Just a short time ago, influencer marketing was limited to a small amount of celebrities and bloggers. Now, influencer marketing has become a 6.5 billion dollar industry and more often than not brands are working with normal people just like you and me. With half of the users on the internet never clicking on a single banner ad, entire brands are shifting their marketing budgets to influencer marketing and this new form of content marketing is becoming more important than ever.
But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Brands are starting to question the value of their influencer programs based off of limited growth, high management costs, authenticity questions, and attribution challenges. But before you completely scrap your influencer marketing program, maybe it’s time to revisit some core marketing principles and see if it’s possible to re-ignite your influencer program.
Tip #1 – Make sure you have a clear call to action
Before reaching out to influencers, it makes sense to think about what kind of goals you have for your influencer marketing strategy.
This year, the most common objective for marketers who were leveraging influencer marketing was driving awareness. However, a close second was driving increased sales.
According to Jennine Matthias, director of influencer marketing for Techstyle, one of the most important things they do to drive conversions is to have a very clear call to action for the influencers they work with. They go so far as to require that their influencer partners must have copy on their posts that say “Swipe up” or they must verbally call it out on Instagram.
Tip #2 – The smaller the influencer the better
You might think that getting an endorsement from a huge celebrity will generate a ton of awareness for your brand and you would most likely be right however you need to ask yourself will it be the right kind of awareness?
The fact of the matter is that 70% of millennials prefer to have products endorsed by peers instead of celebrities. Furthermore, small influencers known as micro- or nano influencers have been shown to have higher engagement and conversion rates than those with a larger following.
What is a Micro or Nano-influencer?
Micro-influencers are people that have between 5000 and 50,000 followers. Because they typically interact with followers, they have high engagement and rates and active audiences. The size of their audiences allows them to be highly aspirational for their audiences which generates a high amount of trust in recommendations.
The term Nano-influencer typically refers to a person who has built a community of between 1000 and 5000 followers on social media. Their recommendation of a product or brand can be incredibly powerful because they typically have a devoted following around a particular niche such as fashion, travel, fitness, or food.
Tip #3 – Drive the most ROI by repurposing content
Influencer marketing is really just a more effective form of content marketing, or creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content among an audience in order to drive an action.
The problem is content marketing can be very expensive. According to one study, the cost of creating each piece of content was estimated to be around $3000 once you factor in research, collaboration between teams, and graphic design or photography.
In order to maximize your return on investment, you should make sure that you include a term in your contract that says that you are allowed to repurpose any content created. The content created can then be leveraged in paid media advertisements or on other social & traditional media channels.
Tip #4 – Leverage influencers that are already brand advocates
When asked why people stay engaged, over 70% of influencers responded that their audience liked that they were honest and willing to “call it like they see it.” People already love your brand and are buying your products… why not turn them into your advocates?
This represents a huge area of opportunity for brands today. According to research, only 10% of users on Instagram tag brands in their posts. This delta represents a huge opportunity for the creation of earned media with content that is already being created.
Tip #5 – Don’t just use your influencer network for one off campaigns
The vast majority of marketers agree that brand ambassador programs are the most effective form of influencer marketing but why? These programs are simply more scalable then finding new influencers over and over again for each campaign.
It has been proven over and over again that the more you can capture the attention of your prospective customers, the more likely it is that they will buy your products. Unfortunately, you’re one of thousands that are vying for that attention. By creating relationships with the people that your consumer trusts the most, you will be more likely to get a part of that attention span.
This relationship is also a win-win for both you and your partner. While you will gain increased credibility with your audience by being associated with an influencer that your audience trusts, the influencer will gain increased credibility by being associated with a brand and therefore being seen as someone with a trusted opinion.
We believe that the most valuable “influencers” of your brand will always be your customers. So rather than “discovering” influencers, why not just incentivize your customers to post about you? LoudCrowd makes it possible to significantly enhance the UGC from your customers by incentivizing them to post. In essence, we turn your customers into micro-influencers. But we play nicely with traditional influencer programs, because we believe the more people talking about your brand, the better. To learn more, drop us a line at [email protected].
About the Author
Zach Henault is a marketer living in Austin, Texas. He’s spent ten years in the social media industry working with some of the leading brands in the world including Frito Lay, Procter and Gamble, Target, and more. When he’s not writing about social media, he spends his free time playing soccer, cooking, and trying to make his plants look like a scene from Jumanji.