07 May INFLUENCER MARKETING
Influencer Marketing: Influencer Pricing and What Sales Can Brands Expect
1. What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a process of using influential figures to build brand popularity, establish loyalty and trust, institute authority, and sell products. Although the process mainly utilized celebrities or public figures in the past, today influencer marketing mainly refers to social media influencers.
Social media influencers include consumer (nano), micro, macro, and celebrity influencers ranging from 5K followers all the way to 10M+ respectively. Influencer marketing utilizes the power, or “influence,” of popular social media accounts to drive interest in a brand by displaying the product, tagging the brand in the captions, tagging the brand on images or videos, and driving purchase through calls to action. Call to action typically involves using links to a brand’s website or other e-commerce, inviting audience to a physical location (driving foot traffic), or simply mentioning the brand to transform perception and popularity of the product.
Influencer marketing has become immensely popular due to the cost of advertising (it is on average 7X less costly than other forms of digital marketing, including paid search) and it has proven to draw immense brand attention and website (and foot) traffic. Another reason for the success of influencer marketing is third party product reviews – unlike traditional marketing where the brand shares the benefits of its own products, influencer marketing utilizes authority figures within a particular industry to share their opinion regarding a brand. Often times, influencer marketing can also include “word of mouth” as audience often tag their friends or family on product reviews shared by influencers.
Some of the challenges of influencer marketing include locating appropriate influencers, negotiating terms of the partnership, shipping products to influencer location, ensuring campaign compliance, and the measuring of the overall influencer marketing strategy through appropriately identified KPIS.
Influencer marketing is typically carried out by influencer marketing agencies or in-house PR specialists. Depending on the needs of the brand, large influencer marketing campaigns are typically executed by agencies and they often involve contracting influencers from talent agencies. Other times, brands hire digital agencies to carry out influencer marketing campaigns that involve both gifting (PR) and sponsored posts (ad buying).
2. How much do influencers charge?
Influencer marketing campaign pricing is impacted by numerous factors, mainly the type of niche/industry influencer specializes in, number of followers, past brand campaigns, percentage of engagement on each post, authority within the industry, and more. Generally speaking, U.S.-based influencers charge around $1,000 for each 100,000 followers ($1/100 followers). This figure does not consider influencers who work with agencies or those who have worked on substantial campaigns with reputable brands, as they typically charge more – popular fashion or beauty influencers often demand over $1.5/100 followers and some can even go to $3/100 followers.
Influencer price also varies according to different types of advertising. For example, video ads tend to be more expensive than photo ads and the same influencers will charge more for videos on their YouTube channels over videos on their Instagram accounts. They may also have a “bundle fee” where they include all their social media channels as a part of their campaign service.
A&E conducted a study of 1,000 influencers and their pricing, and they noticed that influencers tend to increase pricing with their increase in engagement. This is due to the fact that for the same number of followers, brands receive more impressions on each sponsored post than they would with a lower engagement.
Influencers also charge different prices according to their past work outside of social media. For example, an actress with 100,000 followers may charge significantly more for a single post when compared to an influencer with the same number of followers who is only known for their blog, photography, or YouTube tutorials. This is mainly due to the authority and reputation each person has within their field – many highly authoritative figures may not have as many followers on social media but carry significant weight when it comes to their knowledge, reputation, and trust factor.
3. Why do brands work with influencers?
Brands work with influencers for several reasons: influencers exude great “influence” over their followers when it comes to perception and purchasing of products, they are generally more affordable when compared to other type of digital marketing, and they produce high quality content that is often repurposed by brands for other marketing and sales activities.
A) Influencers have a great impact on their followers
Influencers know that they value they can add to the brands who employ them is directly related to their follower numbers, and how engaged they are with their followers. They therefore build their relationships with their audience to last for years. For example, lifestyle and fashion influencer, Something Navy (Arielle Charnas), has been running her Instagram account since 2009. Many of her followers grew up following her advice on style, and they have learned to trust her when it comes to fashion recommendations.
Other influencers specialize in niche industries and like to emphasize their expertise through authentic reviews of products. For example, YouTuber Rose Anvil purchases shoes to deconstruct them piece by piece in order to demonstrate their quality. Many times, influencers review products independently without sponsorship from brands. They do this to demonstrate their knowledge and passion within a specific industry and their audience learns to trust their opinion regarding specific topics.
The impact of influencer marketing is backed up by the data. Last year, a Matter Survey found that 82% of respondents had purchased, researched, or considered buying a product or service after seeing an online post from friends, family, or influencers. Building trust is often a slow process, but few factors can help to speed it up as much as influencer marketing.
B) Influencer marketing is often far more affordable than other types of advertising
One of the reasons that so many brands are attracted to influencer marketing is its affordability and the possibility to create excellent ROI. In a 2019 Mediakix report, 89% of brands surveyed said that their ROI on influencer marketing is comparable or better than other channels. Other studies found that influencer marketing ROI is as much as 11X that of banner ads.
But it is not only the lucrative ROI that makes influencer marketing such a valuable proposition. Even smaller companies with limited budgets can benefit from influencer campaigns. Big brands would often only associate with those influencers who have millions of followers, but for many smaller brands, a micro-influencer (those with 10K to 50K followers) could do an effective (if not better) job.
Micro-influencers may not have superstar status, but many of them are extremely credible and revered within their small niche. Some micro-influencers are willing to create posts in exchange for products, while others are very affordable. They can do this because they already generate the majority of their income through their accounts. It is therefore not surprising that more than 80% of all sponsored posts come from micro-influencers. Because many micro-influencers are still in the process of expanding their follower bases, they are often more engaged, adding further value.
C) Influencer marketing gets seen
One of the biggest challenges faced by traditional digital advertisers is that their ads are simply not seen anymore. A number of studies have found that between a half and two-thirds of all online consumers now use ad blockers, while data protection regulation across large parts of the world makes it difficult to collect data on users. This in turn makes it difficult to run targeted campaigns.
Influencer marketing gets around these issues, as the content will be seen by followers, and it is content that they want to see. If the influencer is chosen with great care, it replaces the need for targeted campaigns, as there is a good chance that the majority of the followers falls into the target audience.
Influencers may also help brands to get access to potential clients and markets that they had not even considered before. All it takes is for an influencer’s post to be reshared by another person who has online clout. The followers of this influencer can then see the product on timelines that may not have been considered for targeting.
Influencer-generated social media content also has the opportunity to be seen by more people. Most social media feeds prioritize individual content over company or business content, because they want brands to pay for advertising. This means that often, not even the most dedicated followers of a brand get to see a new post from them.
If the post is generated by an influencer, however, the branded post will likely appear in a follower’s timeline along with all the other individually generated posts. And if the engagement level is high, the chances are just that much higher that the post will be seen by more and more potential customers.
D) Influencer marketing adds value to both the brand and the consumer
One valuable aspect of influencer marketing that almost no other form of marketing can achieve is its ability to add additional value to your target audience. YouTubers who share product videos on their channels often go much further than simply providing a product review and singing its praises.
Some provide in-depth explanations of the product and even how to trouble shoot. This helps to avoid user frustration and even poor product reviews. Detailed reviews also help consumers to compare features with other products before making their choice.
Some brands have even created campaigns where new uses for existing products are shown by the influencers, which consumers may not have been aware of before.
E) Influencer marketing boosts SEO
One of the most important marketing activities for a brand is to ensure that it shows up on the first page of search engines for as many searches as possible that are undertaken by potential customers.
Although search engine algorithms are constantly adjusted, they constantly rely on domain authority. Domain authority is determined by the amount of times a website is backlinked from other websites. Brands can utilize influencer marketing to increase backlinks from influencers’ blogs and social media accounts.
F) Influencer marketing can speed up customer acquisition
As mentioned, the overlap between an influencer’s audience and a brand’s target audience is often substantial. Since the audience is already interested in what the brand offers, in combination with a credible influencer, customer conversion and acquisition happen quicker.
Several studies suggest that influencers with lower follower rates, that run more focused accounts, have significantly better conversion rates than accounts with millions of followers. Users feel that their influencer is speaking directly to them when their follower count is lower.
G) Influencer marketing allows brands to target niche demographic
Before a brand makes the decision to bring an influencer on board, it is vitally important to look at all their posts on all their platforms. If the brand and the influencer do not show a reasonable overlap in spirit, values and style, that influencer may be a poor fit for the brand, no matter how exciting a partnership may sound.
Influencer relationships are founded on mutual trust and respect. If a brand expects an influencer to change their style to feature their products and services, you cannot expect the influencer to be very enthusiastic about creating content for the brand. On the other hand, if the first meeting is about showing the influencer that the company respects their work, and how perfectly the brand fits their spirit, values and style, the influencer may become a lifelong cheerleader for the company.
4. How much does a brand need to spend on influencer marketing to sell products?
There are many factors to consider how much to spend on an influencer marketing campaign. The most important of these is naturally the overall marketing budget. But even when one knows the size of the budget available, deciding on what percentage to spend on influencer campaigns is often not an easy task.
Most marketers still struggle to quantify the ROI generated by influencer marketing. Actual sales generated are easier to determine, but the generated awareness is more difficult to put into numbers. Despite this, more and more marketers are starting to agree that influencer marketing generated ROI is often higher than that of other marketing channels. This is also usually reflected on brands spend on influencer campaigns. According to a study, in 2018, only 39% of marketers said that they had plans to increase their influencer budget. By 2020, this number increased to 65% of brands dedicating a higher amount to influencer campaigns.
It is clear that marketing spend on influencers is currently in flux and certainly not in the realm of settled science. It is also true that certain brands are a better fit for influencer marketing than others. It is therefore important for brands to consider what they want to achieve with their campaigns when budget allocations are finalized.
In the aforementioned report, 54% of brands surveyed indicated that they would spend between 0% and 20% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing. On the other hand, 17% of respondents indicated that they would allocate more than half of their budget to influencer marketing.
In pure dollar terms, this means that 34% of companies have an influencer budget of between $0 and $10,000 for 2020, 31% have a budget between $10,000 and $100,000, 28% between $100,00 and $1M, and 7% have budgets of over $1M.
Once a brand has decided how much it will spend on influencer marketing, it has to find the right influencers, which becomes more difficult the more niche a brand is. Then, it has to negotiate with the influencer for an appropriate payment for the expected work.
What influencers expect to be paid is usually dependent on their follower numbers. A recent study by influencer.co found that influencers with less than 2,000 followers earn $124 per post on average. This then increases on a sliding scale up to $1,405 per post for influencers with more than a million followers.
But follower numbers are usually just a negotiation starter. Even industry experts agree that there is no standardization in terms of what influencers are getting paid. The brand must therefore have a very clear idea of what it is willing to pay and what it expects in return, because the final price is probably going to be determined through negotiation.
Many micro-influencers are highly regarded in their niche field. So, while they may have relatively low follower numbers, their engagement levels and conversion rates are much higher. For this reason, they may feel that they can negotiate a higher fee. It is the duty of the brand to then decide whether the higher fee would provide a higher ROI.
The type of industry also plays a role in influencer pricing. In a highly technical field, there may be few influencers who are competent enough to do the product justice. They can then charge a premium because they do not face strong competition from many other influencers in their field.
The second factor that affects influencer cost is the channel. Content on YouTube is the most expensive because of video editing that is often required. Instagram is the most popular channel for marketers and this demand also means that posts are more costly.
The amount of work an influencer is expected to do will naturally also affect the cost. A post on one platform would cost less than when an influencer is expected to repurpose a post for multiple platforms. It is up to the brand to decide whether all the platforms are really necessary. It may be more beneficial to choose one channel that aligns well with the brand and create more content for that channel than to try to retain a presence on all channels with a broad spray-and-pray approach.
5. What are different types of influencers?
A) Identifying influencers by size of following
There are several different ways to categorize influencers. One of the most commonly used is follower size. The different tiers are categorized as follows:
- Mega-influencers: >1M followers
- Macro-influencers: 500K – 1M followers
- Mid-tier influencers: 50K – 500K followers
- Micro-influencers: 10K – 50K followers
- Nano-influencers: 1K – 10K followers
I) Mega influencers and their role in influencer marketing
Mega influencers have huge follower numbers and are often some of the world’s most recognizable celebrities. Many other influencers built up their fame online, particularly on social media, but the mega influencers are often famous outside of cyberspace, such as royalty, sports stars, musicians, and actors. Although they may not always be as knowledgeable about a product they are marketing as a category specialist, they add value through the sheer number of people who see their posts. Their influence comes from the fact that there are many people who want to look and feel just like them. Mega influencers are costly, and it is usually only the biggest brands that can afford to partner with them. Even when a brand has budget for a mega influencer, there is no guarantee that the influencer will agree to the partnership. Their position allows them to be picky about their projects.
II) Macro influencers and their role in influencer marketing
For brands still looking for mass appeal, but that do not think that the mega influencer’s price tag is justified, a macro influencer may be a better fit. An interesting mix of people can be found amongst the macro influencers. Some are minor celebrities, or celebrities who are on the verge of making it big. They could also be influencers who built their celebrity online and who have managed to attract a much larger following than the average social media influencer. Because most macro influencers are most likely already working with a number of brands, negotiating with them is often easier than with influencers who have a smaller following. In addition, there is a much larger number of macro influencers than mega influencers, so brands have a larger selection to choose a perfect representative from.
III) Mid-tier influencer and their role in influencer marketing
As the name suggests, mid-tier influencers represent the middle in terms of follower numbers. The vast majority of mid-tier influencers have achieved their status on social media but have not yet hit the big time. As such, they are usually willing to partner for a really good rate, while providing value as they seek to build their profile. Often, being associated with a brand is beneficial for their credibility as well, ensuring that they will go the extra mile. Because most mid-tier influencers want to play in the big leagues, they are generally well aware of industry best practices and tend to be more professional to work with than those with even smaller follower numbers.
IV) Micro influencer and their role in influencer marketing
Micro influencers are known for their authority or knowledge in a particular niche or category. Their followers are almost exclusively people who share an interest in that niche. Because of this, the low follower count is secondary to the fact that these followers are loyal, engaged, and fully trust the recommendations of the influencer. Because the brands that use micro influencers are usually smaller themselves, there is a chance that a micro influencer has not heard of them before when they reach out to suggest a partnership. There is also the chance that the micro influencer has not done influencer work before and would need to be coached.
Micro influencers can also be skeptical at first about the relationship, because they fear it might harm their reputation of independence if their followers see a product punt. But once these hurdles have been overcome, there are many opportunities for a mutually beneficial partnership. Large brands are also starting to recognize the value of micro influencers, and therefore may decide that partnering with 10 micro influencers is a better use of their budget than partnering with one big social media star.
V) Nano influencers and their role in influencer marketing
Nano influencers are, for all intents and purposes, the same as micro influencers, but with even fewer followers owing to an even higher degree of specialization, or an even more niche area. By definition, only brands that produce highly specialized goods or services would partner with a nano influencer.
B) Identifying Influencers By platform
As mentioned before, while influencers can be used in combined campaigns across traditional and new media, the bulk of the content will be shared on social media, blogs, and increasingly, podcasts. The following are the most used platforms today. Sometimes, brands will decide that one social media platform suits their brand the best and focus on that particular platform. Other times, a multi-platform approach may maximize the opportunity to be seen and heard. There may also be synergies between platforms, such as promoting blogs, podcasts, and videos created by the influencer on other social media platforms where the influencer doesn’t have a presence.
I) Blogs role in influencer marketing
Since the first blogs appeared in the mid-90s, blog authors can be seen as the first online influencers. Bloggers often write product reviews for a fee, or often just in exchange for products. Blogs are good marketing tools because most readers know that bloggers are approached by brands to feature their products, but they still value the blogger’s opinion on that product, and use that information before making their own purchasing decisions. There is no shortage of highly influential blogs on the internet, particularly in the gadgets, electronics, food, and beauty categories. Bloggers often have a dedicated following, consisting of people who don’t mind the longer-form content on a topic they are passionate about. If a brand has a good relationship with a blogger, they may even be able to convince them to post links to the brand’s website, driving both traffic and SEO.
II) YouTube’s role in influencer marketing
YouTube content creators usually focus on longer form content for their followers. YouTube is particularly popular with the gaming community, where top players share or even live stream their games. Some have garnered so much popularity that even non-gaming brands have aligned with them. Unboxing, where a content creator takes a brand-new product out of its box and reviews it, is also incredibly popular, and these creators often have a huge following. A survey by Mediakix found that the majority of Millennials believe that they can learn anything from YouTube, and that they prefer YouTube content creators to traditional celebrities.
Tapping into this trend where followers use YouTube as a learning channel, brands can partner with influencers to create how-to and troubleshooting videos. Influencers can also explain uses for the product that followers may not be aware of. This creates value for everyone in the relationship, as it makes the brand more accessible, the influencer is seen as very knowledgeable, and the followers get information they can really use.
III) Podcasts role in influencer marketing
Some podcasters come from relative obscurity and have built a name for themselves with high-quality content that is relevant to their audience. There are also many podcasters who have built up their credibility and celebrity elsewhere and using that to enter the podcast arena. Many people have replaced their radio listening habits in the car to podcast listening. With radio ads therefore decreasing in reach, podcasts have to be considered as an increasingly important marketing channel.
IV) Instagram’s role in influencer marketing
Instagram has, in recent years, become the darling of social media influencer campaigns. It has all the right ingredients: visual appeal, loyal followers, and a generally more wholesome image than some other social networks. Instagram posts also typically take shorter time to produce than content on many other channels, particularly blogs and videos. Top Instagram content creators often use a mix of photo and video content for maximum engagement with their fans. Any brand that can benefit from beautiful footage of their products should prioritize Instagram as part of their social media campaigns. Categories such as fitness, fashion, and travel are particularly well suited to Instagram. A disadvantage of Instagram is that statistics are bit harder to come by and therefore measuring the ROI of a campaign could be slightly trickier.
V) Facebook’s role in influencer marketing
Facebook is not always regarded as the most ideal platform by many brands, although successful Facebook influencer campaigns are certainly not a rarity. With a Facebook campaign, it may be necessary to spend budget, not only on the influencer, but also on boosting posts to ensure enough people see them. The advantage is that one can choose the parameters of who will see the ads, resulting in a more targeted campaign. The disadvantage of Facebook is that the engagement rate tends to be much lower than with other social media sites.
Social media sites such as Twitter, Twitch, TikTok, and Snapchat have all been used successfully by brands to create product awareness with the right influencers. These sites have certain advantages and disadvantages. Brands therefore have to do their homework to ensure that using these social networking services achieve their purpose.
C) Identifying Influencers by By Category
Most influencers fall into a particular category that is usually easily recognized by potential followers. It is important to keep in mind that the influencer and the brand do not have to fall into the same category for there to be potential synergies. It is often the case that an influencer is an excellent fit for a brand, not because they share the same interests, but because they share the same values or the same quirkiness. Some of the most common influencer categories are:
- Fashion and beauty – Mainly clothes and cosmetics, but also instructional content on DIY subjects such as make-up tips and tricks.
- Traveling – Often consisting of beautiful travel photography or storytelling. Some focus on tips on how to travel on a budget.
- Gaming – Live streams, tips, game reviews and unboxing.
- Health – Sharing exercise regimes, diet tips, and other fitness content. There is often overlap with the wellness, nutrition, and mindfulness categories.
- Family – The mommy blogger category in particular continues to grow. And these blogs tend to hold huge sway with their followers.
- Tech – Gadgets, reviews, latest developments, and unboxing.
- Music – Concert information, news, videos.
- Cars – Kit cars, technical information, DIY, news.
6. How to Contact Influencers
Once a brand decides on a budget for its influencer marketing, and which types of influencers to use, the number of influencers required will also be clear, e.g., one mega-influencer or 10 micro-influencers.
One important step that cannot be stressed enough is to qualify all influencers before contacting them. The internet never forgets, and it is social media users are quick to turn on an influencer or celebrity if they do or say something that is viewed in a negative light. Although one can never be certain, a thorough look at an influencer’s online past can be a good indicator whether future controversy might follow.
The next step is then to identify these influencers and contacting them to negotiate a partnership. There is a number of different ways to contact influencers.
A) Direct contact
Contacting an influencer directly means more work for the brand’s marketing team as they would need to identify the influencers themselves. It is usually as simple as going onto an influencer’s profile, getting their contact details, and getting in touch with them. Some brands prefer going this route, as it gives them more freedom to choose the exact influencers they want, and to negotiate rates without a middle man. The downside is that many brands have do not have extensive in-house knowledge of searching, identifying, and negotiating with influencers. Even with the right expertise on board, this exercise can prove to be time consuming.
B) Through an influencer marketing agency
Most communications agencies have identified influencer marketing as a core focus and are directing ample resources into developing their capabilities in this regard. Given the massive rise in influencers marketing, communications agencies that have been around for a long time know that they need to adapt their offering to include influencer marketing, otherwise specialist digital influencer companies may take a substantial part of their business away from them.
Communications agencies that have well-developed influencer marketing capabilities in-house can offer their clients several advantages, including an integrated marketing and communications approach, maximizing the use of the influencer across traditional and new media. Established communications agencies may also have more clout with influencers, particularly mega-influencers, than a small, newly founded specialist digital influencer company.
C) Specialist in influencer marketing agency
Specialist digital influencer companies are often a lucrative option because influencer relations are their core business. They may therefore be more engaged with their influencer list than a larger communications agency. This could mean that their influencers may be willing to go the extra mile for them and their clients. For this reason, they may also be better placed to allow a brand to form a deeper, longer-lasting relationship with an influencer.
7. How to measure influencer campaign success
The most important aspect of measuring influencer campaign success is not to do it as an afterthought. To constantly improve on your campaigns, the deliverables have to be clear and measurable right from the start. Market analysts point out that ROI calculations will not always be 100% accurate, because clients may choose to purchase a product based on the advice of an influencer months after the fact.
However, by maintaining consistent measurement parameters, one campaign can be compared to others to drive continuous improvement. To do this, there are several metrics to consider. What a brand considers an ROI does not always have to be in purely financial terms, depending on what the brand wishes to achieve through its influencer marketing.
A) Increase in sales
The financial impact on a brand resulting from an influencer campaign may be one of the easiest ways to calculate ROI, but there are still several ways to measure the impact on sales in relation to the campaign. The simplest way is to merely track the increase in online and store sales. Buying trends are important to consider in the weeks during and after a campaign, but these may also be affected by many other factors, which is why most brands set up other ways to measure campaign effectiveness.
UTMs track user activity to enable reports that calculate website visits and online sales generated by a particular campaign. Another possibility is for the influencer to use a promotional code with their post(s). This is a very direct way to measure campaign success.
B) Raising of a Brand’s Online Profile
Often, the long-term effectiveness of an influencer marketing campaign is not merely the ROI measured over the short term, but the long-term positive association with the brand’s online profile. This can be determined from the buzz created by an influencer post. Aspects to consider are impressions, engagements, and engagement rates. These numbers can then be compared to the budget to determine number for each parameter per dollar spent.
Finally, brands can use their ROI calculations to compare their influencer marketing campaigns with their other marketing spend and adjust their overall influencer marketing strategy accordingly. If the brand follows the trend of the rest of the current marketplace, chances are that even more budget will be allocated to influencer marketing in the coming years.
8. How to get the most out of an influencer campaign
Before embarking on a relationship with an influencer, it is important for the brand to understand the nature of the relationship, as well as the limits. The only way to get the best influencers on board, and to ensure that the brand gets the best mileage from that influencer, it is important to point out to the influencer as often as possible how the relationship is mutually beneficial.
If it seems to the influencer that the brand is the only one benefitting from the deal, they may not decide to partner with the brand. And, if a brand looks like the only party benefitting, and the influencer still agrees to the relationship, it may mean that they don’t intend to do much, or do not have as many active followers as the brand assumes. Therefore, relationship building is a cornerstone to any successful influencer campaign.
In fact, the influencer should be aware why they are the brand’s choice to represent their products. The approach to an influencer should therefore be personalized and not simply be a generic offer to participate. The brand must communicate to the influencer what their unique qualities are that made the brand interested in the relationship in the first place.
Even brands that understand influencers do not always get the most from their campaigns, often because they forget to see the message from the consumer’s viewpoint. Some campaigns feature the best content with the most beautiful artwork, but the posts still get lost on followers’ timelines in between all the other social media action. One post a day for several weeks may not have the same impact of several posts a day for just one week, where the message will really get through. On the other hand, more brands are now trying to cultivate long-term relationships with their influencers. Deciding on the frequency of posts, as well as the length of the influencer relationship, are just some of the variables to keep in mind.
As with any relationship, boundaries need to be set from the start. Influencer-generated posts might offer brands a great opportunity to respond to some of the followers’ questions, particularly those that are too technical for the influencer. However, the influencer may not appreciate the brand entering into their turf and timelines, as it may make them seem inauthentic. It is therefore important to manage these expectations early on. If the influencer is open to it, the brand can appear more human and benefit from personal interactions with followers.
It is also important not to forget the marketing angle behind the product, and to ensure that the influencer knows what the angle is. Some brands just expect the influencer to create a post or a picture that features the product, but that may not be the hook that sells the product. If the product creates a solution that followers may not be aware of, the influencer should mention this. If it is a trend, for instance a product that everyone will be using/wearing this season, this should be mentioned.
This helps both the influencer, who appears as a trends forecaster, and the brand, which is seen as a trendy product. If there is a limited time offer or limited stocks, the influencer should definitely mention that they got theirs just in the nick of time, and others can too, if they hurry up. Although influencers will not surrender their creative freedom completely, building a good relationship and making them aware of unique aspects around the product will increase the chances of them sharing this information with their followers.
And the vital importance of uniqueness cannot be overstated. Only unique posts that stand out will be noticed and shared. This is becoming increasingly tough in an environment where all the other brands are trying to do exactly the same with their influencer campaigns. Therefore, brands have to have a very clear vision of what is going to make their campaign stand out from the others at the beginning of the campaign. Brainstorming around unique ideas is a great opportunity for relationship building. By including the influencer in the brainstorming and planning phase, they get the opportunity to bring their own unique personalities to the campaign, which means that there will be complete buy-in from their side once the campaign launches.
Such sessions also provide the opportunity to impress the influencer even further. Most influencers do not come from big corporate environments and often do not know how these corporates operate. By bringing them into the fold and sharing information such as the mission and vision of the brand, as well as the difference that the brand is making in people’s lives, loyalty with the influencer can be strengthened. If the brand ever went through a tough time and came out stronger, this information could help the influencer empathize more with the brand and its human side. Many marketers appreciate the importance of brand storytelling to establish brand loyalty. Influencers who buy into the brand’s story could prove to be valuable assets.
These sessions can turn an influencer into a brand expert, allowing them to add real value to the brand and the followers. Professional influencers should be open to participate in these sessions, and reluctance to do so might be an indication that they are not willing to do that much for the brand.
From the influencer’s side, they can provide valuable insights about what their followers really want and appreciate. Together, it is possible to create truly user-centric content that the followers will find valuable, enticing and interesting.
Discount codes are another way to create synergy with an influencer. It helps the brand track the efficacy of the influencer campaign a lot more closely and it helps to establish the influencer as a person who provides real value in the minds of their followers.
9. Influencer Marketing In Summary
Influencer marketing has proven its value over and over again. By understanding all the aspects of influencer marketing, by establishing strong relationships, and by avoiding the pitfalls, brands can leverage the power of influencers to significantly grow their brand awareness and sales. It may not be an overnight process, but the benefits outweigh the negatives.