If you have a business that targets millennial consumers, you could be missing out on what 70% of them consider influential in their purchase decisions. It’s recommendations from their peers, or “influencer marketing.”
While only 3% of consumers are swayed by a celebrity endorsement, a whopping 30% are more likely to buy a product when influenced by a “non-celebrity blogger.” This is a gigantic marketing strategy that has skyrocketed in recent years – and now it’s your business’ turn.
A fantastic way to attract potential customers, here is the ultimate guide to getting started with influencer marketing.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
The difference between influencers and traditional marketing is influencers are not celebrities (at least, in the traditional sense) and they are relatively more cost-friendly.
An influencer isn’t simply “popular”; rather, an influencer “is someone who has the power to influence the perception of others or gets them to do something different.” They do this not by gaining a massive following on social media, but by optimizing their reach, credibility, and salesmanship.
Consumers trust these influencers because they’re their peers. A Millennial uses a product. Then, they reach out to other consumers, establish credibility through trust-building content, and sell the product well because they use it for the benefits.
This works because influencers are the perfect blend of consumer and marketer. They use the product anyway; why not endorse?
Why Does IM Work So Well?
Influencer marketing is absolutely trendy; it’s fairly easy to find influencers willing to market your products. A few years ago, this would have been really difficult, but now the influencer marketer pool is huge. Added competition translates to inexpensive marketing means.
IM works because it gives you an element of trust with your consumer you can’t find anywhere else. They inherently believe in who they see on their social media.
Also, it costs way less to market with individual influencers than traditional TV, print, and radio advertising. Instead of working with advertising companies, you work with individuals who actually use your product. They also already have relevant audiences for your brand to target.
How to Use Influencer Marketing
Determine Your Goals
What do you want your influencer marketing campaign to achieve?
You can’t just ask a handful of influencers to market your product without having clear goals in mind.
Maybe you want to target a fresh, new audience. Maybe you want to add sales to the end of the sales quarter. Maybe summer is coming up, which is your high sales period, and you want to create buzz around your products or services early.
Whatever the goal is, make sure it is clear, attainable, and time-sensitive. Also, when you start to reach out to influencers – more on this later – you should relay these goals to them. That way, they can keep your interests in mind when they produce their marketing content.
Find the Influencers for Your Industry
Now, seeing as the influencer pool is miles above what it used to be, you shouldn’t be simply going for the biggest people in the market. With your goals set, set out to find individuals who work well with your product and would be enthusiastic to do so.
There are different types of influencers:
- Content marketers create, brand, and distribute marketing content on their platforms or your business’ social media;
- Influence marketers have social media followings. They redistribute your marketing material in the form of content.
- Brand ambassadors crowd-source your marketing. They already love your product. These people can act as influence marketers, but you can pay more people less.
Another factor you want to determine is size:
- Celebrity influencers – giant following, massive influence, incredibly expensive. Think Kim Kardashian, who can command $160k – $270k per post.
- Macro-influencers – experts on particular topics, decent following, tremendous influence in their niche, somewhat spendy. People like Neil Patel can cost a few thousand per advertisement.
- Micro-influencers – non-global, experts within specific niches, decent following with loyal fans, great influence, cost-friendly. Most influencers fit into this category, charging anywhere between $150 and $1,000 per post.
Do your research, find the type and size of influencer you need for your campaign’s goals, and create a shortlist of 10-15 influencers. (Unless you’re going the brand ambassador route. For this, reach out to previous customers who have already talked about your product online.)
Reach Out and Work with Influencers
This is where things get easier. Once you find organic influence marketers, all you have to do is contact them. You can use an agency to do the research and reach for you.
The best way to contact influencers for influence marketing opportunities is either through email (if they have it online) or social media. For example, if you’re reaching out to an Instagram influencer, you can message them via Instagram’s DM. Explain your product, company message, and goals for the campaign.
Of course, you must inform them that this will be a paid opportunity. Never try for free advertising; you get what you pay for, so make sure your brand stays away from murky, awful advertising.
Engage with these influencers. Follow them, subscribe, respond to emails or questions they ask supporters, comment, link, and share their content. All of this will get their attention in the best possible way. Do these things, then reach out via email.
Treat these people with respect, just like you would an advertising agency. They’ve built a personal brand themselves and you want to partner with them. What they market tells their followers what they believe in, so there needs to be common ground between your product and their niche/beliefs.
Run Your Campaign and Calculate ROI
When you get your team of influencers, congrats! Give them the materials to begin launching your influencer marketing campaign.
The great aspect of influencer marketing is it’s easily tracked. What this means is you can see which influencers gets you the most conversion, the most reach, the most sales. You can quickly and efficiently calculate the return on investment.
When you pay someone $300, they throw a few pieces of content on their media, you get 40 new customers from their following, your products are $50 each…
You made $2,000 profit from a $300 investment. While this won’t always be the case, this shows the potential return you can get from influencer marketing. Run the campaign, then see how powerful influencers were in creating your bottom line.
Influencers are Key to the Future of Marketing
Follow our comprehensive guide to successful influencer marketing and watch as your profits rise with the tide of Millennial consumers. IM is here to stay, so it’s best to get in as quickly as possible.
If you want to learn more about current marketing trends, as well as other advice for business promotions, check out iStats’ archive of promoting articles.