What is Influencer Marketing: Types, Benefits, Stats, Strategy, Everything

Influencer marketing secrets

In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz around the term “influencer marketing.” You might have heard words like “Influencer,” “Influencer Marketing,” & “Digital Marketing.” If you are confused about influencer Marketing & don’t understand how it impacts your business, you are not alone!

Influencer Marketing has picked up the pace in recent times, so it’s possible that you might not have an in-depth understanding of it. So we have prepared this blog to help you understand every aspect of influencer marketing.

We will be discussing what Influencer Marketing is, how it can benefit your business, What Influencer Marketing strategies you should follow, & why your Business needs Influencer Marketing.

Length Warning: This will be a long ride as we have covered every aspect of Influencer Marketing. So brace & be with ourselves for one of the most informative blogs about Influencer Marketing.

Now let’s get started without wasting any more time.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Marketing a product or service has always been an integral part of brands for decades. From TV commercials & Magazine ads to newspaper ads, these brands used celebrities & influential individuals to create a buzz around their products & services.

But as we entered the Digital realm a decade ago, the market has seen a paradigm shift. Consumers have evolved & now they prefer authenticity instead of traditional Marketing. Before buying any product or service, these consumers like to perform a background check on them. For this purpose, they look out for ratings, reviews & analyses from the experts or, as we call them, “Influencers” in the particular field.

Influencer Marketing is the process of leveraging the authority & hold of these influencers & compelling consumers to take some meaningful action. These influencers have a committed fan-following & a considerable impact on them.

How can Influencers boost your business?

Influencers are just ordinary people, like you & me. They follow their passion for food, fashion, gadgets, I.T., sports, gaming, or technology and ultimately build a massive fan following.

As discussed above, consumers have stopped buying blindly. They perform detailed research on the Product or service before buying. When an Influencer endorses or posts a positive review about that particular product, his/her follower will prefer it.

So having an Influencer Marketing strategy will surely help you boost your business.

How is crucial Influencer Marketing?

Do you remember when the last time you bought anything without doing a thorough back-check was? It is possible that you might have read a blog, seen a video review from some expert, or ratings online. The same concept applies to your business too.

So if you are still sticking to traditional marketing strategies, you are making a big mistake. The market has changed drastically & so are the customers. Every Business must adapt to it & adopt in-trend marketing techniques to grow rapidly.

When an influencer endorses your Brand, he/she can drive more traffic to your Brand.

If you utilize Influencer Marketing efficiently for your business, it can boost your business multi-fold.

Let’s take a look at some influencer marketing stats first.

  1. More than 50% of eCommerce Businesses are using Influencer Marketing in 2021
  2. Businesses have reported more than 10x ROI through Influencer Marketing as compared to traditional strategies.
  3. More than 54% of businesses in the survey believe that Influencer Marketing is a Powerful Marketing strategy.
  4. More than 90% of millennials trust online reviews instead of traditional ads.
  5. Businesses using Influencer Marketing have witnessed 1:5 times ROI (Return on Investment) on such campaigns.

The above statistics clearly show that having an efficient Influencer Marketing strategy is vital for your business’s success.

How does it help to increase sales?

When an influencer endorses your Brand, it becomes more legit, trustworthy & attractive. Influencers, especially the “Micro-Influencers,” drive a compelling fan following in their specific niche. Moreover, your potential customers place more trust in an honest review from an influencer than in traditional ads.

So once they give an uptick to your product or service, there is a high probability that your brand will cement its position in the market. An efficiently crafted Influencer Marketing strategy boosts the traffic toward your business & improves the conversion rate.

How does it help to increase brand value?

Influencers are known to have a loyal fan base. So this fan-following gives such influencers authenticity & authority amongst the people. Leveraging this authority using influencer marketing can boost your Brand comprehensively.

Influencer Marketing Strategies to Follow

To leverage the true potential of Influencer marketing, you need to have a robust influencer marketing strategy. Let’s check out some of them.

a. Strategize in advance

Influencer marketing is not just a get-set-go task. You’ll need detailed planning & efficient execution so before you start your influencer marketing. You cannot run this campaign like an automated ad campaign.

Factor in all the aspects like human errors, falling behind the deadline & budget. Decide how much amount you want to spend on influencer marketing from your Marketing Budget. This will help you to better strategize for the campaign.

b. Pick the right Influencer

You’ll find thousands of influencers online, literally. But choosing the right one is critical. The number of followers is not the only thing to look out for. Let’s say you own a Beauty Product Business. Then it makes sense to choose someone who is into the Cosmetics & Beauty Industry.

If you hire an influencer with more than 1 million followers in the I.T. industry, it will serve no purpose. On the contrary, if you hire some experts from the Beauty industry, even if they have less than 50k followers, you will get more customers for your business. So do not go blindly for numbers. There is no doubt the number of followers matters, but selecting the relevant influencer is more critical.

c. Find the Right Platform

This step is equally important. Today we have multiple Social Media Platforms available, and some influencers are brands that distribute their content equally on all platforms. But that’s not the perfect strategy.

Every Platform is unique & hence, it is suited for different audiences & different approaches. So it is essential to understand what Platform is best suited for your Product & where you will find the maximum number of customers.

d. Create Engaging Content with Influencers

Once you chose your Influencer, consult with them about the type of content their followers like to consume. They have a better idea about it, and consulting with them can help you create more engaging content.

Once you create compelling content with the help of the Influencer, it will resonate well with your potential customers, & your conversion ratio will improve significantly. E.g., if you are a Travel Agency, connect with your influencers for amazing photos at different locations.

The audience loves such breathtaking photos & once Influencer offers to buy suggestions, his/her followers will comply! But remember, don’t push too hard to sell such content as some viewers might find it obstructive & you may lose a potential customer.

e. Review your strategy constantly.

The Digital Market place is constantly evolving. So it is important to stay updated with the trend. There is a strong possibility that the strategy that worked last month & gave stellar results might not work at all this month.

So based on your target audience & market trends, constantly review and refine your strategies for compelling results.

Some Influencer marketing best practices that you must follow

Now let’s look at some of the Influencer Marketing Best-practises to help you get the desired results.

a. Analyze your Influencer is advance

Influencer fraud is rising exponentially. Not all influencers follow shoddy practices, but you must make sure none of your influencers do the same. To analyze an influencer before partnering with him/her.

There is no easy way to do it. But, it is crucial. So check out the number of views and comments they are getting, whether these numbers add up with their followers, whether are there any comments from bots on their posts & much more. All you need to perform such an analysis is a sharp eye & you can get a pretty clear idea about your Influencer’s

b. Set your goals

The primary purpose of Influencer Marketing is to get more sales & improve your Brand value. But instead of setting such broad goals, be specific & focused. E.g.

  • Decide whether you want to build your brand awareness amongst Millenials or want to go for the mature audience.
  • Whether you want a potential customer to visit your website first or to the contact information form.
  • Whether you want your Influencer to create Content or you want to do it.

Setting these goals will surely help you create a more focused and result-driven strategy.

c. Don’t push your ideas on influencers

It is understandable if you want to be in charge of the campaign. But remember, influencers have better control over their followers than you have over them. Influencers understand their followers better than you do.

So instead of pushing your ideas, listen & work with the Influencer while creating the Content. They have spent a considerable amount of time & resources on creating such a massive fan following. Their followers follow them because they like what influencers have to share. So giving some creative freedom to your Influencer is a good idea.

We are not saying let go of your control completely. Give them a guideline about your Brand, what type of content you want & what message do you want to share. Ask them to follow these flexible guidelines while creating the Content for you. They are creators, so let them create the Content, and you’ll definitely get better results.

d. Get the Influencer whose ideas resonate with your potential Customer

You are putting a lot of trust & resources into this campaign. So make sure you chose an influencer whose ideas resonate with your target audience.

E.g., if you are selling a gaming P.C. & your target audience is males between 16 to 30 years, choosing a male influencer with the same age & same interests is advisable. This will help your brand connect with your target audience easily.

Measure the ROI of influencer marketing

When you invest your hard-earned money in an Influencer Marketing Campaign, you must measure your ROI efficiently. There are multiple complex ways to do so, but we will simplify the whole process in 5 simple steps.

a. Set the campaign goals

This is the first step to calculating the ROI of your campaign. Set the goals like Increase Sales, Boost Brand Awareness, Reaching a new audience, or managing Brand reputation. Once you set such goals, it becomes effortless to calculate your ROI.

b. Chose the metrics

Once all the goals are set, select certain metrics that you will use to define the success or failure of your campaign. These metrics could be clicks, impressions, Engagements, Sales, Reach, or Conversion.

Be specific about these metrics. Adding too many metrics will cause a lot of confusion & you might end up having a mess if you find it difficult to the metrics you should choose to measure your ROI; look at what your competitors or market leaders are using.

c. Select the influencer tracking platform

Multiple influencer tracking platforms can help you track your influencer performance precisely. This will help you save crucial time & resources that you might have to spend on manual tracking.

Some e.g. of Influencer Marketing Platforms:

  • Grin
  • TapInfluence
  • NeoReach

Benefits of influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can have an extremely positive impact on your business. Let’s take a look at the top 5 benefits of Influencer Marketing.

a. Boosts Brand Awareness

As influencers have a wider reach on Social Media, more people will know about your Brand once they endorse you. People will have a detailed idea about what your business does, what solutions do you provide & what is the core concept of your Business.

Providing valuable content through influencers will bring more people to your Brand, establishing you as a market leader.

b. It helps you reach your target audience.

Influencers from your business niche can help you place your brand in front of a meaningful audience. This means you are visible to the people that are interested in your products or services.

Such targeted marketing can help you generate a massive ROI without spending too much.

c. Builds Trust

Followers trust influencers blindly. They have faith in what the Influencer thinks about a particular brand or company. By partnering with such an influencer, you can easily build trust amongst his/her followers.

As followers perceive these influencers as experts in the relevant field, they will take his/her word for a generic ad.

d. Provides Value

Delivering quality content is vital for any inbound marketing strategy. So when you hire an influencer, you can provide value to your potential customer in some way. These influencers educated & inspire the audience by delivering them meaningful content along with your Brand message.

e. Builds lasting relations

Influencer marketing is not a one-day gig. You’ll have to spend days and months building lasting relations with your audience. Influencers can help you do the job efficiently by leveraging their hold over a broad target audience.

Types of influencer marketing

Now we have a clear idea about what Influencer Marketing is and what its advantages are. Let’s take a look at five different types of influencer marketing.

a. Sponsored Content for Social Media

This is one of the most common, widely used & efficient forms of Influencer Marketing. Here, the Brand sponsors the Influencer to create Content about their Product or service & post it on Social Media.

Having excellent content posted by an influencer on multiple Social Media platforms can considerably boost your Brand value & sales.

b. Affiliate Marketing

This form of marketing is best suited for businesses that don’t want to invest too much. In this model, you can work with as many influencers as you like without paying upfront. Each Influencer or affiliate marketer gets paid a fraction of any sales that come through him/her.

E.g., you own a footwear store. You collaborate with 10 influencers by giving them 10 unique promotional codes. Whenever a customer buys from your store using one of those codes, the relevant affiliate marketer will get a commission.

c. Host Giveaway contests

This is also an excellent way to boost brand awareness. Under this campaign, businesses give influencers their products or service. An influencer can give away these products to their followers in rewards for certain quizzes & events.

This is an excellent way to build your brand awareness as well as boost your sales. If the Influencer has more followers than your Brand, it is evident that you will get more ROI. Some of your potential customers will want to win your product & in the process of doing so, they might end up buying some of your product!

d. Social Media Takeover

This is a rather unique & not so much utilized campaign. Here, the Influencer will take over your Social Media platform for a certain period for marketing purposes.

But it is important to note that you are putting your Brand’s reputation on the line by allowing someone else to take over. So this type of campaign needs a high level of mutual trust amongst both parties.

If deployed correctly, such a campaign can surely help your Brand value grow significantly.

e. Unboxing review

There is a strong probability that you have viewed such unboxing videos online. A user’s journey with the Brand starts when he/she lays a hand on the Product.

This form of marketing tries to leverage this journey. Here, the Brand gives a box-placed product to the Influencer & in return; the Influencer creates an unbiased review of the Product on their Social Media Channel. The audience then decides whether to buy that product or not, based on the review.

Final thoughts

Businesses are tapping into multiple marketing channels right now to boost their sales. As the market is highly competitive, businesses need to keep evolving and adapt to the latest emerging trends in the Digital Market Place.

Influencer marketing is one such trend that can help new & established businesses alike.

Image source: Freepik Premium

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