Read ReputationUP Coach’s new guide on influencer marketing: what is it, how it works, and why is it suitable for a business strategy.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a strategy whose main objective is to increase visibility, trust, and sales.
Social media enhance the entire concept of influence, so much so that they have been commissioned to create a new branch of study such as influencer marketing.
This type of practice has become one of the most popular and effective forms of online marketing.
In this way, we can define influencer marketing as a form of marketing.
In other words, it takes advantage of influential people in networks to lead their audiences to take specific actions through a series of previously thought-out activities.
Having a precise understanding of influencer marketing covers, as a first step, let’s take a look to how the Oxford Dictionary explain the concept of “influence”:
“To have an effect on the way that someone behaves or thinks, especially by giving them an example to follow”.
Therefore, it can be related to the opportunity to intervene in someone’s decision-making.
They use their influence in different themes such as fashion, cooking, and even politics.
Through massive campaigns, politicians seek to persuade voters to win elections in the latter area.
Characteristics of influencer marketing
The main objective of influencer marketing is undoubtedly the increase in sales.
Generate more visibility organically, increasing consumer trust, loyalty, and purchases.
The essential characteristics of influencer marketing are related to creating:
- Organic advertising: increases not only demand but also brand loyalty;
- Trend and exchange of information: thanks to the relationship that the influencer has with the users, he achieves a real connection;
- Brand reputation: they provide prestige to the brand;
- Effective conversion: when recommending a product or service, its sale is more effective than an advertisement;
- Audience: consumers no longer actively respond to traditional advertising but recommendations.
Influencer marketing is becoming more relevant in the market every day because of the large number of active users and sales potential.
What are influencers
As their name indicates, influencers influence someone’s decision-making, in this case, purchase.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as:
“A person who is paid by a company to show and describe its products and services on social media, encouraging other people to buy them”.
Therefore, a prescriber has become popular in digital communities such as blogs and social networks.
Whatever its theme, it has many followers interested in its content.
The users who follow him do not know him in person; he manages to be very close despite this.
Consequently, purchasing decisions are much more heavily weighted by the opinions and comments of an influencer than by the information found on the company’s official website.
This new profession is effective for brands, and those who dedicate themselves to advertising said products or services.
Companies take care of inviting you to events, trips, delivery of free products, and even a contract for a particular time to be an ambassador of your brand.
These professionals must meet a specific goal.
It is not only enough to know what influencers do on social networks but also how they manage to meet the expectations of the brand that has hired them.
They are people who share information on different social media.
Brands have found an essential space for mass dissemination through influencers.
According to Statista graphs, among all the social networks, the one that stands out the most is Instagram, a platform for sharing photos and videos, which is also an influential tool for buying and selling.
68% of advertisers have used this channel for their advertising campaigns in 2021.
Influencers are specialists in distributing content and creating trends in a specific theme.
Therefore, they use a network to communicate, disseminate or share information of interest to their audience.
But, what difference does a celebrity with thousands of followers have to an influencer who has the same characteristics?
The difference is based on the constant interaction and closeness that influencers provide with and for their followers.
In this way, the target audience can acquire the product or service mentioned and agree to their purchase.
Types of influencers
Thanks to the growing popularity of this profession, they have been segmented according to the interests of digital users.
In other words, the brand or company interested in having this type of marketing tool must be clear about its target audience and the kind of influencer that best suits it.
The truth is that there are as many influencers as there are themes; however, we will name them according to the segment:
- Product: specialized in a category;
- Generalist: dedicated to the journalistic or outreach area;
- By imitation: they curate content and adapt it as their own;
- Reference: they can identify trends and purchasing habits;
- Niche: their audience appreciates the credibility; they usually have blogs and do not stand out for having a very high audience, but for having a very participatory one;
- Occasional: famous personalities in different themes.
Choosing an influencer consistent with the company is vital, so being clear about the type of issuer is the first step.
The volume of the audience varies according to the social network.
In this case, we have unified the data found in A Complete Influencer Marketing Guide by GRIN.
A nano influencer has a few thousand followers, the micro has up to 100,000, the macro has up to 1 million followers, the celebrity influencer has millions of followers.
It is worth mentioning that the number of users is not always considered when putting influencer marketing into practice.
Many brands look for the most influential people with many followers but identify with their ethics.
Advantages of influencer marketing
There are different advantages of influencer marketing.
One of the most important is that the validation of a specific audience is obtained thanks to it.
It means that the evolution of “word of mouth” was formerly used to recommend a product.
It can be closely related to inbound marketing that attracts customers and retains them.
Indeed, it is a great technique that identifies the target audience’s needs to satisfy them.
Other advantages of using it correctly are the following:
- Increases the reach of the message;
- Increase and give visibility of followers in social networks;
- Improve and generate sales;
- Business website traffic grows;
- Boost popularity on social and branding platforms;
- It allows the brand to internationalize.
And besides, actions with influencers can be very effective in improving the SEO positioning strategy on the web.
How does influencer marketing work?
Influencer marketing has dramatically changed the way brands relate to their consumers.
Any company, regardless of size, has a digital life; that means it has social platforms to relate more humanly with its customers.
This direct and even personal connection is the key for the brand’s approach to its client to be effective.
Influencers are not a new topic in marketing; many companies have worked with influencers and celebrities for their campaigns.
In this way, your corporate reputation reaches a higher level, generating trust, reach, and sales.
An example of this is Rolex, the famous watch brand that used its marketing strategy with the swimmer Mercedes Glitch in 1927.
For the launch of its Oyster line, the athlete wore the watch while swimming across the English Channel.
Another example that we can take is Adidas: in 1936, the American runner Jesse Owens promoted his shoes at the German Olympics.
These public figures have now mostly been replaced by influencers.
The reason is simple: their closeness on social networks has managed to obtain a greater connection with their audience.
Therefore, the operation of influencer marketing is based on three main aspects:
- Campaign objectives: it is necessary to determine the aim to follow.
For example: increase conversion, sales, or visibility;
- Campaign effectiveness: mediations must be in three scenarios: before, during, and after;
- Choose the influencers: for this, it is essential to define the type that the brand needs.
We recommend making a list based on reach and visibility, but also keep in mind that numbers are not the most important thing: the company’s values are, and the influencer must relate to them.
Influencer Marketing on Instagram
Instagram is the most used social network to share brand content.
This channel allows companies to connect with their audience more effectively and authentically than traditional advertising.
This social network has the opportunity to provide influencers with a relationship with their followers.
An example of this is the possibility of sharing aspects of your personal life.
That is the leading hook that this platform generates.
Its audience is made up of the millennial generation and Z, that is, people from 16 to 40 years old.
It has different formats such as:
- Reels: short videos up to 30 seconds long, in which you can add music and effects;
- IGTV: they are audiovisual recordings that are presented in vertical format and usually have longer duration times;
- Stories: videos, photos, or images shared for 15 seconds for 24 hours.
This network has even generated more traffic and PPC than the web pages themselves.
As content creators use this tool, the benefits of both the brand and the creator grow.
Instagram has recently announced a new sales method on its website:
“In the coming months, we will begin testing a native affiliate tool that will allow creators to discover new products available at checkout;
Share them with your followers and earn commissions on the purchases they generate, all within the Instagram app.”
This facilitates a direct purchase by influencers and a new sales flow for the brand.
Influencer Marketing on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a social tool that has grown in recent years.
It is a platform that creates networks and develops business connections and jobs.
In a world that is always in constant change, LinkedIn is a clear example of this.
Just as companies look for influencers to sell, they also look for proactive and efficient workers for their company.
According to LinkedIn statistics, the number of users has grown remarkably worldwide.
The most significant number of users lives in the United States with 180 million, followed by India with 82 million and China in third place with 55 million active people.
What sets it apart from other networks is that the network’s influencers must be informed professional members who generate thoughtful conversations.
LinkedIn explains it this way:
“LinkedIn influencers are selected by invitation only and comprise a global collective of 500+ of the world’s foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators. […]
Our list of influencers includes Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Arianna Huffington, anrd Mary Barra.”
However, users with sizable professional connection networks have a positive reputation and a fundamental professional level.
Therefore, according to the study area, the most influential people in this network are real and have an excellent digital reach.
With ReputationUP Coach, your brand can reach different social platforms.
Thanks to its strategy, which focuses on reaching the objective, it analyzes what budget and human resources are available and necessary to achieve it.
Influencer Marketing on Twitter
Twitter is a social network that stands out for following blogs and instant messaging characteristics.
Despite not being a network like Instagram, it has many users globally.
Therefore, this platform has different topics, especially politics, economics, and far-reaching.
Influential people on Twitter not only stand out for selling but also for sharing content.
One of the advantages is that you can find the trending topics or people at the moment, thanks to hashtags.
How to do an influencer marketing campaign?
Influencer marketing is a technique with a high success rate and saving costs.
For this reason, we reveal how to manage it:
- Define the objectives: what does the brand want to achieve?
Increase your knowledge, increase followers, more sales, etc.;
- Establish a timing: specify a beginning and an end.
Which is linked to the definition of the objectives, since the predestined time depends on them;
- Budget: it depends on the type of influencer that is hired, as well as the number of publications, temporality, etc.;
- Campaign design: vital step to test advertising methods.
An example of this is submitting test products and expecting a mention, but it doesn’t always turn out to be a success.
Despite this, many strategies achieve prestige and popularity.
This is the example of Samsung at the 2014 Oscars.
The act seemed improvised, but everything was duly studied and calculated to triumph.
The tweet of the famous presenter and comedian Ellen Degeneres blew up the social network.
She turned out to be the most trafficked selfie in history, with three million retweets.
It is a clear example of the use of influencers to publicize a brand or launch.
The value of such publicity was not low at all, but it was very effective.
Similarly, to carry out an influencer marketing campaign, it is not necessary to hire the most recognized.
Companies also rely on network professionals who are not known for their followers but their digital reputation.
The most important thing is not to reach the most significant number of people but lead generation to increase sales.
How do you plan an influencer marketing campaign?
After having the campaign’s objectives, timing, budget, and design, the next step is to plan it with the influencer, the communication channels, and the tools.
To choose the right influencer for the brand, you must be clear about the target audience.
Micro-influencers can be the most honest customers because, in addition to trying and familiarizing themselves with the product or service, they engage their followers to gain more visibility.
On the other hand, depending on the objective, you choose the channels to include for the diffusion of publicity.
Many social channels could serve as a tool to increase traffic and sales.
However, it is necessary to choose the correct one to meet the proposed goals.
As for the tools used, as the channels, it is essential to select them so that their management is more accessible.
Researching the most searched topics on the internet could be an example, and many platforms offer this option.
In the same way, the content is not only created by the influencer, but the brand must plan a previous strategy.
You must find a way to generate impact, connection, and desire to buy.
The last aspect to consider is the measurement and analysis of the campaign results.
With ReputationUP Coach, you can perform data intelligence and analyze tracking metrics using Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and Hotjar.
Influencer Marketing Examples
We have seen throughout the text the various characteristics of influencer marketing.
Manual Search is based on researching relevant pages and keywords.
We recommend making an Excel document with different influencer contacts to analyze them and choose the one closest to the objective.
In this case, we will give some examples to find influencers for a growing brand.
Adding to the above, the following should be clear:
- Industry or sector of influence (for example, sports, health, or makeup);
- Followers, the total users you have, and their level of interaction;
- Share the social network link;
- Establish what pros and cons it might have;
- The contact to communicate in case you want to collaborate.
It is vital to have a database to know when or under what circumstances to contact the professional.
Influencer marketing success stories
Both big and small brands use the power of influencers in digital marketing.
Below we present three cases of resounding success of the union of Spanish-speaking companies and influential personalities:
Aida Domenech Pascual is one of the most famous influencers in Spain, better known as Dulceida, with more than 2 million followers on Instagram.
Her collaboration with the renowned makeup brand, MAC Cosmetics, is based on launching her own line of lipsticks and shadows.
This collaboration has generated significant profits due to her influence on social networks.
The shampoo brand launched its new line called Sedal Detox by Yuya together with the famous Mexican influencer Yuya.
He currently has 17 million followers on Instagram.
It is Sedal’s most successful campaign to date.
He launched a collection inspired by the Mexican celebration of día de los muertos.
Different influencers participated in the launch, including one of the most recognized: Juanpa Zurita, who has more than 25 million followers on Instagram.
The #NikeDiaDeMuertos campaign sold out in official stores and at different points of sale.
As can be seen, they are brands that surely do not need the presence of influential figures to make themselves known.
But they use influencer marketing to reach new customers, generate more sales, and build user loyalty.
Why is influencer marketing good?
There are different reasons why influencer marketing could be 100% effective.
Among them are the following:
- They provide a multifaceted connection: any service or product can be sold to different audiences thanks to the influencer.
The age range can range from a teenager to a 40-year-old woman;
- They are constant: they can mobilize opinions, dialogue, and communicate with their audience, they are always active on social networks;
- Reputation: if you have the right influencers, the increase in prestige and popularity will be evident in the graphs and organic engagement.
That is, comments, likes, and purchases, and thus the increase in real customers in the short and medium-term;
- Low price: making a comparison of traditional advertising campaigns, influencer marketing could be a cheap sales method;
- They increase the potential audience: they can convert products or services of any topic into a trend.
Therefore, visibility increases sales and credibility; digital reputation can positively increase brand engagement.
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing that seeks to lead its audiences to take action through a series of previously thought-out activities.
From this article, we can draw the following conclusions:
- Influencer marketing is a tool in which sales not only increase but also brand loyalty;
- An influencer is a prescriber who has become popular in digital communities such as blogs and social networks;
- An essential advantage of influencer marketing is the validation of a specific audience;
- Brands have found in the networks a vital space for massive dissemination through influencers;
- The growth of this industry is evident in the year 2019; the record is set at US$13.8 billion in 2021.
With ReputationUP Coach, you can learn how to use different marketing and advertising tools and thus increase your sales and reputation in the digital world.