People love watching funny cat videos on TikTok and scrolling through Instagram for fashion and home decor inspiration. As long as they stay hooked on these social media platforms, influencer marketing will remain relevant. Why is this so? Because consumers relate more to influencers than to celebrity endorsers.
Movie stars and models feel like they are out of reach. They fly in chartered planes and have bodyguards. In contrast, your favorite influencer might also have a kid at home with the sniffles today. They give you a peek inside their home, and followers feel like they know and trust them. Many influencers reply to messages and comments on their posts, making their fans feel seen and heard.
If your business would like to establish a similar audience rapport, influencer marketing could hold the key. Here are four ways that small and large brands can improve their influencer marketing efforts to get a better return on investment.
1. Do Your Research
There is no point in spending a single dollar on marketing unless you have a way to gauge your results. Having consistent sales is great, but you need to know how your customers found you. Did they see an ad or hear about you from a friend? Did they research your product to solve a problem? Were they impressed by an influencer endorsement?
Two decades ago, it was difficult to calculate how many people actually saw a billboard on a highway or an ad in the newspaper. However, thanks to digital media, some statistics are easier to track now. You can see how many unique visits your website received in a month. You can tell how many people clicked on your Facebook ad and how many saved an Instagram post. These are very useful metrics, as they can tell you which campaign elements are — and are not — working.
However, with new smartphone operating systems, it might get harder to track activity across apps. This is why it is crucial to learn more about marketing attribution, so that you know how productively your advertising dollars were spent. That way you can double down on the most effective aspects of your marketing campaigns and rethink the less successful ones.
2. Choose the Right Influencer
Nearly every consumer product or service today can benefit from influencer marketing. There are many social media bloggers who have quit their full-time jobs to make a career in this field. From micro food bloggers with 5,000 followers to mega lifestyle gurus with 2 million, there’s an influencer for every budget. The trick is to find the perfect fit for both your brand and your budget.
If an influencer has caught your eye on social media because of the hashtags they use, ask for their media kit. Every professional in this space will have a PDF they can send to you. In addition to a bio, this file will contain such information as the influencer’s social channels, audience demographics, and engagement rates.
While anyone can see the influencer’s number of followers, it is post engagement that is the most important. The magic lies in how many people view their Instagram stories and comment on, save, and share their posts. Of course, influencers with high engagement will charge higher rates. But if their niche and style jibe with your brand, it is most often worth a shot to collaborate with them.
3. Always Provide a Marketing Brief
While many bloggers appreciate being given creative freedom you should still provide a campaign outline. You are paying for their efforts, so they need to align with your brand values and aesthetic. Anyone can Google what your company does, but you need to specify the objective behind this particular campaign. It could be to increase sales, brand awareness, app downloads, subscriptions, or something else.
A good marketing brief includes these objectives as well as the compensation, deadlines, and rights to use the content. Many brands provide influencers with unique promo codes so they can see which ones bring in the most traffic. Customers love discounts, so they’re eager to use their favorite influencers’ codes.
Influencers should submit their styled photo or video for approval before they post. You should ask for insights on the first day and then a few days or a week later to see how well the campaign did. That can help you decide what needs modifying for the next time.
4. Plan a Longer-Term Collaboration
As with any marketing technique, don’t expect miracles overnight. Plan your advertising budget in such a manner that you can sign on as an influencer for a series of posts. This incentivizes them to prioritize your brand, and their followers will start associating them with you. A sleep-deprived new mom may not remember the brand name of your eco-friendly bamboo diapers. However, when she watches her favorite influencer’s stories during a nursing session, she might go ahead and add them to the cart.
Longer relationships also let both your company and the influencer learn more about one another. You can figure out the best season to advertise in and what kind of promotions click better with consumers. Once you have had a business relationship, you understand the influencer’s work ethic and don’t have to start the orientation process each time. That said, you needn’t feel obliged to partner with an influencer again if they didn’t follow your brief or produce promising results.
Influencer marketing won’t be dissipating anytime soon. In fact, the industry grew to more than $16 billion in 2022. More importantly, businesses are making more than a $5 return on every dollar they spend on influencer marketing. By following the tips above, your brand can also enjoy a piece of this pie.
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