Influencers make a big impact across all niches. Whether it’s encouraging you to buy the latest must-have beauty product or compelling you to try a convenient new service, many people trust the recommendations of social media influencers. And for business owners, tapping into this can be extremely valuable.
The rise of YouTubers, social media bloggers, and now TikTokers has launched influencer marketing to a whole new level. Having that extra boost of credibility and reach that comes from an influencer campaign could be just what you need to get your company’s name out there.
Want to know what influencer marketing can do for your business? Here’s all you need to know.
What is influencer marketing?
As the name suggests, influencer marketing means enrolling credible figures who can ‘influence’ an audience to engage with your business, product, or service. It’s the modern-day version of celebrity endorsements — although, celebrity influencers can often be especially influential due to their large following base.
A business will usually find an influencer within their niche who they can collaborate with by creating content across their social platforms. The idea is that when the influencer puts out content, it gains a large reach from their own audience, and people interested in the niche will see engagement from the influencer — which makes the product or service more credible.
Did you know that 93% of marketers have used influencer marketing? If you’re trying to build your next marketing campaign for a new product or even increase brand awareness, influencer marketing can provide the boost you need to see good results.
What are the main benefits of influencer marketing?
As much as we might not like to admit it, influencers do impact our buying decisions, especially when it’s someone whose opinion we value. All kinds of businesses can benefit from influencer marketing. From startups to existing businesses looking to expand their reach, having a trusted creator speaking on your behalf is extremely valuable. You also want to keep the mind the best platforms to use for this.
Some of the top benefits include:
Increased trust from your audience
Of course, not everything we see on social media is 100% trustworthy. However, many people look to influencers for inspiration and recommendations, and since these influencers have already built trust with their audience, their opinions matter.
You do have to choose the right influencers, however. Sending your products to anyone and everyone simply because they have a big following can have the opposite effect by discrediting you, especially if the influencer doesn’t ‘get’ your product and gives a less-than-glowing review. Be genuine in your approach and ensure you’re reaching out to relevant influencers.
More brand awareness
Let’s say you’re starting a new subscription box business (you can read more about setting one up here) and you want to get your name out there. Gifting your subscription boxes to relevant influencers to generate content can help people understand who you are, what products you offer, and why your brand is unique.
It’s also a fantastic way to create hype around a new product or collection launch. Using influencers in your strategy can help you reach thousands of potential customers that may have otherwise taken months to engage — meaning your new product could see a surge in demand in just a short space of time.
Opportunities to build industry relationships
Building relationships with influencers in your niche can continue well into the future. You may find that you enjoy working with particular influencers because you prefer their style of content, they’re easy to collaborate with, and of course, they create good results for your brand. Fostering these relationships will open plenty of opportunities in the future.
These long-term relationships will also build credibility with that influencer’s audience. They wouldn’t continue to collaborate with you if they didn’t genuinely love your brand, right? Before long, you can convert the influencer’s devotees into your customers.
Content that’s more engaging
Your content needs to be engaging. But, mixing things up with reels, videos, photos and more sometimes isn’t enough. Adding an influencer to your social strategy can get people re-engaged, especially when they spot their favourite content creator on your page.
You don’t have to just stick with review videos or photos, either. There are plenty of creative influencer marketing examples, such as sponsored giveaways, live videos, unboxings, and more. Don’t be afraid of trying something new with the aim of generating a range of unique and interesting content.
How to find the right influencer for your brand?
Picking the right influencer is an important decision, of course. You need people who are in your niche, have a following that broadly matches your target demographic (such as age, sex, and interests), receive high engagement, and generally align with your business values.
First, you need to create an outline for your campaign. What platform do you want to use? Are you offering a paid or gifted collaboration? What deliverables are you looking for?
You can then find influencers by:
- Searching hashtags on Instagram to find relevant creators
- Finding creators who regularly engage with your brand or tag you in posts
- Looking for creators who engage with your competition
- Using a professional influencer marketing service
What social metrics should I look for in an influencer?
Numbers aren’t everything. Using an influencer that has hundreds of thousands of followers may seem like the right thing to do, but it might not be worth it for your business and will likely cost you way more than you planned if they aren’t right for your brand. Charities especially should do research for when they want to use influencer marketing for their charity
Consider the following metrics and questions when looking at an influencers page:
- How many followers do they have?
- How engaged are their followers (using an engagement tool can be handy!)
- Is their content high-quality?
- Does their page, values, and style of content align with yours?
How to approach an influencer for collaboration
Once you’ve created a list of influencers, be sure to give them a follow and engage with their content for a while — reaching out to someone you don’t even follow could make you seem disingenuous. Next, it’s time to contact them.
Your email should include:
- A punchy subject line
- A personal greeting, including their name
- A short, concise, and engaging message
- What you’re proposing and why — if possible, relate your campaign to a particular piece of content they made or something they’ve spoken about before
- The key details of the collaboration (i.e. is it gifted or paid?)
Not all influencers will reply, but a quick follow-up message the following week might prompt them to respond. If you get them on board, continue to maintain a strong relationship even after the collaboration is finished. It will seem less like a business transaction and more like a valued relationship, which makes influencers much more likely to work with you in the future.
Influencers are only growing in popularity, and using this to your advantage could be the boost your brand needs. Plan your strategy, find influencers who embody your target audience, and get creative to see the best results.