For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, businesses end up making about $18 making it a profitable way to get sales. Social media is one of the most popular ways to discover new products. Enter influencer marketing. Your customers likely have people they follow. Whether they like the type of content they post or the way they style themselves, there’s something special about influencers that helps them generate massive followings. When you’re starting out, influencers can help elevate your brand’s social following to higher levels in a short period of time.
Influencer Marketing Examples: AX Paris uses influencers to grow their sales. Using the hashtag #axparis, you’ll find influencers who share their affiliate link with their fanbase. Notably, influencers also use the hashtag #ad to clarify that they receive compensation for the post. In fashion, influencer marketing is effective because it allows customers to see what an outfit looks like on. Since they know what it looks like on the influencer, it helps build enough trust that they become more likely to purchase it. If an influencer, who is typically attractive, looks amazing in an outfit, fans may be more likely to purchase a similar outfit to get the same look. Influencer marketing acts as a social proof to help drive the sale.
Influencer Marketing Strategy Tips:
Rates don’t mean much. Expensive influencers aren’t always better. Sometimes they cost $400 for one post and you end up with 0 sales. Other times it costs $25 for one post and you make $150 in sales. Ideally, your best bet is who the audience is. A dog fan page will likely convert well if you sell dog products. However, a top influencer wearing your leggings might result in zero sales. It’s not about how expensive an influencer is but how targeted their audience is. To determine the effectiveness of an influencer you could reach out to other brands who’ve used the influencer, view reviews and testimonials on an influencer marketing platform and more.
Influencer marketing alone won’t help you. You should also be building your social pages and turning someone from your brand into an influencer. Who says you can’t be an influencer? It’s likely more effective too. Building a brand around you as a person who shares the same interests as your audience humanizes the brand. You can create video content for YouTube or Instagram Stories. Share expert tips for your niche. Post pictures of yourself wearing or using your products.
When it comes to payment, there are two types of payment influencers will take. You can either pay them in cash or you can give them the product for free. It can be harder to find quality influencers who will promote the product with an affiliate link and no payment. However, it is possible to find them. We usually offer free products if we’re building a new store and want to build up our social proof. We’ll give influencers free products so that we have attractive pictures of people using our product to add on our social media and our store. It keeps our costs lower too.
Be skeptical of follower count. New entrepreneurs always get so excited to find out that an influencer with 1,000,000 followers is sharing their product for only $200. They think to myself, ‘this post is going to make me rich’ And then they end up with $250 in sales which means you’ve just run into the negatives if you take product cost into account. I’ve fallen for it when I was starting out. There are a lot of fake followers on top influencers’ accounts.
It’s a numbers game. Most social media accounts didn’t get built by one influencer. They got built by hundreds or thousands of influencers. There are brands who have teams devoted to working and partnering with influencers. If influencer marketing is the best way for your brand to make money, you’re going to approach a lot of people. Some will agree to your terms, some will require negotiation. Some will convert, some won’t. The more you start working with influencers the better you get at knowing who’s worth working with and who’s not.
Hint: pay attention to the influencers’ comment section. Do the comments seem real? Are fans engaged? Are the comments generally positive? Are sponsored posts about the person or the brand?
Don’t exhaust the audience of your influencer. One of the biggest mistakes I made was doing weekly posts with the same influencer because it kept bringing in money. I switched up the type of products. Created unique graphics for every post. And added a whole lot of variety in the type of content they shared. But the audience effectiveness started lessening after about six months. It just wasn’t sustainable anymore.
Let your influencer add their own style to their posts. We once had an influencer stick her tongue out while wearing our apparel. I almost didn’t use the post on our social media because I felt like it didn’t suit our brand. But it ended up getting a positive response from our audience and resulted in more product sales. Sometimes you don’t know what’s best until you test.
Influencer Marketing Tools:
BuzzSumo is a social media tool that can tell you what type of content has received the most social shares. You can also search by ‘author: (name)’ to find the best performing content by influencers within a niche. If you plan on having guest posts on your blog, you can reach out to influencers who typically create highly engaging content to create content for your brand. Or if you plan on creating an article listing experts within a niche, you can shoutout the most popular influencers in hopes of getting high social shares from them for being featured.
Klout is a tool that ranks experts and influencers within the niche. For example, if you enter the keyword ‘yoga’ you’ll find who the most active influencers are under yoga. You can then reach out to those experts to partner with them on campaigns. The closer a person’s score is to 100, the better the influencer.
Upfluence is an influencer search engine. You can search for influencers based on keywords, social media metrics, web traffic and more.
Onalytica offers two key influencer tools: discovery and management. You can find influencers based on their marketing channels, location, audience size and more. Their influencer management tool is perfect for brands who work with a high number of influencers to better determine who your rockstars are, the content they’re sharing for your brand, and more.
Tapfluence is a database of influencers you can contact to reach a bigger audience. You can browse a database of 50,000 influencers. You can sort influencers based on the personality of their audience, their interests and more. You can choose your influencer based on 35 characteristics such as gender, age, location, education, language and more.
Social Audit Pro is a tool that audits Instagram profiles to tell you how much of their audience is real and fake.
Influencer Marketing Experts:
Samantha Wormser, the owner of The Salty Twig, has amassed over 17,000 followers. Her advice for becoming an influencer: “I think that creating beautiful and compelling content is the best way to attract an audience and is step one in becoming an influencer. Finding your own personal aesthetic and style will allow you to carve out your own niche, rather than copying how someone else edits and looking like just another influencer prototype. Another piece of advice to grow your following once you have a foundation of great content is to engage with other bloggers, creatives, and budding influencers who share similar types of content and who’s content inspires you. Once you start liking and commenting and engaging with other influencers and creators, you’ll get more visibility on your own profile and will start to grow a following.
A challenge for me has been to not only grow my following, but also grow overall engagement, which is a key factor in brand collaborations. It requires a lot of patience to do both and you can’t expect growth overnight. It’s frustrating to see other people purchase followers, but ultimately I believe this will hurt them in the long-run as purchased followers do not transfer into engagement and brands can see through it. Engaging with other influencers who post similar content and who are about the same size in following has helped me grow over time.
I think the best perk of being an influencer isn’t one specific collaboration for me, but the fact that I get to work with some of my favorite brands that I’ve loved for years and receive product to post about and then get featured on their social media accounts too, which shows me they really like the content I am creating.”
Heather Monahan is a business expert, mentor, and speaker. She shares, “Stay committed to your vision and where you see yourself going and don’t let anyone deter you. The amount of naysayers and negativity I faced was shocking to me. When I began my initiative to empower others through my social handles I had no idea the backlash I would face. The worst of it came from a woman I worked for at the time before I went to work for myself. She let me know she didn’t like my personal brand, wanted me to shut it down and did all that she could to make my life miserable to force my hand. By staying committed to my vision and moving forward I was able to stand up to the bullying I faced and forge ahead. These were not easy times for me as I had been at the company for 14 years but pushing forward and not backing down made me stronger than ever and my reach on my social handles grew and empowered me further. Ultimately, she fired me. Getting away from the negativity has allowed me to take off and enjoy the best professional growth I have ever had. Removing negative people from your life is like cutting an anchor off of your foot, you position yourself to take off.” Her best perk? “Becoming the Brand Ambassador for Perry Ellis’ female clothing line Rafaella!”
Samuel Scott, a global marketing and technology speaker and The Promotion Fix columnist for The Drum, says “The real issue to address is not how you can gain 10,000 followers but why 10,000 people should follow you. There is not a magic wand or some secret to gaining a following. You know the secret to becoming an “influencer” (although I hate that term)? Be influential in the real world. Who has the most followers? Musicians, pundits, successful business people, athletes, celebrities, and politicians. Be influential and people will naturally want to follow you.
It’s not easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is easy. One key is publicity. Do something amazing, and get the relevant media to talk about it. Get news articles written about you. Contribute a regular column to a publication. Get interviewed on television. Speak at major conferences. Publicity is a traditional marketing tactic that can help in the digital world.”
Influencer Marketing Resources:
How to Do Instagram Influencer Marketing by Oberlo teaches store owners how they can master influencer marketing. It guides you from building your own following to finding the right influencer to grow your sales. You’ll learn how to connect with influencers and how to analyze the success of your campaigns.
10 Influencer Marketing Campaigns to Inspire and Get You Started with Your Own by Hubspot details 10 examples of influencer marketing campaigns. You’ll see how top brands utilize influencers in their marketing through video marketing, social media posts, referral programs and more.