For those of you who still aren’t familiar with the term ‘influencer marketing’, we are here to take you out of that shell you’ve been inhabiting and guide you into the modern, digital era.
Of course knowing the ins and outs of influencer marketing might not be beneficial to everyone on the internet, but if you have willingly opened up this blog, that tells us that you are either an aspiring influencer looking to make money from your social media profile(s) or you are a brand looking to utilise influencer marketing for your next campaign. Whichever category you fall into—or whether you are simply curious about what influencer marketing entails—everything you need to know about understanding influencer marketing is written below.
Understanding influencer marketing: The Basics
What is influencer marketing?
Simply put, it is the relationship between a brand and a social media influencer within which the influencer will promote the brand’s products/services through various social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok and YouTube; oftentimes, in exchange for money.
Not to be confused with celebrity endorsements, influencer marketing goes much deeper than this. Influencers are typically considered experts in their respective fields and obtain their large, loyal followings because of the wealth of knowledge they are able to share with those interested. Because of this, they are headhunted by brands who are looking to reach the influencer’s audience with their product/service. For these brands, it is much more beneficial to reach a smaller, more-engaged audience than utilise influencers with hundreds of thousands of uninterested followers.
Understanding influencer marketing: How does influencer marketing work?
On the surface, influencer marketing appears to look like popular people on the internet posting promotional content for a brand, however there is much more to it than meets the eye.
It is true that, at its core, influencer marketing is essentially the collaboration between a brand and an influencer, but the steps taken to get this collaboration up and running are strategically put in place and require hard work. Knowing these steps is key to understanding influencer marketing.
Collaborations, more commonly known as influencer marketing campaigns, can take on many forms, with the most common being:
- Sponsored posts
- Brand ambassadors
- Product collaborations
- Discount codes and affiliates
- Giveaways and competitions
- Brand events
Each of these campaign types have different processes and reap different benefits, however the initial steps taken to set them up are always the same.
It all begins with choosing the right influencer(s). Brands must choose influencers whose:
- Image and values align with their own
- Audience is their target demographic
- Engagement rate is between 1% – 5% (want to know more about influencer engagement rates? Click here)
A brand’s choice of influencer will determine which campaign type will be run. The size of the desired audience is a key factor in outlining ideal goals and objectives. For example, micro influencers are known to have niche followings of roughly 10k -100k users. This is not as large as some macro influencers with 500,000+ followers and so campaigns that are targeted at driving sales, as opposed to increasing brand awareness, are most likely going to be more successful. And vice versa. If your marketing strategy goals are to increase brand exposure, partnering with macro influencers who have the large followings is going to be your best shot at achieving this.
The rest of the collaboration process will oftentimes look like this:
- Outlining the campaign goals and objectives (personal and numerical)
- Deciding which campaign type to run
- Discussing with the influencer(s) which product/service will be promoted
- What content will be needed from the influencer(s)
- What benefits the influencer will receive from this collaboration
- How the results of the campaign will be tracked and measured
Understanding influencer marketing: Why is it important?
It is no secret that more and more sectors are shifting online; such as banking, health sectors and marketing. As with everything nowadays, it is very easy to get left behind and find yourself out of the loop; creating yourself a long path back to the modern day, should you leave it too long. The same applies to the marketers. Staying in touch with online updates and social media changes is imperative to driving successful campaigns.
With the domination of social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook came the reduced interest in and interactions with traditional marketing methods. Users are now given freedom over how they wish to view content and brands have soon come to view this as a hindrance…until the utilisation of influencer marketing. This modern method allows brands to increase their reach as their audience spreads further out across the internet and the influencers are the key to locating where they are at.
Understanding influencer marketing: What are the benefits?
We understand that there is a possibility that you are still sitting there asking yourself ‘does influencer marketing actually work?’, so, to convince you that there is a purpose to all of this, we have compiled a list of benefits that influencer marketing reaps; should you decide to take the leap of faith.
It quickly builds trust – influencers have spent a long time building credibility, trust and genuine relationships with their followers. This means their followers respect their content and their recommendations. As a brand being recommended by said influencer to their audience, this automatically deems you trustworthy too.
Improves brand awareness – a recommendation or promotional post by an influencer immediately expands your reach and positioning online. They key? Ensure that you are providing valuable content that adds to their social presence too. Remember, this is a partnership.
Enriches your content strategy – sharing influencer content can help fill in the gaps in your own content schedule.
Effectively reaches your target audience – Through relevant influencers, your content is automatically placed in front of users who are already interested in your niche. Rather than conducting the audience-targeting-research yourself, the influencer is your key to already having them in place and ready to receive information from you.
Builds winning partnerships – Building a long-lasting relationship with an influencer could lead to powerful things in the future, such as product collaborations, live events and/or joint ventures.
What is influencer marketing and how does it work?
Influencer marketing is a marketing technique that utilises popular social media accounts to promote a brand’s products or services.
A brand will select an influencer/group of influencers to work with and run what is known as an influencer marketing campaign to achieve certain goals and objectives set out prior to the collaboration.
How do you use influencer marketing effectively?
Understanding influencer marketing is vital in order to do it effectively. We’ve listed our top tips below.
- Document your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Understand the influencer landscape; what types of influencers are out there, how is their engagement rate etc.
- Connect with influencers organically – don’t try and sell a collaboration, let the influencer know what’s in it for them
- Keep measuring and tracking your results throughout the campaign to understand what works well for your brand and what needs improvement.
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