Influencer marketing is no longer an experimental new marketing technique. It’s quickly become a staple of modern marketing — with 89% of marketers saying it's comparable or better than other marketing channels.
So, what makes influencer marketing a must-have for brands in 2022? Influencer collaboration is now a great opportunity for brands that wish to succeed on social media. The traditional pay-per-click (PPC) focused approach isn’t enough anymore, especially if you want to make an impact.
You may be wondering: what do the numbers say about influencer marketing? Here’s what we know.
Research shows that 92% of consumers trust influencers over celebrities, while 63% of consumers trust influencer messaging even more than brand messaging. That’s right, the influencer you work with is often seen as more trustworthy than your business to more than half of surveyed consumers.
Influencers love working with the right B2B and B2C brands because it’s a direct way to monetize their online presence. Brands love it, too, since 80% of marketers experience a significant ROI from influencer marketing.
However, just like every marketing technique, your brand needs to formulate a specific strategy if you wish to truly experience the benefits of working with a social media influencer.
It’s time for you to learn everything you need to know to craft truly effective influencer marketing strategies — ones that can expose and elevate your brand to new audiences.
Influencer marketing, as you may know, is a specific digital marketing technique that calls for working with content creators and influencers that have tens of thousands (or millions) of followers on the Internet. People tend to think about Instagram, the home of the influencer, but anyone with an online presence can potentially be an influencer, including blogs and podcasts.
An influencer marketing strategy is a well-planned campaign focused on generating brand awareness by leveraging the authority of influencers related to the brand’s niche. While some campaigns focus on sales, most influencer campaigns focus on building awareness within the target audience.
For example, a hotel might work with travel influencers, or even local influencers, to highlight the overall experience of staying at the hotel and exploring the surrounding area. That’s actually a real example that we’ll talk more about later, but for influencer marketing to be truly effective it needs to be planned out, have clear campaign goals, and executed expertly. Just like Google Ads won’t work if you don’t plan keywords, influencer marketing won’t work if you don’t fully strategize and work with the right influencers.
The first step is understanding what results will be the most beneficial for your brand. The more specific you are, the better you’ll be able to plan the exact steps. You may want to pursue some of the below objectives with different influencer campaigns, but you can also have multiple objectives for one campaign.
Common objectives that will help you design your unique influencer marketing campaign include:
Before you begin your influencer outreach, you must first decide how you will measure the success of your campaign. Each of the above objectives can be measured using a key performance indicators (KPI’s), which can be selected by evaluating which components are most important to the business. After all, it’s not much of an Instagram marketing strategy if you have no idea how it helped your business upon completion.
For example, if your objective is to increase your engagement rate, the right KPI might be video views and interactions. Sales is an easy one to track; however you’ll need to make sure you are using unique codes that are promoted by the influencers to be able to track where sales are coming from. If you have the overarching goal of increasing brand awareness, then the various KPIs related to reach and engagement would be ideal.
All influencer marketing campaigns should have one or more KPIs that are tracked and then analyzed after the campaign is over. It should be clear whether or not the campaign accomplished the stated goal. We recommend using Dovetale to help track and analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns, especially those focused on awareness. Dovetale is an amazing platform that not only helps you discover new creators (more on this later), but it also allows you to create campaigns directly within the site, which provides you with insights in real time and automatically saves content as it goes live.
What does all of this look like in practice? We’ve conducted multiple case studies to help illustrate how an influencer marketing campaign can be strategically crafted around our clients’ (brands) goals. Let’s briefly walk through the campaign we conducted for Coast Canmore Hotel:
When influencers collaborate with brands, they are able to highlight more unique angles than what you might focus on with a traditional ad campaign. With Coast Canmore Hotel, we weren’t focused specifically on what you might see in a commercial for a hotel. Instead, we were able to highlight a more robust experience that includes the world around the hotel as well.
Many people tend to think about picture-perfect models promoting luxurious worldly travel; however, o that is only one specific type of influencer. There are actually several different types of influencers ready and waiting to collaborate, such as:
Each of the above types can be further separated into niches and industries, such as travel, lifestyle, fitness, or even making money online. Your brand will want to build relationships with influencers that are in your industry or one that’s closely related. This is where platforms like Dovetale come in handy, as they allow you to filter through creators to find the exact niches, verticals and demographics you are targeting.
The way that you work with influencers will directly impact your results. It is important to remember working with an influencer is a mutually beneficial arrangement; you are equals working together to reach specific goals. It’s also not like your typical social media marketing campaign where you’re directly paying for reach and interactions; working with influencers allows for a more organic connection with key audiences
Our experience has shown that the brands that get the best results are those that provide a personalized experience to the influencers. That means giving them creative freedom over the content, interacting with them professionally, and as an overall rule of thumb,being aware that their platform is their career and you are simply buying some space on it. Before beginning your journey into the world of influencer marketing, we recommend taking time to fully understand this concept as that will allow you to gain the trust and respect to work with like-minded creators and top social media influencers.
Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and draft the ultimate influencer marketing strategy? You’ll need to begin with your objectives, then hone in on the KPIs that are most important to achieve those objectives. Following this first step, it’s a matter of identifying specific influencers within your industry that you find best align with your target audiences and niches. You’ll likely need more than one influencer campaign to experience truly meaningful results. Additionally, you’ll want to reach your target audience wherever they are online, which is likely multiple places.
We recommend starting with Instagram for your first influencer campaign, as this is where you will find the greatest number of options, with hundreds of niches and verticals across the platform. You can then work your way up to popular podcasts, YouTube campaigns and a combined approach through several channels. The more that people see your brand, the more familiar they will become, increasing their chances of becoming a customer.
Need help crafting and executing an effective campaign? We’re here to help. Contact us today to see how we can make influencer marketing work for your brand.