Have you heard of him? With the growing popularity of social networks, the popularity of influencer marketing also grows. In fact, a customer is up to 71% more likely to buy your product if it has been recommended to them on social media. Even though at first glance this may seem to be an attractive method of advertising, working with influencers is not always the easiest approach. Therefore, before you decide on it, read how it all works and what to keep an eye out for. You’ll find everything you need in our blog.
An influencer as the centre of a campaign
Interest in this type of advertising is growing at a rocket pace – since 2016, according to statistics the number of searches for the phrase “influencer marketing” on Google has increased by 465%. Furthermore, in one survey, up to 67% of brands said that they use this type of marketing on Instagram. If you’re not clear about what influencer marketing actually means, we’ll help you out.
Influencer marketing is considered a hybrid of old and new marketing tools, and it is increasingly popular in the online space. The basis of it is cooperation between a brand and a so-called influencer. It works by placing an influencer (a well-known personality, popular on social networks) at the centre of a marketing campaign, who will – simply put – promote your brand on their profile. This may involve selling a specific product or service, but also about improving brand awareness. According to an English blog on influencer marketing, up to 90% of social network users believe recommendations from their friends and influencers.
Remember, an influencer doesn’t have to be a celebrity
An influencer doesn’t necessarily have to be a celebrity; often they are people who you would never consider famous in the offline environment. An influencer is someone who knows how to communicate on social networks and engage their users. This is a person with the ability to influence the purchasing decisions of others thanks to his or her position, authority, knowledge or a unique relationship with followers, who mainly follows a certain area and devotes him or herself to that field only, spreading engaging posts, interesting photos, short videos or informative online discussions. It can be anyone (an environmental activist, traveller or well-known lawyer) who spreads content on any platform (Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube...).
If you connect the term influencer primarily with the social network Instagram, you are right – this is the most popular influencer marketing platform, which, according to surveys is used by up to 68% of marketers. Second place was taken by TikTok (45%), followed by Facebook (43%), YouTube (36%) and LinkedIn (16%).
Pros and cons of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing also has a number of pluses and minuses, which you should be aware of before you decide on it.
Advantages of influencer marketing
Disadvantages of influencer marketing
Addressing a relevant audience
Difficulty measuring results
Increasing site traffic
One wrong step by an influencer can bring big losses
Increasing opportunities for online sales growth
The success of the campaign visible only after a long time
Building brand credibility
A high risk of success
Long-term retention of new customers
Social networks are oversaturated with influencers, which can lead to audience disengagement with a lot of advertising
Expanding brand reach and awareness of it
Problematic cooperation with some influencers can bring more harm than good
Influencers are not for everyone
Before you decide on influencer marketing, think about whether such cooperation fits into your marketing mix. Sometimes with influencer marketing, it pays to wait until potential customers are at least somewhat familiar with your e-shop. This type of advertising does not at all suit certain projects – e.g. sellers of a wide range of products, whose pricing policy is more a battle with other e-shops in comparators; in such a case it is worth investing in performance channels.
Stated simply, influencer marketing is most suitable for e-shops that are based on a brand – a unique product or a certain type of product for which they are exclusive suppliers. If you're not sure if this type of advertising is right for you, don’t hesitate to turn to us..
6 questions that can help you find the right influencer
Before you decide to approach someone with an offer, you should think carefully about who you are actually looking for. Having a high number of followers is definitely not everything. Before you approach someone, find the time to write down your company’s values and mission. Then you can start your search. Before you approach someone, however, answer the following questions based on his or profile and content.
- Do their values match those of your brand? If, for example, you approach a vegan chef with an offer to promote homemade dairy products, the campaign would hardly be successful.
- Will they believe in your brand values? Influencers should build an authentic relationship with the products during the collaboration, which will also be reflected in their posts and the interest of their followers. If, for example, you write to an environmental activist and want to promote eco clothing, prepare information about the production process or the sustainability of the brand. If the influencer doesn’t trust you and doesn’t like your products, it will be hard for his or her followers to do so.
- Are they trusted in their field? The influencer doesn’t have to be a doctor or a lawyer, but from his or her posts you’ll quickly find out if this person is sufficiently informed and has knowledge in the field that they work in – and in which your brand belongs.
- Are you satisfied with social metrics? The number of followers is probably the first thing you'll focus on – but don’t forget to take a more detailed look at this list. A lot of inactive users or fake accounts can send you a clear sign. Also, look at the accounts the influencer follows and take note of the interaction with the posts.
- Does the person have a relevant, active and similar public? The target group of the influencer should at least in part coincide with yours, but not completely, as this will allow you to expand your base of potential customers. As a blog on Sproutsocial mentions, beware of the already mentioned non-active and fake accounts among the followers, but also of an argumentative and negatively reacting majority. Also note the age distribution, gender, interests, purchasing power or origin of the followers.
- Do you agree with the influencer’s presentation on social networks? Even if you start working with an influencer, you will not be able to control the posts they publish. However, you can get an idea of what to expect from an influencer based on previous posts. Do they add meaningful content? Do they generate discussion and respond to comments under posts? If you’re satisfied with the presentation and content, you probably will be during the cooperation, too.
Did you answer yes to a specific profile six times? Congratulations, you’ve probably found the right influencer for you. What next? Keep reading to find out.
TIP: Various online tools are available that will give you more information about a specific influencer than the number of followers. For example, the site Hypeauditor.com, which also analyses Slovak profiles, can be such a helper.
Types of cooperation
Adding sponsored content to social networks or product donations. You can agree with influencers on several types of cooperation.
- Sponsored content on social networks or blogs represents the most common type of collaboration in influencer marketing. It works by having influencers create and publish content that promotes your brand on their social media profile on a pre-agreed schedule for a financial reward. Some social networks also notify followers about this with an inscription under the photo.
- Donating product samples is another possibility. You agree with an influencer that he or she will try your products, use them and create content about them on social networks. This is a favourite strategy particularly for products such as cosmetics, books, clothing and food. Be careful, however, since in the case of a donation, the influencer is not obligated to promote your brand and may even add a negative review.
- Taking over the management of social networks can also be an interesting option. In such a case, you give the influencer access to your accounts and let him or her create engaging content directly on the brand’s page. Influencers often know how to take nice photos and create descriptions that are interesting for the public, but this type of collaboration requires absolute trust and long-term cooperation.
- Brand ambassador is another method of influencer marketing that many brands employ. Most often, influencers with whom you have already worked for some time are those who become ambassadors. As an English marketing blog explains, it works such that the ambassador promotes your products on an ongoing basis, shares posts about the daily experience of using the products and possibly gifting his or her followers with samples.
The price of influencer marketing
Are you asking yourself how much will it cost you to work with an influencer? The prices are very individual and depend mainly on the reach of the influencer and the type of cooperation (in some cases product samples will suffice; in others you’ll have to prepare a much larger budget), as well as on views, clicks or the type of content. On the worldwide market in 2022, one influencer’s contribution generally costs from 900 to 1 million euros, but in the relatively small Slovak market, you will certainly find collaborations for which a much lower budget will suffice. You can also get an approximate idea thanks to our table.
Even if you have a generous amount earmarked for this type of advertising, think about whether it wouldn’t be better to divide it up and work with more small ones than with two or three larger influencers.
You should look at influencers as long-term quality partners. Focus on long-term cooperation and create an attractive offer for influencers with a higher number of contributions at a favourable price, unique access to the latest products or promo codes. At the same time, ask them about their notion of cooperation and reward and try to find a compromise that is beneficial for both parties.
Collaboration with an influencer – build a relationship from the beginning
You have chosen three influencers, a specific idea of the campaign, the type of cooperation and an approved budget. What’s next? Let’s see how working with an influencer goes step by step.
Contact the influencer by e-mail
Once you've decided on a specific influencer, don’t hesitate to contact them. E-mail is considered to be the preferred method, but if you can’t find his or her address, send a direct message on social media. If you’re preparing to reach a small number of influencers, send e-mails manually; for a larger number you can use automated contacting.
To prevent your e-mail from ending up in spam or long-unread mail, follow a few rules. Be brief; summarise the purpose and content of your e-mail in the subject line. Write a short, concise text with a personalised address, in which you present your brand and its values and summarise your view of the cooperation.
You can also ask the influencer to send you a short biography, social networks statistics or examples of past campaigns with performance metrics. Ask if he or she has previous experience with influencer marketing and if so, then what kind – what types of products, at what price, with what sales success rate. These data should confirm to you that the influencer is the right choice for your brand.
Building good, long-term relationships
Did you come to an agreement? Brilliant, but that’s only the beginning. It is not just about the initial connection; it must also be cultivated; you should try to build a good, long-term relationship with the influencer (and their followers). As Shannon Burton, an expert on influencer marketing says: “There is no better influencer than one who is truly in love with your brand.”
Effectiveness of cooperation with an influencer
It turns out that influencer marketing can be a highly effective way to promote products and services. In recent years, an average of 6 euros was earned in the US for every euro spent on influencer marketing.
How to measure the effectiveness of cooperation on specific KPIs
The areas you should measure depend on the goals you set. Don’t forget that some of your marketing goals may be irrelevant to an influencer campaign, and you need to think carefully about which KPI indicators to track. Among the most common and frequently used are, for example, the following.
- Referral traffic – the number of people who found your site thanks to the influencer
- Interactions on social networks – likes, comments, shares, clicks, views, views, as well as tags and use of hashtags created
- Conversions – growth in the number of followers on your brand’s profile, subscription to the newsletter, acquisition of new potential customers, increase in traffic to a specific landing page, increase in sales
- Audience reach – the number of people the campaign reached (new potential customers who learned of your brand or existing ones with whom you are building good relationships)
- It’s no coincidence that people follow influencers rather than brands. Followers are interested in the opinions of these people; therefore, don’t try to impose your rules or business practices on your influencers. Influencers usually know what works, and in addition to disobeying you, you may discourage them from working with you.
- Don't look at influencer marketing as just another type of paid advertising. These people spend a lot of time creating content and building a relationship with the audience, so the cooperation should be mutually beneficial.
Not sure if your e-shop is ready for influencers? Contact us; we’ll look at all the possibilities and create an influencer marketing strategy that will rocket your business to new heights.