Influencer marketing is a hot — and sometimes controversial — topic. It often gets a bad rap thanks to a number of celebrity influencers and the defective products they tend to promote. However, when done correctly influencer marketing can be an incredibly beneficial marketing tool.
If you have been considering adding influencers to your 2020 marketing strategy, but are unsure of where to start look no further. The Summa Media team is sharing our guide on getting started with influencer marketing with you today.
Keep reading below for everything you need to know about influencer marketing in 2020!
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that involves using an influential person (an influencer) to help promote a brand and their products and services. An influencer is a person with a large following — typically on social media — that values their opinions and is often influenced by their purchasing decisions.
A brand that relies on influencer marketing will partner with an influencer to reach that person’s social media following through advertisements in the form of blog posts, social media Stories, social media posts, and other forms of communication.
How Effective is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a relatively new marketing tactic and many of Summa Media’s clients are skeptical when we first begin discussing it. However, despite influencer marketing still being in its infancy, the benefits are clear.
Studies have shown that target customers who are exposed to influencer marketing tend to purchase 10% more of a brand’s products than those who are not exposed to influencer marketing. Studies have also shown an ROI of up to 6X the original investment on influencer marketing campaigns.
At Summa Media, we have seen businesses that employ influencer marketing enjoy additional benefits such as increased site visits, decreased conversion time, and growth in brand awareness.
Different Tiers of Influencers
There are different tiers of influencers and your brand’s goals and overall marketing strategy will help determine which influencers are the best fit for you. While each influencer tier comes with it’s own set of pros and cons, you will want to look for three key things no matter which tier is best for you:
- Relevance: Is this influencer aligned with your brand’s products, mission, and values?
- Reach: How many followers does the influencer have? Are there followers aligned to your target audience?
- Resonance: Is the influencer’s audience engaged? Does the audience trust the influencer?
Below we break down each of the influencer tiers to help determine which is the right fit for your brand:
- Micro Influencers
As the name suggests, micro influencers are influencers with a small reach — between 500 – 10,000 people — but are very active within that reach. Brands often dismiss micro influencers as being too small to work with, but this school of thought is a mistake. Micro influencers tend to have a very authentic voice and are very connected to their audience. Their audience may be small, but their engagement numbers tend to be high. They have also likely established a trust with their audience that can’t necessarily be replicated in larger audiences.
- Local Influencers
Local influencers are, you guessed it, influencers that have a strong hold over a specific city or regional market. Local influencers are perfect to partner with if you are running a campaign for a specific region or if you are a small, local business.
- Top Influencers
Top influencers are the big influencers in the game. These influencers have huge followings and are often celebrities or industry experts. While these influencers do have a big reach, they often come with a high price tag to match. If you are a small business or just starting out in influencer marketing, we recommend beginning by partnering with micro and local influencers.
What Does An Influencer Do?
Now that you understand who influencers are, it is time to discuss what an influencer does. What exactly an influencer does is going to depend on the specific goals of your brand and the campaigns they are working on for you. However, some common responsibilities of the influencer includes things such as:
- Sharing your product in Stories and posts on their social media pages
- Incorporating mentions of your brand into their blog posts
- Crafting testimonials for you to distribute on your social channels
- Hosting giveaways for their audience to try your products or services
- Reviewing your products or services on their website or YouTube channel
While those are a few examples, the scope of an influencer’s work and responsibilities can vary greatly. It is important to clearly outline their responsibilities and both parties expectations in their influencer contract.
How to Work with Influencers
The biggest obstacle in influencer marketing the Summa Media team hears is that brand’s cannot find influencers they want to work with — or possibly who want to work with them. While this can be difficult, it is not an impossible challenge to overcome.
- Finding Influencers
Finding influencers to work with your brand can seem like an overwhelming task, but there are a myriad of ways to go about doing so. First, is by word-of-mouth. Who have other businesses in your area partnered with before? Do you have friends or family with connections? Don’t be afraid to source referrals from your network.
Second, is by searching for mentions of your brand on social channels. This is a great way to find influencers who are already using your goods and services. Pay attention to your mentions and take a look at the people on the other end of the screen. And last, consider using technology to find influencers. There are hundreds of platforms and apps these days built specifically for connecting influencers with brands. Try searching the apps to find your perfect match.
- Connecting with Influencers
Once you have identified influencers you want to work with it is time for the most challenging part, making the connection. You wouldn’t walk up to a complete stranger on the street and ask them on a date, would you? No, of course not! Just like with dating you need to first focus on establishing a relationship with this influencer. Engage with their content, get to know them, and let them get to know you. Once you have established the relationship, then you can initiate a conversation about a potential business relationship.
- Compensating Influencers
Compensating influencers for their work can be a tricky process and brand’s often get it wrong in the beginning. One mistake the Summa Media team sees brands make early on is trying use free products or services as a form of compensation. Remember that this is a business relationship and it must be treated as such. Your influencers are spending their time and effort creating campaigns for your brand and they must be compensated fairly.
The exact dollar value of a particular campaign will vary based on the influencer’s reach, the length of the campaign, the frequency of posts, and many other factors. Research standard industry rates for each factor in order to ensure fair compensation.
How is Influencer Marketing Measured?
Like any other piece of your marketing strategy, you need to be able to measure the strategy to prove its value. Influencer marketing can sometimes be difficult to track, however there are two key metrics most brands rely on:
- Affiliate Links
By creating a unique affiliate link for each of your influencers, you are able to track how many leads they are actually sending to your site and how many of those leads actually convert to customers.
- Promo Codes
Generating promo codes for your influencers to share with their followers is a great way to both place metrics around influencer marketing and boost sales. Use unique codes for each of your influencer to accurately track their individual ROI.
Influencer marketing seems to be a trend that is here to stay. If you are interested in adding influencer marketing to your 2020 marketing strategy, call the Summa Media team today. Our team of social media experts is here to help you get started on the best path for your brand.
Do you have experience working with influencers or maybe even as an influencer yourself? Share your experience with influencer marketing with the Summa Media team in the comments below.