IGC means influencer generated contents. A decennary ago, the influencer marketing arena was saturated with celebrities and a few dedicated bloggers. Now, it seems like we’ve seen social media influencers rise, filled the market, and even get caught up in tricks to boost social media metrics.
If you’ve started research on influencer marketing previously, you may have found conflicting details, with recommendations that range from you should absolutely be using social influencers or that they’re not necessary for growth.
Influencer marketing strategies are more difficult to navigate than ever as a brand, but we’re here with a guide on techniques which will help you maximize your ROI and.
Read on for our tips to determine if influencer marketing is for you.
What is influencer marketing?
At an elementary level, influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions, tags from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated social media base following and are viewed as experts within their niche, who trusts their verdict on products. Influencer marketing works because of the high volume of confidence that the audience has on the said Influencer that they are following, and recommendations from them serve as a form of validation of the product brand.
The current trend of the influencer marketing landscape
Based on the previous algorithm influencing on Instagram was easier than today. If you were lucky enough to be featured on Instagram’s featured page or your look was just distinctive enough, then your chances of being tapped as an influencer were high. After enough brand collaborations, some have turned social media influencer marketing into a full-time career.
Semiology’s Instagram feed is filled with tasty food and colorful outfits against colorful walls. During the covid-19 lockdown period semiology rose to Instagram fame, semiology engagements was highly saturated as beautiful and enticing photos jumped out. She works with brands around the UAE, fitting them into her collections.
But things change, right?
We’re influenced by what we see and aesthetics, food or whatever industry are no different. Bright images are more common now as well as carefully propped up food against interesting backgrounds. When the ‘typical look’ of influencer marketing no longer becomes unique, what comes next?
The value of influencer marketing
While social media influencer especially Instagram is a well-known strategy, there are many other networks that are growing for influencers. According to Adweek, the industry is set to reach $10 billion in worth by 2020. Other networks like Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok have their own set of influencers with different demographics.
How to create an influencer marketing strategy
Like any marketing technique, an influencer program required a focused and detailed targeting and planning. You won’t find strategic success just by sending free things out to everyone who asks or to your existing friends and acquaintances.
1. How to find influencers and what to pay them
Much like any strategy, methodological research is the first step. Choose the platform you want to focus on first and what you plan to achieve from the campaign. You can always expand to other platforms later but if you’re just starting out, stick with one. Ideally, your brand should already have a presence on this network or be looking to expand into it.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, social listening can help you identify where people are talking about your industry and brand—and it can help you find the most influential voices in your industry on each platform. Check out our guide to social listening to learn more.
The industry you’re in, also matters when you’re planning to implement an influencer marketing strategy. Beauty and fashion brands shine on Instagram and YouTube. The video game industry dominates on Twitch.
During your research phase, look into the type of influencers you’re interested in. Are you going for celebrities with massive followings? Or Micro-influencers with less than 2000 followers? Perhaps something in between in the 5–10k follower range is more your preference. Whatever you decide to focus on will determine your budget.
Compensation varies wildly, too, so be sure to look at common rates for those influencer types. Micro-influencers tend to be focused on a few topics and accept products. Some micro-influencers work independently while others may be represented by an agency. Whereas larger accounts and celebrities will need compensation and might even go through a talent agency.
You’ll need to think about the expected ROI of your social influencer marketing campaign: how will you gauge the contributions of influencer posts to your overall marketing goals? One approach might be to compare your expectations for influencers to other firms (however brands do have different unique approach to influencer marketing and KIP’s vary) – look at how you might gauge the budget for a video production firm’s work in creating an ad for you versus an influencer creating a video. It may initially seem like judging the value of influencers is unpredictable, but this type of approach will give you a familiar point of comparison and contrast.
In 2017, Influence.co published the results of their research into Instagram influencer payment. They looked at the average cost per Instagram post and found:
- The overall average price was $271 per post.
- The average price for micro-influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers was $83 per post.
- The average price for influencers with more than 100,000 followers was $763 per post.
However, this report is not applicable to the UAE, as influence.co is a U.S based company.
Research is key and you’ll find yourself returning to this step often in the process.
3. Set a budget and management strategy
Now that you have a scope Influencer payment package, you need to create your budget. Be sure to also factor in time for planning, executing, and reviewing your influencer program. Running a successful influencer marketing campaign is not a set-it-and-go type of strategy. It’ll involve careful monitoring and follow up(funny enough but using humans as a marketing asset has proven to be tedious).
Unlike a more automated marketing strategies, influencers are human and frequently balancing multiple partnerships, so some may fall behind in their commitments to post on time or make errors in your requested tags or calls to action. You’ll need to have the time to be more hands-on with these relationships to cultivate them and refine your approach through experience about what works and what doesn’t in your niche, we always advice for a proper agreement way beforehand.
If you have the time and money, consider setting up a formal ambassador program or using a reliable agency.
For brands that need a wider pool of influencers, hiring an influencer marketing agency who will do the research and coordination for you is a good bet.
4. Decide on goals and message
The two most common reasons for using influencer marketing are to elevate brand awareness, promote engagement, increase organic SEO efforts, and increase sales. However, instead of setting these broad targets as your two goals, it will be more effective to kick off on your strategy by homing in on what your brand’s needs are. Perhaps you want to increase your customer base in a younger demographic. Or you want to expand into a new user group with a new product. Or you want to skip trends and utilize influencers to talk about your brand values or promos.
Influencers have the ability to reach very specific audiences. Instead of you relying on thousands of followers, influencers will help you ensure a very targeted audience who is likely to be interested in your product reads and engages with your content.
In the above influencer example, the conversational tone and personal narrative that tie into chitraang6 other recent posts and stories help differentiate this from the type of features- or sales-driven post a brand might do for the same product on their own feed.
Your communicative tone (message) is just as important as your goal. While you don’t want to stifle an influencer’s creativity and uniqueness, you also don’t want them to post about something unrelated to your campaign. Determine how you want to structure your influencer marketing campaign and message so you can stick to it later on.
5. Influencer outreach: How to contact influencers.
During this research, keep in mind the below:
- Does the influencer already post about similar things to your service? For example, if you’re a restaurant and you want to promote a new menu, you should be looking for influencers who regularly post about dining out and the food they eat, however its advised to used fashion or beauty influencers to propagate the advertising of food hence food is a general niche for everyone (this is for the far greater reach and engagement).
- Are they legit? This means scrolling through their feed and clicking through on posts. A poor engagement ratio to follower count and spam-like comments are signs of a fraudulent account, this is to make sure that the influencer doesn’t have an audience of fake followers.
- Have they worked with similar brands before? Depending on what type of influencer you’re looking for, a seasoned one will be able to show you a press kit that contains a portfolio of their work. The more you invest in an influencer, the more you’ll want to vet them.
Next, determine how you’ll be reaching out to them. For micro-influencers, you could reach out directly in a private message on the same platform. For more established ones, click around their profile and they may list contact information for business inquiries in their bio. They may also link a website that denotes brand partnerships.
6. Review and refine your strategy
Although you might have an ongoing influencer campaign, you should still have pre-determined dates where you’ll measure its progress. The next part of this guide will go into how to track your results. Not all campaigns are successful but hopefully, you’ll learn with each one you create.
How to track influencer marketing campaigns
There are a few ways of measuring the success of your campaign. You can create a specific hashtag, like #Ilfornouae, or issue promocodes to them to initiate and track sales to track what your influencers are doing. There are various social media tools to track and analyze the effect of influencer campaign.
If you’re gunning for more sales, giving out affiliate codes or tracking links is an easy way of seeing how much is being generated from influencers.
Ideasmarketinguae.com reports makes it easy to tag campaign-related posts. Use this feature to compare how these posts perform.
Influencers are here to stay but how the world of influencer marketing looks and operates has changed a great deal in a short time, and in five years may be drastically different from today. This guide will help you get started with building your strategy, knowing your niche and setting your defined KPI, but like any social strategy it’s important to be ready for change.
Still, while there are some unique considerations to working with influencers, setting up a campaign is the same as most marketing campaigns: research, set a budget, determine goals, find your influencers and review and revise. Once you’ve gotten the flow down, you might find yourself creating additional types of influencer marketing campaigns. Success differs between brands so don’t give up if your first one is a failure. You might find that incorporating influencers into your marketing strategy is wildly beneficial to everyone.