According to Seth Godin, the marketing guru, people don’t just buy goods or services. What they are buying are relationships, stories, and magic.

Historically, everything on marketing involved magic, from the strategy and concept to its creation and implementation.

Looking for a great vendor to implement and create great advertising has been quite challenging in the past. Now, everything is much simpler, cheaper, and readily available, that our magic appears to be shrinking.

Since there are overwhelming increases in product options and the demand for attention in the market, consumers no longer know who is trustworthy. People are now turning to media fasting, cord-cutting, and ad-blockers to filter out the noise. These are extreme measures that consumers take to avoid advertising, making it harder for brands to keep up with the existing digital landscape.

What can you do about this?

Influencer Marketing

If you want to take on the best way to get your desired audience’s attention, looking for a person that people are already listening to is highly recommended. That person is what people refer to as an influencer.

Check out these statistics to know why influencer marketing is now a well-known tactic that can significantly increase sales.

  • Approximately 40% of the people were able to buy a product online when they saw a Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube influencer use it.
  • Only 1% of millennials believe in advertisements, but 33% consider blog reviews trustworthy.
  • Influencer marketing can yield a return of $6.50 for every dollar that gets spent.
  • Around 71% of influencers believe that having an authentically honest voice can keep the audience engaged.

Because of this information, businesses now want to consider taking on influencer marketing. However, where could it be heading, and how can companies capitalize on this?

Continue reading to know more about the existing state of influencer marketing. We will help you become aware of how to deploy a great marketing strategy with influencers and use the current trends in influencer marketing that are now disrupting the channel.

 

What Does Influencer Marketing Mean?

Influencer marketing involves the leveraging of an existing influencer’s reach. That person built a strong reputation for their brand and a large following in a specific niche. Because of this, that person can become involved in content creation and provide support and endorsement to your product. You can do all of these to increase sales and improve brand awareness.

Like what Anja Skrba stated at the First Site Guide, influencing involves the connection, which is what marketing revolves around nowadays. It should aim to make people feel connected with those who use the product, including the product itself.

 

Different Kinds of Influencer Campaigns

1. Affiliate Marketing with Discount Codes

It can be easy to compensate influencers and track ROI for affiliate marketing as you can accomplish this with unique discount codes and custom URLs. Audible’s partnership with Tim Ferriss, an investor and bestselling author of the New York Times, is a famous example of this.

In one of his podcasts, he was able to talk about his partnership with Audible and directs his users to a custom URL where people could check out his favorite books and get a free ebook.

It is an excellent tactic for influencer marketing that provides a beautiful balance between providing Tim with creative freedom by choosing his desired books and sponsoring Audible.

Influencers can also team up with brands using discount codes to track and embed videos, graphics, and podcasts easily.

 

2. Giveaways and Competitions

Improve exposure to the brand, increase engagement, and create a buzz by having competitions, contests, and giveaways.

You can have products given away every month to contest winners and influencers. It may depend on your product’s price point, but it can be easy to include in their expenses.

Every time influencers have live videos on YouTube and Instagram unboxing your product, it gets spotlighted that the audience can reach them at a low price. Some of the influencers have even gotten many exclusive freebies and products that they dedicate a day of the week for unboxing gifts and thanking the brand that gave them. These people can even use that platform to show how they are used or provide reviews.

Ideally, prizes and gifts can become highly lucrative, that people can become excited. It would be best to provide these people with early access to products before they get released.

In terms of the competition, provide instructions for engagement, such as a stipulation for joining the contest. Doing this can quickly increase engagement.

Here is a list of the things that anyone can do for this:

  • Have their friends tagged
  • Like the post
  • Follow
  • Sign up for a newsletter
  • Share content
  • Make new content

It is vital to ensure that the rules are transparent so participants won’t get too confused to enter and make sure that they will not feel dissatisfied once they announce the winners.

 

Ways to Build Your Influencer Strategy

Becoming goal-oriented is vital when you want to build a successful influencer strategy. If you don’t have a clear destination, you may not know the least resistant and cost-effective path to provide the best results.

Do this by determining your KPIs and goals and consciously understanding influencers’ landscape.

 

Have Your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and Goals Documented

Brands that invest in influencer marketing for the first time may feel like they’re gambling as they don’t know if it could generate ROI. The sad reality about this is that it would be a gamble for many people.

Part of this is because they haven’t invested enough resources to become adequately tested as a viable channel. The other part is that they do not take enough time to determine the right metrics that you need to track to attain these goals.

Tracking of Key Metrics and Setting Goals

Here are the three main goals of influencer marketing:

  • Attracting A New Market: This encompasses everything involved in brand awareness, but it comes with an entirely new product line or space. Because of that, you need to have influencers capable of driving targeted traffic and building the buzz.
  • Lead Generation: Everything you do should aim for an increase in revenue. You can easily track how to get more customers and leads by checking out your sales and conversions. However, directly following sources can become tricky unless every influencer’s landing page or specific codes get deployed.
  • Build Awareness of the Brand – You can measure how you build your brand online through shares, use of hashtags, engagement through comments, likes, and follower count.

After setting your goals, have your attention shifted to how you intend to measure your influencer marketing campaign’s ROI.

Once you become aware of the partnerships that work and don’t, you can get the best out of your chosen strategy.

Allow the influencer marketing results compared against your works from other marketing channels so you can determine if it has enough ROI. Knowing this can help you decide whether it’s worth pursuing it.

Understand the Landscape of the Influencer

A vital component of excellent influencer marketing campaigns is establishing a trusted relationship with an influencer. That influencer needs to be relevantly in tune with your audience’s desires and needs so they can refer to that person whenever they need to make decisions.

Have Your Reach Expand Beyond Instagram

Your primary goal should be to discover the influencers based on their audience demographics and influence topics. Make sure to choose those that can provide vital metrics in engagement.

Find the best influencer and brand by searching for someone that aligns with your brand’s identity, vision, and mission.

Often, Instagram is the first platform people check out whenever they are looking for high-quality influencers. Last 2017, Instagram became the best platform for influencers as it has a share of 92%

However, before you can have all of your budget placed into Instagram, note that the landscape changes quickly. Because of that, there are so many new opportunities that could crop up on any social media platform.

This year, try to branch out and capitalize on influencers in other social media channels like YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. Check out where your target audience actively participates. Capitalize on the reality that it is more cost-effective and approachable to go for influencers on platforms aside from Instagram from the start.

 

The Micro-Influencer and Its Rise

Since there is an increase in the competition for influencers’ attention, it may be likely to see an increased diversity among target influencers. Because of that, you may see influencers at every level that could range from up-and-comers with minimal followers and elites with many followers that draw attention from the brands.

In turn, brands may prefer to specialize in specific niches by tapping into micro-influencers. These people can cater to specific market segments and niches.

Whenever the influencer is more significant, the engagement is lower.

Influencers that have 1,000 followers are those that get likes for 8% of their posts. Those with millions of followers only get likes 1.6% of the time.

If you want to get the best engagement, look for an influencer with ten thousand to a hundred thousand followers.

Aside from tracking the follower numbers, you also need to have overall engagement, relationship quality, and kinds of followers. 

Considering the engagement of the influencer audience is vital. Even if you have so many followers, if they don’t consistently engage with your posts, you may not attain significant reach when you work with them. Check out their recent posts and see the amount of engagement they get.

Get the most value by working with someone in the same niche with a relevantly loyal following and capable of talking about your service and product. That person should be authentic and not dissimilar to posts they often make.

Right now, influencer marketing is making a lot of waves, so it won’t be surprising to see software and tools for qualitative assessment eventually getting into the market.

 

Have Tools for Reaching Out and Searching for Influencers Leveraged

According to surveys, around 78% of professionals consider determining an influencer marketing program’s ROI as their greatest challenge.

Around 45% declared that it has been challenging to choose which provider in influencer marketing they need to succeed.

Let these barriers get broken down by leveraging the right tools. Look for influencers through Buzzsumo, as this can allow you to find relevant influencers for every topic. It can also help analyze their engagement numbers and reach based on the number of followers.

After having a list of influencers that you can reach out to, you may find it challenging to search for their contact details. The tool Voila Norbert can help you upload a list of influencers easily so you can have all of their contact details immediately.

Once you have a rock-solid influencer list that includes their contact details, you can start working on your outreach strategy.

Any easy way for anyone to succeed in influencer outreach is to leverage an automation tool such as Milkshake. Here, you can use proven templates to provide influencers with bulk emails. The device even has an auto-follow-up. After it gets set up and works on autopilot, all you need to do is check-in to see who clicks on your emails and who replies to start creating beautiful relationships with new influencer partners.

 

Have Fair Compensation Determined

Influencers haven’t been getting a fair deal until recently.

According to a TapInfluence and Altimeter study, for influencer marketing, brands’ biggest mistake is inadequate compensation.

These may come to an end as more than 40% of marketers have planned to increase their budget for campaigns focused on influencers.

Fair compensation may greatly vary as it could depend on the length of the agreement, quality or size of the following, project scope, and partnership terms.

Some influencers feel happy with getting freebies, gifts, and exclusive products whenever their platform gets showcased. However, others prefer to work as an affiliate wherein they get a commission whenever services or products get sold from any of their referrals. It is now common to have an ongoing monthly fee or a one-time payment.

When it comes to Influencer Marketing, the Instagram Influencer Earnings Calculator is a handy tool that breaks down the number of comments, likes, posts, estimated earnings for every post, and followers of a user. Having this can help determine the rate of engagement.

 

The Wonderful Trends in Influencer Marketing:

– Investment in Video-based Influencers

Since the latest craze is video production, you’re behind the curve if you haven’t tapped into this channel.

When it comes to influencing people to purchase, 80% of millennials prefer video content.

Since there is more video content, brands have now pulled many of their advertising promotions out of YouTube. That is because they can’t control where their ads get shown.

Since there is no creative control, brands have now switched from traditional video ads on YouTube to influencers who could talk about their products in their videos.

You can see this in action in exclusive reviews, unboxing videos, and product teaser campaigns from known influencers that serve to make an early buzz so they can reach their sales goals when the product gets released initially.

According to a survey, around 12% of influencers expect YouTube to be the network that they will focus on the most. About 70% of YouTube subscribers can easily relate to YouTube content creators more than any traditional celebrity in their teenage years. Approximately 60% of YouTube subscribers have followed their favorite video creators’ advice when it comes to their purchases.

Because of this, in the next five to ten years, your marketing plan could have a significant impact once those teenagers get into the job market and turn into your primary target audience.

Aside from this, YouTube may not be the only platform where you can invest in video. There is a lot of opportunities in video marketing for social media. IGTV (Instagram TV) is the channel for famous Instagram influencers to share their live stories. It has longer content that can be great for their massive followings. The other great options to partner with when it comes to video content are Facebook and Snapchat.

 

– Instead of Ads, Create Useful Content

Derived from the demand of people for authenticity is content marketing. People feel tired of seeing too much traditional advertising on billboards, TV, radio, and magazines. Because of the dot.com boom, new advertising in the digital age elevated the demand for better authenticity.

Having this in mind, whoever you choose to partner with as your influencer, needs to have the best balance of commissioned and non-commissioned content.

Whenever this doesn’t get applied, the trust factor may fade, including their influence and followers. Consistency and genuineness are the two things that can provide the most impact. Anything that appears like a promotion may not be practical as it can seem like trying too much to sell.

A great technique is the Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook of Gary Vaynerchuck. This approach involves providing non-salesy but good jabs so that your followers won’t flinch whenever you throw the hook by selling or asking them to subscribe or give a donation, etc. 

 

– Improved Transparency

Since the FTC had sent letters last April 2017, the industry experienced a significant disruption because of disclosing relationships. Influencers and brands got warnings to have their working relationships told clearly. Since the government is now cautiously hinting at a possible crackdown, marketing platforms and notable brands have placed additional effort in disclosing paid sponsorships and partnerships. 

The capital that businesses cannot overestimate is building solid and honest relationships with the audience and the influencers. It is among the easiest ways to disclose that the influencers get compensated to promote your brand. Minimize your brand’s risks by checking out your influencers’ content and posts frequently. 

Minimize the brand’s risks by regularly reviewing your influencers’ content and posts so they can adhere to the guidelines that the FTC set. Always remember that it may be good to trust, but it’s better to verify.

 

Executive Summary

Since the digital landscape has rapidly shifted, those who cannot keep up could end up shrinking their share of the market, losing clients, and wasting their budgets on an advertisement.

However, we are lucky as influencer marketing may not go anywhere soon. Influencer marketing is great as it allows you to take on three concerns. These are creating great content, attaining credibility, and gaining exposure through the influencer’s network.

Whenever you have an influencer with genuine clout and a solid reputation, the number of followers they have could be relatively unimportant.

The only thing vital here is that they have a community that responds and reacts favorably to anything they recommend.

Whenever you desire influencer marketing to become highly influential, you need to have a mindset that focuses on ‘less is more.’ Closely review the brand’s real enthusiasts and cultivate a solid relationship with them. Please provide them with enough space to be genius creators at their core. 

Once you do this, their natural talents can shine through that could influence their following, which could eventually allow you to have your audience embraced with an authentic voice that effectively provokes emotion and, more essentially, action.

 

Harness Our Creativity to Produce Great Products

The ODM Group is a Promotional Products Marketing Agency founded in Hong Kong in 2003. Over the years, the company allowed its services to expand while being rooted firmly in Asia near our factories. Because of our diverse approach, we can be a great partner to any International brand that wants to have a team to manage its projects closely. We have expanded our scale and services scope for more than a decade. Eventually, this led to the creation of our sister company, MindsparkzContact us as we’re always ready to review your next project. Let’s design and manufacture something special together.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing involves the leveraging of an existing influencer’s reach and involving that person in content creation to provide support and endorsement to your product to increase sales and improve brand awareness.

How can Influencer Marketing help business?

Influencers are effective spokespersons for any business as they are great in improving brand awareness and reaching your target audience. Having them will allow you to easily achieve profitable and productive campaigns.

How can you look for influencers?

1. Become aware of your goals before you begin. 2. Know what kind of influencer campaign would be best for your business. 3. Search for influencers that are in the same industry. 4. Review the influencers that promote the competition. 5. Check out the influencers that have the same audience 6. Verify the influencer’s authority 7. Have your results tracked carefully

How will you know if your brand can start having influencers?

- Check if the brand owner is the actual owner of the rights. - Review if you have a strong brand image. - Verify if the property has legal protection for relevant product categories. - Study the kind of marketing that can back up the brand. - Allow for the competition to be checked.

What are the KPIs that I need to use in measuring a campaign in influencer marketing?

- Engagement in terms of mentions, comments, retweets, shares, likes, clicks, and reactions - Sales in terms of conversion rate, business tracking, and performance - Reach in terms of traffic, impressions, followers, and engagement rate

 

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Definition:

Influencer marketing is a kind of social media marketing that involves endorsements and product placement from people, organizations, and influencers that people consider as experts in their field.

Synonyms:

bellwether marketing, tastemaker marketing, authority marketing, doyen marketing, maven marketing, consultant marketing, power marketing

Translations:

Chinese: 有影响力的营销 Yǒu yǐngxiǎng lì de yíngxiāo

Vietnamese: Tiếp thị người ảnh hưởng

Spanish: Marketing de influencers

French: Marketing d’influence

Italian: Marketing influencer

German: Influencer Marketing