Ask most people who would rather believe, Procter&Gamble ad or their favorite YouTuber, and the answer would be overwhelmingly the latter. According to the latest State of the Influencer Marketing report, 94% of professionals believe that influencer marketing is an effective technique. However, the same research shows about a quarter of the same respondents don’t have any experience with it. If you want to join the majority, this guide is the perfect place to start.
Why influencer marketing?
There are dozens of other marketing methods, most of them you’re already familiar with, and they work out just fine. Why would you want to switch? Here are some reasons that may sway you towards discovering more about it.
For starters, influencer marketing breaks the contempt young people have for modern advertising. Your regular video ads may be good for exposure because of the sheer number of views they receive on TV or on YouTube. But they’re annoying people. This is why so few millennials respond do ads.
Influencers are the social media personas young people turn to in the absence of trust in the mainstream media and big corporations. Using popular social media platforms like Instagram or YouTube, they share their knowledge and opinions with the public.
This makes people trust influencers as much as friends. That’s the kind of trust that can benefit your brand.
Influencer marketing is also a great solution for direct sales. It doesn’t grant you as much exposure as banner ads or YouTube explainer videos, but the conversion rate is much higher. Most influencer endorsements would contain a strong CTA in them and a discount offer to make sure that conversion happens.
If that sounds good, wait for this fact. Influencer marketing is one of the cheapest ways to reach a young audience if you don’t count email marketing. Out of all businesses that use influencer marketing, 70% make $2 per each dollar spent. The top earners earn over $6 for one dollar spent on marketing effort.
If you’re intrigued by the possibilities that stand before you, here’s how you work with an influencer.
How to set up an influencer marketing campaign
Every influencer campaign begins with choosing your audience. Ultimately, it’s what all the other steps rely on. Do research to understand who are the people buying from you and what do they want to solve with your products.
If you already know that, here’s your next step.
Choose the platform
The most popular platforms that are used in influencer marketing are Instagram and YouTube. Facebook and Twitter are used less often, as is Snapchat. The main thing that distinguishes them is the age of the audience.
Snapchat is mostly used by Gen Z, but there the whole audience has people from 13 to 29 years of age. Participation rates drop significantly starting with that age. Instagram is very similar, it hosts an audience aged from 18 to 25. But it has significantly more reach than Snapchat as 37% of Internet users are on Instagram.
Now, YouTube may seem like a platform for the youth, but over half of all Internet users over 65 watch videos on the website. Twitter has the same tendency, the share of 55-year-olds on the website is the same as 25-year-olds.
However, using influencer marketing to target the older generations may not be the optimal choice, since most of them are not fully immersed in the digital world.
Choose the right influencer
Once you know the site or sites you want to market on, it’s time to choose the influencers you’re going to partner up with. Here are the basic criteria for your search:
• The influencer has over 5,000 subscribers
• They post regularly
• The page has high engagement rates
• They have previous experience of working with ads
You can either do the search manually, or use a website like HypeAuditor, Crowdfire, or Social Crawlitics to get a list of potential influencers. Do not stop at one influencer, though. Form a long list of people you can work with to make sure you still have opportunities if your offer gets rejected.
Now, you may be wondering why the minimum limit for the number of subscribers is so low. The thing is, you don’t need to pay thousands of dollars to an influencer with millions of followers. You can significantly lower the costs by working with a micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers are people with 5-25 thousands of subscribers. They don’t offer as much in terms of exposure to a large audience, but the conversion rate may be even better with an influencer like that. Their core audience wants to help them financially and will buy some products just because they know their favorite influencer is getting paid for this.
Choose the right content
Influencer marketing is not a monolith. Regardless of the influencer that you choose, the type of content they post may change the effectiveness of a campaign drastically. A simple photo that contains endorsement is good enough, but there’s an even more effective medium.
Ask your influencers to create explainer videos to boost social media presence. Showing how your product is used is more likely to influence the audience. Besides, if the influencer is a YouTuber, they can talk at length about the product to present it in a favorable light.
This form of advertisement is getting so advanced, you can even use AI to gauge how effective a particular video is.
Co-create with the influencer
Choosing the influencer is the most important thing you can do for the quality of your content. The thing is, you don’t get to be the main creator in the content that’s going to get out there.
Sure, you can veto profanity or inappropriate content, but it’s nothing like micromanaging your employees and controlling content from proofreading it in Grammarly, ProEssayWriter to forming the guidelines.
You need to give creative freedom to the influencer because it’s what they’re good at it. After all, the whole idea of influencer marketing is to create a message that doesn’t seem corporate. That’s something only the influencer can create.
Now it’s up to you
Now that you know the basics, you need to take action. Go out there and find influencers who would be willing to work with you using our guide. The best thing about it is that you don’t even need to invest in it a lot if you’re a small brand looking for budget options.
About the author Connie Benton:
Connie Benton is a passionate freelance writer and owner of Whenipost.com.