Influencer marketing is a trend that's rising higher in 2017, with a Linqia report suggesting that brands will spend between $50,000 and $100,000 per campaign. This is double the estimate from 2016, when it became a buzzword in the advertising and marketing sectors.
The trend's ever-increasing popularity comes at the height of disinterest in paid advertisements. It's the result of ad blockers taking over and consumers losing faith in brands and logos.
The reward seems great, but the stakes are high and there's an even bigger issue -- there are no simplified ROI reports or growth tracking tools. There aren't even reliable case studies, because it's not a one-size-fits-all approach.
How to Make Influencer Marketing Work
All bad things aside, influencer marketing campaigns can generate terrific results when done right. It can allow a brand to tap into an audience that otherwise wouldn't have been reached. This gives a business access to many consumers who fit the shoes of their typical buyer.
Even better, 2015 saw businesses bring in an estimated $8.3 billion in advertising profits through social media channels. This just shows how high the profit ceiling is for an influential brand on social media.
It's necessary to connect with influencers who hold advising strength over people who fall in line with the target audience. By possessing the ability to influence through trusted word-of-mouth sources, a brand has a greater shot at amazing returns.
Typically, a brand will be working with internet celebrities and popular bloggers with industry-level experience. These are the people with the most provable track record when it comes to building influence for the brand.
Differentiating Influencers by Background
There are essentially three types of influencers:
- Those who can't really influence,
- Those who can, and,
The concept behind "Brands Can Only Trust Celebrities for Influencer Marketing in 2017" stems from this. Results from celebrity influencer marketing can be estimated in certain ways, but it's hit and miss with everyone else.
So for #1 and #2, it takes sifting through the mixed crowd to find the right people to work with. Using certain generalizations could lead to the ideal influencers faster.
For instance, if a brand is marketing toward teenagers, it would be good to target YouTube stars in their niche. This is because teens find inspiration from and make role models out of their favorite video stars. In fact, 8 out of 10 role models for teens are YouTube video sensations.
Avoid the "Freelance Influencer" Entirely
In reality, it's best if the person found for the job is someone who holds relevance to the industry the brand is in. It shouldn't just be a random blogger taking some prior knowledge, throwing up irrelevant (or paid) followers and shaping it as influential power.
Unfortunately, many influencers are just bloggers or shills involved in B2B marketing deals. The content they provide might not come from real experience -- and that's what matters.
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Set Parameters When Searching
Some search parameters can serve as "filters," which makes for a good way to narrow down candidates to people better able to give real results.
As an example, a brand might choose to pick from YouTube stars to find the right match. As a way to check word of mouth strength, they might want to see how often the video star gets talked about online.
To see what people are saying, search the star's name, along with the "inurl:forum" trigger. This will show only results that have "forum" in the URL, which specifically shows what people are saying and sharing about the star.
By adding a time basis to the search, such as "Past Year," it's easy to see how much their popularity has risen as of late. Also, searching their top video URLs in quotation marks will return instances where the video was shared around the web.
Say a brand is trying to sell exercise equipment. In that case, they might choose to work with bodybuilding influencers. From a quick search on YouTube, they'll find that The Hodge Twins are popular. A search for forum mentions turns up literally thousands of references. In this case, it's clear The Hodge Twins are a good fit.
Inspect the Influencer's Stats
There are some services that help examine social influencer stats, like BuzzSumo, Klear, Klout and Topsy. Many of the tools are free, but the premium ones will offer greater functionality. Here are examples of statistics to check:
- Facebook likes and Twitter followers
- Facebook shares and Twitter retweets
- Comments and likes per post
- Unique commenters, likers and sharers
Still, make sure to look past the view counts and the number of followers. A person's ability to influence gets based on their ability to create real conversations. If a brand can find people who can do that and are relevant to their industry, then they're good!
Celebrity Influencer marketing isn't the first suggestion that comes to mind when a brand requires ideas for how to advertise better. It's hard to like this tactic, seeing as it can be difficult to track progress or know what a person brings to the table.
But with new relationships come new opportunities. In this case, it's tapping into new audiences and generating fresh leads in a hurry. For building brand awareness or hyping toward a product launch, there's no better technique.
Still think it's the right approach? Check out TapInfluence.com's Ultimate Influencer Marketing Guide to get some more insight. It covers the basics of planning and executing a celebrity influencer marketing strategy.