Influencer marketing involves promoting a brand through the recommendations of influencers, including bloggers, celebrities, philanthropists, and public figures. They are all influencers, people who act as opinion leaders. In social networks, these people have a large subscriber base and a certain authority to influence the masses. Influencers aren’t always world-renowned superstars. There are also micro-and nano-influencers, influencers, those who are only known in association with a particular game or virtual setting, those with differing strengths and scales of impact. According to the results of studies in the United States and Britain, as of May 2020, subscribers of influential people were more interested in the information content of their posts.
Influencer marketing is divided into five major advertising strategies:
- Reach the audience of social networks. Some brands outsource the maintenance of their page to an influencer for a certain amount of time. They might also invite an influencer as a guest to maintain a specific column or review for the company.
- Affiliate or affiliate marketing. A situation when a company pays an influencer for every follower that becomes a client.
- Advertising content. The most common type of Instagram marketing is a brand paying for a direct ad post.
- Unpacking. Companies send their products to influencers as gifts. Those people, in turn, reveal it live, demonstrating all the features and benefits to subscribers. But, the strategy can have pitfalls. For example, a blogger may not show the features of your product that you would have highlighted, or they may even respond negatively about it. There are no guarantees – as a rule, there are no clearly spelled out obligations for the influencer.
- Brand ambassador programs. In this case, the influencer advertises the brand voluntarily and free of charge – out of great love for the product, manufacturer, or service. This is one of the most influential and effective strategies because the story told about the company is sincere.
Why is influencer marketing so important? The statistics speak for themselves: 80% of customers buy something based on a recommendation. 17% of companies spend more than half of their marketing budget on influencer advertising.
Influencer Marketing Strategy
Influencer marketing is powerful, but keep in mind that your chosen strategy must fit your brand perfectly, just like the influencers themselves need to be a good fit. Let’s take a look at eight essential steps to using influencer marketing profitably.
Define a campaign goal for yourself. In the case of influencer marketing, the main challenge for a brand is to increase awareness and attract new customers. It is not always a question of buying right away. Increasing sales is the third most important and popular strategy achievement.
Set a budget
When setting a budget for influencer marketing, consider the time needed for planning, publishing, waiting for results, and further analysis. Maybe you should look towards the ambassador program? Then your costs will be limited to providing products to an influencer who will gladly advertise your brand on their own. This is the tactic used by Fujifilm. When launching new products or updates, they rely on the help of renowned photographers and videographers. These people talk about the product while also adding color and personal touch when presenting the products to the public.
Decide on goals and the message
Unlike the initial stage of setting a goal, at this stage, it is worth narrowing down your expectations and looking for a more focused and directed strategy. Ask yourself questions:
- What audience do you want to attract?
- Do you want to talk about new products or company values?
- Is your goal to launch a new product on the market or to upgrade an already known one?
By asking these questions, you will clearly define the company’s needs at the moment. It will also help you understand how your message and influencer image should look.
Know who you’re trying to influence
Having defined the goals, think – who is the audience, specifically your potential customers? How much of the consumer audience do you want to reach? What is their way and type of thinking, lifestyle and needs? Incorrectly asked questions lead to only half of the answers.
Shortlist of influencers
Consider the following factors when making your list of suitable influencers for your brand:
- Your audience’s trust in the influencer.
- Engagement percentage – are the subscribers real active people or bots?
- The compatibility of the mood, tone, and style of the brand with the influencer’s own style.
Choosing the right influencer for influencer marketing will help create a harmonious tandem.
Review and analyze the content of prospective brand representatives. Pay attention to these aspects:
- What trendsetters publish.
- How they communicate with their subscribers.
- Who is their active audience?
- Their sponsored posts and collaborations with other brands – excessive ads (even hidden ones) reduce engagement and trust.
First, such research will allow you to determine how well you fit together. Second, it will give you an advantage when talking with an influencer – you will show that you are well aware of their life and familiar with their activities.
Collaborate with an influencer
Don’t rush headlong into writing collaboration messages – think about which path will most likely be accepted in your situation. As with any relationship, building trust and finding common ground is important. There are two ways to go:
- A smooth approach involves showing interest in the person – commenting, or rating posts would be helpful. After a little communication, you can proceed to the offer of cooperation in private messages.
- Direct contact works well with larger influencers. The profile header should contain your contact information or a work email in such cases. Use this opportunity to be as specific and polite in your offer as possible.
The right approach is an important step towards a good, long-term, and productive collaboration.
UTM parameters will help you determine the success of your influencer marketing strategy. They help you monitor the profit impact of your collaboration. Use all of the available tools to analyze your processes and achievements. Tweak your tactics as needed so that they will eventually pay back your investment.
Top 10 SEO Influencers
A list of the best, reputable and recognized SEOs to watch out for:
- Aleyda Solis is an international SEO consultant, speaker, founder of Orianthi promotion company and Remoters small web projects.
- Andrew Shotland is the founder of LocalSEOGuide. He assisted in the launch of NBC’s Internet division, as well as InsiderPages and Showtime Networks.
- Andy Beal is the Reputation Refinery expert team leader, one of the world’s best reputation management specialists.
- Angie Schottmuller is a Growth Marketing Consultant and one of the top 10 talents in Forbes rankings.
- Ann Smarty is the founder of MyBlogU and TwChat, she writes reviews for the Epoch Times, Search Engine People, and MarketingProfs, as well as speaking at Pubcon Conferences.
- Barry Schwartz is a writer, reporter, and consultant specializing in Google Updates and Search Engine Optimization. He is also founder of Rusty Brick.
- Brian Clark is the founder of the Copyblogger web platform and the Unemployable freelance community. The number of its subscribers is around 170,000 people.
- Brian Dean teaches SEO and link-building tactics at Backlinko.
- Cyrus Shepard was head of SEO at Moz from 2012 to 2015, now he runs his own SEO company, Zyppy.
- Danny Sullivan specializes in Google search linking. Until 2017, he co-founded Third Door Media and had over 500,000 active followers on its channels.
These are the best thought leaders in their fields. They can help you track all of the major changes in the SEO niche. By monitoring their activities, you will be able to apply this knowledge to your work quickly.
Marketing strategies are evolving and moving forward – influencer marketing is no exception. To keep up with the competition, you need to track trends and optimize your tactics to grow your business and attract new customers.