The Power of an Influencer Marketing Strategy: How and Why It Works

We’ve all been through it—you’re scrolling through your social media feed when suddenly you come across an individual passionately endorsing a product or service. What’s more? They have a massive following. You notice this is different from the typical celebrity endorsements. That is because the individual you are seeing is a social media influencer, which makes the premise of an influencer marketing strategy so much more unique.

As a true millennial who’s seen its effects, I can attest to how important it is to be leveraging social media to enhance your Marketing efforts. The following is an outline of everything you need to know about Influencer Marketing. This includes how much it costs to hire an influencer, the top social media platforms to run an influencer campaign, how to measure the success of this marketing strategy, and examples of how it’s been done successfully.

What is an Influencer?

An influencer is somebody who has the ability to “influence” potential buyers by endorsing the offerings on social media. There are several factors that indicate whether or not someone is an influencer. However, the most telling one could be that the individual’s followers fit into a particular niche, and there is active engagement between them and the actual influencer.

Rather than just being “marketing tools”, influencers are assets to a company’s social relationships with whom they can collaborate with to accomplish their Marketing goals. This is what makes a social media influencer entirely different form a celebrity endorsement, and perhaps, more successful.

In celebrity product endorsements, there is less of an emphasis on engagement and more on capitalizing on the person’s fame and name recognition to benefit a brand. In short, the objective is to capture the attention of a broader audience, unlike the niche audience of the influencer.

The Cost of Influence

As you may assume, influencers can be costly and there is no set rate for incorporating them into your campaign. It’s a common practice for digital marketers to follow the “one cent per follower rule”. Some marketers know this as the $100 per 10,000 followers rule. Factors to consider include engagement rate, client budget, and campaign lengths. However, according to Instagram Influencer, Matt Crump (who has composed his own rates), creative mandates, production costs, timeline, and rights affect the cost of hiring him for you campaign. Crump explained that the price range per sponsored post varies based on the amount of followers he has during that time period. The price can be as low as $100-$500 for 5-10k followers, and as high as $10,000 for over 1,000,000 followers.

Top Social Media Platforms

It’s important for marketers to identify which platform will bring the greatest Return on Investment for their influencer marketing campaign. According to Linqia, over 68% of marketers recognize Instagram as the most effective social network for an influencer strategy in 2019. Coming in second was Facebook with at 51% with YouTube, Blogs, Pinterest, Twitter, and Snapchat following behind. The takeaway is simple: If you’re considering an Influencer Marketing strategy, Instagram is the place to start!

Similar Article: Social Media Solutions: Understanding the Importance of Social Media Engagement vs. Following

How to Measure Success

Although over 60% of marketers are primarily focused on driving brand awareness, engagement, and impressions (Linqia), it’s still important to track sales generation from such campaigns as well as conversions, audience sentiment and clicks. Since influencer marketing is an ever evolving industry. Marketers need to consistently evaluate their measurement practices to ensure they’re held to the same standards as other media investments.

Similar Article: How To Assess Your Inbound Marketing Plan

3 Examples of Successful Influencer Marketing

Now that you have an understanding of what an influencer is, how much they cost, the top social media platforms to use for your influencer marketing campaign and how to measure its success, it’s time to take a look at influencer marketing strategies in action. The following are four examples of successful influencer marketing:

Naked Juice-When seeking to raise their brand awareness even more, Naked Juice decided to collaborate with Instagram influencers, Beth Norton and Kate La Vie, through sponsored Instagram posts. Kate La Vie features images of her outfits and beauty essentials. This made it easy for the brand to strategically collaborate with her snapshots. The campaign saw much success. According to Social Bond, within 24 hours the Instagram post generated more than 2,000 likes and comments combined. Additionally, this campaign enabled Naked Juice to position themselves as more of a “premium juice” brand. Following the success of the campaign, the company made $57.4 million in revenue by the end of 2017.

Sperry Boat ShoesAt the end of 2016, the popular boat shoe brand, “Sperry” collaborated with more than 100 Instagram “micro-influencers”. The key influencers here were “Sperry Enthusiasts”. To create engaging content with its audience, Sperry identified fans on Instagram who were already sharing pictures of their shoes. Subsequently, the brand invited these users to develop content for its Instagram account. The strategy worked. According to Curalate, Sperry’s most engaged photo of 2016 got 8,278 likes. How did they do this? The photo was taken by influencer Slava Daniliuk who had 4,500 Instagram followers at the time. Additionally, Daniliuk posted with the brand’s trademark hashtag, #OdysseysAwait which increased engagement even more.     

Walmart-As proven by the successful retail company, influencer marketing can also be highly effective when promoting philanthropic incentives as well. Walmart took a “Cause Marketing” approach when embarking on their “Feeding America” mission with several influencers on Instagram. The strategy was simple: For each like, #FightHunger comment, or post share, 0.90 cents would be donated to the organization. Logan Paul’s most liked post from the campaign generated over one million likes. Due to the success of these influencers in the #FightHunger campaign, Walmart raised close to $1.65 million in addition to boosting positive sentiment for their brand.

Similar Article: 5 Examples for Great Social Media Branding 

With the numerous advantages that influencer marketing provides, it’s no secret why so many brands are going with this strategy. As soon as you scroll through your social media feed once again, you’ll come across one of these campaigns. However, you’ll now have a better understanding of what an influencer marketer is and all of the marketing elements involved. 

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Terry Becker
Art Director at Stevens & Tate Marketing
Terry offers over 15 years experience providing web, video design/production and print, as well as marketing and advertising. Battle-tested with regard to client needs. Diversity and understanding in skill set, constant exploration of new technologies, and a passion for personal education. Proven competence and knowledge in the entertainment, healthcare, beauty, sports and real estate industries.