracket but since Kanye West is a popular figure in Hollywood, his followers will prefer following what he recommends or advertises.
It is estimated that influencer marketing delivers 10 times higher returns as compared to other traditional marketing techniques. Instagram and Twitter are the biggest contributors. Plus, according to several studies, the majority of consumers state that they were provoked or influenced to purchase online upon watching an influencer on Twitter, Instagram or YouTube use the particular product or service.
Tips for Running a Successful Influencer Marketing Technique
Brand awareness is one of the most important objectives of an influencer marketing strategy. It might be that you are launching a new brand in the market or your brand is new to the market. Whatever the case maybe, your target audience should be aware of it. If you happen to launch a brand without anyone being aware of it, you will hardly exist.
Plus, it will take relatively more amount of time to attract customers and sales. This is why brands create hype on social media platforms before launching. This is their way of letting the audience know that something is on its way and they should be ready for it.
If that is the case, you should opt for an influencer marketing strategy as well. Working with influencers will allow you to reach a large audience in a short span of time.
Consumers opt for a particular brand because its values and personality resonate with them. When you see Rihanna sell hundreds of thousands of perfumes overnight, it is because the customers find a relationship with Rihanna and the perfumes she offers. In such cases, the brands do not communicate brand value only via content but through the type of influencers they choose to work with.
The same is the case with fitness gear nowadays. Professional bodybuilders and fitness gurus offer free fitness gear to influencers. And in return, all they need to do is market the products and influence the followers to opt for their products.
Website Traffic and Sales
Website traffic and sales are one of the biggest advantages of an influencer marketing strategy. Since a post can reach followers existing around the world within seconds, the strategy is able to generate a huge amount of traffic and sales within a short period of time. At the same time, the followers turn into customers as they would like to trust the recommendation of someone they have been following for a long time. Therefore, when influencers specifically talk about the benefits of the product they are marketing, the brand is bound to experience a surge in sales.
Selecting the Most Relevant Influencers
The most difficult part of an influencer marketing strategy is finding the right influencer. A celebrity or an influencer with millions of followers doesn’t need to be the right choice for your brand. As mentioned earlier, the influencer should match the personality of your brand. Only then, they will be able to successfully communicate your brand to their followers.
Not only that, but the influencer should also relate to your brand’s campaign objectives. This begs the question as to what type of influencers you should work with.
Celebrities are the most common choice nowadays, especially for multi-national brands. Even though such campaigns are expensive but it enables them to put themselves infront of millions of followers within seconds. As a result, these multinational brands develop a relationship with such influencers and prefer them over others to spread awareness.
Even though power users do not possess the same celebrity status, you cannot underestimate their influence. Power users have the ability to market your products to followers or customers who are less likely to share similar interests. The objective here is not to target the audience who shares the same interest but mass-marketing. It is about reaching as many people as possible with no time limit attached.
Micro-influencers tend to be relatively cheap since they do not possess a huge following. Such influencers are a great choice for local brands that do not have the budget to hire macro-influencers. Although several studies have suggested that people tend to trust the recommendations of micro-influencers more than celebrity influencers.
Managing Your Influencers
As your brand grows, so do your influencer marketing strategies. You find more influencers to work with and at this stage, you are not working with the word to mouth technique. This is why influencers today post videos and share pictures of the products along with the results after they are done testing them. This is where you need to treat them as your brand ambassadors to form a permanent bond and not just a transactional one.
Part of managing your influencers means communicating your expectations. Ofcourse the expectations of a growing business will change over time. Therefore, you need to communicate the expectations clearly and in return, the influencers should ensure following them. As a brand, it is your responsibility to communicate the expectations related to the tone, style, and type of content at the beginning of the campaign so that everyone is in the same boat.
Influencer marketing is all about forming relationships. Once you find the right influencer or a team of influencers, you can use them regularly in several campaigns. This way, the followers and customers will know that the collaboration is strong and it will give them another good reason to follow your recommendations. At the same time, you need to make sure that as an influencer, you are up to date with the upcoming marketing trends and how you can benefit the existing partnerships.