Influencer marketing is quite an efficient way to get your business out into the world and reach success. When you see Selena Gomez earning about $550,000 for one single post and the Kardashians going as high as $500k – again, for just one regular post – it’s quite understandable why businesses, big or small, might benefit from it.
Still, what exactly does social media marketing entail – and how can you use it to increase your audience? How does it help you? Well, the purpose of this article is precisely to shed some light on those aspects.
In This Article
- Remember the Three “R’s.”
- Determine Your Influenced Group.
- Look for Trust.
- Focus on Consistent Looks and Values.
- Watch Out for Sponsorship Saturation.
- Do Your Research.
- Prepare Your Budget.
- Reach out personally.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
To understand influencer marketing, we first need to go down to the basics – namely, what we know from “influence” and “marketing” as separate entities:
- Influence = The ability to affect the development, character, or behavior of someone (or something).
- Marketing = The action where a business is promoting their services or products to sell them.
As a result, influencer marketing is the act of promoting and selling a service or a product by the use of people who can “influence” the decision of an audience. These people are called “influencers,” and they generally can impact the brands’ character.
Influencer marketing is a form of collaboration between a business and a person with strong influence over a specific audience – the purpose here being to promote a particular product. The first forms of influencer marketing used to be celebrity endorsements – but nowadays, more and more people have gained that kind of authority.
Kamiu Lee, chief operating officer at Redesign health and strategy VP at Bloglovin makes the following description for influencers:
“Influencers are content creators with built-in distribution: a loyal following that spans across many channels, from their blog to various social platforms. Savvy influencers know to treat their following like their closest friends — and build trust with their audience. It is because of this relationship that influencer marketing, when executed correctly, works to affect purchasing behavior, particularly for the younger generations.” 
Nowadays, in this digital world, more and more content creators that have quite a broad audience may offer a lot of value to a particular brand. All these people need are an engaged and dedicated follower group on social media, which they may “influence.”
Influencer marketing is becoming quite a hit nowadays, as worldwide CMO studies found that about 30.5% of the businesses are shifting their attention towards influencers. Plus, it was found that about 34% of the Instagram users in the United States made a purchase only because it came as a recommendation from an influencer or a blogger.
Most influencers use Instagram, as that is where most of the successes tend to come from. However, one shouldn’t underestimate the power that platforms such as Facebook or YouTube have. Even a person that makes a living off vlogging on YouTube can prove to be a great asset if they have quite a large follower count.
Defining the Social Media Influencer
Influencers are those that can influence others. They are people that wield absolute power over their followers, using different forms of influence that they know will appeal to their followers. Louie Ortiz, CEO at Monbi.com, adds to this definition even more.
“Influencers are people that are unique in their way; you’ll never see two influencers operating in the same manner. That being said, the right influencer should be able to reach your target audience without necessarily following a template, engaging with your ideal audience, and building trust in a manner that a regular business never could. This is because the influencer is not there to sell. It’s not a product – but a person. And people are more likely to build trust with a person rather than a business.”
As a result, it is essential to collaborate with an influencer that has the same vision as you do. Otherwise, you will not be able to connect with their audience. These influencers can be of any type, from celebrity Kendall Jenner with her 108 million followers to fitness instructor Cassey Ho with her 1.7 million followers.
These are just some influencer marketing examples. One is a celebrity, and the other is a person that not many know about – but the right words from either can undoubtedly bring a lot of interested people in your direction.
Influencers can work in pretty much any domain. They may be into traveling photography, make-up tutorials, health, and fitness – or any other domain. The idea is that the person you are doing influencer collaboration with needs to have an interest in your domain.
Steps to Find the Right Influencer on Social Media
Instagram has more than 500 million active users, with the numbers growing by about one third every year. The market value stands at about 2.3 million dollars in 2020 – which means that influencer marketing on Instagram is undoubtedly going to raise you the bar. Influencer marketing TikTok is is also growing relatively high in popularity, with more and more people using the application and gaining followers there.
That being said, the influencers will not be coming to you – you will have to find them yourself. However, you can’t collaborate with just anyone – so, you have to make sure that the one you are going for is suitable for your business. Here are the main steps to finding the right influencer for your marketing campaign.
1. Remember the Three "R's"
Influencing is made out of three significant components: relevance, reach, and resonance. All of them have an essential role to play. So, every person focusing on their business marketing needs to consider them carefully:
A relevant influencer will share a lot of content that is valuable for your industry and business. Their audience needs to be one that aligns with your idea of an ideal customer.
Take Intrepid Travel, for example: for the campaign of their vegan tours, they collaborated with several vegan influencers, including Erin Ireland, which already had a highly relevant audience. This way, Intrepid Travel was able to access their audience authentically and engagingly.
And all that it took was the right words in the right post. Erin, for example, is very passionate about her lifestyle as a vegan. In an Instagram post, she talked about how the Intrepid Travel vegan tour opened up the road to her in India as a vegan. She spoke to her followers about how the time allowed her to feel comfortable visiting, without worrying about traveling alone.
That post got more than 5,700 likes – and obviously, a good number of people that interacted with her post also checked out the Intrepid Travel page. Because they read about the tour from someone they follow and believe in, they felt more at ease in trying out a particular service.
And the best thing about this is that the followers don’t even realize what is happening, because influencers do so on a subconscious level. This is something that is further emphasized by growth consultant Brittany Hoffman:
“Influencer marketing is one of the most undervalued forms of marketing in part because many people still don’t realize they are being sold. […] Marketers pay lip service to the power of storytelling, but it is very, very, VERY real. The ability to tell a story on social media means everything to your brand or business. A great story can sell a product much faster than any data point can.” 
Rather than making it sound like advertising, they make it seem like life advice. And this is why people trust influencers.
When deciding on the influencer marketing blog or page that you wish to collaborate with, you also need to consider their reach. This “reach” is the number of people that you could potentially get to by using the follower base of the influencer.
This is why, when choosing the influencer, you need to make sure that they have quite a large follower base. An influencer that has 30,000 followers won’t get you the same reach as someone that has 300,000 followers. While every influencer matters, you need to invest in the ones that will give you the spread that you need.
The resonance is the potential engagement level that the influencer may create with the people relevant to your brand. They may have a huge follower count – but if those followers have no interest in what you want to offer them, then all that engagement is meaningless. As Louie Ortiz of Monbi also believes, a smaller “niche influencer” might be a better solution.
“It’s better to have a small group of followers that have an interest in what you have to offer than a large group who aren’t exactly limited. Let’s say that a business dealing with home appliances connects with one of the Kardashians. They’ll have access to a huge follower base – but not many people will be interested in what they have to give. Influencer marketing is all about focusing on the ones that are within your reach – who can resonate with their followers and naturally steer them in your direction.”
These influencers are also referred to as “micro-influencers”. These people usually have something around 5,000 to 25,000 followers, but their audience is more engaged. The same thing applies to nano-influencers, who have around 1,000 followers. Their count is small, but they have dedicated fans who believe that their words are pure gold. This is further analyzed by Sidney Pierucci, the founder of ESPLMedia.
“Because they are personally invested in their crafts, micro-influencers are trusted sources of recommendations for followers. Just because an influencer has hundreds of thousands, or millions, of followers doesn’t mean that the specific campaign will be more effective than if a marketer or brand works with an influencer with fewer followers. ‘The Game’ isn’t just getting eyeballs, but getting eyeballs that care!” 
Influencers take the right message to the right crowd. Since they are giving the followers something that they are already interested in, your conversion rate should also grow.
2. Determine Your Influenced Group
When working with an influencer, you need to know who you are trying to influence. Like when you are opening a business, you can’t make it an “everything for everyone.” You need to focus on a specific niche that applies to this campaign in particular.
This is why you may want to create an audience persona. Make sure that you already know who you are trying to reach – and then try to adapt it to the influencer persona. Once you match those two, it should be much easier for you to find the right influencer.
3.Look for Trust
When it comes to influencer marketing, trust is a crucial factor. The followers need to trust the opinion of the influencer that you are planning to partner with. Without that trust, every result that you are trying to obtain will only be superficial.
So, how do you know that the influencer you are planning to collaborate with is trusted? That’s simple; you look for engagement. The likes, views, shares, and comments you see will tell you exactly how much trust a particular influencer has. You may also want to look for this in the specific follower segment that you are attempting to reach.
4. Focus on Consistent Looks and Values
When setting on an influencer, you might also want to focus on those whose content feels consistent with yours. The things they post need to have the same vibe as the product or service that you are trying to sell. The more consistent they are with their posts, the more naturally everything will flow – and it will be much easier for you to sell your product.
5. Watch Out for Sponsorship Saturation
When determining the person to work with for your influencer marketing Instagram campaign, you may also want to keep a close eye out for sponsorship saturation. Look at how often they tend to post, and how often they are sharing their content.
If they’re continually hitting their followers with numerous paid posts, then their rate for engagement might not last for very long. Their engaged followers will get tired of continuously getting slammed with sponsored content, which will cause them to lose their interest.
Instead, look for influencers that make a lot of organic, non-paid content. This will keep the follower engaged, enthusiastic, and interested.
“Out of five to ten posts on the influencer’s Instagram account, only one should be sponsored. Add more of these, and the follower will go from engaged to annoyed in less than a few days. Less is more, and this applies to influencer marketing as well.”
These are Louie Ortiz’s thoughts on how to use influencer marketing on Instagram. Bear in mind that this goes the other way around as well. If you ask the influencer to blast their followers with sponsored content continuously, they might not do it – no matter how generous the paycheck will be. A right influencer will not do it because they will be at the risk of losing their followers.
6. Do Your Research
If an influencer is very popular, there’s a high chance that they will get a lot of offers. This is why, when you approach them, you need to show them that you invested the time to learn about the things they do. Even better, if you start by interacting organically (likes, comments) before approaching them, you may even get bonus points—influencers like it when you are appreciative.
7. Prepare Your Budget
There is a chance that if you are working with a nano-influencer, you might get your hands on a free influence campaign. Still, this might be slightly different from renowned influencers – for this kind of movement, you might want to invest in a decent budget. Each influencer will have his fares per commission, which is why you might need to discuss things with them.
8. Reach out personally
When contacting the influencer, you might want to reach out personally and privately. Start with a direct message – or even a mail, if that’s your only method of contacting them. However, don’t go with copy-pasted texts that you send to every other influencer. It may take longer, but if you write a personal message, it might increase your chances of striking a deal.
Tips for Good Influencer Marketing
Before you face influencer marketing face-front, you should familiarize yourself with the following tips first.
- Follow the rules of the Federal Trade Commission. Influencers are businessmen, too, so you may want to provide full disclosure.
- Don’t be afraid to give creative freedom. If a social media influencer has managed to get that number of followers, then it means that they already know what they are doing.
- Boost credibility by cross-posting your influencer’s post on your channel. Not only does this benefit both parties, but it also strengthens the partnership you have with them.
- Always measure your results, and don’t just focus on vanity metrics (such as the likes and comments that the influencer gets for the post). Use Google Analytics and UTM parameters to see whether you are getting profit from it or not.
- When working on your influencer marketing strategy presentation, you should also focus on using the right tools. Followerwonk, Right Relevance Pro, or Hootsuite, for example, can help you narrow down followers so that you may spend less time doing the research.
In the end, a good influencer marketing campaign implies collaborating with the right people at the right time. You need to work on the influencer marketing hub carefully.
Influencer marketing is a potent tool that you may use nowadays when reaching your audience. By collaborating with the right people, you should be able to increase your reach and further increase your conversion. And all it will take are a few words from a person that already has influence. If the people already trust their story, then they will automatically trust you as well.