While attending a social media and online marketing conference recently, I noticed there was a huge influence on influencer marketing. More specifically, there was a focus on how businesses could use influencer marketing and how influencers could get paid for it.
This got me thinking, should all businesses use influencer marketing? As a blogger and as someone who has partaken in social media campaigns as an influencer on behalf of brands, I’ve definitely seen a keen interest in it. I’ve also seen it being used more and more since I started blogging back in 2010.
The reality is influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere and, depending on the business, it could be a great way to get your business in front of new audiences. Here’s everything you need to know about influencer marketing so you can decide whether or not it makes sense for your business.
What exactly is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is when brands align themselves with an influencer in an effort to spread the word about their company. An influencer could be a blogger or someone who has a solid social media following.
The idea is that this influencer can let people know about your brand and influences them (get it?) to check you out. Because their followings already trust them, their fans will be more likely to check out your brand than if you tried to use a more traditional form of advertising.
What is an example of influencer marketing?
Since I have participated in influencer campaigns on behalf of brands, I figured it would be a good idea to share some examples of what campaigns may look like.
In my experience, companies approach me with a campaign already in mind. My job as an influencer is to create content that matches the campaign and attach my name to it.
Here are some examples of campaigns based on my experience.
- An influencer may be asked to participate in a Twitter chat.
- An influencer may be asked to make an appearance at a live event.
- An influencer may be asked to create a blog post about a specific product or resource a company wants to get out there.
- An influencer may be asked to create social media posts pertaining to a specific company or product. (Or, the social media posts may direct people to the blog post mentioned in the previous bullet.)
- An influencer may be asked to create a video.
Sometimes, depending on the campaign, the influencer may be doing a combination of a few of these items. The key is that the business already knows what the goal of the campaign is and what they want the influencer to do.
What are the legalities of influencer marketing?
If you’re going to use influencer marketing to get your business out there, there are a few legal and internet courtesy things you need to keep in mind.
The main thing you need to know is that influencer marketing is advertising. As such, it must be made known to the audience that the content is an advertisement.
For example, if an influencer is publishing a blog post on their site for you, then they must have a disclaimer that says they were compensated for the post. On social media posts, they’ll need to use the #ad or #sponsored hashtag to let their followers know they’ve been compensated for the post.
When it comes to online ethics and sponsored blog posts, Google does encourage bloggers and companies to use no-follow links for sponsored content. This means that if a company page is linked within a sponsored post, then it will not count toward search results. The reason for this is Google doesn’t want sponsored content to manipulate organic search results.
Is influencer marketing effective?
According to recent data, 69 percent of marketers who use influencer marketing find it effective. More specifically, 73 percent of marketers say it’s effective for lead generation and 76 percent say it helps foster customer loyalty.
The reason influencer marketing is so effective is because it’s more authentic than traditional advertising. It’s also a lot cheaper than traditional advertising in the long run.
Are there any downsides to influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing does not come without its challenges. According to the same data in the last section, finding the right influencers for their campaigns can be a challenge. Additionally, finding the right engagement can also be difficult. Measuring the actual performance of the campaign also isn’t completely straightforward.
What do you need to start using influencer marketing?
If you want to use influencer marketing in your business, there are certain things you’ll need to figure out in order to have a successful campaign.
The first thing you need to know is your end goal for the campaign. Do you simply want to build awareness or do you want people to purchase from you?
You’ll also need to know who your target market is so you can align yourself with influencers who cater to that market.
When it comes to the actual content, figure out which kind of content works best for a particular influencer and their audience. In my experience, companies typically collaborate with the influencer and ask for their input to help figure this out.
Lastly, you need to know how much you’re willing to spend. An influencer with a larger following will obviously cost more than an influencer with a smaller following. The same goes for the amount of engagement an influencer has and how much work is involved on their part.
What kind of results can you expect from influencer marketing?
I already mentioned how marketers feel that influencer marketing is effective for several reasons. But what kind of results can you expect to get and how quickly can you get them.
As with all things in online marketing, it depends. You could get leads from influencer marketing but then spend a few months converting them into customers. That’s because you need to do the work in building trust with them before they are willing to purchase from you.
Influencer marketing is a popular and effective way of making sure your business gets in front of new audiences. Use the tips in the article to help you create a campaign that yields results.