Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing channels in the digital marketing world, and for good reason. As of 2017, Influencer marketing software became a $1 billion industry, it’s expected to double in the next two years and for good reason.
But before all of that let’s start at the beginning.
What’s an influencer?
A social media influencer is a person that has gathered a significant number of followers, anywhere from 10k to >5M. The caveat is that their social media account needs to have a good amount of engagement to show that they do really influence people’s opinions and those people engage with their posts and consume their content.
According to a study by Collective Bias 70% of millennials are influenced by the recommendations of their peers when making buying decisions.
What about people that still shop in physical stores?
Turns out, according to the same study, that 60% of consumers were influenced by a social media post or a blog review while shopping at a store.
What’s the advantage of working with an influencer?
The greatest advantage is their highly targeted audience that the brand gains access to. Instead of putting out a social ad or an ad on Google in hopes that the right people will click on it brands can choose an influencer with an existing audience built in.
For example, if you are looking for a mega influencer that has an audience of mostly 18-24 females you can use hire someone like Kim Kardashian to promote your brand.
Here are some sample statistics about her audience that we got from the influencer tool Moju:
So how do you zero in on your ideal influencer?
Let’s look at that.
How to find the ideal influencer
There are a few things that are important when looking for an influencer. They have to have the following elements to be a good fit for your brand.
- Authenticity – only work with influencers that are consistent. They have their specific topics that they like to talk about and they have a consistent voice or message throughout. Look for people that are genuine.
- Engagement rate – the influencer’s audience has to be engaged. If they don’t get likes and comments on their posts then chances are they will not bring any traffic to your product or service. Engagement rate is the local currency in influencer marketing.
- # of Followers – maximize your influencer dollars by working with influencers that have the reach and the engagement
If you work with someone that has a consistent brand, a high number of followers and the right engagement rate your chances of getting reach, conversions, and sales.
Once you have all the right criteria for your influencer you are ready to set out to look for some. The easiest way to find an influencer is to do a good old search on any social media network.
Look up popular hashtags on Instagram around your topic.
For example, if you were a marketer at a shoe company you could look up a hashtag such as #bestshoesever.
However, this method could take quite a while. If you want to speed things up, then use an influencer tool that already has the search functionality built in.
Use a tool like Grin to automate your influencer search. Grin is great because it has a list of hundreds of thousands of influencers and you could search by several criteria – geography, # of followers, engagement rates, and the type of social media channel being used.
Once you pick the influencer that you want to work with it’s time to set up your influencer campaign.
1. Hire your influencer (or team of influencers)
Pick the influencers that you work with and message them. If you are using an influencer tool, then you can reach out to them directly through it. Otherwise, look up their contact info on their bios. A lot of influencers put their email on their Instagram profile like so:
Remember to message them on several platforms. Don’t just email them once and give up. Send them a DM, message them on Twitter and LinkedIn, and put in a note through their contact form on their site.
The magic is in the follow-up.
2. Decide on the medium and type of campaign
Another important aspect of your campaign should be the type of content medium that you want to use. You can use a blog post or review, visual content on Instagram, a video on YouTube or a combination of any of them. The type of content that you want to use is also tied to the social media network that you want to utilize.
For example, Mercedes Benz just did a campaign where they hired the popular influencer puppy Loki. Loki has a few million followers on Instagram, but the car company actually made a 360-degree video of the dog running in the snow alongside their latest model.
The video medium totally worked and brought over 200k views in a very short time.
3. Analyze the results
The greatest mistake in social media marketing in general and influencer marketing, in particular, is throwing some content on the page and hoping that it sticks. If you want to get the 6X returns that brands are seeing with influencer marketing you need to analyze each campaign and each post that you pay for.
Pretty much any influencer tool has analytics built in. You can use Onalytica, Lefty, or Klear to get the engagement rates, views, and traffic that each post generated for your brand.
If you want to promote your product or service influencer marketing is definitely the way to go. Your brand can reach brand new audiences by having influencers post engaging content for you.
If you follow the steps that we outlined you’re going to have a much better-structured campaign and will see better results.
Here they are again if you missed it:
1. Find the ideal influencers – search on social media or use an influencer tool.
2. Pick the best medium and social media channel
3. Analyze the results
Remember that the longer your relationship is with every influencer the more useful they are to your brand. This is because the more exposure your brand gets in front of their audience the better. So, make sure to pamper your influencers with rewards or free product and build long-term relationships with the right ones to create true ambassadors for your brand.
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