We currently associate influencer marketing with new technologies and popular influencers from YouTube, Instagram, and other social media sites. But, this marketing technique was already being utilized years ago to create brand awareness and influence consumers through the use of famous people. Here is the complete guide to influencer marketing in 2020.
What Exactly is Influencer Marketing in 2020?
There are many companies that we continue to recognize today with a history of influencer marketing. One such company that is a pioneer in using the influencer marketing technique is the well-known Coca-Cola brand.
Coca Cola was a new brand in the 1920s and developed what can be considered one of the first influencer marketing campaigns. And what a success! Coke used a creative marketing campaign using one of the most trusted and loved people in the world — Santa Claus.
Santa, an endearing bearded man dressed in red and white, who sneaks through the chimneys of houses to leave gifts for children — taught us to remember the values and qualities of a brand. Brilliant.
Influencer Marketing in social networks.
Its emergence in social networks could be determined as the start of influencer marketing in the digital environment between 2009–2010. Since 2005, the blog format has boomed, although it did not experience its strongest growth until five years later.
With the creation of online profiles for influential people in the digital environment, influencer marketing then grew within social networks. Today, it is the social networks that are boosting the earnings of businesses by increasing the visibility of brands and products.
Influencer marketing is based on the hiring, by a brand, of a person with the power of persuasion over a specific community. As such, the influencer is able to influence a group of people in their decision-making.
Do users really trust these profiles? Do they believe in their opinions? Are they able to advise? More than 70% of internet users consult third-party opinions on the internet before embarking on the purchase of a product or service.
Therefore, influencer marketing is not purchasing advertising space or launching an advertising campaign. It is a non-intrusive type of marketing that claims not to encroach on the user.
It is about individuals with the power, knowledge, and influence in a particular sector, to position a product in the mind of target customers. Not only in order to generate brand awareness but also to make it more visible and bring more potential customers to the business.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing.
Influencer marketing can provide you several benefits.
- Improve your SEO positioning. The more content generated about the brand, product, or service, the greater the recognition of it. Therefore, the relevance in the search pages will be greater.
- Increase credibility about your brand, product, or service. Keep in mind that consumers trust the testimonies and opinions of third parties when choosing a product. And if someone professional in the field recommends a brand, your word has twice the weight.
- Help gain a bigger impact. It is more effective than other strategies. Additionally, one of the advantages of influencer marketing is that you can measure the impact that is achieved.
- Engage third parties to generate their own content about the brand. It is ideal for any business where customers can create content related to their business or product.
- Improve brand image with greater visibility, and promote your brand without advertising. Conducting a campaign with an influencer will make you visible to a potential new audience. And this will generate new business opportunities.
Understanding the Potential of Influencer Marketing.
Creating an influencer marketing strategy is an essential action nowadays for any brand with a digital strategy. Influencer marketing data highlights the brands that are increasingly relying on these strategies.
According to a Who-Say study, more and more marketing specialists are recognizing the value of creating such campaigns. So much so that around 70% of U.S. marketing specialists have said that they “agree” or “strongly agree” that their budgets for investing in these types of campaigns have increased.
Moreover, 89% recognize that through this type of marketing, a positive impact is achieved in the way in which people perceive a brand.
The story does not end there. According to Think-With-Google (a marketing and digital research/trends platform), 70% of YouTube teen subscribers rely on the opinions of influencers.
A sizeable 60% of consumers who buy in physical stores claim to be influenced by content on social networks regarding the product. The same goes for a review or a blog article.
As AListDaily (the leading source for news related to marketing innovation) points out, about 71% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase based on published content seen on networks. Around 86% of the most-watched beauty videos on YouTube were created by influencers, while in contrast, those created by brands make up the other 14%, according to statistics.
Instagram is the No. 1 channel for influencer marketing. Recent figures show 1.5 million posts with the hashtag #ad.
Types of Influencers
It is difficult to define this sector since it is not a standardized measure. Each one has its own unique parameters, depending on where it is. An influencer with 10,000 followers in a city of 50,000 inhabitants is not the same as in a city of 20 million. But in general, influencers can be classified like:
- Influencers with nano impact have 0–2.5k followers
- Influencers with micro impact have 2.5k–25k followers
- Influencers with macro impact have 25k–250k followers
- Influencers with mega impact have 250k–2.5m followers
- Celebrities have more than 2.5m followers
How Influencers Can Provide Synergy?
- They create trends and encourage social debate.
- Influential people can create themes that speak to the whole of society since their words are commented on by their many fans.
- They create more valued intrinsic advertising. Their ads seem less invasive and transparent – they also have a credible opinion since they are consumers in much the same way that their own fans are.
- They have their own specific audience. This makes them ideal for niche campaigns since their audience tends to be highly targeted.
- The reputation of these people tends to expand to the brands they mention or associate with.
- They are effective and persuasive campaigners.
- Many people think that influencers are only for branding. This is a big mistake! Buying behavior and conversion are also affected by the opinion of influencers.
How to Perform Influencer Marketing
To launch an influencer marketing strategy, you must perform the following process:
- Search for influencers
- Negotiate with the right influencers
- Establish collaboration guidelines
How to Search for Influencers
After learning about several of the important features of influencer marketing, it is time to talk about how to choose influencers for the distribution of content. This is not difficult, and on the contrary, when you have the necessary information, the task is much easier.
Not all influencers are created equal because people are different. And this means that the profiles of the influential persons in the sector that you want to reach must have, at least, a profile analogous to yours in terms of the products or services you provide.
You should realize that in all sectors, there are always subsectors. And within these subsectors, this is where you can find the ideal influencers for you. A true influencer is truly passionate and a lover of their life, hobbies, work, or tastes and expresses this to others with their own, personal and special style, thus reaching their community and gathering a multitude of followers.
Therefore, beware of fake influencers! Similarly, the number of followers on social networks does not indicate being an influencer or not. This is usually a very misleading indicator, especially since there are ways to quickly build thousands of followers.
The most important parameter to identify the true influencer is their engagement; the number of likes, comments, and shares that are generated by each of their posts. However, this is also relatively all falsifiable on social networks, so it is advised that you research and follow the actions of an account for a while before launching a campaign with them and thus assess their true influence.
The ideal thing for a successful influencer marketing strategy would be to look for your own influencer – a person who likes your products or that whose content theme is similar to that of your product.
To identify a good influencer, you should look at them having integrity and being true to their ideals, as well as being consistent with certain themes. That is, they will not have lost their unique style by advertising brands or that their only goal is not to earn money through them.
The problem with influencers is the massive demand for offers they receive to promote brands. This can make them susceptible to losing credibility with their followers by posting about brands not aligning with their own identity.
Tools to Locate Influencers
Although there are many tools to locate influencers, some that businesses or entrepreneurs can consider are:
- Social Crawlytics
Little by little, an attempt is being made to end the YouTube monopoly, and new streaming platforms such as Twitch are emerging, in which great influencers have already joined and started uploading audio-visual content.
Meanwhile, we will have to be very alert to changing trends and the inclusion of new patterns to not miss a single drift of our audience. It should be noted that network consumption also varies with the age and preferences of certain demographics.
If two years ago, teenagers flocked from Facebook to Instagram, they now opt for new networks such as TikTok, which breaks into the teenager and preteens market with a theme of music, dance, and trends through a mainstream channel.
Negotiation with an Influencer
The hardest part, even if it sounds contradictory, is to contact and negotiate with the influencers. As well as writing an email, leaving a tweet, or talking to them from some other social network, you also need to convince them to collaborate with you.
Many will not answer, others will, but then they will forget your messages. And then, there will be those who would love to help you. Here the goal is to obtain the best possible result. Sometimes by being very original, you can achieve great things. Influencers are people just like you and me.
People who created a profile on a social network and began to create their own digital brand. As with any personal brand, the person’s online reputation and integrity are always at stake, so what almost all influencers value most is having constancy in their reputation.
This being the case, the influencer not only seeks a quality product with which to earn money by endorsing it (69.7% of influencers prefer monetary compensation for their work) but that this advertising brand improves or aligns with their brand image.
That is why we must prior study the influencer’s profile: what characteristics they have, what followers they have, what message and public content, which of our products would be best associated with all this information, etc.
With all such prior information at hand, a negotiation strategy with the most appropriate influencer can be considered. Coobis (a content marketing platform that connects publishers with advertisers), for example, stands out for their ongoing purchase of articles and links on webs and blogs.
They also conduct social campaigns, especially on Twitter. Once selected for a campaign, they don’t abandon you. They pay in € and quickly.
How to Set Collaboration Guidelines
Once we have negotiated with the influencer, what must be done in an influencer marketing campaign is to structure a series of obligations on both sides. We must take into account the following things:
Work to be done
When conducting influencer marketing, a series of actions must be established, such as the number of posts to publish. The most common approach is to produce one and then if this collaboration works well, expand and think about other more complex campaigns. Content to include in each post includes:
- A hashtag, which should always be generated to identify and measure the impact of the campaign.
- Images and/or videos. Although many times you want to impose your own image, videos, or images produced by the influencer usually work best. Of course, they may require additional payment and commitment by the business (guidelines, content review, etc.).
- A defined message and text. It is worthwhile creating some guidelines and conditions regarding the text and distribution ideas. Always provide an example and insist on original content.
- Labeling and mentions. Always specify that the brand is mentioned. In the case of Instagram, it is essential to highlight the brand tag.
- Links that are appropriate to create a personalized campaign for each influencer and thus measure reach, impact, and conversions.
- Date of publication. Establish the timeline and calendar of the campaign. Some agencies prefer to publish the content themselves and thus avoid communication problems and mishaps. If this isn’t possible, try to set up an online meeting with the participating influencers, so the campaign can be launched without problems.
- Payment conditions.
If they ask for money to help you, don’t be surprised. Welcome to the virtual world. These are businesses; it is not a playground. If they are very influential people, they have the power to do so, although accepting it or not is your business.
The agreed form of payment should be made after the service is performed, and if possible, after a certain time in case the influencer’s obligations are not fulfilled (beware of post deletion after publication).
In the case of high-level influencers who require payment in advance, try not to make it for 100% of the amount and thus ensure both parties have are committed and strive to fulfill the campaign in the best possible way.
Bartering is a great option, although it can be more time consuming than expected.
What Will Be the Outcome of an Influencer Marketing Strategy?
You already have agreements in place and are about to materialize your strategy, but have you made it clear how the promotion will unfold? This concept is really important because this is where the results of the strategy will really be seen. Normally, this type of collaboration is usually done in this way:
Mention in social networks.
An influencer who has a lot of social interaction on Facebook or Twitter, to give you an example, can help you get your name to start reverberating throughout the web simply through a mention. Although, with the advancement in technology and social networking, there are some other mediums (i.e. Instagram) that are used to increase conversions.
Mention in the influencer’s email.
It is increasingly common for entrepreneurs to help each other through an email marketing strategy. If, for example, you are going to promote a course, I would recommend that the influencers who have accepted your proposal be your affiliates. In this way, you will benefit, and they will also because their subscribers, in all probability, will purchase the course in question.
Advertising campaigns protected by an influencer.
If you allow an influencer to carry out an advertising campaign, the payoff can be high as well. First because of their influence, and second, because you probably have knowledge about these types of campaigns. Therefore, this will help you generate conversions as well.
Write a guest post on an influencer’s blog.
If you have the ability to write a guest post on an influencer’s blog, conversions can increase even more, as you will expose yourself directly to your audience. What benefit does this have?
Well, basically it builds trust because if the influencer agrees that you write on their blog, their users will think that it is because you are at least someone of importance. This can make a difference in practical terms.
Broadcast a YouTube video on an influencer’s channel.
This strategy is often referred to as “express results.” Your message can be disseminated to millions of people in seconds because of the nature of a YouTube video. In this case, you must be prepared for the flood of requests, as long as everything has been done well and follows a methodology. It is time for you to get down to work and feel the power of marketing’s ability to influence at its best.
Evaluating the Success of Influencer Marketing Campaign.
After recognizing which people can offer the best results, it is important to consider their ability to interact with their audience. For that, it is worth checking their social network profiles and verifying their degree of communication with their audience.
It is also essential to analyze the response of the followers and their participation in the posts of the influential person. In this way, it is possible to verify the credibility of the influencer.
The number of followers on social networks is an important indication of the way in which the influencer in question is seen by users. Having many followers, it is easy to understand that people with certain preferences and tastes are attracted to their personality and what it represents.
Where did the influencer marketing system began to take force on your social networks?
This influencer marketing system began to take force with social networks such as YouTube (currently occupies 12% of influencer marketing strategies) and Instagram (which leads the entire influencer market at 82% according to a 2018 statistical report), however, the success or ROI of the campaign is how your brand is affected by the:
- Increase in traffic of the online campaign
- Following the count on social media platforms
- Reach in the form of comments, mentions, sharing, and likes, etc.
- Direct conversion
Want a more significant reach for your social media campaigns.
If you are looking for a massive reach of your campaign, then investigate those widely recognized characters who can identify with your brand in a natural way and invite them to have a unique brand experience, so they genuinely want to recommend it.
If you need a balance between credibility and scope, then search the internet for those “experts” who are an authority on issues related to your brand and also invite them to live it. Create a positive experience, as the best opinion leaders only recommend brands that they really identify with and that enhance their reputation.
If you are looking for conversion, let’s say your goal, in this case, is to increase your number of customers. Take advantage of your current clients, identify the most loyal, and give them VIP privileges (points for referrals, free benefits, invitations to events).
These experiences will make your customers not only influencers but also advocates for your brand’s campaign success.
Whatever your choice, remember that it is important to establish a relationship of collaboration and trust with your influencers. Constantly monitor the contents distributed by your influencers, their impact, and ROI, and analyze the results to evaluate the fulfillment of the objectives.
Researchers in this domain suggests three attitudes in influencer marketing that perpetuate success. They are primarily how to define objectives and goals, motivate influencers during the teamwork, and meet the consumer.
- As in any marketing strategy, it is important to establish what are the inherent objectives of hiring influencers. This helps to have better control of the results obtained with the campaign.
- Some methods that increase the reach of influencers are to offer them products for evaluation, provide them with benefits for their followers such as prizes and souvenirs, allow them to participate in strategy development, and give their opinions on activities.
- The customer will always be your starting point, it is with them you want to succeed and improve the relationship. It is relevant to consider that influencers are only a means to achieve the fulfillment of that communication. With this in mind, it helps to know what the most viewed content by the public is, which are the most used social networks, and to understand who the web personalities are that are most admired by your consumers.
Influencer marketing is nothing other than the collaboration of a company or entrepreneur with an influential person in a sector or industry so as to benefit both parties.
You should consider the way in which you sell a product, your services, or how you want to create a personal brand if that is what you want to do. Given this, you may be the best person to formulate your strategy because it must be based on your idea and the conditions that influencers can propose to collaborate with you.
Influencer marketing allows the possibility that the reach of your business towards its audience will rise exponentially.
However, in the case that you fail to plan, with influencer marketing you can achieve the opposite effect, that is, be worse off than you were without a well-ordered strategy.
Image Credit: Chermiti Mohamed; Pexels