Influencer marketing 101


Among the marketing trends of recent years, influencer marketing has a special place. Influencer marketing is more effective than traditional forms of advertising. Its essence is to connect the brand with a target audience through influential opinion leaders, or influencers. Influencers easily convey information to the masses due to their credibility and high trust from their followers. Today we will tell you how to search for such influencers and get all the possible benefits from influencer marketing.

What is influencer marketing?

Companies that do influencer marketing collaborate with opinion leaders in various fields to promote their products or services. Influencer marketing is a powerful image tool that improves reach and engagement, and is included in the advertising strategy of many global brands.

The high efficiency of influencer marketing is due to its numerous advantages:

  • Nativity. Advertising fits perfectly into the content of the influencer’s profile, so it does not stand out, nor cause a negative reaction.
  • Targeting. Choosing the right influencer guarantees that information is delivered directly to the brand’s target audience. 
  • More leads. Influencers can easily attract interested potential customers who are almost ready to make purchases.
  • Fast and informative feedback from the audience. By collaborating with an opinion leader, companies can easily get useful data about the target audience, such as their general reactions and reviews of a product or service.
  • Durability. Advertising posts can stay in an account forever and constantly attract more and more new customers.
  • Personal touch. The influencer has public authority and his/her personal recommendation will make an impact.

Influencer marketing is equally effective for business projects of any format; from small online stores to large market players working across many countries. But it is important to choose the right concept, placement format, and goals of the advertising campaign.

How and where to find opinion leaders?

The main requirement for influencer marketing to be effective is to find a suitable partner. Before you start searching, you need to define a clear goal for the campaign. If your goal is to increase reach, it is worth considering big-audience influencers with an active audience. If budget is a concern, local opinion leaders and niche bloggers who are in close contact with the audience are more suitable. If your goal is to improve reputation, celebrities are a good option.

The format of advertising is dependent on the product. For example, the best choice for advertising fashion clothing is photo content on Instagram. Reviews and unpacking of home appliances are appropriate for Youtube. Text content is more typical for Facebook.

Key things when choosing an influencer:

  • Matching visions. The influencer must convey views that coincide with the company’s philosophy, and show interest in cooperation. One-time posts written in a hurry do not inspire confidence and may even harm the brand.
  • Account content. Pay attention to the design features of the influencer’s account, study the content, and think about whether the product will fit into the overall style of the profile.
  • Reach and engagement. Pay attention to the influencer’s follower count and activity level. It is better to choose influencers who have between 10,000 to several hundred thousand users. A smaller audience will not provide broad coverage; a larger one is unlikely to provide a sufficient degree of engagement. Make sure that the followers and likes in the influencer’s account are not inflated.
  • Information about the target audience. Each social media has a specific audience. They are often united by the same problems, similar financial situations, demographic parameters, and interests. If possible, analyze the age, gender, preferences, and level of income of the audience in advance by studying comments on posts and followers’ pages;
  • Other advertising campaigns. Check if the influencer works with other brands and products. Evaluate the level of organization and implementation of campaigns, such as the depth of immersion, the frequency of publication and the presence of feedback in post comments.

Once you have decided on the goals, the placement platform, and the requirements for the influencer, you can start searching for the influencer. Let’s look at several ways.

Manual search

The easiest option is to find the accounts you are interested in yourself and agree to cooperate directly.

You can do it through:

  • Searching hashtags and business-related keywords;
  • Monitoring specialized blogs and media;
  • Viewing the speaker list at thematic conferences and other industry events.
  • Instagram profile Analytics service: for example, to search for video bloggers, use the combination “key query + Youtube”. An Opinion leader can be found for any product.

After finding an influencer you like, write to them. The communication methods that are convenient for the influencer are usually indicated in their profile header. In the message, correctly formulate the essence of the offer, indicate your conditions, and ask about the influencer’s preferences. It’s crucial to be polite. Try to establish friendly relations focused on long-term cooperation.

The manual search takes a lot of time and effort and can bring low returns. Therefore, it is worth paying attention to alternative methods.

Directories and databases

Databases make it easier to find a suitable influencer by setting up filters. These databases contain the names and contacts of various influencers. Users are asked to set priority search parameters:

  • Location;
  • Age;
  • Gender;
  • Profile statistics.

This method will allow you to find potential partners faster, but it does not guarantee that you will receive a response from the influencers included in the database. In addition, not all databases are compiled efficiently. Many are filled with irrelevant information and are rarely updated.

Partner Programs

Another option is to create an affiliate program for the influencers to find the company themselves. Under the terms of the program, the influencer becomes a brand ambassador and receives free products or exclusive offers (a percentage of sales, personal coupons, gifts) in exchange for advertising. The interest in the program depends on the attractiveness of its conditions.

Specialized platforms

The most convenient solution for finding and selecting opinion leaders is specialized platforms. On them, you can easily analyze Instagram profiles, create influencer marketing campaigns, partner targeted influencers, set marketing budgets, determine durations, and measure success.

StarNgage provides a convenient management system and guides you to identify the right influencers using deep profiling analysis. 

Collaboration and evaluation of the effectiveness of working with an influencer

After agreeing on a partnership with the selected influencer, you need to discuss the details and decide on the format of the work. This can be a short-term collaboration (just one post with the product), or a series of advertising posts. You need to provide instructions that describe in detail the essence, overall picture, and nuances of the campaign.

Posts should contain a clear and convincing call to action, thematic hashtags, keywords, and links to the website or landing page of an online store.

The influencer can create content for publication independently, based on the wishes of the company. The influencers can also “seed” brand content in their account when the influencer reposts information about the brand and asks followers to support it. Another way is for the influencer to post a sponsored post or video that contains himself and the product. 

These types of collaborations are most effective:

  • Reviews in which the opinion leader shows the product and shares his impressions;
  • Product placement – the product is casually mentioned in the video or the text of the post;
  • Unpacking of product packages shown in Instagram Stories;
  • Contests and giveaways with prizes for subscription, tagging friends, likes;
  • Special projects – branded Instagram stories.

Select the type and format of the published content depending on your campaign goals and the specifics of the business. 

After placing an ad, be sure to monitor the result of your collaboration with the influencer by evaluating the following parameters and key performance indicators:

  • Number of views/likes;
  • The number of comments, their general tone;
  • Average video viewing time;
  • The number of users who completed the target action;
  • Detailed information about the audience.

To understand how many leads a particular partner has attracted, companies create personal discount promo codes or affiliate links that influencers distribute to their followers. This way it is very easy to calculate the return on investment as a result of a specific collaboration.

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to promote your brand, improve brand awareness, and rise to the top position in your niche. Opinion leaders gather a large audience around them and can influence the views, actions, and decisions of followers. By creating a stable positive image of the company or product in the consumer’s mind, sales will increase.

Author’s Bio

Donald Mena is a social media marketing manager at WritingAPaper. He strongly believes in effective collaborations, and getting creative when communicating the brand to potential customers. 

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