If you have a social media account, odds are you’ve been under the “influence” of influencer marketing. From controversial weight-loss tea ads to local business partnerships, influencer marketing is becoming increasingly common to see and use.
As with most new marketing tactics, it can be hard to keep up with best practices for influencer marketing. Many small businesses know that it can be an effective way to get the word out about their company, but don’t know the best way to pursue it.
Not every brand can secure a promotion from Khloe Kardashian, but you can definitely see growth from effective influencer marketing by taking the proper steps.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing where companies find people with strong followings – or “influence” – and pay them to endorse their product to their audience. Influencer marketing was a $4.6 billion industry in 2018, and it’s only projected to grow.
Instagram is the most popular platform to use influencer marketing, but it can be found on Facebook and Twitter as well. You can tell when a post is an endorsement when it has #ad in the caption, or uses the “Paid partnership” heading.
If you’re new to influencer marketing, or just want to improve your reach, here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your success in influencer marketing:
1) Finding The Right Influencers
Common Mistake: When people think influencers, often times they think of celebrities. Whether that’s a movie star like Kristen Bell or a local talent, there is a misconception of what an effective influencer is.
Instead, Try This: Find someone relevant to your market. Who is speaking to your audience?
If you’re a local interior designer in New York, you probably don’t want to be investing your time and money in an influencer known for fitness in Los Angeles. You will want to be looking for people in your region who are known within the lifestyle or interior decorating community.
Narrowing your search down to people relevant in your field will end up saving you lots of time and money!
2) Picking From The Pool
Common Mistake: Many companies think that bigger is better. Businesses assume that an influencer in their field with 50K+ followers is more effective than an influencer with 5K followers. The truth is, there are different levels of influence and someone with more followers isn’t always more influential to their audience.
Instead, Try This: Find an influencer that is a) attainable for your company and b) engaged with their audience.
Influencers come in all sizes, ranging from nano to macro. If you are a smaller business, someone with 5,000 followers might be exactly what you need. Look for influencers who are authentic people with followers that care about what they are saying.
You can tell if they are engaging by comparing their follower count with the likes/comments they have, rather than just focusing on either metric by itself. On Facebook and Twitter, this means a 0.5% – 1.0% engagement rate, while Instagram is 3 – 6%. It is common to see influencers with a higher follower count have a lower engagement rate due to the fact that they have to hold the attention of more people.
You can calculate someone’s engagement by adding their likes and comments on post and dividing it by their following. Do this for a couple posts and see if it’s falling within the right range of effective engagement. The more engaged someone is with their audience, the more likely it is that those people will buy into the product they are promoting.
3) Asking For Results
Common Mistake: One of the biggest mistakes a company can do when using influencer marketing is not considering their return on investment (ROI). In 2018, 70% of marketers said that their biggest challenge was calculating ROI and therefore didn’t have substantial information to decide if influencer marketing was effective.
Instead, Try This: In just one year, a lot has changed for influencer marketing. Now, 70% of companies do in fact measure their ROI, and for a good reason. It is important to look at the following information to decide if influencer marketing is working for you:
- Awareness: Views, reaches, and impressions
- Engagement: Comments, likes, and clicks
- Conversions: Sales and transactions produced
Now that there are better ways to track the analytics of influencer marketing, it’s only looking up from here. 92% believe that influencer marketing is effective and have helped their business. It’s no wonder that this marketing strategy is growing!