The marketers now have new technologies in their marketing arsenal to reach their targeted customers better. Often a digital marketing campaign is not enough to create a brand image and strengthen its identity. Marketers, nothing to worry- just add Influencer Marketing to your arsenal and see the difference! The recommendation does magic and approval or endorsement by any key influencer on the social media can do wonders.
Statistics prove that almost 92 percent customers rely on a personal recommendation about any brand. The influencers or online leaders have the potential of passing the brand message to the target audience and larger market. Instead of the brand communicating with the customers, the influencers will spread the word on their behalf. A comprehensive influencer marketing guide will help marketers the nuances- who is an influencer, benefits, components and tricks to improve the same.
Who is an Influencer?
To dig a bit deeper first, you need to understand and identify an influencer. The success of the marketing campaign depends on it. An influencer should have the ability to influence and change purchase decision and behavior of customers, in a particular context. On social media platforms, influencers should engage the audience with content on particular topics. Influencers do not force themselves upon the audience, rather the latter chooses to follow them, through blogs, Twitter handles, and hear what they have to say.
An influencer is similar to a mutual friend that connects the target customers with brands. By employing an influencer a brand can communicate both with their target audience and follower of an influencer. This will drive more traffic to the website and increase social media reach. Selling the brand story through influence or recommendation attracts and acquire more clients or customers. Having an influencer in the marketing team gives the brand an edge over their competitors.
Any influencer marketing guide for any brand starts with choosing the right influencer. To determine and define an influencer, brands need to look for context, reach and actionability.
Context – Choice of influencer would differ based on the characteristic of each brand. Defining the context is important.
Reach – Based on the context, a brand needs to decide the reach. It should be such that the recommendation is heard by the right audience.
Actionability – Ability of the influencer to urge the audiences to take any action. However, it should have a contextual alignment with the brand’s goal or need.
A person, group or a brand like celebrities or bloggers can be influencers for any brand owing to their loyal base of followers. Often brands choose an influencer based on the number of followers. But, they should emphasis on the nature of engagement posts and engagement rates.
Know about Influencer Marketing
Influencer Marketing emphasizes on the use of online leaders or influencers, to convey the message of the brand to the targeted audience. Rather than reaching out to the customers directly, brands inspire the key influencers to do so. Social media plays an important role in this form of marketing. Brands fulfill their business goal based on a mutually beneficial relationship. The influencers rely on content- either generated by them or brands to persuade the target audience.
It is a separate discipline by itself. Influencers can integrate the stories of the brand into their posts, but they ensure that they do not sell products or services. Usually, people consider influencers as the thought leader in a particular niche. These thought leaders treat each content or post especially for their readers, to add value to the latter’s life. In short, it is a simple process of conveying the brand message through the network of influencers to the loyalists or target audience.
How an Influencer helps
It is expected that in 2017 there will be an exponential increase in the collaboration between influencers and brands for marketing. Various brands have already benefited from this form of marketing. To name a few are Lynda.com, Zara, Adidas and MVMT Watches. Brands now emphasize on influencer marketing owing to the benefits it yields.
- Builds trust among customers – When it comes to choosing brands customers rely on recommendations largely. Customers usually feel the content shared by influencers are organic, relevant and reliable. A focused strategy and high-quality content help in building a trustworthy relationship with audiences.
- Avoids Ad Blockers – Online customers are exposed to numerous ads in a day. A large number of customers use ad-blocker to avoid being bombarded with such ads. But the content of influencers is a trusted source, these are visible and relevant to the customers and the reach is also more.
- Increases sales – Influencers can promote a particular product or discount coupons to improve the sales. The online leaders can position the product in their content and instill trust among the audiences.
- Better Brand Awareness – Building awareness, outreaching customers and engaging audiences is important. Influencers can use relevant hashtags in their posts for brand awareness. One of the famous fashion brands to promote their new perfume had roped in influential Instagrammers, took them to the production unit to know the story of the iconic product. Post by these influencers increased the reach of the audience on the social media platforms.
- Easy Targeting of Audience – A report states that almost 51 percent marketers acquire customers through influencer campaign than other forms of marketing. With the user-generated content, brands can target their audiences fast and reach out to them easily. When a brand has its marketing strategy in place and chooses an influencer wisely, it is expected that it will yield a high
- Boost in ROI – Influencer marketing is one of the cost-effective practices. Businesses can partner with both influencers and mid-level ones to launch their brands and improve the chance of earning high revenue. The result of this form of marketing is measured by the number of clicks, comments, engagement rates and comments. It generates almost twice more sales and about 35 percent more retention rate than other marketing methods.
For improving brand visibility and increase sale, this is an effective marketing technique. Influencer marketing is expected to increase rapidly. Almost 59 percent marketers intend to increase their budget for this form marketing.
Components of a Successful Campaign
Before you start this campaign, there are a few factors you need to consider to determine success- knowing the Audience, setting Goals and Key Performance Indicators. First, decide who you want to reach or who is the target recipient of your message. Then comes the goal, few of the common goals are a boost in sales, brand awareness and an increase in social media followers. Lastly, the most important part that is setting the Key Performance Indicators or KPIs that will help in tracking the customer journey and success.
Key components of any successful influencer marketing campaign are:
- Planning the Influencer Marketing Strategy – Thorough research and planning is needed for a full proof marketing strategy. Marketers can use different tools for developing such plans and marketing strategies.
- Identification and Selection of influencers – Based on the scope and budget, brands can identify the influencers through search engines, database, marketplace, networks of celebrity influencers and brand advocates. There are also tools that marketers can use to assess the most effective thought leader on the social media relevant to the brand.
- Process Workflow – Content is integral to influencer marketing campaign. A compelling content can convey the target audience the brand objective and voice of storytellers. Marketers can plan a workflow that will guide the influencers in conveying the brand message. This workflow can lay down the ways of creating a conversation with users, driving the audience to the desired brand destination, sharing and shopping of content.
- Optimized Distribution – It is essential to have a content strategy that highlights effective content marketing. For instance, quotes of influencers on different ads or sharing those on newsletter can be an effective distribution strategy.
- Monitoring and Tracking KPI – Based on the respective KPIs, brands have to monitor and track the success of influencer There should be different metrics against the original brand goal.
There are few platforms for influencer marketing that manages the campaign, monitor it and reduces the time involved for the same. Speakr, TapFusion, Traackr and Revfluence are few of the best influencer marketing platform that any marketer can rely on.
Influencer marketing guide to Improve Outcome
Both small companies and renowned brands can reap high benefits from an influencer marketing campaign. Few tips that can improve your brand’s influencer campaigns are
- Give influencers their creative freedom – Brands should grant creative freedom to the influencers while promoting their service or product. Their personality has made them the thought leaders and they know how to engage the target audiences. Their creative genius will result in posts with better results.
- Emphasize on an organic post – Always remember that you do not want to develop an infomercial that lists the benefits of the product. An organic post by an influencer, which is not overtly promotional can do wonders. The post of the influencer should always communicate with the audience and attract their attention.
- Compensate influencers – An influencer should feel rewarded and acknowledged. You can compensate influencers financially, by sharing their posts, offering discounts or offering them a commission. Brands need to identify the relevant method of compensating influencers to make them feel important.
- Micro-influencers – If you are on a shoestring budget, then micro-influencers is a good option. Including many micro-influencers can be a good option for any campaign as they can engage a large audience base with their content.
- Equal weight on other marketing campaigns – Including influencer campaign in your marketing arsenal does not mean that you will turn a blind eye on other campaigns. It is expected that influencer marketing will bring out effective results like better brand awareness and rise in website traffic, but when complemented with other forms of marketing it will strengthen the result.
Right influencers in the specific niche can reach out to the target audience and garner benefit for the brand leveraging the loyalty of followers. By following the above-mentioned tips and implementing the same, brands can improve brand awareness and boost sales remarkably.