How Can a Small Business Use Influencer Marketing?
Riding The Media Waves By Friending The Wave-Makers
The ever-changing pace of the marketing wheel often feels like keeping a grasp on it is almost impossible. We are all well aware, though, that a company who does not engage in well-established marketing campaigns will become obsolete. Keeping up with the pulse of your customer base is crucial to a business’s success. Some version of that previous sentence can be found in almost any article or blog you’ll read about marketing out there, so it’s safe to assume you already know this. What you may not be aware of, though, is that while it feels like the rules are always changing, the new “trends” are really just subtext. You heard it here first; all “new” media marketing is based on the time tested pillar mantras of advertising. While it’s true that technology is taking the world business stage on a wild ride of loops and turns, the platform that grounds it remains the same.
Most importantly, remember who your audience is. They’re people. Not googlebots or automatons. And when someone whose word they believe uses a product or service and is singing its praises, that trust will funnel directly into sales. “Influencer Marketing” uses this exact principle. What it is, who needs it, and how to go about it will get answered here today so that you can apply it to your business’ agenda.
It’s All About the Conversation.
To better understand what Influencer Marketing is, lets first discuss what it is not. It is not acquiring celebrities to act as spokespeople hawking a brand. Your audience has gotten far too savvy for any ungrounded claims or tactics. They’re looking for the real deal, so handing off a script is never going to fly. Honest dialogue, creating relationships through conversations is what Influencer Marketing is at its core.
Where Your Influencers Are And How To Find Them
2018 was a roller coaster year for social media platforms. The Facebook monolith broke worldwide trust with privacy concerns. Snapchat ran out of coal and then steam, and Twitter spent most of the year jettisoning fake accounts. Even with all that mayhem, Influencer Marketing doubled in just this past year alone. Where did those numbers mostly show up? On social media darling–Instagram. Emerging as the cool place to see and be seen, celebrities and influencers were the driving force behind Instagrams highest connectivity ratings to date.
Why is Instagram is so well-liked (pun intended!) by the masses as a forum for entertainment and consumerism?
The answer is also the reason influencers have emerged as the trendsetters and trailblazers they’ve become; everyone enjoys a personal conversation. When daily lives are played out directly from those living the adventure, the associative feel between viewers and displayers form that feeling of connection, as brought out by social influencer management company Traackr or Jerry Media. They’re going through similar experiences and share them. Fans of an account have joined a community. Now, if you have a product or service that could be useful to this individualized community, it’s your perfect demographic reachable with some well-placed posts and videos.
But, understand that just as Influencers grew their following over time, a bond of trust for your brand is not created instantly. The return on investment (ROI) profit margins for Influencer Marketing have unique potential, but if it’s working correctly, it’s not working overnight. Patience and consistency are paramount.
Stop, Look, And Listen
After you’ve defined your audience and their prime purchasing times and habits, you then need to determine who would have the most impact on their spending dollars. Find those who deliver content most pertaining to your brand or service. Or those who deliver content that will work in conjunction with your brand or service to lift it. Remember that a more significant number of followers should not override the value of the right followers. Being as specific as possible in your search will ensure the best choice. For example, if you sell thermal wear for children, search for an influencer who lives in a cold climate, not just one who has a large mom following.
Now it’s time to tap in and see what everyone is discussing.
What are your target influencers sharing and saying?
Can you see your brand as part of their conversation? And, what is the audience up to? What’s driving them to open up and share?
Once you’ve whittled it down, you should then join in. Follow and share. Open up to the new relationship with your influencer. Show them your knowledge of their accomplishments. Build upon your shared interests, and don’t pitch right off the bat. Giving an influencer something exclusive they can offer their fans is a great idea, but only after they feel like they know what you’re about. The cold pitch will never work in this arena. Save it for the boardroom. When you’ve piqued interest and shared info on your brand, you can then start to map and determine your results. Keep at it, keep track of your effectiveness and then tinker with it all as you go along.
Influencer Marketing in 5 Easy Steps
#1. Define your target audience members
#2. Search and discover your best-matched Influencer
#3. Monitor the scene and watch for openings
#4. Connect. Follow, share, link and like.
#5. Measure your circle of influence
Dollars and Sense
Ok. So we’ve established that the buzz is on the rise for influencer marketing. We’re constructing a plan of attack. Now for the big question – How much can you expect to shell out to an influencer?
That’s kind of like asking ”how much is a bed?” It really depends on what your needs are, and what your budget is. Cost is based on numbers of followers and views, but every influencer charges what they feel they are worth. Because it varies, payment is relative to individual interpretation and conscious consumer investigation. General guidelines do exist, however.
On Instagram, brands can be charged anywhere $75 to $3,000 or more per post.
According to DigitalMarketing.org, the average cost for a middle-level influencer (10,000 + followers) is $271 per Instagram post. A micro-influencer (less than 1,000 followers) is charging an average of $83 for advertising. $3,000 per post would reach over 500,000 viewers. A mid-level influencer platform is where most brands should aim their campaign, and where it is easiest to determine effectiveness
YouTube videos are another, more complex platform to display a brand to a target audience.
The cost of marketing for a YouTube social influencer is usually more expensive than on other social media platforms. On average brands pay around $2,000 per 100,000 followers. Mid-range YouTube subscriber numbers command $500 to $1,000 per sponsored video. Blog marketing is another platform of influencer status. Posts for midrange blog impressions cost $250 to $500.
With the proper steps in place, this new take on word of mouth advertising will reap unprecedented success. Make media work for you! Slow and steady wins this race, but with a 2015 Burst Media study showing an almost 7-to-1 ROI, Influencer Marketing is a race you’ll win, and win big!
If you’re interested in more information on how an influencer could help your business, contact us today to meet our team of social media gurus!