Influence marketing is a relatively new way to promote your products and business, which is developing in a new trend: instead of looking at companies, nowadays customers look at their peers, what they use, how they do it, and which brands they prefer. Therefore, social media influencing on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest is becoming a new channel for businesses to connect with their customers in a more scalable, direct, and organic way. How to start beneficially using the influence marketing and how much does it cost?
What is influence marketing ?
Influencer marketing was defined by Duncan Brown and Nick Hayes in their ‘Influencer Marketing: Who Really Influences Your Customers?’ book as follows:
‘Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on influential people in social media rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals who have an impact on the potential customers and orient marketing activities around these influencers’
In other words, brands find the influencers (people with a lot of followers on social platforms) and cooperate with them in order to promote the products. As a result:
- Companies get access to the new audience through the people its potential audience trust
- Influencers receive profit from the collaboration
- People get a beneficial deal or find out about a new product.
How popular is it?
According to a Snap.Inc and Sparkler study, 31% of customers said that the celebrities and influencers impact on their buying decisions.
Four friends types that influence purchase decisions
Another survey conducted by Tomoson found that ‘businesses are making $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing’. Moreover, influencer marketing was rated as the fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel by the marketers. Believe it or not, but it even overtakes the organic search and email marketing.
Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing channel
Why does it happen? Today, over $255M is spent by brands on the influence marketing every month.However, this number will definitely increase soon because more than 50% of marketers believe that they acquire a more qualified audience.
Quality of customers acquired through influencer marketing
Hence, it is not surprising that almost 60% of businesses want to increase their budget spending on collaborations with influencers.
How can you find influencers? What are the most popular platforms? The Tomoson study has also answered this question: ‘37% (marketers) choose blogs. Facebook was next, with 25%, making it the most popular social network. YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter each got 5–6%, failing conquer the power of Facebook even together’.
How to use influence marketing in e-commerce
Influence marketing has to be a part of your brand marketing strategy. Just follow these simple steps in order to create effective collaborations with celebrities:
- Research (define your target audience, analyze which influencers they follow, what social nets use)
- Clearly define your brand message
- Choose the platforms you will use
- Identify influencers (one hint: pay attention to the engagement rate, not just the followers’ number)
- Create a meaningful and rememberable content with influencers
- Evaluate the results.
Besides, you have to work out a way of getting on with the influencers. This process has a few differences from the classic ads:
- Introduce them your products and business, make sure they clearly understand all your missions, goals, and share the values
- Give them the details of the upcoming campaign
- Provide fair compensations (on average, bloggers – $175 – $5K, Instagram influencers – $75 – $3K, Video influencers – $500 – $5K)
- Offer some advantages for their audience (for example, a discount code, free shipping, etc.)
How to analyze the influence marketing performance
One of the most confusing issues about the influence marketing is related to the analysis. How can you understand what things work and what do not? The vast majority of marketers consider sales as the most important indicator, followed by:
- Social shares
- Earned media value.
Influencer marketing metrics
So, creating a trusted content is not as simple as it may seem first. However, if you choose the right influencers with the engaged and active audience, your business will be able to significantly raise sales.