The Oxford Dictionary accepted the term Influencer in 2019, however, this marketing discipline has been part of our lives longer than what we all think.
“Who were the earliest influencers?”
Going back to the 1760s, the Queen and the Pope used to recommend medicine so technically, they were the first influencers in the history of influencer marketing, promoting the use of medicine to people who didn’t know about it yet.
Although this example is far away from today’s concept.
So, what exactly is influencer marketing?
In a simple way, influencer marketing is an upmarket version of worth-of-mouth. Before celebrities, actresses, singers and content creators, we used to mainly take advice from our friends and family.
Nowadays, we would most likely listen to Zoella or any other Lifestyle/Beauty influencer before buying a new shampoo, rather than asking our sister or mum.
The Launch of Social Media
The launch of social media has been key to this change, giving us a megaphone to share our recommendations and receive others from all over the world.
Anyone has the power to open a social account and cultivate a following; hence we are able to receive their recommendations instantly. If you ask any of the pioneers (Bloggers, YouTubers, etc.) they will tell you they started in this business as a hobby, simply sharing their ideas no matter the topic. But nowadays, it has turned into a fast-growing billion-dollar industry.
According to the 2020 Influencer Marketing Hub report, Influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $9.7B in 2020.
With all this in mind, it’s clear that this is a profitable affiliate marketing tool but, “How do I know if it works for my business and where do I start?”
Steps for Scheduling a Influencer Marketing Campaign
1. Identify your main goals
In order to run a successful influencer marketing campaign, you first need to identify your main goal: what do you want to achieve from this campaign?
You may want users to create authentic content about your brand, increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, achieve new positive testimonials, promote an event to increase the attendee and registrant rate… the options are endless but it is key that you have one or two single objectives prior to starting any planning or budgeting. As well as set up KPIs accordingly.
2. Analyse your buyer persona
Secondly, it’s time to think about your buyer persona: all their key features and where you would find them. With this in mind, you’ll be able to pencil specific type of channels (Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat…) and type of influencers (mega, macro, micro)
You may be already thinking: “Mega? Macro? Micro?”
Indeed, this business has evolved a lot, and therefore, we can now categorize influencers according to their level of influence. Mainly measured by number of followers, engagement and content liked. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all.
- Mega- influencers: A-list celebrities on social and in real life. Their following spans over 1M.
- Macro- influencers: professional creators with a strong passion for a particular subject. This tier’s following ranges between 10K and 999K.
- Micro-influencers: real people with a strong relationship with their audience. This tier boasts a following under 10K.
A lot of brands have trouble trying to identify the right influencer for them. They normally get mislead by their number of followers. Having loads of followers is not normally a sign of success.
Micro-influencers have at times helped brands more than bigger influencers and that is because of their engagement rates.
In fact, according to Chris Gonzalez, CEO for Gnack’s, the microinfluencer app, micro influencers get an average of two-to-five times more organic engagement per Instagram post, compared to those with more than 100,000 followers.
3. Liaise with your preferred influencers
The next step would be to get in contact with these influencers and there are three ways of doing this:
- Liaise with them straight away via DM or email
- Work with a specialised agency
- Familiarise yourself with tools like BuzzSumo, LinkedIn or Ninja outreach.
Once you have defined channels and preferred influencers, it is time to make this work with your budgetary restrictions.
It’s a tough challenge for some brands! Influencers are more motivated to work with a brand when they offer additional perks rather than just financial rewards.
4. Monitoring results
Finally, and most importantly, you should regularly check on whether the campaign has helped you meet your desired goals or not.
The best way to measure your results is by looking at the KPIs you set in the first point when defining your goals. It could be as simple as a google sheet where you can keep track of all the metrics you set.
By doing that, you may also learn a few extra things about running influencer marketing campaigns and what to do next to improve them even more.