You Can No Longer Afford to Ignore Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been brewing for about eights years now, but recently it’s the go-to tactic for both B2C and B2C marketers.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing focuses on using key people to drive your brand's message to the broader market. Rather than marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead hire influencers to get out the word for you. 

A report from BI Intelligence predicts that advertisers will spend between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022 on influencer marketing. That’s big money.

How Do I Get Started in Influencer Marketing? 

Chances are you already engaged in a basic form of influencer marketing. If customers are giving online reviews of your products, or if you are encouraging customers to share their experiences about your brand on social media you are already in the game.

If its time to hire professional influencers, you need to set up an influencer marketing plan and set some goals. Goals for influencer marketing are often less about increasing sales and more about increasing buzz and public awareness:

Here are the four types of influencers you should consider while you set up your influencer marketing plan:

1. The Influential Educator Who doesn’t love a good teacher? Educators are helpful and insightful. They have a vast knowledge of a specific topic and are willing to share it with your audience.  Sarah Lacy is known to be unfiltered, unafraid, and fiercely unapologetic. She is one of tech's most influential writers. People look to Lacy to interpret the industry’s technical makeovers and their impact on marketing practices.

2. The Influential Coach - A good coach wants you to succeed! Coaches are helpful, positive and focus on continual engagement. A coach will dive deep into LinkedIn discussions or engage in a Twitter conversation because that is what they love to do. Their influence over one's self-determination is huge, and often gives people the push they need to achieve their goals. Jay Baer regularly jumps into LinkedIn discussions and blog posts with tips and words of encouragement for his followers. People admire his remarkable ability to connect with his fans about marketing and customer service. 

3. The Influential Entertainer – We love to be entertained! Entertainers are role models with enormous power over individual decisions. We have all bought a product because our favorite actor or actress spoke highly of it. Entertainers are the hardest type of influencer to secure for your campaign because of the price. It can be worth the money as it could pay off to tap into the audience they command. DJ Khaled is known as the King of Snapchat. He regularly takes part in "Snapchat takeovers," where a brand hands over the reigns of their corporate Snapchat to Khaled for a period of largely unfiltered antics.

4. The Influential Charismatic- There is something about a charismatic influencer that works. They tap into the emotional side of the audience by sharing heart-warming stories, and inspirational messages. They are often high energy and are skilled at inspiring others to consider their insights. Mari Smith, one of the world’s leading social media thought leaders is an expert at using her charisma and warm demeanor to connect with people. 

What Is the Main Challenge With Influencer Marketing?

There is not enough measurement going on. There are insane amounts of money being spent, but not much is known about the results or ROI. This is because marketers are trying to measure the direct financial return of using influencer marketing.

Here are some tips to tackle this problem:

  • Give influencers a unique URL their followers can use so you can easily measure the conversions they drive. 

  • Measure the ROI by considering other ways the influencer might help you achieve your goal.  You may be able to measure the campaign according to factors such as traffic driven, social reach, social media impressions, and engagement rate. If the numbers look good, you can assume the influencer did his or her job.

  • Use a tool such as NeoReach, which measures the number of impressions and engagement generated by your influencers. 

With that said, measuring engagement is your best bet. In 2018, 90% of brands will measure the success of the influencer marketing campaigns by measuring engagement over product sales or conversions, according to The State of Influencer Marketing 2018, by Linqia. 

What Do We Keep Influencers Happy?

For Influencers to feel worthwhile and stay interested, they need to be part of the brand, product, and service. If the influencer feels included, they will work to be a credible and authentic voice for your product. 

The BI Intelligence Report highlights ways to build this relationship:

  • Brands need to provide influencers with enough creative freedom, while also ensuring the messaging reflects the brand in a positive way. 40% of influencers don't like restrictions in their messaging. 

  • Build a long-term relationship with the influencer, not a one-off. In marketing, one-offs rarely help the long-term impact on the brand.

  • Realize their value. The average influencer engagement rate across industry verticals is 5.7% on Instagram. As a comparison, the average engagement rate for brands on Instagram has fluctuated between 2-3%.

  • Be nice back. The influencer will be providing value to you, but you need to give them value in return.  Share their content with your online community, follow their social media channels, and comment on their posts.

  • Ask what they think. Stay on top of what your Influencers are saying about your products. Ask them what they think can be improved. An engaging in ongoing dialogue will help to build a trusting relationship. 

Did you find this article informative? If so SHARE it with others who are ready to get involved with influencer marketing!

Arnt Eriksen