As marketers, we understand the importance of utilising influencers in our campaigns.
Influencer marketing provides access to a specific audience or niche, leading to improved campaign results such as increased brand recognition, lead generation, and sales.
Partnering with an online content creator allows brands to leverage their creativity and authenticity.
Influencers possess a unique talent for creating content that resonates with their audience, making their voices valuable to brands. Furthermore, it can also help to establish a presence on platforms where a brand may still need a foothold; TikTok creators, for example, are skilled at integrating promotional content seamlessly into their organic content, engaging their audience.
However, executing an effective influencer marketing strategy requires more than just identifying someone with a large following; it’s about selecting the right influencer and maximising the collaboration. The key is to be strategic from the start.
Influencer marketing campaigns are not a one-size-fits-all solution.
The campaign’s success depends on factors such as the industry, objectives and the group of influencers followed by the target audience.
However, with proper research and planning, any business can gain an advantage from influencer marketing.
The popularity of influencer marketing is on the rise and is projected to reach a worth of $16.4 billion by 2022. Its high return on investment and various opportunities for marketers and brands make it a valuable strategy.
Marketers can achieve many goals, such as driving awareness and engagement or increasing product sales through influencer marketing. Additionally, the ROI can be calculated by factors such as an influencer’s number of followers and sponsored post fees.
But influencer marketing offers more than just social proof. It also provides a direct connection to target audiences, which may be even more important than traditional advertising.
People tend to trust influencers they follow more than advertisements. Statista says there will be over 4 billion social media users globally by 2025. This presents a significant opportunity for marketers to reach a vast audience across various social networks.
Influencer marketing and content marketing are effective strategies for promoting a brand, but they have different focuses and ways of achieving success.
Content marketing is focused on providing value to readers, while influencer marketing is focused on raising brand awareness and generating social proof. An influencer is more like a marketing channel used to deliver content.
While some brands may use influencer marketing instead of traditional content marketing, they are not mutually exclusive and can be used together in a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC) share similarities in that they both rely on social media and offer more trustworthiness than other forms of advertising.
However, influencer marketing utilises verified individuals with large social followings, while UGC relies on customers to verify authenticity. As a result, influencer marketing can help build trust in a brand more quickly than UGC, but UGC is still influential in generating leads and building brand awareness.
Influencer marketing is a niche of social media marketing, but it utilises the social capital of others to expand brand awareness.
Social media marketing allows businesses to post about their products or services on their accounts, while influencer marketing utilises the reach and credibility of individuals with large social followings.
Influencer marketing is like word-of-mouth marketing; it helps companies grow by creating a personal connection with customers.
Influencer marketing amplifies the principles of word-of-mouth marketing across social media, boosting brand growth.
An influencer is someone who has the ability to influence others more than others, due to factors like how often they communicate, how good they are at persuading people, or how big and important their social circle is.
Influencer marketing is identifying, researching, engaging, supporting, and activating these individuals to promote a brand through authentic recommendations on social media.
The process aligns marketing, PR, sales, and product around a common strategy and helps to build trust in the brand among the target audience.
Influencers promote a brand’s products to their social media followers through authentic content such as product reviews, unboxing videos and sponsored social posts.
They create promotional content in exchange for complimentary products or monetary payment.
Influencer marketing is a valuable marketing strategy that enables brands to leverage influencers’ broad reach, trustworthiness, popularity and credibility to raise brand awareness and drive sales.
It allows businesses to achieve tangible results by utilising the authentic content of influencers to create connections with potential customers.
Influencers have a broad reach and the ability to effectively communicate with their audience, making them valuable partners for brands looking to expand their online presence and reach new audiences.
Influencer marketing is a form of word-of-mouth advertising on a large scale. It is effective because influencers are viewed as credible experts in their industry.
Their followers aspire to emulate their lifestyles. As a result, product recommendations from influencers are highly valued and can lead to increased conversions.
Unlike traditional product endorsements and testimonials, it allows for direct communication with target customers in a subtle, non-intrusive way. In addition, influencers know how to seamlessly incorporate sponsored content into their communication, making it appear less like an advertisement.
Influencer marketing can drive real business growth by increasing sales. With more and more people spending time online, particularly on social media, the entire purchasing process is now happening online. As a result, consumers turn to influencers for entertainment and as trendsetters and taste-makers who have insight into current shopping trends. In addition, they rely on influencer product recommendations, which can lead to product discovery and conversions (A study by Inmar found that 84% of people have purchased due to an influencer’s recommendation).
When you think of an influencer, who comes to mind? Is it a celebrity like the Kardashian-Jenner family or a TikTok creator who makes short dancing and lip-syncing videos? Both individuals can be considered influencers, but not all influencers are celebrities.
Many brands have succeeded in working with influencers with a smaller but more engaged following. For example, influencers with 15,000 followers often have high engagement rates on social media platforms and can be more cost-effective for brands to work with.
Here’s a breakdown of the different types of Instagram influencers based on their number of followers:
10,000 followers or less, such as self-care blogger and YouTuber Jen Lauren (4.3K followers). These influencers are becoming increasingly popular as they offer 2x the engagement of micro-influencers and are 3x cheaper to work with (Nano influencers will do a post for you for some free product or <$100.
Between 10,000 and 100,000 followers, such as fashion blogger Nana Agyeman (48.7K followers). These influencers were popular in 2018-2020 and are still widely used by brands. They have smaller followings than celebrities and offer lower-cost endorsement options for brands. However, they also have high engagement rates and are trusted by their followers for product recommendations. When working with them, it’s important to consider their experience in influencer marketing and ensure they align with your brand’s message.
Between 100,000 and 1 million followers, such as beauty content creator Arnell Armon (722K followers). These influencers have a large following on social media and often command higher fees for brand partnerships. In addition, they are typically celebrities, athletes or thought leaders whose opinions carry weight with consumers. Therefore, their follower-to-engagement ratio is an essential factor to consider when working with them.
Over 1 million followers, such as lifestyle blogger Alexa Collins (2.1M followers). These influencers have an enormous social media presence and can reach millions of potential customers. However, they also command high fees for brand partnerships. The cost can vary depending on factors such as their social media following, number of posts, content quality and the total number of followers.
If you are working with an influencer and trying to figure out their engagement rate, I will use an engagement calculator like this one.
Influencers can bring credibility and excitement to your brand, but ensuring they align with your message and target audience is crucial.
Influencer marketing can be expensive.
While some nano-influencers may be willing to work in exchange for free products, running a large-scale campaign requires a budget.
For example, U.S. brands are projected to spend $4 billion on influencer marketing in 2022.
To determine an influencer campaign’s cost, consider your goals and budget and the influencer’s needs.
One alternative to a flat fee is an affiliate structure, which 9.3% of U.S. influencers reported as their top source of income. A standard pricing formula for Instagram influencer posts is $100 x 10,000 followers + extras.
Note: Nano-influencers and micro-influencers generally accept more flexible payment terms.
There are a variety of social media platforms that influencers use for marketing to their audiences. Therefore, it’s essential to know what’s out there to pick the best social media channel for your brand.
Here’s a list of the different types and their pros and cons.
It is inexpensive compared to Instagram or YouTube
It can be a great source of traffic
Content lives on forever
It is a very powerful search engine
Hard to make pins go viral
Hard to figure out analytics and which influencers to work with
Influencers use group boards, so it’s hard to know why a piece of content was successful
Lots of analytics and tools are available
Most developed influencer platform
Great variety of influencers
Several forms of content – posts, stories, videos, carousel
It can get pretty expensive
Stories disappear after 24 hours
Some industries are more competitive than others
Hard to filter out fake followers and find influencers with high engagement
A better platform for video content
Great for unboxing and physical products
Hard to find good-quality influencers
Influencers are less established on the platform
The best ROI for video content
Videos live forever and continue to generate sales
The most expensive platform by far
It’s hard to analyse and track results
A serious QA + review process is required for every video
Influencer Marketing Campaigns
There are several types of influencer marketing campaigns that businesses can use, including:
Remember, any influencer campaign needs to fit within your broader marketing strategy for your entire business.
Here are the steps to setting up a successful influencer program for your brand.
The first step in creating a successful influencer marketing strategy is establishing clear and measurable goals.
These goals will guide the selection of influencers and content and should align with your overall marketing objectives.
Some standard plans for influencer marketing include
However, it’s important to note that while driving sales is often a goal, it is only sometimes the primary objective of an influencer campaign. Instead, the primary goal is often to reach new potential customers through the influencer’s existing audience.
To set practical goals, consider how influencer marketing can contribute to your overall social media strategy.
Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, accepted, realistic, and time-bound (SMART).
Having a clear plan will also allow you to set relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your campaign. For example, you may track KPIs such as new followers, web traffic, or brand mentions for an awareness campaign. Likewise, you may track conversions such as promo code use, subscriptions, downloads, or traffic from affiliate links for a sales campaign.
It’s important to remember that different content formats and campaign types will have different KPIs. For example, if you’re working with an influencer on Twitch, you may track average concurrent views or unique viewer peaks. By looking at multiple KPIs together, you’ll be able to build a comprehensive picture of your campaign’s performance.
You increase the likelihood of achieving your goals if they are verifiable:
S = Specific (specific, that is, your goal should not be “more success,” but for example, “more revenue”)
M = Measurable (measurable: Choose clear and quantifiable key performance indicators)
A = Accepted (objectives must have a recognisable meaning to be accepted by all parties)
R = Realistic (realistic, workable; the goal must be achievable)
T = Timebound; ( Specify a time when you reach the goal)
To run a successful influencer marketing campaign, you must reach the right people using the right tools and influencers at the right time.
To do this, you need to develop buyer personas. First, outline specific details about your ideal audience, including:
Knowing your target audience will make it easier to identify the right influencers to reach them.
Before executing an influencer marketing strategy, it’s important to understand the rules.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) makes those rules in the United States.
Disclosure is crucial to the FTC. As you make agreements with influencers, have guidelines in place for disclosure.
Influencers must also identify sponsored posts. Many times, they don’t do that, or when they do, they make the disclosure subtle and somewhat hidden.
The specific advertising rules vary slightly by country, so check the current requirements where you’re based. But mostly, you need to be transparent and upfront so that viewers can understand when an influencer is paid to make a post.
Below are some essential points from the FTC:
These three elements measure influence:
Relevance: The right influencer for your campaign posts content relevant to your industry and brand. Their audience needs to match your target audience.
Reach: Reach is the number of people who could see your content through the influencer’s audience base. Note: A large follower base doesn’t necessarily mean you’d have more reach. A small audience could even prove more effective for your goals, but you must ensure the influencer has enough followers to match your goals.
Resonance: Resonance refers to the potential level of engagement the influencer can get with an audience that aligns with your brand. As mentioned earlier, bigger ≠ better (not always, at least). A huge follower base means nothing if those followers don’t care about your offer. Niche influencers, on the other hand, have smaller follower counts but those followers are usually engaged and dedicated.
You can use various platforms to skim through the list of figures or visit popular social media platforms.
To identify the right partners, brands need to research the available platforms. Each forum has its strengths and weaknesses, which marketers need to understand before they can begin outreach.
Instagram is typically the first platform that comes to mind when people think about finding top-notch influencers. But other platforms are becoming more popular due to rapid changes in the social media landscape.
Consider the percentage of an influencer’s audience on each platform before deciding which makes the most sense for your brand. Use influencers on a variety of platforms/tools outside of Instagram.
Go where your target audience is active, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. These platforms are likely less expensive than Instagram for the time being.
Brands need to find effective and efficient ways to target different figures. For example, Twitter is a platform for those interested in real-time conversations, while Instagram is a popular option for brands that want to show off their lifestyle.
Once a brand understands which platforms work best for them, it can begin identifying potential partners.
Partnering with influencers can be a great way to reach a wider audience but choosing the right influencer for your business is essential.
Trust and authenticity are critical factors in determining if an influencer will be effective for your brand.
One way to gauge an influencer’s trustworthiness is by looking at their engagement rate. If their followers actively engage with their content, it’s a good sign that they have a loyal following rather than a large one artificially inflated by bots.
You can take a few different approaches when searching for the right influencer.
Use these tools to do the following:
Here’s a list of influencer tools you should check out:
As mentioned, working with the right partner is crucial when it comes to successful campaigns.
An influencer who is relevant, authentic, and aligns with your brand values and image can significantly contribute to your campaign’s success. When choosing an influencer, it is essential to consider several factors, including relevance, authenticity, engagement rate, and values/image alignment.
Here are eight criteria to help make your decision:
AUDIENCE: Take a closer look at the influencer’s audience and ensure they will connect you with a relevant follower base. Consider their location, age, gender, and other demographic features.
NICHE: Authority is more important than reach. Look for influencers who are considered experts in the subject matter. For example, wine bloggers may have smaller audiences but are considered wine experts.
ENGAGEMENT RATE: Look at the engagement rate, which shows how well an audience interacts and responds to the content. Calculate the engagement rate by dividing the total number of likes and comments by followers and multiplying by 100. Also, check if they respond to their followers quickly.
RELEVANCE: Consider how your product or service will fit with the influencer’s social media channels. It could be a better match if the integration seems out of context.
AUTHENTICITY: Authenticity is crucial when it comes to social media. Authentic influencers have a dedicated following because they share honest thoughts and experiences with their followers.
QUALITY OF CONTENT: Check if the influencer’s content is explicit, well-composed, and creative. Everyone wants to appear in a channel that showcases poor quality, as your brand may automatically get a good reputation.
PUBLISHING FREQUENCY: Consider how often they post content on their account. Remember that if a person promotes fewer brands, they may lose credibility with their followers. Also, check how often they publish sponsored content.
PERSONALITY + RESPONSE SPEED: The influencer should have a great personality and respond quickly to your messages and collaboration requests. This will accelerate content production and lay the foundation for long-term customer relationships.
Considering these eight criteria, you can make an informed decision when choosing an influencer to partner with for your campaign.
It’s important to remember that a successful partnership with a social media influencer relies on their authenticity and trust of their audience.
To maintain this, it is crucial to give them creative freedom in their content creation process.
Instead of trying to control every aspect of the campaign, provide clear guidelines for what you need and let the influencer add their unique touch.
Trusting their expertise and allowing them to maintain their authenticity will ultimately lead to a more successful partnership.
What is an influencer brief?
An influencer brief is a document that outlines specific details, goals, and instructions for a campaign.
It guarantees that the influencer has all the necessary information to execute the campaign to the desired level effectively and ensures that both parties are aligned.
Additionally, it should generate enthusiasm for the influencer about the brand, campaign, and role.
What to include in an influencer brief?
An effective campaign brief should provide guidelines while allowing for the influencer’s creative freedom.
Influencers deeply understand their audience and know what content resonates with them. Trust that their expertise will enable them to communicate authentically with their followers.
To create a successful influencer marketing strategy, it is essential to have a well-planned budget that allows for investment in the right influencers, processes, and tools that will generate results and provide a high return on investment.
Factors to consider when budgeting for an influencer marketing campaign include influencer compensation, costs for software and tools, and paid amplification.
The budget may vary based on the number of influencers involved, the category of influencers, and the type of campaign being run. Many marketers spend less than $50,000 on influencer marketing, with the most common annual budget falling between $1,000 and $10,000.
When budgeting, consider the length of the campaign, the number of creators needed, the type of content being produced, production and distribution costs, and any additional associated costs such as PR or advertising fees.
Key factors affecting your influencer marketing budget
When planning an influencer marketing campaign, it is essential to consider various costs, such as
Free products, where influencers receive product samples in exchange for creating content. This is suitable for brand awareness campaigns and is best for nano, micro, or organic influencers who align with your brand values.
Flat fee, where you offer a set monetary amount based on the content and effort required for production. This is useful as you know exactly how much you need to spend, but it can be challenging to predict the performance of an influencer’s content and its impact on ROI.
Performance-based fee, where you pay influencers based on their performance, using cost-per-click, cost-per-acquisition, or cost-per-engagement to determine the amount. This is becoming more common and minimises risks for brands.
Revenue-sharing, where influencers receive a percentage of the profits from sales they generate for your brand. This is appealing for influencers and bright for brands, as compensation depends on results.
When planning your campaign, consider that there may be additional costs for drafting agreements such as contracts, non-disclosure agreements, or exclusivity agreements.
Additionally, if you require an influencer to work exclusively with your brand, expect to pay extra fees as they will need to compensate for lost income from declining other opportunities.
Investing in influencer marketing software like Upfluence can be cost-effective in the long run by saving time and resources during campaign execution.
Though it may require an initial or recurring investment, the benefits of having a comprehensive tool that allows you to handle influencer recruitment and campaign management in-house can help you scale your efforts without expanding your team.
To boost the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign, consider incorporating paid media strategies such as social media ads, retargeting ads, and press releases.
Using a combination of influencer marketing and paid media, you can maximise the reach and impact of influencer-generated content, ultimately driving better results for your brand.
Therefore, it’s crucial to evaluate whether allocating a portion of your marketing budget towards amplifying your influencer marketing through paid channels is worthwhile.
Four metrics that can affect influencer pay
Several key metrics must be considered when evaluating an influencer for a potential partnership to determine their value to your brand. These include:
Here are some critical aspects of a solid influencer contract:
To ensure a successful influencer marketing campaign, consider the following points:
Ensure that the contract is clearly written and understood by all parties involved.
Once the details are settled, schedule the influencer to post the content at an appropriate time and in a suitable format.
Before the content is made public, review and approve it.
Measuring the results of your influencer marketing campaigns is crucial for improving your strategy and achieving your desired ROI. To effectively measure your campaigns, consider implementing the following best practices:
It is crucial to monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) when executing a campaign for influencer marketing to assess its success.
Some popular KPIs include:
Measure the impact of influencer marketing.
As many metrics comprise Performance Metrics, you must define your objectives in terms of which stages of the customer journey you want to impact. This will help you determine which Performance Metrics to prioritise.
Spend Efficiency Metrics
Measure the efficiency of influencer marketing investments.
These metrics enable you to understand which influencers and strategies are delivering the most bang for your buck and, in turn, can act as levers for improving your return on investment (ROI) in the future.
Here is a resource describing how to optimise your influencer marketing investments.
Cost Equivalency Metrics
Measure the efficacy of influencer marketing investments as compared to other marketing disciplines.
For several reasons, earned Media Value (EMV) is a notorious metric in influencer marketing. Chief among them, it has been misused as a Performance Metric.
Earned media value (EMV) is a metric that aims to assign a monetary value to the exposure gained from marketing and PR efforts on third-party sites or social media. However, it can be misleading and provide a false sense of engagement for a company. To learn more about the limitations of EMV and alternative metrics to use, we recommend reading this article.
Additionally, we have created a benchmark analysis as a starting point for setting campaign goals and experimenting with new platforms.
Repurpose influencers content
Here are a few ways to repurpose content from influencers:
Manage the entire process within one influencer tool
Now that you’re ready to get started with influencer marketing, here are some tools to make it easier.
Common influencer mistakes to avoid
Here are some of the most common things you must avoid when choosing an influencer for your campaign.
Three ways in which Influencer Marketing will change in the future.
Another possible future change is the rise of Inverted Marketing. Brands will recognise the power of everyday people who share their daily life with the brand, regardless of their audience size, and will reward them for their natural interactions. This will turn influencer marketing into an automatic system.
As we enter 2023, brands must stay informed about the evolving landscape of influencer marketing and its impact on their strategies. By gaining insight into the current consumer, conducting thorough research, and selecting the appropriate influencers to partner with, brands can position themselves for success in the upcoming year. Great content is here to assist you if you need assistance creating effective and trustworthy branded content that aligns with your goals. Contact our team, and we will work together to elevate your brand’s influence to new heights.