What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing has taken off in recent years, and in 2017 alone, there was a huge boom on social media platforms like Instagram. The boom? Influencers working with brands to market a brand’s products to their following. But, what is influencer marketing? Well, it’s a relatively new type of marketing, so there’s no blame if you don’t know exactly what it is…

Luckily for you, you’re in the right place to learn about it. We spoke to Revive.Digital, leading experts in digital marketing and web design in Essex, to ask the pros all about influencer marketing. In this post, you’ll find out all about influencer marketing, how it works and what it actually is. Once you better understand how influencer marketing works, you may find it best to incorporate it into your digital marketing strategy.

This is your guide to influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing – what is it?

Influencer marketing is the process of partnering with influencers on social media, in order to promote their products / services. It’s a common thing, especially on Instagram. Many fashion brands enlist influencers to promote a new collection or new product, and it even works for other businesses too. Beauticians and car leasing companies sometimes dip their toe into influencer marketing, in the hopes of bringing in some new business. The payoff can be huge, if done correctly. Most influencers charge a fee for a certain number of posts, and they may even promote their content through paid ad means.

Influencer marketing has undergone some changes since it began. One of the most notable being that influencers and brands now must disclose that they are working together. Yes, influencers need to mark their posts as paid partnerships or #ads. This comes after the USA’s FTC set guidelines for influencers and brands on social media advertising.

Social media marketing does extend past Instagram, although it is by far the most popular. But influencers are on Facebook and YouTube too – 2018 may see the rise in popularity for influencer marketing on these social platforms. Vloggers are having a great influence over their audiences on YouTube and Facebook videos are becoming increasingly popular every day. So, it’s a matter of time before influencer marketing booms on these two platforms.

Types of influencers

In order to truly utilise influencer marketing, businesses first need to understand the types of influencers that are out there. To collaborate with an influencer is not enough, you need to do your homework. You need to find their speciality, see if your product or service will work with their ‘brand’ and more importantly, look at their following.

There are two categories of influencers: Micro and Macro. Micro influencers usually have less than 10,000 followers, whereas Macro influencers have upwards of 10,000. But, whilst these 2 categories are about their following, there are many different types of influencers. According to Forbes, there are around 7 types of influencers – they are as follows:

  • Bloggers and vloggers
  • Platform specific sensations
  • Celebrities
  • Journalists
  • Brand journalists
  • Analysts
  • Thought leaders

Working with these influencers could help a business boom online. Many choose to use celebrities, bloggers and vloggers or Platform Specific Sensations on channels like Instagram. That’s because these kinds of influencers work best for fashion brands and other similar businesses. But, you can find an influencer relating to your industry, no matter how niche. All it takes is a little research, and the right tools to assist you in your search.

Finding influencers

Whilst sitting on Instagram or any other social platform searching is one way to find influencers, it’s not very efficient. However, there are easier ways to find your best influencer to work with. Many businesses use tools like Lefty and Upfluence to help them search for the right influencer for their brand.

The tools are great, they allow you to search for influencers, contact them and track your paid partnerships campaigns all from one place. Not only can this save you time on researching, but it allows you to better monitor the success and the influencers you’ve worked with too. Helping you refine your influencer marketing strategies in the future.

Does influencer marketing work?

Many businesses and brands have seen the benefits on influencer marketing for them. One brand specifically excelled in 2017, regarding influencer marketing. A watch brand (MVMT), used influencers, both macro and micro, in order to boost their sales and grow their brand. They worked with both celebrities, including Kylie Jenner, as well as platform specific sensations too. They gave out unique discount codes to influencers to share with their following, which meant that MVMT could track watch sales with the discount codes.

They could see which customers were using influencer discount codes, meaning that they could track their ROI much easier. They also created bespoke landing pages for influencers, as well as promoting influencer content on their own social channels and their website. By tracking the success of influencer marketing, businesses can clearly determine if their influencer marketing strategy has worked. Whilst fashion brands may find influencer marketing easy, businesses like architects may struggle – however, there’s no harm in trying. If the strategy doesn’t work, then chalk it up to one not to use in the future.

Keep up with trends

As there is with most styles of marketing, there are some key trends to follow in influencer marketing. One of the key things to learn is that with each new year comes new trends to stick to. One we’ve mentioned already, is that for influencer marketing, you should try and look past just Instagram. YouTube and Facebook will be growing influencer platforms in 2018, so be aware. Always make sure to disclose your paid partnerships and build relationships with your influencers.

Follow MVMT’s lead, share influencer content on your site to show that you have more than just a transactional relationship. By using the right tools, you can streamline your influencer marketing strategy. However, the most important thing to remember is to create content – not ads. See, the ideal is to promote without advertising, because ads on social media don’t engage an audience. An influencer creating their own content does. Entrust the right influencer to market your brand to their followers. The payoff could be huge.