Marketing and communication professionals can be reluctant to integrate Influencer Marketing in their global strategies. But a 1500% increase in the “Influencer Marketing” queries on search engines (Forbes) proves the interest of this new digital goose that lays golden eggs.
Today, 93% of marketers use Influencer Marketing (Forbes). But how to convince your boss to do it? What Influencer Marketing can bring to your company, and where do you start? Kolsquare gives you all the answers in this little guide.
1 – Influencer Marketing is a strategic industry, let's prove it with statistics
Influencer Marketing is a growing sector
Nothing speaks more than numbers, so let’s begin with 79%! It’s the number of companies planning to invest in Influencer Marketing (IM), according to the Bynder and OnBrand report.
A big number reflecting the growing interest in influence as an acquisition channel. And this has an easy explanation : social media occupy a huge place in the consumer’s daily life. With nearly 2 hours and 24 minutes spent per day on social networks (Statista), Internet users are reinventing user experience.
Social networks are generating new ways of consuming information, creating the relational and transactional models of tomorrow. Influencer Marketing is one of them.
No need to lie, influence can be scary, mainly because the job of the content creator is quite new. But this strategy has proved its worth already.
In 2020, Hubspot’s statistics reveal 71% of professionals prefer leads generated by an Influencer Marketing campaign. Also, 49% of them note an increase in their visibility thanks to this strategy.
Last but not least, the return on investment surpasses traditional advertising (11 times higher ROI). And If you need an even stronger argument, the average engagement on sponsored posts reaches 2.42%, against 1.41% on normal posts (engagement rate study). Note this can still increase depending on the sector (the travel sector has the best numbers).
Influencer Marketing vs. Classic advertising : show your boss the numbers
Today, there is a huge difference between Influencer Marketing and traditional advertising (TV, radio, advertising posters… ). Concerning influence:
- 70 % of consumers are influenced by recommendations,
- 11 % more ROI compared to other channels,
- 79 % of brands have a dedicated influencer marketing budget,
- 62 % of brands have increased their budget for IM after one year.
And for traditional advertising :
- 96 % of consumers don’t trust ads (American Association of Advertising Agencies),
- 26,4 % of internet users have AdBlock on their computer, a number growing each year,
- -18 % spend in print media advertising,
- -2 % spend in TV advertising in 2019.
A strategy with endless possibilities
The perks of being on social networks for a brand or an agency? They are countless. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or even TikTok or Twitch…
It’s hard to know where to turn. But in this jungle of social media, possibilities and opportunities are great. Indeed, each social network responds to a digital strategy, to a targeted audience (age, social category, etc.), to a type of relationship and each social network offers a well-defined type of content.
No matter your communication strategy, your values or your brand image, there will necessarily be a social network and an influencer for you. In short, these various channels will either complement your already established strategy or offer you new horizons and new targets. And for good reason, this growing sector seems to be more attractive than traditional advertising.
2 - Detail the objectives Influencer Marketing can help to reach
Work on your brand image
On social media, we usually talk about trust through social proof. Through what? Social proof, you know, a public approval (via the number of followers, likes, comments…) proving the relevance of a brand or product.
Social proof is also consumers communicating about their good experience with a brand. And this is the core of Influencer Marketing. A well-executed influencer campaign is therefore a strategic asset. It allows you to build your legitimacy and credibility with a targeted audience.
If your brand is recommended to consumers by their virtual friend (the influencer), consumers will think it is because this brand is necessarily effective and corresponds to one of their needs. Of course, to maintain your brand image, you will need to choose the right influencers, those in line with your core values. We’ll deal with this subject right after.
Humanize your relationships with prospects
People are increasingly suspicious about the messages they read on social media. And for good reason: they are overrun with non-targeted ads all day long. They crave for more personalisation and proximity to branded products.
To meet those new expectations, advertisers and agencies need business models without intermediaries. The trend goes from only advertising communication to a relevant conversation between two individuals in all transparency and authenticity.
Consumers like Influencer Marketing because they feel less attacked and better understood. According to Musefind study, 92% of consumers trust influencers better than brands. Brands benefit, by ripple effect, from the emotional connection between an influencer and his community. It creates a strong and intimate bond with consumers.
Seduce customers and win their loyalty
Consumer is king, it’s no secret. To sell, you need to seduce him, and social networks are a perfect tool for this. People testing a product recommended by an influencer will then not hesitate to visit the brand accounts. Born in a society of sharing, if they liked the product, they will like, comment, share your posts.
They can even subscribe to your account to be kept informed on the latest news. And this will naturally grow your engagement KPIs!
Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of cosmetics company Glossier, said: “Think about every happy customer telling 10 of their followers, telling 100 of their followers. So I would say it’s more important to put something amazing out into the world, such that people will want to talk about it (…) I still believe that word of mouth and having someone really like something enough to go tell a friend is the most traditional and the most everlasting way to do it”.
Indeed, when a trendsetter recommends a product to his followers, it creates a snowball effect. Followers test the article, then tell their friends about it, and so on… And the brand increases its conversion rate and boosts its sales. Influencers are therefore real prescribers.
3 - Come to the best argument… the ROI !
Let’s talk about money ! The most common obstacle for bosses when it comes to Influencer Marketing is : “I don’t have the budget.”
Let’s be honest, Influencer Marketing is all about increasing sales. The point is clearly not to burn money. But you need to invest in this strategy long before having a great envelope for it. To make money in Influencer Marketing, you first need to spend it. Brand should see this as an investment. In Influencer marketing, one dollar spent creates 5-6 dollars in return.
Crazy, right? But there is this common problem when your boss ignores the right remunerations of influencers causing a lag between the defined budget and the real budget.
Know you can always adapt your strategy to your budget. All you need then is to choose influencers with less followers and ask them for simple services (for example, a picture post rather than a video or an article). Also know you don’t have to always pay with cash only. It’s quite common to see partnerships with products/services/trips or donations offered, events invitations or simple travel compensations.
And it’s even more common with nano and micro-influencers!
Either way, Influencer Marketing is profitable when it’s a long-term strategy (around 4 weeks for an IM campaign). Patience is needed before observing the first results, and then first incomes.
4 - Clear this up : Influencer Marketing is easy to set up
One of the other obstacles for business owners is the lack of resources and knowledges on the subject. After all, you don’t get into Influencer Marketing by snapping fingers.
Choosing an influencer is not an easy process and the biggest mistake would be to look at the number of followers only. Several factors should be looked at: the size of the community (nano, micro, macro), but also the niche, the engagement rate, the feed, the former partnerships, the audience and the platform used.
All those KPIs help to create successful partnerships between a company and an opinion leader matching its values and targets.
Once one or several creators have been found, the next step is to build a content strategy, a long-term partnership, and a real relationship of trust between the brand and the influencer.
There is work to do here, yes, but it’s very achievable. And to make sure you have the right strategy, why don’t you delegate to an Influencer Marketing solution with real experts on the subject? 320 agencies specializing in the field have been created since 2018. Impressive, right? Of course, we can only advise you to call on Kolsquare for tailor-made, human, and optimal support.
5 - Talk about the brands already doing it
Consumers are convinced by feedback from influencers, so you can be convinced with concrete examples. In the beauty sector, we can quote the partnership between Maybelline and Léna Situations in December 2019. The campaign was built on the co-creation of lipsticks, and the collection was sold-out in just… 1 hour!
The ready-to-wear brand Revolve is also a major influencer marketer. According to Raissa Gerona, Chief Brand Officer of Revolve, influencers account for 70% of their sales: “We saw influencers as a direct pipeline to our customer. Our question is always: Are these people resonating with who we want to resonate with? We focus on millennial female consumers, and none of them are looking at magazines anymore, so we looked to who that customer was listening to.”
For more partnership examples, click here!
Want to go deeper?
It’s official! You have all the elements to convince your manager to use Influencer Marketing in your brand communication strategy. Key figures proving the success of campaigns, effect on brand image, humanization of relationships with prospects, increased sales, great ROI… No more excuses!
Do you want to launch your Marketing Influence campaign? You can contact us!