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Social Influencer Guide
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Social Influencer Guide
It’s a battle older than time.
Marketers trying their best to close the gap between consumer and business.
At this stage, it may seem like we’ve tried every trick in the book, but what if we told you there’s a whole other way?
We’ve all heard of them, and we can’t help but notice them. Yes, that’s right - Social Media Influencer’s. They’re the ones on our Instagram feeds with the fast cars, designer clothes and always promoting the latest product or new trend.
Influencer marketing has taken lead in Social Media Marketing and when used effectively, it can have outstanding results for a business. Over the last decade, we have watched social media rise up to be one of the most powerful tools in digital marketing to date. Influencer marketing on social media has also blown up and this article by Influencer Marketing Hub expects the industry to be worth 9.7 billion dollars by the end of 2020. Because of this rapid growth, 380 new influencer marketing-focused platforms and agencies were introduced in the market in just the past year.
Whether it be a macro influencer or a micro influencer, you can’t help but notice the impact social media influencers have on the masses.
Before we start rambling, we thought we’d give you a few definitions to the jargon we’re about to load you with!
By definition, a social media influencer are individuals who have built a reputation in their trusted expertise on a niche. They often post about that specific topic and usually have a large following of engaged individuals who pay attention to what they post, share and speak about.
There are different types of influencers, and they are mainly categorised in their niche or the number of followers they have but today, let’s talk numbers.
The big players in the game. Mega influencers have an enormous following on their social media platforms. They are usually A-list celebrities and if we are defining them by number of followers, this would be influencers with over 1 million followers on one platform. But be warned, they don’t come at a cheap price! Their services are incredibly costly, as their reach and impressions will be much higher than other influencers.
The next tier down from mega influencers are the macro influencers. These influencers have anywhere from 100,000 to 1 million followers on their social platforms. They are usually B-grade celebrities or professionals in a field that have built their following to a substantial number. Often, they have gained a following from the internet where they may vlog on YouTube or share inspiring content on a blog.
A large tier and probably the most important are micro influencers. Micro influencers are often regarded as an expert in a specific industry. Their relationship with their audience is focused on authenticity and trust, as they often have a more significant impact on their followers. The follower count is generally between 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Micro influencers have high engagement and will can have incredibly positive results for a business. According to Social Media Today, 61% of Instagram users believe that they can relate with and trust micro influencers because of their authentic content.
Don’t doubt them for a second. They may be the smallest, but their engagement is the highest of the influencers. With less than 1,000 followers, Nano influencers have intimate relationships with their audience. They usually have influence in their community or local neighbourhood. Nano influencers can be used strategically for services or products that are focused within a smaller district.
So, let’s get back to the reason why influencer marketing is SO successful. As we mentioned before, it has much to do with the trust between business and consumer. Through influencer marketing, we can break down walls and establish the brand as ‘trusted and approved’ by a known, followed and RELIABLE personality.
Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing. A simple post by one influencer, promoting a product or brand has the ability to reach thousands. Think about how much we hate ads; especially how much millennials hate ads. This post is seen by followers on their own Instagram home feeds, which is a casual and effective way to appear in a consumer’s daily visuals. An influencer on Instagram comes across as an honest recommendation, like a friend showing you a new product they like.
Businesses are given access to direct, specific and most importantly a LOYAL market through a single influencer post. The possibilities are endless. The amount of successful campaigns that budgeted only for influencers is phenomenal. Start-up businesses, or companies that needed a whole new rebrand have literally built themselves using the power of social media influencers.
Stats and Evolution
They don’t call them influencers for nothing.
Yes, we’ve got the stats and data to prove it all.
Marketers are making the shift from traditional digital campaigns, to focus on influencer marketing because of the positive results that come from these campaigns.
93% of marketers use influencer marketing in their own campaigns and 84% believe that influencer marketing is successful. In fact, businesses who understand influencer marketing can receive an average of $23 ROI for every dollar spent.
With the growth of Instagram, it makes sense that the most popular platform for social media influencers is Instagram. In fact, 65% of consumers revealed that they follow their favourite influencers on Instagram. That’s a huge market to tap into because 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations and 74% of customers say that they are most influenced by others’ referrals in their purchasing decisions.
So, there are two questions you are probably asking right about now:
- This all sounds like a great gig, how the heck can I become an influencer? Or...
- I have a business that needs the help of a social media influencer, what should I do?
Don’t stress, we’re about to answer both.
How to become an Influencer
It all sounds easy as pie, how hard could it be right? What some may not realise is that there is so much more to influencer marketing than we think. Most of it requires strategic planning, understanding and being 100% dedicated.
- Start producing valuable and authentic content
Consumers value honest, reliable, and trustworthy voices in the social media industry. That is why authenticity is KEY when it comes to be a social media influencer. Think about what you want to be sharing on your platform. How can you offer value to your audience? The more you think about this, the easier it will be to produce real content that your followers will relate to and engage with.
- If you can, stick to a niche
The more specific you are in your niche, the stronger your following will grow. If you are an expert in a field, build on that and offer your knowledge on it. You don’t HAVE to find one, however when creating content staying focused on a specific niche may assist with you being successful. When a specific industry comes to mind, consumers will think first on who to turn to in helping their purchase decisions.
- Switch your Instagram to a business account
It’s getting serious!
Switch your Instagram account to a business account. By doing this you will have access to business features and insights. These amazing tools are free and give you great understanding of your impressions, reach and engagement. Not only this, but there is a whole page dedicated to audience. As a business account, you can see who your audience is, where they are from, and the specific days & times they are online on Instagram. All these insights will be crucial for what content you are sharing and when you are posting it.
Here are the steps to switch your personal account to be a business account:
-Go to your profile and click the hamburger menu (the three lines on the top right-hand corner
-Click ‘Switch to Professional Account’
-Follow the prompts, add details and click ‘Done’
- Reach out to brands
Yes, that’s right, reach out to brands! Don’t be scared to DM a brand on Instagram. No brand is going to pay you for a post the minute you switch your account from a personal to a business account. It’s your time to shine and show potential brands the sort of content you can produce. Once you start posting content of other brands, the more exposure you have the more chance you have of a brand seeing it and approaching YOU for the collaboration because you’ve impressed them. Find brands that are within your expertise, and that also align with your values and beliefs because this is an essential part of being truthful with your followers.
Send brands that you would like to team up with a simple, direct message along the lines of:
“Hi there! My name is ___ and I have recently come across your brand. I love your products and have seen such positive reviews! I also admire the brand’s values and would be interested to be part of a collaboration if you are looking for that sort of partnership. If you would like, I’d be more than happy to create a portfolio of images of content creation for your use and to share on my feed, because I’d love to share it with my followers.”
There are three ways this can go.
-The brand never sees your message and you lose nothing,
-The brand replies, “No sorry, we aren’t after collaborations right now” and you lose nothing
-The brand replies “Yes! We love your feed and we can send you our product if you give us a shout out” and you’ve got yourself a gig!
People will say no to you, people will ignore you, but once you get the first few brands that would love to collaborate with you, there’s your shot to have your first experiences and share your talent.
Don’t forget, you are offering a mutual service. If you have a loyal and engaged audience who are following what you are sharing, you have significant control over the types of content people are seeing (your content that could be promoting a brand).
If you aren’t too fond of reaching out yourself, there are plenty of apps that help connect social media influencers to businesses. Have a look at Vamp, Tribe or Scrunch.
- Talk to your audience
Start the conversation with your followers. Ask them what types of content they want to see in your captions and by using your stories. Instagram has given you plenty of features to include on your story like polls, emoji sliders and questions to use, so USE THEM! How we like to see it is – if Instagram has given you a new feature, use it! They haven’t given it to you for no reason.
Reply to your direct messages. If your followers have messaged you, reply to them please! The relationship with them has to stay honest, and without them you can’t be a social media influencer, right?
- Understand that it’s okay to be different
Be honest with yourself and share who you are! Yes, we’ll say it again… The more authentic you are, the more your followers will relate to you. It’s okay to be different and it’s okay to not be everyone’s cup of tea. Your followers are following you for a reason, it might be your niche, or your content, or the personality you share online. Stay true!
How a business can use Influencer Marketing
If you are looking to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or form customer trust & loyalty, then partnering with a social media influencer may just be exactly what your business needs.
With a social media influencer, you are delivering a verified recommendation of a product to your exact target market. With Instagram giving influencers more and more features to promote and collaborate with influencers, you can’t ignore the growth of this social media marketing technique.
- Be strategic in your plan
Ensure you have a strategic influencer marketing strategy ready to go ahead. It’s not as easy as finding an influencer and calling it a day. A planned campaign with achievable goals and expectations is vital.
Think about your specific target market. Who do they follow? Who do they trust? What social media platform are they most active on? What type of content do they want to see? What is the message you want the brand to send out? These are the things to consider when planning a social media influencer campaign.
- Finding the right fit
The hardest part is finding a social media influencer that aligns with your brand’s values and beliefs. Dig deep into your niche and research who are the leaders in the industry.
-Who does my target market follow on social media?
-What types of things does the influencer currently post about?
-Is this influencer’s content similar to what we are looking for?
-Are their followers engaged?
-How do they portray other brands?
-Do I need a micro or macro influencer?
-Who have my competitors partnered with?
These are just a handful of questions to begin the process of finding the right fit for the type of influencer you need to be aligned with.
All good things come with a cost. Make sure you are willing to dedicate generous budget for your influencer marketing campaign. Do the research with your team and understand the prices that influencers will ask for. They’ve worked hard to create their loyal following and your brand will find value from it. Some influencers might be happy with an exchange for their post and your product while others will ask for a hefty fee. Again, this all depends all on their following, engagement and results.
Don’t forget the Nano influencers. Their reach may be small, but they have the highest engagement numbers. If you do not have a large budget for influencer marketing, think about reaching out to these influencers who will happily agree to the exchange of a product for a post.
- Pay attention to metrics
Well let’s see if it all works! Ask for your influencers (especially the ones you have paid) to send through their metrics that measure engagement. It’s crucial to be tracking engagement to see if the campaign is successful. Understand the data and don’t hesitate to ask for updates.
Vamp, Tribe and Scrunch are just three of many apps that can connect businesses to social media influencers. The apps also deliver insights and assess engagement statistics. If the campaign was effective, continue and enhance! If not, there are insights you can analyse and change to help your next social media influencer campaign.
- Keep in touch
Keep in touch with the influencers you have worked with, because you never know when you might need their help next! If their campaign went well, share that feedback with them, they want to know just as much as you do as a business. If something didn’t go quite as planned, let them know too! Be honest in your feedback as both parties can take away something to improve on in the future.
Influencers are exceptionally useful when launching a new product. After you have worked with an influencer, make sure you write their name down. Their followers know your business now and trust the brand, thanks to your partnered social media influencer. Now, when you are in the process of launching a new product, you can reach out to past and present influencers to promote it on their pages. Watch your product GROW!
To wrap up, not looking into influencer marketing would be a waste. Love them or hate them, at this rate it looks like influencers are here to stay! It’s the wave that your competitors are riding so why aren’t you? Whether you need an influencer or would want to be one – this guide will get you on the right track to nail your social media influencer marketing campaign.
If you want to become an influencer:
- If you want to become an influencer, switch your Instagram profile to a business account
- Regularly check the stats and insights to see who your target market is and how you can better serve them
- Be proactive and reach out to brands for collaboration
- Engage with your followers regularly
If you want to use influencer marketing for your business:
- Align yourself with influencers that share the same values and core audience
- Consider the type of influencer that will be right for you based on their follower size and cost to promote your products/services
- Request performance metrics and review these thoroughly to ensure your investment is justified
- Stay in touch with influencers you have worked with in the past, as there may be other opportunities to collaborate
REACH THE RIGHT AUDIENCE
Find your industry niche and learn how to engage them with targeted content which converts.
ALIGN YOUR BRAND VALUES
Use the right influencers that will best promote your product to your target audience.
UNDERSTAND THE METRICS
We can help you make sense of all the facts and figures, just get in touch!
Frequently Asked Questions about influencer marketing
Some of the most common ways to find the ideal influencers for your brand include searching Google (e.g. fitness influencers), researching your target audience and who they follow, asking your customers and contacting a marketing company who can do the research for you.
A good influencer is someone who has gained their following organically over a long period, as opposed to one that has seemingly popped up ‘overnight’. Their posts get lots of genuine engagement and their follower base is real. To gauge this, you can ask an influencer for their website traffic and social media engagement data, and if you’re unsure engage a marketing agency to verify it.
Influencers collaborate with brands to promote their products for a fee, and this fee is based on how likely a return on investment is for the brand.
An influencers has their own personal brand and following, which they leverage off to collaborate with brand to promote their products over a short term campaign. Brand ambassadors are typically paid a retainer to represent a brand over a longer term, and may or may not have already had some level of celebrity status before becoming an ambassador.
Any promotion of a product done by an influencer who is being compensated by a brand must disclose that it’s a paid message. Influencers are also not allowed to make false claims about products that they endorse/promote.
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Social Influencer Guide
Download our guide for all things 'social media influencer' related, and discover: