Updated: Jan 24, 2020
Advertising can take many forms depending on what type of consumer you’re trying to reach.
Baby Boomers are best reached through print or desktop, Generation X through digital and mobile, Millennials more so through mobile and tablets and Gen Z with mobile to the nth degree. No medium seems to be one-size-fits-all.
Except for people.
People are genuine, real and exist in every demographic and psychographic, while exhibiting every type of behavior there is. People are trusted by their friends, listened to by their followers and respected by their peers. People can produce owned, earned and paid content, and they are the most authentic source for engaging native information and insight.
Therefore it’s not surprising that 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people more than branded content.
No wonder influencer marketing has been the fastest growing segment in the last decade, doubling in size every other year.
Yet in 2019, almost half of all agencies have no in-house or third-party tools to help execute influencer marketing campaigns.
So, what is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing involves using people with larger-than-average followings and fan bases to authentically advertise for a product or service.
This stems back to the first advertising medium to exist: word of mouth. We don’t always trust enlarged billboards telling us to call Doug Chester if we ever need a lawyer, but we do trust when our next-door neighbor Sylvia tells us she can’t stand her new solar-powered vacuum.
There’s an influencer for every campaign, but the first step to collaboration is recognizing the type of influencer you’re looking for. There are celebrity influencers like Chrissy Teigen was for Pampers, there are macro influencers (with at least 100K followers) like Ninja was for Samsung, and micro influencers (with at least 10K followers) like that college girl on campus who posts on Instagram about Victoria’s Secret Pink. There’s also a category for nano influencers like Sylvia, who leads the neighborhood watch program and posts weekly on Facebook about the delightful pie shop on 4th and Main.
How does influencer marketing work?
Influencer marketing involves a few steps:
Influencer Campaign Planning and Goal Setting
Conceptualize Creative Approach
Reporting and Analytics
If done correctly, it can be a lengthy but worthwhile process. The processes below detail what Fourstarzz Media offers in its full-service campaign management:
After a brand decides it wants to use influencers to promote a product, recommend a service or even just catapult their SEO numbers, we’ll take a seat together to decide what the goals and KPI’s will look like. With that information at hand, we’ll come up with a creative campaign design including optimal social media channels, the type of influencers we’re looking for, as well as strategies for content and amplification.
Our campaign strategy usually addresses three questions:
Where will the core content be generated? We often take advantage of using blogs or YouTube videos, as that content will also appear in Google searches. Optimized by tagging relevant keywords, this content will help your brand get noticed.
Where should the content be amplified? This means figuring out where influencers should reshare their content, such as on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Pinterest.
How can we amplify the content via paid ads? Combining influencer-generated, highly engaging content with the targeting options of Facebook or Instagram ads can have a powerful impact on campaign results.
Once the strategy is figured out, we start creating a long list of potential influencers. During that process, it’s crucial to involve the client’s perspective and have influencers approved by the client’s team.
Long lists provide the client with all the information they need so the right influencers are approved and added to the short list.
The next important (and time-consuming) part of this discovery phase is to identify influencers who are already talking to your target audience. Collaborations allow you to tap into that community and have the influencer talk about the client’s brand in his/her/their own voice. The influencer search is optimized according to reach (i.e. follower counts), audience demographics, the frequency of post engagements (e.g. likes, comments and shares), social media channels (e.g. FB, Twitter or Instagram), location and language.
After influencers are approved and on board, your project manager will send them a campaign brief and contract for them to sign, and the creative process begins. At this point, your client either sends influencers a product to try or has them get started on whatever project the contract entails (e.g. blog posts, YouTube videos, Snapchat stories, etc.).
Before the content is posted by the influencer, it’s sent to your project manager and/or client to approve. This does not mean the content is edited or rewritten by the brand or reviewer, but rather to ensure that nothing is disparaging (influencers are free to write negative reviews but brands usually won’t be willing to compensate them for it), that the posts are clearly marked as sponsored content and that all other requirements have been met (e.g. word count, specific keywords, links, etc.).
After this step, the posts go live!
At this point, your brand and project manager can revel in the bright-and-shiny spotlight.
Once a few weeks have passed, that’s when the real magic happens: the analytics. A post-campaign reporting form is sent to influencers so they can report results including reach, engagement and followers who clicked the call-to-action button. The data goes back to the client, success is evaluated and ideation for the next campaign gets started back up.
What can my clients do with influencer marketing?
Awareness and consideration are by far the most attainable results via an influencer campaign.
If sales are what you’re looking for, long-term campaigns are the most successful. This helps get influencer content to reach audience members at a moment of purchase, by raising awareness and consideration over time until they finally post a voucher, coupon code or another incentive to finally move their audience to action.
In total, there’s no real limit to what an influencer can accomplish. Influencers exist within every single market there is, and creative approaches are unlimited and ever-expanding.
Let’s wrap this up.
Although 94 percent of marketing teams agree that influencers are an effective form of marketing, almost four in ten marketing professionals have little to no experience with these campaigns.
The Internet age didn’t just launch the rise of digital and mobile marketing but ignited the reach and influence of everyday people online.
YouTubers started earning millions, Viners started getting contracts and Instagramers started becoming spokespeople.
Not knowing how to connect the right influencers with the right brands, or not being sure how to set goals and track results for these campaigns are more common issues that you may think. But to not take advantage of this marketing segment that’s expected to double in value this year is doing your brands and your agency a disservice.
Whether it’s using influencer campaign navigation tools or contracting these campaigns out to experienced agencies, 2019 is the best year to add influencer marketing to your repertoire and use entertaining, engaging personalities to your brand’s advantage.
Reach out to see how Fourstarzz Media can help you implement your next influencer marketing campaign by scheduling a free consultation below.