#InfluencerMarketing101: How to leverage influence to craft a unique voice on social media!
Imagine if we’d told you ten years back that we’d be living in a world where your next-door neighbour could be a voice of reason for thousands of people online, or that your teacher could also have a side hustle as a fashion blogger? It wouldn’t have sounded plausible, correct? Well, the times have surely changed now!
In this new reality of digital and social media marketing, we’ve seen influencer marketing explode as a way for brands and companies to get their products and services introduced to new markets.
An influencer is anyone who has influence over a particular set of audience and has the ability to impact their purchasing behaviour through endorsements and product placements. According to eMarketer, 84% of marketers are leaning towards launching at least one campaign involving an influencer in the next one year; more so in the times of a pandemic where people are spending most of their time on their phones or laptops. Furthermore, Marketers who have already launched influencer campaigns are impressed with the results, with a whopping 81% calling this form of partnership quite effective.
Source: Flying Point Digital
Having said that, this new form of advertising is still fairly nascent and riddled with lots of gray areas. To truly utilize the potential of this field, here are certain tips that can help you go from zero to hero:
- Identify the right influencers and the right campaign: When evaluating influencers, it’s tempting to focus on reach and popularity. But the better path is to build a list of potential matches, go beyond the vanity metrics and evaluate their quality and performance to get a good idea of who your customers turn to. It’s advisable to do proper research, test, and check if their values align with that of the company before making a decision.
- Partner with influencers by reaching out correctly: Once you’ve decided on a relevant influencer(s), get on their social radar and build a rapport by sharing something that they’ve created. Sending an email that’s short, sweet, and concise, without any ambiguous requests always does the trick too. It’s necessary to note here that mutual respect is an underlying mandatory because these entrepreneurs have painstakingly built their personal brand up from scratch over years of hard work.
- Decide your goals beforehand: A truly successful campaign with the right kind of content may look like either a higher number of likes, comments, and shares or a relatively lower number but richer engagement within a target community. It’s your job as a brand to decide what you want the result to be first and to keep the expectations crystal clear.
- Keep aside a separate budget: As they say, all good things come at a price and the same applies here. As brands, it is crucial to keep healthy budgets aside for influencers, because they are your representatives to the masses and toil away to help your brand succeed. A general rule of thumb is also to have all formal contracts in place along with a clear set of deliverables, no matter how small the engagement.
- Collaborate, don’t dictate: This line of work demands flexibility and giving creative freedom, because that’s what creates unique content. As brands, focusing on creating increasing content as opposed to just straight selling the brand is primary, to increase acceptance of sponsored content amongst the masses. Along with collaboration, a balanced mix of pace and frequency can also work wonders!
- Measure your ROI: This is the most important step because the content is only as good as the revenue it drives. To know that, tracking the correct metric that just isn’t engagement rate is important. Tracking traffic sent to your website, growth in followers, brand advocacy, and specifics such as sales, leads or downloads are key. Track the campaign and performances over time across a range of influencers, to make better-informed decisions in the future.
At the end of the day, influencer marketing might not be right for every brand. But for those where it fits the bill, it can work alongside a well-balanced and successful digital marketing strategy to shift voices and shine that much-deserved spotlight!