Earlier this year we talked about link building and the challenges we face in 2019 to make it happen. We touched upon the subject of Influencer Marketing and we wanted to go into a bit more depth about just what Influencer Marketing is and how you can use it to your advantage, even if you are a small business.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Wikipedia sum it up pretty well:
Influencer marketing (also influence marketing) is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people rather than the target market as a whole on social media. It identifies the individuals who have influence over potential customers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
Influencer content may be framed as testimonial advertising where they play the role of a potential buyer themselves, or they may be third parties. These third parties exist either in the supply chain (retailers, manufacturers, etc.) or may be so-called value-added influencers (such as journalists, academics, industry analysts, and professional advisers).
… Basically, someone popular on social media endorses your brand for a fee/free product and you reap the benefits of their following.
Is Influencer Marketing Just For The Big Brands?
Your experience of Influencer Marketing might be limited to people like the Kardashians getting paid $000s for a simple tweet for big brands such as Pepsi or Calvin Klein.
In a world where TV advertising is expensive and ad blockers can hinder your reach, Influencer Marketing is a great way of approaching customers alongside someone they look up to and trust. Hiring a model or a sportsperson to promote your latest niche swimwear line is going to cost you a lot. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that their fans are swimmers and looking to buy your particular niche swimwear. However, if you choose to work with an influencer in the world of swimming, it’s going to cost less and you can be sure that the majority of their fans are looking to emulate them. So choosing influencers to promote your brand can cost less and target niche corners of the market.
What Specific Benefits Can Influencers Bring?
The ROI for influencer marketing might be as much as 11 times higher than the ROI for other forms of marketing or advertising.
People are likely to spend more when social media influences them. They are also nearly 30% more likely to buy something on the same day when they use social media.
It’s not all about sales. When targeting potential customers on social media, you can build your brand following.
Which Platforms Should Target Influencers Be On?
Instagram is the most well known social media platform for influencers to use to promote brands, but with Facebook Live for videos and twitter reaching so many and encouraging conversation, there’s a lot to choose from. It will depend on your influencer – they might cross-platform promote by default. Take into consideration their following on the platform, as well as the demographics of your target audience (will your grey-pound customers be using Snapchat, for instance?).
How Do I Find The Right Influencer?
You’ll want to remember the 3 Rs for this question – no, not those 3 Rs, but Relevance, Resonance and Reach. You want to find an influencer who fits your brand. One that is a potential customer in their own right. They should already be sharing content that mirrors your product or service. You’re looking for user engagement when it comes to resonance. A strong reach is important, but even more important is users who actively engaged with the influencer. Tapinfluence found that this is often higher with ‘micro-influencers’ ones with 5-25,000 followers.
A micro-influencer has an average engagement rate of around 8 percent, while people with more than 10,000 followers have an average engagement rate of just 2.5 percent.
It’s important to look for sponsorship saturation – if an influencer is posting sponsored posts alternately with natural ones, their audience is likely tired of being ‘sold to’. It’s recommended that only 1 in 5-10 posts should be sponsored at most. This is a helpful benchmark.
How Much Should I Pay an Influencer?
Some of the biggest influencers charge well into the hundreds of thousands for a single post. Meanwhile, the average micro-influencer charges less than $200.
Ensure you have a signed contract to protect both your interests. This should include pertinent information about what you expect from them, review and creative input, costs/expenses to be paid etc. You can download a template for such a contract here (the link to the template is at the bottom of the article).
Influencer Marketing for Small Business Owners Checklist
TL/DR? This handy infographic shows you the basics of influencer marketing with some handy stats that might steer you in the right direction for your brand: