Influencer Marketing: A beginner’s guide for 2020

Every brand or business been lured by big promises of what social media can achieve and get in lot of awareness and conversions

The reality is that the powerful world of social media that has completely changed the way people live their lives is not only dedicated to helping grow your business or brand. People are not out there waiting desperately for your next post and are so excited over your offer that they jump right into it

We know very well by now that more and more businesses are getting into the online world , hence, competition to get your target customers attention is an uphill task.

It is very easy to get lost in the ocean of content released daily by innumerable companies

Come to think of it, social media is just a platform. Do not assume it to be a magic wand that is going to turn your business around overnight.

But that does not mean that it can be ignored. With the right analysis, planning, tools, and testing, it builds an ecosystem that is personalised for your brand message. Consider it as a playground for you company messages. A platform to keep your audience engaged with your brand

It’s a platform to create a community around your brand, interact with them, understand their wants, needs, and pain and accordingly grow your brand by providing solutions

Several parameters need to be considered such as if you are only getting started and your budget is small. Also if your resources are quite minimal. In a scenario such as this,how do you reach new customers on social media, at a quick pace without spoiling your sleep on the return on investment?

We at Digitalscool have been studying various aspects of the social media marketing since decades. We have often wondered if there is a way a small or medium sized company could take advantage of somebody else’s fan followers. Is it possible to collaborate with a popular person who is relevant to your industry? We all know how humans are emotional beings. How decisions are taken by the heart . Why not leverage that?

What if we told you there was a legal, mutually beneficial strategy of collaborating with a person who can help you get in direct contact with your target audience who will trust your brand ?

We bring to you the most popular marketing strategy of today’s world -the influencer marketing.

Does this seem or sound like the type of digital marketing strategy that is usually utilized by the big brands, well-connected brands who have millions of marketing budget?

Fortunately, any brand no matter the size, can get started with influencer marketing right now…

What is Influencer Marketing?

So, what is it?

Influencer marketing is a strategy that orients itself around an influential person, a mouthpiece, or someone with a bit of online fame and an audience in a given industry. Instead of focusing marketing efforts and strategies around a target audience, a business owner using influencer marketing will focus their energy on a particular person, an influencer.

An influencer is someone with the collective ear of a large audience that is a group of potential buyers in your market. Typically, the influencer has cultivated a large following on social media. Sometimes, they may have a huge blog following, or an engaged, lengthy email list.

So how does this amazing influencer marketing work?

So to get started with this glamorous world of influencer marketing campaign

The process of influencer marketing is about researching and identifying an influencer who has acquired a considerable number of fan following that is related and similar with your ideal audience. The next step is establishing a relationship with that influencer, and subsequently the most important step is finding a mutually beneficial way to promote your business to the mutual audience.

For instance,Veena owns an eco-friendly clothesline in Noida. You find an influencer in that domain , a fashion blogger with an Instagram fan following of thousands

This person tries new sustainable fashion products, and reviews them and models them for their followers in an engaging video . This blogger who has a huge number of followers, in turn, are highly influenced to buy and try these products for themselves.

Instead of spending time efforts and money to woo many different sections of the audience separately, you get to instead target one influencer with a laser targeted marketing strategy. The influencer, if you have convinced and managed to market your products to them successfully, will tell their followers about it.

What actually is happening here?

The person whom these fans follow engage like and trust is telling them that she uses and loves a particular product. She is influencing them

Your industry influencer knows the audience much better than you do. They interact with them put up what the audience love to interact with, and already knows what helps with the audience and what will completely turn them off.

With influencer marketing, the audience is defined. There is no hunting and experimenting for audiences. Your influencer has already spent time nurturing a relationship with the target audience . This means less researching, tweaking, and analysis is required on your marketing planning

In the online world, the majority of online consumers, trust online reviews and first hand recommendations from friends and family. Also it is only human nature that they want to hear from people that they idolize and respect and guess who they are-influencers. It is shown in our research that Consumers trust a recommendation from an influencer more than they trust in advertising from brands

It’s much easier to convince and influence one person, than thousands. This is the amazing aspect of influencer marketing. It is fool proof. A good return on investment. For small businesses and for people looking for a minimal spend on marketing , influencer marketing will get you a higher return on investment than traditional marketing strategies since you are delivering your message to people who are your targeted audience

How effective is influencer marketing?

What do you think the effectiveness of this type of marketing would be?Is it really worth all the pomp and show?

You must already seen that Organic reach on Facebook is way down and continuing to go down for businesses and in turn this means paid reach is getting more and more expensive.

On the other hand, your influencers, have had years to build up their fan following and know what helps to get the fans to interact with their content, so their organic reach is quite high

Consider blogs, for instance, put up by influencers and shared on social media have seen twelve times the ROI of banner ads. Also, studies show that a group of target customers who are exposed to influencer marketing will buy, on average, fifteen percent more of a brand’s products than those who aren’t exposed to influencer marketing at all. And, businesses that spend on influencer marketing on an average see returns over six times

These influencer marketing statistics should be enough to convince any brand but if you are not then we have more lined up for you

Here are just a few of the amazing benefits you can expect to get with an influencer marketing campaign:

Increased traffic and conversions on your website.

Ten times Growth in your brand awareness.

Access to a group of highly nurtured audience, highly targeted audience of interested buyers.

Organic reach on social media, without paying anything to Facebook/instagram/youtube

Before you think that that’s all there is to influencer marketing, let us give you some.The influencers you pick are the ones who make the content, so, they will be bearing the content expenditure. What we have often found is that the content released and curated by influencers stay evergreen. This means that if you want you can reuse it again in a different context at a different time.

So now What are the different types of Influencers?

Now, let’s get into the different types of influencers. Also how to search and identify them. How to collaborate with them and build a budget-friendly influencer marketing strategy that’s mutually beneficial.

There are 3 main characteristics to identify for when on the search for an influencer. The influencer’s relevance, reach, and trus.

  • Relevance : Relevance means how aligned the influencer’s platform is with your brand. If your brand is into eco friendly cosmetics you might want to look for an influencer who has built followers that are eco-friendly,sustainable and interested in fashion

Reach, characteristic is simple. Look for how many followers or fans the influencer has. What’s their domain authority and fan loyalty? What’s their ability to reach the target audience?

  • Resonance is how how much trust the audience has on the influencer’s message. How well do they receive the inflencer’s message

Other than above listed characteristics, there are also another three different types of influencers: micro, local, and top

Micro Influencers

Micro influencers are those influencers who have a small but closely knit type of following. They are usually only consumers or people with a personal story which has struck an emotional chord with the target audience. They are highly trusted because they sound authentic and genuine.

Micro influencers are nothing but bloggers or instagrammars, or you never know- business owners themselves .They usually have followings as little as five hundred people to ten thousand

It is a general belief that more followers, the better the awareness and reach , but that is not true

When you look for influencers,find influencers who have an engaged, active following.

You need to look for influencers who have managed to cultivate large amounts of trust with their audience.

A micro-influencer with only five hundred highly engaged, targeted, and trusting fans will deliver you better outcomes than an influencer with lakhs of fan following but none of the engagement or trust

While they may have a smaller fan following, it’s a niche highly targeted following. And leveraging the services of a smaller, micro influencer can give you better return on your investment.

Who are Top Influencers?

Top influencers in a field are the big influencers, the people with a huge fan following . These types of influencers can bring in a huge group of qualified leads. They are usually celebrities, athletes who gather millions of followers. These influencers are not affordable to small businesses. If you’re a small business on a budget, then it is not really advisable to go for top influencers initially as this will not be financially a wise thing to do

Who are Local Influencers?

They come in handy when you want to drive audience engagement to an offline store or an event. This is when you might like to look into local influencers. These people can really help your brand or products get in front of qualified leads in your targeted location and hence can get people coming to your store

What really does an influencer actually achieve?

Now, to explain this, let’s get into the role of your influencer in your digital marketing strategy.

The goal you have for your influencers is to drive online or offline purchases for your products, start conversations about your brand to build up awareness, or to establish the credibility of your business in your industry or marketplace.

How actually would an influencer go about bringing you rich dividends? What do you think they actually do?

An influencer can do a number of things to help promote your brand and drive awareness. We provide here are a few examples:

They can write a testimonial. This can be used by you in a number of beneficial and smart ways

They might provide a place for your product or talk about it in between a video

Create a product review for your brand for their video blog or YouTube channel.

They can promote your product in their email list

Does this not sound too good? In return you will have to compensate the influencer. Lets find out a little later regarding this

How can you find and collaborate with influencers?

Even though influencer marketing and its potential ROI and rising interest, seventy six percent of companies still find it hard to discover relevant influencers for their brands.

So, how can you go about searching, identifying,approaching, and working with the correct influencers?

There are a few steps for you to

1. Searching the right influencers

Finding the right influencer for your influencer marketing strategy might seem like an uphill task, but there are good tools you could utilize Like in other forms of marketing, good old-fashioned word of mouth can always work here, too.Check around with other people in your industry. They might be able to help you identify the right influencer, or at least start you down the path to finding the right one for your company.

Below are  some free tools that you can use to find the right influencer for your business:

Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is a tool that allows a brand to find the most popular shared content around a specific keyword or phrase. This amazing tool is very neatly organized in a user-friendly dashboard.

Buzzsumo allows the brand to find out who are all the people who shared the content that is the influencers. Buzzsumo is popular with content marketers and also small businesses which use a lot of content marketing to grow their brand stories and messages

Buzzsumo helps brands find out which content is getting the most engagement online, and who is doing the sharing so you can identify your influencer

Klear tool

With Klear, you can identify influencers who are already engaging in your content and your industry. The best part is you can filter out influencers based on their fan follower count. With this tool you can even see the demographics and behaviour of their followers.

Klear is a tool that helps you filter out influencers that are too big for your budget- the top influencers maybe. You can also filter out influencers that might be within your budget but don’t have the right target audience for your brand.

Discoverl.y tool

Discoverl.y tool is beneficial because it allows you to see everyone in your network and in your extended network , and you can see mutual friends that you share with specific influencers. Discoverl.y is actually a Chrome plug-in and helps brands find mutual connections they may have within their circle of contacts which becomes easier to contact and work with the desired influencers

2. Connecting with influencers

We will now let you into some good secrets on how you can build relationship with such celebrities or influencers.We are aware that connecting with influencers is the most difficult part.

If you go building a relation in the wrong way it can completely mess up your strategy before it even gets started. If you will not be compensating them financially in other words not paying the influencers you want to work with, it’s going to take more than a message or a phone call to get their attention.

You need to build a relationship with the influencer and that takes time and efforts

It is important to Work on building the relationship from the ground up, and like any other relationship in this world,it starts by usually helping them first without expecting anything in return in some way. For instance, you could start or break the ice by commenting on a post they have made, and then keep building on the relationship from there by:

Engaging and Sharing their content with your audience

Subscribing for their email list

Try and review their podcast or book

Purchase their product or service and post a video about it on instagram

Another effective way is to introduce them to someone who could help them or be of some value to them

Once you have placed a number of such value added services you finally earn the right to ask for something in return. Even after this you must not ask too early in the relationship and ruin your chances and sound too desperate

Now ,when you finally get the opportunity to ask the influencer to promote your brand, it is advisable to give them freedom on how they wish to convey to their audience . But here it is necessary to clearly define your requirements .

If you want four different pieces of content on four different platforms , you need to let them know. If you have no set plan and goals on what you want, they might find it frustrating to work with you, as they already have a lot in hand to keep their audience engaged. Also it is important to remember, these influencers already know what’s going to work with their audience. So all you want to make sure is that they do not lack any resources and details from your side and then just sit back and enjoy

3. Compensation for influencers

Now you have identified an influencer.Also you have successfully approached them. You are ready to commence and are launching a campaign with them,so the next question is what’s the best way to compensate them for their efforts?

Research shows that most influencers get put off when the brands or marketers make the biggest mistake brands make when approaching them for help is by only compensating them with free products.

Ofcourse if you’re a small business, you might be tempted to pay your influencer only through your products as the budget is low, but it’s highly important that you compensate these people for their time, knowledge, and efforts and reach . It is important in influencer marketing to note that you are cultivating a business relationship, so the compensation you give the influencer is nothing but an investment.

Many factors will determine the investment required in an influencer campaign: their fan following, their industry and also the content type you are asking them to publish on your behalf

One effective and practical way to compensate influencers when you have a small budget is to offer them a price per sale you make through their campaigning , rather than a flat fee. This way, it is beneficial for you as you only pay for a percentage of the sales they generate and they are held accountable for the entire campaign.But it is advisable to keep your your rate above average then this collaboration will still be attractive to the influencer.

Is it possible to measure influencer marketing?

Now since a brand is making an investment of different types of resources, in their influencer marketing campaign, it is only wise to see if it is working as per expectation. So we at digitalscool list here are a few tools that you can use to measure and track using analytics. But do not forget, there are other benefits which can obviously not be measured when you launch an influencer marketing campaign. One such benefit is brand awareness.

Generate affiliate links. One way is to create a specific affiliate link for each of your associated influencer . This allows you to track online sales of your product/service through their social media channels or blog posts. Please note that you can easily create affiliate links for your brand with free tools available online

Use Promo codes. We all know that most consumers are not ready to buy as soon as they learn about a product/service/brand. With a specific promo code for a specific influencer, you can measure how successful and effective an influencer’s posts are during the launch

Google Analytics. Google analytics allows setting up an ‘Event’ goal , through which you can determine which type of customers and how many customers visited your landing page or online store through an influencer campaign.( through their platform)

Influencer marketing examples

Now , let us have a look at some influencer marketing campaign examples through the biggest social media channels for influencer marketing: Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Instagram

If you have a product that would have attractive visuals, like a clothing line or a lifestyle brand, Instagram is an excellent platform. Usually Lifestyle bloggers share posts and these influencer posts will quickly go viral.

A few years back,a clothing brand in India did a quite research and found a group of microinfluencers who were already sharing their brand on their social media platforms, They integrated this group and launched a very successful influencer marketing campaign that drew huge engagement.

Micro influencers are in great demand today with brands reaching out to them for collaborations

YouTube

An alcohol brand in India reached out to a celebrity influencer( names withheld ) for a YouTube campaign. The video, with its simple emotion driving strategy, won an award for Best Influencer Marketing campaign, and that’s not all . The icing was the video went viral.

Another classic example is Amazon’s Audible . They launched a YouTube influencer campaign with several YouTube celebrities in 2015. Amazingly, in the same year , the campaign generated over eighty five million hits.

It is necessary to check if your target audience is young. Then you will want to focus your influencer marketing campaigns on Youtube and instagram . The Younger generation in India trust Youtube influencers more than traditional celebrities.

Snapchat

Deepti, a relatively unknown musician just a few short years ago, is now a top-influencer on Snapchat. Large brands have reached out to her for influencer marketing. In a snapchat takeover, Deepti is given the complete control of the companies’ account,and voila …. their following skyrockets in a short amount of time.

Other brands irrespective of their current followers can utilize this same strategy , so you find an influencer for your brand on Snapchat. This works tremendously because this will give someone who is an expert at the platform, freedom to help grow your brand awareness and in turn get you a more amazing following on Snapchat.

Twitter

For twitter, if you’re going to use an influencer you must identify or you could create a branded hashtag for your campaign. For example, a brand called Sprint uses the hashtag #LiveUnlimited to share their content with influencers who already embody the ethos of their #LiveUnlimited marketing campaign.

Also we have found that creating an engaging video makes a huge difference  for influencer marketing, on Instagram, Youtube or other platforms.There are many convenient and right tools available that can not only help you create attractive videos, but also save you lots of time and money.

For example, with vimeo,adobe spark, movies you can create stunning professional-level videos in minutes with built in templates to drive engagement

Conclusion

It is a fact that ,influencer marketing has grown considerably and exponentially over the recent years. The traditional and other popular ways of marketing, although still relevant and very much in demand, are getting harder and harder

But the fact is that the only thing constant is change in the digital marketing world . The rules of the marketing game are always changing due to various reasons . As recently as 2015 Facebook had much higher organic reach and by 2020 they have reduced it considerably . These social media and search engine platforms are constantly updating their algorithms and what is interesting is that something that is working for your brand today may not work for you anymore tomorrow. It can be a complete frustrating task to keep up with the changing digital marketing landscape.

Under a scenario such as this, an influencer already knows what’s trending and working, and they will be in a better position than you to handle the time to keep up with any new changes and upgradation

If you want to grow your brand awareness, through influencer marketing, get in touch with @Digitalscool

Snippet:

Every brand or business been lured by big promises of what social media can achieve and get in lot of awareness and conversions

The reality is that the powerful world of social media that has completely changed the way people live their lives is not only dedicated to helping grow your business or brand. People are not out there waiting desperately for your next post and are so excited over your offer that they jump right into it

We know very well by now that more and more businesses are getting into the online world , hence, competition to get your target customers attention is an uphill task.

It is very easy to get lost in the ocean of content released daily by innumerable companies

Come to think of it, social media is just a platform. Do not assume it to be a magic wand that is going to turn your business around overnight.

But that does not mean that it can be ignored. With the right analysis, planning, tools, and testing, it builds an ecosystem that is personalised for your brand message. Consider it as a playground for you company messages. A platform to keep your audience engaged with your brand

It’s a platform to create a community around your brand, interact with them, understand their wants, needs, and pain and accordingly grow your brand by providing solutions

Several parameters need to be considered such as if you are only getting started and your budget is small. Also if your resources are quite minimal. In a scenario such as this,how do you reach new customers on social media, at a quick pace without spoiling your sleep on the return on investment?

We at Digitalscool have been studying various aspects of the social media marketing since decades. We have often wondered if there is a way a small or medium sized company could take advantage of somebody else’s fan followers. Is it possible to collaborate with a popular person who is relevant to your industry? We all know how humans are emotional beings. How decisions are taken by the heart . Why not leverage that?

What if we told you there was a legal, mutually beneficial strategy of collaborating with a person who can help you get in direct contact with your target audience who will trust your brand ?

We bring to you the most popular marketing strategy of today’s world -the influencer marketing.

Does this seem or sound like the type of digital marketing strategy that is usually utilized by the big brands, well-connected brands who have millions of marketing budget?

Fortunately, any brand no matter the size, can get started with influencer marketing right now…

Gist:

It is a fact that ,influencer marketing has grown considerably and exponentially over the recent years. The traditional and other popular ways of marketing, although still relevant and very much in demand, are getting harder and harder

But the fact is that the only thing constant is change in the digital marketing world . The rules of the marketing game are always changing due to various reasons . As recently as 2015 Facebook had much higher organic reach and by 2020 they have reduced it considerably . These social media and search engine platforms are constantly updating their algorithms and what is interesting is that something that is working for your brand today may not work for you anymore tomorrow. It can be a complete frustrating task to keep up with the changing digital marketing landscape.

Under a scenario such as this, an influencer already knows what’s trending and working, and they will be in a better position than you to handle the time to keep up with any new changes and upgradation

If you want to grow your brand awareness, through influencer marketing, get in touch with @Digitalscool

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