Influencer marketing is now considered the most effective form of marketing the world over. This shift in the way people are sold on products and services has increased 90 times over what it was in 2013. While times are in fact changing as to how advertisers and influencers team up (see #5 on this list), it’s difficult to envision a more effective marketing method emerging anytime soon in the years to come.
Always start with research before you spend money
Whether you’re attempting to formulate and launch your own influencer campaign, using a network, or hiring an agency, it’s important that YOU are intimately aware of what audience you need to reach for the best ROI and/or branding effectiveness.
Don’t pull the trigger on anything until you know:
- Who is my audience?
- What content do they generally like and respond to?
- Which social networks do they prefer?
Don’t forget to research current compliance rules, or the campaign will surely backfire. Next, you’ll obviously have to research who are the most effective influencers in the space.
Size doesn’t always matter for effective influencer campaigns
Influencer marketing is here to stay, and contrary to what you may have heard, you don’t need to pay a Kardashian sister a half-million bucks to post up an Instagram ad for your product. These macro (ie., mega) influencers definitely have lots of followers to influence, but it’s often the micro “niche” influencers with 500 or more followers that can offer a targeted audience for your brand.
In fact, moving into 2018, brands will start to focus on the quality of the eyes that see their adverts rather than spending tens and hundreds of thousands on top celeb and industry influencers who may not offer the best ROI for their products. A beauty brand might benefit most from a Kardashian plug, whereas hunting gear and apparel might benefit from a smaller niched-down audience such as a Cameron Haynes or Adam Greentree.
It’s all about getting the right perspective on what you’re trying to achieve. If an influencer’s followers don’t care about your brand, it doesn’t matter how many followers they have, you’re quite plainly just wasting money.
So, the big question is, how to do your influencer marketing campaigns effectively? We ask around, and our friends at HYPR Brands influencer marketplace share their insights. Read on.
8 Ways to do an Effective Influencer Campaign
1. Customer testimonials
This is the least expensive method of influencer marketing and doesn’t require near the outreach or expense that other methods do. People buy your products, then review them on your website or via their own social accounts. Brands will often reach out to customers, offering freebies in exchange for reviews (Ie., tons of Amazon sellers scan reviews of products similar to their own and reach out to the customers who wrote them).
2. Brand ambassador
If you’re lucky enough to convince an influencer to be your brand ambassador, there’s really no better way to promote your brand. This is often the most expensive method of influencer marketing too. Send them free product samples and follow up often to gauge their interest.
3. Related content method
Have an influencer reference your brand in their own blog, social post, or video. This can be blatant, where the influencer holds up your product, recommends it, and tells their followers why. It can also be more innocent, such as having your beauty item displayed on a beauty vlogger’s nightstand, or fitness gear strategically placed in a fitness influencer’s home gym.
4. Promote influencer content on your own channels
Yet another great method for utilizing influencers to market your brand. Ask the influencer to allow you to post content they created on your blog, vlog, or other social channels. They plug your brand and you increase the visibility of theirs. Obviously this will only work if you have a follower-base that’s attractive to the influencer, but can prove highly profitable for both of you.
5. Discount codes
Giving an influencer a discount code for their followers is a great way to get people buying your products for the first time. This offers a dual benefit as you’ll then kick back a portion of each sale to the influencer — thus obliging them to make the best post possible.
6. Sponsored posts
Sponsored posts are used across multiple industries to interest followers. They’re most common on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook Stories, and other video platforms, where the influencer makes it clear to followers you sponsored the post and offers an affiliate link in the comments. An example would be a travel getaway sponsored by airlines, hotel chains, or automotive companies.
7. Have influencers create a stir with hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to make your branding efforts go viral, across multiple social channels. When an influencer posts a catchy hashtag related to your brand, such as #”productgiveaway” or #trybeforeyoubuy or #”eventname” their followers are sure to check out the offer and share it with their own followers.
8. Invite influencers to speak at your events
This is another way that benefits the influencer as much as it does your brand. Invite them to speak or just hang out and talk with people at the events you’re hosting. You’ll often have to pay them, but if you have a large brand that can help them gain tons of followers, sometimes you’ll just have to pay for their transportation and accommodations. As most influencers do, they’ll obviously share their experience across their social accounts.
Influencer marketing is the future
Influencer marketing is more than just a buzzword or trend. It’s the future of marketing, and something that you simply cannot overlook. Leveraging someone elses popularity for the betterment of your brand is something that’s been done since the 1700s. Yet it’s never been so accessible as it is now, with so many regular people becoming instant celebrities on Instagram and YouTube, with legions of loyal and trusting followers.