Influencer Marketing 101

Surely you've heard of the phrase "influencer marketing", right? If you're not familiar with the term, here's a simpler question- have you ever purchased a product or service that was recommended to you by someone you follow online? If your answer is "yes", then you most likely supported an influencer marketing initiative!

Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in the past several years. From the outside looking in, it could seem like a silly scheme just to have beautiful people share random products that they don't actually use in their daily life, but that assumption couldn't be further from the truth.

Who really qualifies as an "influencer"?

Celebrities with millions of followers absolutely count as influential figures online, but the real qualification comes from engagement. Bloggers and online creators with followers anywhere from 1,000 to 1,000,000 are considered influencers, especially if they interact with their followers and enrich the community they've created. Micro-influencers with 1,000 followers are actually known to have 85% more engagement than influencers with several hundred thousand followers. This is because micro-influencers typically interact with their followers more often, which makes their followers feel more like close friends rather than internet strangers.

How do you compensate influencers?

Most influencers with larger followings expect some form of cash payment for working with big brands. This might sound crazy to someone unfamiliar with the world of digital marketing, but it's absolutely necessary for these people to be compensated for the time they put into the content they are creating. Some micro-influencers only expect a free product or affiliate commission to consider working with a brand, but these are details that should be clearly communicated between the brand and the influencer before working together.

Do people actually buy products that influencers recommend?

The quick answer is Y E S! Did you know that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations? If a consumer has been on the fence about buying a product and then sees that an influencer they trust shares a positive review of that same product, the consumer will most likely finally purchase that product or service they've been eyeing.

Here are a few more facts about how influencer marketing is successful...

• Businesses earn $6.50 for each dollar spent on influencer marketing

74% of shoppers make buying decisions based on social media

40% of customers use ad-blocking technology, which means traditional advertising is now less effective and influencers are filling the gap

• Micro-influencers are able to generate 60% more engagement than other campaigns

How do I work with influencers?

Just because you reach out to an influencer doesn't automatically mean they will say "yes" to working with you. Most online influential figures are finding that their followers value authenticity. For example, if a fashion blogger who typically only works with clothing brands all of a sudden decides to do a sponsored post for a smoothie blender, their followers might feel like that was an inauthentic brand partnership only for financial gain and could cause them to unfollow this person they once trusted.

When starting an influencer marketing campaign, you first need to analyze your budget. As mentioned before, influencers with tons of followers may charge more for their posts, so keep that in mind. After identifying your overall campaign budget, look for influencers that would be a good fit for your brand. Once you've identified several people who seem to share similar values with your business, reach out to them and introduce yourself along with the details about your marketing campaign. Outline the key marketing beats that you want them to highlight and make it known that you expect a completely honest review from them. After all, what's the point of working with influencers if you only want them to share non-authentic reviews?

Increased brand awareness, outstanding profits, and brand loyalty are all things that your business can experience when partnering with influencers. Why does influencer marketing work? It's simple. Consumers want to buy products and services from people they trust.

If you need help identifying the right influencers for your brand and creating an influencer marketing campaign that will grow your business, get in touch with us today!

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