In the early days, entire families would flock to a television screen to consume what limited content was available. Celebrity endorsements were then the most effective way to influence consumers. But times have changed! People now would rather watch the reviews of influencers before making a purchase decision. Influencer marketing is now the new fad among brands, influencers, and social media marketing.
What changed is the lack of information. Consumers don’t even know if the celebrities themselves use the products they promote. On the other hand, experts in the field are sharing their experiences and reviewing products. This phenomenon led to the rise of influencers.
Today, influencer marketing is the most sought-after and invested in paid marketing channels in 2021. Brands and marketers often leverage the authority and reputation of experts to grow their social media presence. Brand marketing helps in:
- Increasing social media presence
- Generating brand awareness
- Increasing engagement
- Boosting conversion rates
This has helped brands as well as small businesses increase their brand’s social media presence and establish their authority in the industry.
Influencer Marketing: What Are Social Media Influencers?
Influencers are social media celebrities that have established themselves as experts in the respective industry or niche. These influencers have a dedicated and loyal following or community and can help you sway user buying decisions in your favor by marketing.
Whereas, influencer marketing is leveraging the authority of content creators to promote your brands. Influencer marketing is extremely effective because of the trust that the influencers have built with their community. It also provides new prospective customers for your brand.
In 2018, the global influencer marketing investment was $5.67 billion. That number is expected to grow up to $15 billion in 2021 and about $24.1 million by 2025. The reason for this being the great returns that influencer marketing offers.
The Current State of Influencer Marketing
While influencer marketing investments have grown at a very rapid pace, new types of influencers have emerged in the industry. Let’s look at the different kinds of influencers that can help you in marketing your brand.
These are probably the influencers you are most aware of. They have a massive Twitter follower base and have established themselves as the most revered in the industry. They are the highest-ranking category of influencers with more than a million followers on their social media profiles.
They usually have a very diverse follower base or community that may share very different interests. Although, mega-influencers are not connected with their follower base on a personal level. They can help you in marketing your brand drastically increase your brand’s social media reach and awareness.
— Kylie Cosmetics (@kyliecosmetics) December 28, 2020
Kylie Jenner is a great example of a mega influencer. She has over 37 million followers on Twitter. A single marketing post of hers can tremendously increase your brand’s social media exposure. Although, collaborating with a mega influencer can be very expensive. Kylie Jenner herself charges over a million dollars for a single sponsored post.
Macro influencers are social media influencers that have a smaller follower base compared to mega-influencers. They usually have between 1 million-100,000 followers on their social media profiles. They have a slightly less diverse follower base and can offer better engagement rates compared to the mega-influencers.
These content creators are usually experts in the industry and early adopters of the social media wave. They have built their community by adding content that adds value for the users. They can be vloggers, podcasters, social media sensation, or bloggers and offer a more targeted audience for brands. Their opinion is highly valued by the industry and the people associated with it.
— Beth Comstock (@bethcomstock) May 6, 2020
Ann Hadley is another great example of such an influencer. She is an early adopter of the platform that recognized the potential of social media platforms to connect consumers with brands.
Micro or Nano influencers
Micro-influencers have between 1,000-10,000 followers on their social profiles. They often operate in niche markets and are usually referred to as niche influencers.
I recently organised for my a few of my black British content creators to get together for Black History Month.
— Sug-Sean (@SugSean) October 12, 2020
Going back 5 years, it was way easier to amass a massive following just by posting a few pictures and updates. But the social media user base has evolved and now seeks content that adds value. It is very difficult for new users to gain massive engagement the same way and increase their audience size. So many influencers stick to a niche and steadily increase their follower count.
Although, despite the low follower counts, these influencers have a more focused target audience compared to mega or macro-influencers. They are more connected with their audience and easier to work with. Also, did I forget to mention that they provide better engagement rates and are relatively inexpensive? You could even collaborate with multiple influencers to increase engagement and conversion rates for your brand by brand marketing.
This kind of influencer is somewhat similar to a niche influencer other than follower count. Loyalists are social media influencers that stay loyal to a brand rather than switching and promoting brands or the same industry. They stick with the brand through thick and thin, their audiences are also more focused and often share the same interests.
— EverythingApplePro (@EveryApplePro) October 13, 2020
Collaborating with an influencer that is associated with your brand for a very long-time can be more beneficial to brands. It helps build trust, and the audience can be swayed more easily to trust the brand’s products or services. Loyalist marketing is more trustworthy.
Beware of influencer fraud
While influencer marketing is a very rewarding investment, there are some things that you should absolutely know. One of the most concerning things in influencer marketing is influencer fraud.
The rising investments in influencer marketing have caught the attention of many users that too want a piece. While they don’t have a significant follower base to be called an influencer, they buy fake followers to overcome that limitation to attract the attention of brands and marketers. They sign hefty sponsorships with brands but offer no increase in engagement, brand awareness, or conversion.
While major brands and B2B marketers may be able to recover from such losses, small businesses and brands may not be so fortunate. Planning an influencer marketing requires a lot of resources other than the financial aspect. The social media teams of brands have to plan entire campaigns, writers to plan content, and resources to monitor their influencer marketing campaigns.
These resources could have been utilized elsewhere, towards a more fruitful endeavor, perhaps.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Now that you know what influencers are, let’s uncover the benefits of influencer marketing.
Increase brand awareness with Influencer marketing
One of the most important benefits of influencer marketing is that it can help you increase your brand’s social media presence. You can leverage the authority and reputation of influencers to increase awareness about your brand. Like I said earlier, a single post from a mega-influencer can drastically increase your brand’s awareness. However, not every influencer that follows or engages with your brand can help you promote it.
You need an influencer that is related to your industry and whose opinion is widely respected in the community. You can also explore other options of marketing. You can collaborate with multiple niche influencers, or a combination of macro and micro-influencers as they offer a more focused and relevant target audience. It can help you reduce costs and get better results.
Increase reach and engagement with Influencer marketing
Influencers can help you increase the reach of your brand. They can connect you with audiences that are interested in your products and services. This helps you market your brand to new prospective customers. Increasing the reach of your content can also help you increase engagement for your brand’s social profiles, including Twitter. Leverage the influencer’s authority in the industry to promote your brand or product to their communities.
Build credibility and trust with Influencer Marketing
Influencers build their communities by providing unbiased opinions about their industry, brand, products, and services. @MKBHD is a widely popular YouTuber, who has built his reputation by providing genuine and in-depth reviews of tech, no matter how reputable a company the tech belongs to.
Hot take: Samsung has the most improved, most accurate portrait mode on any smartphone camera right now with the S21 pic.twitter.com/WBjQgeDJPp
— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) February 2, 2021
This encourages the followers of the influencers to stay loyal to the influencer and you can use this relationship to build trust and credibility.
Find more focused audiences
A partnership with an influencer allows you to target their community. This already gives you a sizable audience to promote your brand and to find new potential customers. Apart from the influencer’s followers, you can also target users related to the industry by using specific hashtags to increase the reach of your promotional content.
This can help you find more focused audiences that are related to your industry and interested in what your brand offers.
Increase conversion rates with Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase conversion rates for your brand. An influencer can help you sway the buying decisions of consumers in your favor. You can leverage this to create buzz or chatter about your brand and attract the attention of the users interested in the product. You can sweeten the deal by creating a trackable URL along with a discount code. The trackable URL can help you monitor traffic gained by the influencer marketing campaign. Whereas, the discount code helps you increase conversion rates for your brand.
Types of influencer marketing campaigns?
Let’s discuss the various types of influencer marketing campaigns that you can leverage to increase audience participation and social media presence.
Giveaways are a highly popular kind of influencer marketing campaign and attract a lot of engagement. In this, brands send a certain number of product units to an influencer. The content creators then giveaway these products for free usually through a contest. Influencers usually choose a call-to-action contest in which users have to do a certain task to stand a chance to win the product. One of the most common ways to select a winner is by asking the users to like, comment, and follow. The first few are selected as the winners and have to share a few posts on social media with the product.
Social Media Managing/Takeover
This kind of influencer marketing is very rare to see as brands handover their social media accounts to experts. Brands look-out for influencers whose personality and social media image aligns with your brand. These influencers manage all the promotional content on all the social profiles of the brand.
They usually undertake such influencer marketing campaigns to promote an upcoming event.
Affiliate marketing is the type of influencer marketing campaign that relies heavily on influencers to promote their product. The brand partners with multiple influencers and creates an affiliate link to track the conversions of each influencer. The content creators then promote a product or service on sale on the brand’s website and encourage people to use their affiliate link to purchase the product. The influencer then receives a commission on each purchase made through the affiliate link.
Sponsored social media content
Creating engaging content consistently and keeping the users engaged is something that even seasoned marketers struggle with. So, brands often use sponsored posts to promote their brand. They collaborate with influencers that then create content and promote the brand on their social media profiles. This helps brands generate brand awareness and provide engaging content to the user interested in their brand or industry.
These kinds of influencer marketing campaigns are widely popular among tech Youtubers. New businesses or ventures send samples of their product to influencers and hope that they review the product. This provides free publicity and exposure that helps in generating brand or product awareness. It also helps new businesses find prospective customers for their brand.
Informational blog posts and guides are widely sought-after content in any industry. Brands should seek content creators and reputable bloggers in the industry to promote their products and services. There are two ways that brands can leverage sponsored blogs.
- Create a blog post mentioning their brand
- Mention your brand in similar blog posts
In both cases, influencers create blogs for brands and help increase brand awareness along with overall exposure.
Guest blogging is an excellent way of leveraging the influence of content creators to promote their brand. It can be achieved in two ways and they are,
- Posting a content creator’s blog on your website
- Posting your blog on the content creator’s website
Both are excellent ways of increasing the brand awareness and social media presence of a brand.
In this kind of influencer marketing campaign, the brand chooses an influencer to act as a representative or advocate of the brand. This move provides tremendous exposure to brands, as they usually choose a mega-influencer that has a huge follower base to promote their brand.
This requires an influencer to be absolutely loyal to the brand. To make sure of this, brands often use content creators that have been a follower of your brand for a really long time. These influencers regularly promote the brand’s products, services, events, campaigns, and everything in between.
How to plan an influencer marketing campaign?
Now that you know the benefits of influencers, let’s go through some of the best practices of conducting a successful influencer marketing campaign.
Define influencer marketing goals
The first and foremost step to running a successful influencer marketing campaign is deciding what you want to achieve.
- Increase reach and exposure
- Generate brand awareness
- Increase engagement
- Increase website traffic and conversions
- Generating leads
- Focusing on new target markets and prospects
After you decide what you want you can focus on finding the right candidate that can help you achieve that.
Find and analyze industry influencers
The next step is to find the right content creator that can help you promote your brand. As I said before, every content creator that engages with your brand can’t help you promote it. It does benefit brand marketing when they collaborate with influencers that are already associated with your brand. But a consultant that follows you but isn’t associated with your industry cannot influence your target audience.
Find influencers that are associated with your industry and are sought-after for their opinions. These are the influencers that can help you reach and connect with your target audience.
Set up a content approval process for influencer marketing
Now the next step is to plan an effective content strategy for your influencer marketing campaign. While some brands give influencers the freedom to create content on their own, many brands like to be involved and monitor everything related to their social media marketing campaign. You must plan a process for revising and finalizing content. Keep this in mind, what may seem engaging to one person may not be the same for others. Finalize a process that every piece of content is checked and approved before it gets published.
Promote influencer’s content
Now that you have decided what you want to achieve, found the right influencer, and finalized the content strategy, it’s time to promote the content of your influencers. Promoting the content of your influencer marketing campaigns can help you increase your brand’s reach and exposure.
The more reach and impressions your content has, the more exposure your brand gets.
Analyze the impact of your influencer marketing campaigns
Now the last and probably the most important thing to do is monitoring the impact of your influencer marketing campaigns in real-time. Native Twitter analytics does help you track and monitor the engagement metrics of your profile. But, if you want comprehensive analytics and real-time insights, I suggest you use a third-party Twitter analytics tool.
Monitoring your influencer marketing campaigns in real-time can help you measure the impact of your implemented strategies. If your performance indicators are not up to the mark, you can change your marketing approach and try out new strategies to increase engagement.
How to track influencer marketing campaigns?
TrackMyHashtag is an AI-enabled real-time event and hashtag tracking tool. It can help you track any hashtag, keyword, or @mention and provide instantaneous updates on the key performance indicators. You can use it to track the engagement, conversations, and popular discussion related to your influencer marketing campaigns. The intuitive analytical dashboard provides various insights in real-time that can help you enhance your influencer marketing campaigns.
Key features of TrackMyHashtag,
- Track any hashtag, keyword, or @mention
- Identify and analyze content creators
- Find resonating content
- Identify trending hashtags
- Predictive analysis
- Intuitive analytical dashboard
TrackMyHashtag can also help you access historical Twitter data related to any hashtag, keyword, or @mention.
The basic premium plans start at $49 a month.
Influencer marketing has proven itself as the most effective paid marketing channel to promote your brand. But finding the right expert to promote your brand is not that easy. You need an effective analytics tool that can help you identify and evaluate the influencer Twitter profiles. TrackMyHashtag is an amazing tool that can help you analyze the profile metrics of any public Twitter account. Do give it a try!
If you think I missed any information or insights, let me know in the comments.
Until next time!