Bloggers and brands alike are seeking the next big opportunity to make cash and website traffic in the ever-changing digital marketing industry. Influencer marketing is that technique in 2017 (and for the foreseeable future).
Influencer marketing content generates 11 times higher return on investment (ROI) than traditional digital marketing strategies, according to a 2016 TapInfluence study with Nielsen Catalina Solutions.
With such a high return on investment, it’s no surprise that bloggers are hopping on board the influencer marketing bandwagon from both sides.
Bloggers are retooling their websites and marketing strategies to position themselves as influencers, as well as identifying and collaborating with other influencers to promote and distribute content.
You may be wondering, “Should I become an influencer?” as a result of the growing popularity and profitability of influencer marketing. Is influencer marketing a good fit for my website?
The answer is an emphatic yes or no.
It would be insane not to use influencer marketing in some industries, websites, and brands. Others, on the other hand, believe that influencer marketing is a waste of money.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing, as defined by TapInfluence, is a style of marketing that focuses on using influential leaders to spread your brand’s message to a bigger audience.
Influencer marketing relies on outside individuals known as influencers to deliver a message rather than sending promotional information directly to customers using typical digital marketing strategies such as email marketing and display adverts.
Individuals with moderate to big fan bases on popular social media and content marketing platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are known as influencers. In addition, many of these influencers have a blog that they update on a regular basis.
When a company decides to employ influencer marketing as part of its marketing plan, it must identify, engage with, and pay influencers appropriately. Influencers frequently create sponsored material that features the brand.
Why Do Brands Use Influencer Marketing?
We are more suspicious than ever about our online behavior and purchases in an age where anyone can become an advertisement. According to reports, 96% of individuals believe the advertising sector lacks integrity, with 69 percent of these people blaming their mistrust on advertisers’ ambition to sell more successfully.
With this in mind, we seek recommendations and advice from friends and reputable sources, as well as purchasing guidance. In fact, 71% of buyers are more likely to buy something after seeing it on social media.
When brands work with online influencers, they want to show customers that they are a reliable firm with a reliable product or service.
With 49% of people saying they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions, it’s easy to see why companies hop on the influencer marketing bandwagon.
On top of online sales, brands use influencer marketing to:
- Increase engagement on their brand’s social media networks.
- Obtain high-quality backlinks for their internet content Increase website visitors on a regular basis
- Make a connection with the people you’re trying to reach.
- Increase the number of people who are aware of a brand or a certain campaign.
While influencer marketing can be beneficial for both parties involved, you need to determine if it is the right course of action for you and your blog before jumping in headfirst.
How to Determine if Influencer Marketing is Right for Your Blog
Let’s begin by considering the question from the perspective of being an influencer.
To become an influencer, you must post high-quality content on your blog and social media on a regular basis.
In addition to creating and sharing content, you must engage with your audience on a regular basis in order to build a dedicated fan base. This is no little achievement.
You must also decide whether you have a competitive advantage in your market or specialty. As a blogger or influencer, what makes you unique?
Is it possible for you to build out a niche as an influencer? If that’s the case, go for it! As an influencer, work to establish yourself in the market and begin collaborating with brands.
On the other hand, if you are not ready to become an influencer, you can partner with relevant influencers to improve awareness of your brand and blog. However, while a 2015 Forrester report claims 73% of marketers say they have an allocated budget for influencer marketing, it’s not the best tactic for every blog.
To determine if influencer marketing is the right path for your blog, complete the following steps.
1. Ask “Why?”
You shouldn’t invest in influencer marketing because everyone else is. You need to identify why influencer marketing will be an advantageous marketing strategy to accomplish your objectives.
Do you want influencers to share and link to your blog content for search engine optimization? Do you want to increase the number of targeted visitors to your blog? Perhaps you want to expand your social media following and reach a broader audience with your material.
Collaboration with influencers in your market or sector can help you achieve all of these objectives.
2. Set Goals
As with all online marketing tactics, you must set objectives for your influencer marketing strategy. Goals can include:
- Increasing your social media following by X% over a specific period of time
- Improving the amount of website traffic from a specific online source
- Raising the number of brand/blog mentions online
- Adding more quality backlinks to your blog link portfolio
Without outlining your goals, you will spend money on influencer efforts without being able to quantify the results. This may lead to short-term gains but not long-term outcomes.
3. Ask if Influencer Marketing Makes Sense for Your Industry
Also, before approving influencer marketing, you must first determine whether the right influencers for your sector exist. Influencers are over-represented in some industries, such as lifestyle products and tourism.
Thousands of influencers are available for these sites and brands to vet and pick from. Manufacturing companies and the pharmaceutical industry, on the other hand, will have a difficult time partnering with the right influencers.
You must also decide whether influencer marketing is appropriate for your industry. Do clients consider influencers’ opinions before purchasing your products or services?
This may not be the case for commodities, certain B2B marketplaces, and other industries such as manufacturing
Take the time to research your industry and identify influencers that would partner well with your marketing objectives.
Tools to Help You Win at Influencer Marketing
Should you decide that influencer marketing is the way to go, use these tools as part of your strategy:
Followerwonk by Moz
Followerwonk is a free tool from Moz which allows users to search for Twitter influencers based on a number of filters, including topics, followers, and social authority.
UTM Parameters are tiny bits of code added to the end of a website URL to help marketers track results. Use these parameters when working with influencers to identify how much traffic their content drives to your website or blog content.
BuzzSumo is an in-depth content marketing tool that allows you to research topics, influencers, and so much more. This robust tool helps marketers find ideal influencers based on keywords, hashtags, and social media metrics.
If using influencer marketing for SEO and link-building purposes, you’ll want to know more about the influencer’s website. SEOquake is a browser add-on that delivers robust information about websites with a few simple clicks.
CrowdFire enables users to identify people to follow based on interests, industries, and more. In addition, this tool is great for influencers who need to manage their personal social media following and unfollow irrelevant or dormant accounts.
As one of the leading blogger outreach tools, BuzzStream is an essential asset for influencer marketing strategies. With BuzzStream, brands can analyze influencers, reach out for opportunities, and manage relationships all in one place.
Influencers are here to stay but how the world of influencer marketing looks and operates has changed a great deal in a short time, and in five years may be drastically different from today.
This guide will help you get started with building your strategy, but like any social strategy, it’s important to be ready for change.
Still, while there are some unique considerations to working with influencers, setting up a campaign is the same as most marketing campaigns: research, set a budget, determine goals, find your influencers, and review and revise.
Once you’ve got the rhythm down, you might find yourself creating additional types of influencer marketing campaigns.