Influencer marketing is hands down one of the best marketing strategies you can use today. In fact, many experts will tell you that it’s the single-best method of marketing.
Over the last few years, influencer marketing has become an immense and essential part of the marketing landscape. Anymore, it’s difficult to find brands that aren’t using it. It’s a powerful marketing approach that allows you to reach your target audience in a uniquely authentic way.
Influencer marketing often sounds too good to be true, but the numbers don’t lie – on average, for every $1 businesses spend on influencer marketing, they make $18.
Many thought that Influencer marketing was simply a trend, but it’s proven its worth. It’s not a short-term fad that will pass. Rather, influencer marketing has transformed how brands interact with their customers, and nowadays, if you’re not using influencer marketing, you’re falling behind.
You’ve probably heard a lot about influencer marketing from the countless articles and videos on the subject. But there’s a lot of conflicting advice and misinformation out there.
So, we wanted to make one huge guide that would answer all of the questions you might have about influencer marketing.
Without further ado, here is our ultimate guide to getting started with influencer marketing.
- What Is Influencer Marketing?
- Why Is Influencer Marketing Important?
- Influencer Marketing Examples
- How to Use Influencer Marketing in Your Business
- Influencer Marketing – Massive Potential for Business Growth
What Is Influencer Marketing?
New to influencer marketing? Confused as to exactly what it entails? You’re not alone.
While the term is tossed around a lot, it’s not always clear what it means, so here’s a closer look at what influencer marketing is and what it looks like.
Influencer Marketing Definition
Influencer marketing happens when an influencer works with a brand to promote its products. That’s a simple influencer marketing definition, but it needs a lot of unpacking.
First off, what’s an influencer? The term “influencer” is shorthand for social media influencer. A social media influencer is a person who has gained credibility in a certain niche. There are strains of influencer marketing including YouTube influencer marketing, Instagram influencer marketing, and other social media platforms.
These influencers have devoted followings – people who value their opinions and tastes or who enjoy watching their lifestyle. As such, they affect what their followers buy and can directly influence their followers’ purchasing decisions, hence the term influencer marketing.
Since influencer marketing is directly tied to social media, it’s often referred to as social influencer marketing or social media influencer marketing.
The Rise of Influencer Marketing
Today, influencer marketing is a method of choice for top-tier brands around the world, but it wasn’t always this way. For a while, it was considered to be nothing more than a passing fad.
However, over the last several years, it’s absolutely exploded in popularity.
Influencer marketing first gained serious traction when social media began to replace traditional media outlets. People weren’t just following celebrities anymore – they were following non-celebrity social media users who had enjoyable content.
Over time, some of these users gained sizable followings, and while they didn’t have the same amount of reach that celebrities did, they had a considerable amount of influence.
Social media influencing became a sought-after occupation in its own right, giving rise to well-curated Instagram feeds and picture-perfect Instagram Stories.
Mostly younger-generation individuals with a penchant for internet fame were learning how to become a social media influencer, how to become an Instagram influencer, how to grow a following, and how to sell their service to brands looking to expand their reach.
Today, these social media influencers often have as much influence and reach as many celebrities do (and sometimes even more). In many ways, influencers are the new celebrities. Influencers are highly trusted by their followers, and there are tons of influencer marketing statistics that back this up.
In one survey, 49 percent of customers said they relied on influencers for product recommendations.
In another, 74 percent of people said they relied on social media to make purchasing decisions.
And these people usually follow through with influencer recommendations; a survey by Fullscreen and Shareablee found that 42 percent of people who saw influencer advertisements ended up trying a product or service recommended by those influencers.
As social media has become increasingly important to everyday life, influencers have grown in importance. A typical social media user consumes a large amount of influencer content; they might see several influencers’ posts throughout the day. That’s a big reason why influencer marketing has become many marketers’ go-to method.
Another appealing benefit is traffic. If you leverage influencer marketing, you’ll get engagement on your own Instagram page, which will allow you to monetize your Instagram page more easily. It’s truly a win-win.
Examples of Influencer Marketing
Let’s take a look at some examples of influencer marketing.
When it comes to influencer marketing, Instagram is arguably the best platform to use as an example because right now, Instagram is used by virtually every influencer in the world. Instagram influencers are everywhere, and it’s easy to see their influence in action.
Here are a couple examples of Instagram influencers:
That’s Matt King, an Instagram influencer with more than 1.3 million followers. He’ll often work with brands to create sponsored ad posts, which are marked with the hashtag #ad.
Here’s another example of an Instagram influencer in a different niche:
This page is run by food influencer Jeanine Donofrio, better known to her followers as Love and Lemons. She regularly partners with brands to feature foods, recipes, or food-related services.
Methods of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can be done in all kinds of ways. At its core, it’s about getting an influencer to share your product or service with their audience, but there are many ways to go about making that happen.
Here are five common influencer marketing methods:
1. Sponsored content
This is one of the most common methods of influencer marketing that you’ll see. Sponsored content is simply a social media post that contains an advertisement for a product or service.
Think of it as a celebrity endorsement for the digital age, a hybrid of old and new marketing techniques. The content is shared on the influencer’s social media accounts, and there’s usually a call-to-action that invites followers to purchase the product.
The two above posts (from Matt King and Jeanine Donofrio) are prime examples of sponsored content. Most often, influencers will post about how they’ve been using the product or service in question. This kind of personal anecdote works well because it provides credibility and creates trust between the influencer and their audience.
Another form of sponsored content that’s becoming more popular is the Instagram shoutout. While this is often a one-off strategy, it can draw lots of attention to your brand, and shoutouts are a breeze to arrange with influencers.
2. Discounts/affiliate links
Everyone loves discounts, and influencer-specific discounts can be powerful. These discounts are tracked using affiliate or referral links.
If a brand doesn’t offer a discount, they’ll still use referral links to track and analyze the campaign. Discounts are almost always combined with sponsored content.
3. Contests and giveaways
Everyone loves to get free stuff. This is especially true for the audiences of influencers. Why? Because the influencer will only offer products that their followers are highly interested in.
Usually, influencer contests and giveaways draw lots of attention and can reach thousands of people.
4. Publishing influencer content on your channels
Most influencer marketing consists of influencers showcasing products on their channels, but this technique flips that approach on its head.
Instead, the influencer appears on your channels, which often drives tons of social media traffic your way. This can take the form of a single post or a “takeover,” in which the influencer has access to a brand’s social media channels, usually for a day.
5. Brand ambassadorship
If an influencer is a fantastic fit for your brand, you might consider making them a brand ambassador.
A brand ambassador is an influencer who works with your brand for an extended period of time. This has many advantages because it’s a form of long-term influencer marketing, unlike the shorter-term strategies on this list.
There are many other influencer marketing methods, but these are five of the most common. Most brands will employ more than one of these tactics when working with an influencer.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing might be the marketing method of choice right now, but what does the future hold for it?
While social media influencer marketing is extremely popular, it’s still a very new method of marketing. It’s grown over the last several years and is still growing. Brands are developing new ways of working with influencers, and influencer marketing as a whole is still being analyzed and refined.
To get a robust understanding of the future of influencer marketing, it helps to look at influencer marketing statistics that record how young people are interacting with and relating to influencers.
According to Think With Google, six in ten YouTube users would take advice on what to purchase from their favorite creators, and four in ten millennial YouTube users say that their favorite creator understands them more than their friends do.
And those statistics are just for YouTube. The statistics for Instagram are even more revealing.
Out of all the major social media platforms, Instagram has one of the youngest audiences. More than half of Instagram users are under 34 years old, with 31 percent falling in the 18-24 age range. Why does this matter? Because as Forbes revealed, millennials are the age group that is most likely to trust recommendations from people they know or opinions posted online.
With the right audience fit and effective formats, Instagram is hands down the most-powerful channel for influencer marketing.
By far, the most-effective formats for influencer marketing are Instagram posts and stories. The average engagement rate on Instagram is 2.21 percent.
It’s easy to see why most brands are spending more on Instagram than on any other social media channel. Along with YouTube, Instagram is playing a pivotal role in the success of influencer marketing, and the two platforms will continue to see more influencer marketing in the future.
In addition, influencer marketing will likely flourish on new and upcoming social media channels.
TikTok is one such platform that’s seeing lots of influencer marketing success. It’s relatively new to the scene, but it’s estimated to have more than 500 million users, which makes it bigger than Twitter and Pinterest.
While the specifics of the future of influencer marketing are unknown, one thing’s for sure: Influencer marketing will only continue to grow. It’s a brand-new form of marketing that shows no signs of stopping, and it’s well worth your consideration.
Why Is Influencer Marketing Important?
Influencer marketing is undoubtedly an integral part of today’s marketing mix, but should you really be spending your time and money on it? What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
In this section, we’ll answer those questions and more.
The Value of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can do a lot for your brand. Since influencer marketing breaks many of the barriers that were previously impenetrable, it can help you accomplish some incredible goals.
Of course, when it comes down to it, the ultimate benefit of influencer marketing is to drive more sales. But that’s not the only thing it can do for you.
Let’s take a look at the benefits that influencer marketing can provide for your brand.
1. Increased sales
Again, this is the ultimate benefit of influencer marketing, but to understand exactly how effective it is, it’s helpful to look at influencer marketing statistics.
Remember that businesses earn about $18 for every $1 they spend on influencer marketing.
And for many brands, that number is far, far higher.
The exact figure will depend on how much influencer marketing you invest in and how successful each particular campaign is, but it’s clear that the ROI is sky high. (More on that later.)
2. Social proof
No matter what type of business you are, you absolutely need to gain social proof.
As humans, we want to fit in, and that means we often go with the crowd. In other words, we have an innate need to be socially accepted.
By extension, when we see something that other people are interested in, we’re automatically interested in it, too. That’s the essence of social proof.
This is especially true when it comes to influencer marketing.
Influencers are able to magnify the effect of social proof. Just as you’d trust the opinion of a friend over that of a stranger, followers will trust influencers’ opinions more than most other people.
This is arguably the most potent form of social proof, and it’s been proven to work with nearly any product in any niche.
Perhaps surprisingly, influencers can have lots of social proof without having a huge audience. Smaller influencers, known as micro-influencers and nano-influencers, often have high levels of social proof even though they don’t have millions of followers.
Put simply, whenever you use influencer marketing, you’re gaining social proof for your brand.
3. Direct connection to your audience
In order to sell your products, you need to get your message in front of your target audience, and that hasn’t always been easy.
Influencer marketing practically solves this problem by allowing you to place your message right in front of your customers on a platform that they use every day.
Influencer marketing is also much better than regular social media advertising because the people who follow influencers in your niche are the same people you’re trying to target.
Even better, since influencer marketing is super organic, it doesn’t feel like marketing, which means people will be more receptive than usual to your brand.
What could be better than getting your products in front of your specific target audience with a glowing recommendation from an influencer? That’s what influencer marketing has to offer you.
The Importance of Influencers in Marketing
Influencers play a pivotal role in today’s marketing ecosystem.
Influencer marketing is so effective because it’s a combination of old and new marketing methods. What influencers have essentially done is taken the celebrity endorsement and updated it for the present day.
However, many influencers aren’t super famous. They’re everyday people with large online followings, and this is one of the biggest reasons why influencers are so important.
People love influencers because they’re not celebrities who are out of reach. Influencers are relatable people with relatable lives.
As we saw before, many people feel that influencers understand them better than their friends do. That phenomenon is unique to influencer marketing.
And the cherry on top is that influencers get personal with their followers. Many influencers engage their followers in comments and even in their content.
This one-on-one interaction creates a positive, long-term rapport between influencers and their followers. As a result, followers trust influencers more over time.
The bottom line: Influencers fill an important space by bridging the gap between celebrities and everyday people. That’s why so many brands are investing in influencer marketing more and more.
The Effectiveness of Influencer Marketing
At this point, you know how integral influencer marketing is, and you know that it has a lot of benefits.
Now it’s time to dig deeper into the specifics and take a look at exactly how effective influencer marketing can be.
To understand the effectiveness of influencer marketing, we can compare it to other types of marketing.
Many people wonder about influencer marketing versus content marketing versus user-generated content. How does influencer marketing stack up to these other tried-and-true strategies?
You might be surprised to find out that influencer marketing can be more effective than other types of marketing.
But what does that mean for other types of marketing? Let’s take a deep dive and find out.
Influencer Marketing vs. Content Marketing
Content marketing is still the top method of choice for many brands and for good reason. It’s a proven method with a great track record.
First off, it’s worth noting that both influencer marketing and content marketing can be insanely effective and should both be part of your marketing mix.
That’s largely because these two types of marketing benefit your brand in very different areas.
Influencer marketing raises brand awareness and generates social proof while content marketing builds authority and adds value.
However, if you really want to get the most out of both of these two very different types of marketing, you need to balance them.
Some brands are reporting that influencer content is performing better than in-house content. In one survey from influencer marketing company Linqia, 51 percent of respondents said that their influencer content outperformed their own brand-created content.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that marketers are eliminating content marketing from their strategies. It just means that they’re spending more on influencer marketing.
According to a Talkwalker report, 72 percent of brands are planning to increase their spend on influencer marketing .
There’s a lot of synergy between influencer marketing and content marketing, and this combination will only get stronger as influencer marketing becomes more widespread.
Marketers may not be slashing their content marketing budgets to focus on influencer marketing, but it’s clear that companies’ budgets for influencer marketing are steadily increasing.
Influencer Marketing vs. User-Generated Content
As we’ve seen, one of the big benefits of influencer marketing is that you can have an everyday person representing your brand. In this way, it’s similar to user-generated content.
User-generated content (UGC) has seen increasing levels of use in recent years. On average, UGC is trusted 12 times more than branded marketing.
For a while, this trustworthiness was pretty unique to UGC. There weren’t many other channels where customers and their peers were able to create and distribute content.
Influencer marketing changed all that by offering something potentially better than UGC.
Since influencers are so relatable and trustworthy, customers’ attitudes toward influencer content are similar to their views of UGC.
The key difference is that while UGC can build trust, influencer-created content builds trust and spreads the word. Usually, user-generated content won’t have large reach unless you share it on one or more of your channels.
Influencer content also has the potential to be trusted more than user-generated content. Remember that many people feel that influencers understand them better than their friends do. That trust means that people are more likely to take stock in an influencer’s opinion over a random person’s review or testimonial.
At the same time, UGC is absolutely free and still contributes to your credibility. If you don’t have any user content at all, your prospective customers could be scared off.
Ultimately, customers are going to look for both influencer content and UGC when researching products and making purchasing decisions.
Influencer-created content won’t completely replace UGC, so don’t write it off. Just like the question of influencer marketing versus content marketing, the answer is balance.
Influencer Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing
It might seem strange to compare influencer marketing to social media marketing. After all, isn’t influencer marketing just a form of social media marketing?
In a way, yes, but influencer marketing has grown so much that it can be considered an independent form of marketing.
While both types of marketing happen on social media, they have very different approaches and results.
With a branded social media marketing campaign, you control everything. All of the messages you send out are crafted in your brand’s voice.
But with influencer marketing, the content is in the hands of the influencers you’re working with. They’ll bring their unique voices, approaches, and perspectives to the table, and while you’ll lose some control, you’ll gain attention and likely make some sales.
Influencers also have a lot to offer that you can’t get with traditional social media marketing.
For one, you get your brand exposed to audiences who already trust what influencers have to say. Often, these will be completely new audiences who may have never even heard of your brand before.
Overall, social media marketing is still effective, but it can’t replace influencer marketing. With influencer marketing, you can easily generate buzz, increase credibility, and hopefully gain new brand advocates and customers.
The Parallels With Word of Mouth Marketing
One of the biggest reasons why influencer marketing is so effective is because it’s very similar in nature to word of mouth marketing.
And here’s the thing – word of mouth is the most-effective marketing strategy of all time.
That may seem like an overstatement, but the statistics back it up. Nielsen found that 82 percent of customers (and especially millennials) trust word of mouth and personal recommendations over all other forms of advertising.
Gartner’s 2018 small business survey confirmed this, identifying word of mouth as the most-effective channel.
Word of mouth marketing strategies have been a part of every successful campaign ever, whether it was planned or just happened spontaneously. These strategies can take many forms, ranging from publicity stunts to giveaways.
Some well-known word of mouth marketing examples include Sephora giving customers birthday freebies and Wendy’s hilarious Twitter antics.
Influencer marketing shares many traits with word of mouth marketing. At the most basic level, a recommendation from an influencer is word of mouth (even though it’s sponsored).
Of course, influencer recommendations also cause word of mouth. Once followers are exposed to a product, they’ll usually talk about it amongst themselves. They may even buy the product and tell their network about it, creating another iteration of word of mouth.
Even better, the chances for this ripple effect to happen increase every time you partner with an influencer.
Influencer marketing has taken word of mouth marketing and increased its impact exponentially. As a result, organic word of mouth can happen at a much faster rate, drawing more people to your brand.
Influencer Marketing Examples
Since influencer marketing has become so popular, there’s a wealth of positive case studies to draw from. Here’s a handy list of influencer marketing examples for each major social media platform.
Sperry is best known for its iconic boat shoes, but part of the reason it’s so well known is due to Instagram influencer marketing.
Sperry was an early adopter of influencer marketing, and the brand grew quickly because of it. It would repost users’ pictures to its account, a practice it still uses today.
Sperry also embraced the idea of featuring micro-influencers and nano-influencers (which we’ll take a look at in the next section).
Take a look at this post from Sperry’s Instagram:
This photo was taken by mid-tier influencer Cody Andrew, who currently has 370,000 followers.
Even though it didn’t feature a big-name influencer, this post was able to garner over a thousand likes in just a couple of days.
Of course, this is just one example in Sperry’s long history of influencer marketing, but posts exactly like these are what catapulted Sperry into online fame.
2. Daniel Wellington
When the topic of great Instagram marketing comes up, you’ll almost always see Swedish watch company Daniel Wellington mentioned.
That’s for good reason – the brand has exploded in the last few years thanks to its insanely effective Instagram marketing.
The company was also one of the first to adopt influencer marketing. It worked with a variety of influencers of all sizes to create brand awareness and build buzz for its watches.
The brand has partnered with huge influencers like Kylie Jenner, who represented the brand in several posts that gained millions of likes.
Daniel Wellington also regularly works with smaller influencers in all kinds of niches. The brand uses the #DWPickoftheDay hashtag to find great pictures to repost, and often these pictures will come from users with a very small following.
This #DWPickoftheDay comes from a user with just 2,195 followers:
This approach of casting the brand’s nets wide has worked like a charm. Daniel Wellington now has 4.9 million Instagram followers, and just four years after the $15,000 startup began its life, it was bringing in $220 million in revenue.
Zara has developed a reputation for its low-key marketing strategies. A lot of that reputation comes from the fact its advertising is subtle and clever instead of bold and in your face.
Working with influencers is a key part of Zara’s marketing approach.
The company even created a second account called Living Zara that is solely for collaborations. Every week, the account is taken over by a different influencer.
Like Daniel Wellington, Zara has created a massive audience thanks to this Instagram marketing strategy. The main Zara account has more than 37 million followers, and the Living Zara account has nearly 100k.
And the company is seeing rapid and continuous growth thanks to its online presence. For the 2018 financial year, Zara reported earnings of €3.44 billion (about $3.8 billion).
4. Karolis Rimkus
You might not know Karolis, but he’s a prolific entrepreneur and digital nomad who successfully used Instagram to build a business from the ground up.
Karolis used Instagram influencer marketing to kickstart a dropshipping side hustle that allowed him to break free from his 9-to-5 job.
It was his micro-influencer strategy that helped him kickstart his sales. “At first, I did a lot of influencer outreach. I would offer micro-influencers, people with like 8,000 followers, an item they could make a giveaway with, or just send them a few free items in exchange for mentions. It worked, and then I was growing and making sales,” he says.
Then once his profile had grown to more than 15,000 followers, he flipped the traditional influencer marketing strategy on it’s head. He started to offer his page as a place for micro-influencers to promote themselves. They’d buy a product from his store, snap a photo, and he’d post it on his account, helping to promote the influencer and his store at the same time.
After working with a series of influencers in his niche, he saw his sales increase and increase, and in just 10 months, Karolis had made $14,960.
5. Best Fiends
Best Fiends is a free mobile game that became popular after some viral influencer marketing campaigns.
The company reached out to Laura Clery, a Facebook influencer who had almost 3 million followers at the time, to promote the game. Laura is well known for her comedy videos, and she was a natural fit for Best Fiends.
Laura held a popular livestream in which she showed how to play the game, but she put her own twist on it. She did the livestream in character as Pamela Pupkin, one of her crazy alter egos.
The result was a huge success. The livestream received more than 468k views as well as thousands of likes and comments and hundreds of shares. It’s a great example of just how effective Facebook influencer marketing can be.
6. Loeffler Randall
This Facebook influencer marketing campaign from footwear and accessory company Loeffler Randall caught our attention in the past, and it warrants a mention here as well.
The brand developed its LR Ambassadors program to work with influencers, and it’s been a hit.
Facebook influencers used the hashtag #LRAmbassador to signify their connection to the Loeffler Randall brand.
This influencer marketing campaign worked so well because Loeffler Randall knew its audience well and chose the best influencers to work with.
And like many of the companies we’ve looked at, Loeffler Randall worked with all sizes of influencers.
SeatGeek has made a name for itself in the last few years thanks to its use of smart influencer marketing.
The ticket platform partners with YouTube influencers who each have unique discount codes that are specific to their audiences.
For example, the brand recently worked with Cody Ko, a YouTube influencer who makes comedy and commentary videos. He currently has 4.08 million subscribers and counting, and he receives millions of views on each video.
This strategy keeps paying off for SeatGeek, which has earned many new customers thanks to its influencers.
Audible is another brand that has gained a lot of attention due to its YouTube influencer marketing strategy.
The company sought out some of YouTube’s biggest influencers to create unique and engaging ads.
One memorable ad came from Jack Douglass, better known as Jacksfilms, in which he created funny acronyms for the word “Audible.”
The partnerships were incredibly successful for Audible. Its brand name is now known to millions of YouTube users, and its audience continues to grow as it keeps expanding its influencer network.
How to Use Influencer Marketing in Your Business
So, now that you know all about influencer marketing and its benefits, one important question remains: How do you use influencer marketing successfully in your business?
Surprisingly, the process can be broken down into six simple steps.
Step 1: Choosing the Right Social Media Platforms
Before you go on the hunt for the right social media influencers to rep your brand, you need to choose the right social media platforms for your brand.
It might be the case that not every social media platform will suit your brand. On the other hand, you might find that you can establish a good online presence on all of the major platforms.
But how do you decide?
It helps to understand each platform and the types of people that use them.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
Instagram is best for sharing photo or video content that’s bite-sized and meant to catch the eye. If you’re selling a product (as opposed to a service), Instagram is almost definitely one platform you’ll want to be on. Most Instagram users are ages 18-34.
YouTube is obviously best for video content, but whereas Instagram only allows up to a minute of video, YouTube allows for videos of any length, giving you more options. YouTube’s demographics are surprisingly varied – while it’s most popular with 18-24 year olds, YouTube has a 51 percent penetration rate among people 75 and older.
Facebook allows for a mix of text, photo, and video content. It’s also loved by marketers for its popular Facebook Live option that allows you to livestream anytime and anywhere. Facebook’s demographic skews a little older, between 25 and 34.
There are many other social media platforms, but typically, these three are where you’ll find most influencer marketing. In order to find the right influencers, you first have to find the right platforms, so don’t overlook this step.
Step 2: Creating Brand Guidelines
While influencers should always be given creative freedom to represent your brand, it’s a good idea to create some general brand guidelines for your influencers to follow.
These guidelines will outline the kind of content that you want to be associated with your brand. You’re basically making a style guide for your brand.
Mainly, you want to make sure that influencers are representing your brand’s values and communicating in a way that’s consistent with your brand voice.
Alienware’s brand guidelines offer an excellent example. The brand has built its reputation on the high-end gaming computers it offers, and its guidelines are written to maintain that brand. The emphasis on performance-driven, innovative technology is clear.
The guidelines also go into extensive detail on the brand’s design philosophy. While most brands don’t need to spend 12 pages on design guidelines, this shows Alienware’s commitment to consistent branding, and that’s definitely something to consider when making your own guidelines.
When you’re developing your guidelines, keep in mind that you also have to follow guidelines. The FTC has endorsement guidelines that every brand must follow to properly disclose advertisements and sponsored relationships.
Step 3: How to Find Influencers
After you’ve settled on platforms and created brand guidelines, you can finally set out to find influencers. You may be wondering how to find influencers on Facebook, how to find influencers on Instagram, or just how to get influencers period!
However, one of the first considerations should be the level of influencer you want to work with.
The term “influencer” is a broad term that can be broken down into several categories. There are five main levels of influencer:
Mega-influencers are the big fish. They have more than a million followers and drive huge levels of engagement on everything they post.
Macro-influencers have slightly smaller audiences, typically 500k and up. Despite not having the same reach as mega-influencers, macro-influencers are usually in high demand.
Mid-tier influencers comprise a wide category – a mid-tier influencer can have anywhere from 50k to 500k followers.
Micro-influencers have audiences of 10k-50k people.
Finally, nano-influencers are at the bottom of the food chain with 1k-10k followers. Some nano-influencers may have only a few-hundred followers.
If your instinct is to reach out to the mega and macro-influencers, don’t act so fast.
At first glance, it does seem like the bigger the influencer, the bigger the potential for success. But that’s surprisingly not always the case.
While mega- and macro-influencers certainly have a large reach and lots of engagement, they don’t always have the largest impact.
In fact, micro-influencer marketing campaigns drive 60 percent higher engagement rates than celebrity endorsement campaigns.
Since smaller influencers are able to develop a stronger connection with their audience, they can have much higher engagement rates than even mega-influencers.
On top of that, more brands are working with nano-influencers. Nanos play an important role – they’re the most relatable of all of the influencers.
So, when these smaller influencers advocate products, their followers don’t feel sold to, an emotion that often arises when big influencers create disingenuous advertisements.
Ideally, you should reach out to influencers at all of these levels. This is the kind of approach that made brands like Daniel Wellington so successful, and it’s super easy to replicate.
Now, it’s time to find specific influencers on each platform.
Many people wonder how to find Instagram influencers or how to find Facebook influencers in an effective way. Surprisingly, the process is pretty simple.
For the most part, all you need to do is simply search for influencers in your niche by looking at hashtags and searching with keywords.
This will give you some of the big names in your industry, which in turn will give you a good idea of who you might want to work with.
But if you want to take a deeper dive, you can use a few handy tools.
First, you can use BuzzSumo to find people who are sharing popular content. Conveniently, you can filter out any results that aren’t influencers.
If you want to get stats on certain influencers, you can use HypeAuditor. This tool will give you a closer look at a follower’s profile, and it can even show you if they have any fake followers or engagements.
When looking at influencers, remember to consider what kind of influencer they are. When you start, it may be more effective to work with micro-influencers, as they’re more likely to say yes.
If you can find a micro-influencer to work with who’s a great fit for your brand, it can lead to great things. Micro-influencer marketing and nano-influencer marketing are both super powerful, so don’t pass them by.
Step 4: Reaching Out to Influencers
This is another easy step. Often, influencers can be contacted through direct message.
But before you go messaging them, take a look at their bio section. They may have a specific email for marketing inquiries.
To maximize your productivity, you can make an outreach template, but be sure to add a little bit of personality before you hit send.
Step 5: How to Work with Influencers
Now that you have found some influencers that you want to partner with, it’s time to set up your influencer marketing campaign.
Below are a few ideas for an influencer campaign that will be engaging and memorable:
Run a Giveaway
If your company is introducing a new product and offering a free sample as a giveaway, getting an influencer to promote the offer is a great way to increase the exposure of that product.
To get started, you can hire social media influencers to run a giveaway campaign on different platforms. Make sure to work with someone who’s aware of FTC’s rules.
Ask your influencer to share behind-the-scenes footage of how things work in your business.
For example, if you’re a fast-growing fashion brand that sells clothes online, get your influencer to broadcast your brainstorming or product design session for a day.
Get Featured in Roundups
Influencers may also be willing to do roundups featuring your product or service. Encourage them to feature your main offering behind complementary items (rather than competitors).
For instance, if you’re in the business of selling paint, the influencer can create a roundup of home renovation items that includes one recommendation for paint, one for vinyl, one for wall art, and so on.
Host a Live Takeover
You can invite influencers to engage with your existing audience in real time through a live takeover.
Using Instagram Live or another similar feature, the influencer can take over your brand’s account to create exclusivity and share his/own opinions with your audience. You can also allow people to ask questions or interact with influencers through comments.
The influencer could use the opportunity to hype a new product you’re about to launch, promote an upcoming sale, or talk about your business in general.
Step 6: Tracking Your Campaign
There are many influencer marketing tools that will allow you to track each campaign and measure its effectiveness.
Sprout Social is a widely used tool that helps you monitor your influencer marketing campaigns by tracking hashtags and allowing your team to collaborate without any hitches.
Hootsuite is another popular platform that lets you grab useful analytics and track what people are saying about your campaigns.
These tools work as Facebook influencer marketing platforms, Instagram influencer marketing platforms, and most other social media marketing platforms.
If you want to use a tool that’s built specifically for influencer marketing, Traackr is worth a look. This tool automates influencer discovery, vetting, and reporting, allowing you to focus more on building influencer relationships and creating great content.
Influencer Marketing – Massive Potential for Business Growth
It’s obvious that influencer marketing is much more than a trend. It’s a new way of marketing that is transforming how people interact with brands.
Influencer marketing is becoming more vital to the marketing landscape. Consequently, the potential for business growth is getting larger and larger.
The case studies and statistics we’ve looked at paint a very vivid picture: Influencer marketing is extremely effective, and it’s here to stay.
So, give it a try, and see what it can do for your brand. If you take the right approach and follow this guide, don’t be surprised if you start getting hundreds or even thousands of new customers and, of course, sales.