Gone are the days that influencer marketing is limited to celebrities and athletes.
An influencer program takes deliberate targeting and planning to make it successful. You will need to build a solid plan and effectively execute to help catapult your brand’s success.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Think of influencer marketing as word-of-mouth marketing online. It is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from individuals that have a dedicated social following. Influencers often give their followers access to intimate details of their daily lives. They are seen as experts within their niche.
Why Brands Choose to Work With Influencers
There are numerous benefits your business can derive from influencer marketing. It can increase the visibility of your brand and strengthen your image. In addition, influencers have the power to attract people towards your products or services and shape purchase decisions. Your brand’s audience will widen.
Social media influencers can often give your content strategy a new perspective. They create high-quality content on a regular basis to engage their audiences. It also acts as a stamp of approval and strengthens a brand’s reputation.
The important part for a brand is to collaborate with the right influencers. It requires a thorough understanding of the different types of social media influencers.
Types of Social Media Influencers
There are 5 categories of social media influencers, each one provides a unique value to the brands they partner with. However, it is about choosing the category that will best represent your brand and fit within your budget best.
- Celebrities – These typically are also called celebrity endorsements. Celebrities have extraordinary reach and influence. Keep in the mind the fee will be high and the post will be taken down after a few months. Your brand may also have to go through a talent agency.
- Social Stars or Mega-Influencer – These influencers have a million or more followers across their different social networks. The audience is more spread out like a celebrity so it may be difficult to reach your target audience.
- Macro-Influencers – This category is influencers who are well known in their communities and have a large fan base of around 500,000 followers. They are experts in a specific industry.
- Micro-Influencers – These influencers have a fan base of anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 followers across their social media networks. Like Macro-Influencers, they cater to a specific industry, but because of the size of their audiences, they are highly engaged with their communities.
- Nano-Influencers – With somewhere around 5,000 followers or less, they have a high-user engagement and their content is down to earth and relatable.
How to Find Social Media Influencers
Like any great plan, research is often the first step. Pick one network that you want to focus on. It should be one that your brand already has a presence on and a following. Also, take into consideration the industry you are in and what network is most successful for you.
One way to start is to look at your customer database and see if they are posting already and if they are an influencer. You may find that your brand has connections built and you just need to work out the collaboration details.
Before you began contacting influencers you want to have your strategy in place. You will want to determine the goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). Are you trying to grow in a specific region or demographic? Are you trying to promote a specific product? Who is your target?
These measurable goals will help you and your influencer tailor your approach to content and images. It will also help you determine the types of influencers you should work with.
Running a successful influencer marketing campaign is not a set-it-and-go type of strategy. It is not like an automated ad strategy, influencers are human. You will need to cultivate a relationship, be hands-on, and define realistic expectations.
Tracking Your Campaigns
There are a few ways of measuring the success of your campaign. You can create a specific hashtag, to track what your influencers are doing. It makes it easy to follow and see mentions.
If you are aiming for more sales, giving out affiliate codes or tracking links is an easy way of seeing how much is being generated from influencers.
By tracking the campaign like any other digital marketing campaign, you will be able to see what works best for your brand and which influencers to partner with. Success varies between brands so don’t give up if your first one is not as successful as you would have liked.
Think of influencer marketing campaigns like PPC campaigns, you may need to set different parameters until you find what reaches your target audience.