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Influencer marketing has really taken digital marketing by storm.
Right now, customers are turning towards their favorite personalities on Instagram or YouTube to help them make a purchasing decision. These influencers are trusted by users all around the world, giving brands an excellent opportunity for lead generation.
Read on as we explore new powerful ways any business can use influencer marketing in 2021.
Why do brands need to invest in influencer marketing in 2021?
According to Facebook US, the number of online users watching live video increased by 50% during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic alone.
Influencer marketing is when companies and brands partner with popular social media celebrities, bloggers, and influencers with a large audience base. It helps brands build awareness, credibility and also drive sales.
By 2022 influencer marketing is expected to become a $15 billion industry. Influencer marketing got famous because it was different from traditional marketing that offered superficial sales content.
Influencer marketing, on the other hand, focuses on more meaningful conversations and experiences. Therefore, influencer marketing is more personal instead of data-driven commercials.
It has gained so much popularity in the past year that Brandon Perlman, founder of Social Studies, Inc., says,
"2021 is the year we believe influencer marketing will be seen as its own media channel outside of tactical' problem solving' or 'nice to have content."
When brands use celebrities and social media influencers for marketing their products, it offers a lot of benefits, including:
Reaching a large audience base
Getting more leads
Helps build brand credibility and trust
Increases social media following and site traffic
How can brands leverage influencer marketing?
The best way for brands to leverage influencer marketing is by paying social media influencers for posting about their products or services. For example, Instagram has tons of influencers promoting various products and brands online to their followers.
These social media influencers get paid per post or on a commission basis if you are using an influencer affiliate marketing program. Brands from different sectors can use influencer marketing to generate leads; you don't have to be a very large company.
Fashion and beauty brands can significantly benefit from influencer marketing as these industries have seen a huge rise in the use of this marketing strategy. Currently, 57% of fashion companies are using social media celebrities and influencers to promote their products and generate leads... and this number is growing every day!
2 Key steps in a successful influencer marketing strategy
1. Determine your marketing goals
The first step is to determine your goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Most brands fail to generate enough ROI with influencer marketing because they don't invest time in determining their goals and metrics before investing.
When it comes to influencer marketing, brands need to determine three important goals and ways to achieve them:
Increasing brand awareness
Higher lead generation
Attracting a new market of customers
2. Choose the influencer niche
After setting your goals and determining KPIs, the next thing is to understand the influencer landscape and build a relationship with a social media personality.
You need to choose a relevant influencer who understands your target audience's needs. Once you've found them, you need to narrow down your choices to determine which ones are the best for your brand. For this, you need to analyze their profile to figure out if they're genuine influencers. In such a situation, tools like trendHERO can not only show you the influencer's audience demographics but also the number of fake, bot or purchased followers they have. This can ensure you get the expected ROI from your influencer marketing campaign.
Another important consideration is to look beyond Instagram.
When it comes to finding an influencer, Instagram is the first social media platform that comes to mind. Some other platforms for advertising that you can use are:
Once you have chosen your influencer, you need to determine the platform on which your target audience is and then capitalize on the opportunity.
The survey shows that 49% of the consumers depend upon influencers' recommendations and are more likely to purchase a recommended product.
Keep in mind that influencer marketing is cost-effective and time-saving as it can help you reach your target audience a lot easier and quicker.
How businesses can work with micro-influencers for higher ROI
The competition between social media influencers is growing, and we see a lot of diversity among the influencers and content generation.
This might come as a surprise, but if you need higher brand engagement, go for micro-influencers instead of macro-influencers, that is, any influencer having between 1,000 to 100,000 followers.
With a rise in micro-influencers, brands are turning to these small scale social media personalities that can cater to a specific market segment for maximum engagement.
Studies show that the larger and more popular the influencer, the lower the engagement (likes, comments, shares). Influencers with less than 1000 followers receive likes on their posts 8% of the time as compared to 1.6% for the ones with 10 million + followers.
Therefore, the trick is to find an influencer with 10k to 100k followers for maximum engagement and lead generation. But, the number of followers is not everything you need to measure; you need to consider how engaging the audiences are. Idle followers don't do much for brands looking for exposure.
Sophie McAulay, at AND CO, says that brands will,
"Get the most value from working with someone in your niche who has a loyal and relevant following and who's able to talk about your product or service in a way that is authentic and not dissimilar to the type of posts they usually create."
Time to collab!
With the rise in micro-influencers, brands will continue to focus on these social media sponsors in 2021 as they have a strong connection with their communities and followers. You can also use AI platforms that provide end-to-end solutions to influencer marketing.
This new marketing strategy is definitely going to be a game-changer that will help brands target a specific niche and increase sales. We are expecting to see amazing new things in the influencer landscape in 2021!
So, it's time you incorporated influencers into your digital marketing strategy for a higher ROI. It’s easy to get started. Learn more on how to invite an influencer to collaborate with your brand and how to measure ROI for your influencer collaborations.