Influencer marketing is the new trend in brand communication and marketing strategy. It is a true complement to an organic and paid social media strategy. It is the most creative form of communication and can reach an audience much faster and more easily than traditional advertising.
What is influencer marketing? And how do you build an effective influencer strategy? Here’s everything you need to know about influencer marketing when you’re a brand.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is about promoting your product or brand with the help of opinion leaders. These opinion leaders have influence on a certain community, their subscriber community for example, or the community of a particular niche.
With the rise of social networks, “influencers” as they are called, have developed on platforms like Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, but also Twitter. They create content on a specific niche (fashion, travel, sport, lifestyle, parenting…) and consequently become an authority in their field, giving them a certain power to persuade their community to consume.
While most influencers are B2C influencers, i.e. they communicate directly to a target audience of consumers who follow them, many B2B influencers have developed on more professional social networks, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, and are thus recognised as experts in a certain professional field. Thus, both B2C and B2B brands take advantage of the influence of these personalities to create tailor-made communication campaigns to promote their services or products to an already targeted consumer audience.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
The advantages of influencer marketing are numerous:
- Cost is the first advantage, since influencer marketing allows for global communication campaigns with many influencers, and therefore reach a very large audience, without spending as much as in traditional media advertising
- The proximity that some influencers have with their community is a second benefit, since subscribers trust the influencer, and are therefore more receptive and likely to buy from a publication sponsored by a brand that the influencer recommends.
- Finally, there are so many influencers, of all sizes of communities, in all fields, all countries, and on so many platforms, that content creation is endless and can be very creative, and thus create buzz more easily if the campaign stands out
Instagram, Tik Tok: on which platforms to make influence?
Influencer marketing has developed particularly on social networks, and therefore on all platforms known as: Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and LinkedIn.
However, not all of them are equally effective for influencer marketing campaigns, and Instagram stands out as the platform to strategies on.
Due to its global use by billions of people, and its impact on society, Instagram is a platform where an influencer marketing campaign carries a lot of weight and can quickly go viral. Content creation on Instagram is extensive and can take many forms, with the possibility of sponsored posts, sponsored stories, IGTV, or even lives or takeovers of brand accounts (when the influencer takes control of a brand’s Instagram account for a limited time).
To date, it is estimated that more than 5 million brand-sponsored posts have been published on Instagram, and that the Instagram marketing budget for brands will reach $8 million by 2020 (source: Statista).
However, other platforms are gaining traction and becoming interesting for a brand’s marketing strategy.
Tik Tok is positioning itself as Instagram’s biggest competitor, with more than 2 billion downloads, a very strong impact among the under 25s, and new features such as a buy button created especially for brands.
Many large groups such as LEVI’S, Capri-Sun and WHO are investing in the video creation platform to communicate with the younger generation about their new products or services.
Finally, for B2B brands and services, networks like Twitter and LinkedIn remain the most interesting solutions to communicate, and both platforms continue to gain power in their field and develop new features (Live Streaming and invitation to follow pages on LinkedIn, polls and native videos on Twitter…) to enable brands to communicate with more impact than ever.
Tools to use for influencer marketing
Once interesting influencer platforms have been identified, the challenge for brands is to find the influencers to collaborate with.
Many large tools such as HypeAuditor, Reech, or Kolsquare allow brands and agencies to find influencers that match their campaign objectives, reach them, and create influencer campaigns. The monthly or yearly budgets for using these tools are, however, substantial, and not suitable for all portfolios.
A more accessible influencer marketing tool stands out Valiu.me, which allows anyone to search and analyse Instagram profiles. In particular, the tool uses Machine Learning to present Influencer account statistics in an orderly and clear manner, to best assist brands in their Influencer selection process. A collection feature also allows users to create benchmarks of Instagram accounts or lists of influencers according to their categories, and to manage influencer campaigns from A to Z.
The main challenge of these tools is to help brands save time in their search for influencers, which can be laborious on Instagram itself or Tik Tok, and in their influencer selection process.
What KPIs should I look at when choosing influencers?
In influencer marketing, engagement rate is an important KPI that frequently comes up in influencer selection criteria.
On Instagram (and on other platforms as well), this percentage is simply a calculation between the number of community actions (likes and comments) on the number of followers of the influencer, to measure the interactivity of his community.
For example, an engagement rate of 4% on Instagram means that the influencer’s community sees and reacts quite a lot to his posts, while on Facebook, the engagement rate is interesting if it is higher than 2%. Thus, the engagement rate of influencers varies according to the platforms, but also of course according to their number of followers, the larger the latter, the smaller the engagement rate tends to be.
In addition to the engagement rate, the number of subscribers, the quality of the content, and the number of sponsored contents is also criteria to take into account to evaluate the quality of an influencer’s account.
You now have all the keys to creating an effective influencer marketing strategy. Browse Instagram or other social networks to find the future ambassadors for your marketing campaigns!
Would you like to get more information about influencer marketing and campaigns? Contact our experienced team today.