94% of marketers use influencer marketing because it generates 11 times the ROI of traditional digital marketing channels. What is influencer marketing? It is not, as many critics claim, a trend. It works. It works great! It reaches a wider audience. Increase conversions, confidence and ROI. Improve brand awareness. I’ll show you how
Brands can no longer be based on testimonials and advertisements. As consumers we have become atrophied to aggressive announcements and messy marketing messages. Too much irrelevant advertising. Too many nosy pop-ups. Too many testimonials pretending to use a certain brand of detergent.
We could not do more with the jargon of the brands. Then came the Millennials and Generation Z. They cut down the predictable behavior of consumers. They didn’t believe in advertising. They wanted social proof before spending their money. They turned to the influencers they respected, estimating their reviews of the brands. Their opinions.
Now the market rumors are so noisy as to confuse us. We ignore what we don’t want to know. Instead, we turn to social media and follow people we trust. We read their reviews, we accept their advice, we share our personal opinions.
In this guide, I want to talk to you about influencer marketing, the importance of influencer marketing. How it evolved. Of the future. I’ll show you the brands that are dominating the influencer marketing. I’ll include the number one influencer marketing solution on the market, and an influencer briefing template that you can download for free. You will have a lot to read, but I promise you it will be relevant, useful and comprehensive.
What is influencer marketing?
Exactly what it looks like. To promote your brand, hire an influential character to share it with his followers.
Through this guide, I will show you some examples of brands that know how to use influencer marketing, including statistics that demonstrate the impact your influencer campaigns could have.
Diageo and the performance of its brands over the Christmas period.
Generally, when we think of influencers, Instagram comes to mind – beautiful people, instagrammable products. While Instagram is the favorite channel, there are many influencers who use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and so on. And they are not limited to social media. There are too many influential bloggers online.
Social media put the image on the table.
Yes, we could read about a lipstick, a car, a coach and look at a picture of someone representing the product. Now we can watch Selena Gomez curl her lips, Lewis Hamilton darting towards another party, Messi dribbling
Definition of influencer
Who is an influencer?
Someone who has the power to influence the purchasing decisions of others and is able to do so because they are considered an authority in their field.
Social media is the perfect tool for influencers, where large groups of followers can be built that value their opinions. There are several ways to become an influencer:
- Celebrities – the original influencers, who attract a large audience but cost a lot
- Industry experts and thought leaders – qualified in a particular niche – macro and micro
- Bloggers – masses of followers and readers who want to know their opinions
A lot of followers certainly make a stir, but they only confirm that that person is popular. To be influential, they must be believed.
Luxury watch brand that uses testimonials and macro-influencers.
Is the influencer marketing something new?
I often read articles that claim that influencer marketing is the next big phenomenon. Bring epic results. It’s the future.
But it is not really so.
In the 1920s, Coca-Cola inserted someone new into its marketing campaigns. A gentleman in flesh wearing a red suit and a big smile. His suit was trimmed with white fur and his face was surrounded by a thick white beard. His name?
The creation of this version by Coca-Cola is a marketing legend and perhaps the topic for an upcoming blog post. What we can be sure of is that he became one of the most famous influencers of all time.
Then no. Influencer marketing is not the next big phenomenon. It has been a phenomenon for a long time.
What is true is its recent dazzling ascent. Why? What has marked the end of traditional digital marketing techniques?
Ad-blocker – 47% of consumers block invasive advertising .
Why does your brand need influencer marketing & Importance of influencer marketing?
Traditional advertising has suffered a blow. As consumers, we don’t like brands that use aggressive marketing techniques. We trust people, and 92% of us place our trust in product recommendations from individuals rather than brands.
Remember the last time you felt an interest in a paid banner? Or do you suffer from banner blindness, like me? For those who find them invasive, the solution is Adblockers. According to Google, the average clickthrough rate for banners is 0.06% .
Ouch! A lot of people ignore the ads!
As a marketer, how should we tackle this problem? The obvious answer is in marketing with social media. Scroll and write tweets on Twitter, share and fix on Instagram … we spend hours surfing the social networks. But, with maybe a couple of hundred followers, our message won’t go very far.
Social media networks, including the value of their advertising, have made it more difficult for companies to engage with organic posts. Facebook has modified its new feeds, so users see more status updates from friends and family. Company pages have lost visibility.
To clarify, here are the 5 reasons why you need to include influencers in your marketing strategy:
- Consumers trust influencers’ recommendations – 83% of consumers believe their peers’ recommendations rather than those of brands, and 66% of consumers’ opinions published online.
- The influencer marketing generates a stable ROI – according to Adweek, the influencer campaigns earn $ 6.85 in value of the media earned for every dollar spent. You can’t lose!
- Influencers increase brand awareness – bring authenticity to your brand and strengthen your presence on social media.
- The domain of social media – Instagram is the influencer marketing champion with 12.9 million posts of sponsored brands in 2017, and is expected to double in 2018. With a market size of almost 1.7 billion dollars.
Social channels – scope vs. number of influencers – Sponsokit ..
- AdBlockers and the fast forward button – in 2015, brands lost $ 21.8 billion due to ad-blockers , with a forecast of 35 billion in 2020. Advertisements can be skipped and ignored, while now many services streaming are free of advertising.
If you manage your influencer marketing like a rock star, they all win. You, your influencer and his followers. That’s the importance of influencer marketing.
How can influencers help your business?
Influencers are brand supporters, using social media to increase their credibility on a particular topic. A good influencer can persuade followers to change their buying behavior. You can use influencer content to promote your brand, expand your business and increase consumer confidence.
You can proceed in two ways. Organic or paid. Although the organic approach works, you’ll get a more proactive influencer by paying him a fee.
It’s obvious, I know.
Here’s how an influencer could help your brand:
- Writing an article, creating a video about your product or service
- Promoting your brand on your social accounts
- Posting your guest post on your site
If you’re lucky enough, out there you’ll find a lot of influencers ready to promote yours for free, simply because they like your product.
Example of influencer marketing
In 2000 came the launch of ASOS, a British clothing retailer. Today it sells over 80,000 products worldwide. How did you collect so much success?
His influencer marketing campaign – Insider ASOS – has been so successful that it currently has over 20 million social followers and, over the last year, has obtained 1.4 billion views of its products.
How to start your influencer marketing campaign?
The influencer marketing done as it should be done will help increase the authenticity of your brand and increase trust. It will generate engagement, traffic to your site and conversions. Whether it’s the names of big brands or small and medium-sized companies, influencer marketing will always work, regardless of budget volume.
Here’s how to get started:
Define your goals
The goal of any marketing campaign is to show that you can deliver value to a target group. With an influencer marketing campaign, you have to show that you can deliver value to the followers of your influencer.
Why are you planning an influencer marketing campaign? What do you want to get? It is important to answer these questions before starting to plan. Without goals, you will not be able to choose the most appropriate influencer and you will certainly not be able to measure your results.
- If your goal is to improve your performance, you will need to be specific: increase engagement rate, conversions, brand awareness, trust, site traffic
- Increase your number of followers on social media
- Are you launching a new product?
- Do you think you are promoting an event?
Your goals must match your KPIs, so you can measure the success of your campaign. If you want to increase the number of subscriptions to your newsletter, that will be a solid KPI you can measure.
Create SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and on time. The goal of increasing brand awareness is vague and not measurable. Increasing your Twitter followers by 25% in the next six months is SMART. You can see if your influencer campaign works or not.
Create great content
Your content must be beautiful, otherwise you won’t find any respectable influencers willing to work with you. A post of 600 words on a blog full of keywords, irrelevant links and spelling mistakes … won’t be enough. Your content must be:
- Suitable for the purpose
- Pleasant to the eye
- Beneficial for readers
Content ideas could include:
- Expert meetings
- Quotations from influencers
- Expert tips and tricks
- Product Reviews
How to find the best influencer for your brand
Once you’ve set goals, you now need influencers to reach them. Make sure the influencers you choose are true to your brand and understand your goals.
Is your influencer true to your brand?
@gvnegirl nurtures a profound attachment to the brand and regularly cites relevant topics in its tweets.
- Increase confidence and attachment for your brand – niche influencers able to create genuine and respected content from their followers
- Build brand awareness – big names for huge reach
- Generate engagement – micro-influencers relevant to your brand with high-level engagement
- Product launch – thought leaders, industry experts, niche – good reach
- Generate conversions – all types of influencers will be effective: micro, macro, niche.
The type of influencer you choose depends on your goals for your campaign. But you should remember that increasing your reach will compromise your engagement.
The compromise reach vs. engagement
How many people are reaching the influencer you have chosen? What level of engagement are they generating? Is your potential audience interacting with the content?
The analysis of the most influential authors for Thor Ragnarok, @Jedi_Jill generated the same level of engagement as @ComicBookNOW, although it had a considerably lower range.
Have you made your decision?
Now you have to find them and you can do it in three ways:
- Organic – search, search again and build relationships. It works and is cheap, but takes time.
- Agencies – collaborate with an influencer marketing agency that searches in your place and helps you manage the entire campaign. If you decide to rely on an agency, make sure that you rely on a strong technological partner, as you will need both a tool capable of processing data, and a human company that, internally or through an agency, is able to make sense to insights.
- Tools – use a specialized online platform like Talkwalker’s Influencer One . Search for relevant keywords and get a list of potential influencers you can contact. The tool will reveal number of followers, geographic location, engagement rates and much more.
Different types of influencers
There are three different types of influencers. Your choice depends on your budget, brand and product. Kim Kardashian will never be a suitable choice for gardening tools.
Celebrity recommendations are the oldest type of marketing influencer. In the past, John Wayne advertised cigarettes, Paul Newman Coca-Cola and Ronald Reagan of hair products. Yes, working with celebrities guarantees a huge reach, but it’s not all a bed of roses.
- They are expensive – we are talking about $ 100,000 for a single post
- Consumers don’t trust celebrity tips like they used to – they don’t fall for it anymore
- Sales may not increase if the celebrity and your target market are not compatible
The “fortuitous” recommendations of celebrities still work, and by that I mean a celebrity shot with a camera wearing a particular brand. For example, whenever the youngest British royalty wear something – the Kate effect!
These guys have a lot of followers, and we’re talking about millions … They are considered experts in their field – the difference between macro and celebrity. Ask someone on the street, and they probably don’t know who a macro-influencer is. But in their niche? They are rock stars.
They are not cheap. They will be careful to choose who to work with, because it is their reputation.
Most influencers are micro. Unlike macro-influencers, it is likely that they will not be recognized by ordinary people, but in their niche sector they are considered experts.
Micro-influencers have more followers than you and me (from 500 to 10,000), but not so many as to demand high commissions. However, they get high levels of engagement because their followers consider them to be thought leaders.
In choosing your influencers, look for those who have a solid and faithful audience. Their fans and followers should match those of your brand.
Salary of influencers
You can’t expect influencers to share their followers without some kind of compensation. Calculate how much you can spend and choose a compensation method that works for both. Here are some examples:
- Cost to engagement – how many engagement they get with their content
- Cost per click – the number of clicks you receive on your landing page
- Payment to post – fixed rate for each post product
- Free products – free access to your instrument, free products, etc.
- Cost per conversion – the number of conversions they generate – newsletter subscription, product purchase, form filling, etc.
Plan your influencer marketing campaign – 7 examples
What kind of campaign are you planning to launch? Choose based on what will work for your brand and the goals you want to achieve.
Instagram – champion of influencer marketing
Due to the fact that Instagram will not allow all users to add links to their posts, ask your influencers to create their own showcases. They can share photos of your products and include a link to their showcase in their biography. They will show images of your products with a link to the page of each product. This is a great UX for all their followers who want to buy your products.
Competitions and promotional gifts
If you want to intensify brand awareness, a contest or the assignment of free products is a great way to collaborate with your influencers. Ask your influencer to launch your contest, or you can launch it and let it promote to them. In addition to intensifying brand awareness, contests can increase your followers on social media and your list of subscribers to your emails / newsletters.
Sponsored post on blog
The blog posts or the site of an influencer have benefits that a post on social media does not offer. A blog post will be indexed and positioned by search engines, ensuring a long online presence.
Yes, advertising finds are risky. They may not work. They could come back to haunt you. You may not reach your goals. But if they go as planned, they’re epic! The interest around her can be enormous, and at this point it is easy to become viral.
Social media campaign
OK, it won’t last as long as a blog post, but it’s really worth it. During planning, clearly define both the role of your influencers and your goals. Which channels do you want me to post to? How many times per day / week / month would you like them to share?
Affiliate marketing means that your influencer receives a commission on every sale you generate with its content and level of influence. Keeping track of the ROI generated by your influencer campaign is easy, and the added incentive encourages him to massively promote.
Create space in your content calendar for a guest post from one of your influencers. It’s a two-way street, so be prepared to compensate by providing a link to your site.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Let me know how they go!
How to create the perfect brief for your influencers
Be clear. Don’t bore him. Don’t forget key information. I created an influencer briefing template that you can download for free.
You will need to include:
- A summary of your company. Include the main guidelines of your brand. Stay on the simple, but never take it for granted that they know you.
- Provide details on your key products. Not your entire catalog, but only the ones you want to promote. Focus on the major benefits and negative aspects that you would like to compensate.
- Include links, reviews and other types of product advertising.
- Share completed successful campaigns. Include your competitors’ campaigns and / or your influencer’s favorite past campaigns.
- Communicate your ideas to your influencer without too much pressure. A simple inspiration.
- What do you want to get? Share your goals.
- What are the key points you want to get to your audience? Include keywords, straplines and hashtags.
- On which social media channels would you like to promote? Don’t ignore the influencer’s consolidated audience. If they mainly use Twitter, asking them to promote on YouTube would be a mistake. You will need a different influencer.
- How many brand messages do you want to produce?
- What are the times for creating content? Will you be brainstorming to share ideas?
- When do you want to launch your influencer campaign?
- In the case of a multimedia campaign – what other elements will you produce? When will the launch take place?
- Provide a liaison officer so that the lines of communication remain open during the campaign.
7 influencer marketing tips
As some brands are still reticent about jumping to influencer marketing, I have compiled a list of suggestions to ensure that your campaign runs smoothly and effectively.
Choose your platform in a logical way
Launch your influencer marketing campaigns on the platforms your ideal consumers use. If they are professionals: LinkedIn. Teenager: Snapchat and Instagram.
Performs due diligence
Unfortunately, fraud activities are on the rise and brands are faced with possible frauds resulting from the use of influencers.
Superfamous influencers demand stratospheric commissions. But some of these characters are judged based on their number of followers, rather than their skills as influencers. Where is the fraud?
Bots (known to all of us) are unscrupulous influencers. Sad but true, if you don’t want to lose money you will have to carry out checks regularly.
Check the history of your influencer posts
Before contacting a new influencer, check the posts they have shared in the past. Keep your distance if you find something that could be questionable: racism, sexism, politics, etc.
Don’t let yourself be influenced by the numbers
Justin Bieber has 105 million followers on Twitter. Beautiful! But … would his followers be interested in buying retirement homes? Consider micro-influencers, with 50,000 followers or less, active in your sector or popular with your target consumers.
Evaluate the engagement generated by the posts of your potential influencers: likes, shares and comments.
Get closer to your influencers
Follow them, interact with their content, comment on their posts, write emails and direct messages. Contact them and explain the benefits of your collaboration for everyone, including their audience.
Give freedom to your influencers
Influencers know their followers better than you. And followers will understand when a message is not genuine. Setting rules is fine. But allow them to express their creativity.
In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission published a list of rules to ensure that “influencers must clearly and visibly indicate their brand relationships when promoting or supporting products via social media.”
Talkwalker Analytics – number of mentions of Nissan X-Train since the campaign launch.
How to measure your influencer marketing campaign
You put all your effort into it. Your influencer is promoting your brand, great! But, without measuring it, you will never really know if your campaign is working.
It’s time to analyze the results.
Analyze from the beginning
If you think that success will come from one day to the next, you’re very wrong. Takes time. The goal of an influencer is to create an impact by transmitting their messages to their followers over time. For your brand it will be the same.
By monitoring the results from the beginning, you will understand what works best and you can amplify it. Our Virality Map will show you how the message of your campaign is spreading around the world. In real time! You’ll see which blogs, sites, new stories, tweets and posts share your content, and which are shared in a meaningful way.
See how your influencer marketing campaign spreads in real time!
Wow, that source is generating more shares than others. Go for it and give it a boost! You can do this by promoting it yourself or by asking your influencer to interact with it. During the process, find the major advisers: potential influencers for your next marketing campaign.
The Virality Map will not only show the way your content travels around the world, but it will also highlight the territories you are not hitting with your campaign. Check with your influencer if you can interact with these territories, or add a new influencer for the region in question.
Monitoring at the end of the influencer campaign
This is when you will understand if you have achieved your goals. Although I had specific goals, you may have made an impact in other areas too. For example, you wanted to increase product sales but your campaign increased followers on social media. It is important to check in depth. You can also evaluate …
Scope of the brand
Check all the networks, not just the ones you focused on. Do you have more followers on Twitter, subscribed to YouTube? How many unique visitors are there for the post on your blog?
Your audience is not limited to those who follow you. Include those who follow your audience. Remember: every user could be a low-level influencer. If you share your message, this will spread further.
Take into account views, scope and impressions to understand the level of dissemination of your message.
This is not about who saw your message. But of those who interacted with us. Reading is wonderful, the engagement is spectacular! To check this data, check the likes, comments, etc. to identify the level of engagement of your audience.
What to watch when you analyze your results.
Identifying how your campaign makes your consumers feel is difficult to measure without an analysis of data on social media. Here you can find my practical guide to sentiment analysis . Explain how to draw all the conclusions you need, as well as the best sentiment analysis tool. To be used together with the complete Guide to Social Media Analytics .
The future of influencer marketing
The influencer marketing, as I said, solves the problems faced by traditional marketing: banner and ad-blocker blindness. We can expect the practice to evolve, with variations in trends, audiences and tools used by influencers.
In 2018, the future of influencer marketing looks bright. It is an answer to many obstacles of traditional marketing. For example, the fragmentation of conventional media audiences and blindness to online marketing banners.
It was not all positive. Allegations of fictitious followers and unreliable costs are being felt. But the increase in engagement, a solid ROI and the appreciation of authenticity overwhelm criticism.
If you are not using influencer marketing as part of your marketing strategy, you risk losing the enormous potential it offers. Then? Where are we going? Use the importance of influencer marketing!
Transparency – Unilever recently announced that it will not work with influencers who buy followers, and should also apply to you.
Some influencers will be charged based on their number of followers. Unfortunately, unscrupulous influencers have taken advantage of this by paying followers. Although not the norm at all, Unilever’s response to fictitious followers alerted brands to the possibility that they are paying for non-existent visits.
Micro-influencers – the popular choice because they generate a high level of engagement and are cost-efficient. Everything is based on the relationship and interaction with the followers, and not on their number.
Instagram – 78% of influencers prefer Instagram to other social media for sharing content on brands. Two reasons that come to mind are that we are living in an era where visual content matters more than words … and creating visual content is easier than writing an article.
Follow the rules – the FTC has published guidelines to adhere to. Influencers must be transparent about their collaboration with your brand – free sponsorship or pay. It must be clear that they are working for you – you will have seen #ad, #sponsored – now you know why.
Example of disaster with advertising finds
In 2012, Mars – Snickers’ parent company – paid celebrities to share five tweets. These celebrities included Katie Price, Ian Botham and Amir Khan. The first four tweets were – considering the celebrities – strange. Not from them. The footballer Rio Ferdinand wrote a tweet on a crochet cardigan, while boxer Amir Khan tweeted about his stamp collection! The last tweets used the strapline: “It’s not you when you’re hungry”. They included #spon hashtags – short for sponsored tweets – and @snickersUK. Mischievous or deceitful?
The Advertising Standards Authority received complaints: the campaign was deceptive because the brand was not mentioned in the first four tweets, but questioned the case. Sky News quoted a OFT official, saying that British law requires to indicate “whether sponsorships on blogs, posts and microblogs such as Twitter are done for a fee or for some other type of compensation.”
Lots of money – everyone recognizes the value of using influencers, including influencers. Providing access to your instrument or sending a gift of your product will no longer be enough. You will have to pay and, considering that they are working for you, it is correct.
More social channels – where are your consumers, your target audience? Make sure you have influencers on all social media channels where you intend to promote your brand.
New technology – influencer marketing tools are on the rise as marketers realize the importance of measuring the effectiveness of their influencer campaigns. Metrics include average click through rates, campaign success, ROI, engagement rate, etc. Find out what works and what doesn’t, so you can adapt and improve.
Computer-generated influencers – yes, they exist! They are the Instagram influencers, designed / created with a human aspect. At the moment they are the preferred choice of fashion and beauty brands.
Take a look at @lilmiquela. A CGI influencer, used by brands like Prada.
They are certainly intriguing and avant-garde. But a marketer who wants to use them should consider some aspects.
They are not real. Therefore, they are fake. It follows that they are a lie. They do not suffer from acne. Don’t get fat. They do not perceive flavors. They cannot honestly answer your questions. Authenticity is destroyed.
Moreover, the FTC’s iron hand on influencers is not clear about CGI influencers.
Remember the following points to ensure that your next influencer marketing campaign is winning for everyone.
- Importance of influencer marketing is – Using influencers on social media as a marketing tactic is a popular and effective practice for reaching a large audience and increasing brand awareness
- Credibility, attractiveness, and relationality are among the key indicators of an influencer’s ability to influence. And they can be explained through psychological concepts such as social proof, attractiveness tendencies, and social identity theories
- The influencer marketing campaigns are especially useful to connect with Millennial and Gen Z
- Don’t throw yourself into this haphazard trend – take the time to find an influencer compatible with your brand, and be able to get a true message to the specific target group you want to reach, and try to do it sincerely.