IZEA is an incredible tool for influencer sourcing. IZEA offers a wide range of accounts in different niches and at various price points. Their Influencer Discovery Tool goes for $149/month, but there is also an option for someone else to manage your whole influencer marketing campaign.
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You’ve probably heard the term influencer marketing. Whether the conversation is about pop culture stars or a marketing investment you're considering, the topic is everywhere.
Although it's one of the fastest-growing marketing strategies, the concept has been around for a while. Influencer marketing derives from word of mouth marketing which remains one of the most important ways to market your brand.
We believe influencer marketing deserves the buzz. That's why in this article, we are going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about influencer marketing. We’ll give you our insight as a marketing firm, to empower you to implement the right strategy for your business.
What is influencer marketing?
To answer this, first we must consider the question, what exactly is influence?
Imagine you're buying a house. It's a significant investment, and there's financial risk involved. Simply said: it's essential to make the right decision. So how do you ensure you bet right and find value?
You do your research. You look up the zip code, read reviews about the area and talk to the neighbors. However, you find a host of mixed reviews ranging from "that area is incredible" to "don't ever buy a house there."
How do you get to the bottom of whether or not this home is the right fit for you?
Well, you recall that your trusted friend whose taste you admire once told you great things about the area. You ask them out for coffee, and after an outstanding review, you rush to sign the lease.
Why did you make the leap?
It’s simple. Your purchase was influenced by someone you TRUST… and this exact scenario plays out every single day before your customer decides to make a purchase.
Influence is when you can impact someone's behavior, development or character to affect their actions. Guess what … everyone has influence! But do some opinions matter more than others? Not necessarily. However, the bigger the stage, the more power one has to influence... And nowadays, people have committed their careers to creating a platform and network of trusting fans.
In comes Influencer marketing. Influencer marketing refers to the practice of engaging people with social influence over an audience that you’d like to reach to help promote your brand. Your aim is to tap into that market in a way that's considerate and authentic.
Today, influencer marketing can be understood as world of mouth marketing that has been accelerated by technology and social media. The people who build a following on social media are known as Influencers. In marketing, the process of promoting your product through an influencer is called influencer marketing, and it's one of the most innovative forms of marketing that can be highly effective for any type of business. According to the 2019 Influencer marketing survey:
- 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective.
- 71% of marketers rate customers' quality and traffic from influencer marketing as better than other marketing sources.
- 89% of marketers say influencer marketing ROI is as good or better than other marketing channels.
- 65% of marketers plan to up their influencer marketing budgets in 2019.
Why do I need an influencer strategy for my small business?
Influencer marketing is not just for trendy brands. Whether you’re a Medical school or a Metal Works company, investing in an influencer strategy has significant benefits. WIth your influencer strategy you’ll be able to:
- Build trust with consumers when they see a respected individual advocate for your product or service.
- Save money on content production when an influencer creates and promotes content for you.
- Adapt content to regional markets more efficiently and effectively by engaging with local influencers who know them.
- Aim for specific interests that may be more accurately captured by an influencer than by targeting controls.
- Impact purchasing decisions of digital natives.
Before you go ahead and buy an Instagram shout-out for $400, listen up. You need a strategy to follow step-by-step. Here, 42 N Marketing is offering a succinct guide and best practices for your influencer marketing strategy.
How much will it cost?
Although it has become common practice, influencer marketing doesn’t always involve paying someone to promote your brand. Influencer marketing plays a role in paid, earned, AND owned media.
- Paid media: For a fee that can range depending on the amount of followers, creative brief and other factors, influencers who have built up a significant social media following will promote your brand by creating content, sharing content you’ve created, and/or appearing at events. Learn more about how much influencers cost last year here.
- Earned media: Unpaid influencers otherwise known as brand advocates, will promote your brand without paid compensation. They do this because they truly love your content or product and want to share it with their followers. An influencer might also work with you for free if they haven’t yet reached a substantial number of followers, and so it becomes a win-win situation. Learn more about leveraging influencer relationships for earned media here.
- Owned media: Whether or not you have paid an influencer, you might use influencer-created content in your brand’s channels. For example, you could use an influencer’s photos on your website or repost their content on your social media channels.
In developing your strategy you must determine your available budget for paid influencer marketing and target influencers based on that budget. If you don’t have much to spend, you can plan to work with nano influencers at a small cost. Aim to leverage earned and owned influencer media on an ongoing basis. Understand more about how influencers are priced out here.
How do I find the right influencers for my business?
Now that you’ve determined your budget, you’re probably wondering, how can I find connections with influencers to start working with them?
Remember, the goal is to find, connect and collaborate with influencers that power your marketing. That means you’re looking to people who can get press mentions, shares, links, rankings and traffic.
Note that influencers aren’t just on Instagram. If you’re a b2b company we recommend looking at platforms like LinkedIn as well as tapping key opinion leaders in relevant categories to collaborate on thought leadership programs. No matter the platform, you’re looking for engaging, inspirational and compelling content.
Since Influencer marketing is based on trust, your customers need to trust the person promoting your product. Consider your business’s niche and target influencers who match it to give you credibility in the eyes of your clients.
Looking for the right influencer is a complex task. You have to look at stats like followers, engagement and account quality. Fortunately for you, there are many platforms to help you with the process. Of course, you could turn to a talent agency to find someone suitable for your business but using a platform is way cheaper and just as good. Here are some options to consider when looking for the right influencer.
Just like IZEA, TRIBE offers influencer sourcing. They are both excellent platforms, but the big difference comes with pricing. While IZEA has different tools, TRIBE has various plans. TRIBE has four plans, one of which is a pay-per-use and doesn't require an annual payment. If you're on a budget, IZEA or TRIBE? might be the better platform.
Scaling your own network
When you're dealing with people, it's all about networking. If you build a network diverse and big enough, you might end up meeting just the right influencers for your campaign. Don't be shy. Go to PR events, reach out to creators. You might even make friends with some of them. Remember, the more, the merrier.
This influencer sourcing method is the most exhausting and time-consuming, but it is free, making it great for newly launched businesses. Manual search can be done in many ways. You can look up posts under a hashtag or keyword related to your niche or scroll the explore page for some finds. Instagram also has an option of showing you a similar account to the one you're following. So if you find one good influencer, you can find similar ones. When you're doing a manual search, always prioritize the influencers with higher engagement. Look at the ratio between likes and followers and choose the influencer with a higher “likes” number.
Ways You Can Leverage Influencers
Below we’ll show you several ways in which you can work with influencers on a campaign. Print this resource and jot down ideas you have under each section.
- Content creators
- One of the most common ways in which brands work with influencers is by hiring them to create custom content that meets certain specifications identified by your brand. Aim to give the influencer clear guidelines while still providing them with ample space to be creative.
- Formats: blog posts, social media posts, videos, or anything else you find online.
- Amplifiers or content seeding
- A less-involved (and less-expensive) alternative to having influencers create original content for your brand is to have them simply promote your campaign.
- “Seeding” is a term commonly used in influencer marketing. It involves giving an influencer something (a “seed”) with the hopes that they’ll “plant” it among their followers and give you a nice boost.
- These “seeds” might be tickets to an event you are hosting, a new product you’re trying to promote, or high-value content you’ve created with a certain influencer and their audience in mind.
- Curators of content
- Influencers can also help curate and provide additional branding of your existing content and commerce.
- For example, a website that sold floral arrangements online created a partnership with influencers who were already fans of the shop. They provided each influencer with a branded microsite and allowed them to select floral arrangements they loved to be featured on the site.
- The influencers also received a percentage commission on floral arrangements that was sold on their microsites, which effectively incentivized them to promote it.
- Take inventory. Are there any well-known fans of your business that you can collaborate with in this way?
- Product co-creators
- Want to save money on market research? Another way to partner with influencers is to have them co-create new products with your brand. For example, you can create a limited edition floral arrangement with the best performing influencer in the above example.
- Appearing at events
- Appearances can take many shapes.
- Be it a thought leader asked to host a webinar, speak at an event, or even attend a private dinner for clients. Or popular influencers asked to attend a fashion show or product launch.
- Be on the lookout for IRL (“in real life”) events in the influencer world — these are large conferences that let enthusiasts meet their favorite influencers and connect with like-minded fans.
- These events let fans engage with the influencers they love and can provide good sponsorship opportunities for brands.
- Influencers who have become celebrities in their own right can be hired to appear in a brand’s video and print ads or act as “brand ambassadors.”
- In this case, content featuring the influencer usually lives on the brand’s channels, rather than their own.
- Brand takeovers on social media
- A “brand takeover” is when a brand gives an influencer access to post directly from one of its social channels for a limited period of time. Takeovers usually center around a highly visible event, such as a product launch or holiday promotion.
- Before the takeover happens, your influencer should tell their fans about it and encourage them to follow along. A well-executed takeover creates an experience that resonates with the influencer’s audience, allowing you to gain a large number of followers in a short period of time.
How can I launch an awesome influencer campaign?
You have created a plan. You have found just the right influencer in the appropriate categories. And now what?
The last step in your campaign is setting goals and determining key milestones. Stay motivated, track progress and understand It might take time, and there might be some setbacks along the way. Like with many marketing strategies there are elements of trial and error with influencer marketing.
Here's how to track your progress:
Campaign Launch Date:
How did the campaign affect sales over each period?
Record all the stats you need to trace the process such as engagement, traffic and leads.
Note that influencer marketing platforms can do that for you for a fee.
Influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing and most efficient marketing strategies. Getting an influencer to showcase a product to their audience will create a sense of credibility in the target audience's minds, and if done right, you can gain a lot from influencer marketing. Your first campaign might be challenging, but when you master it, influencer marketing will inevitably bring benefits. Remember, Influencers are not actors, they are their own creative directors. For content to seem authentic, you need to give creative control to the influencer. They’ve built their audience organically over their career. This can be tough for companies that are used to being the custodians of their brand voice. However, an influencer knows how to reach their audience in the most effective ways.
This was our insight on Influencer marketing. If you're interested in other effective marketing strategies, check our take on Email marketing and Instagram strategies.