Are you considering influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing has become an absolute cornerstone of social media and digital marketing, but what does “influencer marketing” really mean?
Look, do we really need to take the time to define influencer marketing? OK … fine.
Put simply: influencer marketing is a form of digital and social media marketing, where people (experts in their field/with large followings) endorse products and brands in exchange for financial benefit or free products.
While it may seem commonplace nowadays, influencer marketing is still a relatively new technique. Of course, celebrity endorsements have always been a thing, but influencers are a new breed of celebrity. In fact, the term “influencer marketing” wasn’t searched on Google until 2010, and it still took another five years before the trend really started to gain any momentum.
Take a look at the search trends for “influencer marketing” going all the way back to 2015.
As the keen-eyed observer you are, you surely noticed that dip around May of 2020. Wonder what world-changing event could have possibly caused that to happen …
Global pandemics aside, has your business considered implementing influencer marketing into its marketing strategy? Before you take the leap, let’s break down a few key things.
Influencer marketing is all about trust … kind of
We want you to do a little exercise. Head over to Google and do a search for something. It doesn’t have to be anything special. Seriously, search for anything. (Maybe make sure it’s safe for work). Once you’ve searched, click on the first link you trust or like the look of the most.
Go ahead. We’ll wait.
Now, if it won’t look too silly while sitting at your desk, raise your hand if you skipped the paid ads and scrolled to the first organic search result?
Here’s the thing about ads: people are used to them, and we don’t really trust them all that much. Real people, however, we trust, especially people (influencers) that we like.
The reason why influencer marketing is so effective is because influencers have already built a strong community around their brand and who they are. They’re created a following of people who trust their opinions and recommendations.
However, more than simply trusting an influencer who is happy to peddle any product that comes their way, people are looking for influencers who actually use the products they’re recommending. This is an important difference. You aren’t just looking for an influencer; you’re looking for an advocate. The best partnership you can enter into is with someone who already uses your products.
You don’t need huge names
One of the most common misconceptions people make when they start considering influencer marketing for their business is believing that it only works with influencers with massive followings. While it would be great to work with some of the world’s biggest influencers, it’s also unbelievably expensive to do so. That’s why you should consider smaller influencers.
On a practical level, influencer marketing is all about selecting the right influencer with the right audience for your brand and nurturing a relationship. The right influencer for your brand might be someone with a relatively modest following.
Here’s a quick look at how Shopify breaks down influencers into five categories:
- Nano influencers: between 1,000 and 5,000 followers
- Micro influencers: between 5,000 and 20,000 followers
- Power or mid-tier: between 20,000 and 100,000 followers
- Mega influencers: between 100,000 and 1 million followers
- Celebrities: more than 1 million followers
How do influencers actually influence?
Influencers come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the platform they’re most popular on, the services they can offer your business are incredibly varied. Being an influencer isn’t all selfies and videos. Let’s take a look at a few content ideas for influencer marketing.
- They write a blog or article about you (on your website or theirs)
- They share information/photos/reviews about you on their social media account(s)
- They allow you to produce content for their website/blog/social media account(s)
- They host an account takeover on your social media pages
- They interact with your content (liking, commenting, sharing posts)
- They host product demonstrations
- They join your live stream as a special guest
- They host special promotions that are only available to their followers
Sounds simple, however, the benefit is significant.
Some recent stats for consideration:
- The influencer marketing industry is worth $13.8 billion
- 50.7% of brands working with influencers run ecommerce stores
- Almost half (47.3%) of influencers are micro-influencers with 5,000—20,000 followers on their biggest social media platform
- Gen Z is most influenced by social media influencers
- Women aged 16 to 24 are 31% more likely to follow social media influencers than men
- 97% of marketers consider Instagram the most important influencer marketing channel
- TikTok has the highest influencer engagement rate
- 39% of respondents buy products through TikTok (compared to 22% for Instagram and 9% for Facebook influencer posts).
- 40% of Twitter users made a purchase based on an influencer recommendation
There’s certainly plenty to consider before jumping into the world of influencer marketing. The biggest consideration is making sure you’re doing your research and checking references before entering into any agreement. It’s not the responsibility of influencers to protect your brand’s reputation. You have to do that.