Today's most effective marketing is not about selling stuff but about selling a story. An engaging story told by an influencer is a seed growing in the minds of millions of people who follow this person on social media. We love stories because they are truthful, and we listen to influencers because they share opinions and practices proven by their real-life experience.
Influencer marketing is the art of building connections with people who tell stories that resonate with a target audience. If you're seeking to draw your target audience's attention, look no further. All you need is only to find people who already have their ear and try to set fruitful collaboration with them.
Influencer marketing is a kind of collaboration between brands and thought leaders. It is also a marketing strategy that implies leveraging the reach of an influential person who has already built a dedicated social media following and a strong personal brand reputation in a specific industry and can help you promote your brand by introducing a product or service to a target audience.
The history of original influencer marketing rooted in the early 20th century when several companies in the market started to promote their offering through influential personas to drive the purchasing decisions at the emotional level. You might be surprised, but Santa Claus was one of the most powerful influencers in the culture of western countries at that time. Later, the world also saw influencer marketing in the form of celebrity endorsements in TV shows or movies.
In today's world driven by digital transformation, social media influencers, who have become popular in a particular niche, can offer companies even more value than powerful yet old-fashioned TV-advertising.
Are social media influencers merely hype? Does influencer marketing really work? Most digital marketers say it does. According to Mediakix, over the past five years, influencer marketing has grown from a useful marketing tactic into a $5-10 billion dollar industry. It is one of the most actionable kinds of marketing fueling brand awareness and multiplying sales.
Influencer marketing is known for its incredible power of audience engagement. These impressive influencer marketing statistics can prove it.
As we can see, the vast majority of digital marketers think that influencer marketing is worthy of investing your effort and budget in 2020. However, you need to have a viable influencer marketing strategy in place to increase brand exposure, connect with your target audience, and build authority in the digital world. Setting up a successful influencer marketing campaign might be a time-consuming and challenging task if you don't know some handy social media marketing hints and tricks.
To help you get over that hump and empower your brand, we've prepared an ultimate influencer marketing guide. Get ready to dive into the best practices, how-tos, and tools to measure social media impact.
At least half of our everyday life is going online. Can you imagine that there are 500,000 monthly active users on Instagram solely, not to mention other social media platforms? Social media, mixed with actionable influencer marketing practices, can bring your brand to the next level of popularity and success. But, how to find the right person to promote your company on social media?
Scrunch defines micro-influencers as people who usually have between 1,000 to 5,000 dedicated followers and are considered as experts in their niche. When dealing with a micro-influencer, first of all, you should make sure that this is not a fake account and that followers are real humans, not randomly generated bots. There is no particular secret to prove this, you need only to view several follower profiles to see at a glance if they are real people.
The collaboration with micro-influencers is considered to be highly effective because they are always the best-informed about the latest trends in their niches and lead a very engaged community of people who trust them and rely on their content. People follow social accounts of micro-influencers to share their everyday passion for a specific topic.
If you estimate and measure social media effectiveness of influencer marketing for your brand, you will see that micro-influencers can outnumber the results of macro-influencers despite having fewer social media following and popularity. Nearly 30% of North American retailers work with micro-influencers.
The follower count of an average micro-influencer is somewhere between the micro- and the mega-influencer's one, but there are no specific rules to define it exactly. According to Scrunch, macro-influencers are people with the audience ranging from 50,000 to around 300,000 active followers. If your brand is seeking to target a quite specific audience but still wants to reach the masses at the same time, then the collaboration with macro-influencers might appear to be more effective.
These are easily recognizable and very famous people. Usually, they are A-list celebrities on social media and in real life with the following that spans more than 1M people. If you're a world-known company with a huge budget you have to spend on brand awareness, the collaboration with mega-influencers is what you need. However, if you are a middle-sized business, then it might be ineffective for you since a large audience doesn't always mean high engagement rates.
There are three most prominent peculiarities of the collaboration with mega-influencers: very expensive sponsorship, the reach of a massive but too generic audience, and less trustworthy content. The last point might be explained by the fact that social media profiles of celebrities aren't commonly run by themselves but by their managers. Consequently, there is a high likelihood that they don't reflect the real mega-influencer's preferences. Plus, they usually have a higher percentage of sponsored posts.
If you measure social media activity on the mega-influencer's profiles you will be impressed by the rates of engagement. But you should keep in mind that this audience can be too generic for your brand.
While most of the companies haven't yet discovered the power of micro-influencer marketing, some industry disruptors have already started collaborating with a new category of thought leaders — nano-influencers. It is one of the latest trends in influencer marketing that implies cooperating with Instagram users with 1,000-5,000 followers. Sometimes, the word of a small influencer might be more impactful than the one of a mega-influencer.
You may wonder why? Because they have closer relationships with their audience and can even set the one-on-one communication that feels more engaging and intimate. Nano-influencers know their most loyal followers, interact with people in comments under their posts, and love to communicate with their audience.
People tend to trust small influencers. Consequently, such strong connections lead to higher engagement rates. Big brands like Remington, Always, and Gillette Venus have already tried out nano-influencer marketing with target audiences in small countries (such as Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia) and received great results there.
Before you start influencer marketing, make sure you know who you need to reach. It's recommended to create an audience persona — an image of your ideal follower who can be converted into a potential customer. The principles of creating an audience persona are the same as those for a customer persona. Try to figure out the interests, preferences, goals, values, behavior patterns, and demographics of your target follower. Then, match it with your influencer persona.
Investigating an influencer persona, you will get many useful insights about a person you are looking for. You will also have a clearer understanding of how a social media profile of such a person should look like. It will help you restrict your search to only the most relevant results. Research whether your and the influencer's target audiences overlap. If they do — it's the right person to collaborate with.
To find an influencer with a large following is important, but it's also crucial to check if the content on his/her social media profile matches your brand's ethos. Pay attention to the voice of content, the mood of images, and a general culture or lifestyle promoted on this social account. Make sure that they align with the spirit of your brand.
Both the brand and the influencer must talk in the same language to their target audiences. They must share similar values and goals. If they fit each other like pieces in a puzzle then, congratulations, you have found your perfect influencer who will likely bring more engagement and popularity to your brand!
YouScan is one of the top social media measurement tools that can help you conduct more effective influencer marketing. It allows you to monitor all online discussions about your brand, competitors, and industry influencers, happening everywhere on the web — from social networks and forums to blogs, review websites, and other online media.
YouScan helps brands keep abreast of trends that evoke the biggest engagement among their customers and build a marketing strategy upon it. It also has an extensive suite of social networking measurement and monitoring features that allow defining the most trending topics and finding niche influencers. Let's consider a few of them.
By clicking on the Authors section at the left panel, you can access a dashboard that displays the top influencers that are already familiar with your brand and have mentioned it in their posts. The top authors are categorized by the number of your brand mentions, by the power of their influence (the number of followers), and by the audience engagement rate.
It allows you to easily find people who fit your request. For example, in the category “Top authors by mentions,” you can find people who have written about your brand the most often. If they mention your company in a neutral or positive context (you can check the tone of a mention in the sentiment section locating in the last column on a screen), it usually means that they are very loyal to your brand and there is a high likelihood that they would like to collaborate with you.
In the section "Top authors by influence," you can filter the influencers' profiles by the number of followers. It also helps you see at a glance with which kind of influencer you're dealing — nano-, micro-, macro-, or mega-influencer.
The category "Top authors by engagement" displays influencers whose audience interacts with the posts, mentioning your brand, the most actively. So, if an influencer has a huge number of followers, and his/her audience has already interacted with your brand successfully, there is a big sense to invest more in collaboration with this person.
If you have created a customer persona, you already have a good understanding of people you're targeting. It also means that you have an influencer persona — a list of features and parameters of your ideal influencer. In YouScan, you can apply all of them to find exactly who you're looking for. This tool has a comprehensive system of filters that enables you to find the top authors by location (country, region, city), sources (social networks or other online media), types of content (video, articles, photos), trends, and more.
If you already have a particular idea of your sponsored post and you're looking for an influencer that can promote your product in a specific context (for example, in the extreme sports or vacancy), you can filter top influencers by the subject of their mentions. It helps you also limit your search to the most relevant influencers whose content aligns with the topic of your product.
If you want to promote your product's particular feature or peculiarity, you can go to the “Aspects” section and apply filters that will help you find influencers that have mentioned a specific aspect of your product (for example, the price, usability, or design) in a positive manner (you can apply the sentiment filter).
YouScan's amazing opportunities aren't limited by the above-mentioned features. It provides invaluable insights that can help you boost a brand in different aspects of digital marketing, investigate your customers, create better products, and build connections with influencers and online media.
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective audience engagement practices available for businesses today. It is a kind of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers. Here our team has tried to uncover the power of proven practices and the best social media measurement tools that can help you conduct successful influencer marketing on social media.
Would you like to experience premium access to invaluable insights about customers, key influential figures in your niche, market trends, and competitors? Try YouScan's 7-day free demo to get all this information available in one place and make better-informed marketing decisions.