This article is for you if you wonder how you can leverage influencer marketing to grow your business.
In this article, we'll be discussing how you can choose an influencer in your industry, pitch your offer, attract their audience, and maximize your business' growth.
Let's get into the details.
What's Influencer Marketing
Let's see what influencers are first. Influencers are people that have generated a sizeable audience around a specific niche.
As a business, you would want to leverage that trust in your favor. Putting your business in front of an influencer's audience to achieve marketing goals is influencer marketing.
Building an online audience that trusts you; can take time and resources. While there is nothing better than your own community, it takes a decent amount of time; you may want to get brand recognition quickly.
An already established audience is arguably the best way to do that. You chose an influencer, ask them to put your product/service in front of their audience, and strike up a deal.
However, there is a cost attached to it that can vary depending on a few factors. The influencer's following is one of the significant factors determining the price of a campaign with them.
Why is Influencer Marketing So Effective?
Influencer marketing is effective because it:
· It offers a more extensive reach for your business
· Increases your trust circle
· Improves website traffic (backlinks)
· Drives more sales
· Maximizes leads
· Grows your business following
How Can Influencers Help Your Business?
Influencers can help your business get in front of their audience in several ways. You can ask them to create a blog post/video about your product/service on their channel.
Or, you can provide them your content and ask them to share that with their audience.
Another way would be to write guest posts on their blogs and leverage their blog audience.
How to Chose the Right Influencer for Your Business?
You can classify influencers based on the size of their audience. But, audience size isn't the only metric you should be looking into while choosing your brand's influencer.
However, one of the first things you need to consider is the influencer's audience size. The larger an influencer's reach/audience, the higher the cost.
You don't want to put your business in front of an audience that doesn't care about it.
Find influencers relevant to your industry. Observe their content and social media channels and see if they align with your business goals.
Investing a hefty sum of money on an influencer with a million followers around an irrelevant industry wouldn't be practical. It is only going to send your marketing budget down the drain.
You don't want to work with an influencer who can't engage his/her audience. How would he be able to drive results for your business then?
Analyze influencers' engagement rates in your industry after you've filtered a few out based on their audience size and relevance.
Some tools can help you with that. For instance, TANKE is a great tool to analyze an Instagram influencer's engagement rate. You'll just have to put the influencer's username in the search bar of the tool.
The tool will show different metrics, including the engagement rate.
An engagement rate of 3% is what you should be looking for; a higher engagement rate would be a bonus.
How to Run an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Define Your Goals
Before finding influencers in your niche, you need to realize what your goals are. For instance,
· What should be the demographic data of the influencer?
· What should the influencer help you achieve?
· How will the influencer help you do that?
Let's assume you have launched a mobile game and want to get it in front of a relevant audience. Your goal would be to drive downloads. You'd like to achieve that by asking the influencer to play that game in front of their audience and ask them to download it.
How to Find Influencers in Your Niche?
Finding the right influencer for your influencer marketing campaign is arguably the most critical part of it. This is why the success of your strategy largely depends on this initial step.
There are several ways you can find influencers in your niche.
· Manual search
· From databases
· Using networks
· Exploring marketplaces
Manual Search: This is a relatively old method and involves a lot of work. You'd scan websites for information and collect that information in a file. It's neither efficient nor effective.
Let's see how you can do manual research.
Open a Google doc or spreadsheet and create columns about the information you want to capture.
· Name of the influencer
· Industry (for instance, gaming)
· Total audience (all social media combined)
· Links of the social media accounts
· Any other information you want to add
The next step would be to search keywords in Google and other relevant social platforms.
Let's see what Google shows us for "Android game influencers."
Let's go to the first article.
We'd go through each of the 25 influencers mentioned in the article, extract the information you need, and put it into the spreadsheet.
Now, you want to search other platforms for the right influencers. For instance, YouTube would be a good fit for the gaming niche.
Search for a game, find videos about it, and see if the channel owners can be a good match for your game. Finally, add their information to your spreadsheet file.
Manual influencer research is a hectic process. But, small brands looking for micro-influencers can leverage this strategy effectively.
Using Databases: Some tools can do all the heavy lifting for you. Instead of searching through multiple websites, you can use a tool to scrape the data for you.
These data scrapers pull the publicly available data about influencers in your niche. It's less time-consuming and not expensive either.
Networks: Networks bridges the gap between you and the influencers. You can approach an influencer in a particular industry on networks like MatchMade. These networks have active relations with influencers.
Networks typically focus on niches. For instance, you can find networks with active lifestyle influencers or networks with food enthusiasts.
Marketplaces: A marketplace helps you avoid intermediaries. They are affordable and offer real-time tracking. You can contact an influencer on them by searching through their profiles and finding the suitable one.
How to Approach an Influencer?
It's easy to imagine that influencers are being swamped with messages asking them for a favor. So, they tend to ignore most of the messages.
It would be best if you grabbed their attention. Instead of asking a favor for your brand, ask them to receive a favor from you.
That's going to get their attention. Ask influencers if they would like an endorsement, a blog comment, a free service, or anything that spikes their interest.
Once you've given them a favor, ask them if they would like to be an influencer for your brand.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Your Business
Using influencer marketing, you can cost-effectively achieve your business marketing goals.
Building a brand from scratch is no easy task. It requires a long-term commitment to quality content and customer service. You can team up with already established brands to get ahead of your competition in a relatively shorter span.
Influencer marketing allows you to put your brand in front of relevant people, expand its reach, and build awareness.
Backlinks are essential for your website's search engine visibility. Your brand may rank in Google for long-tail keywords without backlinks. But, backlinks can help you get above the already established competitors on Google.
There are several ways you can put your website's link on authority sites/channels.
For instance, you can ask an influencer in your niche to review your product/service and put a link under their YouTube video. Or, you can write a guest post on their blog and get a backlink from there.
Social Media Following
There is a debate whether social media can play a role in the SEO of your website. One thing is for sure; social media signals are good for SEO.
Social media can indirectly improve SEO; people engaging with your brand on social media will eventually visit your website, which will act as a backlink, helping your Google rankings.
How Can YouTube Influencer Marketing Help Your Business?
When you work with YouTube influencers, you leverage two marketing strategies: Influencer and video marketing.
With over 2 billion users, YouTube is only second to Google. And, the popularity of video content is only growing.
With so much already going on YouTube, it would be pretty tricky and time-consuming to get ahead of established brands; this is where influencer marketing can help you grow your business on YouTube.
You leverage the already established audience of an influencer in your niche to achieve your business marketing goals.
Plus, create user-centric content. The audience doesn't care how fantastic your brand is; they are more concerned about how your brand can solve their problems.
Lastly, 87% of internet marketers utilize the power of video, and your target audience loves to consume video content.
How Can Instagram Influencer Marketing Help Your Business?
The popularity of Instagram as a social media platform is evident because it has over 1 billion active users worldwide. And, this trend isn't going downwards either.
Plus, the visually appealing content of Instagram allows it to "influence" its audience effectively; this is why it serves as a powerful platform for brand-influencer collaborations.
Start by finding relevant influencers and observing their posts and engagement. Finding an influencer on Instagram can be as simple as browsing the platform. Or, you can use tools to save your time.
Only pick the ones that post stuff related to your niche.
Send a message to the one you feel is the right fit for your brand. See if they are willing to collaborate with you by offering them something first; this could be an endorsement, a gift, or a payment.
Track Your Influencer Marketing Campaign with Metrics
Without tracking results, how would you know if your influencer marketing campaigns are working the way they should?
This is why identifying goals is so important. You can't track your campaign data if you don't set a goal for it in the first place.
Here are some essential metrics to track in your influencer marketing campaign:
Engagement rate: Engagement rate is an important metric. It's not a good idea to work with an influencer with an engagement rate of less than 2%.
An engagement event could be a like, comment, or share. The manual formula for finding the engagement of your posts is:
100 X total engagement events/reach
Click-Through Rate: Click-through rate also determines the effectiveness of your campaigns. It's the number of times your target audience takes the action you want them to take.
Cost Per Click: Cost per click is the amount you spend on each click or profitable event. You can measure it by dividing the total number of clicks by your campaign's total expenditure.
Similarly, awareness, leads, traffic, and sales could be your goals. Track them so that you can improve your marketing results along the way.
Influencer marketing can be pretty effective if you follow the right strategies.
However, it's vital to get your mind at work before getting started with it. Set goals so that you can track them later. Find the influencers that can add value to your business.
Don't just select an influencer based on their following; a lot goes into selecting the right influencer for your campaign.
Tracking is essential because it helps you grow. Data will tell you if you are doing anything wrong and will help you overcome shortcomings along the way.