People always needed someone to look up to and trust. The cult of personality went from religion to politics, and then to celebrities who appeared everywhere on the billboards. Consumer habits, preferences, and, accordingly, marketing strategies change with the world. When digital marketing went out to the stage, the changes started to occur very often, and trends, at their turn, became quite variable. Nevertheless, influencer marketing has been occupying TOP positions among other types of marketing for several years already. It means that brands can’t ignore involving opinion leaders in their campaigns. They should definitely add influencer marketing to their overall strategy if they want to succeed.
This type of marketing is a worthwhile undertaking without further ado. However, to convince you finally in its advantages, and, therefore, help your business stand out, we have prepared this article covering effective influencer marketing techniques. Familiarize yourself with them, and craft the right strategy, having equipped with proven practices and a full understanding of what steps to take.
Why is influencer marketing good for business?
Marketing with social media stars has turned into a new philosophy of advertising. The authority of popular personalities decides a lot. Their recommendations are almost unquestionable and are perceived significantly warmer by the audience than adverts got from traditional channels.
According to the statistics, 8 out of 10 consumers have made a purchase based on influencer’s recommendation. “Okay, but I still do not understand what good it can bring my business!” – you might think.
Let’s go through the items, and clear up why you need to give it a go and how beneficial it would be for your business.
If you choose the right influencer for your brand, you encompass your target audience by default. What does it mean “right” in this case? Imagine that you are a cosmetics brand whose main category of customers are young people from 16 to 25. Based on this data, we can conclude that a beauty blogger or even cosmetologist will be a good option for your business. It is necessary to look through his stats, find out the location, gender of followers, and get other insights about the audience. By the way, you can check any Instagram influencer using trendHERO. This tool provides more than 90+ metrics to help you get a complete portrait of this or that opinion leader, and avoid miscalculating with a choice.
If your brand fits harmoniously into the picture of an influencer, namely: you are from the same niche, sharing the same values, you will definitely reach needed ears. Followers will believe the recommendation of a person who is an expert in the niche and knows exactly what to advise, therefore, they will buy your products.
It’s more effective to build relationships with influencers than hunting for the customers with the aid of split testings, pixels, narrowing and expanding audiences, and other tricks of Ads Manager.
The previous and this item go hand in hand. Accurate targeting ensures a strong return on investment. When you demonstrate your product in front of people who are likely to get interested in it, backing it up with advice from a person who these people trust, you get customers, sales, and, prosperity.
According to the research conducted by Influencer Marketing Hub, every dollar that a company spends on influencer marketing turns into $5.78 of profit.
Followers often rely on influencers’ opinions when choosing goods and services. When it comes to leads and sales, advertising with the aid of micro- and nano-influencers brings staggering results.
Briefly, if you have done everything correctly – from choosing the suitable opinion leader to correctly posed task – your sales will skyrocket. You will not regret any cent spent on this collaboration and will come back for more.
Opinion leaders can reach a much larger audience than regular ads. Scrolling their feeds, people will pay more attention to the product when it appears in the account of an influencer. In addition, content published on behalf of an opinion leader is additionally distributed by his followers and may even become viral. Social media stars have great power over their audiences, and chances are quite high that your business will be noticed. All you need to do is to let influencers spread a word about your products or services, and brand awareness will increase at light speed.
Credibility and Trust
Is it worth saying that the level of trust in opinion leaders is very high? If you want to win confidence in your brand yourself, keep in mind that a lot of sweat will go into that job. Why not use the confidence that has already been won and associate it with your brand? Opinion leaders are here for you to break through the noise and become a proven, ticked with a “mark of quality” brand. As soon as your product or service is recommended by an influencer, it gains as much trust as a content creator has himself.
Influencers know for certain what kind of content will be appreciated by their audience. They always invent something special to grab followers’ attention and cause their response. If you give opinion leaders creative freedom, they will produce tailor-made content that will not be just white noise but be visually appealing and informatively valuable. The right influencer will hook your target audience and increase, or even generate demand for the product just with one post.
In a word, opinion leaders outplay each integration in different ways, excelling in coming up with unique ideas to display the brand. And yours will not be an exception.
10 Types of Influencer marketing campaigns
Influencer marketing is in a constant state of flux. Each opinion leader strives for standing out, therefore, new types of campaigns are frequently tested and launched. I will not be surprised if something mind-boggling is being prepared to go out right now.
Nevertheless, it’s possible to enumerate the types of campaigns that firmly established as effective, having helped brands accomplish their missions.
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You provide an influencer with your products or afford him an opportunity to use your services for free. What to expect? He can openly unpack your gift, write a review, or mention your brand in his social networks.
Please mind: opinion leaders are not obliged to give you anything in exchange. Gifting is gifting. However, you can hope for free publicity. If the opinion leader liked your gift, he will tell definitely feature it in his account.
Contests & Giveaways
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Basically, brands ask an opinion leader to conduct a contest or giveaway on his behalf. The prize is usually provided by a brand. To take part, followers need to fulfill a number of requirements: subscribe to a brand page, repost, use a specific hashtag, etc.
Social Media Mentions
An opinion leader mentions a brand within his texts or on Instagram Stories, tags on the picture, include a hashtag, etc. Any reference to your product within the influencer’s account is a social media mention. It might be a review, a description of the experience, an expert opinion, and so on.
This type of promotion is one of the most unobtrusive. It migrated to social media from films. The product appears in the frame sort of accidentally. It can flicker on the background, be placed somewhere around, or be worn. An opinion leader does not focus his attention on the product at all but it is visible.
In contrast to the previous type, this one is public advertising. An opinion leader is paid for sponsored content and does not conceal it from followers. As for Instagram, in the line where we usually mark geolocation, influencers indicate that the post is sponsored. Usually, they can create videos or posts themselves based on the brief got from a brand. The key thing here is not to impose a product or service but make an accent that this is a brand-creator collaboration for the exchange of values.
Social Media Takeovers
The key idea behind this type of social influencer marketing is when a brand allows an opinion leader to take control of its social media accounts and curate content there for a set amount of time.
Affiliate links & Discounts
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Opinion leader provides his audience with a promo code and gets a commission from each sale that is driven using this code. The same story is with an affiliate link: followers go via the link that is featured in an influencer’s account, make orders, and then an opinion leader gets a reward. Basically, a brand does not have to pay anything to an influencer until someone makes a purchase by a unique code or follow the link assigned to him.
Brand Ambassador Programs
A brand chooses an opinion leader to spice it up with the aid of a famous face. In contrast to other types of campaigns, ambassador programs are long-term. It means that a chosen influencer supports a brand, constantly producing content to expose products or services in the most favorable light. An opinion leader benefits from exclusive offers, free products, or commission in exchange. Being a key figure that represents the brand, he also enhances his reputation.
Normally, such projects are organized to attract interest in brand activities: the release of a new product, sale, etc. A special project is always aimed at a time-limited newsbreak. This is a thoughtful communication, where all publications /activities of bloggers are united by a common creative concept.
To increase the coverage and attract attention to the event, brands invite influencers. They, in their turn, make announcements, and then cover an event itself publishing photo and video reports, sharing brand news. The buzz around an event and brand is generated, and, therefore, awareness is growing.
7 influencer marketing techniques that really work
You have just got to know the main types of campaigns that are frequently used within influencer marketing. What’s next? Master the best marketing techniques to implement in your influencer marketing strategy to make the most of your next collaboration with an opinion leader.
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Beautiful pictures and short captions are no longer wildly popular. More and more people strive for getting useful information scrolling their feeds. Brands involve influencers who specialize in some areas to act as experts. They provide him with a product, and he produces content in the format of tips mentioning the product within it. Followers appreciate such publications because they usually contain truly helpful information that can be applied in ordinary life.
At present, our brains are overloaded with a huge amount of information. It is even difficult for us to remember what we have just seen on social networks 10 minutes ago. If you want your brand/product/service to stick in the mind of followers, it is necessary to appear in their feeds several times. For this purpose, brands involve several opinion leaders at once to make a review, mention or somehow feature them in their accounts.
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This technique is very effective if you choose the right topic and the right opinion leader. Live broadcasts are a new way to communicate with consumers, which allows you to interact with them in real-time. Brands go live with an influencer and thus attract his audiences to watch the broadcast. This technique works well for brand recognition and also improves its reputation. “If a respected opinion leader has agreed to spend his time on going live with a brand representative, it means something!” – followers roughly think this way.
Competitions with Hashtags
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On behalf of the brand, an opinion leader launches a competition where people need to perform a particular action marked it with a branded hashtag. Usually, these are stories to share on a chosen topic that is slightly related to a brand. An influencer shares a personal story first and invites his followers to join.
People adore talking about themselves, and, especially, when they can get a gift for it.
Opinion leaders become true brand partners. Now one-time posts or stories are not enough to bring results. It’s more efficient when a chosen influencer collaborates with a brand on an ongoing basis and becomes an integral part of it. Usually, long-term partnership leads to becoming a brand ambassador. He is present at all events organized by a brand, tells about new products first, flashes on offline advertising, etc.
Involvement of nano- and micro-influencers
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5 лет моему Youtube каналу сегодня! и 150 000 подписчиков стукнуло недавно. В прошлом году я едва не бросила канал. Это труд, который занимал всё свободное время и стал второй работой. Вдобавок я тогда очень устала от чужого мнения, которое текло ручьем в комментарии под каждым видео. И да, интернет – свободная площадка, и любой может высказать своё мнение так же, как это делаю я. Но быть одной напротив огромной аудитории в какой-то момент стало очень сложно. Сейчас, конечно, рада, что в тот момент нашла силы продолжать. Откуда силы? Я просто вспомнила, зачем всё затеяла. Цели в 2015-м году у меня было две: 1) Иметь платформу, где я смогу делиться опытом жизни, работы и получения образования в разных странах. 2) Иметь проект, который я смогу монетизировать. А потом появилось видение того, куда это всё меня ведёт, и это дало энергию шуровать дальше. Когда всё бесит и хочется послать всё к черту, вспоминаю, что я делаю это всё для себя. И что никто не может препятствовать моему плану. Так что если кто-то из вас сейчас приуныл по какому-то поводу – вспомните, ради чего вы всё затеяли. И шуруйте.
Finally, brands have come to realize that the number of subscribers is less important than reach, engagement, and, after all, a loyal audience with particular preferences than ill-assorted people.
If a brand’s goal within the influencer marketing strategy is sales, it needs to involve opinion leaders with a small number of followers, but influential in their niche. Nano- and micro-influencers stand out through plenty of advantages: they are affordable in terms of the price, arouse high involvement and work hard, creating their fan bases. Nano-influencers can attract a small but very loyal audience, creating excitement without significant costs for the brand.
Followers are glued to the videos where an opinion leader is unpacking the parcels got from brands. Send a gift to an influencer or arrange a promo campaign in the format of unpacking on Instagram Stories. You may not believe but these short videos when he is showing the contents of the parcel, commenting on the process, really attract customers and stimulate purchases.
5 tips to make most of influencer marketing campaigns
Seems like you are equipped with the effective techniques and all other essentials to launch a great campaign with opinion leaders. Wait one more minute! Look through the tips before the start not to screw it all up but make the most of your campaign.
- Define your goals
It rarely works out when you try to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds. Outlining the goals of your campaign is a bedrock on the way to success. To shape an effective strategy you need to know what you would like to get in the end. Some of the goals you may consider are the following: brand awareness, sales, lead generation, engagement, increasing the number of followers, link building, etc. Each goal demands a particular influencer, the specially designed campaign as well as metrics to track.
- Understand who you want to impact
A marketing campaign can’t be aimed at all people. Otherwise, it just won’t work.
First of all, determine the target audience for each specific campaign. Do research, polls, etc. Get to know your customers, their needs, pain points. Once you break it down, it will be much easier to find the right influencer.
- Thoroughly explore opinion leaders
In the early stages of planning the campaign, a careful investigation is key. The cooperation will bring results if only a chosen influencer aligns with your brand.
Use the RRR rule:relevance, reach, and resonance. The influencer shares content relevant to your business and the industry as a whole. If yes, have a look at his target audience and assess whether it matches yours. Take into account the average reach of influencer’s publications and the activity of followers. Resonance is this case defines the potential level of engagement that the influencer can provide to your brand. There are a lot of methods of searching and checking influencers: manually on Instagram or Google (keywords, hashtags), using influencer networks, or specially designed tools.
Regarding the latter, the trendHERO tool is a perfect platform that assists in picking influencers as well as checking them in the same place. Just set the search parameters – number of followers, gender, location, language, etc., and trendHERO will choose the candidates to consider. Then proceed to check influencers. Just enter the nickname of the Instagram blogger, and the system will show about 90 parameters of his account. Many parameters can be calculated manually, but it will be a time- and energy-consuming process.
- Give an influencer creative freedom
Working on the campaign, content needs to be adapted and integrated for different influencers and their audience. Opinion leaders know better what approach and format of the campaign will get the response from his audience and what will be perceived as idle talk. Provide him with a brief but do not limit him in generating ideas.
- Prepare for tracking the performance of the campaign
Use UTM tags to track conversions to your landing page or website. Create unique promotional codes for influencers to keep up with the effectiveness of the campaign. Also measure activity in your own Instagram account: the number of new followers, orders, sales, etc.
Tracking and subsequent analysis of the results will give you a clear vision of the effectiveness of your collaboration and will help you avoid mistakes in the future.
How to evaluate whether an influencer marketing technique is effective or not?
It all starts with goals. Based on marketing objectives, you can easily evaluate whether an influencer marketing technique has justified itself or not.
- Brand awareness. The campaign aimed to increase brand recognition can be considered as effective when your website traffic, Instagram account views, social mentions have increased.
- Engagement. The number of shares, comments, likes, saves shows the success of a chosen technique.
- Audience growth. When the number of followers has grown to the desired mark, the campaign has done his part.
- Sales and lead generation. If the cell phones of your managers have not stopped buzzing and your Instagram Direct is overloaded with messages, the technique has met the expectations.
- Customer Loyalty. If you had come up with perks for your customers, and they warmly accepted and used them, your effort hadn’t been in vain.
All of the above techniques and types of marketing campaigns show good results and cater to help your brand thrive. Partner with influencers, choose the most effective technique and reap the benefits. Armed with information got from this article, your next campaign is psyched for success! It just can’t be otherwise.