As we step into 2019, it’s time to reevaluate your marketing strategies and make sure that you are all set to compete and stand out.
As a brand or marketer, you can no longer rely on traditional advertising, celebrity endorsements, or video ads. The majority of consumers don’t trust ads. Many find them annoying and intrusive. 30.1% of people in the United States use ad blockers too.The present generation of consumers demands social proof. When a consumer needs information about your brand, products, or services, they are more likely to turn to their network of trusted authorities and peers. 82% of consumers act on influencer recommendations. That makes influencers extremely important to brands.
Successful brands such as H&M, Coca-Cola, and REVOLVE are already leveraging influencer partnerships to increase awareness, engagement, and product sales. And by 2020, the global spend on influencer marketing is expected to reach $5-$10 billion.
If you don’t have an influencer marketing strategy yet, it’s time to reconsider your marketing plans for 2019. If you’re still not convinced, let’s take a look at a few reasons why incorporating influencers in your marketing strategy is a good idea.
Why You Should Craft an Influencer Marketing Strategy for Your Brand
An effective influencer marketing strategy can help you gain more exposure for your brand. The right influencers can help you get their audiences to trust your brand, increase engagement, build customer loyalty, and also increase conversions.
Here’s what a powerful influencer marketing strategy can do for your brand:
#1. It Can Help You Attract Better Customers
According to a study by Tomoson, 51% of marketers believe that influencer marketing can help them attract and acquire higher quality customers. That’s because social media users tend to spend more money and they are also more likely to spread the word to their friends and families.
#2. It’s Taking Over Organic Search
According to marketers, influencer marketing is the fastest growing channel for customer acquisition. 22% has rated it as the best way to acquire new customers. It has surpassed other methods like organic search, email, and paid search.
#3. It Delivers a Higher ROI
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to use influencer marketing is that it delivers a higher ROI. The same study showed that for every $1 a business spends on influencer marketing, it receives $6.50. In fact, the top 13% of businesses are earning more than $20 for each $1.
#4. It’s the Most Cost-Effective Channel for Customer Acquisition
If you want to effectively market your brand or products on a budget, influencer marketing is your best bet. 22% of marketers consider influencer marketing to be the most cost-effective method for acquiring new customers online, alongside email marketing.
These data-driven benefits of influencer marketing clearly show how important it is for your brand to craft an influencer marketing strategy for 2019. In addition to the facts mentioned here, you can also experience other benefits such as increased brand visibility and increased customer loyalty.
The Most Effective Influencer Collaboration Ideas for 2019
There isn’t one fool-proof way to launch an influencer marketing campaign. What’s effective for you will depend on the type of business you have and the type of audience you’re reaching out to.
Let’s discuss a few influencer collaboration ideas that you can leverage while planning your next influencer marketing strategy.
#1. Host Competitions and Giveaways
You can easily raise brand awareness and gain more exposure by collaborating with influencers to host contests or giveaways. This will expose your brand to the influencers’ followers, who can be your potential customers. Competitions and giveaways are also a great way to get everyone involved, helping you boost brand engagement.Take a look at how Fossil partnered with influencer @lifesjules, offering a free trip to New York Fashion Week while promoting their crossbody bag:
While hosting competitions and giveaways can be an effective influencer marketing strategy, there may be some laws and regulations regarding them. This could range from what exactly defines a contest and the legal considerations for each social media platform. Make sure you read up on the legal considerations of social media contests before you get started with your campaign.
#2. Request Brand Mentions on Social Media
The majority of influencers have massive numbers of followers on various social media platforms. This means that even a simple mention of your brand from them can help your brand get more exposure.
However, most influencers only talk about brands and products that they genuinely love. So it would be best to begin with building a relationship with them.
You could use an influencer email outreach to connect with influencers. Here’s a basic template to give you a brief idea of how you can pull it off:
Hi [Influencer’s Name],
I am [Name] from [Brand’s Name]. I wanted to reach out to you as you seem to be a perfect fit for our brand and I would love to collaborate with you. Your recent post about [………] really struck a chord with me. And I was wondering if you’d be interested in checking out our [product + benefits].
I’d be delighted to have my brand featured on [your social media profile/username with link] if you feel it’s a good fit. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on it.
Email me anytime to discuss it further.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Strengthening your relationships with influencers can help you earn valuable brand mentions on social media. Long-term influencer collaborations are also a good sign for the effectiveness of your influencer marketing strategy.
#3. Make Use of Affiliate Marketing and Discount Codes
If you want to drive more sales, you can plan your influencer marketing strategy in a way that it incentivizes both influencers and consumers. This would involve using an exclusive discount code to encourage customers to make a purchase. Additionally, you will need to provide your influencers with affiliate links so they can really get behind the product or service.Affiliate links refer to the unique URL which will include the affiliate’s I.D. or username. In this case, the affiliate is the influencer. This unique URL will help you attribute sales directly to each influencer and then provide them with commissions from each sale based on your affiliate agreement. This method is highly recommended as it’s easier for you to track the influencer’s activity and contribution to your campaign. Here’s an example from collaboration between Aeon Collection and Lauren Curtis.
#4. Involve Influencers in the Creation Process
Giving influencers the “Creative Director” role can be an effective campaign if you’re working with big influencers. You will be getting the influencer involved in the creation process of your product. Maybe they’ll have a capsule fashion collection or a line of their own make-up. There are endless possibilities with this type of campaign.
When you give the creative direction role to influencers, you can yield strong returns on investment and also gain brand exposure. It’s also beneficial for the influencer in that it’s a way for them to build their portfolio. Puma’s collaboration with Rihanna is an excellent example of this campaign.
#5. Get Influencers to Take Over Your Social Media Account
A great way to build more meaningful relationships with your influencers is by doing an influencer takeover. This involves having an influencer take over one or all of your brand’s social media accounts for a limited period of time. Maybe it could be for a day or even an entire week, depending on what works for you. Here’s an example of how Blinds.com partnered with bloggers and writers, where the influencer takes over their Instagram account for a weekend:
Through this campaign, the influencer will be promoting the collaboration and the campaign. This will then drive new followers or traffic from their host of followers. It’s a great way to build your visibility and engagement as well as establishing a strong image for your brand.
#6. Host an Event for Influencers
For an effective way to engage an entire group of influencers, you could start event activation. This will help your brand gain high levels of exposure, as each influencer’s social following will hear about your brand. For your event activation to be successful, you need to fill your guest list with relevant influencers who can spread the message about your brand.
Make sure you create an attractive invitation and send them out to relevant influencers via email. You should expect lots of photography to take place at the event, so decorate the venue accordingly with good lighting and creative decors. You need to make an impression not just to the influencers but their horde of social media followers. See for example the launching event of Marks and Spencer in Australia, where fashion and lifestyle bloggers like Rebecca Judd were invited.
Influencer marketing delivers 11X higher ROI than all other traditional forms of advertising. But to get higher returns, you need to develop a successful influencer marketing strategy for your brand.
If you want to run successful influencer marketing campaigns, it is important to identify your target audience, partner with relevant influencers, and plan an influencer marketing strategy that aligns with your marketing goals.There are a number of ways to collaborate with influencers for your marketing campaigns. For instance, you can ask them to review your products or mention your brand in a sponsored story. The other collaboration ideas that I’ve mentioned above can also help you benefit from influencer-created content.
I also recommend that you constantly track and measure the performance of your influencer campaigns. This will help you analyze and understand what is working for your niche and audience and what isn’t.
Need help? Please feel free to book a free 30-minute consultation call with me. I’d be happy to help you create a powerful influencer marketing strategy for your brand to boost your ROI.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.