With social media having a dominant effect on people’s lives, marketing has become solely a digital affair. Influencer marketing gives businesses a much wider reach by drawing the attention of potential customers with the creator’s unique personality and lifestyle.
Today, influencer marketing (IM) is one of the most effective forms of digital marketing. Although having existed for a while, it has become a hot topic and a superior alternative to traditional marketing in the last five years. While “influencer marketing” has more or less become buzzwords, there are many people who don’t understand what it is all about. Follow this guide to influencer marketing for a detailed overview.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
While seeding has been around for a long time, and the concept by word of mouth even longer, influencer marketing is a relatively modern way of reaching out to potential consumers due to the popularity of social media platforms. A hybrid of old and new marketing tools, influencer marketing uses the idea of the traditional celebrity endorsement and placing it in a modern, social-media-driven marketing structure.
In most cases, it is the process of collaboration between a brand and an online influencer to promote the brand’s products and/or services. In other cases, these collaborations are geared towards improving brand awareness. A successful influencer marketing strategy is able to instantly capture the attention of the audience and create an appeal for potential consumers.
Why Is Influencer Marketing Becoming More Popular?
Today, marketers are focusing less on self-promotional tactics and more on subtle strategies like social media influencer marketing. Within every industry, there are some influential people who have a community of loyal followers, and all you need to do is search properly.
Instagram is home to all kinds of influencers: bloggers, photographers, journalists, activists, celebrities, leaders, etc. According to a study by the influencer marketing hub, 92% of marketers claim that this marketing strategy is an ideal option for them.
What Makes Instagram Influencer Marketing the Perfect Choice?
As the new generation consumers become more connected and socialized, Instagram has become the most sought after and potent marketing channel. Instagram influencer marketing has proven to outshine other kinds in terms of effectiveness, providing more engagement and better conversion. Putting forward the right influencer marketing strategy and using modern tools to track performance indicators is the key.
During the earlier years, brands could not easily measure Return on Investment (ROI) from social media influencer marketing campaigns. However, with the use of analytics (Heepsy, Instagram Analytics, Twitter Analytics, and many more) this problem is a thing of the past.
Marketers can now monitor their influencers’ performance and generate reports in real-time. This makes Instagram influencer marketing even more beneficial to businesses and product owners, allowing them to effectively manage and improve their marketing campaigns.
How to Choose Influencers
Don’t have a clear idea of how to choose Instagram influencers? There are five factors that you need to consider when searching for the right representatives of your brand:
- Reach. It is essential for an influencer to have access to a target audience that will be interested in the brand. The brand in turn should consider how many members of a target audience are following the influencer. Keep in mind that an influencer with a small reach in the brand’s market is more effective than one with a bigger reach in a market that is not related to the brand. They should be a trusted figure within a network and someone who retains a loyal following.
- Authority. The influencer should typically have knowledge about or experience with the product or brand they are endorsing. For example, a lipstick product would be best promoted by a popular beauty product vlogger (video blogger) on YouTube with knowledge about make-up.
- Authenticity. Influencers who create their own content about a brand’s product or service are often seen as more authentic and, as a result, consumers tend to trust their opinions more. It is important to select an influencer who can tell a compelling story that organically incorporates the brand and is relatable to their followers.
- Audience engagement. The influencer’s engagement with the audience is essential to ensure that these consumers return to the influencer’s platform. If this engagement is positive, the audience is more likely to respond favorably to the endorsed brand. Paying attention to how the influencer interacts with an audience is key to selecting the right person to talk about a brand.
- Preferred platforms. It is also important to consider which platforms your target audience is likely to use and whether the influencer operates within those channels.
Based on the factors above, you will be well on your way to choosing influencers that will drive sales for your product. Using additional tools and taking advantage of the capabilities of influencer marketing platforms will get you even further.
There are several websites that can help you find the right influencer for your brand. Instagram’s influencer search tool is a great example of a tool that groups influencers into different regions and interest categories. We have recently developed an influencer marketing platform for Instagram ad campaigns that can also prove to be helpful.
Examples of Successful Influencers
When you find the representatives you would like to work with, it’s important to analyze and come up with a list of factors to keep track of their success and pick out the cream of the crop. Let’s take a look at some practical examples of successful influencers.
Lucy Moon (Lifestyle Influencer)
Lucy is an English YouTube star who makes alternative short videos and is best known for her spoken word clips. Her topics range from lifestyle to fashion, to cruelty-free beauty, to digital wellness and social change. Before becoming a blogger in 2010, she attended an all-girls grammar school and studied at the University of London in pursuit of a degree in history.
YouTube channel: meowitslucy (over 290K subscribers).
Instagram account: iamlucymoon (over 100K followers).
Blippi (Childhood Education Influencer)
An American entertainer creating educational videos for YouTube and Amazon Video. His videos are intended for children and his persona has definite appeal to the younger audience. The Blippi character is dressed in a blue shirt, blue and orange beanie cap, orange suspenders, and a bow tie.
Before becoming a creator, Stephen J. Grossman (Blippi’s real name) was an entrepreneur specializing in digital content with a background in brand development and online marketing. He is also a former gross-out comedian, known as Steezy Grossman. In a Forbes article, R. L. Adams explores Stevin John’s creation of Blippi and includes 12 key lessons learned from Blippi’s success on YouTube.
YouTube channel: BlippiVideos (over 8.5M subscribers).
Instagram account: blippi (over 350K followers).
Amazon Prime Series: Blippi – Nursery Rhymes for Children.
Gaurav Gupta (Couture and Fashion Influencer)
Gaurav Gupta is one of the most influential couturiers of India and has become globally known for his unique style. Gaurav creates binds together diverse ideas and cultures in a seamless fusion of his sculpture-like garments.
Instagram account: gauravguptaofficial (over 420K subscribers).
The Benefits Of Influencer Marketing
As the world becomes more technologically advanced, with hyper-connected consumers spending more time on social media than ever before, influencer marketing has made its way to the forefront of social media marketing as a way to engage audiences. Some of the benefits of using influencers in a social media marketing strategy include the following:
- Credibility. Popular influencers spend time and effort in creating engaging stories for their followers. When followers are engaged, they form a loyal relationship with the influencer and are more likely to trust their opinions, advice, and recommendations. Brands can leverage this existing relationship without having to build trust through traditional forms of marketing.
- Subtlety. Followers of influencers willingly decide to follow them and are generally interested in seeing their content. Because of this, content shared or created by an influencer does not appear to be pushed onto the followers in the same way that traditional marketing content is pushed in the form of advertising.
- Niche targeting. Influencers are experts within their own niche and their audiences consider them credible. This credibility makes it easier to target an audience with a desired set of characteristics. Niche targeting also helps foster necessary engagement. With influencer marketing, one can increase audience engagement and get valuable feedback from one’s (potential) customers.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). Influencers often share links to a brand’s website in their content, which helps drive traffic to the website and boost SEO.
- Cost-effective. Compared to traditional forms of marketing such as TV or billboards, influencer marketing is relatively inexpensive and very effective.
The benefits offered by influencer marketing show that it is an extremely effective way to reach audiences and share marketing content in an authentic, value-creating manner. When done correctly, influencer marketing can provide a massive boost to your branding efforts.
Rounding Up: the Indirect Way to Marketing Success
Companies and brands going into the future should consider embracing influencer marketing as an effective tool in a social media marketing campaign and, after considering possible challenges, it should carefully select the right influencer to create content for their product or brand.
Honesty and authenticity are two crucial factors that are necessary for the success of social media influencer marketing. The best way to market your products or services to customers is by indirectly selling it to them. Indirect marketing relies more on influence and trust; this makes it more natural and effective.
It is tempting to focus on vanity metrics (such as likes or comments) when measuring the success of your Instagram influencer marketing campaign. However, you need to measure the value of your influencer marketing campaign based on clearly outlined goals. Some key indices to measure the success of influencer marketing include social reach, engagement, brand lift, social sentiment, sales, signups, downloads, click-through rate, etc.
Also, it is essential to note that building a successful influencer marketing strategy takes time, planning, and focus. It goes beyond merely offering money to someone with an audience so that they say great stuff about your brand. It needs to be strategic and oriented towards clearly defined goals. When done right, influencer marketing can help you to increase your brand’s credibility and reach.