Influencer marketing has for years been a way for brands to promote campaigns and products, capitalizing on the wide reach of influencers in order to get a specific message across. On social media today we see influencers doing advertisements for everything from fashion, kids’ toys and interior decorating to travel destinations and food and beverages – highly effective marketing. If done correctly.
If you are new to influencer marketing, an influencer is “a person with the ability to influence buying decisions and brand associations of others”. This personalized form of marketing can provide a brand or a company the opportunity to connect on a deeper level with potential buyers by tapping directly into the relation between influencer and follower, as consumers often are more willing to take the advice of someone they like and trust, rather than the brand itself.
For an influencer strategy to be successful, it is therefore vital that the influencer is ‘on brand’ and that the campaign message is compatible with the influencer’s universe. Meaning, that your product and/or brand has to fit in with the influencer’s usual content. Otherwise there is a risk that your influencer campaign will have the opposite effect than desired and that the message will be perceived entirely as advertisement and therefore lose credibility with the consumer.
Photo: Digity Marketing.
Here follows a 3-step-guide on what to consider when entering into influencer marketing and how to find the right strategy and influencer for your brand.
Step 1 – Define your campaign purpose
Start by defining the purpose – what do you want from your influencer campaign? At EHRENBERG SØRENSEN Kommunikation we usually divide campaign purpose into three categories:
- Awareness/Reach: You want to create awareness and to get as much exposure as possible
- Sales: You want to generate sales
- Content: You want creative and personal content that you can use and promote on your own social media channels, website etc. (consumer to consumer content)
It is possible for a campaign to have multiple purposes, but we always recommend our clients to focus on a main purpose, as influencers have different strengths and therefore can achieve different results. Thus, knowing the purpose is vital in choosing the right influencer(s). If you want to focus on multiple purposes, we suggest you create multiple campaigns, each with a specific goal and purpose. Furthermore, it is a good idea to set up some KPI’s for your campaign – when do you define the campaign as a success? If you want to create awareness, a KPI could e.g. be to reach 100,000 exposures.
Step 2 – Strategy; mini-micro, micro, macro or mega?
When you know what you want out of your influencer campaign, you can tailor a strategy that fits the purpose. At EHRENBERG SØRENSEN Kommunikation we operate with 5 different influencer strategies:
- Mini-micro: 500-1,000 followers
Mini-micro influencers does not have too many followers, so if it is reach you are after, this is not the strategy for you. However, they are often very skilled content creators and useful if you are looking for relatable content to use on your own channels. Always remember to make an agreement in writing on how long you have advertising rights to the photos/content they produce for your brand.
- Micro: 1,000-10,000 followers
Like mini-micro influencers micro influencers can be useful contents creators, as well as they can help you create awareness towards your brand or product, depending on how many influencers you choose to collaborate with. Micro influencers often have a high engagement rate and lot of interaction with their followers, which make them attractive collaborators, if you want to get a message across.
- Macro: 10,000-100,000 followers
Macro influencers are influencers who has built a career on e.g. Instagram or YouTube and in many cases have quit their regular job and now live of their status as influencer. They have a wide reach as well as a strong hold of their followers, why they are able to move brand associations and influence the buying decisions of their followers. With the right frequency and push, they are also skilled at creating conversions.
- Mega: +100,000 followers
Mega influencers are influencers who are well-known to the general public for something else than being influencers. They can for an example be actors, singers or contestants from TV programs. Their strength lies in their enormous reach and the values and credibility, that the general public already ascribes to them. As the right ‘brand match’, they can move brand associations and create awareness and conversions for a large audience.
- Combined influencer strategy
Use a combination of influencers. For an example, if your purpose is to generate sales, choose a couple of mega influencers and support with several macro influencers (depending on your budget).
Which strategy you should choose of course depends on your purpose, your brand’s existing position among consumers and your campaign budget. Be aware, that macro and mega influencers almost always require a fee for collaborations, whereas mini-micro and micro influencers often can be honoured with products, depending on your brand, the product and the influencer. Therefore, set a budget before choosing your strategy. If you only have 2,500 EUR for a campaign, it is not a mega influencer strategy you should pursue.
Step 3 – Finding the right influencer
When you have defined your purpose and your strategy for your influencer campaign, it is time to choose the right influencer(s) for collaboration. Here you should consider the following:
- Type of influencer: There are many different influencer types or categories, for an example lifestyle, mommy, fashion, beauty, home interior, DYI and various niche categories like mountain biking, thrift shopping, gardening and so on. Choose an influencer from a category, where your brand or product fits in naturally.
- Media presence: Where are your customers most active – is it on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, on blogs or somewhere else? Consider the platform you are buying into. Influencers have different strengths – some creates results on blogs, others on YouTube, Instagram stories or Instagram posts. Do your research and look into the influencer’s media kit. Where will you gain the most exposure and best results?
- The influencer’s target group: Age, gender and geographical location – does the influencer’s followers match the target group of your brand? If you don’t have access to an influencer data system, you can ask the influencer to send a media kit from a third party or a screenshot of e.g. their Instagram account providing this information.
- Authenticity of followers: Bought followers and engagement have been an issue for several years. To avoid entering into a collaboration with an influencer with a ‘fake reach’, you need to establish authenticity. Do a spot check on different posts – does the number of followers match the amount of likes and comments? Also, look into the media kit. Where does the influencer’s followers come from? The largest percentage should be from the market, you are targeting with your campaign.
Always make a brief in writing for an influencer collaboration, so both you and the influencer 100 % understand what the collaboration includes. Remember to put in that the influencer shall mark all posts with ‘advertisement’, so you won’t get in trouble with the consumer protection corporation.
Most importantly, track your results. This is the best way to learn and to develop your influencer marketing activities. Make sure to get all results from the influencer after ended collaboration, so you can see, if you reached your KPI’s for the campaign. You can also provide your influencer with a discount code, so you can track sales.
Photo: Maddi Bazzocco.
We hope this guide helped improve your knowledge on influencer marketing and how to get started. Remember, the best way is to get out there and get some learnings and develop your strategy along the way. Otherwise, you can always reach out to us for help. Good luck!