2018 Influencer Marketing Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to Influencer Marketing
Over the past couple of years, marketing has explicitly become the game of building effective relationships. Brands collaborating with famous people for marketing their product is something we all are familiar with.
But taking it to the next level, brands have started giving reigns of their company image in the hands of macro-level trendsetters. Associating with the right trendsetters help them to propel their product to the local audience and become a household name.
And this is what we know as Influencer Marketing.
According to an article by Launch Metrics, “influencer phenomenon has firmly established itself over the last five years with almost 80% of professionals claiming to have implemented influencer campaigns in 2017...” And it is only going to increase in the year 2018.
According to NoGre, 88% of the consumers trust online recommendations as much as the recommendation from their peers. Indeed, there has been a shift from youngsters fanning for their favorite celebrities to creating a more relatable bond with online content creators like Youtubers, bloggers, Instagrammers and anyone who is creating original content.
Consumers, specifically millennials, seem to have more trust in these common yet famous people. They trust their reviews; believe in their recommendations!
Considering these changes in the psychology of consumers, brands have been quick to make their moves. Influencer marketing has become the fastest growing channel for consumer acquisition, and the growth will continue in 2018. As per statistics, businesses earn 4-6% for their every 1% invested amount. And that’s another reason why big brands are relying on macro-level influencers to increase their online presence and eventually, their sales!
So what is influencer marketing exactly and how to do it for your business?
Influencer marketing is all about connecting with the right people. These people or as we should say ‘influencers’ already have a large reach through their respective platforms. To leverage this relationship they have with their loyal follower base, brands associate with these influencers to market their product or services.
In other words, we can say influencer marketing is taking the idea of celebrity endorsements and placing it into a modern content-driven marketing strategy. As this strategy works on content creation around the product, the promotional material will differ with every platform. Instead of typical advertisements, campaign content will resonate the taste and style of the respective influencer and their platform.
Take this example of a Swedish social media influencer, Felix Kjellberg, better known as Pewdiepie. He is the most followed Youtuber of all time with whooping 65 million subscribers. Though, he is quite popular on other social media platforms too (14.2M followers on Instagram, ,7.3M Page Likes on Facebook and 15.8M Twitter followers). Here are his two promotional posts on two different platforms.
Promotional Content: 1
With his partner, Marzia Bisognin (CutiePieMarzia), he created a mini-series of 6 videos called Catacomb challenge to promote a horror movie “As Above, So Below.” They generated around 19 million views on the Youtube! Here is the episode 1 of the series:
Promotional Content 2:
Here, he did a paid partnership with a men’s watch brand Tayroc:
Types of content for your Influencer Marketing Campaign:
It is important for you to know what kind of content will suit your brand and purpose. If you think you’ll collaborate with an influencer with 1 million followers who’ll post just anything and it will make an impact. Noops! Influencer marketing is undoubtedly more than just finding a person with a good following.
And that leads us to another question:
Who is an Influencer?
Unlike celebrities, influencers can be anywhere and anyone. They are someone who have built strong following through their content over a long period of time. People follow them religiously. And you can’t be wrong in choosing your influencers. As the influencer industry is growing, it has become a tedious process to find the ‘right influencers.’ Here are few simple parameters you should consider when looking for content creators:
Industry: One of the most obvious things we must look in the influencer is their industry! They have to be the experts in the industry you belong to. Now consider this, DJ Khaled who is known to be the ‘King of Snapchat’ talks about a software product! Will it make any impact? Noo! You should target those people who have been creating content around your product. So defining the target industry is your first step!
Engagement: The next step is to see BOTH their audience reach and engagement. Don’t overlook the engagement part. It’s a very common mistake people make when looking for influencers. Having a thousand followers won’t count if the audience is not engaging with the content. Marketers should take note of the number of likes, comments, and shares on the published posts. That’s how you’ll know how active their audience is and how it reacts to different types of content.
Channel: Find out which social media channel of the influencer will be more beneficial for your brand promotion. Each platform has its advantages and disadvantages; outline what kind of content will make an impact on your campaign. For example, if you are a fashion label and looking for influential people to market your product, then you must pick Instagram as a platform. Search for Instagrammers who are into Fashion and Lifestyle and claim a large follower base.
Quality and Creativity: Do check out what quality of content the influencer is publishing on a daily basis. You must prefer creators who are more creative and consistent in publishing the content. As I mentioned earlier, this industry is booming, and only original content is capable of engaging the audience.
Now you have an image of your influencer! It’s time to find the real ones, but how to do that?
Ways to find influencers
• Social Media Monitoring: Social Media Monitoring is one way to find these influencers. It has two advantages: first, brand advocates are the best people you can connect with for your campaign. They know how to talk loudly and actively about a product that might belong to your niche.
Second, they are already talking about your outlined niche. For example, find someone who heavily talks about fitness and health but has never mentioned what your website is selling. Connect with them and utilize their expertise and loyal followers for your product.
• Make Use of Hashtags: Do you know the following few hashtags might land you on the page of your influencer? Research a few hashtags that your target influencer is using. Follow the conservations surrounding those hashtags. Here you get the names of active influencers talking about something your product is about. Add them to your list. By doing this, you also have the content that is trending on the platform, and now you know what the audience is looking for.
• Look for Bloggers: It has been observed that more than 80% of influencers already have blogging websites and an active presence on other social media accounts. To locate influential bloggers, start by searching articles in your niche. Go through their content to see how relevant is their content to the topic. After filtering, you have a list of influential bloggers who are already talking about your stream of the subject. You can then go for their SEO stats using tools like Inkybee, Buzz Stream, Blogdash, etc.
Things you should know when working with Influencers
First and foremost, you need to understand that it’s not a free service. Influencers do work hard to build a platform like that, and if they do a shoutout of your product, they need to be compensated. The compensation could be in any form - financial, product discount, giveaways, or maybe commissions for long-term work.
Try not to force your content idea for the promotions. No one knows the followers better than the content creators. They have built a relationship with their audience, and it’s because of their original content ideas, they have started following them. Better leave the content creation on them!
Volvo campaign would be the right example to prove the point. With a strategy to go beyond the traditional target, Volvo collaborated with a model, fashion expert, and blogger, Chriselle Lim.It seems to be a total interruption when some staged and sponsored pictures are posted to show off Volvo. Unlike her other pictures which are authentic and organic, Volvo 7promotional pictures do not align with Lim’s style and tone.
Beware of fake likes or followers! There are many ways to increase the followers on any platform. But these followers are just numbers; they don’t really engage with the content. Do double check how active is the audience on the page. Pick only those influencers who have good engagement with their audiences.
Many brands haven’t realized the power of influencer marketing yet. But sooner or later, every business have to become the part of it. Don’t you lose the opportunity. Spare some time to find the right influencers for your business and start building relationships with them
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