As we see an increasing number of performance marketers lean into full-funnel, omnichannel approaches, what’s become most clear is the importance of centering strategy around forming strong and authentic relationships with consumers. One effective method of supporting that type of connection is through influencer marketing, working with an established and recognized figure to leverage the reputation and relationships they have already forged with their networks.
We recently asked our organic social department to share some insights about the rapidly growing but still somewhat elusive world of influencer marketing, and they provided some invaluable information about how it can be leveraged most effectively.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing typically consists of a brand collaborating with an influencer to promote their products or services using endorsements and product mentions on their social platforms. The purpose of influencer marketing is to build brand awareness over the long-term and to increase sales overall. It is highly effective as most influencers’ social followers have developed a strong sense of trust in the influencer and the products and services that they recommend. As many influencers also fill a specific niche, this type of marketing can also make it easier to find potential customers who fit specific brand demographics. According to eMarketer, 67.9% of U.S. marketers have used influencer marketing in 2021, and it’s expected to grow to 72.5% in 2022.
Who is an Influencer?
An influencer is an individual or a group who has a dedicated social following and is well-versed in a particular niche. Influencers can be found operating as authorities in virtually any area, including DIY, parenting, beauty, health, gaming, tech, and design. Because they can be found covering such a wide range of specialized interests, their audiences can be an extremely valuable demographic for many verticals. An influencer could have an audience following that varies from a couple of thousand to millions of followers.
What types of marketers can benefit from using influencer marketing?
Many types of marketers can benefit from influencer marketing. Influencer marketing can be advantageous to brand marketers looking to increase awareness and engagement for a brand itself or a specific product or service they are trying to promote. As leaders in a niche with a dedicated group of followers, influencers can help brands by leveraging that engagement and trust.
Ecommerce marketers in particular can find great success with influencer marketing. Especially after COVID-19, as online shopping has skyrocketed and consumers have become increasingly receptive to online retail, ecommerce marketers should consider influencer marketing when looking for an opportunity to increase sales through social media buying.
Marketers in general can also reach an untouched audience on different platforms through influencer marketing. For example, Twitch, a social platform focusing on live streaming, can be used to reach users with varied specific interests like video games or beauty. TikTok is another highly effective platform to showcase a product or service using influencer marketing as its video format makes delivering sponsored messaging personal and engaging. It can also be leveraged beyond a single influencer by using or creating a hashtag challenge to reach potential audiences at a larger scale.
What kind of budget do you need to do influencer marketing effectively?
The budget necessary to be effective with influencer marketing all depends on what you are trying to achieve. It is an extremely flexible area with many options available, so it’s frequently possible to build out a budget that will work with any KPIs or objectives.
For more restrictive budgets, there is also the option of gifting products to influencers, typically with smaller audiences, in exchange for posts and promotion of the product.
How do you choose the right influencer?
Choosing the right influencer is a process that depends on the product, service, or brand that you would like to promote. Initial research and vetting of influencers is the most important step in this process. Consider what platform(s) you want to showcase your product or service on, what formats would be most effective to showcase any features you’d like to highlight, and what audiences you’d like to reach. It is also important to align the influencer choice with your strategy and budget. Clearly, influencers with a larger following tend to require a higher budget than microinfluencers with less than a couple thousand. Be certain that you are clear on what your objective is as well. What is it that you are trying to achieve through this brand partnership? Choose goals and messaging that will reach your specific audience, and be sure that you are working with each influencer to deliver it in a way that will resonate with their specific audience.
If you’d like to learn more about influencer marketing and how our social strategy team can help you identify the correct opportunity and strategy for any campaign, please reach out. Our team can offer assistance with any part of this process from identifying platforms and influencers, formulating messaging, and coordinating collaboration. We’re always available to help clients realize the benefits of this valuable approach and develop authentic, meaningful connections with engaged audiences.