The Influencer Marketing Guide for 2019 (With Example)
Answer these Questions to Run a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
Does influencer marketing still work?
Marketers have many questions regarding influencer campaigns, especially in a time when influencers are under a lot of criticism.
Some experts believe that influencers, these days, are overrated while others say the whole concept of influencer marketing is flawed.
And some of their concerns are valid.
For example, a recent study shows that some major brands, like Ritz-Carlton, have hired influencers with a large number of fake followers. That practice cuts against the reason for influencers and can make businesses think it’s not a worthwhile practice.
But this is not the case for all marketers and influencers. Let’s go deeper.
How influencer marketing works
Brands hire influencers to spread the word about their products or services. Marketers pay influencers to market their brand on their social media pages. Influencers, in turn, use their huge follower bases to help the brands achieve their marketing goals.
The process looks pretty simple. It also leads to the temptation to buy or create followers.
- Businesses expect a lot from social media marketing.
- There are too many influencers in the business now.
Brands set their social media goals without knowing the current dynamics on social media. The rapid change and turnover on social media makes it difficult to match the numbers needed--leading to the creation of fake followers.
In addition, anyone with a large number of fans and followers on social media can claim to be an influencer. The common belief is simple: more followers leads to more influence. This idea increases the pressure on the influencers to claim a larger community than they actually have.
That said, influencer marketing does work.
If you’re doing it right.
Here are 3 reasons influencer marketing still works and will work in the coming years.
Followers trust influencers
Influencers enjoy a large community which listens to their stories. There is a trust factor that works when a follower listens to what an influencer says. To a great extent, that trust influences their buying decisions as well.
Influencers are better storytellers
Millennial influencers tell stories--they don’t “sell” a product. Listening to an influencer--a fellow consumer--relate their experience creates an immediate connection to the story and the product/brand.
Influencers inspire others
Most influencers help their followers change their lives by addressing their pain points and offering the right solutions at the right times.
Influencer marketing is not dead. It can help any brand reach its marketing goals when used properly. You, as a brand, have the responsibility to ensure that your content reaches the right people by spending your money in the right way--with the right influencers.
5 mantras for a successful influencer campaign in 2019
Ask yourself these 5 questions before launching any influencer campaign.
What do I want to market?
Influencer marketing must be a part of your integrated marketing strategy. Many brands fail to understand this simple aspect of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing works best when you have other marketing channels in place and you have specific goals to achieve. And you have to make sure your consumers get something at the end of the campaign.
HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service provider. They launched an influencer campaign to promote their meals and provide a discount offer. So they partnered with various food bloggers to educate the readers about their meals and redirect their viewers to the offer made in the campaign.
The bloggers are the main players, but the discount offer made sure the campaign succeeded because it gave the audience a takeaway.
How many influencers do I need?
Like Goldilocks, you’ll find the number that’s “just right” for your campaign. There’s no formula, however, for setting that number. Several factors, including your goal, service, and budget, can help you arrive that number.
A study by Linqia shows that 37% of brands have worked with 1 to 10 influencers per campaign and 34% of marketers have hired 10 to 25 influencers per campaign in 2017.
Fiji Water hired only one influencer, Danielle Bernstein, for one of their marketing campaigns. The aim of this campaign was to highlight the brand’s goal to keep fitness enthusiasts well-hydrated during and after workout sessions.
Fiji partnered with Danielle Bernstein. She, in turn, featured Fiji Water in a series of fitness videos in her blog to motivate her fans to keep fit and hydrated.
Another example features Youfoodz, a fresh meal company in Australia. They wanted to launch their winter menu with the help of influencers on Instagram. So they brought on 81 influencers in the fitness, food, and health categories.
The influencers created 167 pieces of content on Instagram. This content resulted in a reach of 1.5 million, with over 507,909 impressions and 70,000 engagements.
When would I need influencer activation?
Not all marketing campaigns need influencers. You are the best judge to decide this for your brand. If the campaign needs any shoutouts made, promo codes distributed, or hashtags trended on social media, influencers might be central to your efforts.
It's a popular notion that influencer campaigns work only for B2C. But they also work for B2B campaigns. Time Warner Business Class demonstrated this ability. In one of their marketing campaigns, they partnered with their SMB customers to create video testimonials.
Each piece of content featured the significant contribution Time Warner contributed to the success of the businesses using their services. Each of the videos ended with a Call-to-Action to download an eBook with a promise of more information about the connectivity solutions offered by the brand.
Businesses, after all, are consumers, too.
Where to launch the influencer campaign?
Instagram is the most popular channel for promoting branded content with influencers. A recent study by Sprout Social, however, shows that YouTube is gradually becoming a popular network for influencer campaigns as well.
The choice of channel ultimately is a decision for the brand and the influencers.
This decision depends on the target audience, type of content, the followers of the individual influences, and budget. Marketers also need to consider the specific Calls-to-Action the campaign will make, as well as the service or product being offered.
What’s the right content?
Content is the most important part of an influencer campaign. Not all content is suitable for all audiences. The main deciding factors are the target group and the platform.
Diageo is a famous whiskey brand that is also popular for its influencer content. One of their most popular and successful influencer campaigns was "My Takes of Whiskey".
In this campaign, the brand created a 44-minute video featuring the actor Nick Offerman, talking to the audience while sipping his whiskey. The casual chat fit in well with the whiskey-sipping audience. The campaign even bagged the prestigious Shorty Awards.
In a different type of influencer campaign, Choice Hotels partnered with food bloggers on Instagram to promote their sweepstakes website.
They chose National Waffle Day for the campaign and designed a campaign to promote the branded hashtag, #WhatsYourWaffle, by asking Instagrammers to select the next flavor of waffle to be served.
Influencer marketing is neither overrated nor dead. On the contrary, it can be a successful tool for brands, if used the right way.
Choosing the right influencers is just the start in this type of campaign. In future articles in this blog, we’ll focus on each aspect of running successful influencer marketing campaigns.