Businesses are starting to see how powerful and influential social media can be, and it’s inspiring more brands to look beyond traditional content and engagement. Social media has become the consumers’ megaphone for voicing out their opinions and expectations of brands that matter to them, and enabling testimonials and peer recommendations.
Living in an age where consumers easily get their hands on massive amounts of data, it’s become a necessity for brands to develop more compelling social media marketing strategies that not only sell, but also inform and engage their target audience.
As a result, consumers now look to trusted individuals before purchasing a product, signing up for a service or supporting a brand. They seek mutually beneficial and genuine relationships with their trusted brands. In this light, influencer marketing has proven to be a good way for brands to connect with prospects and loyal customers alike. From partnering with people in authority to creating lovable fictional characters, influencer marketing is thriving as a dominant force in today’s digital landscape.
What Is Influencer Marketing in Social Media Management?
Influencer marketing is quickly becoming a popular form of advertising products, services and even brand messages. By seeking out the help of individuals with ‘influence,’ such as popular bloggers, celebrities and online personalities, brands can reach out to their consumers in a more personal and authentic approach as opposed to other social media marketing tactics.
An influencer’s ability to direct people’s attention to a product or service can significantly improve sales for their client. Influencers, especially micro-influencers, are generally authentic especially if they partner with a product or service that’s ‘on brand’ for them – which is something that the audience today highly appreciates. This is why the collaboration between the influencer and the brand is very important.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work with Other Social Media Services?
You won’t find strategic success just by sending out free things to influencers. Like any social media marketing tactic, an influencer program takes deliberate planning and targeting. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out.
1. Find out how much you’re willing to pay
Much like any social media management strategy, research is the first step. During your research phase, look into the type of influencers you’re interested in who will fit your brand. Are you going for microinfluencers with less than 5,000 followers? Or a famous blogger with a massive following? Whatever you decide to focus on will determine your budget.
You will also need to think about your influencer marketing campaign’s expected ROI. In other words, how will you gauge the contributions of influencer posts to your marketing goals? For instance, you can compare the budget for an influencer creating a video for you versus an agency’s work in creating an ad for you. This type of approach will give you a familiar point of contrast and comparison.
According to Influence.co’s research into Instagram influencer payment, the average cost per Instagram post is $271. The average price per post for microinfluencers is $83 while for influencers with massive followings, it can cost up to $763 per post. You can use this data as basis for the amount of money you’re willing to pay an influencer.
2. Set a budget and management strategy
Now that you have an idea of how much to pay influencers, you need to create your budget. Unlike other automated social media marketing strategies, influencers are human beings and frequently balance multiple partnerships.
There will be instances that some may commit errors in your requested calls to action or fall behind in their commitments to post on time. To cultivate these relationships, you’ll need to be more hands-on and constantly refine your approach through experience.
3. Decide on goals and message
The two most common reasons for brands to invest in influencer marketing are to increase sales and elevate brand awareness. However, instead of just focusing on those two goals as your broad targets, it will be more effective to hone in on what your brand needs at the moment. Perhaps you want to use your new product or service to expand into a new target group. Or maybe you want your customer base in an older demographic to increase. It’s also possible that you want to utilise influencers to talk about your brand’s values.
Your social media marketing goal is important, but so is the message you want to relay to your audience. Determine how you want to structure the message of your campaign so you can stick to it in the long run. Remember, influencers have the ability to reach very specific audiences. They’ll help ensure that you connect with people who are already interested in your product, so the way they deliver your message can either make or break your campaign.
How Do I Choose The Right Influencer for My Social Media Marketing Plan?
Social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube gave rise to a generation of influencers with huge followings on certain subjects like food, beauty, fashion, gaming, travel, and lifestyle. Under one subject, you’ll find hundreds of personalities with content and personal brands, similar to one another. So how do you choose the right influencer for your brand?
Many clients often tap influencers with the most followers. However, influence is not just about having a lot of followers. It’s also driven by the individual’s expertise in their respective niche and the kind of relationship they have with their followers.
Forbes, in a September 2014 article, said that a better approach to defining influence can be described through this equation:
Influence = Number of Followers x Expertise and Credibility x Strength of Relationship with Their Audience
Another factor to consider is the kind of platform that you and the influencer use. For example, you might be partnering with a great influencer who uses YouTube as their main platform, but is your audience even on YouTube? Make sure that your partner with an influencer who is on the same platform as your target audience.
Finally, choose an influencer who shares the same brand and ideals with you. One of the reasons influencer marketing fails is when the audience feels that the influencer’s endorsement doesn’t seem in line with their content and their image. Do your research and make sure your business goals, your brand and image are aligned with your prospective influencer.
Learn More About Influencer and Social Media Marketing With Us
Social media marketing and management is still in its developing stages and will only continue to grow as it adapts to the latest digital media trends and technology.
Traditional marketing isn’t going away, at least not in the near future. But since social media has become an integral part of everyday life, it is a missed opportunity not to use it to reach out and engage with your audience.
With how social media has changed the world of marketing, influencers are here to stay and they can be the game changers your brand needs. Hopefully, this guide will help you build your strategy as there are unique considerations when working with influencers. However, setting up the campaign is similar to most marketing strategies: research, set a budget, determine clear goals, find your influencers, and then rinse and repeat. Once you’ve got the hang of things, you might even find yourself creating various influencer marketing campaigns.