Being relatable on Social Media or Influencer marketing is one of the most effective strategies for boosting your brand's presence on social media. It allows you to broaden your audience, trigger word of mouth and collaborate with content creators who can help you increase sales through high-quality original content.
But how does it work? Read this complete guide to find out what influencer marketing is, what its advantages are, and how to develop a practical strategy to exploit its full potential.
Influencer marketing: what is it?
Influencer marketing is a set of activities and strategies based on the collaboration between a brand and a testimonial (the influencer): the latter, in exchange for monetary compensation, free products or other forms of remuneration, offers visibility on social networks to the company and its products or services.
Influencer marketing exploits the ability to influence the masses with a testimonial to increase the visibility and prestige of a brand.
It is the digital evolution of referral marketing, the old word of mouth: in recent years, in fact, people tend to trust traditional advertising less and less, preferring the testimonies and advice of friends, family or personalities considered expert, influential and impartial.
Influencers generally focus on a certain niche market and work by publishing content photos, videos, reviews, articles, posts, etc. on social networks. Today we are also talking about social marketing influencers.
Currently, 67% of brands prefer Instagram influencer marketing. The most popular influencer marketing social networks are:
- Blogs or websites
According to a Marketing Hub study, the number of companies leveraging influencer marketing grew by 26% in 2022. Also, according to this year's report, the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to 16.4 billion dollars in 2023.
Brands actively collaborate with influencers to create content that authentically promotes their products or services: unlike classic banner ads or traditional marketing campaigns, people tend to perceive influencer recommendations as impartial and sincere because they trust their advice.
Who are the influencers?
The influencer is a person considered to be an expert in a specific market niche and has a fair number of followers (followers) on social networks, thanks to which he can influence the choices of users.
One of the most extraordinary aspects of influencer marketing is the incredible mix of people that companies can engage with this strategy. These cover every area of interest and come from every country in the world: from personal trainers who share their workouts to fashion bloggers who show off their outfits, from designers who show their portfolios online to travel photographers or chefs who publish their outfits and their recipes.
While some of these characters have more followers than celebrities, they are viewed differently from celebrities. They often seem closer to the audience and more relatable. If they decide to partner with a brand, their opinion is considered by followers not only authentic but also more authoritative.
Because people love influencers
The rise in these figures is due to the radical change in the market and advertising. The immense amount of information that surrounds us attracts our attention less and less. Consumers, especially the younger ones, are becoming more and more sceptical of classic forms of advertising, while they are attracted to more personal and reliable communications.
Social media has subverted the balance of power between consumers and brands. The recommendation of a trusted person plays a vital role in maturing the purchase decision. Precisely for this reason many companies choose to let prominent personalities speak for themselves, loved by the target they are addressing.
Influencers like them above all because they inspire trust, they are real people, perceived as genuine, and who communicate using social media, a direct line with today's consumer. And this is precisely what distinguishes them from a simple VIP. Social networks generate direct contact and interactions that in turn generate trust and incentivize action.
How to develop an influencer marketing strategy
Finding an influencer and agreeing on a partnership can be a difficult and time-consuming goal to achieve. Do you want to get good results? Follow this lineup to develop your influencer marketing strategy.
1.Do your research
You can learn a lot from other brands, discovering which gimmicks work for them. For your Instagram influencer marketing, ask yourself what to post on Instagram, draw inspiration from the different types of content they post, and see what kind of content they get the most engagement from.
An obvious place to start your research is to take a look at what your competitors are doing.
Another good idea is to research brands that, while not competing, may have similar audiences to yours. Take Shore Projects, a minimal watch brand, and Herschel, a well-known brand of backpacks and lifestyle accessories as an example. Even though brands sell completely different products, the target customer is very similar, and influencer marketing campaigns may also follow a common line.
If the brand has a history behind it, research that too. In this case, the origins and culture of Shore Projects are strictly linked to the British sea, so you can keep an eye on various accounts focused on marine and nautical elements.
Finally, a good reference point is the Instagram Business blog. Case studies are regularly posted here and new features and tools are announced. It's a great resource for reading specific content on how to manage Instagram marketing and get the most out of Instagram for your brand.
2.Set up a clear brief
Your campaign will be more successful if you give influencers the creative freedom to produce content that their audience loves. It is equally important to give them a brief with the goals you want to achieve, but leaving room for their creativity is one of the best ways to be successful on Instagram. Trust the influencers and they will create an authentic and engaging influencer marketing campaign for you.
A document that you could attach to the brief is a mood board, or a collage of images that define the style of the project, as exemplified below.
3.Choose the right influencers for your brand
Once you have a clear idea of the goals to be achieved, the next step is to find the right influencers. This is a vitally important step. Getting it wrong can be expensive, so it's worth investing a little more time to make the right decision.
There are influencers for virtually every market. Be it fashion, lifestyle, travel, or fitness, you will likely find several good options. One of the main methods is to do research with hashtags on Instagram, identifying the posts that have obtained the most engagement (many likes and comments).
It is also possible quite often to find influencers on the accounts of other brands. Find posts where someone else is tagged as the creator of the content.
4.Agree on a collaboration formula
Once you have found the influencers you want to work with, you will need to get in touch with them, you can do it through blogger outreach and agree on a collaboration formula.
5.Maximize the value of your content
Get added value from Instagram-sponsored content by reusing it for other channels. Here are three ways to maximize the value of your content:
- Publication on the product page
- Posting as Facebook Ads
- Social media posting
Influencer marketing is one of the best strategies for promoting your business and increasing sales in 2023.
In this article we have seen who influencers are and what they do, what are the advantages and strategies of influencer marketing, and some examples.
At this point, all you have to do is start collaborating with them to broaden the reach of your audience and give new impetus to your brand's presence on social networks.