94% of advertisers use influencer showcasing on the grounds that it drives 11x a bigger ROI than customary promoting. What is influencer promoting? Not – as voiced by numerous pundits – a pattern. It works. It works largely! Contact a bigger crowd. Increment transformations, trust, ROI, and brand mindfulness. Here’s the ticket…
Discover what 800+ marketing and PR experts think in our Global State of Influencer Marketing survey.
No longer can brands rely on celebrity endorsements and ads. As consumers, we’re numbed to hard-sell adverts and fluffy marketing messages. Too many irrelevant ads. Too many intrusive pop-ups. Too many celebrities pretending they use a particular brand of odor eliminator.
We’d already tired of brand-speak. Then along came Millennials. They broke with expected consumer behavior. They didn’t believe ads. They wanted social proof before they parted with their cash. They turned to influencers they respected, valuing their brand reviews. Their opinions.
The buzz in the marketplace is now so loud that we’re tuning out. We’re ignoring what we don’t want to hear. Instead, we’re turning to social media and following people that we trust. Reading their reviews, taking their advice, sharing our own opinions.
In this guide, I’m going to talk to you about influencer marketing. How it evolved. The future. I’ll show you brands that are rocking influencer marketing. I’ll include an influencer briefing template you can download for free.
It’s a big read, but it’s relevant, helpful, and exhaustive.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing definition | To promote your brand by employing an influential person to share it with their followers.
Throughout this guide, I’m going to share some examples of brands rocking influencer marketing, along with the stats that demonstrate how impactful your influencer campaigns could be.
Generally, when we think of influencers, Instagram comes to mind – pretty people, Instagrammable products. While Instagram is the favored channel, there are plenty of influencers influencing on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. And, it’s not restricted to social media. There are more influential bloggers online than you can swing a cat at.
What social media brought to the table, was imagery.
Yes, we could read about a new lipstick, car, trainer and look at a photo of someone modelling the product. Now, we can watch Selena Gomez pursing her lips, Lewis Hamilton racing to another party, Messi kicking a ball around.
While you’re here, Dan’s 12 dos and don’ts for a great influencer marketing strategy, shares great advice. Take a look!
What is an influencer?
That’d be someone with the power to sway the purchasing decisions of others – you and me. They’re able to do this because they are considered an authority in their area of expertise.
Social media is the perfect tool for influencers, where they can build up large followings of people who value their opinions. There are several ways that influencers become influencers:
- Celebrities – the original influencers, boasting huge audiences, but costly
- Industry experts and thought leaders – qualified in a particular niche – macro and micro
- Bloggers/vloggers – big followings and readers that seek out their opinions
While a large following is impressive, it only confirms that a person is popular. To be influential, they have to be trusted.
Is influencer marketing a new thing?
I frequently read articles claiming Influencer Marketing Agency in Delhi is the next big thing. It brings epic results. It is the future.
In the 1920s, Coca-Cola introduced someone new to its marketing campaigns. A well-padded gentleman wearing a red suit and a wide smile. His suit was trimmed with white fur and his face sprouted a big, bushy, white beard. His name?
Whether Coca-Cola created this version, is the stuff of marketing legend, and possibly a future blog post. What we can be sure of is that he became one of the most famous influencers ever.
So, no. Influencer marketing is not the next big thing. It’s been a big thing for a very long time.
What is true, is the recent meteoric rise of influencer marketing. Why is this a thing? What put paid to traditional digital marketing techniques?
Ad blockers – 47% of consumers are blocking intrusive ads.
Why your brand needs influencer marketing
Traditional advertising took a hit. As consumers, we’re turned off by brands using hard-sell marketing techniques. We put our trust in people, with 92% trusting product recommendations from individuals over brands.
Do you remember the last time you paid a banner ad any attention? Or do you suffer from banner blindness, like me? For those that find them intrusive, AdBlockers are the way to go. According to Google, the average click thru rate for banners is 0.06%.
Ouch! That’s a lot of people ignoring ads.
As marketers, how should we address this issue? The obvious answer is social media marketing. Scrolling and tweeting on Twitter, sharing and staring on Instagram, we spend hours browsing social. But, with maybe a couple of hundred followers, our reach isn’t going to get us very far.
Social media networks, realizing their advertising worth, have make it harder for businesses to engage with organic posts. Facebook changed its news feeds so that users see more status updates from friends and family. Business pages lost visibility.
To be clear, here are 5 reasons why you need to include influencers in your marketing strategy:
- Consumers trust influencer recommendations – 83% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers over brands, and 66% from opinions posted by consumers online.
- Influencer marketing delivers healthy ROI – according to Adweek, influencer campaigns earn $6.85 in earned media value for every dollar spent – you can’t lose!
- Influencers boost brand awareness – bringing authenticity to your brand and strengthening your social media presence.
- The dominance of social media – Instagram is the champion of influencer marketing with 12.9 million brand sponsored posts in 2017, expected to double in 2018. With a market size of nearly $1.7 billion.
Social media channels – reach vs number of influencers – Sponsokit.
- AdBlockers and the fast-forward button – in 2015, brands lost $21.8 billion to ad blockers, expected to increase to 35 billion in 2020. Ads can be skipped and ignored, while many streaming services are now commercial-free.If you do influencer marketing like a rock star, everyone wins. You, your influencer, your influencer’s followers.
How can influencers help your business?
Influencers are brand advocates, using social media to increase their credibility about a particular subject. A good influencer can persuade followers to change their purchasing behavior. You can use influencer content to promote your brand, grow your business, and increase consumer trust.
You can go one of two ways. Organic or paid. While the organic approach works, you’ll get a more proactive influencer if you’re paying them a wage.
Stating the obvious, I know.
Here’s how an influencer could help your brand:
- Writing an article, creating a video about your product or service
- Promoting your brand on their social media accounts
- Publishing your guest post on their website
If you’re lucky enough, there are plenty of influencers out there prepared to promote your brand for free, simply because they love your product.
Influencer marketing example
In 2000, ASOS was launched as a UK fashion retailer. Today, it sells over 80,000 products around the world. How did it become so successful?
Its influencer marketing campaign – ASOS Insiders – was such a huge success that it now has 20M+ social media followers, and over the last year has earned over 1.4 billion product views.
How to start your influencer marketing campaign
Influencer marketing done well will help you boost the authenticity of your brand and increase trust. It will drive engagement, traffic to your website, and conversions. Big brand names, small or medium-sized businesses, influencer marketing will work for you, regardless of budget size.
Here’s how to get started…
Define your goals
The goal of any marketing campaign is to prove that you can provide value to a target audience. With an influencer marketing campaign, you have to prove that you can bring value to the followers of your influencer.
Why are you planning an influencer marketing campaign? What do you want to get from it? It’s important that you answer these questions before you start planning. Without goals, you won’t be equipped to choose the most appropriate influencer, and you certainly won’t be able to measure your results.
- If your goal is to improve your performance, you’ll need to be specific – increase engagement rate, conversions, brand awareness, trust, website traffic
- Increasing your number of social media followers
- Are you launching a new product?
- Do you have an event that you’re looking to promote?
Your goals have to tie in with your KPIs, so you can measure the success of your campaign. If you’re looking to increase newsletter sign-ups, that will be a solid KPI that you can measure.
Create SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based. A goal of increasing brand awareness is vague and can’t be measured. Increasing your Twitter followers by 25% over the next six months is SMART. You’ll be able to see if your influencer campaign is working or not.
Your content has to be awesome, otherwise, you won’t get any self-respecting influencer willing to work with you. A 600 word blog post stuffed with keywords, irrelevant links, and spelling errors – won’t cut it. Your content has to be:
- Fit for purpose
- Pleasing to the eye
- Beneficial to readers
Content ideas could include:
- Expert roundups
- Influencer quotes
- Expert tips and tricks
- Product reviews