Teaming with an influencer to assist with your marketing efforts can be a significant boon for your brand. The right social media post or video can expose your products to thousands of new and interested customers. But if you are new to working with influencers, you probably have some questions about the process. That is a good thing, as you should always look before you leap into any situation and understand what you are getting into. Marketing budgets are also precious resources that need to be spent wisely. Asking the right questions ensures that this is the case. Here are our answers to the most common questions about influencer marketing that we are always asked. Read on to learn more.
WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?
Let’s start at the very beginning. According to this article from Sprout Social, influencer marketing “is a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers – individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.” In its infancy, influencer marketing was more akin to celebrity endorsements using the social media profiles of a few high-profile individuals. But influencer marketing has exploded from a $1.7 billion market size in 2016 to $16.4 billion in 2022, according to Statista. There are now many more influencers to choose from, and they have expanded beyond traditional social media to YouTube videos, podcasts, TikTok and other forms of new media.
ARE BIGGER INFLUENCERS ALWAYS BETTER?
Absolutely not. Some marketers are tempted to get the maximum amount of eyeballs onto their products. But that doesn’t really matter if those people have zero interest in what you are selling. For example, if your marketing budget was large enough, you could shell out the $1 million it costs for Kim Kardashian to post to her 333 million Instagram followers about your product. That amount of reach might sound worth the cost, but if you are selling off-road tires, the chances are high that most of Kim K’s followers could care less. You would be throwing away a sizeable amount of money for minimal engagement. Bigger isn’t always better, and engagement is always a better metric than reach.
ARE MICRO-INFLUENCERS A BETTER OPTION?
You want to partner with influencers with highly-engaged followers who view them as knowledgeable and trustworthy. While large-scale influencers can offer more reach, they can’t be experts in everything, even though some try to be. And some have lost credibility as they hawk whatever products they are paid the most to. This is where working with a micro-influencer can have serious advantages, as many are experts in their respective niches earning trust from their followers. They might not have the follower count of more prominent influencers, but the ones they have are usually more engaged and value their opinions, making micro-influencers ideal marketing partners. Using the previous Kardashian example, would you rather partner with her to launch your off-road tires or an influencer that is an off-road expert with a fraction of the following? No offense to Kimmy, but a trusted, authentic and knowledgeable off-road influencer will get better results even with a much smaller following.
HOW MUCH DOES WORKING WITH AN INFLUENCER COST?
This is the most common question about working with influencers and is also the most difficult to answer. Asking how much working with influencers costs is like asking how much a car costs, as there is a vast range of prices. According to this article from Digital Information World, Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest-paid influencer in the world, receiving an average of $2.4 million per Instagram post. But some influencers will work in exchange for products or don’t require much compensation. Influencers generally charge based on their number of followers, but remember that having lots of followers doesn’t always mean a post will be impactful for your brand. Micro-influencers prove that a bigger following isn’t always a plus for brands operating in specific markets that require product expertise and trusted opinions. Like shopping for that car, it is better to decide upon your budget before seeking out influencers and spend it wisely.
HOW DO I FIND AN INFLUENCER?
Finding the right influencer takes time and some digital detective work. Beyond the basics of reach and whether an influencer is knowledgeable, brands must also ensure that influencers align with their values. For example, a hiking shoe company that promotes responsible outdoor recreation should ensure that any influencers they partner with do the same. Google and YouTube are excellent places to start a search for influencers and dig deeper to ensure an influencer is a good match for your brand. Many influencers may already be reviewing your products, making them easier to find. And most operating on YouTube will have a matching Instagram account and vice versa. Your employees are also great resources as they may already know of influencers in your industry. Ensure to properly vet and research any influencer before teaming with them to eliminate surprises.
DOES WORKING WITH AN INFLUENCER ONLY INVOLVE A SINGLE POST OR VIDEO?
It can, but many brands find that forging a longer-term partnership with select influencers is a more effective strategy. Influencers are increasingly seeking to launch their own brands, but some are hesitant to undertake something so complicated and fraught with financial risk. This allows further collaboration by teaming up with influencers to launch their brand as your sub-brand or as a signature product line. It can be a successful pairing as you provide business and production expertise while an influencer exposes the product to their followers eagerly awaiting the results of the collaboration. Check out our blog post to get further details on what can be a game-changer for your brand.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
Engagement is one way to measure how well a social post or video does. More comments, views and likes show that content is connecting with an audience. But as with any marketing campaign, an increase in sales is the ultimate measure of success. Remember that depending on the cost and complexity of your product, that bump in sales can take time. People might immediately buy cheaper and more straightforward products, such as clothing, after seeing a post from an influencer. But they tend to do more research with more expensive or complicated items. There is also a brand and product awareness aspect to working with an influencer as your company and its products are introduced to new customers. Be patient and look for sales to grow over time instead of immediately. And remember not to put all your eggs in one basket, as working with influencers should only be one part of your marketing efforts.
CAN AN AGENCY HELP?
Yes, the right agency can be a massive help in working with influencers. At Kahn Media, we are experts in influencer marketing with over a decade of experience teaming with the right ones that can drive sales and deliver results. If you don’t want to spend your valuable time searching for influencers, we can do that for you, and we already know many of the key influencers across a wide range of industries. As a full-service marketing agency with an in-house creative team of writers, photographers and videographers, we can even assist in creating content for influencer campaigns. And we can also manage longer-term relationships with influencers so you can focus on product planning and running your business. Get in touch with us to see how teaming with the right agency and influencers can be a powerful boost for your brand.