Influencer Marketing in 2019
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    Outline:

    With the advancement of technology, more and more marketing methods come along, slowly replacing traditional ones. One of the newcomers is influencer marketing. In a world of digital marketing, this youngest method has immediately earned popularity and recognition. Here’s why in 2019 it’s more important than ever.

    What is influencer marketing

    Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that uses the powerful, mainstream, influential people in the world of social networks, forums, blogs and messengers to promote brands, their products, services, and content. The goal of a business is to reach as big a part of the influencer’s audience as possible.

    It works because in this case an influencer can be compared to an authority figure with lots of friends: the audience doesn’t just follow influencers, it shares the ideas they promote, listens to their advice, etc. Which means influencers can be included in your marketing plan and actually produce results.  

    Influencers are defined by these four questions:

    1. Do they belong to one niche?
    2. Do they have a lot of fans and followers (an audience)?
    3. Is their audience relevant to their niche?
    4. Is their audience loyal and active?

    The more of these parameters they meet, the better influencers they are, meaning the more useful they can be for your business.

    Basically, an influencer is like a popular person with a lot of friends. Just like you might recommend something to some of your friends and they listen because they trust you, influencers recommend products and services to hundreds and thousands of their followers. This affects the followers’ decision making because they see the influencer as a “big friend”.

    Most influencers reach their audiences using blogs (self-hosted or on blogging platforms like Medium), social media (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest), and messengers (Telegram or similar messengers with group or channel features).

    According to a survey by Everywhere Agency, Instagram is the most active and popular influencer channel – 90% of marketers who have run influencer marketing campaigns have used it at least once. Depending on your product and niche, you can use this to your advantage (if your product or service is highly visual), or use other unused and undersaturated channels with less competition.

    Why pay attention to influencer marketing

    Influencer marketing is big, and it is growing rapidly. If you’re still not using it, you might just be missing out. To understand how big influencer marketing really is and why you should give it a try, take a look at these 10 stats from the latest studies by Grin.co and Influencer Marketing Hub:

    • Majority of marketers who use this method spend $25,000 – $100,000 a year on influencer marketing campaigns.
    • With a budget of $5000, you can (on average) reach 200,000 Instagram followers, 125,000 Facebook followers, 320,000 Twitter followers, or 300,000 blog subscribers.
    • Most influencers accept only 25% of the offers they receive.
    • Influencer market was worth $2 billion in 2017 and is predicted to grow to $10 billion by 2020.
    • ROI from digital influencer marketing campaigns is 11(!) times higher than from traditional TV, print, and desktop ads.
    • 60% of consumers shopping in a store make decisions based on social media content (mostly Facebook, Instagram and Youtube content) they’ve seen.
    • 30% of Twitter audiences engage with and follow social media influencers and celebrities.
    • Social networks are the go-to place for 86% of women when it comes to researching before making a purchase decision.
    • Influencer marketing is affordable – 96% of micro-influencers charge $200 or less for every sponsored post or tweet.
    • Majority of influencers are okay with getting compensated with products and services instead of money.

    Influencer marketing goals

    Influencer marketing has its roots in celebrity branding but it is still pretty new, which means there’s still confusion about how it can be used.

    First of all, it’s wrong to assume that influencer marketing is for fashion and beauty niches only. These days you can find influencers within almost any niche – from software, advertising and security, to civil engineering, real estate, and medicine. If you know who your target audience are (and you should before any marketing campaign), you’ll have no problem finding influencers.

    Before we speak about how influencer marketing can be used, we need to clarify its goals. Some of the main goals to be reached with influencer marketing are:

    Goal #1: Increase brand awareness: the main goal of influencer marketing campaigns is to tap into an established audience (your target audience at that) and make people recognize your brand. To maximize your results, pick a strategy that has good viral potential or will provoke tweets and shares.

    Goal #2: Increase traffic: your campaign must drive visitors from the influencer’s social channels, website or messenger channel to your website. You need the kind of traffic that is likely to lead to conversions. This can be done by encouraging people to register to your webinar, subscribe to your newsletter, blog, and social media channel, or download your e-book.

    Goal #3: Drive sales: the final goal of your influencer (and any) marketing campaign is always to get sales. Consider it when choosing your strategy.

    Influencer marketing strategies

    Sometimes promoting your product or service doesn’t mean promoting them directly. You can use influencers to drive the audience by promoting your content, events, discounts etc. To make your marketing strategy appear less salesy to the audience, try the following:

    Strategy #1: Promoting your downloadables
    Any conversional PDF material (e-book, guide, whitepaper etc.) can be promoted through influencers and their channels. If you need to increase the number of emails in your email list easily and fast, offer a free book (or any other PDF freebie) download when a person enters their email address. But note, your downloadables should be targeted and relevant.

    Strategy #2: Promoting your web content. You can promote your articles and any other guides or research through influencers. This is an immensely underrated method because it kills two birds with one stone: first, you get actual traffic and visitors seeing your content, with some of them converting into subscribers or buyers right on the page; second, you get precious relevant audience you can grab with your Facebook pixel or any other retargeting pixel, and later target your paid campaigns for. Combo!

    Strategy #3: Promoting your webinars. Another great chance to get access to a highly relevant audience and grow your email list. Promoting a free webinar with the help of an influencer will allow you to speak live to a larger number of potential customers, showcase your product or service, and add all the people who have registered for your webinar to your email list. You can later push them with your email campaigns or retarget your paid ads by the email list.

    Is it worth it? Well, let’s say 500 people register for your webinar, 150 actually attend, and only 5 purchase your product or service worth $300. You’ll earn $1500 back and have 500 people on your list. How does that sound?

    Strategy #4: Promoting your offline events. Influencers are a great way to invite your target audience to a trade show, seminar or conference. It works best if you run a campaign with a local influencer. You won’t just improve your brand awareness, but as with any offline event, you will get much more attention and a stronger contact with the audience. This influencer marketing strategy is great for enterprise-level or really niched businesses, where partnerships and long-term clients are very important.

    Strategy #5: Promoting free stuff. People love free things – giveaways, freebies, samples… If you sell physical products and can afford free samples, or if you have a demo version of your digital product, this is a way to lure potential customers by incentivizing them with free stuff. If your product really is good, you won’t have trouble converting them after this.

    Strategy #6: Promoting a free consultation. Expert opinion is valued high. So if you have the manpower and would like to jump directly to the decision stage of the sales funnel with your leads, use influencers to attract them. A good sales representative can sell your product/service in a single consultation, just make sure to use a stable and smart scheduling platform to plan all your sessions and don’t miss a single lead.

    Strategy #7: Promoting coupon codes. Coupons and discount codes are an unstoppable incentive to a purchase. But don’t use generic coupon codes, create a branded one for this influencer specifically. This way, the influencers will respect you more for getting a unique deal, and your targeted audience will have a feeling of having grabbed a truly special offer.

    How to find influencers

    Despite what one might think, influencers are not that hard to find and recruit. The way you search depends on your budget, campaign size, product, and the scale of the influencer you’re looking to get on board.

    Method #1: Websites and blogs

    Best for: if you know the influencers you want involved, mid to large influencers, specialized niche influencers

    Most influencers have their own websites or blogs where they publish reviews, videos from events, promote their content etc. These websites usually have contact forms, which is a pretty standard way to contact an influencer with a collaboration offer.

    However, you might be more likely to receive a reply from a personal email (name@domain.com) than from a generic work email (contact@domain.com). For this, you can use our Email Finder tool. Another advantage of this option is that you can collect influencer contacts in bulk with our Bulk Domain Search if you already have a list of wanted influencer websites.

    Method #2: Specific tools

    Best for: small budgets, micro-influencers

    Platforms like BuzzSumo, Upfluence, Buzzstream, and NinjaOutreach allow users to filter influencers by niches, keywords, audience size, location and more. These tools are good if you are seeking for hundreds of micro-influencers.

    These services provide all necessary influencer info and allow you to contact them via the messaging feature of the platform. If your niche is extremely specialized and you need highly targeted influencers, you should try the other methods.

    Method #3: Social channels

    Best for: specialized influencers of any scale

    Pretty much every influencer has an established group, a business page or a channel on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube etc. You can try adding them as a friend first and then waiting for them to answer your message. Or you can bypass this bottleneck and use Snov.io again, extracting the influencer’s email from their professional social network profile.

    This process can be scaled – just use a native search: for example, go on LinkedIn and search by a keyword or a location to find relevant people with lots of connections. Once you have collected a decent number of potential influencers to your list, collect their email addresses with Snov.io Email Finder extension.

    Conclusion

    In the end, you need to know just three things:

    1. Influencer marketing is definitely worth the investment of both money and time. Studies show that every $1 spent on influencer marketing brings a return of $6.5.
    2. Test your approaches. For example, start your first influencer marketing campaign with 2 big and 10 micro-influencers, and see which ones work best for you.
    3. Make friends with the influencers who perform better for you. Long-term partnerships with influencers will bring your business to the next level and guarantee outstanding brand awareness within your target audience.

    Good luck!

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    Paul is a digital marketer and growth hacker with 10 years of experience. Currently a CMO at PromoRepublic and the founder of StartupRadius.com, Paul Shuteyev also consults digital businesses on various digital marketing aspects, such as lead generation, PPC, inbound strategies, conversion optimization and more.

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