Advertising has always been an important part of the sales strategy. Every company tries to make a new product known and to convince potential customers of the quality or the usefulness of a product or service. New strategies are constantly being developed which companies hope will have an even greater impact. The development of the Internet and social networks offer completely new perspectives to reach as many people as possible. So-called influencer marketing is becoming more and more important. But what is it and how does this type of advertising work? We’ll give you an overview and a few tips.
What is an influencer anyway?
In order to understand influencer marketing, we should first clarify what exactly is understood by an influencer. Advertisers understand an influencer to be an opinion maker and multiplier. An influencer is a person who is very well known on the Internet and who is observed by many people via social networks in order to follow their activities.
This person is able to influence others and get them excited about something. For this reason, it is used by companies for advertising purposes. An influencer does its job in a variety of ways. He is not only active online via blogs, websites, forums, or accounts in social networks, but also advertises in his private environment anytime and anywhere, whether at events, parties, or on vacation.
For example, an influencer is under contract with a trendy watch label, is supposed to advertise a particular watch, and receives a copy. He probably not only wears the watch in one of his videos but also when he goes out in the evening or lies on the beach. His followers see him with the watch almost everywhere and must have it because he has it too. Influencer marketing is largely word of mouth.
Quantity is not the same as quality
If a company intends to increase its success through the use of an influencer, it usually uses influencers who have the greatest possible reach, i.e. who have an extremely large number of followers. So far, experts have been of the opinion that more followers would result in more sales. But this view is changing. Recent experience shows that an influencer with fewer, but all the more committed followers are no less successful – on the contrary. It actually seems better to have 1,000 followers who really love you than two million who just like you.
The secret is that an influencer who fully identifies with the niche product you are offering can advertise it much better than an influencer who has an extremely large number of followers but who doesn’t really care about your product.
Subtle advertising in influencer marketing
Surveys have shown that customers no longer feel addressed by traditional forms of advertising. The young generation does not want an overly idealized presentation, but rather realistic, completely natural advertising. In the opinion of advertising professionals, this works best when the influencer advertises a product in a very subtle way, almost casually.
But he can only do that if he is convinced of what he is presenting to his followers. You can recommend much better what you use yourself in everyday life. For example, if he creates a video, he will incorporate the product or service in it much more naturally than if he had to force himself to do so because he did not like the product or was not convinced of a service.
Developing an influencer marketing strategy
Before you start looking for and contacting suitable influencers, you should first consider an influencer marketing strategy. This can extremely simplify your search for the right opinion-makers and serve as first aid on the way to convincing your opinion-makers.
The search for suitable influencers initially requires a certain amount of preparatory work. First of all, you should look out for current articles that are directly related to your products, topics, or services. When doing your research, use selected keywords or hashtags that are relevant to your topics. Decide on factors or key topics that you want to research the influencers that are of interest to you.
Before working with an influencer, you should make sure that your target group and that of the influencer are identical or at least have parallels. You should also start thinking about how you might be contacted. The following questions can help you with your marketing strategy: What goals do you hope to achieve with the help of influencers? What exactly should the influencers do for you? How can influencers benefit from it all? Do you get something in return for your support? What is the best way to contact influencers?
PERFORMING A QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS
To determine the suitability of an influencer, you should conduct a quantitative and qualitative analysis. The quantitative analysis is suitable for determining how many people the influencer can reach with his posts. Analyze how many visitors are on your site every day.
Find out how many followers and subscribers he has and how much he posts on your topic. Does he post daily, weekly, or even at very irregular intervals? How is the response to the opinion maker’s posts? How many comments, likes, and shares does he get on the posts he has published?
With the qualitative analysis, you can determine whether the influencer is focusing on the same or similar topics in his contributions. Check whether you like the quality of the posts and whether your brand, your product could suit this influencer.
Find out how well the influencer is recognized in their community. Do the followers appreciate and respect him? Does he have enough influence to convince you? Also, try to find out whether the influencer is even interested in working together. Will he possibly ask for money for cooperation? If so, calculate how much the remuneration is or the value of product samples, tests, etc.
Influencer Marketing: Search Tools
Relevant, added-value content and influential multipliers are the keys to successful content and influencer marketing. There are several tools to help you track down the most influential influencers and the most shared blog articles. We would like to introduce you to three well-known tools in more detail below.
Are you interested in tracking down the most important contributions to all possible articles and finding the right influencers for you? BuzzSumo can help you with that. BuzzSumo is a helpful web tool that searches a wide variety of social networks for the most shared articles or the most influential people for a particular keyword and then lists them.
The search engine tool is currently evaluating data for the following social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. The segmentation of potential opinion leaders is simplified by categorizing them into bloggers, influencers, entrepreneurs, journalists, or “regular people”. The integration of Twitter is particularly convincing, as influencers are added to a list here, you can follow them and contact them directly.
For unrestricted access to all filter options, however, the web tool is not very cheap. With the free version, only ten influencers and the most important metrics can be displayed. If you want to search for influencers without this limitation, you already have to pay $ 99 per month. Expect to pay $ 299 per month to take full advantage of the search engine tool.
Another useful research tool is Upfluence. Because here, too, it helps you to find exactly those influencers who might be of interest to you. With this platform, you can use keywords, geolocation, and other interesting and important key data to find suitable influencers who serve exactly the target group that is also essential for you. In addition, with Upfluence you can also carry out influencer and campaign management, as well as ultimately evaluate the success of the campaigns.
Due to the large amounts of data that Upfluence sends you, you can precisely record and assess whether the influencers have had a positive effect on your sales and how the individual campaigns have performed. Conveniently, the platform also allows Shopify Goole Mail and other helpful “tools” to be integrated.
Upfluence offers three price and performance packages. With “Starter”, “Growth” and “Scale” you can choose exactly the package that suits you.
The Traackr tool is a recording system for data-driven influencer marketing that you can use to find out whether you are investing in the right strategies, how to optimize campaigns, and how to scale programs. Traackr advertises with a large global influencer dataset that examines more than 6 million tested profiles for various factors. Not only demographic data of the target group are recorded, but also brand affinity, profile descriptions, and captions as well as content on 13 social platforms. With Traackr you can filter individually according to 22 target group and influencer criteria and thus discover suitable and powerful influencers in 50 countries and 26 languages.
Complete campaigns can also be developed, implemented, and managed here. You can use the tool to continuously adapt your campaign and get insights and results about, for example, organic lobbying, events, product gifts, or paid partnerships.
For information on prices and price packages, you have to send an inquiry to the company.
How do you get influencers for your influencer marketing?
Now that you have identified potential influencers, the most important part of influencer marketing comes: making contact. Above all, influencers are interested in reputation, recognition, and dialogue on an equal footing. In order to convince influencers of your company or your brand, you, therefore, need sensitivity. Show them that you are genuinely interested in working together and that you have made the decision to talk to them.
YOU SHOULD FOLLOW THESE 8 RULES WHEN CONTACTING US
- In preparation for making contact, you should already comment on, like, and share posts by the influencer in order to express your interest in their topics and possibly draw attention to you.
- When making contact, you should rely on honest, direct, and personal communication. A personal approach tailored to the influencer creates trust and that is what influencer marketing is primarily about. Formulate your request precisely and make sure that your intention is immediately recognizable. Say goodbye to trying to lure influencers with disguised intentions and false promises.
- Contact opinion leaders exclusively on content and topics that are interesting for their target group and offer them added value.
- Try to create a win-win situation. So don’t just approach the influencer with specific requests and requests, but also try to offer them something in return for their help. Propose cooperation that is mutually beneficial. Opinion leaders often benefit from being the first to disseminate information or be the first to test products. Inform influencers in advance about such an exclusive offer and lure them with insights into previously unpublished material or invite them to product tests. This gives them the feeling of uniqueness and exclusivity and arouses curiosity about your company.
- Influencer marketing is time-consuming. You should be aware of this in advance. Be patient when building contacts and don’t put influencers under pressure. They should be able to decide for themselves when to write about your brand or product.
- You should always answer questions from the influencer honestly and promptly.
- Opinion leaders appreciate being interested in their opinion and trusting their competence. So ask honestly for your opinion, ask for advice. This is how you flatter them and you can even really benefit from their ideas or suggestions for improvement.
- People who have achieved recognition and a certain reach have mostly worked hard for it. They are familiar with their field and can score points with their specialist skills. Show the influencers that you respect and appreciate them for it. Thank them for their advice and assessment, even if you don’t like what they say or suggest 100 percent of the time.
Who is suitable as an influencer for influencer marketing?
Influencers should act as brand ambassadors and must therefore have a high reach, relevance, and recognition in their community. In order for someone to be really suitable for you as an influencer, they should also address the same target group as you. High professional skills and a passion for the same or similar areas are further important qualifications and characteristics for the right influencer.
Influential bloggers are well suited as influencers because they usually have many loyal readers and subscribers who regularly comment, like, and share the blog posts. This way, posts quickly gain reach. Bloggers also often decorate products, services, or brands with interesting stories (storytelling), e.g. in the form of experience or experience reports, which have a strong recommendation character. Blog posts thus give a product certain credibility and liveliness.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCER
On social media, there are always people who are seen as role models and whom many people follow. These social media influencers or celebrities usually receive a lot of feedback from their followers to their posts, which is noticeable in the form of likes, shares, or comments. Influencers stand out on social media. Your followers trust you and that’s why they have a huge impact on you too. The most popular subject areas and categories of influencers are, in descending order, travel, sports & fitness, lifestyle, fashion as well as beauty and food.
JOURNALISTS AND EDITORS
Journalists and editors can be seen as classic influencers. Despite the growing importance of social networks, they are still by far the most important influencers.
Nowadays, however, the boundaries between the individual influencer groups are becoming blurred. Journalists and editors use blogs and social networks as research aids. Many of them are even active as bloggers themselves.
Embed influencer marketing in existing advertising campaigns
Every company uses advertising, which means they already have a certain marketing strategy in place. In order for influencer marketing to function successfully in the long term, as an entrepreneur, you should ensure that there is a close connection between classic advertisements, email marketing, social media activities, and the work of the influencer.
The tasks and contents of the individual areas should be coordinated with one another. The worst case would occur if the individual measures do not mesh like a cog, but work against each other. This can easily be prevented by close cooperation between the influencer and the marketing department.
Influencer marketing on multiple platforms
Influencer marketing should be designed across platforms. In this way, followers who follow the influencer across multiple platforms are always confronted with the same advertising and with the same core statements about a product and thus get to know and appreciate it in depth.
Over time, there is an identification with what is made palatable to you as a customer in an interesting way. At the end of this influencing process, there is often the purchase of a product or service.
Conclusion: make your influencer a partner
Influencer marketing costs money. Therefore, every company today should provide a certain, not too small budget for influencer marketing and be aware that this type of investment can have beneficial effects on the advertising strategy. With the right choice of influencer, the long-term investment in influencer marketing will soon pay off.
In contrast to placing an advertisement on Google or other providers, working with an influencer is much more personal. As a company, you don’t have rigid software in front of you, but a person, an industry expert, and an expert.
Working with an influencer should therefore always be understood as a relationship. If you show that you really value the work of the influencer and that the cooperation means a lot to you, that you can also offer something to your counterpart so that not only one side gives and the other takes, influencer relations can offer enormous potential. A company should therefore always try to turn the influencer into a real partner and not disregard his opinion as an influencer and opinion maker.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about influencer marketing
What is influencer marketing?
Advertisers understand an influencer to be an opinion maker and multiplier. An influencer is a person who is very well known on the Internet and who is observed by many people via social networks. This person is able to influence others and get them excited about something. For this reason, influencers are used by companies for advertising purposes to increase awareness of their own products, services, or brands.
Who is considered an influencer?
Influencers should act as brand ambassadors and must therefore have a high reach, relevance, and recognition in their community. In order for someone to be really suitable for you as an influencer, they should also address the same target group as you.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
The biggest advantage of influencer marketing is that you can benefit from the reach of influencers. Especially when the followers match your target group exactly. For example, you have less wastage and at the same time a high level of credibility through a certain recommendation marketing.