With an estimated $15 billion of marketing budgets worldwide expected to be spent on influencer partnerships by 2022, brands are looking to expand their audience outreach through this channel.
We cover what you should think about when including influencer marketing in your next campaign.
1. What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is when a brand partners up with a social media user who has a large, or dedicated follower base for a mutually beneficial relationship. The brand often pays the influencer to promote them or gifts them free goods or services, and their return on investment is to have the influencer, who is seen as a credible source by their followers, endorse the brand’s products or services.
2. How to find the right influencer
If you want to make sure you find the right fit, get ready to do some research! It’s not all about followers, you have to consider if they are right for your brand and whether their audience are engaged, amongst other factors. So, what kind of influencer do you want to work with?
Microinfluencers, which have 1k-100k followers, generally deliver a much higher return on investment as their audience is more niche, making their voice heard in the community they speak for. They’re considered experts by their followers and have developed a high level of trust when it comes to endorsing a brand.
Their followers are much more likely to engage and convert than those with larger followings, and they are much better suited to modest marketing budgets.
These are people with between 100k and a million social media followers. This is generally where you’ll find your Love Islanders and other reality stars, who generate a lot of their income from brand endorsements. Usually, you’ll find that they’re open to endorsing a very wide range of brands.
One downside to partnering with these influencers is that your post could get lost in a large volume of paid ads.
These are usually celebrities, people in the public eye or well-known established influencers with over 1 million followers. If you have a Kim Kardashian budget and just want some quick follows and awareness, this could be the right approach for you. You’ll have less creative input over the content, and deals are usually done through a representative so you won’t know if they’re truly a champion for your brand. However, their reach is so vast that a post is guaranteed to be shared and seen by millions of people.
This is extremely short term and the ones who convert are usually people who are already interested in what you have to offer – all you’re getting is your name out there, and there are cheaper, more effective ways to do this. Considering a paid campaign to reach these audiences, and convert new ones, with your products and services could save you tens of thousands of pounds.
Engagements can be faked and followers can be bought, but a good eye and doing proper due diligence will see you weed out the ones that are trying to dupe you for a quick payday. We’ve put together a blog on how to go about choosing the right influencer for your brand – click here to read it!
3. You need a strategy
While you may feel like paying for a post and sending your product out to an influencer will be enough, it’s not. This is a business investment and to make it work, both sides need to be dedicated.
You’re not giving the money away – what do you want back from it? Discuss your idea of a good return on investment with the influencer you have in mind. If it’s not achievable, you need to readjust your expectations, reconsider your budget and think about whether the influencer is right for your campaign. They will likely be open and honest about what can be achieved – after all, they want successful partnerships just as much as you do.
Make sure your influencer really does represent your brand and is up-front about what your product or service can offer or achieve.
One crucial example of this is weight loss products. These are regularly plugged by the likes of the Kardashians, who have personal trainers, cosmetic surgeons and nutritionists to help create a figure many people aspire to have. However, attributing this look to weight loss supplements has been met with backlash by social media users for the influencers and brands who promote these products.
Create the messaging
Once you’ve set your goal, you need a strong call to action that’s in the influencer’s tone of voice. Their audience is invested in what they have to say and if they feel like they’re being sold to through the post, it will have a negative impact on both yours and the influencer’s reputation.
Get across why you’re relevant to your intended audience – your influencer will work with you to develop this as ultimately, it’s their voice you’re using.
4. Influencers may not want to work with you
This one is very important.
You may think that offering money for an influencer’s support will be enough, but it’s not. Any influencer worth working with will put you through the vetting process too – it’s their brand at stake. For example, if you were to offer an LGBTQ+ influencer money for a paid post supporting Pride Month, be prepared to show that you’re not just trying to raise your June sales and your brand is an LGBTQ+ ally all year round.
Influencers are looking for brands just as authentic as they are to work with and recommend to their dedicated followers. Making sure that you’re right for them too is just as important.
Having genuine respect for the care and process that goes into these partnerships will see success, and a positive relationship will see influencers become a real fan of your brand and the values behind it.
5. Measuring success
Depending on the goals you agreed with the influencer, there are many different ways to measure success of a campaign. Here are just a few to consider.
If all you wanted to do is reach your influencer’s audience, this is perhaps the easiest goal to measure. All your influencer needs to do is produce a small report on the reach of the partnered content – this is readily available information and free on the platform.
Success is determined by the percentage of their followers it reaches. If it’s an organic post (which doesn’t have paid spend behind it), this is entirely out of the influencer’s control as it depends on whether the platform is serving the content, and not a standalone metric we’d recommend using as a sign of success.
Like impressions, engagement results can be pulled straight from the platform.
To measure success, simply work out the engagement rate of post – the standalone engagement figures mean nothing without context. The formula for engagement rate is:
(number of engagements ÷ number impressions) x 100 = xx%
An engagement rate of less than two percent for an organic post shouldn’t be considered a success.
If your goal was to generate clicks to a landing page or use a promo code, these can easily be set up in Google Analytics as events, so results can easily be pulled from the platform.
To find your conversion rate, simply divide the number of conversions by the number of clicks to site from the influencer activity and compare it to the KPIs you agreed on.
Learn from your campaign
Being transparent with an influencer will allow you both to come out of the other side with more learnings. If results weren’t what you expected, review the process from the goals you set to rolling it out.
Could the messaging have been clearer? Could you have used a stronger call to action or different imagery?
Learning from the partnership will see both parties come out of the other side knowing more about working with others on campaigns – just make sure you hold yourself accountable as it was an equal venture.
Are you thinking about launching an influencer campaign for your brand? We can help you with that! Fill in the form below and we’ll be in touch.