Influencer marketing is fast becoming one of the most effective types of online advertising. The growing industry is expanding at an incredible rate, and it’s estimated to reach $10 billion by 2020.
Despite this huge upsurge, many marketing professionals are still not paying due attention to the world of opportunity that influencer marketing presents.
Influencer marketing now plays a role in many marketing strategies, with marketing professionals from a broad range of industries partnering with online influencers. But 41% of marketers are putting aside just 5% of their overall marketing budgets for influencer marketing campaigns.
This means that now is the time to invest in influencer marketing. With so many brands not yet aware of the full potential of such strategies, there couldn’t be a better time to make full use of the massive potential of influencer partnerships.
If you’re looking to improve sales and maximize exposure and awareness at the same time, this is the way to do it.
Here are seven tips on how to improve sales with the effective use of influencer marketing strategies.
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1. Consider partnering with micro-influencers
A handful of inspiring influencers have shot to fame, and now have a following to rival that of the best-known celebrities.
Of course, if one of these household name influencers happens to be in your industry, you’ll likely think of them as a great influencer to partner with in order to boost your sales. And you’d be right about that.
However, influencers with millions of followers are of course inundated with requests from brands, and they can’t promote every product that’s sent their way. Not only that, such influencers can command high prices for just a single post.
If your budget doesn’t accommodate the biggest influencers around, it’s not the end of the road for your campaign. In fact, it could be a good thing, as smaller influencers (known as micro-influencers) tend to provide better ROI overall.
Influencers with a smaller following often have a more engaged audience, who value their opinions more than they would a bigger name. Partner with a select group of micro-influencers and you’ll get a lot more for your money, with a longer-running campaign that really grabs the attention of potential new customers.
Tom’s of Maine, which manufactures personal care products with only natural ingredients, decided to partner with social media posters with 500 to 5000 followers. For every 1,000 micro-influencers, it received more than 6,000 interactions on social media.
2. Understand your customers
To select the most effective influencers for your campaign, you need to understand your customers. Narrow down the exact personas you’d like to market to and try to be as specific as you can about who they might be. The more you know about your target audience, the easier it’ll be to find the right influencers to work with.
Once you understand the different personas you’d like to sell to, you can start to look into the influencers’ followings to find the right fit for your brand. Tools such as MatchMaker from Billion Dollar Boy make this an easy task.
The end-to-end global influencer campaign management platform enables brands to find relevant influencers, avoid booking clashes with competitors and sister brands, and share knowledge across the network.
3. Create discount codes
Discount codes are always effective in terms of boosting sales, but their power grows hugely when they’re promoted by an authentic-sounding influencer that your target demographic already trusts.
If you’re incorporating discount codes into your influencer campaign, ensure that every influencer you partner with has a specific discount code to share on their social platforms.
Up the authenticity even more by making sure that discount code sounds personal and friendly. For example, you could use code like ‘Becca2019’ – rather than a far less inviting computer-generated code like ‘HXFBTB19’.
Daniel Wellington, a watch company, exploded on Instagram and leveraged influencer marketing to create a hip and modern brand identity, while reaching millions of customers. They used influencers to directly drive sales of their watches. They gave each influencer a free watch and a unique promotional code that gave their followers a 10-20% discount on their purchases.
4. Invest in relationships
Influencers are becoming increasingly important in many marketing strategies. Brands therefore really need to be aware of the significance of their relationships with key influencers, making efforts to nurture such relationships as much as possible.
It pays to build partnerships with figures who can really make a difference to your exposure. The financial rewards of such investments can be hefty indeed.
Brands will often reward influencers with free products, as well as paying for posts, stories, and mentions on their channels. But there’s more that can be done to cement bonds between influencers and marketing professionals.
Brands should, for example, share content from influencers they partner with on their own social platforms. It’s also a good idea to reward influencers and further increase exposure by rolling out the red carpet for them at launch parties and other events.
5. Competitions and giveaways
Competitions and giveaways are a cost-effective approach to enhancing word-of-mouth and getting your audiences engaged. Some tactics used in this strategy involve:
- Asking followers to link to their post
- Sharing content
Competitions also encourage user-generated content, increasing conversation around your brand with the potential of virality.
6. Exclusive offers and affiliate linking
It is human nature that everyone wants to be a part of something; utilizing ‘exclusive offers’ taps into the psychology of belonging. By drawing on the power of ‘exclusivity’, consumers instantly want to be part of your offering.
They want to be part of the group who got their hands on the great deal, not the group that lost out.
An example of this is where we see influencers offer unique or exclusive discounts, usually accompanied by an affiliate code. Affiliate codes enable brands to track and analyze their selected influencers and the content they produce.
It also highlights what content is performing the best and allows for optimization during the campaign.
7. Keep an eye on your figures
ROI rules the roost in any marketing strategy, and this one is no exception. To ensure you get the best return on your investment, and the best improvements in sales, you’ll need to keep an eye on the analytics that counts from day one.
Plan your campaign with your sales objectives in mind, and make sure every piece of content is closely monitored throughout. That way you’ll soon understand what works for your brand and what doesn’t, and you’ll be able to tweak the campaign as you go.
The right analytical data will also enable you to see how far your chosen influencers improved sales, and which of those partnerships is worth investing in further. Affiliate codes and specific influencer promo codes can be used to give you a clear insight into the impact each influencer has had on your sales.
Try The World decided to collaborate with YouTuber Missy Lanning in order to raise awareness for their range of food subscription boxes. The video posted by her managed to get more than 800,000 views with a better-for-dollar value than working with a top-level influencer. This is one of the good examples of a well-planned and highly targeted influencer marketing strategies which resulted in great ROI.
Influencer marketing campaigns don’t yet dominate marketing strategies across the board, but demand for influencer campaigns is increasing rapidly.
Research conducted by Tomoson found that “marketers rate influencer marketing as their fastest-growing online customer-acquisition channel, outpacing organic search and email marketing.”
In order to stay ahead of the game and stand out from the competition, brands need to build strong relationships with key influencers on widely-used platforms such as Instagram.
By correctly identifying the most appropriate influencers to work with, brands can enjoy massive opportunities in terms of reputation, exposure, engagement and overall sales. It’s just a case of making full use of the incredible potential of influencer campaigns and building authentic partnerships that really work.