Influencer Marketing 101

Everybody is talking about influencer marketing.  What is it? Who are influencers? How can your brand participate?  Influencer marketing has been around for a long time but today, because of social media and content marketing, it has taken on a whole new importance. According to a Linqia study, 86% of marketers used influencer marketing in 2017, and 92% found it effective.

Influencer marketing focuses on using key bloggers, influencers, celebrities, and thought leaders to drive your brand’s message by leveraging their influence to a larger market.   Brand trust is at an all time low.  Nielsen reports 92 percent of people trust recommendations from individuals—even if they don’t know them—over brands.  The result is that consumers will trust influencers over brands themselves.

Here’s some important tips on getting started:

  1. Matchmaking. It is important you choose an influencer who shares the same target audience as your brand. You need to segment your brand based on likes, interests, and hobbies.  Then find influencers that appeal to your brand personas.  There are a couple of ways to find influencers – either do the homework yourself or hire an agency to do it for you.
  2. Size of Influencer Audiences. The audience size can determine effectiveness.  Engagement may be stronger with micro influencers than macro influencers. Micro influencers have an audience size of 1,000 – 1 million. Macro influencers have more than a million followers.  Research has shown as the number of followers increase, engagement decreases.  You are over ten times more likely to get a like or a comment when using micro influencers.  However, if your goal is awareness, a macro influencer might be your best choice because of their overall reach.
  3. Know Your Platform. Different social platforms deliver varying audiences, such as age, gender, or special interests. The type of content is important to your brand such as photography, text, or video. Instagram has become dominant in influencer marketing.  According to the Linqui study, 92% of marketers say that Instagram is the most important to their influencer marketing strategy in 2018, followed by Facebook, blogs and YouTube.
  4. Success Metrics. Be sure you set goals for your campaign. Marketers cite engagement (90%), clicks (59%), conversions (54%), reach (50%) and product sales (46%) as top performance indicators.
  5. Budgets. This is tricky. Influencer costs can range from a couple of hundred dollars to millions, because of factors such as platform, exclusivity, engagement rate, following size and usage rights. Some influencers might even accept product as payment.  One thing to note, the more expensive your product, the more your campaign will cost.  The average cost of a post, with someone who has less than 100,000 followers, is estimated at $250-300.  Some marketers estimate the cost of an Instagram influencer based on $1,000 per 100,000 followers.  FYI: Kim Kardashian reportedly charges over $250,000 for an Instagram photo. In 2018, 30% of marketers report that they will spend between $25K – $50K per program and 25% report that they will spend between $50K – $100K per program.
  6. Influencer-produced content. Some of the decisions about a campaign include the number of posts, who creates the content, and cross-posting to the influencer’s other social media sites. It is important to know that you have to be comfortable with the influencer’s content style.
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