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How to start influencer marketing

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Just a few years ago marketers became excited about the ‘banner blindness’ phenomenon. The vast majority of the Internet users have been ignoring classical advertising in recent years – whatever attractive a banner is. In this context influencer marketing has been rapidly replacing traditional forms of advertising. Recent researches say that ROI of influencer marketing is 11 times greater than other kinds of advertising. 61% of consumers rely on influencers’ recommendations in comparison with 38% of customers who still trust posts released by brands. In 2022 the influencer marketing industry reached an impressive $16,4 billion. The figure is predicted to grow more in 2023.

Influencer Marketing Market Size

How has the influencer marketing industry evolved?

Influencer marketing leverages the credibility of a popular content creator who promotes your brand through product mentions, recommendations and endorsements. In a nutshell, collaborating with influencers is a way to reach your target customers who are already loyal to their favorite content creator and therefore are ready to buy what they love and suggest. Recommendations from social media stars tend to influence behavior of millions of online users worldwide. 

Notably, it’s an enormous support for start-up brands. It can take them a lot of time to gain a substantial following. But influencers can facilitate the process significantly.

HOW HAS THE INFLUENCER MARKETING INDUSTRY EVOLVED?

The industry has been constantly evolving and changing. We see that just a decade ago the influencer marketing was more about celebrities. Celebrity endorsements cost a lot, so not every brand could afford such a collaboration. But in today’s digital world there are plentiful content creators with niche audiences. Influencing has become a full-fledged career in the content marketing field. More and more people are becoming content creators and ‘influencing’ produces a living wage for them. Micro-bloggers who have between 10,000 and 100,000 subscribers are preferred by marketers (39% and 30% plan to cooperate with nano- and micro-influencers correspondingly, in comparison with 19% of marketers who prefer macro-influencers and 12% working with celebrities).

Influencer Preferences

The reason is that micro-bloggers’ content is more engaging, they are more approachable and reliable among their followers. No matter your industry, you can find a good content creator and start your successful influencer marketing campaign!

There Are Now 50 Million Content Creators

Source: SignalFire

INFLUENCER MARKETING: HOW TO GET STARTED?

Generally there are 7 essential steps that will help you to start an influencer marketing program: 

  • Developing a campaign
  • Choosing the appropriate social media platform (or platforms)
  • Searching for the relevant influencers 
  • Contacting the influencer(s) of you choice 
  • Launching your influencer marketing campaign
  • Monitoring the campaign
  • Evaluating the results and reporting 

Let’s clarify all of them step by step.

Develop your influencer marketing campaign

First of all, you should define the target audience for the planned influencer marketing campaign, and then set your goals and determine the metrics according to which the effectiveness of your campaign will be evaluated.

There’s no need to underline the importance of the proper audience targeting. Let’s only emphasize that understanding your audience well enough will help you determine the qualities you’re pursuing in your influencers. 

Usually influencer marketing campaigns help reach the following goals:

  1. Increase of brand awareness: augmentation of brand following, boosting the audience reach and increase of brand mentions on the whole.
  2. Driving sales.
  3. Growing involvement of the target audience, increase of engagement.
  4. Reaching new segments of the target audience.

Consequently, KPIs of the expected campaign should reflect whether your goals have been achieved. Consider such metrics as reach (estimated by the number of new followers, post impressions, and traffic data to your website), and engagement rate (number of likes, shares, views, saved posts and other reactions that reflect the audience’s interactions with your brand messages). You will know the ways how to track these metrics further in this article.

Choose the right platform and the relevant influencers

Answering a question “Where does my target audience spend their most time on?” will help you choose the right social media platform. A good thing is that 88,5% of content creators having more than 10,000 followers on one social platform also have large audiences on other accounts. It enables brands to implement cross-channel influencer marketing programs.

After setting your goals, determining the KPIs, choosing the social media platform, and with full understanding of what you want in an influencer, it’s high time to find the relevant content creator for your campaign. 

Remember that the right influencer is not the one who is the most popular. A micro-influencer with a niche, highly engaged audience can become a better fit for your brand than a celebrity with millions of not so active followers. A bigger audience is not always better. Even if you have enough budget and can allow collaboration with someone very popular, there’s some risk to throw money down the drain. 

Today most marketers prefer to cooperate with influencers who have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers because their audiences are far more engaged and loyal. You shouldn’t neglect to examine a potential influencer carefully in terms of engagement rate, audience demographic, general tone of the content, and authenticity.

To begin with, it’s a good idea to go through your contact list. Very often the right person is closer than you can think. A pleasant bonus is that this content creator is already loyal to your brand.

Another way is to search for influencers right on a social media platform of your interest. All the networks provide tools and filters for easy searching. A Google search can also be quite useful if you ask the right questions.

Brands that want to eliminate very time-consuming processes usually opt for full-cycle influencer-marketing agencies. Here at Famesters you’ll find a team of professionals who will help you start influencer marketing. Our experts are ready not only to find the relevant content creators but also build long-term relations with them as well as develop and manage the best data-driven influencer marketing campaigns for your brand.

Establish contact with your influencer

Influencers are called content creators not in vain. It’s going to be more advantageous for you to allow them to demonstrate their skills. Although it’s normal to give some guidelines in terms of what you’re looking for from an influencer as well as about the general philosophy of your brand, tone of voice and values. But don’t aspire to guide the entire process. 

Remember that consumers like more of an ‘unfiltered’ message. Influencers’ conversational tone and human narrative are exactly the things that distinguish their messages from branded posts. So leave your influencers creative freedom, and they’re sure to make the best authentic messages for your brand.

Launch your campaign!

At last, when all the preparations are behind, you can have your influencer marketing campaign get started. Let’s see what are the most popular promotional opportunities that influencer marketing offers today.

Sponsored content  

It’s a simple and effective way of cooperation with an influencer. Sponsored posts can be paid photos, videos or blog posts featuring a brand’s offering. It will be better if these posts sound natural – it shouldn’t feel like a blogger is selling your product or service. Remember that the idea of influencer marketing is to recommend something to the loyal audience of a content creator, as if it’s a recommendation from a friend. 

Contests

Contests and giveaways launched by an influencer in favor of your product are excellent to excite customers and create some buzz around your brand. Usually contest instructions encourage followers to share your content with their network as well. So in terms of reach it’s a great opportunity to invite a lot of new subscribers to your accounts. Contests also provide a lot of user generated content connected with your brand that is good for increasing engagement.

Unboxing videos

They are very popular and interesting for the audience. Provide your influencers with product samples or invite them to try your service in order that they can create realistic content for their followers, based on their own experience.

A win-win partnering

You can also place your influencer’s content on your accounts. It’s a win-win solution for both parties. While a content creator’s followers are attracted to your channels, your influencer’s personal brand is being promoted as well. Such cooperation usually doesn’t require formal payment, and that’s a good bonus, isn’t it?

Brand ambassadors

You may work with an influencer for different time periods, from several weeks to several years. Long-term collaboration can develop into such a form of partnership as brand ambassadors programs. This is when an influencer becomes the face of your brand. It’s very effective because it gives an influencer enough time to acquaint the audience with your brand very well, and build trust and credibility in your favor. It always drives more traffic to your channels and consequently increases sales.

Monitoring and reporting

As it was mentioned above, you should determine clear KPIs on the first stage of your campaign. These metrics will help you to monitor the ongoing influencer marketing campaign as well as to make a report as soon as it’s finished. There are several effective ways to measure the performance of your campaign.

Affiliate links

If you give each content creator their own unique link with UTM codes, you can easily track the visitors sent to your website by this particular influencer. UTM parameters are good to measure reach and engagement rate. Besides, affiliate links can be profitable for an influencer. There’s a practice to pay a 10-20% commission to the influencer if a customer’s purchase has been made using this link. 

Discount codes

Discount codes is a similar way to track conversion and sales from a particular influencer. Discount codes should be unique for each influencer. Content creators share them with their audience and you can easily understand how many sales are driven from this influencer.

Google analytics and special social media tools

Such tools as Google analytics are also helpful in monitoring your influencer marketing efforts. Besides, you can use the branded content tools on Facebook and Instagram that provide you with insights for stories and feed posts.

Influencers’ reports

You could also ask your influencer to submit a detailed report showing the reach and engagement levels of posts connected with your brand.

THE FINAL WORD

You see that starting an influencer marketing campaign may become a rewarding solution for your brand – if done right. Clear goals and KPIs determined at the very start will help you to make data-driven decisions in the process as well as show you how effective the campaign is. You can try to cooperate with a number of content creators simultaneously and then choose the best of them for future campaigns or even for a brand ambassador program.

In these circumstances influencer marketing agencies gain popularity. They help brands who prefer breaking into the industry without investing a lot of precious time and resources into exploring the field.

Thus, if you don’t have enough time to master the influencer marketing industry, and if you want to ensure success for your brand collaborating with influencers, then we at Famesters influencer marketing agency are happy to help you at each step of your campaign. Our team of experts are really professional at developing, managing and analyzing the campaign performance and effectiveness of your influencer marketing. Don’t hesitate to boost your revenues with Famesters influencer marketing agency. Our expertise is always at your service. A fruitful cooperation guaranteed!

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