When considering the world of Influencer Marketing, the process can seem daunting and make you second guess if it's worth the path not yet taken. That's why we're here, to help guide you on your influencer marketing journey. So buckle up, it's going to be an interesting ride!
What to Know About Influencer Marketing
Here's what you need to know about the current influencer marketing atmosphere before you dive in head first Influencer marketing involves the collaboration between a brand and an online ˜influencer' who partners to promote a product, service or experience..
Globally, there are currently between 3.2 million and 37.8 million influencers across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. These influencers can be categorized based on their size of following, industry, social platforms, and more. A common misunderstanding of influencer marketing is that the said influencer has to be a high-profile individual or celebrity. Surprise! There are all kinds and levels of influencers out there.
To simplify it, here's a basic run-down used to classify influencers based on their follower count:
- Nano-Influencers have between 1,000 and 10,000 followers
- Micro-Influencers have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers
- Macro-Influencers have between 100,000 and 1,000,000 followers
- Mega-Influencers have over 1,000,000 followers
Knowing where an influencer ranks on this list is important because it can affect multiple key aspects of your campaign goals (we'll get into that later).
Influencers can have a cross-platform influence, but there is usually one platform that they tend to dominate. In the earlier years of influencer marketing, YouTube was the go-to platform for influencers (ever heard of vlogs?). But as social media platforms grew and kept adding new features, influencers began to find followers on other channels. Here is a chart from Influencer Marketing Hub that shows the recent flux of channel utilization in the influencer world:
We'll touch on one last bit of information we feel you need to know: the categorization of influencers. Just like we have our own fields, influencers have their own niche. Some like to cook, some are make-up gurus, and you may find yourself even watching someone golf on TikTok at some point in this journey. There are a plethora of categories that influencers can fall into. Check out some of these types of influencers from ViralMango.
So now that you know the basics of influencer marketing, let's get into it.
Why Consider Influencer Marketing
It's no secret that the world of influencer marketing has grown immensely, and it has no intention of slowing down. Standing at $9.7 billion in 2020 to $16.4 billion in 2022, the growth in this industry can't be denied.
You may be asking yourself, but is this really something I need to be involved in? Here are a few stats that might help you understand why influencer marketing makes a difference:
- 70% of consumers factor influencers into their purchase decisions, with 59% stating that they look to influencers for product recommendations. Source.
- More than half of marketers (54%) stated that influencer marketing has successfully increased brand awareness, and even more significantly, 82% acknowledge its impact on driving sales. Source.
- The ROI on influencer marketing is as high as 650%. Source.
Convinced? Yeah, us too. Let's continue on to gain a further understanding of what it takes to incorporate an influencer into your campaign.
When to Consider an Influencer
Just because your friend's hiring an influencer, does that mean you should too? Influencer marketing can be a great way to see results in your next campaign when done right (the keyword here is done right). Two great reasons to use an influencer to supplement your campaign are when your campaign goals are to 1) elevate brand awareness and 2) increase sales.
- Elevate Brand Awareness
- Given the close relationship influencers have with their followers and the potential reach they have due to the algorithm, they'll be able to assist in increasing awareness of your brand. This is especially the case as usually the influencer you choose will have an audience aligned directly with your target audience (and this should be the case). So by partnering with an influencer, your brand is directly being shown to your key audience. And isn't this every marketer's dream?
- Increase Sales
- When working with an influencer, you're likely promoting a specific product or service. With the focus of the product at the forefront of the influencer's content and the trust they hold in their audience, influencers are a great way to increase revenue.
A prime example of a company utilizing influencers to both elevate brand awareness and increase sales is the fitness brand, Gymshark. From the beginning, Gymshark utilized its ˜athletes' to reach its target audience online and promote its products.
Owner, Ben Francis, understood their target audience as it was anyone like himself “ a young gym-goer who not only loves going to the gym but wants to look good while doing it. Francis and his friends had the great idea to leverage the following of their favorite fitness YouTubers, Lex Griffin and Chris Lavado. They sent over some free clothing samples and the rest was history. Now, Gymshark has partnered with dozens of fitness influencers and athletes, since growing to a billion-dollar company.
Who is Right For You
It's important to really narrow down your ideal influencer when choosing one for your campaign. Here are some questions to keep in mind when searching for the right influencer for you:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- This is where your target audience is important. As we mentioned before, influencers have specific niches and followings on certain platforms. Finding an influencer who can supplement reaching your target audience is crucial to the success of your campaign. It's important to know where your influencer's specialty lies to ensure you're associating with the right influencer for your campaign. For example, we wouldn't go to Alix Earle for the next Hot Wheels campaign. (Well technically, you could, but we promise it's not your best idea and there are better options out there.)
- Does this influencer share the same values as the company or campaign?
- Remember, your influencer will essentially be representing your company at the end of the day. It's important to share similar values as your influencer so the vision for your campaign can be aligned. If your company tends to play on the safe side, maybe cross off some influencers who take more risks in their content. It's important for the campaign to come off as genuine, not forced and disconnected.
- Will the campaign align with their current content?
- When an influencer can relate to the product or service, they're better at promoting it. Choosing an influencer who will have an easy time integrating your brand into their content will only elevate your campaign as a whole. While we're on this topic - giving influencers creative control of their promotional content will only BENEFIT your campaign. Skip the strict script and let the influencer do what they know best!
- How is their quality of content?
- Anyone can post to social media, literally. But when partnering with an influencer, the quality of content is a crucial factor for your final decision. Take a look at their page. Is this the type of content you'd like your brand to be represented by? Are you looking for an influencer who uses static images or reels? How is the quality of the images and videos on their page? Each influencer has their own special skill when it comes to creating their content. For example, if you know you would like your influencer to create reels on Instagram, you should find an influencer who posts a plethora of reels on their page and avoid those who have few to none. Aligning your content with their content is crucial to a campaign's success.
- What is their engagement like?
- Part of incorporating an influencer into your campaign is the goal to increase awareness of your brand and attract new customers. To effectively do so with the use of an influencer, it's important to understand if an influencer's audience is truly paying attention. With the thousands of ways, users can pay for followers and attract bots to their page, a dive into their social media is important. Take the time to look at the user's content to determine the number of likes, the engagement rate of their posts, and other metrics you're interested in to see if their content produces the results you'd like to see in your paid partnership.
- Are they within your budget?
- Last but certainly not least, can you afford the influencer? As you're definitely aware, influencers cost money. Rates of influencers depend on follower counts and other campaign variables, such as the number of posts they're expected to create or how long the contract is for. Setting a fixed budget you're willing to spend on an influencer for your campaign is an important factor in determining which influencer is right for you.
Where to Find Your Influencers
So, you want to find an influencer. There are plenty of tools and resources for you to find just the right influencer for your campaign.
This first method is the simplest way to start: Google! Run a quick Google search for influencers or experts on your specific topic or industry. You can find a decent amount of influencers this way, especially if you're looking for one with a large following.
Another way to find influencers is to do a hashtag search “ This can be useful mainly on Instagram and TikTok. Influencers will utilize specific hashtags tailored to their niche and audience, so this is a great way to weed through the giant field of influencers.
Check your own following! You might find an influencer hiding in your own follower number. Bonus points here if they're already following you; chances are they're interested in your brand and/or products which will make the partnership even easier to integrate for both parties.
Use an online influencer-finding tool. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you find influencers. They allow you to refine your searches based on various factors that will help you really understand who can help elevate your campaign. If you want to skip the 'dirty' work of a Google search or social media platform, this is definitely the route for you. Here's a list of tools courtesy of Influencer Marketing Hub that will help you find the right influencer.
We hope these 5 W's will help you ease into the world of influencer marketing. Need help? Good thing you're already here! We have a team that's versed in influencer marketing and ready to help you elevate your campaign. Contact us!