Remember the old times when only celebrities were hired to advertise products? It seems like ages ago, doesn’t it?
With the rise of internet marketing and fame becoming more accessible to people, a new occupation rose as well – influencing. Social media is present in our lives now more than ever, and gaining a significant number of followers isn’t hard when the entire world is using social media platforms every day.
Whether they did it through prank and silly videos, makeup tutorials or pretty traveling photos, influencers have become undeniably famous and successful and companies are here to make use of this.
The collaborations between brands and influencers are no doubt beneficial for both sides, but how to come up with the right influencer marketing strategy?
Here are some steps that will help you with this.
This is the first and most important step in the process of coming up with the right influencer marketing strategy.
And when I say research, I mean thorough research. Firstly, make sure that the influencer fits your brand. If your target audience are young women who like cool t-shirts, you will (obviously) want to go for a fashion influencer who posts their outfits daily. Also, someone who fits the voice of your brand. If your designs are silly and weird, an influencer who is quirky will be a better choice than a serious one.
Secondly, look at their posting history. If they have posted an opinion you don’t agree with or think is in poor taste, you will want to ignore this influencer and look at another one. Bad opinions can bring serious damage to your brand’s reputation and you want to avoid this as best as you can. If they haven’t posted anything bad, look at their previous partners, because getting associated with infamous people can bring damage, as well.
Additionally, pay attention to their follower count, as well as follower engagement. Just because they have thousands of hundreds of followers doesn’t mean a lot of people are interacting with their posts.
Someone with 10.000 followers may have a better and more engaging group of followers than someone with 200.000.
Look at how often and when they post, the comments and likes on their posts and do keep in mind that people can buy followers on social media.
This is why thorough research is an important step for every influencer marketing strategy.
You know how I mentioned before that you should choose someone that fits your brand and used the fashion influencer example? You can reach a wider audience and be less obvious if you think outside the box.
If you make silly t-shirts, you can reach out to an influencer who makes funny videos. If you make cute merch meant for gamer girls, you can choose to go for an influencer who has a large audience that is interested in both games and fashion.
Also, if you have the option, go for the influencers that are different than everyone else. By this, I mean someone who makes unique content from time to time that gets a ton of engagement and shares. If an influencer makes a really unique and cool video once a month that is also always a success if they featured your brand in it, it could boost your sales significantly.
Furthermore, keep in mind that it often happens that influencers with smaller audiences post more authentic content than influencers with hundreds of thousands of followers. It only makes sense that extremely popular people don’t have the time on their hands to come up with unique content every week because they’re too busy going to every event they’re invited to.
But unique content isn’t all there is. People also prefer more personal posts than reviews. Ask your influencer to incorporate your product in a post in a way that isn’t too sterile.
There are multiple types of influences. Yep, you heard that right. There are:
It only makes sense that you work with someone that has the most followers, but it isn’t the case. Actually, many marketing experts recommend that you work with micro-influencers for your influencer marketing strategy and here’s why.
Markerly conducted an analysis where they looked at 800.000 users on Instagram. The results were in favor of smaller influencers, rather than huge ones. Here’s what the study found: ‘’Those with less than 1.000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8% of the time. Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6% of the time.’’
This is because people prefer real interactions. They don’t want to read insincere celebrity posts about products that don’t work, what they want is people being genuine and relatable and at least some marketing subtlety.
So, by working with an influencer whose audience feels connected to and loves interacting with them, you get the opportunity to obtain the same level of connection with their audience.
Also, by helping smaller influencers grow, you are forming a lasting relationship with them that can be very beneficial in the long run.
Here are some examples of brands making great influencer choices and good influencer marketing strategies.
The water brand Fiji hired Danielle Bernstein, a fashion blogger. At first, it may seem like an odd combination, but it was actually pretty successful. Bernstein started making short workout videos featuring Fiji water, to show the importance of hydration and to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Estée Lauder, a skincare brand, reached out to Violette, a French makeup artist with over 360.000 followers. They worked together and came up with multiple successful makeup collections. Previously, Estée Lauder collaborated with Kendall Jenner but dropped her after two years. We can only guess they realized the importance of working with people who aren’t as famous.
The company Tom’s of Maine that makes products that use only natural ingredients reached out to a number of micro-influencers. They then made posts about the brand and came up with games where their followers could win these natural products. In the first three months, Tom’s of Maine reached 4.4 million potential customers.
Here’s another example of a clever influencer marketing strategy involving a micro-influencer. Audible, an Amazon company, reached out to Jesse Driftwood, who had less than 100.000 followers at the time. He made an inspirational post about his love for learning and how Audible provides him with countless audiobooks about the subjects he likes. This post felt personal and genuine, and his followers had a good reaction.
There you have it, the tips for developing a successful influencer marketing strategy. Don’t go for just any influencer that has millions of followers and choose them wisely.
Do your research to make sure they fit your brand and its voice and that they don’t post controversial opinions that can damage your brand’s reputation. Look at their follower engagement and the type of content they create, and how responsive their audience is.
And last but not least, start small, with a micro-influencers, who are actually recommended for a solid influencer marketing strategy.
Thank you for reading!