Social Influencer Marketing works because it's cousin, word-of-mouth marketing works. But, how do you get started? Find someone who has a strong reputation with a large number of people, ask them to endorse your brand, support your content, or co-create content with you. Sound simple? It should be. Read on for the ultimate guide on how to get people to talk about your brand with a Social Influencer Marketing campaign.
With the growth of social media, a new type of marketing has been born: social influencer marketing. Nowadays, a select group of people who have a large social media following, also known as social media influencers, may be essential for brands to connect with consumers.
While in the past brands relied on the press to broadcast their messages, now they need to work with the right influencers to achieve the same goal. But journalists and influencers aren’t alike. Brands need to know how to work with both groups to get the most out of their campaigns. It's also not the same as trying to get a celebrity to endorse your brand message - today, micro-influencers can be much more efficient and powerful.
Misha Shemyakin, Meltwater’s Senior Director of Product Management, held a webinar with Dominic Vicencio, Account Director at Surdell & Partners. In it, they discuss working with social media influencers, how to find the right influencers for your brand, and how successful relationships look.
Here’s what we’ve learned.
Why Influencer Campaigns Matter
The key behind social media influencers is that they are real people with whom consumers and target audiences can connect.
Besides the authenticity of influencers, influencer marketing works for another good reason: the strength of word-of-mouth. That is, it’s easier to trust the recommendations of a friend than a marketer. Ogilvy has found 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.
By connecting with influencers, brands can tap into two large target audiences:
- Millennials, the generation with the most spending power
- Gen-Z, the first generation born with fluency in social media
Both groups are active on plenty social media platforms, particularly on Instagram, where influencer marketing first came about, and where many brands today connect with their audiences, choose to promote content and invest in social media advertising.
While influencer marketing is still relatively new, last year, 86% of marketers admit to using influencer marketing tactics, while 92% found it effective.
Developing an Influencer Marketing Campaign
To start an influencer marketing campaign, the first thing you need to do is define your goals. That can include:
- Entering a new market
- Acquiring new customers
- Increasing brand awareness
- Which platform to focus on - Instagram or other
With these goals in hand, you need to identify the right influencers that can help you reach audiences to achieve these goals and that align with your brand.
Then, you need to negotiate with the influencers. You need to know their follower count, how niche they are, how they engage with their target audience, and other essential metrics. Also, remember to treat an influencer relationship, as you would any business partner (have a contract, detail deliverables, and tie that to a calendar).
After you’ve identified an influencer, you need to provide brand training. They need to know how to talk to their audience about your brand. Give them the message you want to convey, and let them say it their way.
Before finishing, coordinate the rollout. As always, you need to plan every detail before making the campaign live, so the executive quality is top-notch.
Finally, measure your success. Analyze the sales increase, the click-to-purchase ratio, and other metrics tied to your goals. To this end, tools like Meltwater’s Social Media Influencer Platform or Klear's Influencer Marketing Software can help.
How to Avoid Pitfalls
While influencer marketing can be highly effective, there can be some challenges you may run into when implementing a campaign. Here are a few of them you need to be wary about:
Research Your Influencers
As said before, you need to research every influencer before starting a campaign thoroughly. Check every social media account, every post for the past few years, the kind of companies they work with, their voice, and more.
Validate the Followers
There has been a rise of influencers with fake followers or influencers that have stolen someone else’s identity, as reported by The New York Times. For that reason, you need to make sure the followers of your target influencers are real and are your target audience.
Ensure Requirements Are Understood and Respected
You want to make sure deadlines and content is agreed upon by both parties involved. Also, the influencer needs to guarantee to respect key messages and brand guidelines.
Follow FTC Disclosures and Guidelines
Recently, the Federal Trade Commission made it mandatory that influencer marketing messages clarify paid endorsements.
Make sure the influencer respect’s the FTC’s disclosure rules and mentions your relationship when they spread your brand messages.
Since influencer marketing has shown to be effective in a media-saturated landscape, it will continue to play a vital role in the way brands communicate with their audience.
If you’re ready to wade into the reeds and implement a social media influencer marketing campaign, download our guide here.