An Introduction To The Power Influencer Marketing For Startups
With the advent of social media, a signifcant number of startups are turning towards ‘influencers’ to promote their products and services rather than turn to brands or celebrities. Nearly 90% of all marketers find ROI from influencer marketing to be better than other marketing channels.
In fact, for every dollar spent, Influencer Marketing Campaigns earn $6.50. That’s huge, right?
Influencer marketing is proving to be the answer for startups and newer businesses to give competition to even the biggest of brands. This is why marketing experts are of the opinion that an influencer marketing strategy should be one of the prime focus areas of any startup marketing strategy today.
But before we get into the details, let us understand what influencer marketing actually is.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Sprout Social perfectly defines influencer marketing as “a type of social media marketing that uses endorsements and product mentions from influencers–individuals who have a dedicated social following and are viewed as experts within their niche.”
Influencers enjoy a strong follower-base of loyal fans and this trust is the reason why influencer marketing works really well for startups looking to boost brand awareness and reach a relevant audience.
Who Is An Influencer?
Simply put, an influencer is any person who has the power to influence the purchase decisions of others because of their knowledge, position or relationship with their audience. They are well-connected individuals or group of individuals who are generally the trend-setters for a particular domain.
Despite the broad definition, influencers come in all shapes and sizes. They cannot be made to fit into a particular group of categories. But what makes them united in their diversity are the common characteristics that every influencer normally possesses.
They are creative, often multi-skilled and have an inherent aptitude for business. They promote numerous brands through personal experiences but are not afraid to speak their mind when the brand does not meet their expectations.
Benefits of Investing in an Influencer Marketing Strategy
For instance, if you are a tech startup looking to promote your new AR hardware kit, then having your product featured on Unbox Therapy will catapult your startup and product to a level you never thought off.
Why? Because Unbox Therapy has over 16 million YouTube subscribers and over 3.4 billion views from an audience that is relevant to you. The same is applicable for startups from different backgrounds who can leverage the power of influencers to appeal to a larger base of their target audience.
Let’s look at a few benefits of investing in influencer marketing:
- Widespread reach and engagement – Influencers have worked hard to build their expertise in a niche and garner thousands of followers over social media channels. They know how to engage their audience. Startups can benefit immensely from their wide-spread reach and engagement with a well-executed influencer marketing strategy.
- Influencers know how to sell – Influencers have an innate sense of business and know how to market themselves and the startup or brand they are promoting. If you are looking for that extra boost in sales, influencers are the right kind of people to have on your side.
- Trust and authority – Influencers have built their credibility over time. People trust their opinions much more than they trust the marketing campaigns by brands.
Now that we are well acquainted with the basics of influencer marketing, let’s get started with the tips for building a powerful influencer marketing strategy.
1. Track your Goals and KPIs
It is important to track your KPI’s and ROI by paying special attention to track behavior patterns of customers during the entire purchase process. Focus on attracting customers that actually belong to your industry.
Referral traffic is the main source of customer generation as a part of the influencer marketing strategy. For this same reason, 22% of marketers vouch that influencer marketing is the most cost-effective method of obtaining new customers.
As an additional step, closely monitor KPIs like cost per engagement. This will help you better understand ROI from engagement channels like influencer actions, new followers, actual reach and so on.
2. Build a relationship with your influencer
A critical factor in building an effective influencer marketing campaign is to establish a reliable and cordial relationship with the influencer. After all, the concerned influencer is the one whom your customers will be looking up to while making their purchase decision.
This balance is easier to maintain when the influencer shares similar ideologies as your brand and you. Today, 17% of companies spend over half their marketing budget on influencers, so choose wisely!
3. Get to know your influencer
Getting to know your influencer is more than just by way of introduction. We are talking more in terms of numbers, like the kind of following they have on various social media handles and the number of engagements and impressions they create along the way.
This will also help you understand the type of content they engage in, the quality of the content, and the kind of engagement their posts generally garner.
However, don’t be hung up on numbers entirely. Quality over quantity should be your rule while implementing an influencer marketing strategy. It is common for micro-influencers, who have fewer followers, to generate better engagement than influencers with millions of followers.
4. Design and plan your campaign with the influencer
Designing and planning the campaign alongside your influencer is always the best decision. Their inputs make a significant difference in how the campaign actually turns out. After all, they are the ones who are going to do all the heavy lifting during the campaign and they know how their audience will respond.
Make it a point to work as a team and brainstorm to get the best results based on their influencer experience and your knowledge of your product.
In the words of Malcolm Goldwell, “There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them”. Influencer marketing is rapidly growing and so are the trends in influencer marketing. 65% of influencer marketing budgets have increase in 2019 alone. This number is only set to increase in 2020.
Startups and brands have seen a significant increase in market presence in a comparatively shorter time due to influencer marketing. In fact, the influencer marketing industry is expected to hit the mark of being a $10 billion industry by the end of 2020. It is time to act now and make the best of this marketing channel for your startup’s growth.