Marketing is crucial for any business, no matter its size. However, achieving the desired results can be time-consuming for small businesses with budget constraints. In the current online landscape, competition is fierce, and many small businesses are turning to alternative advertising techniques.
Influencer marketing, gaining traction in social media marketing, is a cost-effective strategy that allows small businesses to gain a wider reach, establish trust, and increase brand awareness. This strategy is especially essential in e-commerce, where audiences look for more than sales posts.
- Influencer marketing remains a powerful digital marketing strategy that allows brands to gain traction and improve brand awareness.
- There are five main types of influencers. Each category depends on the number of followers and reach they have.
- Note that the influencer's number of followers does not equate to engagement and reach. Some influencers may have a substantial following, but only a fraction of those users are engaged.
- You must consider your goals, vision, and values to ensure you work with the right influencers to promote your brand effectively.
Why influencer marketing?
This digital marketing strategy has become increasingly popular in recent years for the following reasons:
Relevant audience reach
Influencer marketing involves collaborating with content creators with a substantial social media following. These influencers possess a significant level of influence due to their extensive audience.
When an influencer recommends or endorses your brand, their followers will likely pay attention. Teaming up with influencers enables you to stand out and attract followers to your brand. This collaboration enhances your brand's visibility and initiates meaningful online conversations.
Moreover, working with ideal influencers gives you precise targeting. You can select influencers who cater to your target audience, ensuring that your marketing efforts reach the right people. This approach is more effective than traditional advertising.
Imagine TV ads where you broadcast your message to a broader audience, including people not interested in your product. You may have cast a wide net, but this targeting won't necessarily lead to sales because it needs to be more precise.
Builds trust and credibility
Influencers possess a significant level of influence due to the level of trust their followers have in them. This trust enables influencers to establish loyal fan communities.
When they provide sincere feedback about your product or service, these influencer’s followers consider it an authentic testimonial. It enhances your brand's reputation and reinforces your credibility. Hence, partnering with relevant influencers helps you gain their followers' trust, which is crucial for developing a devoted group of brand advocates.
Remember that once you have their trust, the next step is to convert them into loyal customers. Eventually, the newly acquired customers will influence their family and friends and bring in more leads and customers.
Collaborating with influencers brings good ROI. With precise targeting and a broader reach, influencer marketing allows you to increase brand awareness at a lesser cost compared to traditional ads. You can select influencers based on your budget and the expected results.
Moreover, influencers are often willing to collaborate with small businesses with a limited budget. This willingness typically happens when the collaboration aligns with their values and interests.
Partnering with the best influencers allows small businesses to achieve their marketing goals and build a loyal customer base.
Influencers have an exceptional level of trust that brands find challenging to attain — influencer marketing provides a means to transfer that trust to your brand. Research shows that 40 percent of millennial subscribers believe their favorite influencer knows them better than their friends.
Additionally, brands can save resources they would have spent promoting themselves and allow content creators to communicate on their behalf. This strategy will enable them to deliver messages that people can trust.
5 Types of Social Media Influencers
Influencer marketing has become a go-to marketing strategy for businesses to increase brand awareness and engagement. Some even use it to boost sales. This is because social media influencers have gained a significant following. They can "influence" their followers' behavior and purchasing decisions on their social media platforms.
1. Mega influencers
Mega influencers possess a follower count exceeding one million on social media platforms. They are usually celebrities, famous figures, and brand ambassadors. While they offer a wider reach, their engagement rate tends to be low because they rarely interact with their followers.
A recent report found that no more than four percent of Instagram users with over one million followers engage with their audience. Therefore, partnering with mega influencers can be expensive but may not guarantee high conversions or engagement.
2. Macro influencers
Macro influencers are social media personalities with a substantial following. Their followers typically range from 100,000 to 1 million followers. They are well-known and recognized in their industry and are considered authoritative figures in their respective niches. Macro influencers work with brands to promote their products and services to their followers.
3. Mid-tier influencers
Mid-tier influencers have between 10,000 to 100,000 followers. They are considered a bridge between macro and micro-influencers. Mid-tier influencers are more accessible and affordable to work with than macro influencers while still having a substantial following and engagement rate.
Micro-influencers are social media celebrities with fewer followers, typically from 1,000 to 10,000 followers. However, they are still reliable sources of information in their area of expertise. Micro-influencers are known for their authenticity and niche expertise, making them ideal for promoting niche products and services to a targeted audience.
Micro-influencers may not have the same level of impact as macro or mega-influencers. However, they are still viewed as reliable sources of information in their area of expertise. Their followers are interested in engaging with them on the topics they cover and value their opinions and recommendations when making purchasing decisions.
Micro-influencers, with their strong expertise and passion for their chosen niche, are considered reliable sources for guidance and recommendations. Their followers look up to them for reviews and advice when making purchase decisions related to their niche.
It may come as a surprise, but micro-influencers are becoming more popular than more prominent influencers. Mega influencers have seen a significant decline in popularity in recent years. Annual surveys indicate positive results for micro-influencers. 2021 saw tremendous progress in micro-influencers' impact on various metrics, particularly regarding demand.
Ninety percent of surveyed marketers now prefer working with micro-influencers, a 10 percent increase from the previous year's already impressive figure in 2020. Conversely, only 14 percent of marketers now prefer celebrity influencers. Industry experts predict that expenditures related to influencer marketing in the US alone will reach $4.5 billion by 2023.
5. Nano influencers
Nano influencers are social media personalities with a small but loyal following of 500 to 1,000. They are known for their strong relationships with followers and are often considered friends or peers rather than influencers. Nano influencers are ideal for promoting products or services within a specific community or local area.
Nano-influencers are gaining considerable traction on social media, potentially due to their more personal connections with their followers. According to a study by Aspire.io, nano-influencers generate an average engagement rate of 3.69 percent. This number is more than twice the engagement rate of macro-influencers.
Research at Influencer Marketing Hub also revealed a similar trend, with nano-influencers on Instagram achieving engagement rates ranging between 1.70 percent to 4.84 percent. In contrast, influencers with 100,000 to 1 million followers only attained an average engagement rate of 1.06 percent.
Best Practices for Running an Influencer Marketing Campaign
The success of any influencer campaign lies in how effectively you run it. Here are a few of the best tips for a productive influencer marketing campaign.
Identify your target audience
Your target audience represents the people most likely to purchase your product or service. Knowing who they are and what they care about allows you to tailor your messaging and content to their interests, preferences, and needs.
One way to identify your target audience is to conduct market research. You can use surveys, focus groups, or customer feedback to gather information about your audience's demographics, behavior, and attitudes. These strategies will help you understand their motivations, pain points, and preferences.
Once you know your target audience, look for influencers with similar characteristics or interests. For example, you can collaborate with influencers with similar profiles if your target audience is female millennials interested in fashion and beauty.
Another important consideration when choosing influencers is their followers' demographics and interests. You want to work with influencers with a significant following of your target audience.
For example, B2B businesses may find ideal influencers on LinkedIn. E-commerce stores targeting a younger demographic may succeed better on TikTok on Instagram.
Set a budget
Most influencers have a rate card based on their reach and impressions. The more extensive their social network, the more expensive they can charge. Your budget will dictate the type of influencer you can work with.
While the number of followers may dictate their rate, remember that it doesn't always translate to better lead generation and conversions. The key is ensuring you achieve your marketing goals while staying within budget. That's how you get the most value for your investment.
Remember that you must align your vision with the influencer you're working with. The goal is to leverage the creativity and expertise of the influencers. You want them to produce quality content that effectively resonates with their followers and promotes your brand. Influencer onboarding involves establishing clear communication and building a positive relationship with the influencers.
Tell them what your expectations of the projects are. At the same time, ask them what resources they need to make the partnership successful.
Amplify posts across channels
Once the influencer content is ready, you should actively amplify it across various channels to reach a wider audience. You should leverage social media platforms like TikTok and use relevant hashtags to ensure the content reaches a broader audience.
Brands can also work with bloggers and other social media personalities to amplify their influencer content. The goal is to create a buzz around the partnership and generate more engagement and followers.
For example, you want more people to save the Instagram stories so they can use them as a reference for later. This will show you the effectiveness of the content.
Track progress and audit performance
Several tools are available to help brands track their performance on social media. Social media search tools and SEO can provide valuable insights into your campaign's performance on different social networks. You can track engagement rates, mentions, and hashtag usage to see which content is resonates with your audience.
Similarly, influencer marketing platforms can provide detailed analytics on influencer content and campaign performance. These platforms can show metrics such as reach, engagement, and click-through rates. These metrics will give you a good evaluation of each influencer's success and content.
Tracking progress and auditing performance allows brands to optimize their influencer marketing campaigns for success. They can use data and analytics to make informed decisions, adjust their strategy, and identify improvement areas. This helps to ensure that their influencer marketing efforts are effective and deliver a strong return on investment.
Step-By-Step Guide To Finding the Right Influencers
Finding ideal influencers to work with can be tricky. Here's a guide to help you get started.
Step 1: Do social listening
Social listening involves monitoring social media platforms to identify relevant conversations, trends, and influencers. A survey found that 61 percent of businesses use a social listening system. While most use it to monitor keyword mentions, it can also be a tool to discover the right influencers.
These tools allow you to gain insight into your target audience and find influencers who resonate with your brand.
Step 2: Stay within budget
Working with influencers can be costly, and their rates vary widely based on their reach and audience demographics. By setting a budget and staying within it, you can find influencers willing to work with your budget, maximizing your ROI. It helps you avoid overspending on influencer marketing campaigns.
One common mistake is setting your sights on one specific influencer — you will try to accommodate their rate simply because you're dead set on them representing your brand. So, the better action plan is to know your budget and list the influencers you can afford.
You can find influencers willing to work with your budget. Better yet, you can work with brand ambassadors to promote your brand in exchange for complimentary products or services.
Step 3: Personalize your outreach
Personalizing your outreach to influencers is crucial in building a strong relationship with them. It shows that you've taken the time to understand their brand and content. This interaction can increase the likelihood of them working with you. Following their social media accounts and engaging with their content can help you understand their interests, values, and personality.
When reaching out to influencers, ensure your message is personalized and genuine. Start by addressing them by their name and explaining why you chose to reach out to them specifically. Tell them how you found them and what you like about their content. Explain why you think they would fit your brand well and what you want to achieve.
Personalizing your outreach lets you show influencers that you value their work and are genuinely interested in collaborating. You'd want to establish a strong relationship and increase the likelihood of a successful partnership.
Note that many influencers are selective about the brands they work with. They want to collaborate with brands that align with their values and content.
As much as 75 percent of content creators want to work with brands that share the same values. By personalizing your outreach, you can show them that you've done your research. This practice can build a more meaningful and long-lasting relationship with influencers.
Step 4: Ask the right questions
Assess compatibility by asking the right questions on an influencer search. Learn more about their experience working with brands to give you an idea of their professionalism and reliability. It will also tell you if they understand the expectations and requirements of brand partnerships.
Also, discuss sponsored post rates. Influencers typically charge a fee for sponsored posts. Find out if their rates are within your budget. Consider negotiating with them on the rates, especially if you plan to have a long-term partnership.
Step 5: Check their feed
Before committing to an influencer, check their LinkedIn and Facebook posts, Instagram account, or TikTok feed to ensure they align with your brand's values and aesthetics.
Look at the quality of their content and the level of engagement they receive. High-quality content with a high engagement rate suggests the influencer has a loyal audience that resonates with their content. This is because 51 percent of marketers believe influencer marketing is an effective way to acquire high-quality customers.
Similarly, you should be aware of the type of content they post on their feed, including the relevant hashtags they use. See if they take the time to respond to queries to gauge their engagement level with their audience.
Responsiveness indicates that they are engaged with their audience and have built a strong community around their content. One way to measure this is through the interaction on their Instagram Reels.
Start by checking their Instagram feeds. Note that Instagram is the most popular social media platform for influencer marketing. This social media platform has 90 percent of marketers using it. However, other social media platforms may be more effective for influencer marketing, depending on your brand and target audience.
Step 6: Use an influencer marketing platform
Using an influencer marketing platform can streamline your search for the right influencers. These platforms typically offer features such as influencer databases and search bars. You can use them to find top influencers in your niche quickly and easily.
In addition to simplifying the search process, influencer marketing platforms can provide valuable insights into influencer performance and audience demographics. These will allow you to make more informed decisions about influencers to collaborate with.
While influencer marketing platforms can be helpful, they are not a substitute for careful research and due diligence when looking for influencer lists. It's still important to vet potential influencers thoroughly and ensure they match your brand values and messaging before partnering with them.
Additionally, while many influencer marketing platforms are free, some may charge fees or commissions for connecting brands with influencers. Consider any costs associated with using an influencer marketing platform when deciding whether to utilize this approach.
Step 7: Focus on the engagement rate
When choosing influencers, focus on their engagement rate rather than their follower count. An influencer with an impressive engagement rate will likely have an authentic and engaged audience. In contrast, an influencer with many followers may have fake followers.
Follower count can be misleading as it doesn't necessarily equate to actual engagement or influence. An influencer may have many followers. However, their reach and impact may be limited. You will notice this if their followers don't actively engage with their content or aren't genuinely interested in the promotion.
On the other hand, an influencer with a smaller following but a high engagement rate may be more effective in driving results for a brand. Their audience is more likely to be genuinely interested in their content and recommendations.
Therefore, consider their engagement rate and follower count when choosing influencers to work with.
Pro Tip: If you want more traction, use Instagram's Collab post feature to increase the engagement rate and boost the post. This post is a co-created Feed Post or Reel that appears on your and your partner's feeds. Two profiles share all comments, shares, and likes.
Work With the Best Influencers for Your Brand
Working with the right influencers can boost your brand and reach your target audience. That's why it's crucial to choose the right influencers. Influencers can establish authentic content that resonates with their followers and can be used to drive engagement and build trust.
You can capitalize on their reach and influence by working with the right influencers. With it, you can create a powerful marketing strategy that will help you spread your message. At the same time, you build strong relationships with potential customers.
However, ensure that you are working with the right influencers. Go for the one who shares your values and understands your brand's mission to ensure a successful partnership. While the numbers may look good initially, they might not consistently deliver the desired outcomes. As with any campaign, always aim for quality over quantity.
Working with influencers is the best way to get more user-generated content for your brand. Find out how Archive can make it happen for you.
FAQs on How To Find Influencers
What's the average ROI of an influencer marketing campaign?
There's a debate about the actual ROI of an influencer campaign. The focus has shifted towards generating tangible results that impact the brand's revenue, leading 42.3 percent of brands to consider conversions and sales as the most important metrics to measure the success of influencer marketing campaigns.
Some brands still prioritize engagement and clicks (32.5%) or views, reach, and impressions (29%) when assessing campaign success.
In general, investing in influencer marketing can yield a high (ROI), with an average of $6.50 for every dollar spent. About 70 percent of businesses generate $2 or more, while 13 percent earn $20 or more.
Should you work with only one influencer?
No, it's always best to work with multiple influencers. However, determining the appropriate number of influencers to hire for an influencer marketing campaign takes a lot of work. It depends on various factors.
These factors may include the industry's nature, the campaign's intended goals, and the business's growth stage. Therefore, no "magic number" applies to all influencer marketing campaigns.
However, one significant advantage of influencer marketing is that it allows businesses to scale at their own pace. This means businesses can work with a few or several creators depending on their needs, resources, and goals. The freedom to scale up or down allows firms to experiment with different influencer marketing strategies and tactics to determine the most effective approach for their brand.
How long does an influencer campaign run?
It depends on your goal and budget. However, doing a test run before going all out with your resources is always best. The ideal timeline for this is about three months. Once the campaign runs, do a strategy assessment and adjust as necessary. If all is well, extend it for six months and do the required optimization strategies. By the first year, you should be hitting your goals.