A few years ago, when marketers talked about influencers, they meant celebrities and famous bloggers. But today, thanks to the internet, influencer marketing has evolved, and just about anybody can become an online influencer.
Also, the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook has led to the rise of social media influencers. These influencers are often ordinary people with significant influence on their online followers. For instance, a TikTok influencer may be a teen with a TikTok loyal following and the power to influence the purchasing decisions of his or her followers
Another good thing that has come with the growth of online influencers is that brands now have a choice of the type of influencers to use for their marketing campaigns.
For instance, as a brand, you can choose a TikTok influencer from the micro or mega influencers available on the social media app. You can also select between an Instagram or Facebook influencer, depending on the social site that your target audience uses.
But what exactly is influencer marketing, and how can it help your business?
Whether you want to become TikTok influencer or you want to use influencers as part of your SM marketing strategy, we will explain to you everything you need to know about this multi-billion dollar industry.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of online promotional strategy that focuses on using people with influence to impact the purchasing decisions of the people they influence.
An influencer is able to endorse or recommend a product or service to their followers and sway their buying decisions due to the knowledge, authority, expertise, position, and relationship they have with the target audience.
Unlike in the past, influencers do not necessarily have to be celebrities. Today, an influencer can be anyone who has a notable social media presence and a large following. For instance, a knowledgeable fashion blogger can be an influencer and so can a popular mom on Instagram.
While some influencers have millions of followers, others like nano- and micro-influencers often have 10,000 followers or less.
How Effective Is Influencer Marketing?
Let’s have a look at how effective this form of online marketing is.
Influencer Marketing Delivers a Higher ROI
One of the reasons why influencer marketing is effective is because it delivers a higher Return on Investment (ROI) than other forms of marketing.
According to a 2016 study, influencer marketing delivers 11X higher ROI than other traditional forms of online marketing.
Brands that use influencer marketing gain access to high-trust customers, and this kind of trust is what grows your ROI. Besides, influencers also have the power to connect with their audience emotionally without sounding spammy.
According to data from SmartInsights, 71% of marketers believe that influencer marketing drives more quality traffic than any other form of marketing.
Traffic that has been referred by an influencer to your site often has the intent to make a purchase. This is because people are more likely to purchase a product that has been recommended by a person they trust.
Increased Spending on Influencer Marketing
The increase in influencer marketing spending by brands is another proof that this online promotional strategy is effective, as no business would be willing to spend money on an online marketing strategy that is ineffective.
Influencer marketing spending is expected to grow to $4.14 billion in 2022 from $3.69 billion in 2021.
Additionally, data from BigCommerce shows that 18% of firms spent between $100,000 and $500,000 on influencer marketing in 2020, and this budget is set to increase in coming years.
Influencer Marketing Statistics
Influencer marketing continues to grow in popularity and by the looks of it, this multi-billion dollar industry is here to stay.
If you haven’t yet decided to include influencer marketing as part of your marketing campaign, maybe the below statistics will help you make a decision.
Influencer Marketing Industry Growth
The online influencer marketing industry has been steadily growing in recent years.
The market grew from $9.7 billion in 2020 to $13.8 billion in 2021. The industry is further projected to grow to $16.4 billion in 2022. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, part of this growth is attributed to the increase in the popularity of short-form video content on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.
Use of Influencer Marketing by Brands
If you’re in doubt about the popularity of influencer marketing as a promotional strategy you need not be.
Data from SocialPubli shows that nine out of ten marketers use social media influencers in their campaigns. Half of these marketers use this strategy regularly, a quarter uses it frequently, and a third have it as an ongoing strategy.
In fact, the majority of brands believe that influencer marketing performs better than even other forms of online marketing strategies such as SEO, banner ads, and email marketing. For instance, in a recent survey, 60% of marketers noted that influencer-generated posts performed better than branded posts.
Influencer Marketing ROI
Businesses that have invested in influencer marketing make good returns.
According to a recent survey, businesses get $7.65 in profits for every $1 they invest in influencer marketing. 70% of the brands that invest in social media influencers make $2 while 13% make $20 or more for every $1 invested.
Also, 89% of marketers believe that influencer marketing ROI is better than what they receive from other forms of marketing.
Influencer Marketing Effectiveness
There are various ways marketers use to measure the effectiveness of their influencer marketing campaigns.
One such way is to track the user engagement rate. According to data from Social Media Today, marketers find that content shared by influencers receives 8X more engagement compared to branded content.
Moreover, influencer whitelisting which refers to the use of an influencer’s account by a brand to advertise their product performs 20 to 50% better than the use of traditional social ads.
Increase in Influencer Marketing Spending
If you’re planning to increase your influencer marketing budget, you aren’t alone.
According to Statista, 70% of brands have increased their influencer marketing budget in the past years and almost 40% of B2B companies plan to use influencer marketing as a marketing strategy in the future.
Further, 75% of online brands according to e-Commerce trends used social media influencers in their marketing campaigns in 2021. Experts further project that by 2023, marketers will have spent more than $4.5 billion on influencer marketing.
Influencers’ Popularity among Consumers
Consumers too aren’t left behind when it comes to trusting social media influencers.
According to Oberlo, 80% of consumers confess that they are likely to purchase a product recommended by a social media influencer.
Further research shows that Gen-Zers and Millennials are the top consumers of influencer recommended products in the US.
In addition, there has been a steady growth in the popularity of micro-influencers, as data shows that 46% of consumers prefer to follow influencers that look like everyday people.
Steps To Create Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
Hopefully, after learning just how important influencer marketing is for your brand, you’re now ready to hit the ground running.
To help you create a successful influencer marketing campaign, here are steps you can take to come up with an influencer marketing strategy.
1. Develop Your Influencer Marketing Goals
The first step when developing your influencer marketing strategy is to come up with clear goals.
What do you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign? Do you want to grow your organic followers, improve brand awareness, or enhance engagement?
Goals are essential as they’ll determine the direction of your campaign. Besides, if you have no idea what you want to achieve, your marketing team and your influencer will also be lost.
2. Who Is Your Target Audience
After writing your goals down, it’s time to define your target audience.
Aim to be as specific as possible when it comes to your target audience, as this will ensure you get good returns from your campaign. Defining the right audience size will also help you pick the right influencer and social media platform.
Some questions that can help you define your target audience include:
- Who are the majority of your buyers?
- Where are they located?
- What are their interests?
- Which social media platforms are they on?
- What time are your followers most active on social media?
3. Choose the Right Influencer Marketing Platform
Although you may decide to conduct your influencer marketing across multiple social platforms, it’s important to note that some will appeal more to your target audience than others.
For instance, if you’re selling makeup to teens, you might prefer to use TikTok rather than Facebook to promote your products.
Similarly, if you’re a photographer, Instagram might be a better marketing platform than Twitter due to its visual nature.
4. Research Influencers in Your Industry
Before you choose your influencer, you should do some research.
Here are a few factors to consider when doing your research:
- Relevance to your niche – Don’t make the mistake of picking someone just because they have a high follower count. Ensure that their content is relevant to your brand, and it also appeals to your target audience. For instance, if you sell dog food choose an influencer in the pet food niche rather than someone who sells beauty products.
- The number of followers – Influencers with many followers aren’t always the best. If you’re on a budget, and you’re looking for someone who will offer an authentic connection with your audience, then a nano or a micro-influencer might be a better option. On the other hand, going for a macro or a mega influencer may help you reach a bigger audience size but you should be prepared to dig deeper in your pocket.
- Engagement rates – Engagement is another important factor to consider as you want to hire someone who has some influence over their followers. Check if the influencer followers share, comment, or like their funny videos or other forms of content. Notably, engagement rates increase with a decrease in follower count. For instance, according to one study, nano influencers with less than 1,000 followers had an average of 8% engagement rate compared to a 1.7% engagement rate among mega influencers.
In addition to considering these factors, you can also use influencer search tools to narrow down your choice.
A simple search on Google, YouTube, and other social media platforms using specific keywords can also help you get influencers in your niche.
5. Reach Out
Once you find a great influencer for your campaign, it’s time to convince them to work with you.
Start by building a relationship with the influencer even before sending them a private message. You can do this by following them or commenting and liking their viral video, funny TikTok memes, or any other social media post.
Having a relationship with the influencer increases your chances of getting a positive response after you send them a private message on their email or social channels.
In your message, compliment the influencer for the good work they’re doing, introduce yourself, and let them know that you’re interested in working with them. Lastly, ask them to get in touch with you if they’re interested in partnering with your brand.
6. Define Your Campaign
Once the influencer says yes to your pitch, it’s time to get to work.
Clearly define the terms, direction, and what you expect from the influencer campaign. Some questions you can answer during this discussion include:
- What are your campaign goals?
- Which social media marketing platforms should the influencer use?
- What type of content should the influencer use for the campaign? For instance, will you be using videos, user-generated content, or photos
- Who will be creating the content?
- When is the best time to post social media content?
- How are you going to measure the campaign’s success?
- How much are you going to pay the influencer?
7. Follow Up
Remember to keep in touch with your influencer once the influencer campaign starts.
You don’t have to micromanage them, but do ask about the progress of the campaign and provide assistance where necessary.
Also, check if there are areas that need improvements. Be sure to also ask the influencer about their concerns and get feedback from them on the direction of the campaign.
8. Measure Success
This is the last step in your influencer marketing strategy.
It involves going back to the goals you had in step 1 and figuring out if they have been met. It also involves coming up with performance metrics that you’ll use to track results.
Below, let’s look at the different ways you can use to measure your campaign success.
How to Measure the Success of Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
There are several ways you can use to track your influencer marketing campaign results, as noted below.
- Use discount codes or track links to track sales – An effective way to track sales from influencer marketing is the use of discount codes and affiliate links. The affiliate links and discount codes allow you to identify the customers that purchased products after following the recommendations made by the influencer, and also track how much money the customers spent.
- Engagement rate – To track engagement, you’ll need to note the number of shares, likes, comments, re-tweets, and mentions of the social media post made by the influencer. To determine the engagement rate, divide the total engagements on the influencer’s post by the influencer’s follower count. This will give you a percentage of the followers who engaged with the post.
- Site traffic –The easiest way to track site traffic that originates from your influencer marketing efforts is by using discount codes or tracked links. An influencer who refers their followers to your site can direct them to a tracked link which they can click to find your site
- Track impressions – Impressions are different from engagements. By tracking impressions, you’ll be able to know how many people the influencer has reached. To measure impressions, tally the number of new followers or email subscribers after an influencer’s post
- Track conversion rates – Conversions may include sales, email subscriptions, or the use of free trials. In addition to using affiliate links to track conversions, you can use Google Analytics to track the journey of your users and determine if your form of marketing is resulting in the desired goal.
Now you know that an influencer can do more than just grow your following. They can increase sales, improve engagement rates, and increase brand awareness.
Hopefully, this guide will help you choose the right influencer for your campaign and also develop an effective influencer marketing strategy.