Influencer marketing offers you a new way to reach your audience. The bond between influencers and their community allows you to promote products more authentically. Where classical advertising reaches its limits, you can leverage the reach of well-known personalities to increase your brand awareness.
Our basics will help you to define the base for a successful influencer campaign. You will learn more about relevant details and how to build up your first cooperation with the right content and the right influencer.
Introduction to Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has become an integral part of a successful brand presence on social media. An influencer is a person who has a certain impact on others through their reach, status and awareness. In particular, lifestyle products benefit from influencers. Products become a trend when influential people use them.
Pamela Reif is a good example. Known through her workouts on YouTube, she focuses on sports and fitness on her social media profiles. Reif has 4.73 million followers on YouTube and provides her community regularly with new fitness content. Her Instagram account is followed by 6.4 million users, something the sporting goods manufacturer Puma used to promote its sports outfit with the post above. It has received about 297 thousand likes, a strong positive response from the community and successfully generated attention for the brand and product.
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Advantages of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing brings several benefits to your business:
- Influencers help you increase the reach and awareness of your brand. According to a 2020 survey, as many as 78 percent of all respondents confirm that influencers help increase the social reach of companies.
- Moreover, influencers are also approachable. Companies also benefit from the often close bond with the community and authenticity. According to a 2019 global survey, 91 percent of users trust social media personalities promoting products.
- Influencer marketing increases the purchasing power. A study from 2020 shows that one in five respondents decided to buy a product advertised by an influencer.
Consequently, companies have enough arguments to opt for Influencer marketing and run a successful campaign with the right cooperation.
Develop an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Successful planning and management of your first influencer campaign requires a solid strategy.
Define your campaign objectives
To run a successful campaign, you should define clear objectives. A goal-oriented strategy will help you to plan and implement your measures. This way, you can evaluate your campaign according to your goals and verify the success of your strategy. Objectives for an influencer campaign for example are
- Increase reach and brand awareness
- Improve brand loyalty
- Increase interactions (comments, likes, shares) on social media profiles
- Generate sales
Identify your Target Group
Influencer marketing is only successful if your buyer personas match the target group of the influencer. If this is not the case, your efforts are in vain, the influencer community does not feel addressed and you advertise your product without success. In the end, the influencer’s community represents your potential customers and will decide whether the cooperation is successful or not.
Imagine a company wants to promote a vegan product through an influencer. If an influencer e.g. eats vegan food, but his social media channels are mainly about motor sports. Parts of the community might also be vegan, but mainly follow the influencer out of other interests. So the topic doesn’t fit and there is too little overlap with the community for a successful promotion of the product.
Choose your Influencer Type
There are different types of influencers working with different subject specifications on different platforms and with different types of content. Here you can get an impression of the most common influencer types:
Social Media Influencer
Social media influencers are usually active on several social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. This type of influencer is one of the largest and most publicly known influencers. Usually this type has a central theme and also addresses other areas such as lifestyle and fashion.
Zoe Sugg alias Zoella is a fashion and beauty influencer. She first gained attention on YouTube. With Zoella, she generated nearly 40 million fans across her social media channels. Her YouTube channel, for example, has 11.2 million subscribers and her Instagram has 9.1 million followers. So Mini used the reach of the influencer and started a cooperation on Instagram. The post above received over 167 thousand likes and shows how companies can so easily create awareness for their products.
Micro-influencers usually have a comparatively small community and a rather limited reach. How many followers an influencer must have in order to be considered as a micro-influencer is not clearly defined. Usually a micro-influencer has between 10,000 and 50,000 followers. However, this type is by no means unattractive for companies. Most of them have a close relationship to their followers and create an authentic image, which gives them even more authenticity towards the community.
With about 50 thousand followers, the Instagram channel of Sug Sean can count as micro-influencer. The Londoner deals with menswear, fashion, grooming, and lifestyle. Sean is an upcoming influencer who provides a useful and engaging space for people to gather tips and advice about mens’ lifestyle and fashion. For example, a cooperation with Gillette UK was established, which enabled the company to address a selected part of its target group with a series of articles on Instagram. This shows that large companies also benefit from working with smaller influencers.
This influencer type is mainly active on his own blog, as well as on social networks. On the blog products are mentioned, reviewed, paid articles about products are written or guest articles about a product are published. This allows companies to find experts on a specific topic and use them to share sponsored articles about a product or to take over the company’s own social media channel for a defined period of time (social media takeover).
Next to their own blog, the duo Blogger Bazaar is also active on social media. With a focus on fashion, 149 thousand users follow their Instagram profile. Among the posts, especially fashion companies like Gucci use their reach to show products from their new collection. The content received over 1400 likes from the community.
Niche influencers are the experts among influencers who have specialized on specific topics. These influencers have a great deal of influence on opinion due to their high level of expertise in a specific area.
An expert in the field of cleaning is, for example, Sophie Hinchliffe alias mrshinchhome. On her Instagram profile alone, 3.7 million users follow her. Her profiles contain topic-specific cooperation contributions that meet with the approval of the community. The Instagram sensation Mrs. Hinch is so successful at her “cleanfluencing” that she has actually coined the term “Hinching” and other cleanfluencers in the space are using the term as well.
This type of influencer is a person who is also famous and well-known outside social media, such as Katy Perry, Jonny Depp or Lionel Messi. Celebrity influencers are usually represented on all common social networks and have profiles that are constantly updated. Through social media, celebrities have the opportunity to show themselves from a different side. They usually appear more authentic to the fans than through an advertising appearance on TV. These profiles benefit from the immediacy of social media and the resulting proximity to the community.
The Instagram profile of soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo contains posts with clear product placement. These posts show how large the reach of celebrity influencers can be. About 5 million likes demonstrate how many fans respond positively to a simple post.
Choose the right Influencer
The internet contains numerous influencers of different types. It is difficult to choose the right representative for your company on social media right from the start. To make the decision easier the following questions will help you:
- Do you have an active target group in his/her network? Find an influencer whose community matches your target group. If your target group is on certain social networks, you can specify your search in this way.
- Does the image of the influencer match with your company and the product that will be promoted? If the influencer does not match your product, it will not be authentically recommended and the collaboration will not produce any results.
- What is the actual budget to spend for influencer marketing? Which influencers and campaigns can you finance with it? Depending on the size of the influencer’s profile, there are different prices for the collaboration. These usually depends on the quality of content, popularity and reach of the influencers.
- Has the influencer ever worked with a competing company? This can lead to unwanted associations among your target group and cause your product to be mixed up with a product of another brand. Ultimately, this can significantly weaken the advertising impact of your company.
Start with these questions to get a basic overview for choosing a matching influencer. Take a close look at the social media presence of the person and ask yourself if the influencer matches with your company and carries the right message to the community.
Define the Collaboration
The collaboration between companies and influencers can be quite different. Determine the expectations and ideas that go along with the cooperation. This way you can clarify important details in advance and clear up possible misunderstandings. In the end, both sides will know what they have agreed to and what the aim of the cooperation is. The following points will help you to create clarity:
How should the cooperation be structured?
The collaboration between companies and influencers can be structured differently. For example, you can send a discount code to influencers, which they share with their community in their posts. Another common way is to send your product, which the influencer can test, review and mention on their profiles. It is also popular to invite an influencer to a corporate event. The influencer can then share their experience and draw attention to your brand.
What is the duration of the cooperation?
Specify the time frame for the cooperation. Do you want an influencer to share a single post or is it a long-term cooperation?
How will content be created? What are the guidelines for content?
On the one hand, you can define content in advance and review and approve content before publishing it. This way you can ensure how the influencer presents your product and adjust how the brand perception is presented. It might happen, that the content is very promotional and does not fit the appearance of the influencer. Followers can quickly notice this and react negatively.
On the other hand, it makes sense to discuss the most important key points for content creation with the influencer. The influencer is free to decide how to design the content. Think in advance about the details that should be included in the product presentation and which wording should be considered. This way you create a solid framework, but leave the influencer the freedom to bring in his individual touch. In this way, content is usually more authentic and better received by the community.
What kind of content should be shared?
Influencers usually run profiles on different social media channels. Ask yourself the question of where, on which profiles, and in what way your products should be shown. Do you want your product to be presented in an in-depth test via a You-Tube video or just briefly presented in an Instagram Reel. Think carefully about how you can show your product most effectively and consider all the important aspects.
It helps to involve the influencer and work out together which types of content will be most popular among the community. If users see your product in a familiar format of their influencer, it is more likely to convince them and not be perceived as surreptitious advertising. Always pay attention to label your content correctly in order to avoid legal consequences of the platforms.
Optimize your content strategy
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Cooperations can be remunerated differently depending on the type and complexity of the campaign. Determine in advance what consideration will be demanded for the promotion of your product. Often small influencers are already pleased with a free product transfer, large influencers usually want a financial reward.
You can also use alternative rewards. Especially for online stores, promo codes are a good idea. These codes will give the followers an exclusive discount and can be easily integrated via a social media article. Both the influencer and the company benefit from the situation, as the company can increase its sales and the influencer offers its community an immediately usable offer that strengthens the bond to the followers.
Another option is to present the influencer on the company’s website or social media profiles. This way the influencer benefits from the cooperation and gets the chance to introduce himself to a new target group and to expand his reach.
To evaluate the results of your influencer marketing activities, the campaigns should be measurable. Define concrete key figures to analyze the success of your activities:
- Clicks: How many users clicked on the link that was stored in the Influencer’s product offering?
- Conversions: How many users bought the advertised product or visited your website during the campaign period?
- Mentions: How often was the product or your company mentioned by the Influencer or its followers on social media?
- Number of followers: Has the number of followers increased on the used networks?
- Brand awareness: Has the awareness of your company increased?
- ROI (Return On Invest): What is the profit of the cooperation? Did the investment in an Influencer campaign pay off?
Certain basics are relevant for successful influencer marketing. Pay attention to the objectives of your cooperation and always keep them in mind for your strategy. Influencer marketing opens a new door to reach your target group and convince them of your product. If users follow an influencer, you can benefit from the loyalty between both sides and create brand awareness in the minds of potential customers. Take advantage of the authenticity with which influencers can promote your product and try to choose the right format on the right social network. More credible than any traditional advertisement, Influencer helps you to draw attention to your business. Trusting and identifying with influencers will help you enter the social media world of your target group.
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