An amount of persuading could influence any decision. Back in the day, royal approvals under the kingship were considered to be the biggest marketing strategy. Once the king acknowledges, anything could be sold at a high value. Since then, dynamic marketing strategies have been evolving.
The current influencer marketing landscape also deals with towering value to products, services, or individuals with influencer recommendations using social media. Influencer marketing is known to be the marketing through various social media platforms where people with a dedicated social following provide endorsements and conclusive mentions of the targeted product. It is a process of using content creators or influencers to effectively communicate or advocate the brand identity. Any individual with a dedicated following on social media within the expert niche is considered to be an influencer. From ancient Rome where gladiators used to endorse products to your favorite Instagram influencer promoting a new product on their latest blog post, things have changed pretty drastically. Being recognized and trusted by the masses has always been the primary motif of all brands. And the arrival of a new word ‘influencer’ has elevated the process. The thin line between celebrities influencing celebrity influencers has merged and opened a new arena of influencer marketing.
Understanding Influencer Marketing
Just like any other marketing strategy, influencer marketing also takes planning and deliberate targeting. All networks like YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, etc have their own set of influencers with various demographics. The beginner’s footstep is to find the right platform (s) and choose the most influencing voice in that particular niche. Fashion and beauty brands are more likely to be affluent on YouTube and Instagram.
The next thing to consider is what type of influencer you are looking for.
- Most celebrities are considered to be mega-influencers with more than a million followers.
- Influencers with 500k to 1 million followers are macro-influencers.
- Mid-tier influencers (50k to 500k)
- Micro-influencers (10k to 50k)
- Nano-influencers (1k to 10k)
Considering the business goals and compensation budget in mind, any one of the influencers can be selected for the promotion. It is easy to approach micro-influencers since most of them work independently nowadays. The latest research indicates brands have made at least 5x more than what they spend on influencers. Influence.co has published its Instagram influencer payment slab in 2017, and the average cost per post looks like this:
- The average cost for micro-influencers with less than 1k followers was $83 per post.
- The average cost for influencers with more than a million followers was $763 per post.
- The overall average amount was $271 per post.
Facts to Consider
The best influencer option for massive reach is mega-influencers. However, research shows the rate of engagement is inversely proportional to the follower count. The more the follower count rises, the less the rate of engagement. The engagement rate is only 1.6% for Instagram influencers with more than 10 million followers. On the contrary, micro-influencers have a limited following but are considered to be more engaging. This is because of the intimate connection between the influencers and the followers. They are more niche-focused, hence eighty-two percent of followers are more likely to purchase a product recommended by a micro-influencer. Nano-influencers are known to be more cost-effective. It is being claimed that nano-influencers have an engagement rate of 8.8 percent. In the current scenario, very few nano-influencers ask for compensation since they also aim at partnerships and brand building.
Perks of Working with Micro-Influencers
A recent study by ANA explains why preferring micro-influencers over others is good for better marketing.
- They are more affordable than celebs or experts with millions of followers. They are willing to collaborate if the product meets their niche values and audience needs.
- The lead generation percentage is higher with micro-influencers collaboration and it attracts potential sponsors.
- It proves that 90 percent of the audience trust a micro-influencer more than conventional ads and celebrity endorsements.
- Around eighty-two percent are more likely to buy something recommended by their favorite micro-influencer.
- It is said to have at least 22.2 times more conversions than typical micro-influencer marketing because they have developed personal contact with the audience.
How to Execute Influencer Marketing Strategy?
The fundamental measures of influencer marketing consisted of understanding the platform and choosing the right influencer on the basis of business goals and requirements. Setting the budget, business strategy, monitoring, follow-ups, etc are involved in the process. Considering the escalation of sales and brand awareness, what to be communicated to the audience through the influencer is crucial. In order to execute a successful influencer marketing strategy, we must go back to the phase of selecting the right influencer by considering the following:
- Does the influencer niche is similar to your product or service? Someone promoting an automobile shop must be looking for an auto enthusiastic influencer.
- Make sure they are legit. Fraud prevention in influencer marketing is a matter of concern in the latest social media scenario. Poor engagement ratio and spam-like comments are signs of fake accounts.
- Checking their portfolio can give an understanding of what type of influencer we are dealing with and how often they have worked with similar brands.
Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Some innovative campaign ideas have taken over social media over the past. Some of the most effective influencer marketing campaigns are:
- Contests and events
- Social media takeovers
- Affiliate marketing
- Unboxing and reviews
- Pre-release campaigns
- Sponsored blogs & posts
- Brand ambassador programs
Giveaway campaigns are one of the most common strategies that have been actively followed by influencers for brands. The brand supplies products or services to influencers which they give away to the followers. The agreement where someone takes over an account and shares content for a particular period of time is considered to be social media takeover. This week, David Beckham gave over his social media channels to Iryna, a Ukrainian doctor in Kharkiv who is helping mothers give birth. This is an example of social media takeover. However, it cannot fall under influencer marketing but acts as an awareness program against the war. Affiliate marketing is another way to work with multiple influencers at once. Unique promotion codes are the best example of affiliate marketing. For each promotion code, the influencer gets a commission and the brand gets a sale.
The paid influence trend continues to prove successful in terms of visibility and credibility. Influencer marketing is dynamically evolving and campaign strategy demands more innovations in the coming days.