Over the past decade, social media use has skyrocketed. It became closely integrated in our lives, and has proven to transform our society as a whole. For businesses in particular, it caused a revolutionary change in marketing.
In 2020, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users. Among these users, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations on social media. And around 40% of people reported that they purchased a product online after seeing it used by an influencer on YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter.
Not only are influencers becoming increasingly powerful for businesses, in fact, a vast number of people are turning away from traditional advertisements and celebrity endorsers to social media influencers and trusted bloggers for opinions and recommendations when making a purchasing decisions as they feel more relatable and trusted towards influencers.
Still not sure about influencer marketing? Let’s hear from other marketers:
- 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective
- 89% say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels
- Nearly two-thirds of marketers are increasing their influencer marketing budgets in 2019
“Okay, Okay. But I already known the importance of influencers and have been doing influencer marketing for a while now!”
Well, whether you haven’t or have been doing influencer marketing, as an influencer myself, I’ve encountered many companies that were simply wasting their money and not wisely leveraging influencers to achieve what they could’ve achieved. I will speak about my observations based on personal experience about the common mistakes made by most companies when it comes to influencer marketing. It won’t hurt to just check it out and see if your money is being used to its fullest, right?
Without proper planning — any marketing campaigns are doomed to fail.
Now, let’s dive into the topic of how to build powerful influencer marketing strategies that help you achieve your business goals in 2020.
What is an influencer?
An (social media) influencer is an individual who has strong online presence on social media, and can wield the opinions or behaviour (such as purchasing decisions) of his or her audience through their social platforms(eg. Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok, Youtube, Twitter, etc.) due to his or her position or reputation for the knowledge, expertise or relationship with them.
It doesn’t sound so difficult to be an influencer, does it? — That’s right. It’s actually super easy, and that’s why there are tons of influencer out there. However, as a business, you need to be selective when it comes to choosing the right influencers for your marketing campaigns — Don’t worry, we’ll get to that in just a minute.
First, why don’t we take a look at how can influencers help our businesses:
Top 5 Influencer marketing campaigns (& goals)
Influencers are valuable as they provide a quick access to his/her credibility among a particular demographic that fulfill your company’s needs, and most likely at a low cost for your ROI.
1. Increase brand awareness
Gain exposure through influencers to reach target demographic and help them understand, recall, and become familiar with your banding and products.
2. Reach new audience
Reach new audiences and expand customer base through influencers’ existing followers.
3. Enhance positive brand image
The connections and relationships the influencers already have with their audiences can help develop a favourable impression of your brand among the customers. This also creates a halo effect, which strengthens your brand image, brand loyalty and brand equity.
4. Build trust
Influencers who have established a credible reputation and are trusted by their followers can instantly boost credibility of your brand by giving a recommendation.
5. SEO (link-building)
Collaborating with influencers with reputable sites gives you the opportunity to acquire quality links that contribute to your site ranking on search engine.
Steps to develop influencer marketing strategy
(& Common mistakes made by businesses when doing influencer marketing)
1. Determine goals and message
After understanding the characteristics of an influencer, you may decide on how you’d like to leverage them to benefit your business. This will pave your way for the following steps to developing your strategy. Most common goals are increase awareness and generate sales & conversions.
Developing a message is also critical. For businesses I’ve collaborated with, most overlooked this part and did not provide any guidance on what they’d like to convey with the audience. Although you do want to give the freedom to your influencers to create genuine and authentic content, it is still imperative to shed some light on your company’s mission, brand image and the unique propositions or selling point of you products or services.
2. Set a budget
According to this recent report that looked at influencer pricing benchmarks on Instagram and other channels, we can estimate how much it’d cost for your influencer marketing campaigns. Here’s a quick overview of the findings:
- Facebook influencer pricing: $25 per 1000 followers
- Instagram Influencer pricing: $10 per 1000 followers
- Snapchat Influencer pricing: $10 per 1000 followers
- YouTube Influencer pricing: $20 per 1000 followers
3. Find the right influencers
Now, here comes the part where most businesses fail to do. But don’t feel bad, because you’re not alone. 61% of marketers agree it’s challenging to find the best influencers for a campaign.
Take my influencer experience as an example — beauty companies collaborated with me without realizing that most my audience are male; local businesses also failed to realize that 1/3 of my audience is from other countries before asking me to promote their products/services.
And did I decline the invitation? Well that’s not the point of the story.
The point is, you need to have a list of requirements, and ask these questions when looking for influencers for your marketing campaigns.
- Who is my target audience?
- Where is my target audience/what are their preferred channels?
- What are my goals?
- Can the influencer fulfill my business needs? (closely examine influencers’ profile and his/her relationships with the audience to see it all your requirements are met)
Also, keep in mind the following:
- Has the influencer already worked with similar brands, or posted similar content?
5. Review and refine your strategy
Measure, analyze and refine your strategies.
Although it seems like social media and influencers still have a long way to its bright future, as businesses and marketers, we still need to stay up to date and be aware of changes as technology evolves at a lightening speed. Dominating companies like Facebook has also been putting effort in making adjustments to beat social media problems (eg. hiding likes) and improving their system (eg. changing algorithm).
But don’t give up even if it’s hard to catch up. By leveraging influencers, you can really take your business to the next level!