The internet plays a great role in connecting people in this day and age, making it an integral part of our daily lives. As such, envisioning our lives without it would be very challenging.
The reach of the world wide web is so widespread, that it has also been established to be a valuable means to promote e-commerce, and more notably product marketing. There are a variety of marketing strategies that one can adopt to promote their, but the focus of this article is Influencer Marketing particularly.
Influencer Marketing is a form of celebrity marketing, but instead of a celebrity, the right term for the ones who help promote the product would be ‘influencers’. They are people who have a great social media presence and can influence the decisions of their followers.
Influencer Marketing employs these figures to help their product reach a larger number of people. This tactic is truly efficacious because social media platforms have become an integral part of our lives nowadays. As such what we see on social media channels, we attempt to emulate in our lives. So, collaborating with an influencer maximizes the reach of the product, which is advantageous for the product and brand awareness as well.
Moreover, Brands reaching out to multiple influencers can benefit from the wide demographic that each influencer connects with. As influencers have a diverse and more relatable social media presence than most celebrities, their monetary compensation also differs, proving to be a more fortunate deal for brands and companies.
For instance, if a company desires to boost sustainable sports or workout apparel, they can approach influencers who can not only create health and exercise-related content but also those who concentrate on sustainable style, fashion, and clothing. That’ll help the brand reach a wider audience base while it’s also cost-effective.
Influencers & their types
An influencer is simply somebody who can influence others and create some impact. In influencer marketing, that influential individual collaborates with a brand to promote and advertise the brand’s products and services.
Celebrity endorsements were the original form of influencer marketing but now in today’s digital world, social media content creators with niche audiences can often offer more value to brands. These people have dedicated and engaged groups of followers on social media channels.
So, a social media influencer is someone who wields their influence through social media channels. When you hire an influencer to promote your products or services, that’s influencer marketing.
Types of social media influencers
Nano-influencers – 10,000 followers or fewer
Micro-influencers – 10,000 to 100,000 followers
Macro-influencers – 100,000 to 1 million followers
Mega-influencers – 1 million+ followers
How GenZ Influencers Can Promote Your Brand?
The term GenZ widely refers to the part of the population born between the mid-90s to mid-2000s, making them fall in the age gap of roughly 7 to 25 years. Understanding the age range of this generation is crucial since it not only dominates the younger population but the GenZ also makes up for a large part of the major demographic targeted by most brands and companies. Additionally, this generation is also the one that is most familiar with the new age of social media, making them proficient in creating marketing strategies using the same.
With the growing influence of this generation over social media platforms, the trends in marketing have also seen a major shift. This is to say that GenZ instead of carrying forward with traditional marketing strategies, prefers to subscribe to newer ones.
Instead of blindly following celebrities or advertisements, they are more likely to trust their circles and age groups. Research has found that only 42% of the Gen Z population trusts companies. As such, the first step to win this generation over is to win their trust. This is where the growing number of Gen Z influencers comes into focus.
The Gen Z population has grown up with apps like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram, so they are more at home with digital marketing tactics. While influencers and content creators falling within this age bracket might not be considered very famous, their online presence can drastically affect and influence the decisions of their followers.
Moreover, influencers are more likely to deeply connect with their followers than other celebrities, thereby adding to their benefit a personal touch.
Since Gen Z has largely grown up during a recession, they are more practical when it comes to buying products. This means that companies are compelled to promote more functional products, instead of focusing on the aesthetic. Moreover, a Gen Z influencer is more likely to understand how the product can be made more appealing in the eyes of their followers belonging to the same generation.
With Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts growing in popularity, influencers generally approach these media for promotions. Keep in mind that YouTube and Instagram algorithms work on searches conducted by the user. So if the product caters to the tastes of the users, based on their search history, a company’s promotional gimmick would reach them, irrespective of whether they follow the influencer or not.
How to Leverage Influencer Marketing?
There is no doubt that influencer marketing is widely prevalent nowadays. An increasing number of companies and brands are incorporating Influencer Marketing into their strategies, only bearing them good results. But with more people taking to influencer marketing, it is time to up your marketing game. It is necessary to leverage influencer marketing to increase your ROI. There are many ways to do this, let us take a look at some of them.
#️⃣ Go for Long-Term Partnerships with Influencers
If an influencer keeps promoting your brand for a long time, it is a sign of a great bond. People would be more willing to trust your brand because someone has been with it for so long. Moreover, long-term partnerships allow influencers to understand your product better. This, in turn, helps them come up with better content for marketing. Long-term partnerships also improve your relationship with the Influencer and their audience, which would work in favor of your brand.
#️⃣ Support a Cause
Instead of just marketing a product, tie your product to a cause. Your influencer might have limited reach, but when you present a cause to support, you would be able to bring more people into the foray. For example, it is a well-known fact that the stereotypes attached to the STEM field have discouraged women from entering it. But Microsoft started a campaign called #MakeWhatsNext where it encouraged young girls to pursue a career in that field. Another major example would be the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. It showed the power that social media influencers held when they were supporting a good cause. Many people came forward and joined the movement, which helped the ALS associations raise great amounts to help people with the disease.
#️⃣ Include the Influencer in the Making Process
If you could get an influencer from the initial stages of the product development, it could greatly work to your advantage. The influencer could give you crucial tips as to what to include and exclude from the product. Since the influencer would have been involved with the product from the very beginning, the followers would be more open to accepting the product and checking it out.
#️⃣ Don’t Look for Numbers
Don’t think that you should only look for influencers who have a great number of followers. Even an influencer with a decent number of followers could help your product. This is because an influencer who has fewer followers would be able to communicate better. This creates a personal bond between the audience and the influencer, in turn leading to the development of a more loyal group of followers. They would be more likely to check out a product recommended by their favorite influencer.
#️⃣ Contests and Giveaways
Another emerging trend in the world of influencer marketing is organizing contests and giveaways. Influencers organize contests, and based on the results, they give away your products, which greatly increases the demand for them.
How to Find Influencers for Your Brand?
It is crucial to understand that there is no fit-for-all strategy when it comes to influencer marketing. One influencer may work great for a brand, but that does not mean that the same influencer would work for your brand. You have to put effort into finding an influencer that suits your brand. For that, it is more important to analyze your product and your audience. Let us break down the steps to finding the best influencer for your brand.
#️⃣ Understand Your Product
Before you go around looking for an influencer, you need to understand your product first. Only after you have analyzed your product can you choose the best influencer. Remember, that no influencer would be willing to deceive their followers, so they want an authentic product to promote. You need to pitch your product properly if you want an influencer to partner with you.
#️⃣ Understanding Your Audience
The next step would be to understand your audience. Market trends keep changing daily, and it is important to factor in those as well. If you cannot understand your audience, you would never be able to understand which marketing approach to choose, which would further hinder your capacity to choose the right influencer for your brand.
After you have followed these steps, only then would you be able to choose a good influencer for your brand. Here are some of the things to be considered when you are looking for an influencer.
You need to understand the niche with which an influencer deals. It would be futile to approach a health influencer to promote a snack product. Look at their previous works, and see their niche. The niche of the influencer would also affect the kind of audience you would be getting.
You have to consider the number of followers as well. While a large number does not guarantee success, you need an Influencer who has a decent number. This is because the followers of the influencer would constitute your audience as well. Keep in mind that influencers who have a limited number of followers would share a more personal bond, which could work wonders for your brand.
Check the kind of content that the influencer delivers to the audience. If the posts and content are not innovative, they would not have that great appeal. Gen Z shoppers look for innovation, even in marketing tactics, so your influencer should cater to that. Most influencers nowadays use Instagram Reels, but to stand out, the content needs to be unique.
#️⃣ Personal Preference
See what appeals to the influencers themselves. If an influencer likes your product even before the partnership, they would be able to bring that genuinity to their content. People tend to be more efficient when they are talking about or promoting something that they truly believe in.
How to create an influencer marketing strategy
#️⃣ Determine your brand’s marketing goals
The main goal is to reach a new set of target audiences. An influencer marketing campaign can help reach new audiences as they have a distinct chunk of committed followers that can eventually extend your reach of audience.
Your simple goal should be to get new customers, and create brand awareness between new and existing customers, but not necessarily to get a sale out of it. Driving sales is a part of your marketing strategy but it’s a later step in your influencer marketing campaign.
#️⃣ To identify who you want to influence
An effective influencer marketing strategy includes the right people, the right tools, and the right influencers. It is very important to find the right audience to get success out of your influencer marketing campaigns.
Once you have your target audience ready, now it’s time to identify the right set of influencers. This will help you to understand the qualities a brand is looking for.
#️⃣ R of Influencing
Influence consists of 3 R’s – Relevance, Reach, and Resonance.
Relevance is the key stay connected with your target market. A relevant influencer posts content relevant to your brand, industry & market. They should have followers or audiences who align with your target audience
Reach is essential for a brand’s online marketing strategies. It is the number of people your brand can influence and they are your potential customers. You get the reach of the influencer’s follower base. Make sure the number of following is enough to get your goals achieved
Resonance is the conceivable level of engagement the influencer can create with the audience relevant to your brand. A huge number of followers can be meaningless if they are not interested in your brand or product.
#️⃣ Get the influencers
The key to collaborating with someone is trust. Your target audience must trust and respect the influencer’s opinions about your brand.
Now how to find that your potential influencer is a trusted influencer? The answer is engagement. You’ll get to see plenty of views on their videos or a good number of likes & comments on their posts.
A good engagement rate means loyal followers. Find an influencer whose content compliments your brand image.
#️⃣ Do research
Research and take a look at the posts of your potential influencers. How often do they post content? What kind of content is being posted? How often do they post sponsored or partnered content? What level of engagement do they receive?
Make sure what are their active channels and who are their audiences.
#️⃣ Reach your influencers
Try interacting with your potential influencers organically – by engaging with them on social media channels. Like their content, comment on their posts, show appreciation but don’t be pretentious and sales.
When you have your decision-ready, a DM would be a great idea to reach out and discuss the collaboration. Provide them information about your brand, competition, market. Explain to them what is your goal and what have to accomplish by this activity.
Make it clear for th influencers & let them understand how this deal can benefit them. And lastly, call them creators rather than influencers, this would be a way to appreciate their content.
#️⃣ Collaborate to develop efficient content
Trust them & let them showcase their skills in their content. Provide them the required guidelines, about what you are looking for in return.
A social media influencer puts a lot of effort into getting their content engagement and building a loyal following.
#️⃣ Measure results
You can see some sheer number as the influencer has a lot of followers. But to measure the efficacy of an influencer marketing campaign, you have to understand its value and significance in terms of return on investment.
UTM parameters are a good way to track traffic and measure the engagement of your campaign. Assign unique links to different influencers to get a clear picture of which one is performing well and which is not and calculate the impact of your campaign.
Influencer Marketing is truly the future of marketing. This marketing tactic would be greatly useful for small businesses because the expenses borne are comparatively less than what goes into celebrity marketing. Moreover, influencers do not have packed schedules like celebrities do, so they don’t make you wait for ages before you can get an appointment with them. Influencers are more easily accessible, so you can get someone for your brand promotion even at a short notice.
Moreover, with the pandemic hitting our lives unexpectedly, a lot has changed. With social distancing and mask protocols to follow, people are reducing their outdoor visits as much as possible. Physical shopping has taken a backseat, and a larger number of people are indulging in online shopping. This is the perfect time for you to develop an Influencer Marketing tactic for your brand.
Since people cannot physically check their products, they are relying on information provided to them by online means. If a trusted influencer promotes your product, people would be more willing to trust and check out your product. All in all, influencer marketing is here to stay, so it is better to understand the basics of the trend. There is no fixed recipe for success, so you have to come up with strategies according to the market trends. See for yourself what works for your brand, and what doesn’t. Invest in a proper influencer marketing tactic, and witness the growth in your business for yourself!Tags: Brands influence, Influencer marketing, Influencers, Influencers 2022, online collaborations, Partnership