Influencer Marketing

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What is Influencer Marketing?

This method of social media marketing leverages endorsements and product mentions from influencers who have a dedicated social following. Influencer Marketing is effective because followers trust the influencers and this provides much needed social proof for a brand’s value.

Shopanova noticed that significant portions of social budgets are now being earmarked for influencer campaigns and wanted to explore the concept to help their audience better understand Influencer Marketing.

What Is the Difference Between Influencers, Microinfluencers And Nanoinfluencers?

Before jumping into how Influencer Marketing works, it’s important to understand the different types of influencers.

  1. Influencers – These are your most followed influencers. One of the Jenners, for example. An influencer in this group gets paid the big bucks – sometimes $250K or $500K per post.

  2. Microinfluencers – These influencers have anywhere between 3K and 100K followers. Usually 15-25K is the sweet spot. When you work with a microinfluencer, their audience is likely to be highly engaged because it is small enough for the person to really interact with many of their followers. Because these people are up and coming and looking to increase their following, they are more likely to go above and beyond for the brand and create really good content. In other words, they are going to put in much more effort than one of the Jenners might, and your brand ends up with more meaningful social proof.

  3. Nanoinfluencers – These are influencers just getting started with fewer than 3K followers.

According to Ramon, using several microinfluencers instead of 1 expensive influencer usually results in better social evidence. How Can Middle Market Businesses Use This Marketing Strategy?

Begin by Establishing Goals

According to Ramon, brands of all sizes – from those that are just launching to those with $50M in revenue – can benefit from Influencer Marketing as long as they begin by really considering: what are we trying to achieve?

The underlying objective of Influencer Marketing is to obtain social proof for your business, but the reasons why you want to try it can vary:

  • Perhaps you simply don’t have much content and want to spread the word about your business.
  • Maybe you haven’t figured out your entire marketing approach, so you want to get some social proof before spending money on advertising.
  • Sometimes you need a wider variety of content and would like to split test at a new level. Whatever the reason, Ramon encourages businesses to remain focused on brand creation and social proof and warns against seeking to simply generate revenue.

Engage the Right Influencer for Your Business

It used to be that a brand could send an influencer a DM or a product and ask, “Hey, can you let us know what you think?” But now, the space is so saturated that typically the influencer doesn’t even respond.

Ramon has seen this happen.

The whole experience turns out badly and you end up thinking “Influencer Marketing just isn’t for me.” Then your business misses out on the potential of a great strategy.

To attract higher quality influencers, you and your business must be established. Influencers are going to want to understand your brand, what it stands for and who is behind it.

There are many avenues, including expensive databases and networks, to assist you in finding the right influencer. But Ramon suggests doing it yourself.

Templates are out there that can help manage the process and all of the moving parts. It will require some work, but it can be done:

  1. Find out if the influencer has a real audience.
  2. Check for red flags. Are the same people commenting all the time? Are there a lot of followers but the content is weak?
  3. If the content is good, real people will want to be engaged.
  4. Ensure the influencer’s personal brand is aligned with your brand. What kind of brands do they follow? What other brands do they work with?

Provide Incentives for the Influencer to Go Above and Beyond

This person is going to become your spokesperson and your brand ambassador. Get them fired up about working together. You certainly don’t want them to post once and then forget you.

Some brands are offering influencers equity-based compensation based on specific KPIs. Ramon suggests mentioning this as a possibility but taking a wait and see approach to making it official.

Final Thoughts

So many variables contribute to the outcome of an influencer campaign.

Be open minded to the advice of marketing experts. When you understand all of the intangible benefits of Influencer Marketing and how you can capitalize on them, you’re ready to get started.

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