How often have you purchased something online because you saw a famous person promoting that product or using it themselves? No need to feel bad about it because let’s be honest, all of us have been guilty of it at some point in our life.
Celebrity endorsements have been the cornerstone of a brand’s marketing strategy for the longest time, however, because of the success of social media platforms like Instagram, we have witnessed the emergence of an entirely new phenomenon. We are, of course, referring to Influencer marketing.
Influencer vs Celebrities
Influencer marketing has its roots in celebrity endorsements, but what separates the two is the fact that unlike a celebrity, an influencer is not a public figure. Influencers rather are niche content creators; people who have extensive knowledge regarding a particular topic.
Of course, over the years, we have witnessed influencers who have become celebrities in their own right, looking at you Logan Paul, but the fact remains— all influencers started small and built up their brand over time.
Another point of distinction between an influencer and a celebrity is accessibility. A celebrity is someone who is seen in movies and on television. Their fans rarely ever get a chance to interact with them and there is an aura attached to these individuals.
Influencers, in contrast, are extremely accessible and hence more relatable. Their fans (or followers) connect with them because they can easily interact with them over social media platforms. The relatability and accessibility make an influencer more authentic in eyes of customers.
Think of it this way, suppose both George Clooney and Marques Brownlee are promoting AT&T internet packages. Clooney might be a bigger star but Brownlee is one of the most successful tech social media influencers in the United States. Through him, AT&T will be able to reach a more relevant audience base.
The example gives you an idea regarding the difference between influencer marketing and celebrity endorsements. It might also give you an idea regarding why so many brands opt for influencer marketing.
Of course, like any other form of marketing, influencer marketing too is based on a strategy. Here’s a look at the processes involved in the development of an influencer marketing strategy:
Establishing Campaign Goals
All marketing campaigns have an objective. In some cases, the goal is to increase brand awareness, and in others, it is to generate leads. Influencer marketing campaigns are no different.
Having a clearly defined campaign objective is essential because it allows you to measure the success (or failure) of your campaign. When you are working on an influencer marketing campaign, there are 3- factors you need to consider: reach, relevance, and resonance.
Reach is how many people see the brand via influencer marketing. In addition to improving your brand awareness, it also helps create buzz regarding your product. Just think of it this way, through reach you get an idea regarding how many people have seen the content an influencer posted related to your product.
The whole point of opting for influencer marketing is to reach relevant audiences who have an interest in your product. Through relevance, marketers can measure the level of connection that audiences have with their products.
Consider the following example, Omega is a brand that movie buffs all over the world are familiar with because it’s James Bond’s brand of choice.
Resonance is the ability of an influencer’s content to drive audiences into taking a specific action. In simple terms, it considers the impact that an influencer has on the audience’s decision-making process.
Resonance helps brands increase their follower count, drive traffic to the website, and convert visitors into customers.
To better understand this, consider the following example, suppose you get an influencer to write a blog about your product. The blog might consist of a link to your website that customers can click on to visit your website and make a purchase.
Defining Campaign Audience
No matter which influencer you work with, your target audience will remain the same. Every influencer has a unique way of reaching out to customers, but the overall goal and the objective of the campaign, remain the same.
Before moving forward with an influencer marketing strategy, sit down with your marketing team, and develop buyer personas. Identify the likes, dislikes, and preferences of your core customers and then identify influencers whose content will resonate with your core audience base.
Set Up a Budget
Your budget will also factor into your decision regarding your choice for an influencer. Startups are better off working with micro-influencers since they don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. A mid-sized company that has resources available can go for celebrity influencers.
On average, micro-influencers charge between $80 and $500 for their services and a celebrity influencer can charge anywhere between $3000 and $500,000. Keep in mind that these are not fixed rates, and we have only mentioned these to give you an idea regarding the costs of influencers.
Review an Influencer before selecting
Before choosing an influencer, it is always a good idea to review their work. You should know what kind of content the influencer has produced in the past and whether it fits your brand’s image or not.
There are such a few simple questions you need to ask yourself; does the influencer fit into my brand’s image, does their work offer value for my money, and does the influencer a collaborative personality?
Make sure the influencer has not worked with your competitors in the past to avoid a potential conflict of interest.
Develop the Campaign Message
So you have finally found the perfect influencer. Now it’s time to plug them into your marketing communications. At this point, you need to decide the kind of content that will be produced by the influencer for the campaign.
Usually this process is conducted internally by the brand marketing team but you can always ask the influencers to pitch in ideas as well.
You will also need to provide the influencer with information such as brand guidelines so that the content they develop does not feel alien to your brand. Remember that the influencer is an ambassador of your brand and for them to do their job properly, they need to have all the required tools.
Communicate Brand Expectations to Influencers
Make sure you inform the influencers what the brand expects from them. It helps ensure that the brand and the influencers are on the same page. Influencers work with multiple brands and have their way of doing things. Sometimes this can lead to a conflict of interest.
Base your expectations on the kind of influencer you are working with. For example, if you are working with a micro –influencer, you can expect them to communicate with the brand directly. Celebrity influencers however, communicate with brands via an agency.
We also suggest that you draw up a contract and communicate all of your expectation to the influencers in writing so that there is no confusion in the future. The contract should have details such as the date at which the influencer will be paid, the length of collaboration and the medium of communication between the brand and the influencer.
All Set and Ready to Go!
Once you have gone through the steps mentioned previously, it is time to go ahead with the campaign launch. We suggest that throughout the campaign, you stay in touch with the influencer and measure the performance of the campaign using tools such as Google Analytics.
Having a positive relationship with influencers is extremely important so, make sure that your influencers are adequately compensated for their services financially and otherwise.
Once the campaign is over, track its performance and see how good or bad the results are. The level of engagements should give you an idea regarding whether your collaboration with the influencer was fruitful or not.
If you have followed the tips given above, and have a sound marketing strategy, then there is no reason for your campaign to be anything but a success.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and NFL network. He has been able to get an amazing package on his favorite channels from Buytvinternetphone.com.