If you’re a business owner interested in learning about influencer marketing, you’re in luck! This article will give you great insight into finding the right influencers to market your product or service and why you should include influencer marketing in your digital marketing strategy.
A Brief Introduction To Influencer Marketing
To start, let’s take a look at what influencer marketing is. Influencer marketing is when a business contracts an online content creator to create content that leads its audience towards its product or service.
Basically, influencer marketing is a celebrity endorsement.
For example, let’s say you’re a business owner that sells hair care products. Instead of just saying to your audience, “Hey, buy our shampoo!” you would hire an influencer to create content surrounding your brand AND mention your product within their message. This content would be seen as more “organic” and more authentic.
Why Should Business Owners Get In On Influencer Marketing?
Not only is influencer marketing a powerful way to create brand awareness, but it’s also a great way to increase profits. It allows you to expand your audience by encouraging tapping into a whole new group of people (the influencer’s audience) that you might not have reached before.
What Influencer Marketing Is Not
While influencer marketing is a great way to get your products in front of others, it’s not the only way to do so. Influencer marketing shouldn’t replace all the other forms of advertising that you’re already performing.
One of the most important things for business owners to keep in mind when considering starting with influencer marketing is that it’s not the same as social media marketing (SMM). While influencer marketing is still a form of social media engagement, it’s not limited to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Influencer Marketing And Its Benefits
Here are four reasons why influencer marketing is an excellent choice for businesses:
- It’s usually much cheaper than paid advertising.
- Influencers have invested time and effort in building their following – they’ve nurtured and gotten to know their community on a deeper level, making it far more powerful than being blasted with a cold ad.
- It’s an excellent way to build your brand.
- It’s a great way to improve SEO.
Now, let’s take a deeper dive.
First, influencer marketing is cheaper than paid advertising. For example, let’s say you were starting out and wanted to purchase an ad on Facebook that cost $5 per click.
Theoretically, you could take that $5 and work with five different influencers who spammed your product across their profiles without telling people they’re being paid to do so. That would be a much more effective use of your dollar than Facebook ads.
Second, influencers have spent time and resources building their communities – they’ve nurtured and gotten to know their community on a deeper level, meaning it’s much more effective than getting hit in the face with a cold ad.
The best way to think about influencer marketing is that you’re scaling a peer-to-peer network. Instead of spending hours upon hours trying to convince someone that your product is the best, influencers have done this for you!
In fact, 71% of marketers report influencer marketing as more effective than any other method. (Source: Mediakix)
Third, it’s an excellent way to build your brand. In other words, it’s that much more likely that you’ll be able to get your product in front of that influencer’s audience.
Finally, it’s a great way to increase SEO! If someone does a Google search for an influencer’s name and finds their content surrounding your brand, they’re going to click on your link because it’s much more relevant than it would be if you were just another link within their search.
This is because influencer marketing creates a shift in the traditional advertising model that has been around since the dawn of time – business owners are not at the top of the “pyramid” anymore!
Influencers put themselves on an equal level with business owners, which lets consumers know that this is a person they can connect with, not just some guy who works at a company.
Understanding The Different Types Of Influencers
On the internet, there are generally a few dominant types of influencers. The four most frequent groups of influencers and the number of followers they have are listed below.
Nano Influencers: <1K to 10K
Nano influencers have modest yet incredibly loyal audiences: up to 7x the Instagram interaction of major influencers. It’s also simpler to spot false engagement when there are fewer followers involved.
Reach super-niche audiences, humanize your brand, or operate within a restricted budget by employing micro-influencers. Be patient with them as they may be inexperienced working with firms and brands.
Micro-Influencers: 10K to 100K
Micro-influencers have a decent amount of followers but still put in a lot of time engaging their audience. These sorts of social media influencers frequently have a specific area or topic in which they specialize.
When you want to target a reasonably large yet targeted audience, look for micro-influencers. They haven’t attracted a broad audience yet, so there’s lots of human connection. Plus, they usually have some experience working with brands like yours.
Macro Influencers: 100K to 1M
Macro influencers are frequently content producers in some manner. Podcasts, YouTube, food blogs, and minor celebrities all have their reasons for having a large following. (Which may also be boosted by phony accounts or bots.)
When you have a significant budget, these influencers perform best. Choose carefully based on who is the most representative of your brand.
Mega Influencers: >1M
Mega influencers own the internet. Traditional celebrities or public figures can be included in this category. Mega influencers have a lot of fake followers (to make the accounts seem genuine, of course). Their fans span all types of people.
Only utilize mega influencers if you have a lot of money and need a high-visibility campaign.
How to find the right influencer for you
So, you’re curious about influencer marketing. And you think that you might need the help of an influencer. But how do you find the right person to work with?
Find your Target Audience
First things first – Who is your target market?
Who are your potential customers?
Influencers can range significantly in demographics, so it’s essential to understand who you are trying to reach out to before looking for influencers.
You want to make sure that your target audience aligns with the influencer’s target audience or won’t be as effective.
When recruiting influencers for your marketing campaign, it’s essential to consider their niche. A mistake many marketers make is choosing an influencer with a big following without paying attention to their niche and the industry they specialize in.
“A big audience is a big audience, what’s the problem?”
The problem is that you can’t sell kitchen equipment to a gen-Z audience. In the same way, you can’t sell Batman toys to a group of 60-year-olds (unless they love Batman).
Whenever you choose an influencer, the first thing you want to ensure is that their audience/niche is parallel to your business’ niche.
If you’re selling email marketing solutions, you’ll want to find an influencer who’s mostly known for their email marketing campaigns.
Please don’t get involved with clickbait and let your influencer go out and promote anything they want (unless it’s relevant to your business).
The size of their following
When choosing social media influencers, the next important thing is to consider their followers’ numbers. The last thing you’ll want to do is work with an influencer who has a small following.
That’s pretty clear when it comes down to it, right? Then again, when you’re in marketing or PR, you don’t just want to promote your business with someone who has a considerable following. In fact, that might actually do more damage than good.
If you choose an influencer with a big following, you might be tempted to think that things will go pretty smoothly. They have the numbers, after all, so they’re bound to help your business grow. The problem is that these influencers are bombarded every day with requests from marketers and brands who want them to promote their products or services.
Since they usually like to cover topics that they’re interested in, it might happen that they simply ignore your request. This is where choosing the right niche and influencer’s size really matters.
Influencers with smaller followings can be as effective as those who have a huge following, but you’ll need to do some research first before committing to working with them.
Their reach & engagement rates
When choosing the right influencer for your business, it’s essential to look at more than just their follower count. You also need to consider their engagement levels.
An influencer with a high number of followers might not be as effective as one with a lower follower count but a higher engagement rate.
Tools like phlanx.com can help you determine an influencer’s engagement rate.
So, before you choose an influencer for your next campaign, make sure to consider their reach and engagement rates.
Don’t get wrapped up in vanity metrics.
When choosing influencers for your campaign, don’t get wrapped up in vanity metrics like follower count and think bigger is always better.
Say you wanted to put together a campaign with an influencer with over 100k followers and was hoping to drive the same amount of traffic as another influencer with only 5k followers but a much higher engagement rate (for example, 0.5%).
When looking at the total number of followers an influencer has, we tend to think that the person with 100k followers is more valuable than someone with 5k just because they have a more significant reach.
However, when you look at it from a different angle and consider engagement rates, you can see that the influencer with 5k followers has an engagement rate of around 6%. In comparison, the influencer with 100k followers has an engagement rate of only 0.3%.
This means that for every follower they have, the 5k influencer gets six likes or comments or whatever your chosen metric may be – whereas for every follower the 100k influencer has, they only get 0.3 likes or comments or whatever your chosen metric may be.
So when you look at it in this way, suddenly, the person with 5k followers might be more valuable than the person with 100k followers even though their total number of followers doesn’t seem to support that claim.
When you’re choosing an influencer for your campaign, don’t limit yourself to looking at simply their follower count – make sure to look at engagement rates as well.
Here’s an infographic that helps put it all into perspective.
As you can see, more followers don’t equal more engagement.
Quantity versus quality
So now that we’ve determined how to determine whether or not a specific influencer has enough reach and engagement rates for our business’s needs, the next question is how do you decide which influencers might be the best to work with.
One thing that is important here is that it’s not always about finding the biggest influencer or most popular influencer.
You also need to look at things like whether their follower count is made up primarily of low-quality accounts and whether they’re willing and able to promote you (and market your brand in a way that reflects well on your company).
Not all followers are created equal.
Just because someone has a lot of followers doesn’t mean those people are quality followers.
Sure, some influencers may have larger following counts because they’ve been doing it for longer, have a better understanding of what their audience wants and how to use hashtags, and so on – but not everyone is going to be as experienced as this.
The majority of influencers’ follower counts may be made up mainly of real people interested in them for the right reasons. Still, some may have followers who aren’t considered quality.
For example, low-quality accounts may be people who don’t care about the individual’s content or novelty accounts meant to look like real people but aren’t.
If an influencer has a lot of novelty accounts following them, then you can bet that when they promote your business, they’ll end up driving traffic away to other sites instead of to your company.
This is an important thing to consider when working with influencers – because if the influencer you’re choosing to work with has a lot of low-quality followers, then they may not be as effective as you want them to be for promoting your business.
Their type of content
Before choosing an influencer for your next campaign, consider the type of content they create.
This is important because different types of influencers can produce very different results.
An aesthetically focused Instagram fashion blogger might not be the right choice to promote a low-cost product or service. On the other hand, a lifestyle or travel blogger may not be the right choice to promote an expensive product.
The influencer you choose needs to match your business for their content to promote your brand and draw in new leads effectively.
You should also consider what social networks they use most often when you’re researching them — because if they’re on Instagram the most, then they’ll be able to more efficiently market you over there than if their focus is primarily Facebook or Twitter.
An influencer’s reputation is important when choosing who to work with. If their reputation is good, it will be good for your business. But if their reputation is terrible, it will not be good for your business.
Reputation may not be as crucial as the niche or interaction rate, but a negative reputation is the last thing you want to have to deal with.
Think about all of the allegations against Bill Cosby recently. Although he was ultimately proven innocent, it ended his career and tarnished his reputation. This is the last thing you want your business to deal with.
The thing that is frustrating about The Cosby Show is that it really is a quality show that had a lot of influence and was a great influencer…which Cosby frittered away due to his behavior. I hope people can isolate “Bill Cosby” from The Cosby Show to see how influential it was— JPRoscoe (@JPRoscoe76) October 24, 2021
See what we mean. The Cosby Show is taking a hit from the allegations.
When choosing an influencer, it’s essential to know their current reputation and if they have a history of having criminal allegations or publicity issues.
Failing to do so can be costly. It’s always better to choose an influencer that doesn’t have a history of problems than to choose one that does.
Although you can’t predict the future, you can take the time to search and find out if an influencer has a history of legal troubles.
Trust BlakSheep Creative as your trusted resource to help you find the perfect influencer for your next campaign.
BlakSheep Creative is an agency that specializes in finding the perfect influencer for your business.
Contact us today at 225.505.3834 to get started with free help on marketing your small business through an influencer marketing campaign!
This includes identifying the best type of influencers and who would be most beneficial for you, as well as what makes them unique from other similar companies out there, all without any upfront costs or obligation.
We will work closely with you until we find the right fit so that you can stop worrying about how to use this new-fangled idea of “influencer marketing” and start seeing results instead!
We don’t just help you find suitable influencers. We create influencer marketing strategies that create long-term benefits!
We also show you how to apply it properly, from finding your niche market to comprehensive measurement and analysis.
We ensure everything is done correctly so your campaign does not fail.
Our services include:
- Weekly reports on our progress to keep you in the loop at all times
- Continuous support before, during, and after the influencer marketing campaign
- Identifying the correct type of influencers for your business
- Researching the right influencers for your campaign
- Influencer relationship management (finding, negotiating, etc.)
- Tracking of campaign results/metrics (impressions, engagements, conversions)
- Customizable marketing plans for each influencer
These are all things we do on our end so you can focus on what matters to you: running and growing your business.