If used properly, influencer marketing can be the best marketing strategy in today’s day and age. No matter how many digital marketing experts you speak to, everyone will say the same thing – it’s the only marketing strategy you’ll need right now. Within the last couple of years, influencer marketing has become an indescribably essential part of digital marketing. You won’t find a lot of brands surviving and thriving in today’s competitive business landscape without using influencer marketing strategies. So, what’s the deal? What is influencer marketing anyway? How can you use it to get ahead in the race against your competitors? Continue reading to find the answers to these questions.
Influencer marketing is a process of digital marketing where you employ the services of a social media influencer. This person is exceptionally popular in the world of the web. When you ask him/her to help you, he/she will promote your brand and its products. This individual will mention and endorse your company while contributing to brand recognition improvement. In return, you’ll provide him/her money, free products, or exclusive rewards.
About social media influencers
Social media influencers have to gain credibility in a specific niche before earning the title. Some of them use YouTube while others resort to Facebook or Instagram. These people have a loyal group of followers that often amounts to the millions. You can leverage their popularity to influence their follower bases to buy something from you. The social media influencer will endorse your products or services by creating content to change the perceptions of his/her followers towards your brand.
How it began
At the moment, influencer marketing is the most reliable and effective method of digital marketing. Almost all top-tier brands in this world use this method to leave their competitors behind. However, it became famous only recently. Influencer marketing started becoming the first choice among marketers when social media started replacing conventional media outlets. Not many people want to follow celebrities blindly anymore. Instead, they want to look up to non-celebrities operating via social media to provide entertaining content. If you research the internet for statistical data, you’ll realize the true power of influencer marketing and how it affects people of all ages, especially millennials.
Influencer marketing can be of several types. Here’s a basic explanation of each variant.
- Sponsored content is one of the commonest influencer marketing methods of today. It simply includes posting content on social media advertising a specific service or product.
- You can also try affiliate links or discount-based influencer marketing. Everyone likes getting rebates, after all, and when a social media influencer announces discounts, it works like magic. You’ll track the discounts using referral or affiliate links.
- Another type of influencer marketing incorporates organizing contests. The winner will receive one or more giveaways. As you can probably guess, everyone wants to get the good stuff for free, and it’s especially true for a social media influencer’s audience.
- You may even consider publishing content released by influencers on your website or social media channels. When a social media influencer makes his/her appearance on one or more of your business channels, he/she will drive a lot of traffic towards your web platform.
- Finally, you can bestow ambassadorship upon a social media influencer. You only need to make sure the individual’s personality, as well as the persona of the person’s audience, fits your brand.
Importance: So, what makes influencer marketing important?
- At the very least, influencer marketing will increase your sales profoundly. According to digital marketing experts, you can earn about $18 if you spend just $1 on a social media influencer.
- With the advent of social media and its popularity in the field of business, it has become extremely important for companies of all sizes and scales to become social-proof. Human beings expect to blend with the crowd because they hope to earn acceptance in society. It’s precisely what you get when you hire the services offered by social media influencers.
- When it comes to making sales on social media platforms, you have to bring your message in front of the target audience. There was a time when this task wasn’t easy at all. Today, however, a social media influencer can do it exceptionally well.
If you’ve been reading this from the beginning, then you already know how important influencer marketing is. In fact, it’s integral to running a business right now. For ascertaining the effectiveness of this particular form of digital marketing, it’s best to compare it to other types.
- Hundreds and thousands of marketers out there will say that content marketing is still the number one choice, and they aren’t wrong. However, content marketing will build your authority and contribute to brand value only. Influencer marketing, on the other hand, will increase your brand’s recognition. You need to strike a balance between the two to get the best results.
- User-generated content can contribute to your digital marketing efforts. In some ways, it’s just like having a social media influencer as your business partner. This person will represent your brand daily, just like all customers who leave reviews on your website or social media channels whenever they purchase something.
- Comparing social media marketing with influencer marketing is somewhat weird. After all, influencer marketing involves relying on a social media influencer who operates on social media platforms. Despite being similar in some ways, there are significant differences between the two. Unfortunately, these differences are out of the scope of this write-up. However, it’s worth mentioning here that the effectiveness of influencer marketing is high enough to be an entirely independent form of digital marketing.
Similar but better:
If there’s one form of marketing resembling influencer marketing, it is word-of-mouth marketing. No matter how digitized this world gets, people will always trust something when a group of individuals mentions a specific brand among a throng of them. One of the main reasons behind the effectiveness of influencer marketing is that it’s an advanced version of word-of-mouth marketing.
How to do it:
Now, it’s time to find out how you can undertake influencer marketing.
- Before you seek out a reputable and reliable social media influencer, you have to choose one or more social media platforms suitable for your brand. To that end, you have to analyze each platform, as well as the people who frequent them.
- Every social media influencer should have the right to creative freedom. You shouldn’t hesitate to give them an opportunity to represent your company the way they see fit. However, you shouldn’t avoid setting up a few guidelines for the social media influencers to follow diligently.
- You can start looking for influencers at this stage, but you should also take a few moments to consider the type of influencer to work with. Mega-influencers are the people with an incredibly large fan base. Second to them are the macro-influencers. They usually have a follower base amounting to 500,000. Mid-tier influencers have anywhere between 50,000 and 500,000 followers, while micro-influencers have about 10,000 to 50,000 followers. Nano-influencers occupy the last spot with 1,000 to 10,000 followers.
- Finding a social media influencer shouldn’t be a challenge provided you do your research. Just search for them in your business niche by keeping your eyes peeled for hashtags and keywords.
- Finally, you can reach out to an influencer just by sending a message to the person directly. However, you must inspect their bio-data first. It should contain information about their preferences regarding marketing inquiries.
Well, there you have it – an all-inclusive guide to using influencer marketing in 2021 and beyond. If you try it, you must be ready to host a massive amount of digital traffic.