Strategies for Growing Your Business With Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has been buzzing through the industry for a while now. Even mainstream media commonly references the reach and impact of social media influencers.

Yet the concept of brands leveraging these influencers to help grow their business is still murky for many.

In short, influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that capitalizes on endorsements and mentions of products from experts — people with a social following who are regarded as authorities in their field. Influencer marketing works because influencers have developed a great deal of trust among their followers, and they offer them as a sort of social proof to potential customers.

A Closer Look at Influencers

Influencer marketing is actually a blend of old and new. It’s the timeless approach of celebrity endorsement placed in the digital age of content-driven marketing. But where the former depended on movie stars and personalities in popular culture, influencer marketing is based on individuals whose popularity comes through social media.

While many traditional celebrities also have a strong social media following, these things aren’t mutually exclusive. Plenty of successful influencers aren’t famous in the offline world. In short, an influencer is someone who has:

  • The reach and ability to impact purchasing decisions of their followers because of their knowledge and authority and the relationship with their audience
  • Following in a defined niche through which the influencer regularly engages

In fact, it’s a mistake to assume all influencers are necessarily celebrities. For brands with focused product or service offerings, leveraging an influencer with a smaller audience but more industry-specific appeal can produce better results than any given celebrity.

Most influencers have put a lot of work into building a loyal following. And it’s certainly no coincidence that their followers engage with them rather than any specific product or brand. These people look to the influencer for their knowledge, expertise and opinions. They trust them. Respecting this relationship is key to influencer marketing success.

Remember, the majority of influencers have developed a devoted and enthusiastic following. It isn’t by chance that these people follow influencers rather than corporations. Many consumers are far more interested in what influencers have to say over marketing campaigns of individual brands.

How Influencer Marketing Works

The practice of influencer marketing involves collaborating with one or more of the aforementioned influencers. Some brands take a structured approach, while others simply engage with influencers informally.

Of course, there wouldn’t be so much buzz around influencer marketing if it didn’t have broad appeal.

Unlike celebrities, you can find influencers anywhere and everywhere. Their large internet and social media followings are what distinguish them. An influencer may be a well-known Instagram fashion photographer, a well-read cybersecurity blogger who tweets or a renowned marketing executive on LinkedIn with a big presence on the web.

Within any sector, there are star influencers. Some have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers. Many, on the other hand, might simply appear as average social media users. In some instances, they may only have a few thousand followers.

They will, however, have built a reputation for being industry leaders. They’re the ones who answer people’s inquiries. They’re the individuals who create the most interesting social media posts in their sector. They post the greatest photos, make the most engaging films and lead the most informative online debates based on their area of expertise.

How Influencer Marketing Grows Your Brand

For marketers seeking to boost their consumer trust, brand recognition, and various other advantages, a strong influencer marketing strategy may be exactly what they need. Considering more than half of all consumers prefer word of mouth and social media to inform their purchasing decisions, it’s easy to see why.

Influencers can help grow your brand in several ways. Among other things, a successful influencer campaign helps:

  • Improve brand awareness
  • Increase visibility and reach
  • Demonstrate trust and authority
  • Drive purchasing decisions

Influencer marketing allows you to grow your brand’s exposure and positioning in the market. Users on social media can learn more about your company, its history and the goods or services it offers. One of the most significant advantages of social media marketing is working with an influencer who has the ability to move the needle.

Put simply, influencer marketing helps companies navigate through the challenges other marketing methods face in today’s world. With ad blockers becoming widespread, as well as people’s general dislike for obtrusive advertising, influencer marketing is a fantastic way for organizations to connect with customers in a non-intrusive manner.

Marketers can reach millions of people they might not otherwise have access to by working with the right influencers. By carefully evaluating influencers based on both qualitative and quantitative criteria, brands can choose who they want for their campaigns.

So, how do you leverage influencers and influencer marketing to help grow your brand?

Influencer Marketing Strategies and Best Practices

Like any other marketing strategy, successful influencer campaigns require careful targeting and deliberate planning. You won’t help your brand much by tossing free products or services at anyone with a few followers and interest in your offerings.

Below are a few good strategies and best practices when courting influencers and formulating a sound strategy.

Start With a Plan

When you’re in the planning stages, you need to take a step back and think about which platforms your brand is likely to succeed on. For example, businesses in fashion and beauty tend to shine on YouTube and Instagram.

If you’re taking a formal approach, compensation varies considerably between influencers. Micro-influencers are typically more focused. If you find one that’s already passionate about your offerings, they’re often happy to take free products or services in exchange for promotion. But tread carefully, because offers of free products and no monetary compensation could turn off some influencers or sour them on your brand. Some influencers will refer you to talent agencies who represent them to work out a deal. Others work independently.

You’ll also need to consider the anticipated return on your investment. In other words, how will you evaluate the contributions of influencer posts to your overall marketing goals? One method might be to compare your expectations for influencers with those of other businesses.

Put simply, it’s crucial to do the necessary research upfront before diving into the world of influencer marketing. Working with individual influencers varies considerably from brand to brand and influencer to influencer. You should revisit your strategies regularly to refine and perfect them as you learn and adapt.

Create a Budget and Management Strategy

Unlike a more automated ad strategy, influencers are human and frequently have several partnerships, so some may fall behind in their duties to post on time or make mistakes in your requested tags or calls to action. You’ll need to be hands-on with these relationships in order to grow them and refine your technique through experience about what works and what doesn’t.

Consider establishing a formal ambassador program if you have the time and money. Many brands employ ambassadors in conjunction with their content, putting influencers on the ground floor of new product releases or service offerings. This is a powerful combination that can help drive potentially viral campaigns.

Hiring an influencer marketing firm to do the research and coordination for you is a smart option for businesses wanting to target a larger group of influencers.

Determine Your Goals and Messaging

The two most frequent uses of influencer marketing are to raise brand recognition and to boost sales. However, instead of aiming for big goals like this, it’s more effective to start by determining what your company’s needs are. Maybe you want to grow your customer base among a younger demographic. You might also want to develop a new product or enter a new vertical and need insights from potential customers.

Influencers have the capacity to reach highly specialized audiences. Instead of relying on hundreds or thousands of followers, influencers will assist you in targeting a very specific audience that’s likely to be interested in your product and interact with your material.

Content with a conversational tone and personalized narrative distinguishes successful influencer campaigns from the product- or sales-focused posts that a company may publish on its own feed.

Influencers who’ve worked hard to build their following won’t work with a business that makes their own brand seem inconsistent. As such, it’s important to consider the content your influencers share.

While many influencers consider themselves creators, there’s no guarantee their creative bent matches your brand’s messaging and objective. Put simply, you need to collaborate with your influencers to spread a message that’s consistent for both their following and your business. It’s also wise to consider tying content strategies into your influencer campaigns.

Even though influencers are individuals, you shouldn’t expect to manage them as an employee. Setting clear content guidelines is a good idea.

Find the Right Influencers

Finding the right influencers is no less important than planning and budgeting. If you’re fielding your options, the only challenge you’ll face is who to choose. Instagram alone has more than half a million active influencers.

The first place to look might surprise you — it’s not their follower count. Instead, focus on the kind and quality of content they’re producing. Get an idea of the kind of messages these influencers are sending by going through their feed (on all platforms, not just the one your company is researching) to understand how they communicate.

Next, consider their credibility. You can get a feel for this by looking through the comment threads on their content. Take note of their level of familiarity with your industry. Does their content sound well-informed and demonstrate expertise on the topics relevant to your industry?

Once you find the right influencer, nurturing the relationship is key to successful influencer campaigns. Like a rewarding personal relationship, the best possible influencer is one who truly admires your brand through good times and bad.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re thinking of jumping into the world of influencer marketing to help grow your brand, you undoubtedly have plenty of questions and concerns. Below are a few of the most common ones to help guide your influencer interest.

How much does an influencer marketing campaign cost?

Every influencer campaign is different, so it’s difficult to estimate costs. It varies across industries and fluctuates based on the number of influencers your brand uses, the reach of individual influencers and any additional marketing spend invested in promoting the campaign.

Can an influencer campaign be integrated as part of a larger campaign?

Absolutely. Many brands prefer to run influencer campaigns alongside other marketing activities. And in fact, a strong content strategy is often integral to a successful influencer campaign.

Why is influencer marketing important for my brand?

Influencer marketing isn’t perfect for every business, but for brands with potential mass appeal, a strong social media presence and existing industry influencers, it’s extremely effective. Some reasons brands might consider an influencer marketing strategy include:

  • Your business is losing customers to competitors with influencers
  • Consumers in your industry are swayed heavily by influencers
  • Your target market uses ad blockers, making traditional marketing less effective

What are the benefits of influencer marketing?

In addition to leveraging the trust and authenticity that influencer marketing inherently provides, there are a number of other benefits. Effective influencer marketing:

  • Bolsters your overall content strategy
  • Zeroes in on your target audience
  • Develops collaborative partnerships
  • Increases brand awareness

Where do I start with an influencer campaign?

If you’re thinking about influencer marketing, you have two choices: do it yourself or hire a third-party agency to handle the specifics for you. Both alternatives come with advantages and disadvantages, but many brands opt for an agency because it’s more cost-effective and time-efficient.

Improve Your Influencer Marketing With Great Content

Influencer marketing isn’t only about locating someone with a following and paying them to say nice things about you. That’s what viral celebrities are for. Influencers are individuals who’ve invested time in developing their own brand and cultivating their following. As such, they’re cautious about their reputation and the brands they endorse. But that level of investment is precisely what makes influencer marketing so valuable.

If you’re considering an influencer campaign for your brand, don’t neglect the content side of things. Influencers might be more excited to share a great piece of content on your site than a hard-sell sales pitch. Your messaging is no less important than the people spreading it. Crowd Content matches talented writers and editors to brands seeking high-quality content — at scale and in every industry. If you’re ready to push your marketing efforts into overdrive, get in touch with us today.

Janna Ryan

Article by

Janna is a marketing specialist at Crowd Content who has a passion for content marketing. She works closely with the marketing and sales team to execute SEO, social media marketing, content creation, and email marketing initiatives.

Powered by Crowd Content image

Content Creation for Your Blog

Get More Info
Writers Hub

Writer Spotlight: Ruby Kalten – It’s Your Move

Continue reading

Writers Hub

Writer Spotlight: Victoria Grant

Continue reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>