In the new world of digital and social media marketing, we’ve seen influencer marketing explode as a way for brands and companies to get their products and services introduced to new markets.
Companies are focusing more on Influencer partnerships and marketing but many are unsure of which influencer they should work with and if it should be paid or a free campaign.
The question everyone wants to know – what is an influencer?
Some people want to be called an influencer while others like to stay away from the term. An influencer is anyone in the digital space that has a following, or an audience, that you are trying to attract.
How many followers do you need on social media – especially Instagram to be considered an influencer?
This number varies - Typically, many global brands who need to attract a large reach so would use an influencer who had a million plus followers. For a regional brand someone in the hundred thousand and for a small local brand, they would see a greater fit with a Micro influencer but someone who has a lot of engagement on their social media platform.
What is a Micro Influencer?
We define micro-influencers as someone who has a unique following of 5k to 50k. They usually have one central topic that their blog, account, or community revolves around. Micro-influencers are more engaged with their followers and often become a voice of trust.
Now you need to decide the media influencer whom you would like to work with.
First things first – check if the person you want to work with has REAL followers. You can check this by easy detective work in three simple steps:
1. Look at an engagement rate of a particular Instagram account. You can do this quickly by looking at the number of engagements (likes, comments, shares) and then dividing this by their followers
2. The tell-tale sign is a mismatch between follower count and level of engagement you see on their posts. If they’ve got a high amount of followers, but the amount of likes and comments you see on their posts doesn’t reflect that, it’s a pretty solid sign that they’ve purchased followers.
3. Check the quality of their followers – example if it’s a mummy brand – and their followers are mostly men, this is a huge sign. Also check their geographical location.
How much should you pay a Social Media Influencer?
This depends on your budget and if the influencer has a huge global reach or is a micro influencer.
If an Influencer Marketing campaign is performed correctly a brand will receive a good ROI (Return on investment)
This can be monitored by:
• Generating unique content and images – Creativity goes along way
• Increased brand awareness
• Targeting new and niche audiences
• Increased impressions and reach
• Other social media accounts following the trend
What if you don’t have a budget?
Team up with a company who reflects your brand and create a nice partnership. If you cant pay, you maybe able to offer a product or service instead. However always remember the person whom you chose to work with should believe it your product and the campaign should come from a real authentic way otherwise the campaign will fall flat on its face. People can see through the cracks.
One of my personal pet peevs is dealing with an influencer who actually doesn’t understand your brand and doesn’t give the passion the campaign so rightly deserves OR the campaign hasn’t been explained correctly so the boundaries change during the course of the campaign in order to accommodate both parties.
Influencer marketing might not be right for every brand but we find it to be one of the most beneficial in growing a brand’s audience, engagement and sales.
However, while influencer marketing is now an important part of any overall marketing strategy, it isn’t the only necessary component. Influencer marketing should be just one subset of your overall marketing campaign. Brands still need to focus on creating unique and original high-quality content, generating a community on their social platforms and having top-notch customer service. All of these things work together to create a well-balanced and successful digital marketing strategy.
While running a Social Media Campaign you should focus on your KPI’s. There are 4 main areas:
Simply put, engagement measures the amount of likes, shares, and comments that your social updates receive.
Having a large reach with low engagement is a bad sign because it shows that you don't have a marketing message or content that resonates. Reaching millions of people means nothing if they aren't interested in what you offer.
As long as your audience is engaged, no matter how small that audience is, it will grow organically and generate more leads.
Facebook and Twitter see engagement as a sign of quality and popularity. The more interactions your content receives, the more newsfeeds Facebook will filter it out to. Similarly, the more retweets or likes a tweet gets, the larger it will appear (in font size) on your Twitter profile.
The actual KPIs that you can measure will vary by social media platform, but typically include the following:
Clicks: Link clicks are reflective of the quality of the title and image included on your post. Of course, your raving fans will click on everything you share, but the majority of people (especially new people) are only going to click on posts that interest them.
A large number of clicks with very few likes and shares shows that your post got their attention but didn't deliver the exceptional quality needed for the viewer to engage.
Great overall engagement with a low amount of clicks indicates that you need to work on how you pitch your content by testing different titles or visuals.
Likes: Like lead to more attention because people naturally gravitate towards things that are popular. More likes also signal to most platform algorithms that this particular content deserves a higher spot in search results.
Shares: These days hitting "like" on a post is a passive, mindless action. Likes are good and you definitely want them, but sharing is a conscious decision. When someone shares your post they are giving a personal recommendation to their friends, colleagues, and family. Because of this, shares are a great indication of the quality of your work.
Comments: The point of being on social media is to be -- well, social.
Interesting, relevant content sparks a conversation. Getting comments on your comments is a reliable sign that your content is hitting all the right points of interest.
Brand Mentions: Tags or mentions show that people are having a conversation about your brand even when you're not even in the room. This is another social media KPI that really focuses on your relevance because it shows that you are maintaining top-of-mind awareness.
Active Followers: An active follower is considered to be someone who has logged in and interacted with your content within the past 30 days; unfortunately, for most brands, the majority of people who "like" or follower your page are unlikely to visit it regularly let along check out its content.
Reach is an old-school marketing metric that still remains important today. It indicates how far your message is actually traveling -- how many eyes it's getting in front of.
Measuring reach on social media can be misleading at times as it only shows how many people potentially saw your post or that it was made available. Unlike engagement, which has definitive answers such as x amount of likes, reach is really just an estimate.
Once your social media accounts start gaining traction, it's easy to get caught up in how many likes and shares you're getting. It feels good to see people enjoying your content, but what about the bottom line?
To ensure you are getting the best ROI from your social media, you have to ask the tough question: How many of these engaged fans are actually interested in making a purchase from my company?
You might have an enormous following on Instagram because people love your photos, but how does that translate to new sales?
If you aren't generating leads, you're either on the wrong platform or your content isn't engaging to your buyer persona.
The sooner you identify the problem, the better -- but you have to start tracking to find out. You can also gain valuable insight by looking into the demographics of the people who are seeing and responding to your content:
No Inbound strategy would be complete without measuring the number of acquired customers.
Most of your social media posts should be focused on providing content for your audience and having a conversation with them -- but when the time comes for you to ask for something in return, you want to know how many of those fans actually end up making it to the finish line.
This is the ultimate measurement of your success in social media marketing. If you've truly found the right people and kept them engaged, they'll be interested in buying your product or service (if they haven't already).
You shouldn't expect to have high new customer rates from social media because a lot of your followers will be current customers and another significant portion are only interested in the content. That's just the way it goes.
However, you want to pay attention to which social media channels produce the highest and lowest numbers. This shows you where to focus more time and it shows you where your best leads are coming from.
Some people might think tracking customer acquisition and conversion rates from social media isn't necessary, but how else are you going to honestly measure the ROI from social media?
Engagement and reach are fun to measure because they make your brand look good, but you have to track the KPIs that paint the full picture. The goal of measuring social media KPIs isn't to justify your marketing strategy, it's to improve it.