What is influencer marketing and how far will your budget take you?

    3 minutes read
    John - 19.09.2017
    What is influencer marketing and how far will your budget take you?.jpg

    Influencer marketing will be the focus of increased spending for 75% of marketers over the coming year, according to research by Rakuten Marketing and Morar Consulting. This is despite the rising costs for celebrity influencers – in the fashion industry for instance, a celebrity is apparently able to charge around £160,000 for a single social media post.

    Nevertheless, influencer marketing is incredibly popular, and many marketers are partnering with social media stars to promote their brand. It’s easy to see why some can get a bit dazzled by the whole influencer industry, though. Posts costing thousands of pounds, celebrity involvement, social media scouting… is the investment really worth all the effort?

    We believe it can be, especially when integrated as part of a wider, creative inbound marketing strategy designed to target and attract the most profitable leads for you. By focusing on finding the right influencer with a strong footing in your target market, you can build incredibly effective lead nurturing campaigns that are bespoke, flexible and most importantly, affordable.

    What is influencer marketing?

    An impressive 47% of millennials say that social media influences their purchasing decisions, according to research by Deloitte. It stands to reason then, that partnering with someone with a strong social media following who speaks to the people you want to attract could greatly benefit your wider creative campaign.

    Influencer marketing naturally partners with social media marketing. Marketers are creating partnerships with influencers that have a strong voice, a respectable following and the social media savviness to share meaningful messaging that matter to their audience.

    Influencer marketing should never be a standalone practice though. Like all things inbound, it should serve as a moving cog in the bigger machine. In our mind, influencers can be instrumental in attracting, engaging and informing certain markets, allowing brands to benefit from strong long-term relationships with their audience.

    The various benefits of influencer marketing

    One study suggests that influencer marketing could provide 11 times the ROI over all other forms of digital media when it comes to flat-out sales. At the same time, the right strategy can see influencer marketing become a major source of targeted traffic.

    One of our favourite things about influencer marketing is that it’s an incredibly flexible and creative form of marketing. Brands that invest in influencer marketing can use it to improve results across a range of objectives such as increasing sales, improving brand perception, collecting targeted data and much more.

    Despite all the positives though, a lot of marketers are still unsure on how best to approach the right people, discover which influencer is the best fit for them, measure performance and budget properly.

    With 75% struggling to identify the right influencer, and 69% worried about being unable to identify the right engagement tactics, it’s fair to say it’s not an exact science. Again, that’s where inbound marketing comes in;. With the right creative strategy in place, influencer marketing can perfectly complement any lead generation strategy if planned correctly.

    Planning ahead for impresssive influencer marketing stats

    You may have the budget and resources available to go all out and partner with a big established influencer. Even then, you have to do your research and get a good grasp of that influencer’s all-round behaviour, the followers they have and the rules around influencer advertising in order to avoid wasting your money.

    For instance, your budget may be better spent going toward a micro influencer. The same principles apply here as with influencer marketing, only you’ll be working with someone who is likely better suited to your industry, with a smaller but (hopefully) more concentrated following.

    What is influencer marketing?

    Beyoncé is said to charge approximately $1,000,000 per Instagram influencer post, but with over 100 million followers on that platform alone, there’s serious danger that a promotional post could get lost in the ether. Would a Beyoncé also be able to effectively communicate your brand’s message to any of those 100 million followers if any tried to get in touch with a follow-up message?

    Though a micro-influencer’s following may be smaller than Beyoncé's, they may spend much more time producing higher-quality posts and engaging with the people that follow them. Sometimes, it's better to be a big fish in a small pond.

    Define goals for your influencer marketing strategy

    Strategy is everything, not just when it comes to influencer marketing, but for inbound marketing as a whole. Where does your influencer sit in your marketing strategy, and how will they deliver the creative you wish to promote? If the right people see the message and like it, are they then going to be directed to the right place on your website to interact with your brand?

    It’s so important not to just jump on influencer marketing because other people are doing it, and it seems to be where everybody’s putting their budget. Define your goals first; if you believe that working with the right influencer can help you to build better relationships, get greater exposure, start more conversations, or nurture and convert more leads, it pays to research first and lay the right foundations.

    Not only will influencer marketing help you to build bridges with a new targeted audience online, but it will also help you build stronger relationships within the community as a whole. Influencers know each other; working with one influencer can have a domino effect, introducing you to other potential influencer marketing opportunities and collaborations that improve your standing amongst an audience.

    The wider your network, the more creative you can be with your campaigns. Netflix is spending over a billion dollars on marketing this year, with some of that budget reserved for social media influencers. Netflix has a huge pool of influencers to choose from, and the right strategy could promote certain shows through horror movie fanatics, children’s shows through mummy bloggers, and documentaries through other creative avenues.

    By focusing on the right influencers, and pairing their outreach potential with a creative inbound marketing strategy, you can invest in people that really want to work with your brand and respect your message.

    Even better, they can promote that message to people who respect them in turn, providing hugely effective results and returns from a personable campaign that could be far more affordable than you imagined.

    Learn more about the basics of influencer marketing and the impressive results it could provide your business as part of a wider creative inbound marketing strategy by contacting the Six & Flow team today.

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