Influencer marketing is the new kid on the block in the digital marketing world, but it’s making great waves already. A study has found that ‘For each dollar spent on influencer marketing, marketers see an average of $6.50 in earned media value returned’. And when you’re looking at more than a 600% return on your investment, having the right face endorsing your brand on social media can mean great things for your turnover.
But let’s get one thing straight. There’s more to influencer marketing than sending out the random tweet here or posting a glamorous selfie there. Influencers as well as brands are using a bunch of creative strategies that are designed to drive engagement and create a stream of communication that consumers are excited to interact with.
Here are 7 popular influencer marketing campaigns, along with the value they add to your overall marketing strategy. For the sake of being objective, we’ll also list the possible drawbacks associated with each campaign.
Giveaways are the holy grail of influencer marketing. From fitness gear to air tickets to free/discounted services, every brand has offered giveaways at one point of time or the other. And it’s so simple to roll out. All you have to do is identify an influencer who has the appropriate target audience and you’re good to go.
- They’re fairly straightforward and simple to organize.
- They increase brand awareness and help you reach a wider audience.
- Your TG has an attractive incentive to engage with the brand and if they like what they see, you’ve got a fan for life!
- It boosts engagement on both your page as well as that of an influencer
- Two words - Contest mongers! AKA profiles that exist for the sole purpose of entering giveaways. Such people add no real value to a brand and drive what can only be termed as false engagement.
- Too many giveaways too soon can dilute the impression of the brand in the eyes of the consumer.
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing works to increase traffic to your website and drive sales. The process is simple - you hand out unique discount codes to your influencers. They, in turn, pass it on to their followers come to your website to buy your products. This has the dual effect of boosting your sales and also keeping your influencers satisfied and loyal owing to the commission they earn when one of their followers uses their unique code.
- Influencers posting their affiliate links on their socials gives your brand excellent exposure, and gets you on your consumers’ radars.
- Increases sales and creates a stream of revenue, even if only for a short period of time.
- Owing to the high level of saturation in the industry, your codes may end up buried among tens of similar ones, if the influencers don’t market them as a priority.
- While your sales are likely to increase, your turnover may suffer depending on the kinds of discounts you are giving. So, always keep your bottom line in mind while handing out affiliate codes!
3. Social Media Mentions
The days of a million dollar smile are gone; what matters now is a million dollar mention! A call out on social media from the right influencer goes a long way, regardless of whether it’s in a tweet, a caption or a tag in a post. For instance, when an influencer posts a picture wearing your clothes and tags you in it, it’s going to get you attention from his / her followers and bring you into the public eye.
- This simplifies the brand's task of content creation. When an influencer posts about you, all you need to do is re-post it, and voila, content!
- Draws attention and gets engagement.
- Each simple, tiny mentions, comes at a cost and the prices charged by influencers can get quite steep, depending on their popularity.
- Because you’re using the content generated by these influencers and they’re acting as your ambassadors, brands need to be careful while picking influencers. One misstep and your brand image could suffer.
4. Event Marketing and Live Tweeting
Roping influencers in for your events doesn’t have a direct effect on boosting sales, but it does something very important- helps build deeper relations with both your network of influencers and their audiences. If they attend or live tweet / post your event, they will be documenting and sharing their personal experience with your brand. This is great for establishing an emotional connect.
- Gives a personal touch to your social media presence and makes your potential and existing customers feel like they have a genuine relationship with your brand.
- Increases engagement and gets people interested and involved.
- If the influencer needs to be travelled and accommodated, this can turn out to be quite expensive.
- Also, if the influencer ends up having a sub-par experience, it will damage your brand image, so everything needs to be perfectly organized and on point.
5. Social Media Takeovers
Social media takeover are when an Influencer is given control of your brand's social media account and they can post pictures, tweet, and interact with their fans and your followers through it. This creates a unique flavour by mixing the voice of the influencer with your brand’s language, making for content that is different and stimulating.
- The influencer’s fans will follow them to your page to keep up with the takeover, increasing engagement.
- Seeing the influencer’s perspective on your brand will give it a different spin and since the influencers understand their viewers and what excites them, this could drive up sales.
- A lot of factors need to be thought out here, such as do you wish to give the Influencer full control of the brand’s social media or have them send posts to your brand’s social media manager who’ll post them on the influencer’s behalf. This can be pretty tricky.
6. Long-Term Ambassadors
While brands often tie-up with influencers for one time promotions or for a particular campaign or launch, some influencers and brands have long-term contracts. This creates a family of sorts. The influencers will work harder and put more effort and creativity into promoting the brand, while the brand remains loyal to them and doesn’t use their competitors.
- This creates a more loyal customer base. If the influencer’s fans see the same product being endorsed by them for a long period of time, they will know that the influencer truly uses and believes in it, bringing credibility to the brand.
- A long-standing contract removes the hassle of constantly recruiting influencers who understand your brand language.
- It is more probable than not, that the influencer will charge a hefty fee to set up this relationship, meaning that the ROI will not be immediate.
- Over a period of time, you may completely saturate the influencer’s audience which could lead to a drop in sales.
7. Sponsored / Guest Blog Posts
People are growing to trust blogs for reliable information more and more every day. Having an influencer write some of your brand’s blogs will definitely make things interesting. Not only do you benefit from fresh, unbiased content, you also gain more traffic to your site when the influencers share their posts on social media.
- While the pros of guest blogging are similar to that of all other influencer driven marketing strategies (engagement, sales), they have the added benefit of longevity. Social Media sees such a huge influx of posts, that it is very unlikely that anyone will see the same post twice. Blogs, on the other hand, are indexed and easily accessible.
- You also get to add fresh content to your blog with minimal effort being spent on content creation from your end.
- If the content is good, you could end up striking a long term association with the influencer
- Paying an influencer to write blogs could turn out to be an expensive proposition.
- Hunting through your influencer network for a creator who comes the closest to your brand’s voice and tone could be a time-consuming task.
The entire premise of influence marketing is to use the pre-existing fan base of internet personalities to add some flesh to your brand’s presence and sales. And when done smartly it can show huge returns, so don’t be afraid to step out into the wild wild west of influencer marketing, for it could truly be what your brand needs to flourish in the coming future.