5 Tips To Use Influencer Marketing For Your Business
The term ‘influencer marketing’ can bring on a cold sweat for small business owners everywhere, but Influencer Marketing Strategist Vicky Sills tells us why it’s worth getting a little sweaty…
THE SECRET TO INFLUENCER MARKETING
‘Influencer’ is not just a clever name – influencers, by nature, have tons of loyal and dedicated social media followers. These followers see the influencer as an expert in their niche and value their recommendations and advice. With hundreds of hours spent crafting their grid, influencers understand what their followers like and what type of content they want to consume. In other words, they’re experts in creating content that resonates with their audience, which helps them establish and maintain a highly engaged community.
So how can you tap into these communities and attract your dream customers?
Collaborating with influencers – influencer marketing – is a brilliant way to get extra eyeballs on your products or services, maximising reach and boosting brand awareness, especially for small businesses. It can be a cost-effective (yes, really!) way of reaching your audience through an influencer that matches your brand values and target audience. And you definitely don’t have to hire an ex-Love Islander or part with thousands of pounds for one grid post!
Instagram is bursting with talented, engaging and creative influencers, from the “Mumfluencer” to beauty bloggers and interior designers…whatever your audience, there’ll be an influencer to match.
Psst… influencer marketing shouldn’t be confused with celebrity endorsements because this kind of partnership does more than just attach an A-lister to a brand. Influencers are trusted figures within a niche community who retain a loyal following (people outside the niche might not know the influencer’s name, but the followers embedded in that niche do).
Instagram is the top network of choice for influencer marketing campaigns, with 79% of brands considering it the most important platform for them. And as 8 out of 10 consumers buy something after seeing it recommended by an influencer, is it really a slice of the digital marketing pie you can’t afford to miss?
‘Influencer’ is not just a clever name – influencers, by nature, have tons of loyal and dedicated social media followers.
There are so many benefits to using influencer marketing for your brand. Here are my top five, which I hope will encourage you to take that leap!
1 – BUILDING BRAND AWARENESS
Influencer marketing lets brands find and advertise directly to their target audience. Consumers are becoming increasingly sceptical of brands and their marketing tactics, so building trust is essential. Collaborating with influencers allows a brand to promote through someone who has an engaged community that trusts their opinions and recommendations daily. By scoping out the right influencer in your niche, you’ll open up your brand to a huge, highly targeted audience, leading to engagement and awareness from the right kind of people. This in turn helps your own social audience to grow (and if you’re using social media advertising, it gives intel to that tricky algorithm!).
Influencers evolve and so do their followers, which also means you have the opportunity to tap into other side markets. For instance, many beauty influencers are expanding into home, lifestyle or fitness, following changes to their personal lives and circumstances. Some of their followers, who may have been following the influencer for years, initially for their beauty tips, might have made similar lifestyle changes and are now interested in fitness equipment, home styling tips or babygrows.
2 – CREATING CREDIBILITY
Influencers spend years building credibility and trust with their audience, so if they promote your brand, your credibility will grow too. There’s the saying “people buy from people”. Before the crazy world of Instagram, if you were looking for a new car, holiday destination or even a new mascara, you’d ask friends and family for their recommendations. The same now goes for influencers. They help you sell without being salesy. Consumers prefer influencer-generated over brand-produced content and if they’ve been following a particular influencer for a considerable amount of time, they’re likely to trust their opinions on a product or brand. In fact, 60% of marketers say that influencer-generated content performs better and drives more engagement.
54.1% of brands working with influencers run eCommerce stores
3 – BOOSTING TRAFFIC
Influencer marketing can really help drive that all-important traffic, so it’s key that your website is firing on all cylinders, you’ve refined your customer journey and it’s the best reflection of your brand and messaging. Make sure you’ve got a clear, strong call to action on your website too, whether it’s making a purchase or joining your mailing list. When they reach your site, you want them to stick around!
4 – MAKING SALES
Let’s talk about cold, hard cash. Yes, influencers can certainly help you sell products – I’ve seen it happen! I’ve seen products sell out and waitlists created. So yes, they can certainly help you shift stock. But it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be laser focused on ROI alone. You should see influencer marketing as one stream of your digital marketing strategy. Initially, you might choose an influencer to help grow brand awareness. Then when you’ve been working with them for a while, you can look at using bespoke discount codes and tracked links to keep a tab on which influencers help fill those Shopify baskets versus those who are better at increasing your social reach and brand awareness.
4 out of 5 brands will use Instagram for influencer marketing
5 – GETTING THE BIGGEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
So, you’ve found the perfect influencer, they’re up for running a campaign with you and you’ve agreed on a fee. But have you considered what you’ll do with their content once it’s posted? Sure, you can share it on your social channels, but where you can really make the most of the content and get plenty of bang for your buck, is using the co-branded content in your paid social advertising. You can use Instagram stories, reels or grid posts to reach more of your target audience with paid advertising. Bear in mind, an influencer may charge you more to use their content for paid ads, so always work with an experienced paid ad specialist so you get the best out of the amazing opportunity and springboard to greater success.
HOW TO WORK WITH AN INFLUENCER
There are various ways of working with different types of influencers. If you’re gifting products, nano and micro-influencers are going to be your best bet. Nanos are less likely to have an agent you need to get through and tend to have a much more engaged audience, as they’ll spend more time connecting with their audience and growing their community. But macro-influencers have their place too, especially if you want sales and slick content. A campaign that encompasses both types is a great place to start. You think you need big bucks to run an influencer campaign? Wrong. I’ve run some incredibly successful campaigns for as little as £3,000. I realise this is a considerable amount for some small businesses, but the investment can really hit turbo on your brand.
In terms of fees, an influencer with 1,000 to 10,000 followers can charge up to £500 per post, while mega-influencers with over a million followers are likely to charge in excess of £5,000 per post. The unspoken industry standard is £100 per 10,000 followers + extras for type of post (x # of posts) + additional factors = total rate, however, this is something that varies hugely, so take time to do your research. Influencer marketing is here to stay. Brand ambassadorships will become more established as 2022 goes on as brands embrace an always-on approach when it comes to influencer marketing, which helps establish a brand’s consistent presence on social media platforms. It can seem like an intimidating marketing approach for a small business, but taking time to leverage influencer marketing, establishing healthy and long-term partnerships with influencers and creators, and working with a social media specialist on your strategy can really take your brand to the next level without turning you into a sweaty mess.
Mega-influencers: Over a million followers (these are often celebrities)
Macro-influencers: Influencers with between 100,000 and 1 million followers
Micro-influencers: Someone who has between 10,000 and 100,000 followers
Nano-influencers: Somebody WHO HAS between 1,000 and 10,000 followers
Article published in Brand You Magazine – Edition 18
Vicky Sills, founder of Lemonade Social
Vicky has 20 years’ experience in B2C marketing and launched Lemonade Social in 2018. She specialises in social media management and influencer marketing and has managed social media campaigns for Celebrity Mum/Dad of the Year sponsorship, Instagram Story brand takeovers, product launches and events.