Learn Everything You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Influencer marketing campaigns can be a savvy marketing tactic, or cause irreparable damage to your brand. Want to make yours a success? We can help!
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If your brand still hasn’t used the many benefits of influencer marketing campaigns to promote its products or services, it’s time to start! Learn how to create influencer marketing campaigns with our step-by-step guide!*
Even though social media platforms are trying their best to stop influencers from making large amounts of money without them taking their piece of the pie, and trends on platforms fluctuating and changing all the time, influencers’ content is here to stay. And it seems it is still incredibly important in swinging purchasing decisions in audiences.
In Influencer Marketing Hub’s Benchmark Report for 2023, the platform surveyed more than 5000 marketing agencies, brands, and professionals to find the participants’ views and experiences with this industry.
They found some statistics that prove the efficiency of influencer marketing campaigns:
- Influencer marketing reached a whopping $16.4 billion in 2022 and is predicted to grow to $21.1 billion in 2023.
- 83% of the participants believe influencer marketing is an effective form of marketing.
- 79% of marketers consider Instagram an integral part of their campaigns.
- 67% of respondents who budget for influencer marketing intend to increase their influencer marketing budget over 2023.
So, needless to say, when performed correctly, this form of digital marketing can help you reach potential customers quickly and has a great return on investment. So, let’s take it step by step.
What is influencer marketing?
The simplest way to define influencer marketing is that it is a form of social media marketing, which uses an endorsement by popular people on social media or celebrities, that create content for their targeted audience promoting a certain brand or product.
It is an extremely effective social media trend because influencers have their own large number of followers that learn about the brand being endorsed through the sponsored content. So, successful influencer marketing campaigns can help with:
- Brand recognition
- Brand awareness
- Social proof
What type of influencer works best for your business?
It is hard to say out on a whim because different brands require a different “expert influencer” and size of the audience.
For a beauty business, a beauty influencer with a large following works perfectly, but for a board game publisher, a reviewer with a small crowd of 1000 dedicated board game lovers can be more than enough.
The reason for that is that a certain niche sometimes requires an expert, whereas a product endorsement usually works better when the promoter has a big audience and plays the numbers game.
If you know your brand’s goals and ideal buyer persona, here are the types of influencers to look out for and choose from.
If you have social media, especially Instagram, it’s practically impossible to escape the real mega influencers. They usually have more than a million followers, and an endorsement by them costs… well, most likely, also millions of dollars.
Mega influencers aren’t experts in the things they promote in any way, but they can rely on their celebrity and star factor. A good example of a mega influencer would be Kylie Jenner or Kim Kardashian. They have enough fame and star power to make or break a brand, as proven with many things they have endorsed.
Before the Kardashian-Jenners started taking them (if they even did), the SugarBearHair vitamins for hair growth and health were something people never even heard of. But, if the reigning royal family of Instagram takes them… Well, they sell fast. However, the Insider claims that after trying them, all they ended up with was a sugar high and breakouts.
The point of this example is that while effective, the mega influencer campaign won’t necessarily bring trust and customer loyalty to your brand. Still, being endorsed by extremely popular influencers helps greatly with recognition.
Macro influencers are in many ways the same as mega influencers, with crowds bigger than a million following them. However, instead of being celebrities, they are the type of influencer that came to fame through the internet, by sharing certain expertise.
Think of bloggers, vloggers, reviewers, and industry big players. A famous example is Michelle Phan, a veteran in the beauty blogging industry, who currently runs her own makeup brand, EM Cosmetics.
Phan became popular through her makeup tutorials, and after a few years of being in the public eye, she took a hiatus off social media and YouTube.
After a failed partnership with L’Oreal that limited her creative freedom, she now carefully chooses her partnering brands.
With more than two million followers on Instagram, she often uses her platform to promote skincare, fashion and beauty brands that align with her beliefs and political views.
The takeaway from her story is that when you are choosing an influencer to partner with, you should make sure that they are genuinely excited about your brand, and don’t just view you as the next paycheck.
But also, this type of influencer will help you show your audience that you work with people who understand the value of your brand, and are experts in what they promote.
Micro influencers have a thousand to a hundred thousand followers, which in my mind, is not that micro of a figure.
Their audience might be smaller, but they are more invested in giving feedback, engaging with their followers and promoting more niche products. As of late, many micro influencers are content creators on TikTok as well and don’t only take to Instagram for promoting their partners’ products.
Since they are more likely to stick to one type of content and product, micro influencers are perfect to help drive interested leads into making a purchasing decision. If your goal is not to reach brand recognition, but drive sales, better partner up with a micro influencer that knows what they are doing.
A good example of a micro influencer, especially for the Gen Z crowd, is Karen Camargo, who uses both her TikTok and Instagram account to share videos and about makeup. She often partners with brands to create customized products which she shares with her followers.
Although very similar to micro influencers, this group takes their expert subjects even more specifically. When I think about niche topics you can find on Instagram, I can immediately remember a feminist book club, clean eating and meal prepping nutritionist, a DIY furniture guide, and a board game reviewer. So, as you can see, nothing is too specific.
It means a smaller audience, but also a more loyal one. So, if your product or service is very specific (i.e. vegan restaurant), instead of an Insta-foodie that endorses any restaurant that approaches, hire a vegan food reviewer. If you produce pet grooming products, find a vet that shares tips for pet owners. You’d be surprised how many specific profiles there are on social media.
A niche influencer that comes to mind is Bonnie Taub-Dix, a dietician and nutritionist whose goal on the internet is to break down misleading and confusing food labels, as well as dietary myths. She translates it, as she says, into “consumer-friendly information”.
And although she has less than six thousand followers, she often partners up with healthy food brands and helps people in need of nutrition facts find what they’re looking for.
The most successful influencer marketing campaigns are always about quality, not quantity.
So, although they might not have a following of millions, your loyal customers are the ones most likely to recommend your business. They have gone through all the stages of your marketing funnel, and, probably, know your product and service well. So, a simple word-of-mouth recommendation can sometimes be more effective than an expensive influencer marketing campaign.
I can use myself as an example: there is a small Arabian restaurant in my town that I love, and I’ve taken so many of my friends there, that the owner now knows me by name, knows my order, asks me how the food was, and almost always treats me and the whole table a dessert on the house.
And that just makes me even more inspired to share this amazing small business with everyone.
Be it through social media, word of mouth, an online review, or a referral campaign, your loyal customers are definitely stars for you. You should nurture them and give them an incentive to promote your brand so that they can become your brand ambassadors.
Different influencer marketing collaborations
Now that we showed you the different types of influencers, there are also different posts and campaigns that you can create once you find the right influencer for your brand.
Sponsored content on social media platforms
Back in the day, social media influencers could get away with promoting a brand without adding the “Sponsored” badge to it. However, sponsored content has to be marked as such since social media platforms started putting in more effort in fighting fake news and media illiteracy.
So, sponsored content means that a brand is paying a social influencer to promote their brand on their personal platform, and in return, they need to let their audience know they are suitably compensated.
Sponsored and guest blog posts
If a blogger or vlogger writes about your brand on their platform, or for your blog as a guest writer, that is considered a sponsored or guest blog. And everyone does it: even National Geographic and the Guardian do sponsored posts. So, if your product or service needs storytelling and less visual, short-attention targeted posts, blogging is something you need to think about.
An influencer takes over Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or whatever social media is the most important profile of the brand for a day or more. It is an interesting form of promotional media because you see the brand from the influencer’s point of view. Takeovers are very common for event marketing (concerts, festivals, etc.)
Just think of how many times you’ve liked a page because a friend tagged you on a giveaway to get something for free. It is simple: an influencer offers free products on their profile, and to qualify to get them, you usually need to follow the page of the brand, the influencer, and also like and comment with tagging a friend. It drives huge numbers of people to like and promotes organic reach.
Brand ambassador deals
Brand ambassador deals are more long-term than hiring an influencer for a single campaign. Think of George Clooney and Nespresso, or Cate Blanchett and Armani. The same happens with influencers and big beauty and fashion brands. Similar to brand ambassador deals are celebrity endorsements.
What makes a good influencer marketing campaign?
You’ve probably figured out that choosing the right influencer is largely what makes a good influencer marketing campaign. But before and after you’ve made that all-important decision, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure success.
Let’s discuss them.Define your marketing goals and budget
You should never launch an influencer marketing campaign just for the sake of it. Without well-defined objectives and budget you can easily end up wasting hundreds if not thousands of dollars with virtually no returns.
Here are some goals you might want to consider, along with tips for how to create an influencer marketing campaign.
- If you want to grow your social media following, consider partnering with a bigger influencer who will help you gain traction and engagement. Giveaway campaigns are also a great way to achieve this goal.
- If you want to build brand awareness, you should collaborate with an influencer close to your brand. Influencer marketing campaigns are a great way to reach people who’d be most interested in your product or service.
- If you boost sales you can partner up with several influencers to create sponsored content. Discount deals and coupon codes are always helpful.
- If you want to improve your SEO with backlinks, you need to conduct detailed research into bloggers and sites whose links will be most helpful. For this you ought to use an SEO tool like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz.
Choose your type of campaign and create key messages
As we’ve discussed above, there are several types of influencer marketing campaigns to consider. You should choose your preferred method of communication based on your budget and objectives (a takeover campaign may not be all that useful if you want to increase sales).
Whatever you settle on, however, you must devise your key messages. Some influencers will accept that you write content for them, others won’t. However, you should be allowed to specify the general direction of the campaign messaging to ensure the influencer marketing campaign remains on-brand.
Find your influencer
We’ve already discussed the different types of influencers with the benefits they bring. So, now we owe you an answer to the question “where to find influencers to partner with”. Here are a few ideas.
- Social media: You may already have an influencer in your following. Or check out the competitions’ following. Search the most relevant hashtags and find out who’s posting about your topics.
- LinkedIn: Yes, I know it’s a social media channel, but it deserves a separate mention. Although their pompous motivational posts are sometimes annoying, a great LinkedIn influencer can be a major asset for SaaS businesses.
- Google: Not everyone is a social media influencer. If you’re after bloggers, Google will help you find those whose content ranks best. Same goes for YouTube (although it’s technically a social media platform).
- Influencer search tools: Upfluence, HypeAuditor, and Storyclash are just a few tools worth checking out. Of course, this should always be your first step, before you conduct thorough research into a specific influencer yourself.
Create an influencer agreement
An influencer agreement is a legal contract between an influencer and a brand that outlines the terms and conditions of their collaboration. Here are some elements that typically go into an influencer agreement:
- Scope of work: This outlines the specific services the influencer will provide for the brand, such as creating content, posting on social media, or attending events.
- Compensation: This specifies how much the brand will pay the influencer, whether it's a flat fee, a commission, or a combination of both. It may also include payment terms, such as when payment will be made and how it will be made.
- Deliverables: This outlines the specific content or materials the influencer will create for the brand, such as social media posts, blog posts, or videos.
- Timeline: This specifies the timeline for the influencer's work, including deadlines for deliverables and the duration of the collaboration.
- Exclusivity: This specifies whether the influencer will be exclusive to the brand during the collaboration period or whether they can work with other brands simultaneously.
- Ownership and usage rights: This outlines who owns the content created by the influencer and how the brand can use that content, such as whether they can edit it or use it in advertising.
- Confidentiality: This specifies whether the influencer is required to keep any confidential information they learn about the brand or its products secret.
- Termination: This outlines the circumstances under which either party can terminate the agreement and the consequences of doing so.
- Indemnification: This specifies who is responsible for any legal claims or damages that arise as a result of the collaboration.
- Governing law and jurisdiction: This specifies the laws and jurisdiction that will apply in case of any disputes between the parties.
Of course, you probably won’t be quite as thorough if you’re purchasing a single sponsored post. However, if you’re planning long-term collaborations on brand influencer campaigns, you should be as specific as possible. After all, it’s your brand’s reputation on the line.
Track the key metrics
Hooray! You’ve found the right person and your campaign is live! But how can you distinguish successful influencer marketing campaigns from the rest?
Go back to your campaign objectives.
You may have launched a campaign to increase sales. And you notice a huge increase in social media following, but little to no purchases. Getting more followers is great, but it’s not what you wanted to spend your money on. It might mean you’ve chosen the wrong influencer(s), or that they’re messaging is off. Don’t lose sight of what your primary goals are, and adapt your campaign (or be prepared to drop it), if it’s not delivering.
Although evolving, influencer marketing is of great value when done right. But, before reaching out to influencers and planning your strategy, you need research of the market and audience, as well as the pricing of influencer marketing in your area and niche.
Make sure you know how much you can afford to spend, and don’t be afraid to go for smaller, but expert influencers in niche markets.
Journalist turned content writer. Based in North Macedonia, aiming to be a digital nomad. Always loved to write, and found my perfect job writing about graphic design, art and creativity. A self-proclaimed film connoisseur, cook and nerd in disguise.