It is not easy to go on social media without coming across influencer marketing at work. Influencers are constantly looking for new ways to be sponsored on their favorite platforms, from traditional posts to the ever-popular Instagram Stories and long videos. Everywhere you look, influencers are displaying their favorite delicacies, outfits, beauty products, or candles. It’s crucial to realize that anyone can be an influencer.
You influence if you have even one follower. What’s more, you’re a valuable influencer if you’re generating engagement – even if it’s in the form of one like on your posts. Let us take a moment to recognize the established and emerging influencers who are building their following. These people share their favorite brands and products because they adore them. Granted, they’re probably hoping for a brand deal in the long run, but they’re not getting paid for their efforts at the time of posting.
Influencer marketing may appear to be a new phenomenon that has only recently gained popularity. In reality, influencer marketing has actually been around for 15 years. PayPerPost, the first marketplace to pay bloggers for sponsored content, made a big splash when it launched. Since blogs were primarily viewed as online diaries, many experts were skeptical that incorporating advertising or sponsorships into the content would feel authentic. That is still a challenge for today’s influencers, but there are numerous benefits to be had for those who can promote products or services while sounding genuine and authentic. People want to buy from others, and they are more likely to trust recommendations from someone they like.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is typically used to raise brand recognition, but it can also result in many conversions and sales. Brands can use influencer marketing to promote their products by acquiring endorsements or recommendations from internet influencers and content providers. Influencers are most commonly found on social media and blogs, although other creators, such as podcast broadcasters, can also boost your brand. While influencer marketing began in 2006, it has evolved significantly over the last 16 years. Facebook and Twitter were still in their early stages, but Instagram would not enter the social media landscape until 2010.
When influencers first emerged, they were primarily bloggers who shared personal stories and promoted products they used daily. It’s a bit of a paradox, but while influencer marketing hasn’t changed all that much, it is vastly different in several ways.
Influencers are still sharing personal stories and promoting products they use daily. However, many people now do this as a career, earning a living through brand sponsorships. When it started, any money a blogger made through a partnership was nice extra money – you couldn’t consider it a full-time income.
Influencers today have far more options than previous generations of influencers. There are numerous social media platforms to choose from, and there are multiple types of content that can be created. YouTube and TikTok are great video platforms for those who enjoy watching videos. Traditional blogging or even Facebook can help those who want to share long-form written posts. Instagram is an excellent place for influencers who wish to do a little bit of everything. While Clubhouse is still a new platform, it won’t be long before influencers figure out how to use it for their promotions as well.
Reasons why influencer marketing will persist
Influencer marketing is popular right now, but it’s not just a fad. The concept is still evolving at a rapid pace. It will become increasingly popular in the coming years, so now is the time to learn about it and incorporate it into your strategies.
1) A growing number of people are becoming influencers
While there may be an excessive number of influencers, there is always room for new influencers. With the growth of social media platforms, additional opportunities for new people to become influencers arise. Some influencers set out specifically to carve out a space from themselves in the influencer space while others are simply sharing their lives and happen to form a commercial partnership with a firm they respect. In any case, the point is that there will be an increase in the number of people building niche audiences who respect what they have to say. This means you’ll have a higher chance of discovering someone who speaks to your target market and aligns with your online store.
2) Marketing agencies are growing in popularity
Like any other business strategy or tactic, influencer marketing is becoming more standardized. There are now agencies that represent influencers and agencies that help brands find the best influencers for their strategies. As the business of influencer marketing expands, so will the marketing industry itself. Partnering with these agencies is an excellent option for eCommerce brands that don’t want to devote the time or resources to stay on top of influencer marketing trends. You can still benefit from the incredible success that often comes with influencer marketing without having to learn everything from scratch.
3) There are more content options
When it comes to promoting products, video is perhaps the most popular type of content that influencers create. Influencers started by writing blog posts about their favorite products. Then, as social media grew in popularity, the types of content created by influencers shifted. Instagram and Facebook Live, IGTV, YouTube, and TikTok have all demonstrated the incredible power that video offers to connect people.
With the rise in popularity of podcasts and the launch of audio-only applications like Clubhouse, the next big trend in influencer marketing will arise. We may not know exactly how, but we do know that the number and variety of content options will change throughout time. By joining new platforms as they emerge, eCommerce brands can be ready to take advantage of new, innovative platforms and content. What’s more, influencers are more likely to want to work with you if you already have a following on a specific platform.
4) Influencers are showcasing more of their lives
Influencers are returning to their roots in many ways. People have been significantly more interested in seeing posts that aren’t heavily censored in recent years. They don’t want to listen to, learn from, or be advised by someone whose life seems so far away. Instead, people want to know what’s going on every day. They want to see influencers make mistakes and have terrible days, but they also want to see them get back up and keep going.
More people trust and follow influencers who are transparent about their lives, which implies more people will view and buy sponsored material from this kind of influencer. When you collaborate with influencers, you may reach an even larger audience. This is especially true if you aren’t focused on influencers who only showcase the most beautiful, highly-filtered elements of their lives.
How to create an influencer marketing strategy
Now that you’ve decided to incorporate influencer marketing into your overall marketing strategy, it’s time to get started. Like any good marketing tactic, building a strategy can ensure that you’re being thorough and methodical. You’ll know exactly what you want to get out of influencer marketing, and you’ll have a system in place to track your progress.
1) Make a list of your objectives and key performance indicators
Goals are the foundation of any good strategy. You should start by setting a range of objectives for your influencer marketing campaign. While increasing sales is the most apparent benefit, partnering with influencers may do more for your brand than boost sales in the short term. Here are a few examples of goals that you should be aiming for:
Building brand awareness
Working with influencers puts your brand in front of thousands of people who may not have heard of it before. They’re hearing about your brand from someone they trust, so they’ll be more eager to learn more about your company or follow you on social media.
Attracting a new target market
Working with an influencer is the best way to alter your ideal customer’s behavior slightly. Influencers help you to reach and convert people to a new market.
Facilitating lead generation
Influencer marketing can also help you to obtain more leads and customers. Depending on what you sell, you may want the influencer you partner with to direct their followers toward a nurturing campaign so they can become more acquainted with your brand. You could also send them directly to your e-commerce store to begin making sales. Once you’ve determined your goal, it’s time to decide on your key performance indicators (KPIs). These are the metrics you’ll track throughout your campaign and analyze at the end to see how successful it was. To increase brand awareness, you should track visits to your website or track your social media followers. If you want to generate leads, you should keep tabs on the people who sign up for your nurturing sequence. With unique links for influencers or a special promo code, you can easily track sales.
2) Understand the landscape
Take the time to learn about the influencer landscape before working with an influencer. Educate yourself on the different types of influencers – we’ve talked a lot about micro-influencers, but there are also macro-influencers and celebrities. In general, you should avoid celebrities because their fan base is so large that their engagement rate is meager, and their rates are frequently relatively high.
Before pitching your brand to anyone, spend some time observing influencers and learning how they promote brands. This will ensure that you are more informed and have a more significant impact on the influencer.
3) Build rapport with influencers
Once you’re positive that you know what you’re doing, it’s time to approach your target influencers. There are many ways to locate influencers who will work for your brand, but you should start by looking at other people in your field. You’ll understand not only whom your competitors are partnering with but also what level of influencers they’re targeting. Once you know what other brands are doing, you may choose whether to hunt for folks who have a comparable size following or look for something different.
Depending on the platform you want to promote, you can find tools that will assist you in identifying influencers in your niche. InfluenceGrid can help you find TikTok influencers, and Awario can help you find influencers across multiple platforms. However, you don’t absolutely have to use tools like these to find influencers. You can also use hashtags to find people making #sponsored posts. You can then look through their audience to see if it aligns with your target audience. We could also begin with your followers. Select a few people who are already following your brand by clicking on their names. Look through the other accounts they follow to see if you can spot any influencers. This is an excellent way to locate someone who is already targeting your ideal audience.
Influencer marketing is here to stay, and it’s only going to get more prominent in the years ahead. Working with influencers can truly benefit your eCommerce brand, regardless of your goal. Influencers can help you increase your following, make sales, or spread the word about your company. Whatever the case may be, today is an excellent day to begin developing your influencer marketing strategy. Connecting with the right influencers requires a well-developed strategy. To understand how to create an effective strategy, you need to do sufficient research and hire professionals who have experience creating content that works for your brand.
Pressfarm is a PR agency that can help you create the kind of content that you can use to pitch your brand to influencers. The PR specialists, expert writers, and certified designers at Pressfarm have a track record of helping companies create quality content ranging from email pitches, to press releases, feature stories, and press kits. With this content, you can make a positive impression on influencers and journalists.
Beyond creating quality content, Pressfarm can also develop a media outreach strategy to help push this content to said influencers and journalists. For starters, the Pressfarm team can curate media lists containing journalists in a client’s specific niche. Besides that, each client gets access to a comprehensive media database of over 1 million journalists across industries. This database is designed to help startups like yours connect with the best journalists and influencers to tell your story.
Sign up for Pressfarm today so that you can finally generate the publicity your brand deserves.