Britney Spears drinking a Pepsi. Steph Curry shaving with a Gillette razor. Influencer marketing has been around as long as marketing itself. The goal is simple: find people with clout within your market and partner with them to showcase your product to their followers. How convenient that their followers just so happen to be your target audience!
As the trend is rapidly growing in social media, influencers are starting to look less like celebrities and more like you and me. Their influence is less about fame and more about their expertise in a subject and their ability to engage and build a community. This makes sense considering that today, 92% of consumers trust peer reviews over brand advertising.
Some brands continue to seek out celebrities to promote their product because celebrities have an astronomical number of followers, which means huge reach. But celebrities are expensive. Beyonce charges $700,000 per post (although that number seems a little low for the Queen B), and their followers represent a very large sampling.
More and more brands seek out influencers with smaller but more engaged audiences that are regularly commenting, liking, or sharing an influencer’s content.
Influencer marketing works well because it all starts with a person, an everyday person, that puts out valuable, authentic content and builds a community of loyal followers around that content. Pretty soon, influencers become trusted experts and an excellent platform for brands
An influencer can help your brand in a variety of ways. Some campaigns are short-term, with a few posts or an Instastory. Others are ongoing, typically when a brand appoints an influencer as a “brand ambassador,” resulting in many posts throughout the year. For example, we helped Charlotte Marathon build their own ambassador program, where local influencers from the community shared their marathon training experiences to their own accounts during the year. Ultimately, this helped generate more awareness and registrants for the Charlotte Marathon.
Influencers can lead contests or giveaways, often requiring users to like the product or company page. For example, this Instagram post from mommy influencer Gparrish is a contest for RXBAR requiring participants to follow the whole food protein bar company. Let’s also not forget that influencers can have an impact through product reviews and good old fashion blog posts.
Is influencer marketing good for your company?
Influencer marketing works for both B2C and B2B markets. The goal is universally applicable: find industry leaders within your market and partner with them to showcase your product to their followers.
Social media is a visual channel, and products have always thrived in these environments. But if you sell a service, influencer marketing can work if done strategically. For example, Charlotte Agenda works as an influencer for restaurants, chiropractors, and real estate agents in Charlotte, NC. Those are all very different services, but they all share a common audience that is the Charlotte Agenda subscriber list. The news outlet is strategic with their content. Their Instagram stories always have a strong narrative that’s easy to follow and is always applicable to life in Charlotte.
Tips to creating a successful marketing campaign:
This is largely based on the influencer’s popularity and reach, but all prices can be negotiated higher or lower than the industry average costs we’ve outlined below. Generally, you can expect to spend anywhere from $1,000-$10,000 per campaign.
Option 1: You can offer a product or service in exchange for posts– deliverables would have to be negotiated with the influencer.
Option 2: You can pay by the influencer’s number of followers (typically $5-$10 per 1,000 followers, per post) or you can pay by engagement ($250-$750 per 1,000 likes, shares, and comments).
- Expectations & Deliverables
Influencers can have a tremendous impact, but if they do not align with your brand strategy, they are not worth your marketing dollars. It wouldn’t make sense to have a famous beauty blogger promote power tools. The audience, the relevance, and the expertise just aren’t there. Do your research. Are your influencer candidates regularly engaging with followers? Do they get a lot of engagement per post? Do they relate to your brand or make sense for your brand? Are they relevant within your industry and do their followers match your target audience?
To help drive the results you want to see, you should provide influencers with a brief to ensure they know what’s expected of them, clearly outlining deliverables. Also, by providing a few quick brand guidelines and key messages, you can help ensure that the influencer delivers on-brand content that aligns with your goals. You will also need to work with legal counsel to draft a formal contract.
Authenticity is the name of the influencer marketing game. As a brand, you want to reach new audiences in a meaning and transparent way to garner consumer trust, so it’s important that your influencers do the following:
– Always mention your brand in posts and stories
– Use the hashtags #sponsored and #ad in posts and stories, and include a disclosure in blog posts
– Do not delete the post when the campaign concludes
- Measuring Success
We recommend working with influencers that have a Business Instagram account, meaning, influencers that can provide post metrics (i.e. impressions, engagements, reach). This will let you know if your campaign is actually working. Never start a campaign without defining your goals and tracking your metrics.
Want to continue the conversation? Contact us today!