Influencer marketing is a popular tactic used to seize the attention of your target audience, with a view of skyrocketing sales for your business.
This is because influencers already have the eyes and ears of the consumer.
Consider these statistics:
- Only 1 percent of millennials trust ads and 33 percent trust blog reviews before making purchases.
- 40 percent of people report having bought something online after seeing an influencer on Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter using it.
- Influencer marketing yields a $6.50 ROI for every dollar spent (Tomoson study).
- 71 percent of influencers believe that their audiences stay engaged owing to an authentic, and honest voice.
These statistics bring out the importance of influencer marketing and why its all the rage right now.
But how can businesses and brands leverage this concept to skyrocket their sales.
Understanding Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing leverages the audience reach of an influencer who has a strong brand reputation and large following – mostly online – in a specific niche.
Brands and/or businesses use influencers to endorse their products, support their brands, and/or co-create content for brand awareness and driving sales.
With that brief understanding of influencer marketing and how it works, let’s dive into more specific ways in which you can increase sales using influencer marketing.
- Find the ideal influencer
The right influencer for your brand should ideally be popular in your niche, for example a tech brand would seek a pool of influencers in the tech space.
The influencers also need to rank high for keywords you want to target, and are thought leaders and great marketers in your niche. You can find them through online searches for specific brand-related keywords on Google or social media channels.
In order to find the perfect match, you need to ask yourself if they’ll like your brand, are advocates of it already, and their personality reflects that of your brand.
Also, find out whether their creative style for both their content and delivery suits your brand, and if they can create high-quality content and posts.
Finally, find influencers who are easy to work with, don’t work with your rivals, and their audience or following are potential customers for your products or services.
Once you have a shortlist of influencers, narrow down your search by looking at metrics such as domain authority, follower numbers, and average engagement like retweets, shares, comments, subscriptions and more.
- Build effective working relationships with influencers
From your list of potential influencers suitable for your brand, you now need to do outreach and talk to them in a bid to build good working relationships.
The first thing is to contact each of them and introduce them to your brand, whether they know it or not. Share as much as you can about your values and the brand from your perspective, what makes it unique, its competitors, and market differentiation.
Also, highlight the details of your marketing campaign and let them know their role and what you want from them, whether it’s a blog on an event, or a product review, and how they’ll share content and invite interest.
Ironing out the nitty gritty from the beginning prevents future misunderstandings, but you can allow them the creative freedom to give direction on the project themselves. This way their creativity isn’t stifled.
Be sure to give freebies plus fair monetary compensation if you want to keep them and sustain the relationship.
A good example is the vlog by Tammy Hembrow, a YouTube vlogger and influencer in the beauty and cosmetics space.
Hembrow worked with Tarte Cosmetics on their successful #TrippinWithTarte campaign, which saw several famous beauty gurus flown to the Australian coast where they stayed for several days.
The influencers posted their vlogs and photos of their activities while on the shores, playing on the beach, and hiking.
Hembrow’s vlog of her trip with Tarte Cosmetics to Hayman Islands garnered more than 1.6 million views to date, and the campaign had influencers with more than 6.5 million followers.
That’s massive online attention for one brand, in one simple campaign.
This cements the importance of picking influencers who match your creative style and brand’s personality as their content will reflect it perfectly.
- Ask them to review your offerings
Product reviews are one of the most popular tactics in influencer marketing.
A study from Tubular Insights found that consumers are influenced by product reviews after watching branded social content. Another study by Google reported 26 percent of consumers get inspiration to shop from YouTube.
This comes as no surprise because the feedback of past users helps consumers buy products, as they scour reviews on sites like Amazon or social media comment sections.
Try checking YouTube vlogger Marques Brownlee who does unboxing videos for various brands.
Brownlee helps shine the spotlight on different tech products or software by getting them in front of his large audience of over 8.5 million followers.
Through such influencers, brands offer excellent avenues to generate buzz, gain more exposure for their brands, drive engagement, and ultimately increase sales.
They can make budgetary allocations for giveaways of their products every month to winners of competitions, or directly to the influencers themselves.
To increase engagement, the influencers encourage their audiences to tag their friends, comment, like, share, favorite, retweet, or subscribe.
Influencers can establish credibility for your brand as they review your products.
- Allow influencers to get creative with their content
Influencers don’t just do product reviews, they also create entertaining content that features several brands they work with.
A good example is YouTube personality Zach King, who has a following of more than 3.7 million subscribers, owing to his magic vines, and cleverly edited videos.
King’s work has been featured in top campaigns for global brands like Oreo, Pixar, Disney, Coca-Cola and many more.
Your brand can benefit from the creative vision of influencers for your product or brand, but it doesn’t end on social media.
You can build social proof by posting user-generated content on your product pages so that your consumers see what influencers have to say as they visit your site.
- Create testimonials that feature the influencers
Testimonials are known to get consumers to trust brands and products because people trust influencers they relate with and follow.
This means they’re likely to believe the influencer’s take on your products or services, compared to what you have to say about it.
- Offer discount codes and custom URLs through influencers
As mentioned earlier on, this is an effective strategy to engage social community. They share your discount codes or custom URLs featuring your brand or products.
This is mostly used with fashion and retail brands, and influencers post their promo codes on their sites or social channels with links to each product page in their posts.
There’s a rapid shift in the digital landscape, which means brands have to keep up with and maximize on their ad spend budgets to gain more customers and increase market share.
The good thing is influencer marketing is here to stay, as it helps you create great content, while earning credibility, and brand exposure through the influencers’ networks.
As long as you work with influencers who have a solid reputation, genuine clout, and a community of followers that reacts and responds favorably to their recommendations, you’re good to go.
Also published on Medium.