Leveraging Influencer Marketing for Massive Growth
While big companies use influencers to reach wide and targeted audiences, small businesses tend to shy away from this form of marketing. Sarah Grosz is the Head of Influencer Marketing at MuteSix and her knowledge can put entrepreneurs ahead of the curve with their online marketing.
What Are the Benefits of Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a helpful tool for navigating a niche when first starting a brand. Upon launching, you have no real data to support your brand's marketing efforts. Influencers are a great source of valuable information that will get you on your way.
What subject lines are interesting for your mailings? What are good headlines for Facebook ads? The right influencer has a solid footing in your market and will provide useful insights while you begin to collect your own data.
Influencers are also great for acquiring e-mails. As you reach out to more influencers, you can turn your e-mail list into a custom audience for use on other paid marketing channels. Sarah also points out that influencers are never-ending sources of content. In a digital marketing environment where a constant flow of value-adding content is the key to success, the right influencer can multiply your creativity and output.
Effectiveness of User-Generated Content
Besides the content that influencers create, user-generated content offers a level of growth-hacking that can skyrocket brand awareness. It also offers a way of pinpointing new influencers that can add value to your brand so you can add them to your campaigns.
Content can be curated in several ways. One way is to prompt the creation of content when reaching out to influencers. Check out who has tagged your brand on Instagram or has used your hashtag on TikTok. Reach out to these users for permission to repurpose their content. Once you have the content, adapt it to your Facebook ad campaigns or for Instagram. This will help you drive results while establishing consistency throughout all platforms.
A way to gauge the effectiveness of user-generated content is to compare such posts to professionally produced content. While a professional video will almost certainly outshine user content on a blog post or a more formal format, influencer-generated content performs better on social media most of the time.
It may be a worthwhile exercise for your brand to run an A/B test between two such pieces of content. Create an experiment where you are testing a professionally-produced video against user-generated content in similar audience samples. Record your results and try to isolate the elements that work best for use in future efforts.
Sarah shares some wisdom regarding influencer white-listing; a secret weapon, as she calls it. This is where you set up your campaign but ask the influencer to give you access to their ad manager.
This approach adds credibility to your brand if you are running it through the influencer. If your product is a big-ticket item, you may have to contact the audience several times throughout the campaign in order to close sales. This requires you to make several posts and adjust for any trends that you spot in user behavior.
Instagram Stories get between 20-40% of your audience that clicks through. However, stories aren't as sharable as they go to people that follow you. On normal Instagram posts, you can optimize to make it onto the discovery page. This allows users that don't follow the influencer to access the content and come in contact with your brand.
Other than trying to gauge the influencer's reach, there is no solid way to account for reach. If an influencer has 1,000,000 followers, a 40% click-through on Instagram Stories amounts to 400,000 users. This leaves you trying to find a way to reach the other 60%.
One way to doing this is through retargeting although tracking will not provide exact numbers. Try retargeting the influencer's entire following to spread your message as far and wide as possible.
Sarah mentions the example of Kim Kardashian. The social media mainstay allows brands to use her account. Not all of Kim Kardashian's followers will be of interest to a clothing brand. Foreign users, underage followers, and male users may not be good prospects for the partnering brand. Therefore, utilizing retargeting methods and optimizing for getting your post on the discovery page is a more viable option.
Can You Do Cold Marketing Though an Influencer?
Yes. People will still respond to cold marketing via influencers. Sarah Grosz talks about Disney's subscription box where 90% of marketing is done through influencers. In this case, Disney finds success with influencers that have under 10,000 followers. These influencers are driving tons of revenue to this brand as engagement and conversions are very high.
Where Do You Begin?
Influencer marketing begins with having a goal in mind. The three goals to consider are awareness, content, and revenue. After deciding on your goal, choose the platform you want to focus on. Instagram, TikTok, and Clubhouse are great for influencer marketing.
Whichever platform you choose, make sure it aligns with your brand. Then, do some research. Check out who is using your competitor's hashtags. Sort through the users and find accounts that align with your goals and brand.
Look for influencers with a high follower count and good engagement.
Influencers with a few hundred followers are great for content purposes as long as they offer value-rich posts.
Focus on influencers' engagement rate. Check out who is following their account and break down their demographics to find if their audience is comprised of potential customers.
An Example for Moving Forward
Let's assume you have a consumer brand with a product that is under $100. Make sure to include the cost of the product in the influencer messaging. Include the cost of the product in influencer messaging.
Look for CPM. How many accounts are viewing influencer's content? Put a rate behind that. Instagram stories get a lot of reach. Ask for metrics. If 20.000 people view the story, you can offer $20 per 1000 views and leave it to the influencer to produce the numbers. Another option is to offer the influencer an affiliate deal or cover the cost of photography and other fixed expenses for them. This will keep them a fan of your brand and make them want to continue to work with you in the future.
Sarah Grosz closes out her advice for entrepreneurs with some influencer hacks. She recommends you repurpose content. You can use the influencer-generated content for ads, social media posts, e-mail pop-ups, SMS/MMS marketing, or simply as posts on your blog.
Asking influencers for their networks is a great way to expand the number of reliable and productive partners you work with.
Sarah ends with two digital tools to use in your influencer marketing. For those that have a Shopify store, Carro is an app that pulls users' Instagram data is it can be detected by the tool. This can magnify your retargeting efforts as you can build up the list of people you can approach.
Gatsby is another tool that Sarah recommends. It connects with your e-mail pop-up and asks users for their Instagram. This can come in handy if a user with a large Instagram following leaves their e-mail in an optional field that asks for their Instagram handle. You can then approach that person to be an influencer.
Sarah Grosz can be reached via e-mail or through LinkedIn.