If you’re a smart marketer looking to start your journey in the world of influencer marketing in 2018, it is highly possible that you may feel inundated with the abundant amount of information online. With the growth of influencer marketing last year, industry experts are being targeted to share their knowledge for those who still feel skeptical about investing in the newest marketing and advertising channel.
Here are ten things you always wanted to know about influencer marketing:
1. What is influencer marketing and what is an influencer?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing where brands create relationships with influencers and partner with them to effectively market their product to their audience instead of attempting to market to their target audience directly.
Influencers come in many shapes and forms, because an influencer can be anyone with an strong digital presence and an engaged audience. Influencers have a certain online impact over a niche market, which they can then influence through the content they share. Types of influencers include celebrities, industry experts, bloggers, content creators and micro influencers.
2. How does someone become an influencer?
A person usually becomes an influencer when they follow an interest of theirs so intently that they feel inspired and motivated enough to share it with others online. This can be through Youtube, Instagram or their own blog. Usually influencers build a following by focusing on a niche interest and producing genuine, valuable content.
3. Why do I keep hearing the term ‘micro-influencer’? What is it?
A micro-influencer is someone with a following of between 5,000 and 10,000 that usually focuses on posting content targeted to a niche market. Although their followings may not be as large as celebrities, micro-influencers have proven higher audience loyalty and engagement rates.
4. How can you judge whose following is real? Isn’t it possible to buy followers?
Yes, influencer fraud does exist and it’s a growing issue within the industry. Smart marketers need to be aware of the key fraud indicators when researching the right influencer.
Some of these include spikes in follower growth, low engagement rates, implausible followers or unrelated engagement across different accounts. For a full report, download our presentation on the top 5 fraud issues in influencer marketing.
5. Is influencer marketing appropriate for every brand?
Like all other marketing channels, influencer marketing can be adapted to almost every industry. Before you dive head first into an influencer marketing campaign, it’s crucial to work out what kind of campaign is right for your brand. To do this you need to establish what your campaign goals are and what you expect your return on investment (ROI) to be. It’s common for brands to have one of these three marketing goals when they begin an influencer marketing campaign:
- Increase brand awareness: Whether you are launching a new product or wanting to access your market via new channels, influencer marketing is an excellent way to increase brand awareness.
- Generate sales: You may feel that your brand awareness is established well enough. Using influencer marketing to drive website traffic, and in turn sales is another option.
- Enter new target market: Master a niche market that you’ve yet to explore by building long-term relationships with influencers with a strong community of consumers in your target market.
6. How much should an influencer get paid?
The cost of an influencer marketing campaign is determined by the size of your budget. When budgeting for your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to take into account the aim of the campaign, the type of content you’re requesting and the influencer’s follower count. These factors will determine how much an influencer you’re working with should get compensated for the partnership..
Gift compensations can seem like the favourable option for marketers who have smaller budgets, but the running risk of this is that it becomes hard to guarantee quality content will be produced if the influencer isn’t motivated enough or doesn’t feel fairly compensated.
It’s important to remember that influencers are content creators and they take time, creativity and resources to create content. The professionalisation of the industry in recent years has led to an increase in formal agreements and contracts between brands and influencers.
7. How much control can a brand have over a campaign? Can I tell the influencer what to say?
This can be a delicate subject, because you don’t want to run the mistake of not giving your influencer enough creative freedom to create genuine content. A common mistake is attempting to control every aspect of the influencer collaboration and therefore creating content which is scripted, forced and not well received amongst the influencer’s audience.
It’s important to communicate the aims of the campaign clearly at the outset of the collaboration so that both influencer and brand expectations align. The level of control your brand has over the content would also be subject to the influencer’s payment. Avoid making any other mistakes in influencer marketing, read our post 11 Mistakes Brands Are Making & How to Avoid Them.
8. How do you track the success of an influencer marketing campaign?
The success of your campaign can be measured using a number of different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These will depend on the goals of your campaign. Regardless of the campaign however, it is essential to evaluate certain metrics to ensure that your return on investment (ROI) has been achieved:
- Engagement rate: Comments, likes, or subscriptions can be used to determine how many users have interacted with the content
- Click-through rate: A good indication of reader engagement on blogs and Instagram bios/stories, by creating trackable links which are shared to guide consumers from content to brand
- Conversion rate: Assessing the outcomes of your influencer campaign against your goals is the most valuable metric
9. When is the influencer marketing bubble going to burst?
It’s the question that everybody’s asking – how long is influencer marketing going to last? If you’re assuming that this may be a passing fad, honestly don’t hold your breath. As the market’s annual growth is predicted to soar as much as 56% in the next two years, influencer marketing is shifting the industry ball-game into a whole new field. Marketers wanting to keep up with the latest marketing and advertising methods should certainly consider incorporating influencer marketing into their marketing budget.
10. Do people actually trust influencers more than brands?
Yes, yes they actually do! Consumers are becoming more digitally aware of the content they’re being fed by brands through online platforms. Studies have shown that content created by influencers has become the most trusted form of brand advertising, more so than content created by brands themselves.
Despite the digital delivery and the technological capabilities, at the heart of influencer marketing is a very old concept: recommendations. The much-used adage is true, influencer marketing is word of mouth for the digital age and it’s transforming the way brands reach customers.
Have any other questions on influencer marketing? Leave them in the comments below.