Influencer Advertising and marketing: Examples and Methods for 2021
You have probably heard the term “influencer” a lot over the past few years. It generates mental images of YouTube stars promoting energy drinks and Instagram stars raving about diet supplements for weight loss.
This is known as influencer marketing and can be a very successful strategy if done correctly with your campaign. Let's see if you should try this strategy for yourself.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is the process by which brands use well-known personalities who influence their target markets to promote their brands.
That doesn't mean you can afford to pay Michael Jordan to promote your new line of sportswear.
In fact, many of the most successful influencer marketers aren't very famous.
Take Murad and Nataly Osmann, for example. There's a good chance you'll recognize the style of their photos:
A simple photo of Nataly holding her boyfriend by the hand has grown into a huge online fan base – and a brand empire.
According to Adweek, "They're working with top marketers like Macy’s and Napa Valley Beringer Vineyards to create compelling ads, and they're starting a platform to connect brands with bloggers."
The #Followmeto project has also turned into TV and book deals. The couple host a 20-minute travel TV show on Channel One Russia, which takes viewers behind the scenes of their online photos. "
Sometimes the best influencers aren't people at all. Toast, a well-known bitch, uses her internet fame to promote a variety of brands, including coffee, bottled water, and even thigh-cleaning pens.
Instagram isn't the only place you can find influencers.
Lance Stewart, a well-known influencer, has more than 50,000 followers on Facebook alone:
He is also active on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter.
Finding influencers isn't necessarily about finding the most famous person.
Instead, it's about finding someone your audience trusts and using that influence to promote your brand.
Outline the goals of your influencer marketing campaign
I've found influencer marketing to work well for brands that don't have a large following.
You are using someone else's platform for your own benefit.
But before you start creating the content, before you find an influencer, and before you do anything else, you need to outline the goals of your influencer campaign.
It's simple: every decision you make is determined by your goal.
The platform you choose, the influencer you work with, the type of content they create; all of these factors play a role.
Let's work on an example to make this easier to illustrate.
Suppose you work with a customer (let's call them Client A) in the gaming industry – specifically in the smartphone app gaming industry.
Mobile gaming is a pretty competitive industry. iTunes has 18 categories of games and hundreds of popular puzzle games.
Company A has been in business for five years and has a solid portfolio of medium-hit games, including a hugely popular game that has been downloaded 25 million times.
They brought out a new puzzle game, and they want to use influencer marketing to get tons of downloads and to get the new introduction a buzz. Ideally, that buzz would extend to their brand and give their entire gaming portfolio a good boost.
How can you help them get the most out of influencer marketing?
First, let's outline the goal.
The goal should consist of three parts:
- Find out the influencer's demographics
- Determine what the influencer will help you
- Plan how the influencer will help you with this
Example goal for Company A's influencer marketing campaign:
There are a variety of formats to outline your goals. In this example, Company A has written the campaign goals in paragraph form:
This campaign will partner with a young, highly connected influencer who has access to the tech-savvy millennial group. Ideally, you are tech-savvy and use an iPhone, as downloads from the Apple Store exceed those from Android.
With this campaign, we will exceed our last game's downloads by 45% in the first 30 days.
The campaign includes at least 1 video longer than 30 seconds showing how the game is played and two or three other social posts on Instagram and Snapchat where our demographic is the most active.
This goal is detailed. It contains certain numbers and platforms. There is a chance that some of these factors could shift.
For example, you may find that YouTube is a more effective influencer marketing platform for your video game company.
It's okay to change the details of your goal, but the outline should serve as a starting point for all other decisions.
This template will help you outline your goal:
Influencer Marketing Campaign Goal Plan
Who is the influencer?
Popular on which platforms?
Campaign end goal:
Number of posts:
Now that you've outlined your goal, it's time to find your influencer.
How to find effective influencers for your brand
Choosing the right influencer is critical to the success of a killer influencer marketing campaign, but it is far from easy. Ryan Schneider, Chief Brand Manager at Insomniac Games, says:
(A) Finding the right influencer takes a lot of leg work … If I were a PR rep and tried to find the right reporter on the Wall Street Journal, I could do that … probably with a Google search or two clicks of the mouse . Addressing the right influencer can be much more complex.
According to Tap Influence, there are four main ways to find influencers: manual search, using databases, tapping into networks, or exploring marketplaces.
This method requires doing single searches, searching web pages for information, and then adding the information to a table. It's extremely time consuming and not very effective.
First, create a table in Google Docs or Excel and then create a column for any information you want to get about each individual influencer.
Column names will likely include:
- Influence industry, including its specific niche (e.g., if a gaming influencer's audience is predominantly female or under 16 years old)
- Total number of followers (combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat or the top platforms your audience uses)
- Facebook link
- Instagram link
- Twitter link
- Snapchat link
- Email / contact information
- Special Notes: Do you already have a relationship with them or do you regularly post on topics closely related to your brand? Here, add any other information you want to include.
Next, search Google and relevant social platforms for keywords, mentions of your brand, and related hashtags.
In a highly competitive industry like mobile gaming, reaching out to high-level influencers will help you get the most out of your reach. Make a list of these people.
The next step is to search for the most popular platform for our target group. In this case I go to YouTube.
The most effective strategy is to watch the most engaging videos, either from my brand or my competitors, and then see who shared or interacted with those posts.
From there, I could find the top influencers.
I'm using a fictional example so I can't search for our brand.
Since we're in mobile gaming, I'm looking for Two Dots, a popular puzzle game. From a quick search for the brand name, I see a possible influencer:
The top video is old and doesn't go well with our gaming site.
The second video is from the current brand Dots. It doesn't fit well either.
The third from ZoeTwoDots could fit in nicely. Her videos show strategies for different games, her channel is active, and the channel has more than 200,000 followers. Looks promising!
I would add them to the table and move on.
Remember, all of this research has only brought me one potential influencer to target.
Manual research is extremely labor intensive. However, for smaller brands looking for very niche influencers, this is probably the best choice.
These are tools that do the site scraping for you by pulling publicly available data. These can be good starting points, but reviewing each influencer can prove to be time consuming.
Basically, databases do the heavy lifting instead of doing the searches manually. They are less time consuming than manual searches and cheaper than other options.
One example is Inpowered.
Inpowered has a list of clients it has worked with in the past, including case studies:
This doesn't seem to be a good fit for our mobile gaming company. A more traditional brand might find this database useful.
Rely on your networks
This method of connecting with influencers lies between databases and marketplaces. A network has built relationships with influencers, but you need to go through their profiles to get in touch.
Networks tend to focus on specific genres, such as: B. dad bloggers, lifestyle influencers or food enthusiasts. Examples of popular influencer networks are Activate.
After a little research, I find a good fit for our mobile gaming company: MatchMade.
They make it very easy to find exactly the type of influencer I want, including the ability to sort my options based on reach, location, subscribers, and engagement.
Another benefit of networks is that they often offer more tracking and analysis. Matchmade offers a complete dashboard:
There are many advantages to choosing a network – you can choose the exact type of influencer you want based on many different factors. Tracking is included so you can easily see if you are achieving your goals.
However, this is also usually the most expensive option.
A marketplace does the best of a database by pulling in real-time information, but it allows you to avoid middlemen. Marketplaces usually offer less tracking, but they are also cheaper.
Examples of marketplaces are Tribe, HYPR and Brand Snob. Similar to dating sites, marketplaces allow you to see hundreds of profiles of various influencers.
Here is an example of an influencer profile on Tribe:
I can easily see their scope and an example of their work. This is much easier than searching through thousands of Google search results.
Choosing the best method of finding an influencer that fits your needs can be complicated. Ultimately, you are looking for a partner and, as with any partnership, you need to take your time and weigh all options.
The final decision likely depends on what resources you want to expend – time or money.
Get the most out of your influencer marketing campaign
You have outlined your goals, selected an influencer, and started developing a relationship with them.
Now is the time to create your actual campaign. Here are tips on how to get the most out of your killer influencer marketing campaign.
First, be authentic. The reason traditional ads aren't as effective today is because people crave authentic connections.
Even if you are paying for the influencer to talk about your brand, you need to keep authenticity in mind to be effective.
Shannon Fure of Convince and Convert says it best:
If an influencer does not fit the ethos of a brand, the authenticity factor decreases. Choosing the right influencer is the first step in maintaining authenticity.
Second, carefully choose the platform you are using.
In addition to where your audience is most active, pay attention to what type of content is performing best on each platform.
Take this video of Harry & # 39; s Razors for example:
The video received three thousand views on Facebook.
Harry posted a screenshot of the same video on Instagram:
Although Instagram supports videos, they tend to do better on Facebook.
According to Murray Newlands, "Different platforms are used to target different audiences and demographics, and the same goes for the product or service you are marketing: beautiful photos of your product belong on Instagram, while eye-catching videos do better on Facebook". . "
Take the time to build a real relationship with the influencer. This gives you and the influencer the chance to see whether you are a good match and increases authenticity.
Angela Stringfellow from CODA Concepts suggests:
Start slowly by following them on social media, sharing their content, commenting on their blogs, and involving them in relevant conversations whenever possible. Building a trusting relationship is key to successfully engaging your market's thought leaders as brand advocates.
Empower your influencer with information and access to your brand, but don't take creative control. Ideally, you have chosen an influencer who is already engaged in your brand.
If not, make sure they really understand your brand's voice and what you stand for.
Invite them to your offices, offer tickets to your events, and share interesting stories about your brand and the people you help.
But remember, they are popular with your target audience for a reason. To keep the interaction authentic, you need to give up creative control.
Conclusion on influencer marketing
Influencer marketing may seem like another buzzword that comes from a generation obsessed with smartphones. However, the practice is nothing new.
Put simply, people trust people more than brands. Influencer marketing enables you to use that trust to build goodwill for your brand.
The steps outlined above will help you find the best influencer and get the most out of your partnership.
Did you run an influencer marketing campaign? What were your results?
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