Influencer marketing has become a powerful marketing trend.

Controversial – some marketeers love it, some hate it, but guess what nobody ignores it.

And the reason is quite simple – it works. Let me put that correctly, it works when it’s done right.

In a 2019 survey by Viral Nation, Neo Reach and The Influencer Marketing Hub, it was found that brands are making $5.20 on every $1 spent on influencer marketing.

You can’t deny influencer marketing offers excellent numbers compared to most traditional methods of marketing.

Brands like Burberry, Gucci, Adidas, Zara, American Express have all incorporated influencer marketing campaigns as part of their marketing strategy. It’s been working for them and there’s no reason it can’t work for your brand.

Here are a few best practices and tips you should keep in mind while planning your influencer marketing campaign – 

Understand the tiers:

All influencers are not made the same. Even if their follower counts are more or less the same, their audience may differ. You need to check metrics like engagements, reach and cost effectiveness of any influencer you plan on working with.

The following are the categories of influencers :

While there are no strict definitions of follower numbers, a general guide to the types of influencers is as follows:

Mega-influencers – Superstars and celebrities with more than a million followers. 

Macro-influencers – influencers with followers between 100,000 and 1 million.

Mid-level-influencers – between 25,000 to 100,000 followers.

Micro-influencers – Anyone on social media with followers ranging from 1,000 to 25,000.

While their followers may be less, their authenticity is high.

Nano-influencers – a person with less than 1,000 followers but who has immense influence in a comparatively narrow niche.

Finalise your objective:

Every business works for profits, so yes your eventual objective is obviously sales. But you need a starting point – do you want to increase your visibility? Maybe announce a new product or service or brand launch? Do you want to gain more followers for your brand’s page? Do you want to get more conversions? Do you want to build a relationship with an audience you think is your target and will eventually be your brand’s customer?

You’ll be tempted to answer – all the above. But take it step by step. Campaigns work best if they have one clear objective. You need to figure that out and brief an influencer marketing agency so they can plan which influencers will work best for your business.

Selecting the influencer marketing agency:

Many brands try doing the influencer campaigns in-house. But the more successful brands will tell you they work with influencer marketing agencies that specialise in creating and curating influencer campaigns. 

61% of marketers find it difficult to find the relevant influencers according to a study by the influencer Marketing Hub.

The benefits of working with an agency are – they negotiate for you and are able to get a better value from the influencers, since they do it professionally and work with many different clients and influencers they have a better judgement and insights of which influencers will work better. Pop Communications takes care of your influencer marketing with end to end services – planning the campaign, curating the influencer mix, negotiating for you, coordinating with influencers, taking care of payments, logistics as well as supervising the posting.

The correct influencer mix:

Depending on your objective, the target’s demographics an ideal mix would include influencers from more than one category. Your budget should be spread across multiple types of influencers and within each type like macro, mid-level, nano and mega influencers – your agency will curate the most potent mix of specific influencers to give you maximum value.

Don’t spend all your budget on just a few mega influencers, spread it out. If you can’t afford bigger influencers who command high prices, ask your agency to find you micro and nano influencers. Influencers with followers between 10k-100k offer the best combination of engagement and visibility. But remember, your influencer selection affects not just your sales but also your brand’s perception. The industry is plagued with many so-called ‘influencers’ who may have next to no influence or are in it for the wrong reasons or may not be able to do justice to your brand’s presentation. Choose your brand ambassadors wisely.

Long term associations:

You can’t fool your audience. When they see a singular post or story from an influencer, they may get curious or intrigued by the brand being promoted. But they may not be entirely convinced. Longer term associations with a selective mix of influencers is the best way to work with them. When the same set of people talk about your brand repeatedly, the message seems more authentic and believable.

Relinquish a little control to the influencers:

Your influencers post must not look like an ad. Editing their videos or photographs with your brand logo will reduce its authenticity. Trust your influencer. They know their audience, allow them to construct the message in their own format and words so it’s believable for their followers. You can give them #s to incorporate and talking points but don’t direct them too much, yield flexibility with scripts as long as they are conceptually as per your brief. Your influencer agency plays an important role here and will be able to ensure the best output is achieved.

To conclude – we’ll leave you with these facts:

91% of millennials trust online reviews as much as friends and family and 50% of consumers will take some action after reading a positive review – as found by Brightlocal Consumer Review Survey, 2018. A 2018 study also revealed that influencer marketing was considered effective by 92% of the respondents. 

If there was one marketing strategy that you had to invest in for 2020 and 2021 – let it be this. Collaborate with an agency, chart the course for your influencer campaigns, test the waters, we promise you won’t be disappointed.

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