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Influencer Marketing insights every business needs to know

Influencer marketing is the fastest growing online customer acquisition method out there. It’s no surprise considering that a whopping 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when making purchase decisions.

This is an industry that continues to move from strength to strength.

It’s not difficult to see why brands increasingly funnel more time, money and energy into influencer marketing, after all influencer marketing campaigns can generate up to 11x the return of investment than traditional advertising.

What’s more, by 2020 the influencer marketing industry is expected to surpass $10 billion.

This is an industry that shows no signs of slowing down. So it’s no surprise that 67% of marketers now choose to promote their content with the help of influencers, with 39% of brands planning to increase their influencer marketing budget in the future.

Clearly, this is the time for businesses to be acing their influencer marketing strategies. But where do you start? Who should you work with and how?

In this guide, we outline everything your business needs to know to carry out killer influencer marketing campaigns that drive real results.

What is Influencer Marketing?

 

Let’s start from the beginning.

To understand influencer marketing, we first need to understand what an influencer is.

An influencer is anybody who holds influence amongst their audience. These figures are able to influence the decisions of their audience, typically because they are liked and trusted by them.

Influencers can have anywhere between 1,000 – 10 million followers and operate across a wide range of industries.

Which leads us on to influencer marketing. This is the process of a business or brand promoting themselves or their products through an influencer in order to reach their targeted, engaged audience.

Brands use influencer marketing campaigns for several reasons, whether it’s to promote a new product or service, boost sales, increase exposure or gain traffic.

So that’s influencer marketing in a nutshell. But how can brands make sure their campaigns are successful?

A match made in heaven – choosing the right influencer to work with is key

 

It’s hugely important that brands pick the right influencers to work with.

Not only is it important for the influencer’s reputation to work with brands that are in keeping with their style and subject area, it’s also hugely important for the brand.

Influencer marketing will only ever be effective if you’re working with the right influencer.

The influencer should share the same kind of image, ethos and interests as your brand.

They should share the same or very similar audience to your business. This will ensure that their audience is interested in the business, product or service they are promoting. That’s a win for your brand.

Think about it this way, if the influencer’s audience isn’t relevant to your businesses’ audience, the campaign will flop and fail.

Get it right and it will pay off, after all – 82% are likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow.

It’s all about authenticity. Authenticity is absolutely key in influencer marketing in 2019. In fact, a recent study has found that authenticity is the number 1 consideration for influencers when deciding which brands to work with.

If an influencer wants to keep the trust of their followers, they need to be producing authentic branded content in line with their overall image. If it isn’t authentic, their audience – and your audience – will spot it a mile off.

It can be a struggle, and 61% of marketers state that finding the right influencer for their campaign is a challenge.

So before deciding on an influencer to work with, it can be useful to look out for:

  • The quality of their content: is it high-quality, original, creative content that you’d happily promote your brand through?
  • Their past influencer work: has time, effort and care gone into their previous paid work?
  • Their audience: does this align with yours?
  • Their engagement: do they receive lots of comments and interaction around their posts?
  • Their voice: does the influencer’s voice and overall aesthetic pair up well with your brand’s?

Putting the time and effort into finding the perfect influencer will be worth it and can determine whether the campaign is a roaring success or miserable failure.

Don’t go in blind – establish your goals

 

When approaching an influencer with a campaign proposal it’s hugely important that you have set your influencer marketing goals.

 

Like with any good marketing strategy, the first step is to create and establish what it is you wish to achieve from the campaign.

Goals for influencer campaigns typically range from:

  • Building or strengthening brand awareness
  • Increasing engagement and interactions
  • Driving traffic or conversions
  • Generating sales

Failing to establish your goals will ultimately lead to a thread of confusing emails between brand and influencer, wasting your time and theirs.

Terms & Conditions apply – be clear about what you want

 

With your goals in mind, you can go ahead and set out a clear campaign proposal to the influencer.

When working with influencers it’s important that you lay out every necessary detail about the campaign.

It can be handy to compile all this information into a document or contract to be read and signed by the influencer.

Within the document/contract, key information should include:

  • Campaign overview: in a brief description let the influencer know what your campaign is all about outlining your key aims and goals and any other useful information.
  • Key dates: when will the partnership run from and to? On what dates does specific content need to be sent over for approval? On what dates does content need to be shared? Make sure you outline all key dates in the campaign.
  • Content requirements: what do you require from the influencer’s content? Do they need to include a specific product? Does the content need to take the form of an image, carousel of images or video? Does the influencer need to share 1 or several posts? State every content requirement applicable.
  • Caption requirements: is there specific information that the influencer needs to include in the caption? Are there certain hashtags you’d like the influencer to use?
  • Fee: will you negotiate a fee with the influencer or propose a set fee which they can accept or reject? How will you make payment and when will this be due?

Laying out all the vital information upfront is good practice and will save your business and the influencer huge amounts of time throughout the campaign.

For more help on creating an influencer marketing contract, check out this handy guide.

Don’t ignore the little guys – work with micro-influencers

 

Although it’s tempting to target influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers, don’t overlook the value of micro-influencers.

Micro-influencers are those that have a follower count of 25K or below. What’s really great about this group of influencers is that they tend to have super engaged audiences. That’s why they can be so useful to your business.

What’s more, if your business doesn’t have a vast budget, working with a smaller influencer can be far more feasible for your budget.

Don’t shy away because of smaller follower numbers. After all, it’s engagement levels that count, and with micro-influencers having 22x more conversations than the average Instagram user, their engagement levels tend to be far higher than accounts with millions of followers.

What’s more, a massive 82% of consumers reported that they were highly likely to follow a recommendation made by a micro-influencer.

Micro-influencers yield amazing results for a fraction of the price.

Head straight to the source – the power of Instagram

 

Brands looking to ace their influencer marketing games will overwhelmingly find that Instagram is the place to be.

In fact, 99% of influencers could be found on Instagram in 2019.

Instagram ranks number 1 for being the most important and impactful channel in influencer marketing. With over 1 billion users and an ever expanding network of influencers, if you’re looking to head to the influencer marketing powerhouse, look no further.

It’s no surprise that over 2/3rds of marketers spend the most on Instagram.

If you want influencer marketing success, you need to make sure that Instagram is part of your strategy.

Play fair – provide sufficient compensation

 

Studies show that the biggest mistake brands can make when it comes to influencer marketing if failing to provide sufficient compensation. After all, for many influencers influencer marketing is their full-time jobs, their bread and butter.

Influencer campaigns can return as much as $6.50 for every $1 spent. The influencer is promoting your brand/product to a highly targeted audience, so it’s only fair that businesses pay fairly for their services.

How much you pay an influencer will vary according to the influencer and the campaign requirements.

There are different ways to work out how much you will compensate the influencer including:

  • Pay per post: you pay the influencer a fixed fee for each post they create for you.
  • Cost per engagement: you pay the influencer according to the amount of engagements their content returns.
  • Cost per click: you pay the influencer according to the number of clicks they drive to your landing page.
  • Cost per acquisition: you pay the influencer depending on the number of actions or acquisitions they drive. This could be anything from sales to sign-ups.
  • Free products, services or experiences: instead of financial compensation, you gift the influencer your products or services for free.

Paying a sufficient fee to the influencer will ultimately pay off in terms of the quality of work you will receive. Being paid appropriately usually means the influencer will have been able to spend more time over the content, resulting in more creative, interesting and engaging work.

Next Steps – ready to create a killer influencer marketing strategy?

Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s an industry that continues to grow from strength to strength. It’s no wonder that a whopping 65% of influencer marketing budgets will increase in the future.

We hope you enjoyed our insights from an insider on how brands can ace their influencer marketing strategies. For more help with creating killer influencer marketing campaigns get in touch with Report Central today. We’re experts at marketing your business in the digital world, finding the right influencers who will drive real results for your brand.

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