The term influencer is thrown about a lot these days. You may already have a good idea what an influencer means to you but let’s clarify things a little first so we can all be on the same page.
The dictionary definition of influencer is as follows:
“A person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media.”
What this doesn't say is they have to be the likes of the Kardashians or such. You don't necessarily want or need to approach the biggest global stars of social media. Chances are as a brand you won't be able to support the level of demand and scrutiny which could arise from that kind of partnership. You just need someone who has enough of a following to influence others to consider your brand. That's all there is to it.
Influencers can be broken down into category groups. This varies slightly depending on the source you look at but the structure remains the same.
Micro influencers: 1,000 - 100,000 followers
Mid level influencers: 100,000 - 500,000 followers
Macro influencers: 500,000 - 1,000,000 followers
Celebrity influencers: 1,000,000 + followers
Are a small and growing company with a great product but you're struggling to get the word out? Well you could start by attracting just one person, the micro influencers. They will not only help you boost awareness and sales but it’ll also be cheaper and easier relationship for you too.
The reality is that the larger the following the more they are likely to demand back. The bigger influencers don't even deal with you themselves, they have managers and teams of people who do their outreach.
They also sometimes carry a premium for putting your brand in front of their audience. Before you know it you could be forking out a large sum of money with no guarantee their audience are even interested in your brand.
You need to do your research and find the perfect influencer. They do exist, there are thousands out there and all you need to do is find them. Let's say for example you are a small business, you offer a niche product within the car industry. Perhaps a new type of polish or wax.
Look around on social media and youtube. Find someone who perhaps records themselves cleaning nice cars (yes these channels do exist) or a car reviewer. Once you have found who in our eyes would be an ideal brand ambassador engage with them.
Watch their videos, like their content, get to know their brand a little before jumping in. When you are ready just simply approach them and offer them what you have. You may wish to sponsor their channel or simply give them a free sample in return for a review of your product. Whatever your desires or budget there is an arrangement which can be made.
By avoiding the irrelevant channels with audiences outside of your target you are already increasing the likelihood of a higher ROI. What has all of this so far cost you really? My guess is not an awful lot. If you are sponsoring a channel you might have a bigger steak in this campaign. If you have simply given them something to review then the cost is minimal. The impact however could be huge.
Even if it is a micro influencer with say 50,000 followers the potential is large enough. If only 10% of their audience are potential customers that's still 5,000. Of this number you might find only 20% proceed and buy your product which is still 1,000 new sales.
Now all you potentially needed to give away is 1 or 2 samples so the return on your investment is massively higher than traditional forms of marketing and advertising.
This is why influencer marketing is what it is today. It is a $4.5 Billion industry (as of 2019) which is growing rapidly and expected to reach $10 Billion by 2020.
There really is no secret to it. People are more inclined to buy something which someone they like and trust has recommended. You do it, we all do it but what makes this a powerful and crucial tool is the scale in which one person can promote your brand.
As you grow your business you can approach bigger influencers and keep growing like that. Some brands today base their entire marketing strategy on influencer marketing and it's easy to see why.
There really is no need to turn your nose up at these people who have found success online. They are running a brand which if you tap into the right way will allow you to rapidly grow at minimal costs. When it’s put like that why would anybody not do it.
About the Author:
Connor Knight is a content writer and editor for Tillison Consulting, a Digital Marketing Agency. He has an extensive background in both Social Media marketing and content writing.