Contributed by Aaron Rodrigues,
CEO & Founder of Via Media
Influencer marketing is growing rapidly. A once heavily scrutinized form of product or service endorsement is now changing the advertising landscape once and for all.
Indeed, with the maturing of social media platforms, many will question how effective it is placing the outcome of campaigns in the hands of socialites that are deemed to have a ‘positive influence’ over their online following.
However, in 2022, the answer to all the questions and doubts if influencer marketing is worth the time is unequivocally, yes.
As business owners and marketers, we must acknowledge the exponential effect that influencers can play in our marketing campaigns.
Leveraging on their online following to drive sales figures is not just the latest trend. In fact, it seems like it is here to stay.
The faster we understand how to throw this strategy into our marketing mix, the better for business.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing simply refers to collaboration with an online influencer to promote a product or service for a pre-determined time frame.
These influencers would be remunerated either in the form of direct payments, product sponsorships or both. In return, the said influencers would then promote a product or service on their various online channels.
It is essentially taking the essence of celebrity endorsements and applying that into the digital marketing world.
And companies that effectively leverage on this have seen massive growth in their own channel’s followings and/or sales figures.
A daunting task at first glance, but a necessary one indeed.
Business owners or marketing managers who have not gotten the chance to dabble in storyboard creation are always advised to start out simple.
While there are many templates that can be found online, as a content marketer, I found much alleviation in using a simple excel sheet with clearly marked out headers as a great start to beginner storyboarding.
What are the Different Influencer Tiers?
Sometimes also known as Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), influencers come with different levels of online followings.
Being able to identify what level these influencers are on would essentially determine how much you would be spending on hiring them for your campaigns. The different tiers of influencers are as follows:
- Nano-Influencers: <10,000 Followers
- Micro-Influencers: 10,000 to 50,000 Followers
- Mid-Tier Influencers: 50,000 to 100,000 Followers
- Macro-Influencers: 100,000 to 1,000,000 Followers
- Mega-Influencers: >1,000,000 Followers
For a good reference, engaging these influencers to post about you on their accounts might cost anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars for micro and nano-influencers, while it can go up to thousands of dollars for the higher-tiered influencers.
Influencers and Ecommerce Marketing
Influencer marketing is the new celebrity endorsement.
Lying at the heart of any celebrity endorsement campaign is social approval, trust, and awareness. These are the three main objectives that are synonymous with any good influencer campaign.
Brands that understand this, leverage on the opinions and track records of influencers to build a rapport amidst a digital audience. This has proven to reap exponential results should the correct influencer be chosen.
Local water filter and air purifier seller Sterra is just one of these brands that have incorporated influencer marketing into their selling strategy.
In their efforts to spread awareness about their brand, they have created a wall of social proof leveraging on many familiar faces in the local entertainment and social media scene, one that many other ecommerce businesses would be in envy of.
The key to Sterra’s success was implementing all these celebrity endorsements on all their digital platforms in the shortest time possible.
And within the shortest period, they were able to establish a reputation for themselves, there was an element of trust that was created by having all these influencers and celebrities alike putting forth the best recommendations of their products.
Building such a reputation without using influencer marketing would take months if not years of testimonial collection and this is taking the ecommerce marketing space by storm.
How do I choose an influencer for my campaign?
Influencer marketing is very often only as successful as the influencer that you hire. Choosing the right influencer really matters. However, the process to select the right influencer is something that would leave many confused. Here are a few pointers that you can consider when selecting an influencer:
- Relevance and Niche
- What is their content engagement rates?
- What is the authenticity of their audience?
- How much would it cost to engage them?
Determining an Influencer’s Relevance
It is important to work with an influencer that not only understands your brand, but also posts about related topics on a regular basis.
Before engaging an influencer, just imagine what it would look like if they were to start posting about your product on their social media pages.
Would it look out of place, or would it fit right in?
For instance, a promotion for an interior design company would look out of place on a social media account famous for promoting food and beverage companies.
When collaborating with influencers, choose one that when they post your content on their page, resonates with the audience who actively follow the accounts.
What is their engagement rate?
Engagement rates are direct reflections of an influencer’s ‘influence’ over their community of followers.
This is the average number of people that are interacting with each of their posts and is often proportionate to the number of people that your collaboration would leave an impression on.
Influencers who build up enough rapport and trust within their following would have a higher engagement rate on their posts.
The higher the engagement rate, the more likely followers are to like, share and interact with content posted.
This is an important metric to analyze when it comes to choosing a collaborator. Not to be fooled by simply a high number of followers, companies should take influencers’ engagement rates into consideration before embarking on their marketing campaigns.
What is the authenticity of the audience?
When looking for an influencer to collaborate with, we would want to choose one that has a loyal following.
Beyond that, we would need to check the influencer’s authenticity in following and work. To do so, a simple check of that influencer’s followers list can reveal the demographics of people that are following them.
Do look out for spam accounts and comments alike in each one of their posts. Look at who is commenting on their posts, and the types of comments they are leaving.
Lastly, take a look at the influencer’s previous sponsored posts or marketing campaign posts. That would be a great reflection on what kind of results you would get with your own campaign.
Moreover, you may want to make a deeper study on the history of these influencers involved. Remember to treat influencers like a brand, and check up on their past campaigns and public involvements.
You would want to ensure that your collaborations are co-beneficial and not detrimental to your company’s image.
Connecting with potential collaborators
Once you are ready and have selected your chosen influencers, you may choose to contact them either via their email, or directly messaging them through their social media accounts.
Do not be taken aback if the person replying you is their management team – most mid-tier and above influencers have such teams to handle the large influx of enquiries.
Arrange a meetup session to further explore the collaboration and always have an agreement down in writing once they have agreed to work with you.
Ensure that you have deliverables from all parties written down in black and white to avoid any potential conflict during your campaign.
Companies may choose to contact the various influencer marketing platforms to broker an influencer marketing deal for them but do still take the time to do your due diligence and make informed decisions.
Influencers and you
Influencer marketing is the fastest-growing marketing tactic that can elevate your brand’s presence and sales figures alike.
Leveraging on one or more of such influencers would propel your ecommerce brand far ahead of the competition.
And this is an applicable strategy that spans all social media channels. Always remember to do your own due diligence to research and choose the appropriate influencers for your campaign.