Have you ever wondered how brands nobody has ever heard of went viral on social media? How people and artists leading ordinary lives, are now celebrities? Isn’t this amusing? Shocking? Revolutionary? Whatever it is, it’s happened; and just like that, the world of marketing has changed. Yes, it has – over 74% of consumers make their purchasing decisions based on social media.
Marketing, of any sort, revolves around people – their interests, problems, tastes and preferences, etc. Thinking about the different terminologies of marketing, you’ll find a pattern – the medium’s name defines the type of marketing. Think about it: “Social media” marketing, “Email” marketing, “Search Engine” marketing, and so on.
“Influencer” marketing, however, has no channel attached to its suffix, and this is because people are the medium here. For decades now, we’ve formulated marketing strategies around people, and now, we’ve done it to an extent where our marketing strategy is people. It’s pretty extraordinary if you think about it.
In this playbook, you’ll learn everything there is to know about Influencer marketing and how to go about mastering it. Here is a list of topics that you’ll find in this book:
The heart of digital marketing involves building, maintaining and nurturing relationships with people, by people, and for people.
With people, not the end goal, but as a channel, you can drive sales that familiar people and artists bring a massive following on social media.
Hence, you can define Influencer marketing as building relationships with “influencers,” or leaders through whom you can reach your target audience and convey your message to them in a subtle yet influential way. It’s a known fact that people believe people more than they believe in brands.
You need to consider two main factors while engaging with Influencer marketing:
Now, to answer the million-dollar question, why do you even need influencer marketing? Marketing professionals have degrees, experience and knowledge on how to influence people – then why hire other people just because they have a huge following?
There is no single answer to this question; there are six (or more)! Influencer marketing gives you a readymade audience specific to your niche and is looking for you.
Here’s what influencer marketing can do for you:
You cannot expect to build an empire online overnight; it takes hard work, consistency, and creativity. Working with influencers gives you an already established audience and makes them aware of your brand.
If an influencer has a total of a million followers, you can increase your brand awareness by 1 million through one single post – no other organic way of marketing can do that for you.
If there’s anything an influencer can completely master and do better than the major, it’s content creation.
By giving them the freedom to create branding content for you, you can,
Let’s answer a simple question: Would you instead purchase a product with over a hundred positive reviews, or one with a couple of average reviews, considering that they both offer the same features and price?
I’d go with the first option, even with some negative reviews.
The reason is quite apparent – I know more people have used the product, many of whom have liked it. So I create a favourable reputation of the product in my mind and go ahead to purchase it.
Similarly, when an influencer backs up your product, their hundreds of followers create a favourable reputation for your brand. They are more likely to buy them from you.
Influencer marketing isn’t just about social media; it can also help you improve your search engine ranks. When you collaborate and partner with bloggers, there are many ways in which they can help you generate more traffic to your website.
For instance, in the case of a content-driven campaign, you can leverage bloggers to write about you on their website and add links to your website for the same.
When bloggers with a high ranking blog write of you, Google recognises your website as worthy.
Experience and observation have taught us how quality content can viral on social media.
If someone enjoys your content featuring an influencer they love, they will likely share with their friends, their stories, and everywhere possible. This will increase your reach and put your profile in the spotlight.
Isn’t that our end goal, anyway? Word of mouth plays a huge role in influencing almost 74% of your consumers.
E-word of mouth, which essentially translates to electronic word of mouth, is trending now and is what people rely on for their purchase decisions. In this way, you can leverage an influencer’s follower list to get more sales for your business.
There are only two types of influencers in the broad sense – micro-influencers and macro-influencers.
But, we can divide them into five categories to make more clear distinctions.
Mega influencers are those who have over a million followers. Most celebrities belong to this category. They receive maximum interaction, and people often hang around their profiles. Naturally, they’re the most expensive.
Virat Kohli, who has over 182 million followers, is worth INR 5 crores for one Instagram promotional post.
Macro influencers have below a million followers but more than 500 thousand. They have a widespread reputation, and you can expect a high price from them as well.
Mid-tier influencers also hold a certain amount of popularity and are known by most people in the particular niche. These influencers have generally worked their way to the top, creating quality content and growing their community from nothing to over 50K-500K.
Micro-influencers generally have a follower count of 10-50k. They’re more feasible to many brands and get high engagement due to their close-knit community on Instagram.
Additionally, surveys have shown that over 82% of respondents were more likely to buy from a micro-influencer.
The least of any follower group, nano influencers are just starting and are on their growth curve. However, surprisingly, nano influencers receive the most engagement rate (up to 8.8%), which can benefit brands.
These were the different types of influencers. You can choose your perfect match based on many factors like your budget, niche, etc.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the factors that play a massive role in determining the perfect influencer for your brand.
Choosing the right or wrong influencer for your brand can make or break your campaign.
You need to be sure about your goals before picking your influencer instead of picking an influencer without being confident of their contribution to your brand.
Below mentioned are some of the factors that you should take into consideration when choosing an influencer to work with:
Today, there are influencers belonging to every niche. If your business supplies healthy food, look out for a health and fitness influencer; if you’re a fashion brand, reach out to a fashion influencer, and the examples can keep going.
The reason behind this is simple: that’s where your audience is. Collaborating with an influencer that resonates with your brand image will allow you to reach your exact and filtered target audience.
As a next step, check the influencer’s authenticity. If they have over 50K followers but receive only 100 likes or below, you could be leading yourself to a trap.
Buying followers is not a new concept to us – people often buy followers to get more brand promotions and earn money through fraud. Hence, you must always check for their authenticity and not go by their looks.
As I previously mentioned, the number of followers can be toyed with. However, you must check the engagement rate of the potential influencer.
The engagement rate of an Instagram profile is the percentage of reactions an influencer gets from their followers in terms of likes, comments, shares, etc., as compared to their total number of followers.
You can check the engagement rate of any Instagram influencer on free tools like Phlanx.
According to Phlanx, here’s what the average Instagram engagement rate based on the number of followers looks like:
Well, if you think looking at the follower count and the engagement rate is enough for making this big of a decision, you’re undoubtedly wrong.
You want someone who can create quality content for you and your brand. For this, you can go through all the posts on their timeline and see if you enjoy most of them.
Consistency is one of the key things that work well with Instagram.
You must prefer working with an influencer who engages with their audience, posts consistently and has an active relationship with their audience.
Such an influencer will help you get much better results and be genuine throughout the process.
Guest posts are the best way to establish a positive relationship with influencers and get to know them better.
You can either write an informative, well-written blog for an influencer’s website and pitch it to them, or invite bloggers and influencers to write for you. Either way, you’re showing your willingness to connect and interact with influencers.
A great way to begin with influencer collaborations is to either conduct their interview and Q&A sessions or go live on social media platforms with them. Through an interview or a Q&A session, you can get to know the influencers better and increase engagement by posting the clippings online.
Going live with them can also help you conduct question-answer sessions while you and their audience watch you do so. By allowing some questions from your audience, you can also keep your sessions engaged and informative.
Think of this as a live event that you’re conducting. However, this will be on a social media platform, without any costs, and you’ll have a flowing audience throughout.
You can create a series with all the influencers you’ve partnered it in the past and show off your products’ great panel of recommenders. In this way, you can reuse your old content and build a whole new campaign around it.
You can send your products to micro and macro-influencers as complimentary gifts and request them to post reviews on their profiles about the product.
This will make the collaboration look more genuine and genuinely appeal to your audience.
You can always add some insights from influencers to your products and increase the pathos of your brand.
You can ask an influencer from your niche to take over your social media profile(s) for a day or week and walk through their days or fulfil specific challenges.
Through this, you can get the traffic from their page onto yours and increase your engagement.
Once you create branded hashtags specific for your brand to run campaigns, you can collaborate with influencers who encourage their followers to participate in your campaign and use the hashtags.
Giveaways are genuinely the best ways to increase engagement and get people to follow your page.
You can multiply the reach of your giveaways when done besides an influencer who pushes their followers to take part in them.
We’ve discussed too much about how influencers can change your marketing game and too little about how to find these influencers. In this last section, I’ll share four ways through which you can discover the best influencer for your brand.
Most influencers use hashtags on their posts to increase their profile reach. When you search for these hashtags on Instagram, you can find a pool of influencers and then check their profile one by one.
For example, if you’re looking for a health and wellness influencer, you can search for hashtags like #fitness, #heath, etc. and find your ideal match.
Many databases store information about influencers, their usernames, and more insights like the number of followers, frequency of posting, etc.
Through this, you can get the list of all the Instagrammers in your niche and then get in touch with them to collaborate with them for your brand.
Today, there are various Influencer marketing platforms like influencer.in, those help brands connect to influencers. These platforms provide you with a variety of influencers who sign up with them and help you by getting in touch with them.
You can use filters to find someone in your niche. Some influencer platforms also provide campaign support. You can launch and manage your campaigns and get your influencer marketing data. (These features may vary between platforms and price plans.)
What can you not find from a Google search? All you have to do is jump on to Google and type what you need!
For instance, if you’re looking for a micro-influencer for your tours and travels company, all you’ll have to do is to go to google and type: “top travel and micro-influencers…” and bingo! You’ll have listicles in front of you!
In a nutshell, influencer marketing can help your campaigns touch the sky and get quick returns for your brand. It’s the best way to get people talking about your brand and generate tremendous results for you.
Through this playbook, you must have learnt the following things:
Now that you know more about influencer marketing, you can start reaping its benefits. However, remember always to plan first. Build your strategy, map out a goal based on what you want and like, and get started with influencer marketing!
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