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Digital Marketing 9 min read
Written by Sarah Harris
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed
Expert reviewed by Carolyn Noel
Communications Coordinator @ Galactic Fed
Published 22 Jun 2022
As of 2021, the value of influencer advertising in the United States exceeded $13 billion. It takes a lot of buy-in to reach that number. In fact, you can find companies of all sizes and in nearly every industry leveraging influencer marketing. The chances are that includes some of your customers.
Isn’t it time for you to catch up?
In this guide, we’ll provide a detailed explanation of influencer marketing. Then we’ll go over the most important elements that any influencer advertising strategy should contain.
Marketing experts often have a narrow view of influencer marketing that causes them to assume that this approach isn’t for them. These misconceptions are often focused on two common myths.
When marketing gurus talk about influencer advertising, they tend to focus on B2C only. And that conversation almost always centers around fitness, music, fashion, or high tech. If you’re an insurance agent, retirement planner, or construction company owner, you might assume that influencer advertising just isn’t for you.
Influencer marketing can absolutely work for any industry. Remember that most people rely on social media to research purchases and brands. That’s not limited to industries that are fun or “sexy” — 84% of C-suite decision-makers rely on social media to make purchasing decisions.
Overall, 49% of customers are impacted by influencer recommendations. That number indicates that influencer marketing is reaching past fitness, fashion, and entertainment.
Use the term “influencer,” and many people will assume that you mean “celebrity.” With that narrow view, it’s no wonder many CMOs dismiss influencer marketing as something that is out of their budget or reach.
Yes, the biggest brands can use celebrities to grab the attention of their audience and inspire them to buy their products. But the truth is that there are many different types of influencers with varying areas of expertise, numbers of followers, and engagement percentages.
For example, a small insurance agency may not be able to hire a celebrity. However, they could partner with a local blogger who writes a column on personal finance and is qualified to provide advice on life insurance.
You must know exactly what you want to accomplish with your influencer campaign. Otherwise, you have no way to measure your outcomes or determine whether you’re achieving an acceptable ROI.
The most common influencer advertising goals include:
You can create your own objectives, but you will likely find that these goals provide an excellent starting point for your first campaigns.
Trust and credibility are the foundation of good influencer campaigns. Now, what makes an influencer credible and trustworthy? The answer to that question can vary greatly depending on your audience. We researched and found some interesting information:
That last point is something to keep in mind as you decide which influencers to approach. You want to work with someone who has a proven track record. However, they may lose credibility if audiences perceive they are willing to sell their endorsement to any brand.
This is where a bit of market research can help. Learn who your target audience is following on social media, who they rely on for expert advice, and where the best sources of information about products and services are.
Influencer outreach is the effort you make to connect with the influencer you have chosen and convince them to partner with you in your next marketing campaign. This process is often more complex than people realize.
One challenge that you will face is convincing the influencer that they will benefit from their relationship with you as well. Obviously, financial compensation is a key benefit, but there are other ways in which brands can build relationships with influencers.
Why should I work with you? That’s a question that most influencers are going to ask. But it isn’t a matter of snobbery.
Instead, most influencers know that their credibility is impacted by relevance. They don’t want to take on influencer gigs that don’t align with their expertise, values, and established audience. You should be able to articulate why you believe this influencer partnership makes sense to both of you.
Building a relationship isn’t necessary if you plan on using an influencer marketing platform to source and hire someone for your campaign. However, if you plan to take an organic approach when finding an influencer to promote your brand, you should focus on relationship building first.
Relationship building is particularly effective if you want to approach someone who is a thought leader in your niche but doesn’t market themselves as an influencer. By establishing a relationship with them, you may be in a better position to convince them to partner with you.
Here are a few things you can do to build these important relationships:
Influencers are much more likely to respond to your outreach if they are familiar with you. Additionally, by giving their presence a bit of a boost, you may benefit from the rule of reciprocity.
Your value proposition is a concise statement that you present to the influencer that explains what they will get from working with you. This offer might include financial compensation, free products, commissions or affiliate pay, and the opportunity to market to your audience.
Unfortunately, influencer fraud happens. Marketers who lack influencer marketing experience are most likely to be targeted.
Generally, a fraudulent influencer is someone who misrepresents their ability to reach an audience and convince them to take any particular action. For example, they may have purchased followers to inflate their social media statistics.
Be wary of influencers who have a lot of followers but low engagement numbers. Oftentimes, fraudulent influencers will have followers that are clearly bots or from dormant social media accounts. Check some of their followers if you suspect this is the case.
Finally, ask any paid influencer for references. They should be very willing to provide you with these so you can verify them independently.
It’s important that both sides are protected with a written influencer agreement. This will make managing expectations much easier and clarify all of the terms.
The agreement should include:
If the person you are working with is an experienced influencer, they may have a standard agreement available. Make sure to review the terms before you sign anything and follow other best practices.
Remember that this is a partnership. You will get the best results if you work actively to support the influencer’s efforts. This includes being available to answer questions about your audience or providing products for sampling and review.
No matter what your business is, you can use influencer marketing to reach more customers, build trust, and increase sales. Use the guidelines above to find the right influencer, nurture that relationship, and create a successful strategy.
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed