What is influencer marketing, how does it work, and what is it for?
Influencer marketing has become incredibly popular in recent years and continues to gain traction. It is of great importance, but it cannot serve as a substitute for social, content marketing. To effectively use this marketing tool, you need to familiarize yourself with its main features.
What is Influencer marketing
Influencer marketing (from the English. Influence – influence, that is, “influence marketing”) is a means of advertising products and services through media personalities – influencers. In Runet, it usually refers to brand advertising through well-known blog owners, but this is only one form of this marketing.
Any person famous on the Web can be an influencer, from the famous pop singer to the blogger SuperMama, who is trusted by users of baby forums. A brand can be advertised not only by one person, but also by an entire organization, a community that inspire confidence in people.
The peculiarity of this marketing tool is that it does not look like an advertising product. Advertising is served in a native format as a recommendation. Users trust their favorite bloggers more than TV ads. 92 percent of consumers trust other people’s advice, even if they don’t know it personally.
Who are influencers
An influencer is an opinion leader, an authoritative person on the Web. It can be a blogger, brand, public, whose opinion users believe on any issues. Even pets famous on social networks can act as influencers.
Wherever there are many users, leaders stand out. They can be found on social media, forums, and even video hosting. Typically, companies use Instagram for influencer marketing (78 percent of organizations advertise their products there).
Types of influencers
Influencers can be divided into 3 categories. Representatives of each of them use their own ways of interacting with the audience:
- Microbloggers. Compared to other categories of opinion leaders, microbloggers have the smallest audience – up to 50 thousand people. The level of trust and engagement of subscribers is increased through a personalized approach. Microbloggers are attentive to their own content, ready to cooperate with advertisers for a small fee or through barter.
Barter is a method of cooperation with an influencer, in which payment for advertising is provided in the form of advertised goods … In some cases, the advertiser gives the blog owner the opportunity to use certain services for free. Typically, influencers with more than 50,000 subscribers refuse to cooperate on barter, as they regularly receive many other commercial offers.
- Big bloggers. Such influencers have 50-400 thousand subscribers. Here, the level of audience confidence in publications with advertising is significantly lower. People can react negatively to posts because the audience is usually quite diverse. It is recommended to provide the blog owner with the opportunity to independently develop an advertising product, rather than provide ready-made materials.
- Celebrities. Blogs of stars and big bloggers have over 500 thousand subscribers. Users react to advertising posts in such blogs rather cautiously. It is increasingly difficult to convince them that a celebrity recommends a product not only because of cooperation with the advertiser, but also because of its benefits. For example, Karina Paletskikh, with over a million subscribers, is actively advertising an agency that organizes parties for children. At the same time, the woman also uses the services of the agency, publishes photos and videos from the holidays on the Internet.
Also, influencers can be divided into the following types:
- Blogger – maintains his blog and regularly updates its content. He can do this for various reasons: for entertainment, delivering useful information to others, earning money.
- Vlogger – publishes videos on YouTube. Advertisers often turn to video bloggers to create and distribute ad videos.
- Ambassador – a person who has been invited to collaborate to improve brand reputation, awareness and sales.
- Weiner is a creator of short videos (up to 20 seconds) about actual and funny situations in life.
- Creator is a person who creates photos and videos. It may not have a large number of subscribers, but advertisers buy its content for real money. Creators can be classified as indirect influencers.
Features of influencer marketing
Knowing that influencer marketing is an effective marketing tool, we can highlight its main features:
- It is possible to advertise anything, from food products, courier services and catering establishments to expensive beauty salons, banking organizations, and travel packages. There are almost no restrictions here. You just need to find a famous influencer with a large number of subscribers and organize an unobtrusive advertising campaign.
- Influencer marketing can use a business of any size. Previously, only large organizations could attract well-known influencers to advertise their products. This was due to the fact that before they were performed exclusively by celebrities (artists, singers, politicians) who took huge amounts of money for their services. Now even a small company can negotiate with a blog owner to advertise its products to subscribers.
- Customers can increase the number of direct sales. In a post with an advertisement or in the description of a video, the blogger posts a link to the company’s website and thereby provides a direct stream of Internet traffic. The higher the credibility of the influencer, the higher the conversion will be.
- Impulse selling complements influencer marketing well. A consumer will be more willing to buy a customer’s product if he is impressed by the blogger’s experience or wants to be like him. Probably, under other conditions, he would not have made an impulse purchase.
- Through bloggers, any company can establish contact with potential customers, erase the boundaries of official communication, eliminate distrust. By ordering ads from an influencer, a brand begins to speak the language of its own customers.
Influencer marketing provides:
- increasing brand awareness, awareness of the target audience about it;
- training of potential customers (if high-tech products are advertised);
- improving the SEO parameters of an Internet resource;
- demonstration of unusual uses of the product;
- working off negative reviews and bad reputation;
- increase in the number of products sold.
How it works
There are many ways to collaborate with influencers. The most common forms of working with influencers are:
- sponsored blog posts;
- seeding branded content on social media;
- content development by influencers.
The key to influencer marketing is to create a social media communication strategy that is based on the organization’s marketing plan. Communication encompasses the main message, brand tone, creative idea, visual elements. All this is being adapted for social networks, published on the brand’s commercial pages and personal pages of influencers.
Influence marketing tactics can be summarized as follows:
- Development of a detailed brief (business analysis, target audience definition).
- Compiling a list of influencers who can become influencers, checking their activity.
- Training of opinion leaders with whom we cooperate.
- Planning the publication of posts with ads.
- Content plan development.
It is necessary to review marketing tactics every month, to change its mechanics. Evaluation of results is required at the end of the year.
To find bloggers, you can use keywords (hashtags). For example, if a company sells organic cosmetics, you should look at the best publications on the “cosmetics” tag and determine which of the opinion leaders are interested in this topic. The most convenient way to search for bloggers is through trendHERO .
To check influencers, you can use the analytics service for Instagram accounts. Look at the metrics of the blog owner that suits your goals. Probably, the activity of his subscribers is slightly lower than you need.
What doesn’t work in influencer marketing
In order not to get the impression that influencer marketing is the most effective and can be used by any company, it is worth pointing out the probable problems.
First of all, the customer cannot control the influencer. He can always speak negatively about the advertised products, ridicule the customer, or simply release low-quality content. Unfortunately, many organizations, even very large organizations, have to deal with unmanageable bloggers.
You can also face the problem of finding the right influencer. If it’s not so difficult to find a blogger who blogs on beauty topics, then in the case of high technology everything will be much more complicated.
You need to understand how ordinary advertising differs from the recommendations of an influencer. The influencer releases quality content that his followers love. He publishes what interests him, which is why influencer marketing is so effective.
However, in a situation when an advertiser contacts the blog owner and asks to tell about the product in any specific way, it is bad for everyone – both the customer and the influencer. Intrusive advertising publications do not appeal to the blogger’s audience and do not inspire confidence. As a result, subscribers remain dissatisfied, and the advertiser is also not getting any benefit.
The customer must provide the necessary data to the blogger, who, in turn, will process it and release native content, in its own style and in the language familiar to the audience. Only in this case will influencer marketing show its effectiveness.
Influencer marketing is currently one of the most effective ways to promote certain products and services. It shows high efficiency because the target audience trusts the advertisements presented in the form of recommendations from their favorite blogger.
An important advantage of a marketing influencer is that it is available to a wide variety of companies, from small organizations to large corporations. The more famous an influencer is among Internet users and the more subscribers he has on his blog, the more expensive his services will be.