Influencer Marketing Explained + 5 Things That No One Tells You
Just as affiliate marketing, influencer marketing has risen to become a multi-billion industry.
As of 2021, it is valued at $13.8 billion and it’s constantly growing and expanding.
It is a form of digital marketing, that relies on endorsements and recommendations from influencers.
An influencer is a person who has an established social media presence and following (more on that later) a particular niche.
They are considered knowledgeable in their topic, and because of that, their audience trusts them enough to buy the products they recommend.
Influencer marketing works because it increases brand awareness, and it enables you to reach your target audience on different social channels, which will ultimately result in more traffic and higher conversion rates.
Today, we’ll present you the different types of influencers, how to contact them, and 5 things you should keep in mind.
The 4 Types of Influencers
Celebrity Influencers & Thought Leaders
Individuals with more than a million followers on social are considered celebrities, thought-leaders and sometimes they are called “mega-influencers”.
This group includes athletes, singers, tv and Internet personalities, and so forth.
They are well-known and recognized, which means the products they’re promoting get massive exposure.
Their prices can range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per post, and due to that, larger companies are the ones working with them.
Influencers with an audience of 100K – 1 million followers. The content they produce is well-made and looks professional.
If you settle for them, you’ll still have to pay a lot, but not as much as you would with celebrity influencers.
Followers ranging from 10K to 100K. For most brands, they tend to be the sweet spot, because not only they have a wide reach, their audience is more connected, which leads to more engagement.
Their content is professional as well, and over the long run, micro-influencers are more cost-efficient and easier to work with.
Nano influencers boast a following of 1K to 10K. Needless, to say, since their audience is small and targeted, their engagement rates will be higher.
If you work with them, do not expect too much professionalism, when it comes to content. Their biggest advantage is their price point.
These types of influencers are quite affordable and they’re typically open to other options such as free product samples.
Where to Find Influencers
On Social Media
Most influencers are active on social media and use social platforms as their primary channel to connect with their audience.
In other words, you’ll find plenty of influencers there. You can start by typing in names and following hashtags.
This might be the most simple way to discover influencers: a Google search. Look for influencers you’re already familiar with and articles made by industry experts.
Finding guest posts on blogs and reaching out to the authors is another effective option.
This option only works if you already have an extensive network of contacts, personal or professional, who are willing to introduce you to an influencer.
If you partnered with influencers before, you can reach to them as well.
Scanning through networking sites, and searching for an influencer who fits your brand and audience is also worth a try.
Through Agencies and Platforms
As the influencer marketing industry grew, agencies were founded.
These companies help brands and content creators connect with influencers, assisting them in every step of the process.
It starts with choosing the right influencer, then comes presenting the content, negotiating the details, and measuring ROI.
If you don’t have the time to initiate an influencer marketing campaign and handle everything that comes with it, working with an agency will be your best bet.
Next, we’ll show some credible names and industry leaders.
Top Influencer Marketing Agencies
Viral Nation is an industry-leading influencer marketing and talent agency that works with companies like Aston Martin or Victoria’s Secret.
They’ve been featured in Inc and Huffington Post, and they were named as a “Top Marketing Agency in 2021” by Chief Marketer Summit.
NeoReach was founded in 2013 and it’s known for creating influencer campaigns for Fortune 500 companies.
They are a full-fledged influencer marketing agency, covering every part of the process, which includes:
contracts & negotiation
campaign strategy & overall direction
creative brief development
content licensing & compliance
influencer sourcing & scheduling
They also offer a dedicated platform made for larger enterprises looking for scalability and API access.
Kairos Media is a rapidly growing social media and influencer marketing agency, having offices in London, Manchester, and Los Angeles, CA.
They won several awards in the past and their clients include well-known brands such as KFC, Aliexpress, or DJI.
They offer a “science meets art” solution that combines creative strategies and data-based marketing, which makes their campaigns more effective.
Audiencly was started by Adrian Kotowski in 2018, who began his carrier by designing ad campaigns for video game companies.
Since then, they signed over 1000+ campaigns, worked with 100+ clients and 5000+ influencers.
They are headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany and they have two additional offices in Hamburg and London.
A full-service influencer marketing agency with a network of 400 000+ influencers and industry talents.
They are aiming to help clients develop a lasting relationship and network with their influencers – the rest of it is handled by them.
Obviously also help brands with boosting their live events and managing influencer networks.
Tools Worth Mentioning
We keep mentioning CoSchedule on our site over and over because it’s such a versatile and feature-rich tool.
It’s essentially a content marketing management platform with features like:
best time scheduling
standalone social campaigns
on the fly scheduling
bulk social upload
team performance reports
custom social engagement reports
social network reports (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest)
And this is only the surface, CoSchedule has a lot more to offer. You can try it risk-free for 14 days.
Linktree enables you to create a customizable page, where you can display multiple links.
It is often referred to as a “bio link tool” because it allows you to store all your links in one place.
After you created your page, you’ll get a URL from Linktr. ee, that you can insert into your bio.
There is a free version available, which is perfect for starters, but if you want access to all the features such as priority links and custom fonts, you have to upgrade to PRO, which costs $6 a month.
An omnichat platform that works in real-time via Web Chat, SMS, and social channels such as Instagram, Facebook Messenger, or WhatsApp.
Here are the main features:
Story Mention autoresponders
trigger funnels with DM keywords
automated DM responses
list building & re-engagement tools
automated lead notification
Facebook ad tools
It’s been used by businesses all over the world and SEO marketer Neil Patel, considers Mobile Monkey to be one of the best native chatbot softwares on the market.
They have a free forever version, which you can sign up for here.
A tool that provides detailed Instagram analytics and all the insights you need to increase your following.
You can access everything from a centralized dashboard and some the of major statistics you’ll see are:
average follower change
It is a subscription-based service as well, and there are pricing tiers available (Starter, Influencer, Brand) ranging from $9 a month to $39 a month.
5 Tips for Influencer Marketing
Pay Attention to The Guidelines
There are some rules you should be aware of when it comes to influencer marketing.
Here are some that influencers should keep in mind:
disclose when the relationship you have with the brand
make sure that the sponsorship disclosure is visible
avoid using ambiguous hashtags
The bottom line is, before launching the campaign, you should discuss all the details and guidelines with the influencer.
Make Sure The Content You're Putting Out is Valuable
Your target audience is looking for valuable information on social media, not banner ads – those are for another occasion.
The content is, just like in many other forms of marketing, the center of your campaign.
The reason influencer marketing works so well is that the influencers are viewed as credible people, who only promote products they believe in.
You want to make sure that the content you’re handing to your influencers is genuine and consistent with their image. That’s how you establish brand authority.
Plan Ahead and Schedule
Before launching your influencer marketing campaign, a few boxes need to be ticked.
Your budget. You have to determine how long will the campaign run, what will be included in the package (it can be more than just one post), what is going to be the cost, and is it negotiable.
How are you going to pay your influencer? Another important question to ask. It can be a simple PayPal transfer, commissions, gifts, exclusive discounts, event tickets, and much more. You can give free product samples, as well. Yes, product samples: interestingly enough, 36% of brands still pay their influencers this way.
The goals: what are you looking for? Is it more sales, wider reach, or brand awareness? Take the time to assess the objectives of your campaign.
There is quite a bit of difference between a micro and a macro-influencer – they have different audiences and brands work with them for different reasons. You need to figure out what kind of influencers you want to collaborate with.
Additionally, you want to make sure that everything is scheduled in advance, so the campaign can run smoothly.
Form Long-Term with Your Influencers
When it comes to reaching out to influencers, you want to aim long-term.
You should, first, check out their content and do the proper research, so making a personal connection will be easier.
That way, you’ll know right away whether the influencer aligns with your brand’s image.
Short-term, one-time influencer campaigns are not nearly as effective as long-term projects.
Be clear about what you’re looking for and try to establish a relationship that will last for months and years to come, so you’ll get the results you want.
Choose influencers with smaller followings to maximize results
Working with the industry leaders has its own upsides, but if you’re just coming up or your brand is smaller, you’ll find micro and nano-influencers more beneficial.
We’ve talked about them before. Their reach is not as wide, however, their audience niched-down and their posts drive more engagement, which is a crucial factor.
They are considered trustworthy experts, so if they promote your products, their followers will see it as social proof.
If you are searching for an effective way of social media marketing, look no further: it’s called influencer marketing.
A form of digital marketing that allows you to collaborate with established industry experts and present your products to an engaged audience.
Pay attention to content quality and authenticity, you’ll see leads and new customers coming your way.
Have you worked with influencers before? What was it like and what were the objections you had?
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