It is estimated that influencer marketing will be a $ 13 billion industry by 2022. Rooted in a sense of community built on social media, influencers, also known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), have become trusted advisors on consumer products and launched a new platform. opens up which brands can market their products and services. Brands and influencers rely on authenticity in this marketing strategy, as KOLs are perceived as more connected to their audience than their traditional celebrity counterparts. However, despite its rapid growth, the industry is still unpredictable and, given the current lack of rules and regulations, there are still many challenges. Our article discusses the effectiveness of influencer marketing as a strategy, authenticity within the industry, and ways to create a good campaign plan.
Why has influencer marketing become a popular strategy?
There are two major reasons why influencer marketing has become a popular strategy. First, there is increasing accessibility to various platforms as well as niche communities due to social media. Over the years, the number of active users on social media websites has grown exponentially. Popular influencer marketing options Youtube and Instagram have over 1 billion and 800 million active monthly users respectively. These platforms have made it easier to find people with similar interests, creating communities of interests and hobbies such as technology, art, beauty, and makeup, to name a few. As a result, there are clear ways to find and reach niche markets; There are pre-existing communities that marketers can access to get their message across.
Additionally, increased access to the tools necessary to create quality content has enabled more people to become good, effective content creators. Cameras, drones, and all kinds of media manufacturing equipment have become widespread and affordable. The camera technology of smartphones has also improved significantly over the years and is comparable to a digital camera, which enables people to conveniently and quickly record, edit and upload high quality content from their phone. Since the content is mostly created by the influencers themselves, they can use their own creative style and voice to share organic and authentic opinions.
Is Influencer Marketing Effective At All?
According to a survey by Mediakix, 80% of marketers find influencer marketing effective, measured in terms of ROI as well as the quality of the traffic and the customers gained through this strategy. 71% say the quality of customers is better than other marketing sources, while 89% say the ROI is as good or even better than other marketing channels.
These results show that marketers are finding this strategy very effective. But what are the reasons for this? One of the biggest justifications for investing in influencer marketing is the audience that surrounds the influencer. KOLs have proven to be much more effective than traditional celebrity endorsers precisely because there is more engagement within the community that is built around an influencer. Influencer content tends to be more interactive and allows the audience to join the conversation and have direct contact with the influencer himself.
Because influencer marketing is a collaborative endeavor, the voices of the KOLs mix with those of the brand, making brand messages less aggressive and more subtle, making it easier for audiences to respond and engage with. All of this makes the content look more authentic and organic and less like an advertisement.
Since influencers are serious members of their community, good campaigns ultimately attract the right type of consumer to branded product or service in the conversion funnel.
How is this effectiveness measured?
According to a survey conducted by Relatable, most brands currently use influencer marketing to increase brand awareness, with 50% of respondents making this their main concern. The increase in sales is 35%. The common KPIs used to measure the effectiveness of campaigns are conversions and sales, engagement or clicks, views and reach or content quality.
How to do it well?
A successful influencer marketing strategy has to be well thought out. Below are five questions to consider when planning your strategy.
What is your goal?
The first thing to consider when planning an influencer marketing campaign is your goal. This could be any of the following: increasing brand awareness, increasing sales, driving traffic to your website, promoting a new product launch, etc. When you have a clear goal, you can decide what type of influencers and what content to work with to create . For example, if you want to increase sales, you should offer a discount code or an affiliate link through your influencers. If you want to increase brand awareness, a longer and broader campaign is a good idea.
What are the trends in your market?
Every industry has different trends. The way content is captured or styled, the captions and words used, and the platform on which the audience is most active vary by industry. Knowing what is popular and engaging with your target audience can help you choose which influencers can help you create that content better. This would also give you a framework to plan content that is engaging and eye-catching at the same time.
What other work did this influencer do? Does the quality meet your requirements?
Researching potential influencers is crucial. With such a saturated market, it can be difficult to find a quality influencer that will fit your brand. By looking at what an influencer has done in the past, you can judge whether they fit your brand, but also whether your brand fits into their portfolio. Also, ask yourself if they are able to deliver the content you are looking for and achieve the goal you have set yourself for this campaign.
What are you offering?
Know what you can offer an influencer in exchange for content. Some influencers can charge hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per post. What is your budget and what products or services can you offer them in return? An alternative to consider is working with micro-influencers, who are often happy to post content without financial compensation. In this situation, a long-term partnership in which both sides can grow together would also be advantageous.
What are the schedule and the results?
Know your schedule and what you need from the influencer. Is there a specific event or launch that you are promoting? If so, when would you like influencer posts to be published? How much content should the influencer post? All of these details should be clearly worked out and agreed when preparing the campaign.
The question of authenticity
While it is a highly effective and sufficiently popular marketing strategy, there are still major concerns about the authenticity and real impact of influencer marketing. According to the same Relatable survey, more than half of marketers face resistance from managers who don’t understand influencer marketing metrics and don’t know how to really measure results, leading to reluctance to use this strategy. This comes along with concerns about fake followers and fake engagements on social media platforms, with the emergence of bots that can skyrocket engagement rates without real quality. Because of this, research is critical to finding high quality influencers.
Social media has created a new platform for marketers to reach potential audiences and customers. However, influencer marketing also brings its own challenges as it continues to grow and mature. With the right planning and strategy, your influencer marketing campaign can be successful and effective in helping you achieve your business goals.