The smell of freshly brewed coffee, the cozy warmth of the sun’s rays and of course, a lighthearted scroll through Instagram and TikTok… the recipe for a perfect morning! What better way to start your day than by experiencing the latest social media trends without even having to get out of bed? And if you happen to buy another trendy sweater or color-changing lipstick along the way, you know exactly who’s to thank (or to blame): the influencers.
Your bank account might not appreciate the strong pull of influencer marketing when it comes to an early morning shopping habit, but your brand’s marketing plan certainly will. Influencer marketing harnesses the power of social media influencers to drive product sales.
Whether your brand sells cat treats or pet rocks, there’s a way for you to capitalize on the trend of influencer marketing and turn it into a lasting boost for business.
Our 101 guide to influencer marketing has everything you need to know about influencer marketing in 2022. Read on to learn all about how you can integrate influencer marketing into your brand strategy and give your marketing plan the upgrade it deserves.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing refers to the partnership between a social media influencer and a brand. At its core, influencer marketing simply means that an influencer makes positive posts about a brand and its products or services. The influencer is compensated by the brand, either with a commission fee based on sales, a flat monetary rate or through the gift of free brand products.
How Does Influencer Marketing Work?
From Grumpy Cat to Charli D’Amelio, you’re no stranger to seeing influencers all over your favorite social media sites, but what exactly do they do? How are they paid, and are they really worth it? What an influencer actually does depends on the type of postings a brand hires them to make. Here are just a few of the possible forms influencer marketing can take:
Product placement means that an influencer features a product from your brand on social media and gives you credit. For example, for a pet brand, an influencer might pose with a bag of cat treats, make a video of themselves feeding their cat the treats or simply feature the bag in the background of a picture of themselves and their furry friend.
With a giveaway, the influencer’s followers can enter to win a product from your brand. A fashion brand might give an influencer a box of curated fashion items to post pictures of and encourage followers to enter to win. This brand strategy aims to generate interest in the product and your brand in general.
Social Media Takeovers
Another strategy is allowing the influencer to run your brand’s social media pages for a specific amount of time, such as a day or a week. The influencer gets to put a creative spin on your brand’s content and interact with followers.
A brand ambassador partnership is a long-term marketing strategy. A brand ambassador is an influencer who posts about your brand regularly over a long period. At the largest scale, think of Jennifer Aniston and Aveeno or George Clooney and Nespresso.
Depending on an influencer’s platform, sponsored posts can come in the form of social media posts or blog posts. Influencers promote your brand and services or products in their posts based on guidelines and topics you go over together.
There is a lot of variety in how influencer marketing can look depending on the goals of your individual brand and your marketing plan. We can help you pick the perfect technique to help your brand shine.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
The overall goal of influencer marketing is to increase traffic to your brand’s site and social media pages and boost your business sales. These are some factors that can be benefitted by influencer marketing and that make it a worthwhile brand strategy to try out:
- Brand Awareness
- Amount of Content
- Trust in Your Brand
- Networking Opportunities
- A Worthy Investment
Boost Brand Awareness
In 2018, Alex Rodriguez partnered with Old Navy during the holiday shopping season. Rodriguez posted on his social media that Old Navy would donate $1 to the Boys & Girls Club of America for every $1 pair of socks bought at Old Navy. Old Navy raised over $1 million from this promotion just on Black Friday, and it brought them massive sales through the holidays. Beyond their success in sales, both Old Navy and Rodriguez received positive press for helping charity. This campaign boosted brand awareness and product sales for Old Navy and positively impacted how the public perceived them. This is the power of influencer marketing.
Increase Quality Content
Partnering with an influencer can increase brand content without sacrificing content quality. A brand typically makes its own social media posts. When an influencer’s posts are added to this, it means there will be more content related to your brand available on social media without your marketing team having to do more work of its own.
Giving an influencer some creative freedom in the brand posts can be a helpful brand strategy to add variety and innovation to your marketing plan. Sharing the influencer’s posts on the brand’s account can also increase social media engagement for your company. You can have final approval to make sure the posts send the message you want for your brand.
Enhance Trust and Reputation
Another benefit of influencer marketing is boosting your brand’s reputation. An influencer is someone who already has a sizable social media following, and their followers trust their judgment and opinion. When the influencer posts positive content about your brand, their followers will know that your products can be trusted. As a result, influencer marketing can lend credibility to your brand.
Build Relationships and Network
One way to get started with influencer marketing is to adopt it on a trial basis. Over time, once you get the positive results you hoped for, influencer marketing can become a beneficial long-term strategy. You can build lasting relationships with influencers who choose to work with you for years to come.
Forming continuing partnerships with influential individuals opens up opportunities to network with their connections and work together in other capacities, such as by launching a collaborative product or hosting an event together. We can help you navigate these exciting possibilities as you develop your marketing plan and experience growth with your brand.
A Worthy Investment
The potential boosts to brand awareness, company credibility, and growth opportunities all make influencers a worthy investment. In this digital age, influencer marketing lets you engage with followers and potential customers in a way traditional marketing strategies simply cannot. With influencer marketing, you can bring your marketing plan into the 21st Century and leave outdated methods of brand strategy in the past where they belong.
Top Tips for Making the Most of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing can benefit your brand’s social media presence in several ways, especially when you plan ahead. Here are some top tips to help you make the most of your influencer marketing campaign:
- Do Your Research
- Start Strong
Research the Right Influencer(s)
It can be tempting to reach out to several popular influencers to get started with influencer marketing right away, but it’s better to take the time to research and find the right fit for your brand. Explore influencers who are well-known in areas that match your brand.
Whether you have a fitness and wellness brand or a niche lifestyle product, you should be able to find the right influencer if you do your research. When looking into an influencer, you should also look out for past brand work they have done with other companies to see examples of the influencer marketing they have already been a part of.
Be Open to Collaboration
Once you begin a partnership with an influencer, make sure to actively communicate with them about what your brand hopes to accomplish and welcome their feedback. After all, an influencer is an influencer because they know what their followers respond to, so keep an open mind to their perspective in your joint marketing efforts. Remaining available to collaborative efforts can produce more creative content than your brand could come up with on its own.
Preparation ensures the best possible success with any marketing technique, and influencer marketing is no exception. It’s essential to set yourself up to start out strong when you’re adopting any new brand strategy. When getting started with influencer marketing, remember to:
Define Your Goals — If you have clearly defined marketing goals to begin with, it will be easier to carry out your influencer marketing plan. Knowing what you want to accomplish will help you select the right influencer and know what specific type of influencer marketing you should choose.
Begin Small — When trying out influencer marketing for the first time, it’s better to start small than to go overboard and become overwhelmed. In this case, quality over quantity is definitely the rule to follow. A successful campaign with one influencer is a great way to start out useful and manageable for your brand.
Consult with an Expert — These pieces of advice may seem to be easier said than done. While it seems reasonable to set out your goals and to find the right influencer to begin an influencer marketing campaign with, coming up with a well-thought-out marketing plan and knowing how to contact an influencer and set up an influencer marketing partnership can still be a challenge.
At LaRue PR, we love helping brands progress their social media and marketing journeys. Whether your goal is to increase followers for your brand’s Instagram account or create a buzz before you drop a new product, we can help you make an effective marketing plan and take your brand strategy to the next level.
Contact us today if you want to transform your early morning Instagram and TikTok scrolls from a guilty pleasure into a successful marketing strategy.