Influencer marketing used to be a buzzword in the marketing industry until a few years back. Now every marketing plan is incomplete without a proper influencer marketing strategy.
So much so that big brands like Dior are making it their primary marketing strategy. In one of their recent campaigns called 67 Shades of Skin, Dior tied up with a world-famous influencer marketing agency to launch a campaign to celebrate Dior’s Forever Foundation – a unique range of 67 foundation shades. It was one of their most inclusive campaigns ever.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Influencer marketing is not only getting brands the reach they need, but also the necessary engagement on their social media profiles. The increasing importance of influencer marketing has given birth to quite impressive influencer marketing agencies like Buttermilk, Hyperfactory, and many more.
What do These Influencer Marketing Agencies do?
For instance, Hypefactory, being an influencer marketing agency, operates at the intersection of technology and creativity where they found a way to integrate artificial intelligence to create impactful and creative strategies for their clients.
Their technology helps them to select the right influencers for their clients based on their campaign objectives. They are truly at the intersection of automation and human communication where they connect experts with the brands for performance-driven advertisements.
Influencer marketing is getting interesting day by day. There was a time when only celebrities were considered to be influencers but since the advent and rise of social media platforms, we’ve seen a lot of people from different walks of life creating a religious following on their profiles.
With constant engagement and putting out quality content, they’ve created micro-cults within this big social media cult. And the people running such profiles are called micro-influencers.
In a more quantifiable way, micro-influencers are people who have a following between 10,000 – 100,000.
Contrary to the popular norm, micro-influencers have better engagement among their followers which is why micro-influencers are a better choice for marketing. Sure, if you need massive visibility, then celebrities are a better choice but it’s only rarely that such visibility converts into sales or even website visitors.
Moreover, micro-influencers are more authentic, more affordable and more importantly, they have a more targeted audience. Spending $1 on micro-influencers would bring in more ROI than spending on mega-influencers or celebrities with more than a million followers.
This brings us to the main topic of this article – how to go about using micro-influencers to grow your brand visibility and business.
3 Easy Ways to use Micro-influencers to Grow your Brand
Let’s say you want to promote a new burger you are introducing to your menu and you want to position it as a healthy yet flavourful option to all the other burgers in the market.
Ideally, you should create a specific hashtag for your campaign before reaching out to any of the micro-influencers. With the given example, the hashtag can be #ThePowerofHealthandFlavor or #HealthyYetFlavourful or anything that would resonate with your audience.
Once you have settled on a hashtag, you can reach out to the right influencers that have your target audience.
Here’s an excellent example of a campaign-specific hashtag #MyBodyMyStyle being used by StitchFix for their influencer specific campaign.
One of the major advantages of having a campaign-specific hashtag is that the monitoring becomes easy. To view all the campaign-related posts, you can simply click on the hashtag.
- Unleash the Power of User-Generated Content
Did you know 93% of customers find UGD more influential when making their buying decision?
What will separate a sponsored post from user-generated content? Instead of forcing your brand image on your micro-influencers, let them create content that’s more authentic with their DNA at the centre of it.
The more you try to control the output from your influencers, the more it will look staged.
“Audiences are more willing to connect with influencers than a stranger as they actually understand the product and convey that understanding to their audiences seamlessly, improving the overall quality of leads,” says Regina Tsvyrava, COO at HypeFactory.
They need to have creative freedom to tell their experience with your products and brand. Except for the campaign-specific hashtag and a small brief, don’t direct anything being produced by your influencers.
Content that’s genuinely created comes across as user-generated content giving your brand a personal touch. It’s one of the best ways to connect with your audience. Truly connect. They want to see real people and their real experiences. Sure, you want to build an aspirational quality for your brand, but don’t forget, it can be aspirational and within the reach as well.
So, make sure to give your influencers the freedom they need to create some genuine content.
Adding #sponsored would go a long way in maintaining transparency with your audience. Make sure, along with your campaign-specific hashtag, your micro-influencers are adding #sponsored or #ad to their posts.
The sky’s the limit with the power of user-generated content but the power of angry customers who might feel like they’ve been cheated is way more.
And since influencer marketing is here to stay, it’s better to be open about your associations with the influencers. And your customers will appreciate you for the same.
Also, you would want to create long-lasting relationships with your influencers. This way you can have a few influencers be the face of your brand. It’s simply cashing in on the brand equity of influencers and vice-versa for the influencers as well.
Working with the right influencers is quite exciting and glamorous, but before making any move, keep the following things in mind.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Starting your Campaign
- Don’t forget to create an influencer agreement – This is one of the most common mistakes that brands make. Make everything official – the payment, terms and conditions, deliverables, deadlines, approval process, rights, exclusivity clause, cancellation clause, and everything in between. Spend some time and create a standard influencer agreement that can be used for all your influencers.
- Communicate your goals and expectations clearly – Making sure your influencers understand your brand values and your goals and expectations from the campaign would help make the approval process quite smooth.
- Verify your influencers – Once the campaign is released, make sure to ask your influencers to share a verified performance report. An overview of how your campaign performed, the interaction, and the engagement on the content. You should also pay close attention to the quality of comments on their posts.
Influencer marketing is a great way to reach a niche audience with targeted messaging. But before implementing anything, make sure you understand the ABCs of influencer marketing and are aware of the industry best practices for the highest ROI on your investment.