Influencer Marketing

Unlock Influencer Marketing Secrets

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Updated on March 20, 2024

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Just as a locksmith uses a unique key to unlock a door, businesses must find the key to unlocking the power of influencer marketing.

This article unravels the complexities of influencer marketing, exploring the different types of influencers and the unique advantages each can bring to a brand. It shines a light on the importance of aligning brand values with those of influencers, creating a harmonious partnership.

As more businesses turn to influencers to amplify their brand messaging, understanding these secrets becomes even more crucial. Will you turn the key and unlock your brand’s potential?

Understanding Influencer Categories

httpss://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HM0Wirw6Xro

So, what exactly are the different categories of influencers, and how do they play into the larger landscape of influencer marketing?

Differentiating influencer types is crucial for brands planning a successful marketing strategy. Mega influencers lead the pack with over a million followers, commanding high fees for collaborations.

Macro influencers fall into the 100,000 to a million follower range, and are typically paid collaborators.

Micro and nano influencers, with 10,000 to 100,000 and 1,000 to 10,000 followers respectively, may collaborate for less or even free.

Lastly, we’ve the ‘woke’ influencers, who are purpose-driven and ethically focused. Collaborating effectively with each category requires a tailored approach, taking into account their unique reach, audience, and potential costs.

Building Relationships With Influencers

After identifying the right influencer category for your brand, the next crucial step is to foster a fruitful relationship with these influencers. It’s about more than just business transactions; it’s about establishing trust and fostering genuine connections.

Engage with influencers by liking, commenting on, and sharing their content. Show them you’re invested in their work. Direct messaging can be a good way to approach them for a potential collaboration. Offering free products or services can also be a compelling proposition.

Implementing Influencer Marketing Strategies

Influencer Marketing

Implementing influencer marketing strategies can be a game changer for businesses looking to reach a wider audience in a cost-effective way. By selecting influencers whose values align with the brand’s, businesses can establish authentic partnerships that resonate with potential customers.

However, it’s not just about choosing the right influencer. It’s also about maximizing ROI, which means being strategic about the type of content created, the platforms used, and the timing of campaigns. Remember, it isn’t simply about numbers. Quality engagement and a genuine connection between the influencer and their followers is key.

Collaborating with influencers offers a unique opportunity to tap into their audience and leverage their credibility, ultimately driving traffic and boosting sales.

Engagement and Collaboration Techniques

Influencer Marketing

Harnessing the power of influencer marketing necessitates adept handling of engagement and collaboration techniques. One must master the art of targeted outreach, focusing on influencers whose audience aligns well with the brand’s target demographic. This ensures that promotional efforts yield maximum results. Furthermore, fostering genuine relationships with influencers is paramount. Regular interaction, sharing of their content, and mutual support can cement these relationships.

When it comes to collaboration, launching collaborative campaigns with influencers can be a game-changer. These campaigns must be well-planned and valuable for both the brand and the influencer. Offering exclusive discounts, free products, or event invites can incentivize influencers to collaborate. Remember, the key lies in mutual benefit and clear, consistent communication.

The Importance of Influencer Marketing Trends

Navigating the ever-evolving landscape of influencer marketing trends is essential for any brand looking to make a substantial impact in their respective market. With a rise in demand for influencer authenticity, brands are shifting towards more ethical partnerships. These trends aren’t simply about following the crowd; they reflect a deeper change in consumer behaviour.

Indeed, consumers are increasingly seeking genuine connections and trust in the brands they support. This shift also signifies the increased importance of ethical considerations in brand partnerships. In this context, the current trends underline the importance of aligning influencer partnerships with the brand’s core values and ethos.

Ultimately, staying on top of these trends can provide a competitive edge and contribute to a brand’s overall success.

The Role of Woke Influencers

Influencer Marketing

In light of the increasing importance placed on ethical considerations and authentic connections, ‘woke’ influencers are emerging as significant players in the realm of influencer marketing. They’re making waves by prioritising ethical partnerships and producing purpose-driven content. Their approach has seen a shift in marketing strategies, with brands aligning themselves for authentic collaborations.

These influencers, renowned for their values-based marketing, aren’t just promoting products, they’re also advocating for causes they passionately believe in. Their followers appreciate this authenticity, leading to increased engagement and trust. The role of woke influencers is evolving, becoming an integral part of any modern marketing strategy. Their rise signals a shift towards a more conscious, ethical, and genuine approach to influencer marketing.

Incorporating Influencers Into Small Businesses

Small businesses can significantly benefit from incorporating influencers into their marketing strategies. The key isn’t just to hire an influencer but to establish a meaningful partnership that ensures authenticity and brand alignment. By leveraging the reach and impact of influencers, small businesses can tap into vast audiences that they might not have reached otherwise. This strategy is particularly potent with micro and nano influencers, who typically have a more engaged and niche following.

These influencers can offer a genuine voice for the brand, enhancing its credibility and trust among potential customers. By effectively utilizing influencer marketing, small businesses can maximize their reach, improve brand perception, and ultimately boost their bottom line.

Amplifying Brand Messaging With Influencers

Harnessing the power of influencers can significantly amplify a brand’s message, reaching broader and more engaged audiences. This marketing strategy proves crucial for brand advocacy. Deployed well, it nudges influencers to become enthusiastic brand ambassadors, mirroring the brand’s values and ethos. They effectively communicate the brand’s narrative to their followers, thus extending the brand’s reach and impact.

Building authentic partnerships with influencers is vital. It’s not just about brand promotion; it’s about aligning the brand with influencers who genuinely resonate with its message. This authenticity bolsters the credibility of the brand and enhances audience trust. Thus, a carefully crafted influencer partnership not only amplifies the brand’s messaging but also cultivates a community of loyal supporters.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can One Validate the Authenticity of an Influencer’s Followers and Engagement Rate?

To validate an influencer’s followers and engagement rate, one can use ‘Fake Follower Detection’ tools available online. These tools analyse an influencer’s followers, spotting suspicious accounts.

‘Influencer Verification Techniques’ such as observing the engagement ratio, checking the quality of comments, and reviewing the follower growth rate are also effective.

It’s not just about numbers; it’s the authenticity and quality of the interaction that counts.

What Are the Legal Considerations to Keep in Mind While Collaborating With Influencers?

When collaborating with influencers, it’s crucial to consider legal aspects like contractual compliance and content ownership. They must ensure the influencer’s content doesn’t infringe on any rights and adheres to all relevant advertising laws.

The contract should clearly state who owns the content post-collaboration. They’ve got to be mindful of these factors to avoid legal complications, ensuring a smooth and successful influencer marketing campaign.

How Can Brands Measure the Success of Their Influencer Marketing Campaigns?

Brands can measure the success of their influencer marketing campaigns by focusing on several key success metrics. They’re tracking engagement rates, click-through rates, conversions, and the overall reach of the campaign.

It’s crucial to regularly review these statistics for campaign optimization. They’ll see what’s working, what’s not, and they can adjust their strategies accordingly. It’s all about understanding the data and using it to make informed decisions.

What Are the Potential Challenges or Pitfalls in Influencer Marketing and How Can They Be Mitigated?

In influencer marketing, challenges include incorrect influencer selection and mismanaged budgets. To mitigate, they need to refine their Influencer Selection Process, ensuring alignment with brand values and audience.

It’s crucial to vet influencers thoroughly, avoiding ones with fake followers. Regarding Influencer Marketing Budgeting, they must consider cost-effective micro and nano influencers. They’ll offer high engagement rates, often at a lower cost.

How Can a Brand Manage a Negative Situation or Backlash Arising From an Influencer’s Actions or Behavior?

When a brand faces backlash due to an influencer’s actions, it’s vital to employ crisis communication strategies swiftly.

The brand must hold the influencer accountable, addressing the issue publicly and transparently. They should express disappointment, ensure the influencer apologises, and reassess the partnership.

It’s also important to learn from the incident, refining influencer vetting processes to avoid future conflicts. This approach demonstrates the brand’s integrity and commitment to its values.

Conclusion

In conclusion, influencer marketing is a powerful tool for brands, if harnessed effectively. Understanding influencer categories, building authentic relationships, and employing strategic engagement techniques are key. Aligning brand values with those of influencers ensures successful collaborations.

It’s especially beneficial for small businesses to amplify brand messaging. However, it’s essential to keep abreast of influencer marketing trends and the growing role of ‘woke’ influencers. Ultimately, trust, credibility and genuine relationships underpin successful influencer marketing.

Video Transcript

Speaker 1 (00:04)
My name is Sasha Datter. I’m the founder of Marketing Strategizer. I provide strategic marketing and social media advice for food and drink entrepreneurs. I spent over 15 years in the corporate world working in food and drink businesses in marketing for companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, ABE World Foods, Muller, and Marsons Brewery, to name a few. And then I had a career break, and then I transitioned into starting up my own business as a freelance consultant. So I now work with business owners, and they do work mainly strategy coaching or training.

Speaker 2 (00:48)
You mentioned influence of marketing when we were chatting just before we started recording. So influence of marketing, is it as big today as it was? And how does that impact food and drink?

Speaker 1 (01:03)
Well, in terms of influence to market, it’s quite a key part of social media strategy when you’re doing it, particularly in an organic way, because it’s a great way to get in front of a wide audience than you would typically get if you just talk to your own audience. So that’s the importance of influencer and why it’s quite a key part of social media strategy if you’re doing it properly.

Speaker 2 (01:27)
And you mentioned organic social media as an organic social media influencer strategy. I’ve never really heard of that phrase before. So how would you even start to build an organic social media influencer strategy?

Speaker 1 (01:41)
Yeah, so when I say organic, I’m saying that in the sense of you don’t have to pay for it because obviously you can work with any influencer or any partnership or whatever if you pay for it. But there are ways in social media, like you organically post if you don’t pay for ads. It’s just the same idea, but working with an influencer. But obviously, you can’t just work with any influencer doing this. You have to take the right approach to it. And there’s a process involved in that. To begin with, you’ve got to work out, you’ve got to be clear on who your target audience is. And then you’ve got to find inferences that speak to that target audience or have that target audience. Then you need to actually find them. And then you need to build what we call an organic relationship with them, which is something that you build up over time once you’ve identified the actual inferences you want to work with. And when When I say that, building up a relationship is you start off by liking and commenting and following them. And then you build on that to the point where eventually you start sharing your content with them and you mention them and things.

Speaker 1 (02:42)
And then the final stage is you then approach them and direct message them and go, would you like to collaborate with me? I’ve got some free products. Or even by this stage, they may even just approach you and go, if you send me some products, I’ll talk about your products. It depends on how you build up relationships. And I’ve worked with clients in the past where that’s happened. I’ve followed some influences that were relevant to them. And then suddenly they started direct messaging us when I was managing their account. If you send us some product, we’ll feature you in one of our giveaways of the month or whatever they’re doing. They often do give away and things, which is why they want product, and they’ll talk about your product.

Speaker 2 (03:19)
Excellent. So you don’t have to always be paying then for social media influence. You can actually be very strategic in how you approach it.

Speaker 1 (03:27)
Yeah, you can. I mean, you’ll never be able to work the big name celebrities because it’s payment or nothing with them. And they all have agents, and it’s a very contract-based social media. It’s proper meetings and things outside. This what I call organic social media influencer strategy is all about building relationships within the platforms with the influence you want to work with. And then it’s probably normally a direct message that connects you. You probably never even talk to them in person, on a call or anything. It’s just all arranged over messaging or an email potentially, and you just get an address, send the products, and that’s it. And you normally have a bit more to it than that. You’ll explain about your brand and some things about it so that when they talk about it, they say the right messages. But in this day and age now, the preference is not to really script it out too much, because partly that’s not necessarily the style of the influence, how they talk to their audience. So you need to bear that in mind when you’re picking influences. You want someone that speaks in a similar language to you would want them to talk about or has the same morals or ethics or code of conduct or whatever you want to talk about, say, that’s relevant to your brand.

Speaker 1 (04:40)
You don’t want to be working with someone that doesn’t fit with your brand. So that’s quite key because you need to give them a bit of liberty in terms of the way they talk about your products, but just give them the knowledge that they need to be able to talk about them confidently.

Speaker 2 (04:54)
Incredible. And how would you define a social media influencer today? Because is it someone that’s got 500 followers? Is a follow or a metric of how that is done?

Speaker 1 (05:07)
There are different types of influences. So you’ve got what we call mega influences, which you’ve got over a million followers. And they’re being the household names, and you’ll always have to pay to work with them. Only the big brands in the world can ever work with these people. And then we’ve got what we call macro influencers, which are more like household names, about 100,000 to a million followers. Again, Then only bigger brands with big budgets will end up working with these. And then we get into the more interesting territory, which is what we call, the next one is micro influencers. They’re usually more niche or have more specific target audience that they have. They’re about 10,000 to 100,000 followers. And once you start to get into this territory, some of them will want to be paid, especially if they are at the bigger end of those numbers. There’s opportunities to work with some of them for free. And then you get into what I know is very normally a very specific topic, and it’s about a thousand to ten thousand followers. And again, you can normally work with these type of people for free. And then we’ve got an interesting, reasonably new category called Woke Influences, which is all about being ethically aware.

Speaker 1 (06:18)
And they’re normally very purpose-driven and ethically-driven businesses. And they want to work with those type of businesses. And it’s very much on their conscience as these type of people. So what I would say is, if you are going to work with something like that, it’s got to be part of what your core brand values are. And you have to have a very authentic brand that fits with that. You would never work with a Woke Influencer if you were not walking what you walk. You’ve got to talk the talk, walk the walk, thing, if you’re going to work with these types of influences, because they’re normally got very particular ethical or social purpose, but they’re brilliant if you have a brand that fits with those sorts of characteristics.

Speaker 2 (06:58)
Wow. Amazing. And we all hear the word woke so many times. I was going to ask you what is a woke influencer? So very good. So they have really specific opinions around the environment and things like that. Is that correct or am I off track?

Speaker 1 (07:14)
Yeah, it could be environment, it could be human rights, or it could be whatever their purpose or mission is. It could be feminist rights, it could be diversity, it could be anything. But they’re very Purpose-driven on whatever their purpose is. And obviously in the food and drink, for example, we’ve got B Corp businesses now. You’ve got a lot with ethically sourced businesses, like sustainable businesses. So you’ll have people that fit into those categories that they really talk and stand for sustainability or zero carbon emissions or whatever it might be. So you align depending on what your business is and your values or what you’re standing for. You would align if you wanted to work with that type of person. But it’s very much purpose-driven brands and business or socially responsible businesses where you’ve got a very clear message that you need to want to work and partner with someone like that.

Speaker 2 (08:08)
Incredible. And again, I’m just thinking of the real influencers, the three influencers. Do they have Are there any key elements that you should be looking for in their profile? Is it their engagement? Or what are the key things you really should look out for when you’re trying to find these people?

Speaker 1 (08:24)
We’re working within or looking to work with influencers. There’s a lot of things you should be looking at. You You need to look at, obviously, their followers and also go in and check some of them, because what you don’t want is, if you get some influencers that are not doing it properly, they may just buy followers, and they may be bots and things. So you do need to go in and have a look and check that the Even the comments that they get are proper, genuine comments, and they’re not from just bots. And you can normally tell bot accounts because they’re numbers and digits. They’re not proper people. They don’t normally have a picture, so they’re quite easy to spot. You also need to have look at things that would be important to you, like how often they post, especially what content they put out. Because if you’re thinking, I want to work with them, I want them to do video and they don’t do video, you’ve got to know what they do. Some of them are We specialise in Instagram TV or just doing stories, if that’s what you want. So depending on what you want, you need to make sure they cover what you’re interested in.

Speaker 1 (09:23)
So, yeah, also look at things like the engagement rate, and depending on what your goals are, things like how many items they’ve sold or click-throughs. It just depends what you look at it. I mean, generally, it’s about engagement rate and for us. And also, I would also check how often they post about sponsored content. Work with other brands, because equally, I wouldn’t pick someone that works with a different brand, say, every day of the week, because that would really dilute your collaboration with them. So be a bit careful about how often they sponsor or do a sponsored post or work with other brands because you don’t want someone that’s doing it all the time because otherwise their audience will just get fed up with it if they’re constantly promoting other brands. So just be wary of that as well. And find out as much as you can about their demographics. If they’re on Instagram or any of the platforms, they will have the data because they can see the statistics behind their page about what their demographics are. So they should be able to give you that data if you ask them for it. They can just screenshot it if they don’t have it written out.

Speaker 1 (10:29)
I would also, if you’re going to approach it, be clear on what your goals are, are you doing it for follow-up growth? Are you trying to build a stronger community? Do you want to generate more leads? I think have a clear goal in what you’re trying to achieve. What I found, generally, is most We generally tend to use influences from what brand awareness is what that actually says. But it doesn’t mean you can’t, but you can through social media now. So it’s not to say you can’t do that, but often It’s more like at the awareness stage, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do transactional things. And equally, if you are going to go to the point of wanting to do transactional, encourage that, you could offer the influencer a referral code for their audience. So if they buy through the post that they share, they get 20 % off or a promo or whatever discount it is, if they then buy. So you can actually create something like that. So there is actually an incentive for them to try and encourage to buy the product as well.

Speaker 2 (11:31)
Incredible. And you’ve probably often found, I know I can imagine, so many companies are coming to you and looking for advice, but they don’t have much of a budget to invest in social media or marketing. Is there a way that you would really push people or companies to try and engage with social media influencers if they don’t have a budget? You’d mentioned earlier about maybe the products. Is that a really good way to try and engage a bit of a broader?

Speaker 1 (12:00)
Yeah. Generally, the best way to work with them is giving them some free product. Now, depending on what they do, I mean, a lot of them do give away hampers or give away each month. So providing them some products for that. Sometimes it may be best to give them more than just your products. So you might give a whole package of product give away. Or if you’re a brand that runs events, you might give them tickets as well to something if you collaborate with some other partners as part of your brand and what you do. So if you can package something wider that’s quite appealing to their target audience, and it’s something that there’s going to be a lot of interest in, then I think the better, the more you can do something like that, the better. So you sponsor a football team or you sponsored, like a local event that could be relevant to their audience. Then if you had tickets for that or something like that, or it was a food and drink show or tickets to a restaurant that you collaborate with, whatever it is, I think something like that’s quite a nice thing to do as well.

Speaker 2 (13:00)
Incredible. And is it important then that small businesses are actually engaging and using influencers in their social media strategy? Again, I’m just thinking there’s so many things out there that businesses can be doing. Would you say that using influencers is a really good thing to do?

Speaker 1 (13:18)
Yeah, I mean, definitely on social media. I mean, social media, really, in this day and age, everyone should be doing it. And I accept that it’s quite hard to do when you’re particularly if you’re just starting out and you don’t have the resource to do it. But if you can start working with influencers, the real benefit is expanding your organic reach, especially if you’re not paying for ads, because you will only reach so many people when your audience is a certain size, because you obviously use things like hashtags to expand your reach beyond your immediate audience that follow you. But that only still goes so far. To take that to the next level, you really need to work with influencers, because obviously then you tap into their audience, and that’s the whole benefit of working with them. And also they’ve got a lot of credibility because the reason people work with influencers is about trust and what we call amplification, which is their reach. And it’s the whole trust factor, because I’ve got a slide that shows that only 4 % of consumers trust ads, only 42 % trust a brand, but 72 % of consumers will trust recommendations from other consumers online.

Speaker 1 (14:22)
And then you always know that most consumers will trust recommendations from family and friends, like 82 %. So you can see the importance that actually influences are more important to a brand than actually just the brand talking about itself. It just takes it to the next level. It’s like an endorsement, really, for your brand.

Speaker 2 (14:40)
Excellent. You’ve sold me on the influencers now. So I’m wondering, you touched on it earlier as well, you were saying about reaching out and building a relationship with an influencer. And so that is the key, then it really is finding the right influencers and then trying to build a relationship with them. And if so, I’m sure you’ve done it loads. What’s the tips and advice, the secret sauce, to try and build a really genuine relationship?

Speaker 1 (15:06)
Yeah, the top tips I’d say is, first of all, make sure your values and ethics and everything are aligned with theirs, and you’ll have to read about that to find out that. You should be able to tell by what they post and things. And then, as I said, check through all the tips we talked about earlier, about their followers engagement rate, what they post about, what formats they use, to check it’s aligned with what you’re expecting. Find out, as I said, about the demographics of their audience, which you can ask them about because you won’t obviously be able to see that from their profile. Be clear on your goals and what you’re wanting to achieve with them. And then what a good idea is when you know that you’re going to be able to work with them, give them a brief on what your key messages are and things. And then also, I think a really nice thing to do as well is create a branded hashtag that you use with them because then the hashtag will then be searchable and it’s connected with that influence, particularly if you’re going to work with them on a time.

Speaker 1 (16:04)
Because, again, with influences, you can either just work as a one-off and they just do a one-off give away. Or you can do a long-off give away. You’re more like an ambassador role relationship with them. So it all depends what you want to get out of it. And it may be you test the water first and just do one or two things and just see how it goes and then see longer term, whether they want to work with you on a longer basis. I mean, I’m a bit like that because I’m an ambassador for a food entrepreneurs community. So I’m like an ambassador for them. So I’m doing it the reverse way. So it’s quite a good way of working with someone on a longer term basis.

Speaker 2 (16:42)
Incredible. And do you think institutional marketing is going to continue to grow? Is it something that we really should be watching for the next couple of years? Or is it plateaued where it is today?

Speaker 1 (16:52)
No, I think it’s going to keep growing. But I think we’ve seen some changes since the whole COVID came about. Because there was a bit of a downturn at the beginning, because people didn’t really know what was going on. So a lot of the influence stopped posting and things were put on hold with brands. But what we’ve seen now is there’s more of a focus on the brand values and what the brand stands for, the purpose and everything more than just, as I said, transactional, just hardcore selling of people’s products. And what we’ve also seen is a lot more FMCG brands have introduced influence in marketing into their core strategy as opposed to it just being a sideline strategy. And I think the main reason being is because since the whole COVID thing, a lot more people are online and on social media. So they’ve realised, actually, we need to take this more seriously and make influence in marketing a key part of our marketing strategy, while we can’t use maybe some of the other channels we normally would be using, especially big brands.

Speaker 2 (17:49)
Incredible. And it’s really interesting to see so many companies then getting involved and engaging. It’s making it part of a core strategy. So that’s interesting. So for sure, we all should be setting up and taking note and seeing how we implement this in. And again, really interesting to hear that it can be very cost-effective if we’re really smart and strategic in what we do. So you obviously mentioned, again, and obviously we’re talking about food and drink today. So you help brands in the food and drink sector. How do you help them? You help them with their strategies and their social media?

Speaker 1 (18:27)
I don’t really take on people’s social media and do it on a day to day basis. I do more of the strategy side. So I work with a company. If they start on social media and it’s not really going very well or they’re not really sure what they could do to improve, then that’s how I work with people to help them optimise what they’re doing or suggest better ways of doing things. But I don’t do all the implementation. And equally, I do training courses as well on social media. So it’s more helping people to help themselves or if they’ve got a marketer in their department that needs some more upskilling on social media, then obviously I can do that as well.

Speaker 2 (19:04)
Brilliant. I guess it’s probably a better investment and more value to the company actually investing in their skills and their in-house capabilities and farming it out. So no, I can see why it would be so valuable. So again, thank you again for your time today. I really appreciate it. It’s been really interesting to find out how influence your marketing can work for a business. If anyone’s watching this, what’s the best way for them to find out more or even get in contact with you? Where should we send them?

Speaker 1 (19:33)
Visit my website, which is marketingstrategizer. Com, which is spelled with an S, or you can find me LinkedIn under Sasha Datter. I’m also on Instagram under marketingstrategizer as well, so @marketingstrategizer.

Speaker 2 (19:52)
Amazing. Excellent. Thank you for that. What we do is we make sure, so anyone watching this video, please do click below and you’ll find the links for the website and the social media profiles. So please do connect and say hello. So again, thank you very much for your time. That was brilliant. A real good insight into influence on marketing now. So I’m looking forward to seeing some interesting giveaways and campaigns being started here across Ireland and the UK from this webinar. So again, thank you for your time today.

Speaker 1 (20:21)
Well, thank you very much for inviting me along. Brilliant.

Speaker 2 (20:25)
Excellent. And thank you for watching. Hopefully you enjoyed today’s video. If you did, why not share this video with your friends and connexions on social media, and we’ll hopefully see you in the next one. Thank you again.

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