If your company’s current social strategy doesn’t include influencer marketing because you’re overwhelmed by the commitment, or because it hasn’t worked in the past, then this is the guide for you.
Influencer marketing doesn’t make millions overnight, but with the right patience and research, you can see huge strides in your social media engagement.
Any business can benefit from the power of influencers. Even health departments across the US have started using social media influencers to encourage people to stay home and get vaccinated during the pandemic. Whether you’re a service-based or product-based company, consider the following advice and simple steps to take advantage of online promoters.
Find the Right Channel
Before throwing a bunch of darts at social media platforms and hoping they’ll stick, sit down and consider which social media sites are appropriate for your business. Instagram is by far the most popular channel for influencing, but this doesn’t mean it’s the right platform for every industry. Companies in the financial or SaaS business could benefit more from LinkedIn or Twitter even though these are some of the least popular channels for influencer marketing.
Instagram is the most widely used for influencing. YouTube is next, followed by Facebook and blogs. YouTube sees the highest engagement rate at up to 6.7% while Twitter has the lowest rate at .17%.
Based on statistics, Instagram and YouTube are good places to start tapping into influencer marketing, but make sure it’s the right fit for finding your particular audience.
Before you start working with an influencer, sit down with your team and list out your engagement goals. Do you want X amount of products sold? X amount of seminars purchased? X amount of impressions on your social page? In the end, the goal is to ultimately make money. But don’t expect this to happen right away. Your brand’s social media pages first need to be viewed, followed, and engaged with.
Be very transparent about the budget you have for influencers. If you ask them for their rate, it might be higher than you can afford. But if you tell them “I have X amount of dollars to spend” or “I want to give you these products for free” then influencers may be more willing to work within a particular budget and cater to your needs. For example, rather than posting about your brand on an Instagram post, they might tag you in an Instagram Story which will still see a lot of short-term engagement.
Repost Influencer Content
The goal of influencer marketing is to get more eyes on your social media pages. But if your pages are lacking in content, then followers could lose interest in your brand. This is why we recommend reposting influencer content as much as possible – even if it costs extra. In the long run, paying to use their content is probably still less expensive than hiring a photographer, graphic designer, or videographer.
Reposting influencer content is also beneficial because it shows that real people (not just people you hired for a photo shoot) are enjoying your products. If someone online is advocating your offering in a genuine way, then people see such accolades as a positive reflection on your brand.
Start with Nano Influencers
Nano influencers are promoters on social media who have 1k-10k followers. In the past, they’ve often been ignored because they have a smaller following. But research shows nano influencers have an engagement rate of 7% or higher compared to influencers with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers.
Smaller influencers are valuable because they have a closer relationship with their community. If you find nano influencers within your local region or industry niche, then you have a good chance of engaging less people at a lower cost.
Since nano influencers are not as expensive to work with, they are also more likely to allow you to repost their content without an extra fee.
Avoid Over-Sponsored Influencers
There is a limit to influencer marketing. Too many sponsored #ad posts on an influencer’s page can deter the quality of their messaging and make engagement rates for affiliated brands decrease. When you set out to choose an influencer for your brand, make sure it’s someone who tastefully promotes brands and has an even mix of both sponsored content and original content.
Influencers can help your business grow, but sometimes it will take a lot of trial and error before you find the right influencer. Letdowns aren’t necessarily your fault or the influencer’s fault, sometimes a particular audience simply isn’t as interested and it’s difficult to figure that out until you engage with them. Think of it as a constant learning experience to help funnel your brand toward the right consumers.
Hire a Social Media Manager
A really important piece of advice to take away from influencer marketing is the value of managing, researching, and analyzing influencer use. If you have no interest in social media, don’t just toss your product and dollars to a bunch of influencers and expect them to make your business profitable. You need someone to manage your own social media pages and statistics in order to re-engage your leads and track the ROI on influencers.
If your own social media pages are lacking, then an influencer can only help you so much. People who follow an influencer are willing to also follow your brand, but only if you are consistently posting intriguing content. We suggest hiring a social media expert to manage influencers, curate your posts, and track engagement rates.