Are you utilizing the power and potential of influencer marketing for your business?
Influencers and influencer marketing have gained prevalence over the past few years. They have gained so much popularity that they have created an impact in the consumer industry, social media, and digital marketing.
For example, according to Matter‘s findings, 69% of consumers trust influencers, along with their friends and families, over information or advertisements that directly came from the brand. Trusting influencers over celebrities is also now one of the known Gen Z habits and trends. As a business owner or marketer, you need to adapt to these new changes and see if you can incorporate influencer marketing into your overall digital marketing strategy.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing, simply put, is a form of social media or digital marketing where businesses work with influencers to promote their products or services to their sizable followers. Businesses can capitalize on these endorsements and brand mentions to grow.
Influencers have the ability to sway the opinions, behaviors, and purchasing decisions of their followers because of their perceived expertise, authenticity, and trustworthiness within a particular niche or industry. Influencer marketing typically involves influencers creating content that features or discusses the brand’s offerings and sharing it with their audience.
What are the types of influencers?
Influencers are individuals or social media personalities who have a significant and engaged online following. They have created their own personal brand, and have curated their social media feeds and content for their audience or community.
Still, you have to be careful when working with influencers. More often than not, picking the influencer with the most followers might not be right for your business. You need to be wise with your decision.
Here are the types of influencers businesses work with:
- Nano-influencers – They are known to have 10,000 followers or less. While they have the smallest reach, nano-influencers usually have a strong connection with their audience. They also usually get to engage with their audience more regularly than other influencers. They can be a good choice for businesses that are not trying to break the bank.
- Micro-influencers – Micro-influencers, on the other hand, have 10,000 to 100,000 followers in various niches and specific platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube. They have higher engagement rates and usually offer better ROI (return on investment) for businesses.
- Macro-influencers – Macro-influencers are known to have more than 100,000 to 1 million followers. Macro-influencers are usually thought leaders, professionals, and social media personalities who have garnered a steady following and support. Their audiences trust them, especially when it comes to their respective fields.
- Mega influencers – Mega influencers are those who have more than a million followers. They are usually celebrities, public figures, and social media personalities. Mega influencers capture a diverse and large audience, which makes them a favorable choice for big and well-known brands around the world.
These are only the most common types of influencers out there. Of course, there will be various kinds of influencers in different fields, all catering to different audiences and creating their own content. You need to pick the right influencers if you ever want to dive into influencer marketing.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
Did you know that 56% of young Americans have purchased a product after seeing a post from someone they follow? Did you know that Gen Z and Millennials are two times more likely to trust influencers than Boomers? Did you know that only 13% discover new products or brands via traditional TV advertising? All of these mean that influencer marketing can be an effective way to reach new people, get new customers, and more.
Here are some of the benefits businesses can reap from influencer marketing:
Authenticity and Trust
Influencers are often seen as credible sources of information by their followers. This can lead to a sense of authenticity and trust in the products or services they endorse. It’s even more effective when influencers are actual professionals and thought leaders who always share their honest thoughts and professional opinions.
Influencers often have a well-defined and niche-specific audience. This makes it easier for brands to reach their target demographic. For example, food bloggers and influencers will be able to reach foodies, travelers, and regular consumers. Meanwhile, lifestyle or sports influencers will be able to reach active and sporty consumers, athletes, and more.
Influencer-generated content tends to generate higher levels of engagement (likes, comments, and shares) than traditional advertising. This is because it feels more personal and relatable. Nano- and micro-influencers engage and interact a lot with their audiences as well. This ensures that endorsements and sponsored content are garnering engagement, boosting the influencer’s content even further on the social media platform.
Improved SEO and Website Traffic
Collaborating with influencers can lead to increased brand mentions and backlinks. This, of course, can positively impact a brand’s digital marketing, such as search engine rankings and website traffic.
Influencer marketing can be more cost-effective than traditional advertising methods, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. It often provides a higher return on investment, helping businesses grow and get the results they need.
When consumers see an influencer using or endorsing a product, it serves as social proof and can influence their own purchasing decisions. Social proof is both a psychological and social phenomenon where people copy the actions of others or are influenced by other people’s actions. This can be seen when people look for recommendations, reviews, and more.
Influencers, more often than not, are skilled content creators. This means that their collaborations can provide brands with high-quality content for their own digital marketing efforts. Businesses can use this content on their emails, websites, and, of course, on social media.
Influencer marketing is also scalable. This is because brands can work with a variety of influencers with different audience sizes to scale their marketing efforts up or down based on their goals and budget. This can help brands maximize their digital marketing efforts and be more effective with their approaches.
Many influencer marketing campaigns can be tracked and measured for their impact. This allows brands to evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts. They’ll be able to determine what kinds of content work best for their audience, which influencer resonates more with the brand, and which approach is giving the business its desired results.
Influencers, especially macro or mega influences, can have a global following. This can help brands expand their reach beyond their local or regional market, and be introduced to international audiences and prospects.
It’s important to note that the effectiveness of influencer marketing can vary depending on several factors. This includes the influencer’s credibility, the authenticity of the partnership, the alignment of the influencer’s values with the brand’s, and the relevance of the influencer’s content to the brand’s products or services. Careful selection and a well-thought-out strategy are key to a successful influencer marketing campaign.
What mistakes should you avoid in influencer marketing?
Though influencer marketing is enticing, it’s also a serious investment that can easily go wrong. To ensure the success of your campaigns, there are several common mistakes that brands should avoid.
Here are some key mistakes to be aware of:
- Choosing the Wrong Influencers: Selecting influencers solely based on their follower count can be a mistake. It’s essential to consider whether an influencer’s values, niche, and audience align with your brand. The wrong choices can lead to inauthentic promotions and poor results.
- Ignoring Authenticity: Influencer marketing is most effective when it feels authentic and genuine. Gen Z on social media, for example, is more aware of what authenticity looks like and values it over traditional rules of advertising. Encourage influencers to create content that reflects their own style and voice rather than scripting everything. Overly polished or sales content will come across as inauthentic.
- Lack of Disclosure: Failing to ensure that influencers clearly disclose their paid partnerships can lead to legal issues and damage to a brand’s reputation. Remind influencers to use proper disclosure language (e.g., #ad, #sponsored) as required by relevant regulations.
- Inadequate Research: Brands should thoroughly research influencers before partnering with them. Look at their past content, engagement rates, audience demographics, and even their authenticity and voice. Failure to do so can result in a mismatch between the influencer and your target audience.
- Not Defining Clear Objectives or Measuring Success: Without clear campaign objectives and KPIs (key performance indicators), it will be challenging to measure success. Define what you want to achieve with the campaign, whether it’s brand awareness, increased sales, or another goal. Use the KPIs to evaluate the campaign’s success and make data-driven decisions.
- Ignoring Micro-Influencers: Micro-influencers, who have smaller but highly engaged followings, can be very effective. Don’t focus exclusively on mega-influencers, as they may not offer the same level of authenticity or engagement. They may also have a far too generic audience, which will be a disadvantage if you want to target a specific kind of audience.
- Relying on One Influencer: Depending on a single influencer for your entire campaign can be risky. You can diversify your efforts by collaborating with multiple influencers to reach a broader audience and reduce dependence on one person.
- Limiting Creative Control: While it’s important to set guidelines and expectations for the campaign, influencers having creative freedom is just as crucial. They know what kinds of content their audience would like to see. Let them be creative and put their own twist on the content.
- Short-Term Thinking: Influencer marketing can be most effective when it’s part of a long-term strategy. Building lasting relationships with influencers can lead to more authentic and impactful campaigns over time.
- Not Budgeting Properly: Influencer marketing campaigns require a budget for compensating influencers, tracking results, and other associated costs. Underestimating the budget can lead to difficulties in executing the campaign effectively.
- Ignoring the Legal and Regulatory Aspects: Be aware of the legal and regulatory requirements for influencer marketing. This includes aspects such as disclosures, data privacy, and copyright issues. Ignoring these aspects can lead to legal problems for you and your brand.
- Disregarding Engagement and Interaction: Building a community around your brand is important. Don’t just focus on one-off promotions. Encourage influencers to engage with their audience and respond to comments and questions.
Remember that avoiding these common mistakes is important. Approaching your influencer marketing strategically can help ensure that your campaigns are successful and authentic, and provide a positive return on investment.
When should influencer marketing be used?
Influencer marketing can be a valuable strategy when used in the right situations and for specific purposes.
Here are some scenarios and circumstances in which influencer marketing can be particularly effective:
- Product Launches: Influencer marketing is excellent for introducing a new product or service to a wide and engaged audience. Influencers can create excitement and anticipation among their followers.
- Brand Awareness: If your goal is to increase brand visibility and reach a broader audience, influencer marketing can help by leveraging an influencer’s existing fan base and support.
- Reaching New or Niche Audiences: When you want to target a new, specific, or niche audience, partnering with influencers in that niche can be highly effective. They have the followers you’re looking to reach and the audience you need to engage with.
- Generating User-Generated Content: Influencers can encourage their followers to create content related to your brand or products. This can lead to a wealth of user-generated content that you can repurpose in your digital marketing efforts.
- Event Promotion: Whether it’s an online webinar or an in-person event, influencers can help promote and drive attendance at your events.
- E-commerce and Sales: Partnering with influencers and content creators is also a good way to use social media for e-commerce. They can drive much-needed traffic and sales to your e-commerce platform. They can do this by showcasing products, offering exclusive discount codes, and providing product reviews.
- Social Proof and Reviews: If you want to build trust and credibility with your potential customers, influencers can provide authentic product reviews and endorsements. These can serve as more social proof for your brand.
- Charitable Initiatives: Influencers can help raise awareness for charitable causes and fundraisers as well. Many influencers are involved in philanthropy and can use their reach to support your cause.
- Educational Content: If your brand offers educational resources or content, influencers can help disseminate this knowledge to a wider audience.
- Reputation Management: In cases where your brand’s reputation has been negatively impacted, influencers can also help shift the narrative and repair your image through positive endorsements and testimonials.
If you think your business can greatly benefit from influencers, make sure to keep all of these things in mind. It’s also important to remember that influencer marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach and should be used in conjunction with other digital marketing strategies. Align your influencer marketing strategy with your specific goals, objectives, and target audience.