We’ve been hearing a lot about influencers in the past few years and nowadays everyone with experience in a certain field, a social media account, and good personal branding skills can become one. But what about influencer marketing? What is that? How does it work and why is it so successful? These are all questions we’ll try to tackle, as this topic is on every decent market’s mind out there.
What is influencer marketing?
Let’s start with the influencer part of this concept. An influencer is a person with a solid following on social media channels – and here we’re talking from tens and hundreds of thousands upwards – who has found a certain niche they can explore and post content about, advise and share knowledge. Now getting to the point: influencer marketing – something we all practice one way or another, when posting our favorite dress from a well-known brand on Instagram or when we eat out, take cool food pictures and tag the restaurant. So does that make me an influencer, you’ll wonder? No, it does not, unfortunately. Seriously now, influencer marketing can be defined as the trustful relationship between a brand and an influencer.
Any brand with a half decent marketing team has realized by now that the time for paid TV commercials and radio ads is long gone, thus needing to take advantage, as much possible, of this wonderful little thing called the internet, and furthermore, social media. With all these opportunities out there, on the world wide web, people are not so easily fooled and want the certainty of high quality when buying something. This is where the influencers come into play: they are approached by brands in order to carry out a specific message to their fan base, with the implicit promise of the advertised product’s high quality. This is the strategy that in 2017 was most effective and drove the highest sales for various brands across the globe.
How does it work?
Brands approach influencers, influencers make a couple of posts on social media, people get ecstatic with the products, sales go up – sounds pretty easy, right? However, we might want to take a step back and look at this from another angle. Sure, brands approach influencers, the former promote the products and sales are on an upward curve. But what about the steps in between? There’s a couple of things to be seriously taken into consideration when starting an influencer marketing campaign.
1. Impact measurement
First and foremost, when you, as a brand, want to start a collaboration with an influencer, think about what you’re specifically looking for, from that person. It is important to establish a strategy beforehand and do a little research. Furthermore, be clear about what you want: are you interested in the number of followers, the number of engagements on posts or the numbers of shares an influencer gets per post? You should come up with a list of potential influencers with these metrics in mind, as this can actually make or break your campaign.
2. Strategic choices
Now that you have all that in mind, you can start looking for influencers to approach. However, you should keep in mind that this is not an exact science and you can never be fully confident that your campaign will 100% be successful, based on the influencer’s past content. Specialists advise to put your eggs in more than one basket – while it is important to choose a very influential person to carry out your message, you might also consider having a larger number of people, with a more moderate follower count, as statistically speaking, the chances of success are higher.
Who did it better?
Now that the theoretical talk is over, we were curious to see who did what, so here a couple of the best influencer marketing campaigns of last year.
Influencers: Robert Nguyen, Asa Steinars, Sara Tickle
You’ve all hear about this guy, right? Seen him on your Insta stories, Facebook feed, maybe on Twitter and YouTube? Yes, well, the famous watches brand has had one of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns of 2017. Check out some of the results: a 31% Instagram follower growth in 2017, around 62 million dollars in sales and over 136k mentions all over social media. Pretty impressive, huh? Their strategy to approach a wide variety of Instagram influencers and have them promoting the watches, all whilst giving them personalized discount codes for them to offer to their fan base was brilliant. Besides increasing sales, they were also able to monitor where the sales come from, thus determining a success rate per influencer.
Influencers: Julie Sariñana, Ela Velden
Worldwide famous clothing brand, which also has one of the highest follower count of the industry on IG. They’ve used this type of campaigning quite cleverly, using in one of their campaigns, a fashion blogger and a model as their influencers. They’ve also seen a 31% increase in their follower count and almost a quarter of a million mentions along the year.
When turning to this kind of marketing you know for sure you want to influence: mostly Millennials and Gen Zers, as they are the prime consumers of anything digital and technological. Done right, with a specific goal in mind and a thought-through strategy influencer marketing can boost your revenues, give you a lot of social media exposure and build people’s trust in your brand.
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