Influencer marketing has come a long way from being limited to celebrities and maybe a few prominent bloggers. Nowadays, the market is flooded with influencers, so much so that there are even stories about influencer fraud. If you operate in the e-commerce industry or are a dropshipper, then sooner or later, you know you will need to create a strategy on advertising with social media influencers.
Depending on whom you’ve talked to or what you’ve read, you may have heard conflicting stories about the pros and cons of social media advertising with influencers. We here at the Freelancers Hub work with different brands and provide them with dynamic digital solutions that ensure sustainable growth. Being so close to successful e-commerce brands, we’ve seen firsthand the importance of influencer marketing.
People get paid to advertise on social media, and they can help you grow your business. In the following, you will find how to create an influencer marketing strategy and how advertising with social media influencers can help you grow your brand. By the end, we hope that you will be able to navigate through the intricacies of creating an advertising strategy with social media influencers. However, before we tell you how to develop the strategy, let’s talk about what it is!
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media advertising that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated following. These individuals are considered experts within their niche. The entire infrastructure is based on the trust that social media influencers have built up with their followers, and recommendations from them work as social proof for target audiences.
Back in 2014, it was really easy to stand out. People could get featured on Instagram’s feature page if they were distinctive enough. Those people were tagged as an influencer. Those influencers turned social media influencer marketing into a full-time career by partnering up with enough brands. Aesthetically pleasing images heavily influence people, and that’s why you will see social media flooded with them.
You will see images like carefully propped-up food against interesting backgrounds entice you. Like everything on social media, the days of traditional, carefully created influencer images are changing. Experts say that advertising with social media influencers is taking a more ‘authentic’ trend driven by the youngest social media users. Millennial influencers used to take a more professional approach by taking DSLRs and high-end editing, But nowadays, the new-age influencers do everything from their phone.
What appeals to the younger demographic are authentic and casually taken photos that they can relate to daily. So the need for perfectly taken photos isn’t as much in social media influencer marketing as before. The entire influencer marketing sector is evolving and growing. So much so that Adweek expected the sector to reach 10 billion dollars in worth by 2020. The social media influencer landscape is filled with various people from different platforms like Snapchat, YouTube, and TikTok. Each has its own set of influencers attracting different demographics.
In a survey back in 2018, businesses were asked about advertising with social media influencers. 89% of the companies replied ROI on influencer marketing was comparable or better than other networks. In that same survey, 65% of the marketers said that they are likely to increase their marketing budget to include a comprehensive social media influencer marketing strategy.
As you can see, there are more pros than cons to social media influencer marketing. So having a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy can only help you. Now that you know what influencer marketing is, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of creating an advertising strategy with social media influencers!
Steps On Social Media Influencer Advertising Strategy
Like everything with digital marketing, you can’t just choose your influencers and start marketing. There are various aspects to consider, and careful planning and deliberation are needed to develop a strategy that would result in the highest ROI. You will never find success by sending out free stuff without a hard-hitting strategy behind your actions. So how do you create a plan that generates traffic and revenue? Well, check out the following, where we explain what you need to do!
Finding Social Media Influencers & Understanding The Cost Involved
Like with any good strategy, there is always a good amount of research involved. You have to first know which platforms you should focus on first. You can move on to other platforms as you grow in stature, but finding out the first platform to focus on can make or break your brand.
A little bit of social listening can go a long way into you understanding what people are saying about your industry and brand. If you look carefully, you will discover influential voices within your niche. The industry of focus matters big time when creating an advertising strategy with social media influencers. For example, Beauty and fashion brands thrive on Instagram and YouTube while the gaming industry thrives on Twitch.
When researching, make sure you define the type of influencers you are interested in. Understand whether or not you will be targeting celebrities or micro-influencers. Or you may be looking for influencers who have 5–10k. Whom you target will depend on the type of advertising budget you have for influencer marketing.
The compensation varies across the industry as well, with different influencers commanding different fees. You will find many micro-influencers working independently, while an agent or agency may represent others. Micro-influencers don’t cost big bucks in compensation, and many even accept products. In comparison, larger accounts and celebrities will need compensation and mostly goes through a talent agency.
Once you know whom to target, you have to have a well-defined idea about your social influencer marketing campaign’s expected ROI. Find out how you will gauge the impact of the social media influencer posts on your overall marketing goals. One pro tip we can give you is to look at how much it will take to create a video on your own versus having a social media creator creating a video for you.
Understanding an influencer’s value might be hard at first, but this tip will act as a good reference point when you are starting out your advertising campaign with social media influencers. In a study by Influencer.co, it was revealed that the average cost of social media influencer per post was 271 dollars. At the same time, the average cost per post is 83 dollars for micro-influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers.
However, if you are looking at influencers with more than 100,000 followers, then the cost per post will be around 763 dollars. Now, these numbers aren’t set, so make sure you look up influencer rates in your niche. Research is critical, and this step will be the foundation for creating the perfect social media influencer advertising strategy.
Budget & Management Strategy
So now that you have some idea about the cost involved, you can create a budget for your influencer marketing campaign. However, management is a big part of succeeding in influencer marketing. So make sure you allocate some time for planning, executing, and reviewing your influencer program. Remember, a social media influencer campaign isn’t just a set-it-and-go type of campaign.
It takes dedication, follow-up, and careful monitoring to be successful. What you have to understand is that it’s not an automated ad strategy. Social media influencers are humans, and they might be balancing multiple partnerships. So they can fall behind on commitments or miss tags and calls to action that you requested.
You need to dedicate time to cultivate relationships and motivate influencers to get your work done. Don’t worry; it might be a bit rocky at the start, but you will get the hang of it through experience if you can then create brand ambassadors for your company. Companies like FujiFilm have been using ambassadors to launch new products while also supplementing their influencer marketing goals.
Defining The Goals & Message
We all know the main reasons we invest in social media influencer marketing campaigns. It’s to elevate brand awareness and increase sales. However, these are broad targets and goals. If you want your influencer marketing strategy to have the best impact, then you would need to hone in on your targets and better define your goals.
Setting up small achievable goals will help you and your brand ambassador scale up quickly and meet the intended targets. For example, you might not have an extensive customer base for some demographic. Then working with influencers that attract those demographics will yield growth. Influencers can attract very specific audiences, and you can take control of your brand’s development when you carefully take the time to define and set your specific goals.
Another important aspect of influencer marketing has a clear cut perfectly balanced message. You are working with content creators, so you do not want to stifle their creativity and uniqueness while also ensuring that the message they send is in line with your vision. Once you structure your influencer marketing campaign and message, you can come back to it every time when you create a new influencer marketing campaign.
Influencer Outreach Explained
Before that, we told you that you would find yourself coming back to research, and sure enough, once you have the network, goals, and what types of influencers you want to target, you need to dive back into research. Now you have to do some influencer outreach. Work on creating a list of influencers who meet your requirements. So how do you know which influencers to select? Well, here are some of the things you should look for:
- Does the influencer work or create content relating to your niche. If you are a restaurant, you should look for influencers who post food-related content and review restaurants to ensure you target.
- Once you find the right profile of social media influencers, make sure you check their legitimacy. You do that by checking their posts. If you see a low engagement ratio to follower count and spam-like comments, then you should be wary of those accounts as these tend to be fraudulent.
- Check if they had partnered with similar brands to yours before. It all depends on whom you target. But if you are vetting someone who has done other brand partnerships, they would be able to show you their press kit containing a portfolio of their work. Remember to vet the influencers thoroughly, as it is an investment that you are making.
- Use an analytics tool like the Twitter Analytics Tool to identify potential influencers that will fit your campaigns.
So now that you know how to find the social media influencer, the next step is the actual outreach, where you contact the influencers you want to work with. If you are looking at micro-influencers, then you can usually DM them on the same platform.
However, you may need to check out the entire profile for established influencers and check for contact information and business inquiries in their bio. You may even find a website where all the partnerships are listed. So check out the social media profiles well.
One thing to remember is advertising with social media influencers because it may not always result in huge sales numbers. However, the best part of influencer marketing is the brand exposure you get from it. Your brand is exposed to new audiences that will result in future sales. So don’t get disheartened if you don’t see big sales numbers in the first few campaigns.
Reviewing & Refining Your Strategy
Influencer marketing is a continuous effort. The landscape is changing by the second, and while the infrastructure may be the same, the strategy and approach might be very different from month to month. Make sure you analyze and interpret the data from the social media influencer ad campaigns to see which goals were met and what people responded to and where you could make improvements.
Your influencer marketing strategy should be ever-changing in the fact that you need to refine your approach campaign by campaign. One of the easiest ways to ensure you complete the analysis is by having easy-to-track metrics.
Try creating new special hashtags unique to your brand like “#FHSquad” and watch out for mentions of specific keywords that you integrated within the strategy. This will help you track what the influencers are up to. So make sure you talk to your influencer and create tag campaign-related posts that ensure easy data tracking.
Work With The Best
So there you go, that’s how to advertise with social media influencers. The pros and cons of social media advertising are many, but there are mostly pros, so don’t think that you can sleep on it, as shown in the passages above. Advertising with social media influencers is a big part of modern-day digital marketing, and no brand or business should ignore its long-term impact on growth. We here at Freelancers Hub have years of experience in providing dynamic and sustainable social media management services where we ensure every aspect of your brand gets the maximum exposure and is set up for sustainable growth.
So if you are confused about your approach to social media influencer marketing, then please contact us! You can get one 30 minutes free consultation with a social media expert who has worked and grown several brands till now, so hurry! And with that being said, that’s about all we have for you today.
Let us know in the comments below which influencers did you work with till now. Also, hit us up on our socials and tag us on any new developments or trends that you see popping up on social media. We love your feedback, so please keep sending them in. We will come back with something new for you soon. Until then, see ya!