Have you ever considered using ‘Influencer Marketing’ to help grow your business? If you are a small to medium-sized business the answer is probably “No” but, trust us, it’s worth keeping an eye on a tactic that is now part of an $8 billion market (2019) and projected to double by 2022.
What Is An Influencer & What Kind Exist?
If you are not completely familiar with the term Influencer, here’s a short definition from the Influencer Marketing Hub start with “An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience”.
Most of the time influencers are on Social Media and can be differentiated further into various types of influencers. The most known type is the Celebrity Influencer meaning a celebrity endorses a certain brand or product and is getting paid in return. There are other types of influencers with large followings, however, and they tend to be Industry Experts & Thought Leaders, like academics and journalists, and Bloggers & Content Creators on Social Media. A slightly different type is the so-called ‘Micro-Influencer’ – more on them later…
The Drawbacks of Influencer Marketing
Although influencers are considered more authentic than traditional advertisements, that is starting to change. From the followers’ perspective, there is an increasing mistrust towards social media in general because users are constantly and increasingly distracted, ambushed and advertised to and thus influencers lose a lot of their authenticity & credibility. (Financial Times)
From a company’s perspective, influencer marketing can be quite risky, although in most cases a contract is in place, a big influencer has the power to create the reverse effect that is intended by the company and thus damage the company’s reputation.
Further challenges of influencer marketing faced by companies are determining the Return on Investment (ROI) of influencer marketing programs as well as choosing which influencer marketing provider to work with. Although these issues seem reasonable in the first place there are easy ways to track the impact of an influencer as well as finding the right one for your business.
How To Overcome The Drawbacks Of Influencer Marketing
A common technique to track lead generation and progress through influencer marketing is creating customised affiliate links or customised discount codes. This technique enables the company to create and track a unique URL per influencer. The same applies to custom discount codes, once applied the conversion can be traced back to the respective influencer. At this point, we’re treading into affiliate marketing territory, which is a whole other thing. To learn more about affiliate marketing and how Fuel Communications can your business thrive in the affiliate space, please visit the Fuel Affiliate website or email email@example.com for more information.
Getting back on topic, there are many ways of finding the right influencer for your business. One would be targeted ads to the persona that best represents your company. There are also a number of web-based tools available on the market that offer users the ability to identify and rank influencers for all kinds of budgets and areas of interest like Upfluence, AspireIQ, and many more. Here the micro-influencers come into place.
What Are Micro-Influencers?
According to Hubspot, Micro-Influencers usually have between 1,000 & 10,000 followers on Social Media. Personally, I have also seen campaigns targeting individuals with even fewer followers than that offering a free product or a large discount to incentivise a review.
The tricky part with these micro-influencers, however, is to find the intersection of the highest possible authenticity and the highest possible reach because some people wouldn’t even consider the opinion of someone with several thousand followers to be authentic.
On the flip site a micro-influencer with just a couple hundred followers might not have the highest reach to provide decent traffic to your company.
The Benefits Of Using Micro-Influencers
On average, micro-influencers cost 40 times less than a celebrity influencer and are also proven to have better engagement rates than larger channels hence a suitable solution could be liaising with a couple of dozens of them to ensure the credibility is not lost (due to the small audience size per influencer) and there is still a high accumulated reach.
Additionally, managing a larger amount of small influencers also decreases the possibility of damaged reputation in case one or two influencers talk negatively about the brand or product, the bad review won’t resonate as much with the smaller audience size.
If you are new to what influencers can do, it probably makes sense to start small and then test and measure campaigns. As you know, the big challenge for all brands is making yourselves stand out in a world that is getting noisier so this could be a good opportunity for you. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to discuss this approach in more detail, we’d be happy to help.