Now that you have been staring at your screen for quite a long time, waiting to see the expected outcomes of your recent social media ad, you may begin to look for more novel ways of promoting your brand and products. Not that the social media ads don’t work – they do and can drive astonishing results for many companies. Still, sometimes you need to step up your game and combine different marketing methods to reach wider audiences.
Many of your friends or colleagues may already have mentioned a word or two about influencers and the products they have bought because of someone they follow on Instagram, and you have an “aha” moment – maybe that’s what your marketing campaign needs.
Let’s look at the numbers.
- 17% of companies spend over half their marketing budget on influencers.
- 70% of Teens Trust Influencers More than Traditional Celebrities
- 67% of brands use Instagram for influencer marketing
- Businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing
And more importantly:
- 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than an advertisement or traditional celebrity endorsement.
The internet has affected all aspects of our life, including the shopping decisions we make. In the past, shoppers would do a quick Google to see if a product was worth the money. Now, they might need an affirmation from someone who has the authority, and that’s when influencers come in.
Although it may not always be true, many online users see influencers as experts within specific communities. These beliefs can sway others’ decisions when they promote or endorse a product. Perhaps the reason you have that face serum in your bathroom cabinet, the one you don’t even know how to use, is that your friend recommended it, and they bought it because they saw a skincare influencer using it.
Fast forward to when you decide to invest in influencer marketing; there are different factors to consider when collaborating with an influencer, and here are the DOs and DONTs of influencer marketing you need to know.
Do Your Research
Although influencer marketing has many advantages, you may not see any if you aren’t working with the right one. It’d be simple if the only aspect to consider is the number of followers an influencer has, but it’s essential to see if their content is relevant to what you sell. For instance, if you want to promote a vegan cookbook, it’s not enough to find a food influencer with a large audience because how many vegans will be there amongst their followers? You’ll never know. When you find a vegan food influencer, you’ll better understand how many prospects you’ll reach through the collaboration.
Before you jump to conclusions about an influencer, sit down, scroll their feed and look at past and recent posts to see if an influencer is a right fit for your campaign.
Don’t Go Too Big
As you are looking for ways to build an audience for your vegan cookbook, you may go too big and start looking at influencers with too many followers or people that are too famous for something irrelevant to your product. For instance, Natalie Portman is vegan, and she has 7.4 million followers on Instagram. Is she a good fit for your brand? No, for many reasons. She has become famous not for her vegan diet but for being a renowned actress with a long list of nominations and awards. So, will you know how many followers amongst 7.4 million are vegans? No.
More importantly, being famous doesn’t make anyone an online influencer. So even if you manage to get Portman on board, you may not increase your sales as she might not influence potential buyers.
Moreover, the more followers someone has, the less engagement and authentic relationships they have with followers. Nobody can respond to thousands of comments on each post nor have a personal connection with their followers.
Micro-influencers on Instagram with 10k-50k followers boast an average engagement rate of 3.86% compared to 1.21% for mega-influencers.
So don’t go too big when looking for the right influencer because someone with 10k followers may bring better results than an academy award winner with 7 million followers.
Do Check If Your Influencer Has Fake Followers
Now that influencer marketing is becoming more popular, the number of influencers with fake followers also keeps growing. Although buying followers is officially banned on Instagram and is considered fraudulent, some still manage to get around the rules and get fake followers from different services. Instagram will punish such accounts permanently without the possibility of recovery, but it takes time. So although you may think you’ve found a perfect influencer with a large audience, it’s essential to determine if they have real followers.
Usually, “fan-buying” services comprise a vast number of fake accounts. Look and dig through the followers. Fake accounts may not have any posts, profile pictures and can have atypical usernames consisting of random numbers and letters.
Moreover, you should scroll through comments and see if they are relevant and come from trusted accounts. If the comments look spammy and are from fake-looking accounts, that’s another red flag for your influencer.
And finally, very few people become influencers overnight. Most commonly, it takes time and effort to build an audience for an Instagram account. So if you see one post having very few likes and the next one posted after several hours or days having thousands of engagements, it might indicate your potential influencer has bought their followers.
Don’t Give Too Many Directions
Although you might be very enthusiastic about your upcoming collaboration with your new influencer and may have already built an image for the post they will create to promote your product, don’t be too specific about it.
The more directions you give, the less you’ll get from the influencer. So, even if your ideas are great, they might have better suggestions.
Besides, influencers have invested time and energy into building their online image and followers list, so they will want to create something that matches their style and content. Even if your idea is excellent stand-alone, it may not be an ideal fit for their feed, so share ideas and create something that benefits your brand and your influencer’s content.
Do Allow Room for Creativity
Influencers are creative people who’ve already created chunks of content and built their audiences, so the last thing they want is someone coming in and taking their creative freedom. So even if you manage to get them on board for the first time, they’ll not want to collaborate with you in the future.
Creative freedom is 83% of influencers’ top priority. Even it can sound like a risk for brands, allowing influencers to choose their content makes it more authentic because they know what their audience needs and fits within their feed more than you can ever imagine.
Don’t Choose a Social Media Platform Based on an Influencer
One of the biggest mistakes you can make while investing in influencer marketing is choosing a channel based on an influencer. Even if someone is a TikTok influencer, they may not be a perfect match for your brand if you sell anti-aging facial creams, as most TikTok users are below 30 years old. Therefore, it’s essential to know your demographics before selecting a social media platform for your influencer marketing. Then, based on that channel, you can go to the next step of choosing the right influencer.
Do Set Specific Goals for the Collaboration
Setting specific goals for your marketing campaign will help you measure its success, and influencer marketing is no exception.
What do you expect from the campaign? Increased sales or brand awareness? Or perhaps you want to increase traffic to your eCommerce store. You can also set the goal to gain more social media followers.
You are free to set any goal you want, but it’s essential to determine what you are trying to achieve with influencer marketing to create relevant posts and compelling call-to-action.
Knowing your goals will also help you determine if the campaign is successful. For instance, if you aim to increase traffic, you can check how many people have visited your site and the traffic source with tools such as Google analytics.
Like with any other marketing type, it takes time to see the results of influencer marketing. However, it’s proven to bring results when done right. We hope the DOs and DONTs above will help you find the best influencer for your products, set the right goals, and see the desired outcomes from your campaign. Although we have covered what we think is the most essential to know when getting started with influencer marketing, our team has a never-ending list of what to and what not to do when working with influencers. If you think you need a deep dive into influencer marketing, feel free to reach out to Internet Marketing Geeks today with your questions or to schedule your new client consultation, and we can get started on your custom marketing plan right away.