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Influencer Marketing 101: What It Is, Why It Works, and How To Find the Ideal Influencer

Influencer

Influencer marketing isn’t a new concept by any stretch. Since the late 1800s, famous figures, actors, and athletes have been featured in tv, radio, and print ads endorsing various products and services. What has changed recently is the fact that everyday people can be an influencer. Well, everyday people with a large following on a social media channel - i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat. What makes these moms, dads, millennials, kids and even animals influencers is the ability to influence a large social media following to make a purchase based solely on their endorsement. 

Influencer marketing is expected to reach $16 billion in 2022. Five years ago, that number was $3 billion. 

What is Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing (IM) is a marketing campaign involving an online personality who is paid, either monetarily or with a free product, or both, to endorse a product or service. 

Nearly 90% of all marketers find ROI from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing channels.

Celebrities like the Kardashians make $300k-$1.2M per post on social media. In fact, Kim Kardashian said she makes more money on Instagram than an entire season of Keeping up With the Kardashians. Add in the fact that nearly 90% of all marketers find ROI from IM comparable to or better than other marketing channels, and you can easily see why companies now have a dedicated influencer budget built into their annual marketing and advertising strategy. The good news is that the Kardashians are far from the only influencers out there. Today, you can collaborate with an influencer for under $1000. In some cases, influencers are happy to give their endorsement in exchange for a free product or service subscription.

NOTE: The collaboration cost is usually directly related to the size of the influencer’s following - the larger the influencer, the more you pay. 

3 Types of Influencers and how much they charge per social post

Mega-influencers have tens of millions of followers - The Kardashians, Taylor Swift, Christiano Ronaldo The cost for collaboration is usually between $300k-$1.5M per social post.

Macro-influencers have a few million followers - Addison Rae, Charley D’ Amelio, Tomi Obebe The cost for collaboration is usually between $25k-$50K per social post.

Micro-influencers have a much smaller base of followers, but their followers are considered to be incredibly loyal and follow the recommendations of the micro-influencer - There are hundreds of micro-influencers spread across the globe. These influencers will collaborate with a company for simply their favorite product in place of money up or charge up to $10,000 per social post. 

6 benefits of working with an Influencer

In addition to the obvious benefits of working with someone with notoriety and reach, social media offers benefits normally not attributed to the traditional forms of advertising like TV, Radio, Print, and even online forms of advertising like pay-per-click. 

  • Social media posts offer longevity not normally associated with traditional marketing and advertising media. When a TV ad or Radio campaign ends, it's out of sight, out of mind - there is minimal lasting effect on a person's purchase preference. Since influencers post the endorsements on their social channels, the longevity of the campaign continues until the post is deleted, if it's ever deleted. 
  • Working with influencers is easier and (usually) less expensive than traditional marketing and advertising channels. Unlike traditional advertising mediums like TV and Radio which can be very expensive and require a great deal of planning and production costs, there's an influencer out there to fit every budget and niche. Also, Influencers do it all - writing, taking photos, and advertising/ boosting the post on their other social channels.
  • Influencer Marketing is much more effective because you can target your customer base and buy into the influencer’s loyal (and often huge) following.
  • A large range of advertorial options are available. In addition to being able to choose the social platform you want to be featured on, there are a host of post types available from blog content posts, to short and simple tweets on Twitter, to Instagram in-feed posts or featured video stories, and YouTube unboxing videos.
  • The length of the collaboration is fully scalable to meet your needs and budget. Depending on the campaign or budget restrictions, the collaboration can be as short or as long as you want. Or, maybe you start with a one-off post to gauge the response before committing to a second collaboration.
  • Influencer campaigns can be easily measured through sales and traffic analytics from both the influencers and the company website. 

How to find the right influencer to meet your needs

Once you know your budget and campaign objectives, it’s time to find the best partnership for your product or service. You’ll want to look for an influencer that has a loyal following on the social channel(s) you’re targeting. Preferably, the influencer you choose will already be an authority in your current niche - Beauty, Health, Fitness, Technology, Finance, Mechanics, Family, Outdoor, Automotive.

Where to find influencers

  • ​​Search Engines - Google, Bing, or Yahoo are great places to start your influencer search. Search terms like “Top Health and Wellness Instagrammers” or “Top Tech Tik-Tokers” 
  • Social Media Platforms - Go to the social media channel you are targeting and use the search function to find the best influencer by category, keyword, or even a hashtag.
  • Social Media Influencer Ranking Platforms - Upfluence, Post For Rent, and Aspire are just a few online tools that allow you to view influencer ranking by channel, subscriber count, niche, and many other valuable metrics that will help you find the ideal influencer.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Working with Influencers

If this is your first time working with an influencer there are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. 

Do’s 

  • Have a clear idea of the campaign's objectives - including the number of posts you would like to see and on which channels.
  • Know your desired Call-to-Action - how would you like the followers to respond? Provide keywords and desired landing pages.
  • Provide content blurbs and art you would like to be included in the post.
  • Create an influencer agreement/contract. Make sure there is a clear understanding of the goals that need to be achieved during the partnership.

Don’ts

  • Don't judge on popularity alone - Make sure the influencer and the follower base engage with each other regularly. If the posts only have a handful of ‘likes’ or comments, that’s not a good sign. 
  • Avoid throwing your money into nothingness. Sure, you can throw money at an influencer and tell them to ‘do what they think is best’, but that’s not going to guarantee your campaign objectives will be met. Make sure you provide a clear outline of asks and deliverables.
  • Don't leave out the deadline. Make sure you have a clear understanding of the timeline including campaign start and end dates.

Tracking Influencer Marketing Success

The most common measure of influencer marketing success is conversions/sale

One major benefit to IM is how easily it can be measured. Three methods for measuring campaign success include:

  1. Sales/conversions - This metric will be straightforward. If you see a spike in sales during, and even a little after the collaboration ends, then you can consider the campaign successful. Social media posts can drive awareness for weeks or months after the post is published, so the sales may trickle in well after the end date. 
  2. Influencer provided analytics - Don’t be afraid to ask for analytics related to traffic and engagement. A good influencer expects this and will readily provide the information.
  3. Internal analytics - To gauge campaign success internationally, analyze the company's website traffic analytics or if you use our SaaS platform on the PowerChord Analytics Dashboard. Look for a spike in web traffic, especially the website pages that contain the product or service endorsed. Also, if you provided a specific landing page, monitor the traffic closely for spikes in traffic.

Influencer marketing is big business and it’s not going anywhere. To learn more directly from a popular influencer, check out our PowerChord Martech Talk Podcast featuring influencer Eddie Saunders Jr.

written by

April McCormick

April McCormick is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, visit AprilMcCormick.com

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