Everything You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing
As technology evolves, it is imperative to keep finding newer ways to reach out to your target audience. It is no more about the print media or TV commercials alone. This is the age of short-form videos, Instagram Reels, YouTube, and so on. With the attention span of the customer really short and your niche too cluttered with competition, what else can you do to get noticed? Consider influencer marketing.
Word-of-mouth publicity has been one of the oldest forms of advertising. Then came celebrity endorsements. Now, in the age of social media, it's about influencer marketing.
This write-up will offer a holistic view of influencer marketing helping you take the next step and partner with a relevant influencer from your niche.
Does My Business Need Influencers?
As long as the clout of social media remains, every business – big, small, established, or new – will need it for greater visibility. There is no medium yet that is as engaging as social media.
Most customers can no longer be appealed by the message ‘Buy our product.’ They need more. They want to be delighted, informed, and entertained too. This is where social media influencers come to your assistance. These are people who are trusted or relied upon by their followers. The level of engagement is so high that the followers tend to believe the influencer more than they would their family members, friends, or peers.
Who is an influencer?
Partnering & collaborating with people who have a following of their own in the niche that you are looking for helps your brand promote in a more credible way. Such relationships are categorized as influencer marketing.
What purpose does an influencer marketing program help achieve?
Creating and spreading awareness about the brand – is best recommended for start-ups, companies that need to rehaul their market image, companies starting a new product or service lines, etc.
Driving engagement as a key performance metric – in this case, the brand looks at creating a better and stronger connection with its target market. It suits new and small companies that have entered a crowded marketplace with some bigwigs as the main competitors.
Reaching a specific and highly-targeted niche market – this works best when brands hire micro-influencers whose following is the perfect match to the brand’s target market.
Taking advantage of affiliate marketing – established brands that wish to reach higher sales and revenues can tie up with influencers offering them an affiliate marketing proposition. The objective is to take advantage of the scales of this particular form of marketing.
Utilizing User Generated Content or UGC for better engagement – some brands do not spend on ads and promotions. They believe in UGC and use the power of such content to generate better engagement on social media.
Such brands can go in for influencer marketing for relevant content creation and use them to promote their brands on their social media handles.
Types of Influencers
Nano Influencers: These are social media users with about 10,000 followers or less.
Micro-Influencers: These are social media users that have followers between 10,000 and 100,000.
Macro-Influencers: These are social media users that have followers between 100,000 and 1 million.
Mega-influencers: The followers, in this case, are more than 1 million.
Strategizing the right Influencer Marketing Program
Choosing the ‘right’ influencer/s is the stepping stone to success for brands. Trial and error work but only up to a point. Too many disgruntled partnerships with influencers mean that something is wrong with your program. Maybe, it’s time to relook at the relationship basics. This is what you need to check:
Avoid going after big names with tens of thousands of followers. They may not be the right fit for your brand.
Don’t be in a rush to determine the outcome of the program in one go. It takes time to start seeing results from influencer marketing programs.
The choice of the right influencers will depend on your target market. For example, if you are a travel company targeting students as customers, using nano and micro-influencers makes sense. If you are into luxury travel, choose macro or mega travel influencers.
Remember even big brands use the strong bonds shared by nano and micro-influencers with their audience for better reach. For example, in 2017, Adobe launched the ‘Made By You' program where designer students were tasked with creating unique designs with Adobe Creative Cloud. This was a huge success and later caught the eyes of a few macro and mega influencers who contributed further to the campaign.
When choosing between nano vs micro, remember to assess four key aspects – your audience, the social media platforms being used by your audience, who all are they listening to, and who all are influencing their purchase decisions.
All your decisions need to keep the business goals in mind. Is it about driving conversions or getting the market aware of your brand or about generating more UGC, etc.?
Treat this program as any other marketing endeavour. For example, search engine optimization or SEO takes time to produce results. It also needs regular monitoring and tweaking. Similar is the case with influencer marketing.
Use technology to make the program easy and fruitful.
Keep understanding the partnership to see if adjustments need to be made on either side to make it more effective and enhanced. Weave in positive feedback, incentives, and rewards, and offer support and care to make the relationship stronger.
Finally, after this, if the relationship fails, then it is best to end it. That will be in the best interest of both parties. But, giving it the best shot, be in touch, communicate regularly, introduce your team to the influencers, make them a part of your professional network, and ensure that you adopt the right automation tools for the success of the influencer program.