Heard of one of the latest marketing trends yet? Brands connecting with some of today’s digital world stars... Guessed what I’m talking about? Influencer marketing.
So what is it about influencer marketing that’s making it such a hit? Is it really as popular as everybody thinks it is? How do you step into influencer marketing? And the bottom line – is it effective?
No need to keep all “the what?”, “the why?” and “the how?” questions in your head, just remember the answers you’ll read below in this influencer marketing guide for brands ☺
[The What]: What Is Influencer Marketing?
No, this is not about the definition:) Let’s dig deeper to reveal the origin of the trend: how did brands get started with influencer marketing? Where did it come from?
Rumor is, banner blindness has made brands to look for alternative ways to promote themselves to consumers. With time, marketers understood that consumers tend to listen to their peers more than they do brands; that is when influencer marketing first appeared.
When social media came in, brands using influencer marketing turned into a trend, since, according to Adweek, influencer marketing is a social “animal”. This very nature of influencer marketing lets brands to reach their audiences in an organic way, as opposed to using paid ads.
Business2Community says that, compared to media buying, influencer marketing is a “creative process that is unique to each program.” There are a myriad ways to pay, and you can even work with influencer on the “I give you-you give me” basis, that is: they promote your products, you straighten their reputation on the web - it does not have to be all about the money.
Best part of it is, influencers can be from different verticals: celebs, bloggers, opinion leaders, or any online influencer that can affect your target audiences’ decisions, for that matter.
The point here is to find that special someone who can put your brand in the best light possible, and in front of the most relevant audience. After all, it’s all about word-to-mouth☺ So far so good, but why would you build an influencer marketing strategy for your brand?
[The Why]: Influencer Marketing Statistics Don’t Lie
As mentioned before, influencer marketing is all about word-to-mouth. Did you know that when it comes to trust, people tend to put their faith into recommendations of others rather than those of a company in 92% of cases (talking about word-to-mouth power, huh?) In a study conducted by McKinsey, you can get twice the sales from word-to-mouth than from paid advertising and a retention rate higher by 37%.
So, the power of influencer marketing lies in it being social – true. People tend to look at influencers as knowledgeable pros. I guess that’s why influencer marketing has proved to be very effective: for every buck a brand spends on influencer marketing, the return is $6.50, according to a Tomoson study. With that in mind, why not become a part of a marketing strategy that works?
If you start to compare influencer marketing to other forms of marketing, you get a pretty interesting picture: when it comes to generating conversions, influencer marketing stands higher than email or search engines’ marketing. It very well may be that 59% of marketing departments are taking the bull by its horns in an effort to expand to this realm in 2016. That’s great, but how exactly do you do it?
Check out our new 5 Bold UGC Video Campaigns to Steal eBook and see how other successful brands use influencers in their UGC video campaigns.
[The How]: Pick The Best Influencer Marketing Tools & Practices
With everything that’s been said, how exactly are you supposed to start with influencer marketing? Well, the first step in the process is to pick the right influencer. How? Entrepreneur advises to ensure their audience is of relevance to your brand.
Where do you begin choosing your next industry influencer? Emarketer’s answer – social media, with first place proudly taken by Facebook, second by Instagram, third by Twitter and forth by Pinterest.
Ok, so you have a bunch of influencers to work with, now what? Well folks, just like in the game of love, it’s a two-way street – they have to choose to work with your brand too☺ No worries though, as a recent eMarketer study points out, 96% of influencers actually enjoy working with brands, most of which got compensated by a mix of brand’s products and direct payment.
It can go without saying but in order not to traumatize your relationships with influencers, your best bet is to be as patient as you can be. What I mean is, don’t send continuous follow-ups on progress. As Adarsh Thampy, CEO of LeadFerry, puts it: two follow-ups is enough. With that, nobody says you can’t (and you probably should) set some rules – it’s all business after all☺
After you’ve laid the groundwork, having some extra influencer marketing tools up your sleeve wouldn’t hurt. One of such useful tools is Influencer Strategy Template I found on Hootsuite. You can take advantage of it to plan your influencer marketing strategy in advance, including marketing goals, campaign outline and more.
My second place is rightfully taken by Little Bird – an influencer marketing platform that helps you start your influencer marketing campaign on the right foot – by finding influencers relevant for your brand.
And the last, but far from least, Zoomph – a platform that organizes all your social media reach in one place.
Anyway, hope these help you get your next influencer marketing move in order☺ Now, I want to show you some of the best influencer marketing examples to keep you inspired.
One of the must-see’s is Old Spice’s Dream Runner Campaign influencer marketing videos, the purpose of which was to build awareness, ensuring people, especially the exercising community, see Old Spice’s innovative spirit.
One of the influencers Old Spice worked with was Logan Paul, a social media celeb who has over 6 million followers on Instagram and more than 8 million followers on Vine. By June 2016, all the videos created for the campaign generated over 2 million views. Have a look at one of them:
Beauty products is another popular niche for influencer marketing campaigns, especially among beauty bloggers on YouTube. Many of the internet stars have started their own beauty lines under famous brands. This is even bigger than influencer marketing. Imagine people watching videos about beauty products they think a certain internet star has complete management of.
Want to see how it’s done? Watch a video made by a famous beauty blogger Jaclyn Hill. And when I say famous I mean over 6 million of subscribers and followers on YouTube and Instagram combined.
Ever been to the Sin City? Sure, who does not know Las Vegas...Turns out Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority had to to entice people to visit by tapping into the power of Vine influencers. What wouldn’t you do to get Millennials to come?
The partnership with Matt Cutshall and Robby Ayala on Vine has brought a total of 79 million tweet impressions, 13.5 million Vine loops and 400, 000 Vine engagements, to name a few:)
Here’s Robby’s short clip on Twitter:
As you can see, stepping into influencer marketing bears fruit:) Even if you’ve been an influencer marketing fan for a while, remember one simple truth: “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is -- it is what consumers tell each other it is” - Scott Cook.
Taking Scott Cook in mind, here are 5 Bold User Generated Video Campaigns eBook to get inspired from:)