How many times have you scrolled past your social media feed, and a product caught your attention? Chances are, an influencer is making subtle yet effective marketing for that product or service. Influencer marketing is not just a trend that begun since the rise of social media platforms--it’s a strategy that’s here to stay. In fact, it is one of the most effective types of marketing strategies available for businesses. Blog posts and social media posts made by influencers have a 5-11 times return on investment (ROI), which is significantly higher compared to banner ads.
However, like other types of digital advertising methods, you must be equipped with the right knowledge when working with influencers. Understanding the ropes as you open an influencer program can help you pick the right types of people to partner with, as well as the guidelines you will set upon the collaboration agreement.
In this post, you will discover an in-depth guide on how to start influencer marketing and how they can help you grow your business.
How Influencers Can Help Your Business: An In-Depth Guide
Match your business niche with an influencer’s niche
Many entrepreneurs new to this strategy want to understand about finding the right influencer for their business. It is important to take note of influencer niches or the products and services that these people usually advertise.
It is more effective to match your business niche with an influencer’s niche because:
- They most likely have a target audience that resonates with your offers: If you choose a fashion influencer for your clothing business, their audience is more likely to stay interested in your marketing campaign.
- More experience with the same niche means more experience creating custom photos: When looking for potential influencers, you would want to find those who are already experienced taking customized photos for products or services similar to yours. Influencers experienced in photography can help you find ways on how to create savable content on Instagram. This makes the partnership outcomes more desirable than working with someone who is inexperienced.
- Searchability in blogs and social media: Another reason why you would want to stay in the same niche for an influencer is their authority on your business offers. If you are a health-based business with products, you are more likely to experience success when you partner with relevant influencers who have a popular health blog or social media account.
Starting small and working your way
Some business owners also hesitate to work with influencers because of their exorbitant rates. Posts on Instagram for people who have a following of 20,000 and above can charge on a range of $100-200 per carousel. Entrepreneurs will assume that this budget can go a long way for other strategies such as PPC ads and others.
Thus, a great strategy is inviting small influencers with a medium following to advertise your business in exchange for free products and services. Called a micro-influencer, these social media users can help in brand awareness through the power of word-of-mouth referrals.
This type of exchange is beneficial both to you and the influencer--for them, it’s a great start-off point for them to build their portfolio, and you will have the opportunity to start small without spending much. When results reveal that influencer marketing is right for your business, you can start investing in bigger personalities that charge higher rates for better returns.
Check on influencer statistics and information
Once you get a pool of influencers who are great matches for your business, you can narrow down your choice by taking a look at their statistics. Some important metrics one must take note of are:
- The number of followers: Obviously, the number of followers will show how much of their audience will see the post. Many small businesses start working with influencers at the 1,000, 5,000, or 10,000 follower mark.
- Engagement rate: Another important metric to see if an influencer will be effective is their engagement rate. This is calculated by the number of likes, shares, saves, and comments on the number of followers that a user has. It is ideal to have at least a 3.5% rate or above to ensure that your chosen influencer has an engaged audience.
- Previous collaborations: To find the right type of influencer, you can ask for their social media handles and take a look at previous collaborations. See the samples of their write-ups, photo quality, and ability to follow through with the tagging and hashtag guidelines.
Start an influencer program
Decided that influencer marketing will be one of your go-to strategies? You can streamline the process by starting an influencer program for your business. The standard offer for many businesses is to offer potential users these elements within influencer marketing campaigns:
- A discount code or a freebie offered: Influencers are given a special discount code for them to use as well as their audience. Other business owners even go the extra mile to offer free products to entice more quality influencers.
- An affiliate page: You can also help motivate influencers to advertise your offers continuously by putting them in an affiliate program. When their audience clicks on their special affiliate link, they get a percentage of that sale. This is highly attractive for businesses under the real estate niche.
- Exclusive offers: If you have long-time collaborations with certain influencers, you can also strengthen the partnership by having exclusive offers such as bigger discounts, invitations to events, and regular free offers in exchange for their promotion.
Having these three attractive elements within your program is more likely to reel in quality influencers that will bring more potential audiences and clients.
Take advantage of seasonal launches and thematic promotions
Influencers are known to ride with the trends--the more you stay on top of seasonal events, themes, and current relevant issues, the more you can take advantage of brand awareness for your influencer campaign.
Some suggestions to help find trends where you can time your campaigns are:
- Yearly events for consumer offers: Think of working with influencers during Black Friday, Christmas, or any other shopping season.
- Thematic promotions: You can also promote according to the season when you have products and services to match. For example, a baby clothing line can offer summer dresses to influencers when in season.
- Relevant issues: If you desire for your business to be socially relevant, you can also work with influencers who promote offers during awareness dates such as International Women’s Day, Black History Month, or International Day of Peace.
There are also influencer marketing managers that can act as middlemen to help you find the quality personalities suited for your business. Through their vetting process, it is easier for business owners to review applications on a single platform rather than wasting a lot of time and effort individually scouting for potential influencers.
Reach Your Audience Through Influencers
With all the key points mentioned above, understanding how influencers can help your business becomes crystal clear. It is possible to reach more of your target audience with notable personalities through influencer marketing.
You can succeed in digital marketing with E-Marketing Associates services. From SEO, web design, social media marketing, review management, business listing, and many other services, you can have a comprehensive strategy that brings your company to the top.