The Basics of Influencer marketing — What, How, Why?

Influencer marketing has been all the rage for a while now. In this article, you can learn about the basics, the benefits, Scandiweb’s own experience and things to watch out for!

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is marketing to/through socially influential people. These individuals, known as Influencers, are people with large social followings, which usually manifest in terms of followers/fans in social media (the biggest ones, of course, being Instagram, facebook, twitter, Youtube, Twitch). Influencers usually boast a certain lifestyle, values and/or authority, upon which their following is based.

What does this mean?

From a business perspective, it means two things:

  1. Target audience — people follow influencers on topics they’re interested in, e.g. healthy lifestyle, hence, any marketing done through this channel will reach an audience predisposed to positively receive your products
  2. Trust — product information reaches clients from a trusted, perhaps even revered, source, significantly increasing the likelihood of conversion.

How does it happen?

There is no universal approach. Depending on the type of business you run, you will need to adapt your own strategy. If you want to sell health products, you will likely have to pay the influencer & provide some products, so they can use them and boast about the benefits to their followers. If you are releasing a video game — granting exclusive first access to the influencer could be your go-to strategy. If you’re looking to boost the popularity of your cryptocurrency ICO (Initial Coin Offering), you should consider looking around for influential Youtubers and pay them to share information about your project.

At first, the entire environment might seem very intimidating. Youtubers asking $10,000 for a video is not uncommon. Therefore, careful consideration of whom you want to approach and what their potential impact might be is very important. For instance, researching Youtubers and finding those whose story-telling could fit your product is a necessary first step for getting the most out of your investment.

Tailor your marketing strategy to best get your brand’s message across — often this would mean opting for smaller influencers or using less popular social channels. Reaching the right audience should be your primary goal and the biggest platforms and most famous Influencers might not always be the best option!

The benefits

Social recognition
Your brand being circulated among a group that is interested in your product will mean that it’s on everybody’s lips! People are far more likely to talk about your product in their community, than, if, for example, your product had reached them via traditional marketing channels. The influencer adds to your brand’s story!

Content
Your brand’s story becomes more complete! In most cases, the influencer is responsible for the content, thus crafting new and often imaginative stories for your brand. This can translate into new ideas for your company further down the line. It also gives dynamic content you can share with your customers, building an interwoven relationship — exchanging followers with the influencer!

Increases your own following and reputation
A part of the trust the followers put in the follower trickles down to your brand. Even after the campaign is over, you will have gained new, potentially loyal customers who will keep the discussion going. Your brand becomes a household name among your target market, thus leaving a lasting impression and making you stand out among competitors!

Our experience

Influencer marketing comes in all shapes and sizes and Scandiweb has worked with most of them. We have worked with big Youtubers, Instagram influencers, we have built affiliate networks and communities, we have also leveraged the power of social marketing through various community incentives, including crowd-funding, referral programs, and Student Camp ambassadors.

A success story

For one of our ICO projects, a big Youtuber set a price of $2500 for a video. After diligent research and internal discussion, we agreed that he was a good fit, so a deal was made. The returns? Over $250,000 through contributions from his community members! We did not expect such a high ROI. The benefits were not only financial, but we also saw a huge spike in new members joining and the follower count for all our channels also greatly increased! The reverberating effects were still felt for weeks after the video’s release!

Watch out!

There are scammers at every corner! Once you put your name out there as an interested party, you will probably start receiving emails with great offers from all sorts of Youtubers, which might at first appear to be legitimate. Do proper research and make sure that the emails you receive these offers from match those of the Youtubers! Be careful not to send your payment to an impersonator.

Handy tools

Various evaluative tools can help with your background research to make sure you don’t get scammed. It is suggested to use these tools to, for instance, make sure that the traffic is organic, that no suspicious activity is taking place, or find out how the channel is faring in terms of growth. Two examples of ones we use on a daily basis are:

  • Twitteraudit  — this tool lets you know how many twitter followers of a specific account are real and how many are fake — don't get scammed by fake traffic!
  • Socialblade  — provides easy-to-understand insights and account statistics on such platforms as Youtube, Twitch, Instagram, and Twitter.
Pay attention to suspicious spikes and general trends!

Conclusion

Influencer marketing is very valuable and if it’s not a part of your strategy, you’re missing out, especially if your competitors are doing it! Research & contact an influencer and watch your business benefit from social recognition, increased reputation, extra content, new customers and, most importantly, sales! Those things being said, it’s a fickle environment. Watch out for scammers and don’t forget about your other marketing channels!

Want to know more? Need help with influencer marketing? Don't hesitate to write us at marketing@scandiweb.com !


The Basics of Influencer marketing — What, How, Why? was originally published in Scandiweb Stories on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.