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What is Influencer Marketing?

An Up-to-date Guide 2021

10.5 million. That’s the number of Australians in 2021 currently using Instagram, and that number isn’t stopping anytime soon. For Aussie businesses, that’s a lot of people you could be showcasing your product or service too! But how can you reach not only all those people but the people that are most likely to interact with your brand? Influencer marketing might be what you’re looking for. What is influencer marketing? Glad you asked!

In this guide, we’ll give you an overview of all things influencer marketing – what it is, why you should do it, and how to start creating your own influencer marketing strategy. So read on and let’s dive into the world of social media superstars and how they can help you reach audiences you didn’t think was possible.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Before we answer that question, we need to ask another one: what are influencers? Influencers, specifically those on social media, are individuals who have built authority, reputation and an audience thanks to their expertise on a specific topic. 

Sydney-based influencer @taramilktea promotes a product for fashion company Dior.

Influencers aren’t always your typical Hollywood-esque celebrities. They can range from athletes to YouTube stars to everyday people like mums. In fact, there are many types of influencers (such as micro-influencers) but they all share one thing in common: the power to affect the decisions of others.

Now we can answer ‘what is influencer marketing’. Influencer marketing leverages the popularity and authority of influences to drive an audience towards a specific goal. This can be driving traffic to a website, increasing followers on social media, raising brand awareness or increasing sales.

Why should you care?

As we mentioned, influencer marketing has the power to take your business and brand to the next level – and not just in the realm of social media either. Let’s take a look at why you should be implementing an influencer marketing strategy for your business.

  1. Increase your reach

Because influencers have their own communities and audiences, working with them can grant you access to these groups of people. Want to reach stay-at-home mums? Talking to an influencer in that space can help you effectively send them the messages you want.

  1. Build trust and credibility

Influencers don’t become so simply on popularity, their knowledge and expertise on their topic is what truly elevates them to their position of authority. So when you work with an influencer, your brand is seen as reputable and credible which builds trust with their audience.

  1. Increase followers

Influencer marketing allows you to increase your presence on social media, increasing your follower count. Since people look up to their chosen influencers they are likely to also follow your social media accounts when they see them interact with your brand.

  1. Increase engagement

Looking to increase the number of likes, comments and shares of your social media content? Having influencers as part of your social media marketing tactics and communicating with their audience can help boost your engagement numbers across the board.

  1. Drive traffic to your website

Do you want to increase the amount of people visiting your landing pages or websites? Influencers can direct their audiences to visit your pages, and lead them to take the actions that you want such as signing up to a newsletter or purchasing from your business.

  1. Increase sales, profits and revenue

The endgame for any digital marketing strategy is to increase the sales and revenue for the business and influencer marketing is no different. The combined efforts of both your brand and your influencer promoting your product can lead to great ROI and results in terms of profits and revenue for your business.

According to studies by Oberlo and Influencermarketinghub, influencer marketing has an ROI of 1800%!

Where do I start?

You know what influencer marketing is. And you also know why you should do it. All that’s left to do is get into it and start building your own influencer marketing strategy! Here’s how to get started.

Setting goals and doing research

Like any good strategy, it’s important to figure out what your goals are and do research to find the best way to execute your strategy. Are you looking to increase your business’ Instagram followers to a set number by 6 months? Are you looking to increase traffic to your website by 10%? Defining your goals will help focus your strategy.

Likewise, doing ample research will prevent you from walking into influencer marketing blind and help avoid wasted time, effort and money. What type of influencers will give you the most ROI for your brand? What social media platforms will your strategy be most effective on? These are important questions to ask before jumping into influencer marketing.

Determining a budget and how you will manage your influencers

How much money are you willing to set aside for your influencer marketing strategy? Different influencers cost different amounts of money so it’s important to set a budget to track every penny and avoid unnecessary costs. In 2019, brands paid an average of ‘$100 per 10K followers’ per post.

Source: Google An example of an influencer’s prices.

You also need to determine how you’ll manage your influencers. Many agencies and companies are happy to manage them for you, but be aware that you will need to pay for those services. You can opt to manage them in-house and allocate someone to look over your entire list of influencers. This person will need to be able to communicate effectively with your chosen social media stars.

Selecting your influencers

The most difficult part of an influencer marketing strategy is picking the right influencers for your business. With an average of 500,000 active influencers on Instagram alone, selecting the perfect person can be daunting. Here are some things to ask yourself to find the right influencers to work with:

  • Does the influencer align with my objectives?
  • Does the influencer align with my brand’s values?
  • Do their followers fit my target audience?
  • Does their content fit my brand’s style, voice and tone?
  • WIll working with this influencer fit my budget? (Remember the $100 per 10K followers rule!)

To find potential influencers, you can manually scour social networks like Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

Contacting your chosen influencers

Once you’ve selected the stars of your show, it’s time to contact them! You can contact them directly on their preferred social media channel or you can go through an agency.

First impressions are everything so make sure your pitch is on point! Here are some tips for a good pitch:

  • Be concise and to the point.
  • Make your offer and desired outcome clear.
  • Be upfront.
  • Don’t waste their time.
  • Don’t excessively suck up.
  • Share the benefits of your product or service.

Working with your influencers

You’ve found them, you’ve contacted them and they’ve agreed to work with you – great! Now you can work with your influencers to create content that promotes your brand, delivers your message to a wider audience and introduces your brand to potential customers.

When creating content, be clear about what you want your influencer to post. A content brief can help outline what you want and can include image and caption guidelines. Also, remember that this is a two way relationship and your influencer has her own brand and style to stick to! This means you can’t dictate every little thing, even if you are paying them for the sponsored post. 

Maintaining relationships and tracking performance

Influencer marketing is not a ‘set it and forget it’ strategy. You’re working with real life people and with all relationships, effort should be placed to maintain a good working relationship between you and your influencers.

Address their problems, praise their work and share results. Crafting a good relationship with your influencer can lead to bigger and better things. Your influencers can ‘graduate’ to become brand ambassadors or company spokespeople!

Continually tracking the performance and results will also identify any chinks in your strategy and help you take actions to ensure consistently positive results. This might include growing or culling your influencer list, changing post frequency or readjusting budgets.

Ready to meet your star influencers?

Influencer marketing can significantly move the needle for your business and bring in results like you’ve never seen before! And now that you have the knowledge you need, you can start creating your own influencer campaigns today.

Need more than just the answer to ‘what is influencer marketing?’. Our blog has everything you need to know about social media, influencer marketing and more! If you prefer to speak to our team of experts instead, you can contact us and we’ll help you set up your very own influencer marketing strategy!

Because we are! Find out just how far we can take your brand.

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