Is Influencer Marketing Effective?
Is influencer marketing effective in 2023?
Well, have you ever bought something because somebody that you admire online has used that product or service? We think at this point we are all guilty of this, and one of the biggest reasons is the rise in social media marketing.
Influencer marketing employs niche, leading content creators to improve the awareness of a brand, increase traffic to a website, drive messages to the target audience of the brand, and more.
It is a collaboration between creators and brands that lets businesses expand their reach across different buyer demographics.
80% of marketers say that influencer marketing is effective. That’s a large majority!
It has been rising in popularity for the last few years, and in 2023, we think things are set to only get bigger and better when it comes to influencer marketing.
Let’s talk about how effective is influencer marketing when it comes to the world of business, as well as more details on influencer marketing.
How Effective is Influencer Marketing?
The thing about influencer marketing is that it is an investment. This means that if you want to get it right, you’ve got to devote time to make sure that you find the right influencer to promote your brand so that it appeals to your target demographic.
You also need to spend money and resources to reward this influencer, run a number of campaigns with them, and a lot more depending on what your marketing goals are.
How effective is influencer marketing, then? Let’s look at the facts and figures.
- 80% of marketers state that influencer marketing is effective.
- 58% of marketers in 2021 said that influencer marketing was the most effective marketing strategy, ahead of experiential marketing, SEO, and video content.
- 86% of marketers in 2022 plan to invest the same budget or more in influencer marketing.
- When it comes to the most popular platform for influencer marketing, this is Instagram. However, Facebook is also an effective social network when it comes to influencer marketing campaigns.
- 71% of marketers believe that the quality of traffic and customers from influencer marketing is better than other resources out there.
- 71% of marketers in 2022 plan to increase their investment and influencer marketing on networks like Clubhouse.
- Twitch and Snapchat are some of the lowest performing channels when it comes to influencer marketing.
- The biggest issue that brands face when it comes to influencer marketing is measuring the ROI of their strategy. The cost of it is the second biggest issue.
- Out of all demographics, Generation Z trust influencers the most.
Examples of Influencer Marketing
Examples of influencer marketing can include television, social media, columns, blogs, print, and digital ads. Influencer marketing is more popular among brands these days because traditional advertising isn’t as effective when it comes to attracting customers and leads.
Influencer marketing works because it uses strategies like social proof and word-of-mouth marketing, which are now essential aspects of any successful marketing strategy.
Customers trust their friends, peers, and people that they look up to online, which is why they are more likely to purchase a product or service that has been recommended by these groups.
Before we look at the different kinds of influencers, and why influencer marketing is effective, let’s review the difference between a brand ambassador and a brand influencer, because it is easy to get these terms confused.
Brand Ambassador vs. Brand Influencer
A brand influencer is someone who is following a specific niche that they are engaging regularly. Because of this, they are able to influence purchase decisions.
There are a number of different brand influencers out there, including micro-influencers, blog influencers, celebrity influencers, key opinion leaders, and social media influencers.
However, a brand ambassador is hired by a business to work within a contract to help them achieve particular goals, like boosting conversions and sales, and increasing awareness of the brand.
Typically, a brand ambassador has a long-term contract, anywhere from a number of months to a number of years.
During this time, they represent the lifestyle of the brand as well as the brand itself and have in-depth knowledge about their products and services. They don’t necessarily need to be an influencer to be a brand ambassador.
Kinds of Influencers
As we mentioned briefly above, there are a number of different types of influencers. The first is a micro-influencer, which has a relatively modest following between 1000 and 10,000 people.
This can be established on a number of different channels. The next kind of influencer is a celebrity influencer. This of course is a famous person that has a large following, and typically has millions of people following them on social media.
There are a number of different ways to work with celebrities, including TV commercials, and social media. A blog influencer is someone who has an established blog and has millions of readers or subscribers.
If you want to work with an influencer of a blog, you might want to write a guest post for their website or request that you are given a shoutout in one of their posts.
Then we have social media influencers, these are people who are well recognized on specific social networks, including Instagram and YouTube, and are followed by thousands, sometimes millions of people.
Lastly, we have key opinion leaders. These are professional, high-level experts that focus on a special topic and a specific field.
How to Find Influencers
Finding the right influencer to work with can seem like an overwhelming task, so we have put together a list of the various resources that you can capitalize on to find the right influencer for your brand.
Of course, one of the first things that you can do to find an influencer to work with when it comes to your brand is to do a Google search.
Remember, an influencer is already going to be creating content in your specified field and reaching your target audience.
This means that if you use industry-related keywords and terms to conduct a Google search, you are going to find people to work with.
We suggest that you review articles that are related to a number of topics in your field and conduct individual searches for people that you have already heard of.
You can also check out influencers on a number of different social media platforms. Whether or not you are going for an influencer who is well-known for social media, most influencers have a presence on social media, which means that their profile is a great way to learn more about them.
You can search for phrases and keywords, hashtags, specific users, and even tagged audience members. Also, don’t forget to look in the comments section of posts that have a high rate of traffic, because influencers might have posted comments, or interacted with members of your target demographic.
You might even be able to get an idea for which influencer you would like to work with based on a competitors’ account.
You can use your current network, whether it is personal or professional, to obtain a referral. You can look for a key opinion leader on LinkedIn, and you can even ask your team if they have recently started following any micro-influencers on social networks that want to post content that is relevant to your brand.
You can even tap into influencers that you have worked with in the past, asking them if they are willing to work with you again.
Another great way to find an influencer that you will want to work with in the future is through blogs. Check out both the author of the blog, and their sources, and you can also scan the articles for people that are mentioned in the blog.
A lot of the time, themed publications like beauty or business do expert roundups where they feature a number of different influencers in one article.
You can then do some individual research on a particular influencer to determine whether they are a good fit for your brand.
Thanks to the effectiveness of social media marketing, there are now talent agencies that book influencers and act as the middleman between the influencer and the brand.
If you are trying to work with an influencer that has a huge following online, or if you’re trying to work with a celebrity, then you will probably need to go through a talent agency that represents them.
It is unlikely that you’re going to be able to message them directly on social media, because they probably won’t reply.
How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Now that we have talked about the effectiveness of social media marketing, as well as influencer marketing, and discussed how to look for the right influencer for your brand as well as a few key statistics, let’s take a little bit of a look at how to create the best influencer marketing strategy for your brand.
Work Out Your Campaign Goals
The first step in the process is to work out the goals that you have for your influencer marketing strategy. These are going to help you work out the success of your campaign.
There are three factors to keep in mind when it comes to your influencer marketing campaign: resonance, relevance, and reach.
Of course, reach is the ability to deliver your content to your target demographic through that influencer, which is going to help with product awareness and brand awareness.
Relevance is the level of connection that your audience is going to feel to your brand, as a result of the influencer.
Resonance is the ability to drive audience members to take a specific action because of the content that the influencer has posted. It is all about memorability and impact.
Work Out Your Campaign Audience
Regardless of what kind of influencer you are wanting to work with, your target audience is going to stay the same.
Different influencers are going to have different ways that they connect with their audience, but your general marketing goals for your business need to be the same.
This is why you need to work with your marketing team to work out your buyer persona. This is going to help you work out the exact kind of customer that you want to target with your marketing campaign, and it’s also going to help you work out what kind of influencer and content is going to appeal to them the most.
Choose Your Type of Influencer and Budget
Based on our mention of the five different kinds of influencers, you should be able to work out which kind is going to work best for you when it comes to your brand’s target audience and goals.
From here, you can start to think about budget. As an example, if you are a startup with a small budget, then you might want to work with a micro-influencer.
However, if you are a middle-sized company that has more resources, you might want to work with a celebrity influencer.
Research has found that marketers will typically pay between $500 and $10,000 for micro-influencers and 90% of marketers have a budget set aside specifically for influencer marketing, with 45% setting aside between $100,000 and $500,000.
Find Your Influencer and Check Out Their Work
Once you have worked out the kind of influencer that you want to work with, you need to find them. Quality of engagement and content are going to be the two things you want to think about when reviewing their work.
Recent data has shown that brands actually care less about the size of the following and more about other things, like engagement.
You need to think about things like does the influencer and their lifestyle fit with the image of the brand? Have they worked before with any of our competitors?
Who is their target audience currently? Does working with this influencer fit within our budget? Does this person have the personality that we want to work with? What is this influencer going to expect from us?
Create a Campaign Message for Your Influencer
Once you have chosen the influencer that you want to work with, it is time to plug them your campaign. Develop a campaign message and work out what content your influencer needs to publish on your behalf, and what they need to leave out.
You also need to share guidelines around your brand so that they can stay on brand when it comes to their content. Remember, that influencer is representing your business, which means they need to be able to do this accurately.
Get Your Expectations Right
One of the most important steps in this process is communication. You’ve got to be very clear about how you communicate your campaign with the influencer that you want to work with so that you can be on the same page as one another from day one.
Also take note that the influencer that you want to work with might have already worked with another brand before yours, which means that they might have their own process in place for how they do business.
Their expectations are also going to change based on the kind of influencer they are. Your mutual expectations need to be agreed upon and written and signed by both you and the influencer so that you can avoid any issues down the track.
Pay Your Influencer
Influencers don’t work for free. This is why you need to talk about compensation early on, so you can be on the same page about what their expectations are.
If they are a micro-influencer and you are a small brand, then you might want to launch a brand campaign in exchange for free services or products.
Measure Your Results
The last thing that you need to do is measure the results of your influencer marketing campaign. This is how you’re going to work out the level of success that you have achieved.
According to surveys, revenue is the most important measurement to marketers when they’re trying to work out the impact of an influencer campaign. You also need to think about other things, like engagement, reach, resonance, brand awareness, clickthrough rate, conversions, return on investment, and follower count.
If you aren’t receiving the kind of brand awareness that you had expected to, then you will need to work with your team to adjust your influencer marketing campaign accordingly for the future.
There’s absolutely no doubt that influencer marketing is an extremely effective approach for brands building up an awareness of their product or service online.
Traditional marketing isn’t the same anymore, especially with the scope that the Internet brings with it. As you can see, there are many different ways to work with influencers out there, and there are a number of different things that you need to think about when it comes to your influencer marketing campaign.
Make sure that you choose the right influencer for your brand, and make sure that you are able to accommodate your budget for this, because you don’t want to end up wasting your money or your time. Good luck!