Influencer marketing is one of the newest forms of digital marketing, but do you know all you need to about it? Find out, here.

Influencer marketing in the past few years or so has taken the marketing world by storm. With the boom of social media, online marketers are looking to use ‘high-profile’ users to market their products and services to a wider audience. But, with it being so new, are you certain what influencer marketing entails?

We’ve spoken to Revive.Digital, a leading digital marketing agency, about influencer marketing. We’ve got all the information you need to fully understand it. Everything from what it is, to how it works and how businesses can benefit from it. This guide will breakdown everything there is to know about influencer marketing. Find out, right here.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is similar to affiliate marketing online. It involves finding someone on social media sites with a lot of following, to market a business’ products/services. These can be journalists, celebrities, industry experts or those who are successful on their chosen social platform. This can be Facebook users, YouTubers, Twitter users and, mainly, Instagram users. Instagram is where the influencer marketing process can be seen at its peak. The influencer will post pictures or videos featuring a brand or business’ products/services to market to their audience.

How influencer marketing works

Businesses and brands will approach an influencer (either through an agency, management or their own account) contacting them and negotiating the possibility of them posting their products and services on their social media. Influencers are usually defined by two categories: Micro and Macro Influencers. Micro influencers are those with less than 10,000 followers whereas Macro have over 10,000. The size of an influencer’s following usually gives businesses an idea of how much it will cost them – macro influencers tend to be more costly, due to their wider reach.

Once you’ve agreed price with an influencer (and how many posts/ when they’ll be posting), it may involve you sending them samples of the products you want them to indirectly promote. Most paid promotions on social media will now appear as a ‘paid partnership’ so users are aware that it is what it is. The influencer will then create content around your product/service. This could be a lengthy YouTube video, a picture on Instagram or even a written blog piece. Once finished, the content will be uploaded to the influencer’s social platforms for their followers to see. Next comes measuring the success of your investment.

Measuring ROI

Thanks to the data behind digital marketing, measuring your return on investment is fairly easy with influencer marketing. Brands can track how much business is coming in through their influencer marketing is to provide their influencers with unique discount codes. These codes allow brands to track and monitor how many users are using their select discount code through their site, which then factors in to giving businesses an idea of how well their investment has paid off. Another way is to ask for updates on the influencer’s content post.

Engagement and insights also provide a broad overview of how many people have seen, liked, commented etc. on an influencer’s post. It can be a good indicator as to assessing the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign. Unique links can be generated for influencers as well as monitoring Google Analytics. As with most forms of digital marketing, ROI can be backed up by digital data.

Why influencer marketing?

With over 65% of brands running influencer marketing campaigns, is it something you can really afford to miss out on? Influencers have a powerful voice on the internet, and there are many groups of social users who trust reviews from someone they know. Now, whilst they may not directly be in contact with an influencer, their social media presence and work has helped build a reputation amongst their following. Influencer marketing allows your brand to have a mutual person to connect you to your target audience. They are essentially a bridge to reach a wider audience of users that are more likely to convert with a trusted voice influencing them. Tonnes of brands have seen the pay-off of influencer marketing already.

Finding influencers

If you’ve been convinced by influencer marketing, it’s time to find your influencers for your brand. Now whilst searching through social networking sites may seem like the only option, it’s not. It’s a waste of time, and you need to streamline your search to find the right influencers for your business. Which means, using smart platforms to find out where the right influencers are for you. Followerwonk and Klear are just two of many influencer sourcing sites for brands to utilise. Both of these sites will show you the size of their following, as well as allow you to narrow down which social media platform they use.

The key is to build relationships with influencers, as many of them handle their own enquiries (some have management but ultimately, they will be posting the content). You need to convey the message of your brand in a way that makes sense to them. Influencers should feel valued, so too much technical jargon may alienate them (after all they may not be businesspeople).

Influencer marketing can be beneficial for businesses,  juitst takes a little work to find the right influencer for your brand. Luckily, there are ways to monitor ROI to see if your influencer marketing campaign has benefitted your business. From this data, you can learn how to refine your campaigns and make them more and more profitable over time.