Marketers and businesses make their presence known on social media platforms as a way to connect with and reach their target audience. Still and all, social media is continuously evolving and saturated with content; the competition to stand out and engage with your followers can be difficult. This is where planning a solid social media strategy comes in to help your brand stay ahead of the game.
However, the strategies that worked for your business in the past may not bring the same results next year. Because of the dynamic nature of social media, keeping an eye out for the latest trends to adapt to the demands of the market is necessary. Likewise, steer clear of social media marketing mistakes.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about the rising social media marketing trend that is influencer marketing. But, before we get to the how-tos, tips, and tools, let’s first define what influencer marketing is.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing strategy that enables brands to work with influencers or people who boast a dedicated social following and are viewed as a go-to resource or experts within their niche. This type of marketing works because of the trust that influencers established with their following.
Brands work with influencers to leverage their reach, authority, and visibility to boost their brands’ overall online presence through endorsements of product mentions from influencers. Recommendations from these individuals are seen as social proof of your brand’s prospective customers.
Let these eye-opening stats do the talking about how effective influencer marketing can be:
- B2B influencer marketing content generates 11 times higher ROI compared to traditional forms of digital marketing.
- A survey shows that the most popular reason marketers and brands engage in influencer marketing is to create a campaign for awareness purposes (37%), followed by to increase sales (32%), and lastly, to build up a library of user-generated content.
- Around 74% of people trust social networks to help with their purchasing decisions.
- 90% of business decision-makers start their purchasing journey by researching opinions from industry experts and peers.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
An influencer’s innate ability to persuade and influence a potential customer’s purchasing decision can have a massive impact on your brand’s marketing efforts and revenue. Influencer marketing helps your brand to:
- Expand your reach. Influencers’ well-built fan base can position your brand in front of a bigger audience.
- Build brand awareness. You can generate brand awareness among untapped markets or segments through an influencer’s follower base.
- Build trust. Influencers are viewed as trustworthy sources in their niche. When you work with them, your business can build more credibility and authority in your target market.
- Drive sales. Influencer marketing is essentially word-of-mouth marketing in a heightened way, and many people still trust word-of-mouth recommendations.
How to Find Influencers for Your Brand
Naturally, you have to put in the work to find the influencer that fits your brand. When you start your hunt for the right influencer, take these tips to guide your search.
Bear in mind the three Rs of influence
Influence is made up of relevance, reach, and resonance.
Your influencer must share content relevant to your industry. Their audience should also align with your target audience. Reach is the volume of people you could tap on through the influencer’s fan base. Finally, resonance is the level of engagement the influencer can generate with the audience relevant to your business.
Note that a large follower count is meaningless if those followers aren’t interested in your campaigns or offers. Meanwhile, an influencer with a smaller follower count can be worthwhile if it’s a niche fan base with very dedicated followers.
Look for influencers who are related to your industry
A good starting point when looking for influencers is to find those who support the same industry or niche as your brand. This will give you a better direction and boost your credibility in the industry.
You can set up a Google alert for industry-related keywords or browse related hashtags on social media to see who’s creating content about relevant topics in your industry.
Then, track and monitor all macro, micro, and even nano-influencers on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to review their content and engagement, which will help you create your shortlist.
Tap on influencers who share your audience
You don’t necessarily have to target influencers tied to your industry. Instead, you can look for influencers in industries that overlap or complement yours. This way, you get to reach a wider audience.
You can conduct a target audience analysis to understand your ideal market, their interests, needs, and online behaviour (e.g., the websites and pages they visit) better. This can help you determine non-industry-related influencers your ideal audience followers but who are not in your niche.
Assess the authority of the influencer
One way to see if an influencer is right for your campaign is by assessing their authority. This step determines if they have enough relevance, reach, and resonance to help with the success of your campaigns. Consider these influencer ranking factors to guide you:
- Number of followers
- Engagement rate of followers
- Quality of content
- Depth of niche coverage
- Domain or page authority of their website
How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy
You can’t just send out PR boxes or free stuff to influencers and hope for the best. Check out these strategies for b2b influencer marketing to help you get started.
Decide on your goals
What do you want to achieve when you start working with an influencer? Is it to build brand awareness? Lead generation? Audience building? Kick-off your winning B2B influencer marketing strategy by setting realistic goals depending on your brand’s needs.
Perhaps it’s to expand your customer base into a new user group with a new product or to make influencers talk about your brand values and build a loyal customer base. Additionally, your message is equally important. Make sure that you work with the influencer on how to structure the marketing campaign, so they don’t post or write something unrelated to it.
Set your budget
Running a productive and successful influencer marketing campaign takes a lot of thorough planning, monitoring, and analysis. Make sure that you look at the standard rates for the type of influencer on your shortlist. An agency may represent some influencers, while others work independently.
To give you an idea, Influence.co found that the average cost per Instagram post was $271. The average price per post for micro-influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers was $83, while influencers with more than 100,000 followers get $763.
Establish an agreement
When working with an influencer, it’s crucial that you clearly discuss and build the ground rules for your collaboration. What are the terms of commitment? How long will you be working together? What type of content do you expect them to deliver?
Moreover, you need to be clear about the payment procedure and criteria. You both need to agree on a set of standards for a smooth-sailing partnership. When you do so, you’ll have better efforts and commitment on the part of the influencer.
Summing It Up
Social media has grown to become a part of people’s daily routine—likely the last thing they’re on before snoozing and the first thing they check in the morning.
Chances are, your potential customers spend a good chunk of their time researching similar products or services your business offers, and they rely on industry experts or influencers to guide their decision.
A well-planned influencer marketing campaign that incorporates the influencers’ three Rs and niche, as well as your business goals, can bring success for your brand. Use these tips to begin the planning process and the search for the right influencer for your influencer marketing strategy. Best of luck!
This is a guest post by Jess Andriani. Jess Andriani works as a Marketing Manager at Connext Digital. She believes that every day is a chance to learn something new. In her free time, she writes about Digital Marketing.
With Crowdfire, you can find curated content, schedule your posts, engage with your audience, deep-dive into analytics and create custom reports. Try it for free.