Influencer Marketing is a way to promote products and services through opinion leaders. Influencers have a loyal audience who listen to them and are willing to repeat almost everything their idols do.
Anyone can be an Influencer, from a famous pop star, a blogger who is good at play Lucky 7, or someone who is believed by the entire mom community of a particular baby forum. Thanks to social networks, there are more and more opinion leaders in various fields every year, and interest in the Influencer market is growing exponentially.
According to a study by Influencer MarketingHub, which included 800 marketing agencies, brand representatives, and other advertising and PR professionals, the number of Google searches related to the term Influencer Marketing has increased by 1500% in the last three years!
Why Go To Influencers?
The goals that brands have when working with opinion leaders can be boiled down to the following:
- To increase audience awareness of the brand (brand awareness);
- Education of the audience (especially in the segment of high-tech goods);
- Improvement of search engine results (when authoritative sites link to your resource, it improves its performance in search engines)
- demonstration of how to use the product;
- increasing the number of subscribers and engagement in the brand’s social networks;
- Working off negativity (when opinion leaders help debunk a myth about the harms/disadvantages of a product/service);
- increase in sales;
- Increased trust.
In the past year, 2022, an absolute majority of surveyed marketers, 92% to be exact, thought that Influencer marketing was an effective tool for brand promotion.
Who is an Influencer?
Who can be considered an “Influencer” anyway? It could be anyone: a famous actress or performer, a cybersports player, a tech market commentator, or a mom who blogs about family, etc. The main thing is that these people have a large and loyal enough audience – you can tell this by the number of subscribers and views under each video or post and the number of likes and comments.
The secret to influencer marketing is that it doesn’t look like advertising – even if a video or post about your product is labeled “advertising.” Instead, bloggers usually try very natively to embed a story about the advertised product in their content – and because of that, people tend to believe their favorite bloggers more than they think in TV commercials or YouTube pre-rolls.
What Tasks Does Influencer Marketing Solve?
They are attracting attention – the first stage of the interaction. At this stage, the customer does not know about your product: you need to tell them about it to create a general impression. This task is solved primarily with usual media advertising: outdoor advertising, videos, programs, and TV ads. However, our practice shows that bloggers also do an excellent job with outreach objectives.
The following indicators are usually taken as KPIs:
- Coverage (CPM).
- Range of unique users;
- Mentioning the brand in search results;
Brand lift is an automated tool that assesses how the advertising campaign has affected the value of brand metrics: brand awareness, memorability, and brand interest.
It is the stage where we remove objections. People already know about our product but are still determining if they want to buy it – they may have doubts that need to be addressed. Bloggers are ideal: people tend to trust opinion leaders, and because of the informal atmosphere of communication on the network, they often regard their favorite blogger as a friend or acquaintance. His recommendations are trusted.
At this stage, the KPI is set based on the objectives, but usually, it is:
- Number of ad views;
- The number of likes/dislikes;
- The tone of comments: positive, adverse, interest, etc.;
- Number of reposts and Shares;
- Involvement index of the audience (activity under the ad).
In the final step of the funnel, where people are already interested in buying – all that’s left is to convince them to make this Purchase right now. Targeted advertising is the best at this stage. As KPIs are used:
The number of clicks to the target site or page;
Several targeted actions: orders, application installations, subscriptions, etc.
At this stage, the use of bloggers also gives excellent results, but you need to consider an important nuance: often, you cannot put a direct CTA in the influencer’s post. For example, when promoting on Instagram, the link can be inserted only in Stories, which is sometimes convenient (plus Stories lives only 24 hours).
Above we spoke about the individual stages of the funnel, but the most exciting thing is to take the user through the whole chain: from knowledge to interest and then to purchase. The so-called brandformance approach allows you to achieve this.
To make this approach work with Influencers, we use the following mechanics:
- First, we get the audience interested, involve people in the process, and lead them to buy with influencers – with interactives, native ads, etc.;
- Then for the involved audience, we form a CTA through Performance: retargeting, contextual advertising, etc.
How to Work With Bloggers at Influence Marketing?
Obviously, you have to work with bloggers: the market is growing, and the combination of price and quality of such advertising is very high if you approach it in the right way. The main thing is to remember a few fundamental principles:
- Influence Marketing offers different tools for different tasks. The optimal choice will be an ordinary advertising message; you need interactive, somewhere-native advertising. Plan actions for a specific job, considering the target audience’s characteristics. Then everything will work. Bloggers, by the way, are good at creativity and interaction with the audience – they also benefit from this, as they get content of higher quality.
- Do not directly compare targeting traffic through Facebook or MyTarget with advertising from Influencers – this is simply incorrect. If you want to reach – compare with outreach advertising, in particular, with TV.
- Bolder mix different approaches and experiment. Bloggers are good at Awareness and great at Consideration and Purchase, so it makes sense to finish off the “hot” audience with targeting ads. Brandformance gives excellent results, and the main thing is to plan the stages correctly and get people warmed up.
- And it is highly recommended to plan marketing campaigns with Influencers in advance – and, preferably, for an extended period. If the integration is done well, the advertising materials have a chance to “live” for a very long time due to the organic coverage.
Overall, planning in strategy + creativity in tactics = are the key to success in Influence Marketing.
Bloggers are creative people who are short with their audience: use their strengths, compensate for their weaknesses, and the effect will be temporary.