What is Influencer Marketing?
You may have been hearing this hot topic around marketing discussions or experienced it for yourself (or maybe you even read it on our own blog), and wondered about what it is and how can you leverage it for your own business. Influencer marketing is more than just Kim Kardashian posting selfies of the latest fashion trend or dietary fad on Instagram.
It’s about finding a person of influence that best fits with your business’ positioning and can promote products or services in a relatable way to their audience – thereby influencing their purchase decision.
Here is how we define it:
“Digital” influencer marketing is word-of-mouth, native advertising that leverages social media personalities and channels.”
Influencer marketing done right works like positive word-of-mouth that can help shift brand perceptions. It builds trust, in that it’s not the brand itself telling you how amazing it is, but someone who is perceived as your peer, an expert in their own right, or even a friend and therefore sharing a more authentic opinion about your product or service and therefore, as a consumer, you are more receptive to the feedback.
The authenticity comes by finding the right influencer to tell the story. The connection between the brand and the Influencer needs to be apparent or the sponsorship will seem out of place and reflect badly on not only the brand campaign, but also on the Influencer themselves. Meaning that he/she is sharing content on similar topics of interest and perhaps expertise that can connect naturally back to your brand (i.e. A nutritionist Influencer posting about California prunes and their health benefits).
In fact, Nielsen says that 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising, and so if you can tap into that mindset… that’s powerful marketing that can help build your brand reputation or help shift perceptions of it.
Still not sure if an Influencer campaign can work for your brand? Consider this:
Creating a Winning Influencer Marketing Campaign
One of the key components to creating a successful Influencer marketing campaign, and where a lot of brands fall short, is setting KPIs that relate to your brand and industry, and then reporting on them at the end of the campaign.
Defining these goals and then setting attainable KPIs not only helps to understand whether your Influencer campaign accomplished what you wanted it to, as well as monetize success and tie it back to sales, where possible, but it also enables you to see what went right (and wrong) so you can improve future campaigns.
Another consideration for your campaign to succeed is to ensure you have already-established social media channels. Having a well-established social media channel can help ensure your campaign engages your audience and connects back to your brand. You can either have a pre-existing one, or build one so that it is ready for your campaign to start. You don’t need Justin Beiber–level of followers, but if after seeing an endorsement from an Influencer, someone lands on your profile and it’s inactive or your last post was two years ago, their trust decreases.
-Influencer Related Blogs –
WSI Approach to Influencer Marketing
Although the goals of an Influencer campaign can vary depending on the brand and what the purpose of the campaign is, we have found there to be a commonality in the process that will drive more success and ease of execution, before, during and after a campaign.
At WSI, we have created our own five-step method that will help you carry out a successful Influencer marketing campaign. We position it as another extension to your digital marketing mix, which needs strict KPIs, just like the ones you would create for a search marketing campaign, for example.
We work with you to build the strategy to help you reach your goals, whether it is:
- Shifting consumer perceptions from A to B
- Increasing awareness of your brand
- Launching a new product or service
- Reaching new audiences
- Increasing conversions
- Driving lead generation
The first step in this process is to agree and set a strategy for creating an Influencer marketing campaign. We then work together to come up with a list of Influencers that are relative to your brand and audience, while agreeing on which will provide the best ROI.
The next step is to work through contract negotiations to stay within budget and agree on terms of service. Following that, we guide you through the execution of the campaign, and provide reporting that clearly shows the results set out at the beginning of the project.
One key part of a successful Influencer Marketing strategy – like other digital marketing tactics – is having access to the best technologies and tools. That’s why we partnered with gShift, which provides its own Influencer Marketing software module. With our digital marketing expertise and gShift’s proven software solution, we can build you a unique Influencer program that will help you achieve your goals, while having a positive and powerful impact on your brand.
Are you considering an Influencer campaign, or you are still trying to decide if this is the right tactic for you? Get in touch, and we would be happy to discuss this with you.