Over the years social media has grown in importance and ultimately changed the way we live our lives. According to oberlo(1), there are 3.5 billion daily active social media users, which equates to about 45% of the population. Social media has paved the way for new marketing strategies such as influencers.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer is a person or persons with established credibility and a large following that
has the authority and knowledge within a specific industry.
How are Influencers Useful?
Social media influencers are gatekeepers to their audiences. They hold the authority and power to persuade others based on their recommendations. Social media influencers acquire authenticity and are genuine to attract larger audiences and have the ability to keep people engaged in their posts.
Social media influencers can be incorporated in your marketing strategy. Their influence can drive their audiences more effectively than paid media can because the trust factor is already established. More people are looking to research and watch reviews before buying something to see a products overall effectiveness. Reviews and recommendations from an influencer they trust makes viewers, audiences and followers more inclined to purchase something.
A social media influencer is anyone with a relationship with a reliable audience on one or multiple social media networks, that can try, sponsor, recommend, review, products or services.
There are many types of social media influencers and they range by level of influence, size of audience and type of content they produce.
- Mega-influencers are those who have high number followers on their social networks celebrities for example and are useful for brand recognition and raising awareness.
- Macro influencers are in the middle of the spectrum, they have a large following, but not larger than mega-influencers and more than micro influencers.
- Micro-influencers are those who specialize in a specific field and have a sizeable following.
- Micro- influencers have smaller audiences but have a closer relationship and a stronger sense of loyalty with their followers.
There are many ways to reach audiences and different influencers use different outlets. There are bloggers, youtubers, Instagram influencers and podcasters. The common characteristic that all influencers share is their power of persuasion.
Brands, businesses and companies alike use social media influencers for brand awareness, strengthen brand image and reputation, improve conversions and lead generation, increase engagement and traffic. There is an influencer for every industry and ways every industry can benefit from influencers.
Now more than ever there are many social media influencers that have the reach and audience to help out any B2B business. The trick though, is to find the right influencer for your specific company.
- Firstly you should make sure the influencer shares content relevant to your business. Collaborating with a fashion style influencers wouldn’t do your B2B company any justice. Along with this you should make sure the influencers content is consistent with the tone and values of your business alike. If your business has a serious, conservative feel, you don’t want an influencer who has a colorful and loud aesthetic.
- Second you want to make sure the influencer has the reach to influence others.
- Thirdly you want to make sure the influencer has the resonance to engage with their follower base. You should want to identify your target audience and who exactly you are trying to influence. It’s good to know the demographic and psychographic of you audience so you know how to properly reach them.
Trust is what makes social media influencer marketing work. Make sure that there is a clear level of trust between the influencer and their follower base through examining their engagement per post. Their comments, likes, views, etc.
It’s also important to look at how frequently an influencer is posting sponsored content. Too many posts that are sponsored can lower the chances for collaboration and may decrease the authenticity of an influencer leading to decrease in their audience and engagement rates.
You should also be mindful to research as much as you can about the influencer before reaching out. You wouldn’t reach out to a lead without knowing about them first ,it’s the same with influencer marketing. Learning more about an influencer and their craft can build a relationship that could lead to more collaborations in the future.
(Also Read: How Businesses Use Social Media for Marketing)
How much should Social Influencers get Paid?
No one works for free. It’s important to make a budget before partnering with an influencer. Influencers get paid per post or video the price depending of the type of influencer. A macro-influencer would probably cost more to collaborate with than a micro-influencer, but a macro- influencer has a bigger platform and reach.
After dotting your eyes and crossed your T’s for research is the time to reach out to the influencer. This can be done with a simple direct message on their social media platform. Some influencers have their contact information in their bio’s and bigger influencers work with an agency and have their agencies information listed as well.
Because of the growing popularity of using social media influencers for marketing campaigns there are many tools online that can help you with researching the perfect influencer for your business.
Companies use influencer platforms to help them connect with influencers.
- Upfluence: A self-serve platform giving businesses the access to find and build relationships with influencers and pay for the desired services.
- AspireIQ: This platform focuses on YouTube and Instagram and analyzes influencers and matches them to a specific campaign.
- HYPR: A data driven platform that operates as a talent search engine to distinguish possible influencers through Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- Advowire: This platform uses subscriptions so that businesses to connect with influencers through mainly snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest influencers.
- IMAgency: Platform that works with business to create influencer strategies and campaigns.
- Instabrand: Focused on Instagram and snapchat, this platform is a search engine utilizing mobile usage and is also good for building strategies.
- Klear: A platform that offers plans: free or advanced, that allow business to search for influencers, allow influencers to be research, campaigns monitored.
- Julius: A tool that can be used to discover influencers that have already been screened and researched and can be used to help manage campaigns.
- BrandBacker: This platform gives influencers the chance to apply to different campaigns.
- FameBit: Initially focusing solely on YouTube, now working with Facebook, Tumblr and twitter, influencers can see brand content and propose collaborations.
- Find Your Influence: This platform has over 100,000 influencers that businesses can connect and work with.
- Grapevine logic: This platform focuses mostly on YouTube and uses a creator match tool to connect influencers.
- InNetwork: This platform includes a screening process and grades influencer based on key characteristics such as engagement, credibility and authenticity.
- IZEA: A search platform and ranks influencers based on popularity.
- Webfluential: Influencers apply to the platform where it tries to find brands that require their services.
- Mustr: This platform uses a public relations approach to build a network for journalists and bloggers.
- Adly: A software platform that assisting with campaigns and focuses on digital marketing.
- Onalytica: This a search platform that offers, discovery and relationship tool that users can benefit from with a monthly subscription fee.
- Tapinfluence: This tool offers clients plans that help with influencer outreach, campaigns, search and analytic research.
- Traacker: This tool uses computer algorithms to have insight and track influencer engagement and connections.
- Neoreach: This platform focuses connecting social media influencers on mainly twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat to larger companies only.
- Zoomph: A data driven platform that narrows down the perfect influencer in over 200 million accounts.
- Buzzsumo: Buzzsumo identifies popular content to specifically help with influencers filtering location, engagement.
- Buzzstream: Buzzstream offers the ability to track and evaluate social media efforts.
- GroupHigh: GroupHigh is used to manage and build influencer relationships and encourage future collaborations.
- Sproutsocial: sproutsocial is a platform that helps influencers and brands communicate effectively and helps with social media management.
- Followerwork: This platform helps track twitter analytics and evaluate where you stand against other brands.
- Markerly: Markley takes the charachertics of what a brand is looking for and from there finds an influencer.
- NinjaOutreach: This platform helps businesses reach out to bloggers mostly but influencers alike.
- LittleBird: A marketing platform that help identify influencers that would be beneficial to your business.
- PitchBox: A paid platform that focuses on content marketing tools and information.
- Co: A well-known marketing platform
- Outreachr: A paid platform that connects marketing opportunities faster.
- Social crawlytics: A tool that measures the popularity and analyzes content.
- Tagger Media: Designed for larger businesses, this influencer marketplace tracks data so businesses can evaluate what keeps audiences engaged.
- MAVRCK: This platform tries to connect with people who already support your business/brand instead of searching for influencers.
- Lumanu: A platform that lets you edit content gained from influencers.
- Facebook Marketing Partners: Platform that provides resources for Facebook exclusively such as campaign management, measurement etc.
- Deep Social: A platform that ranks influencers based on relevance through a database.
- Popular Chips: A data driven platform that allows you to compare influencers to see which would be the better match for your company.
- Lefty: A search engine platform that offers campaign tools.
I’ve found the perfect Influencer for my Business. Now what?
After you’ve used these tools to track and screen influencers and analyze their content, the next step is to craft a successful marketing strategy. When building a strategy your firstly and foremost you should identify topics you want to focus on, what message you want to get across and what goals you want to accomplish.
Next you should connect with influencers and ask to collaborate and establish budget goals and discuss appropriate compensation. Next, it’s important to track and measure all paid media efforts to evaluate influencers efforts and its effects on your business.
After you’ve identified what works positively for your brand, you should incorporate it into future strategies.
How to Create a Successful Campaign with Social Media Influencers
There are many ways to collaborate and run a successful campaign
- Sponsored posts: influencers will create content featuring business products.
- Brand ambassador program: influencers will represent brand openly on a regular basis on their social media, obtain coupon codes, and attend industry events.
- Giveaways: influencers can hold giveaways of companies products and this can be a great way to spread brand awareness and engage new audiences around your company.
- Takeover: Give an influencer access and control on a brand or businesses social media network.
- Guest blogging: ask influencers to share your articles on their websites.
Tracking may be most essential part in a campaign so you can evaluate its success. Utilizing a hashtag, website clicks, or discount code links are a few ways to track efforts. You can track on-going analytics and compare them to the metrics collected from a given campaign. This will help you determine an influencers effectiveness and impact on your brand.
Most famous Social Media Influencers
- Neil Patel
Leader in search engine optimization
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/neilpatel
- Ryan Diess
Builds effective systems in digital marketing industry.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/ryandeiss
- Guy Kawasaki
Creator of Canva, brand ambassador and runs a podcast.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/GuyKawasaki
- Ann HadleyKeynote speaker and author specialized in content marketing.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/annhandley
- Rand FishkinCo-founder of MOZ and founder of SparkToro
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/randfish
- Larry Kim
Leader in future strategies within Facebook messenger platform.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/larrykim
- Joe Pulizzi
Speaker and author in content marketing.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/JoePulizzi
- Lilach Bullock
Professional speaker and author in social media and online lead generation.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/lilachbullock
- Justyn Howard
Proves business solutions in social media management.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/justyn
- Eric Siu
Drives predictable revenue growth with digital strategies.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/ericosiu
- Barry Schwartz
Specialist and innovator in search engine marketing and web development.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/rustybrick
- Pam Moore
CEO and co-founder of social media consulting agency she leverages social media forbusiness growth.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/PamMktgNut
- Jay Baer
Inspiring speaker in marketing and customer service.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/jaybaer
- Tommy Griffith
Successful approach in SEO training. SEO manager for PayPal and Airbnb.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/tommygriffith
- Mari Smith
Author and Facebook marketing specialist expert.
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/MariSmith
- Matt Bailey
Author and simplifies complex online marketing strategies.
LinkedIn Handle: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattbaileysitelogic/
Dont’s of Social Media Influencers to Consider
Through all the benefits of using social media influencers for marketing there can be downsides.
- Collaborating with influencers that don’t align with your companies’ goals, values or mission can have negative effects on your business.
- Relying of people to represent brand/business/product/services leaves room for human error.
- An influencers bad reputation or past can negatively affect your business by repelling future customers.
- Inauthentic partnerships can hinder the credibility of influencers and have the opposite effect on audiences for your business.
Social media influencers if utilized correctly can have positive effects on your business. Influencers take the idea word-of mouth to a whole new level through recommendations and product reviews. It is important to remember to build relationships with influencers, so it makes future partnerships easier. Business should always take into account budget, target audience and overall goals when using social media influencers for marketing.