7 Essential Facts You Should Know About Influencer Marketing. If you are here, you already know you want to leverage influencer marketing. You need the right tips to get started.
And every other digital marketing site out there reheats the same basic facts about influencer marketing:
Building relationships is essential. Monitoring your campaign is crucial. Original, authentic content is essential.
You are on the right page if you want deeper insights than that.
- We will share our hands-on experience in the digital marketing and influencer space.
- You can expect unique takes based on stats and examples, plus practical advice you can implement today.
Keep reading below.
1. Sales Increase Is a Legitimate Campaign Goal
Companies that work with influencers typically build visibility and engagement campaigns. Studies show that 86% of marketers set awareness as the primary goal when using influencers.
Just 46% aim to increase conversions.
Yes, it is true:
Influencers can skyrocket your visibility when your target audience becomes aware of their needs or browses solutions.
Take this example:
Jason and Lauren Pak are fitness trainers who share the same Instagram account. They constantly offer valuable advice to their audience.
And sometimes even mention the outfits they are wearing.
In the post above, the couple gained almost 10,300 likes in less than a day – that is much exposure for Rhone.
But focusing just on visibility makes you miss a slew of opportunities.
Studies show that influencers are persuasive:
- 61% of people trust influencers’ product recommendations, and:
- 58% of Gen Z-ers and 56% of Millennials have bought a product following a creator’s advice.
Here’s how to leverage social media influencers to increase your sales:
- Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and Pinterest all have shopping features: Ask your content creators to use them when they create content.
- You can include affiliate links and discount codes in your influencers’ posts: These codes improve your CTAs, thus increasing conversions. And it is easier to monitor your influencers’ activity, zeroing in on your top performers.
Here is a neat example showcasing that – this time from a TikTok influencer:
Notice how Abbie offers a clear discount code for @DFYNE. And when you check her profile, you see the exact discount code in her bio:
2. Larger Influencers Are Not Always Better
There are different types of influencers* to consider:
- Nano-influencers: 0-10,000 followers
- Micro-influencers: 10,000-100,000 followers
- Mid-tier influencers: 100,000-500,000 followers
- Macro-influencers: 500,000-1,000,000 followers
Obviously, a mega influencer can bring your product/service in front of more people.
But here is the thing:
- Nano-influencers have the highest average engagement rate of 3.69%, whereas mega-influencers’ average engagement rate is 1.06%.
- Your budget may need to be more significant to hire a more prominent influencer. The rule of thumb for influencer rates is $100/100 followers/post.
- Smaller influencers have 22 times more conversations with their followers. That means they can explain your product’s features in more detail and lead your audience to purchase.
- Since they are less busy, nano and micro-influencers may be more open to long-term collaborations.
Let us do some Math based on this example from Magno Scavo:
This influencer’s signature creates “get ready with me” posts on social media. This video has 50,774 likes and 470 comments. Based on an audience of 3 million followers, this post’s engagement is 1.70%.
And if you follow the $100/100 followers rule, this post would cost $30,000.
Here is the thing:
A nano-influencer with a follower size of 10,000 can get 20% engagement (2,000 total likes & comments) with just $100 per post.
With $30,000, you can hire 300 influencers, each reaching 2,000 impressions. That is a whopping 600,000 likes & comments compared to Magno Scavo’s 51.244.
Here is the step-by-step process of choosing relevant influencers:
- Determine the best creative approach for your current marketing goals. More on that in the next section.
- Figure out your budget.
- Do your math, comparing engagement rates, impressions, and deliverables:
- Find your influencer’s engagement rate and usual impressions. There are plenty of free calculators to help you do that.
- Calculate the engagement rate each post will have based on those numbers.
- Determine how many influencers of that size you can include in your campaign.
Pro tip: Vet your creators using a fake follower checker to ensure their audiences are legit.
3. The Creative Brief ALWAYS Comes First
Finally, we have reached the creative strategy part we promised in the section above. Let us dive straight into it.
Pro tip: One of the biggest mistakes you can make in influencer marketing is choosing your content creators first.
Ultimately, you restrict your creative strategy to what these people can deliver.
For example, some influencers can produce high-quality, authentic, and relatable content. But your audience may respond better to polished content.
Note: Most online sources claim that genuine content performs best for influencer marketing campaigns.
While that is generally true, you should not base your creative approach on what works best in most cases.
And what professional marketers generally recommend in their blog posts.
Here are the steps to follow instead (you can try them today):
- Audit your company, looking at past campaigns and objectives to determine your goal. Hopefully, you already did that in section 1.
- Research your competitors. Analyze their strategic approaches to see if you can mimic them or find opportunities they missed.
- Research your audience, focusing on their customer value profile (CVP) – more on this in section six. But the point is you want to find what makes your audience tick.
- Write down where your potential customers are (i.e., their current pain points).
- Jot down where they want to be.
- Express how your product can help them reach their goals – that is the unique value proposition.
- Use this USP to find the best strategies, tactics, and messages for your audience – including the right influencers.
Imagine we are a marketer at Current Body, a brand that retails LED therapy masks. These masks reduce wrinkles, improve skin texture and tone facial skin.
- Our potential customers dislike their current skin texture (where they are).
- They want to firm and improve their facial skin without spending time and money on other procedures.
- Our product helps because it’s easy to use, even for busy people, and saves money in the long run.
Based on these insights, our ideal influencers:
- Are not wealthy.
- Are busy.
- Have skin-related problems.
- Produce authentic content in which they try different solutions for their skin issues.
With 14,500 followers on Instagram and a history of acne and eczema, Nusi is a good choice for “our” brand:
4. Influencer Mapping Skyrockets Campaign Effectiveness
Few marketers discuss the importance and process of influencer mapping.
This tool will help you reach out to the best journalists and creators online to promote your content.
The idea behind influencer mapping is to find persuasive influencers that are highly connected.
Those connections are crucial for getting more mentions and exposure, snowballing your campaign message.
Remember: Influencer proximity is as important as their number of followers, engagement rates, and relevancy.
You can do influencer mapping using an online tool.
Or, you can do it manually. Follow the steps below:
- Set your campaign goals: These can be related to awareness boosts, sales increase, engagement, and more. Draw your objective in the middle of the map.
- Determine the key performance indicators (KPIs) you want to track based on these goals: Variables include the number of sales, impressions, the click-through rate on affiliate links, cost per acquisition (CPA), and more.
- List your influencers: First, list of all potential influencers you would contact. Then, narrow this list based on content relevancy, engagement rate, types of followers, and typical impressions.
- Create your map: Look at these influencers and arrange them on the map. The ones that help you reach your goal faster should be closer to the objective you drew in the center.
- Research connections: See how your influencers relate to each other. Draw lines between creators who follow or cite each other.
- Choose your influencers: Use this map to contact relevant influencers based on their proximity to the goal and their relationships with other creators.
5. Influencer-generated Ads Accelerate Conversions
Influencer marketing does not have to be limited to posts, reels, or stories.
You can scale your influencer marketing campaign by powering your ads with creator content.
This approach has several advantages:
- It is cheaper than creating a branded ad from scratch.
- Authentic influencer-generated content looks more convincing. And that will help you reach your campaign goals easier.
- You can actively beat ad fatigue because influencer-generated content captivates people and keeps them from scrolling.
Photomyne is a successful example.
This brand’s USP is to digitally scan people’s photo albums to make their memories more accessible.
Photomyne has partnered with several TikTok creators to showcase the importance of keeping your memories.
The Spark Ads they created produced the following results:
- Decreased CPAs by 50%
- Increased organic uplift by 37%.
- Increased CVR for app installation by 27.5%
Why did that work?
Because the creators Photomyne partnered with already had amazing content, which was turned into ads. Besides, these influencers know how to tap into their audience’s emotions persuasively:
Here is how you create influencer-generated ads:
- Narrow down your goals and creative strategy based on audience & competitive research.
- Check your previous influencer content library.
- See if you can repurpose some of this content as ads. For example, TikTok allows you to create Spark Ads using existing well-performing content.
- If you cannot repurpose this content, build a creative brief.
- Outline your creative approach, expected deliverables, plus do’s & don’ts.
- Include three content examples.
- Be specific about the CTA you need to be included in the ads.
- Ask your creators to use a hook to keep people interested.
- Split-test your ads to find the best-performing ones. Use these findings to create more effective ads and improve the underperforming ones.
- Monitor your results.
6. Leverage CVP to Find the Best Influencers
The Customer Value Profile (CVP) concept was introduced two decades ago but is rarely used.
Usually, outlining your CVP is more effective than building a buyer persona.
A buyer persona entails finding your ideal customers based on demographic and psychographic factors.
For example, your target audience may be a 36-year-old mother of 2.38 kids who freelances in her spare time, likes ice cream, and works out thrice weekly.
There is a problem: your audience is rarely that narrow.
Enter the customer value profile, which outlines a broader target.
Why? Because it focuses on your customers’ problems, shared values, and solutions.
Scrub Daddy is an excellent example here.
The brand addresses different people, regardless of age, gender, background, studies, number of kids – and other variables you usually think of.
All these people have in common the following things:
- They value cleanliness.
- They are in charge of cleaning their homes.
- They want to finish their chores fast.
- They are ready to spend a bit more on a high-quality cleaning product.
That is why Scrub Daddy partners with a slew of content creators on all social media who have one thing in common:
They can clean efficiently.
Here is how to find relevant influencers based on your CVP:
- Gather data from your sales lists, newsletter subscriptions, call centers, company surveys, and all other interactions with your prospects.
- Based on this research, list 10-20 values or things that are most important to them. Some of these values should be related to your product, but others may not be.
- Analyze this list to see the common themes that pop up. Shortlist a maximum of four most common values.
- Find influencers that relate to and express the same values in their content.
7. You Can Scale Your Influencer Marketing Campaign [without a HUGE Budget]
The last thing on this list is a well-guarded secret in the industry.
You can build and scale your influencer marketing campaign without a huge budget.
Of course, financial resources open up more doors and opportunities.
But there are plenty of small companies that have started with a budget as low as $500 and have gained massive momentum online.
Enchanted Scrunch by Dasha is an inspiring example, especially because Dasha started this business at 14.
Tired of having limited scrunchie options, this teen took matters into her own hands:
Dasha started with a small budget and authentic TikToks, currently reaching 3 million views per video.
Dasha admits that 90% of her sales come from TikTok. Before incorporating this channel in her social media mix, her company had two orders per week.
Today, Enchanted Scrunch is a 6-figure company with over 500 orders per week.
Here are the secret ingredients that you can copy:
- Create authentic content using your employees or CEOs as influencers.
- Build solid strategic plans using a customer-centric approach.
- Leverage all the current trends and pain points in the industry.
- Partnered with nano-influencers who can become your long-term ambassadors, thanks to sharing similar values.
- Rely on product seeding, gifting products to relevant creators instead of paying them per post.
Pro tip: Once your content gets more impressions and engagement, turn your most successful posts into ads.
How to Leverage These Essential Facts on Influencer Marketing
This guide took you through seven valuable insights on influencer marketing. You saw plenty of excellent examples and relevant statistics.
Here’s a quick review of how to implement those insights in your next marketing campaign:
- Always start from your goals and take a granular approach when building your strategy.
- Focus on your potential customers’ values and needs first, then write your proposition to respond to those needs.
- Your influencers should also be able to create relevant content for your audience, relate to their values, and understand their needs intimately.
- Choose creators that are connected with each other and are relevant to your goals.
- Use online tools to find these creators and check their engagement rates, impressions, and followers.
- Remember to monitor and improve your campaign constantly.
- Keep forging ahead even if you reach your goals. Scale your influencer campaign on new social channels and paid ads.
If you take all these steps above, your campaign is bound to be a success. So, put pen to paper today and start building your influencer marketing plan.
David Morneau is the co-founder and CEO of inBeat, a hybrid micro-influencer marketing SAAS/agency that helps brands scale their marketing efforts. He has helped over 200 DTC brands to date.
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