Not all social media influencers are compatible for your brand. Even the ones that seem ideal on the outside might not generate the amount of traffic that you would expect. Sometimes, there are hidden gems among the plethora of influencers and finding them can be a daunting task. We can see that selecting an influencer is not a simple process and an ample amount of time has to be put into researching your prospects.
Marketing Factors to be Considered When Hiring a Social Media Influencer
Finding influencers who represent the sentiments and the image of the brand can be a challenge of its own. After this task is done, the qualitative aspect of influencer marketing (www.magikboxmedia.in) is taken care of. The next step would be to take a look into the quantitative aspects, because all of your marketing efforts that you put in needs to be justified by good statistical data. So let us walk you through the areas that you must focus on.
Area of Expertise
The most fundamental factor to consider would be the influencer’s niche. Are they experts in specific domains such as food, travel, fitness, art, technology, design, etc. or some sort of a mix of the above? This is crucial in order to publicize your brand effectively to your relevant audience. Once their niche is figured out, it is necessary to thoroughly research the type of content that an influencer publishes. Attention must be paid to the tone of their content in order to check whether their style of communication would be an ideal match for your own brand.
The second factor to look into would be the audience engagement. How many likes and shares is the influencer getting for his posts? How often do people engage in conversation in the comments section? Does the influencer form a meaningful relationship with their audience? This is used to gauge the level of interest the audience has with the type of content being posted. You only want to partner with influencers who take their work and their audience seriously. A stronger connection between the influencer and the audience correlates to a higher acceptance rate for your brand.
It is another important factor to consider in order to ascertain the potential level of publicity for your brand. You can tier different influencers by their follower counts that could range from a thousand to well over a million followers. Also, pure numbers isn’t something that you are looking for all the time. Sometimes, a few thousands of followers for a boxing influencer can be more valuable than a hundred thousand followers for a mixed martial arts influencer. Based on the types of goals that you have, be it brand awareness, increase in traffic to your website/social media page or just to obtain sales leads, you must choose a mix of influencers that would meet your business requirements.
Another thing to look out for would be the level of activity in the influencer’s social media profile. How frequently would the influencer publish content on his page? How many of the people engaging on the posts are returning visitors? This is used to figure out the measure of loyalty of the audience and the effort that the influencer is putting into retaining the same. An account with a high level of activity will have a lot of returning visitors who are more likely to check out and engage on your brand related content.
A few sponsored posts interspaced between an influencer’s usual content is fine. But you must stay away from the ones that have a high ratio of brand promotions to regular content. This is because such influencers would then seem to be less authentic and self serving in order to just make money. They also generally tend to disregard the quality of brands that they’re promoting. When the audience starts to feel that they’re being misled, it could backfire badly for your brand. So always put an extra effort to search for influencers who genuinely wish the best for their audience and keep a high quality bar for brand endorsements.
Performance Tracking For Social Media Influencers
Tracking the success of your influencer campaign (https://blog.hootsuite.com/influencer-marketing/) is important for you to better understand how your audience perceives your brand and whether it is gaining any traction among the public. You should be tracking the success based on the different goals which you might have set up. Here are a few examples:
An excellent metric you can use to track the familiarity of your brand among your audience would be impressions. It tells you how many users have been presented with your content in their news feeds. To improve your brand awareness, your content must reach out to as many people as possible. The impressions data can be easily accessed by asking the influencer to send a couple of screenshots from their accounts for each post.
An excellent goal to chase if staying connected with your community and actively conversing with them is important to you. This metric can be tracked by adding together all the likes, comments, shares and other engagement means across various social media channels. This data is publicly available and easy to track.
Social Media Growth
This talks about the increase in your page likes and followers across your own social media pages. This is important because an increase in this metric would increase the probability of your own content being shown on your followers’ news feeds. This is also easy to track as the page like/follower counts are public data. However, there is no definite way to link an increase in this metric over to an influencer’s efforts. So one must manually monitor the growth in this metric whenever the influencer’s post goes public.
For most businesses, their ultimate goal would be to redirect their audience onto their website. Google Analytics is the perfect tool to measure several metrics associated with website traffic such as: new users, total sessions, average time spent on site and goal settings data for tracking affiliate links. You can compare the website traffic data of before and after influencer posts to track the activities on the website.
Influencer Marketing Platforms
An easy way for you to connect with and manage influencers would be through certain influencer marketing platforms. This is a convenient way for brands to connect with influencers of various niches and sizes who’s content cater to various demographics. Some of the best ones that you could use are:
This is a popular platform that is used by small and medium business as well as giants such as Microsoft and PayPal. This is because of their highly flexible price range which helps it include brands of all sorts and sizes. It has a humongous database with tons of content sprinkled over all of the popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, etc. Businesses can sift through the data to find the influencers who would match their requirements. There are several nifty tools in their influencer management system. It helps them with tasks such as making a list of influencers that could be suitable for any given marketing campaign, collaboration on content creation and performance tracking.
It is a platform that is restricted to Instagram and Youtube with over 150,000 registered influencers. The platform is moderated and the influencers have to meet certain criteria such as a minimum of 500 instagram likes or 2,500 youtube views. Their content is also reviewed to check for quality before onboarding them onto the platform. After this is done, these influencers would then appear within the platform’s search engine according to the relevant search queries. The platform tries to match influencers and businesses in a manner similar to a dating app. It has an extensive campaign management toolset where you can assign tasks, manage the content curation process and track the campaign’s performance.
This platform leverages the strength of its powerful search engine for brands to search for over 10 million influencers across Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter and Pinterest. Although any influencer can easily join this platform with no hassles, its in built algorithm sweeps through their entire content to determine the quality of their posts.
Some Examples of Successful Influencer Campaigns
Influencer marketing has been a major factor for brands to boom in 2017. The results were spectacular as the posts garnered mostly favourable reviews. Here, we list out a couple of campaigns that gained a lot of traction on social media (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/examples-of-influencer-marketing-campaigns):
Sony Xperia Z5
The USP of this powerful smartphone was its camera that had a 5X zoom. A high resolution image was taken and this photo was divided into several smaller portions. These portions were then divided into five different layers. These photos were uploaded into several different instagram accounts and they were all linked to each other through tags. People were required to use these tags and then zoom into certain parts of the original photo to uncover some hidden surprises. Sony enlisted the help of 30 influencers to spread the word and create a buzz among the audience.
Lenovo wanted to promote their YOGA line of products, namely the YOGA 3 Pro and the YOGA Tablet 2 Pro. With the assistance of the marketing agency “CLEVER”, they were able to reach out to relevant influencers. The “Day with YOGA” campaign was then started in which the influencers showcased how the products helped them out in carrying out their day to day activities. They also included giveaways to further boost the reach of their social media posts. The campaign ended in a huge win with over 50 million impressions on social media.
The brand chose to support a cause in order to show that their heart goes out stray animals, which in turn would boost their public image. They came up with the concept of “Buy a Bag, Give a Bowl” wherein for every bag of Pedigree purchased, the brand would donate a bowl of food to a stray dog in need. The brand partnered up with influencers to circulate the message and the campaign was well received by their audience.
Influencers are here to stay for a long time. Technologies may change from time to time, but nothing could replace the emotional connection and feelings of trust and respect between authoritative people. Now that you’ve gained a glimpse of what goes on in the influencer marketing business, do your due diligence and figure out how you can optimize your branding strategy through social media influencers.
If you want to read about how influencers popularized businesses, check out Part II (http://www.magikboxmedia.in/blogs/comprehensive-guide-social-media-influencers-part-ii-impact-branding/) of our blog series.