Digitization is a revolution that has touched every industry and domain since its advent. Online space has become crucial for businesses towards sustenance, growth, diversification, revenue generation, and many more areas. This development has been influential towards the way businesses function in the modern world. This can increase the need for intelligent marketing strategies and techniques for businesses to flourish.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is the new marketing approach that gives a better outcome. It is the form of marketing that puts focus on prominent and influential people instead of a target audience segment for an entire market. These people are identified based on the influence they have on a group of potential customers. The orientation of marketing activities around such people aids in better brand recognition and conversion rates.
Influencer content drives influencer marketing. It is a type of testimonial advertising wherein potential buyers or third parties provide remarks or recommendations to a brand.
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
According to recent developments, influencer marketing is proving to be effective in marketing strategies in multiple ways.
• The prime benefits of influencer marketing are the targeted exposure of the brand to the right audience. So, this aids in extending the brand name to potential customers with better chances of actual sales. It is very useful for designing enhanced brand or product campaigns. It adds a positive label to the brand value by creating a trustworthy image. This increases the probability of people becoming actual customers of the brand. It touches the essential element of brand value.
• Audience engagement is essential to draw in attention. A good marketing content that has thoughts and recommendations by recognized people act as effective celebrity endorsement to the business. The product and services can be represented in an appropriate manner by influencers to the target audience. Hence, it makes this approach more reliable and effective.
• It can be very helpful in boosting the SEO for the business. Domain Authority (DA) plays a key role in influencing the rank. It is the website score with respect to the relevance and usefulness of the content. The DA scores improve if some high-authority websites or entities link to the brand website. If a credible influencer has a high-authority website then it increases the probability of coming in the search results.
• Influencer marketing can be very effective in shaping purchasing decisions. The online influencers can be very helpful towards driving sales. It has been a common observation that people look for a recommendation from recognized people before buying a certain product and availing services. As per published sources, a survey revealed that 40% of consumers buy a product after seeing reference from a social media influencer.
• This marketing approach is effective for a brand despite the business size. Customization is available as per the budget of the business and requires a level of planning to project the right message for the brand. Influencer marketing can positively work for the business through proper influencer identification. This approach is affordable.
There are certain influencer marketing stats that show the augmented effects of the same in recent times.
• As per the experts and publishes sources, it has been observed that around 70% of the teenagers are inclined towards influencers in terms of reliability rather than popular celebrities. They find influencer more trustworthy when it comes to service choices or purchase decisions.
• Another study reveals that close to 90% of women depend on social media for buying advice. They look for ideal customers or references and what they have to say about a brand before making the actual purchase. Women refer to influencer posts on Facebook and Instagram regarding a brand or products. Also, considering the overall scenario, close to two-thirds of the people rely on social media for purchase decisions.
• In the fashion and beauty segment, close to 60% of companies are actively engaging in influencer marketing for better customer acquisition. This marketing strategy is contributing prominently in business growth.
Hence with the above trends gearing up in the global arena, it is evident that influencer marketing is set to take on every industry and domain. The businesses from across the world are keen on investing in this approach and make it a part of the business growth strategy. As a result, the influencer marketing industry is likely to reach USD 10 billion by end of 2020.
B2B Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has its proven benefits in the B2B segment. The referral and word of mouth play a vital role in business success and sustenance in the long run. Majority of the B2B transactions are directly influenced by the word of mouth element. Online reviews play an alternate role in word of mouth advertising. From the statistics, it is evident that more than 70% of customers rely on online reviews for actual purchases.
A well crafted B2B influencer marketing strategy can be beneficial to companies in many ways. Apart from establishing the professional credibility standpoint, there are two other prominent utilities. It contributes significantly to the brand recognition perspective by increasing the reach of the brand. In addition to that, it also aids in the expansion of the professional network. This can be crucial towards achieving business goals in the long run.
With all the benefits highlighted, it is important to note that a B2B marketing influencer strategy should be crafted with diligence for the desired outcome. Therefore, the information sent out in this approach should be genuine. It is essential to look for influencers who have a stable reputation that is built on experience and meaningful insights.
Social Media Influencer Marketing
Social media has become an important branding arena for all businesses since its launch. The global population is more active on social media platforms than any other website. Hence to reach out to such a widespread potential customer base, proper influencers can be very helpful. In fact, social media influencer marketing taps into this customer base through a set of appropriate influencers.
Social media influencers play a vital role in this approach. The middle-level influencers such as bloggers have a small section of audience loyal to them. Consequently, tapping into this area through social influencer marketing is effective towards creating a stable customer base. The influencers share their experience with the brand or its products. This creates a positive impression for the company in front of a mass audience. A recent study suggests that nearly 90% of customers are inclined toward peer recommendation than advertisements. The customers read product reviews more closely than product information for making purchases online.
There are certain measures to create a social media influencer marketing strategy.
• Identification of the business goals is essential. This helps in streamlining the marketing strategy through the proper recognition of influencers.
• The experience shared by the influencers is important rather than a plain product review. It aids in generating better customer responses.
• Visual representation goes a long way in creating a positive impression. The high-resolution pictures have a better impact and influencer review validation.
• The quality of the content and specific topics is important.
With all these factors in mind, it is essential to discuss popular social media influencer marketing platforms.
Facebook is currently one of the top contenders in the social media influencer marketing list. There are certain reasons for this preference. Facebook is the most admired social media platform across the globe. Hence the audience engagement quotient is very high in this case. This facilitates the extensive outreach for the brands on a large scale. It proves to be effective in drawing in potential customers and conversion into actual sales. Facebook also provides a built-in analytics tool named Facebook Insights. It helps in managing and monitoring Facebook influencers and a better understanding of the demographics. Hence Facebook influencer marketing is a favorable choice for influencer marketing.
Twitter is another mode of influencer marketing that can prove to be effective for brands. The platform has approximately more than 300 million active users and nearly 500 million tweets in a day. However, in order to optimize influencer marketing through Twitter, it is essential to identify the ideal influencers as per categories. The platform does segmentation as per audience, topic and campaign type. In order to gain maximum from this marketing approach, the business needs to be equipped with proper tools. In order to find potential influencers on Twitter, tools such as HYPR, BuzzSumo and such like can be insightful. Twitter influencer marketing is effective for a business-centric campaign.
Youtube Influencer Marketing
Youtube influencer marketing is an approach that caters to multiple elements of business growth. An influencer campaign on Youtube can be useful for increasing customer acquisitions and augmenting brand awareness. If a brand is looking for visual representation of its products or services, Youtube can be the best bet for the same. The influencers on this platform can play a crucial role through direct response advertisements. While choosing influencers on this platform, the company needs to take into consideration the brand fit, target demographic and budget.
Instagram is the second most popular social media platform right behind Facebook. Hence it is one of the preferred choices for influencer marketing. Due to its massive reach and increased engagement quotient, Instagram influencer marketing can be constructive for brands. The platform witnesses approximately 1000 follower interactions per post on an average. The micro influencers prefer this platform. In order to find the most suitable influencers on this platform, the company needs to find the branded and most relevant hashtags. This approach is essential to campaign success and achieving the desired goal.
Influencer Marketing Tools
There are some popular influencer marketing tools which are very effective in recent times.
Upfluence is a comprehensive tool for influencer marketing. It performs all the tasks associated with the same. Upfluence is capable of searching and finding influencers, effective management of campaigns as well as influencer list and monitoring and analysis of the influencer campaign. It takes a bottom-up approach towards finding the influencers. Hence, it is more relevant and the identification is done on the basis of the audience. Hence Upfluence can be very valuable towards increasing the conversion rates in the long run.
BuzzSumo has top of the line content research capabilities. But it can prove to be useful towards influencer identification as well. There are two filter options for influencer search through BuzzSumo. There are author bio and the content shared filter. It provides detailed information about influencers with respect to the website DA, Twitter follower count, a list of content shared, retweet and reply ratio and such like.
GroupHigh is an influencer marketing tool that combines the functionalities of influencer search as well as outreach. It gains support from an extensive database that holds information related to more than 15 million bloggers. There are user-friendly filters that can be helpful towards influencer search in terms of location, social media networks and such like. There is another advanced filter option for influencer search. It is based on campaign needs. Likewise, it can identify total reach, Twitter follower count or promotion tactics.
HYPR is a prominent influencer marketing tool that is a pioneer in social media analytics. It is an advanced mechanism that gives useful insight into the customer demographics, geographical influence and such like. There are certain feature benefits of this tool.
• HYPR provides access to more than 10 million influencer profiles which has detailed contact information also.
• There is indexing of over a billion social media profiles with more than 35 name and public databases, image detection and natural language processing. HYPR is a dependable asset for connecting brands with relevant influencers.
• The tool is capable of measuring the Return On Investment (ROI) factors like outreach, engagement quotient and amplification per post.
• It measures various KPIs of the campaigns such as a number of views, client conversations etc.
• HYPR has built-in highly sophisticated algorithms. These help in making effective business decisions of partnering with most helpful influencers.
ASPIREIQ is a subscription-based influencer marketing platform. The previous name was Revfluence. The tool is for social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Youtube, and blogs. The tool acts as a powerful influencer identification and marketplace instrument.
• It houses access to more than 5 lakh influencer profiles based on the parameters of demographics, quality of the content and audience.
• The major features of the platform are creating effective campaigns, high-end analytics, and advanced product tracking.
• The “Quickmatch” features help in finding the influencers as per the preference of the brands.
• There are three plans available. First of all, the basic plan allows a single user with one active campaign and complete access to the database, recommendation engine, campaign and influencer organization tools, and analytics. The “Pro” plan has certain additional benefits along with the basic plan. The “Enterprise” plan permits access to a complete set of functionalities including “Success Manager”.
BuzzStream is useful for extensive influencer search. It assists to conduct outreach campaigns for better brand awareness and conversion rates.
• The user can search influencer relevant to the purpose with the help of certain advanced filter options. The search is refined as per language, geographic location, and content type. The results are prioritized based on different matrices including PageRank, MozRank, DA and such like.
• Complete influencer profiles are available. It shows the online presence of the influencer with respect to social media profiles and site matrix.
• There are a bunch of functions that reduce the effort of marketing. There are built-in email templates, automatic follow-up process, and reminders.
• Valuable insights on the performance of the outreach campaigns. It helps in streamlining marketing efforts.
Influencer marketing tool FameBit is targeted at Youtube content creators. It effectively connects the brands with the most appropriate influencers based on specific requirements. Google bought FameBit in 2016. It helps in spreading the word out to a larger audience segment. Therefore, one can get access to a large section of writers, producers, and distributors for a better impression.
• FameBit makes it easy for companies to draft campaigns. It is done as per the guidelines of the content, price point and choice of social media platforms. Hence custom campaigns are created in line with business requirements.
• In order to designate oneself as an influencer one needs to have at least 5000 followers.
• The brands can post their requirements on this platform. Accordingly, interested influencers respond to the post. The content type is the deciding factor for the final association of the brand with the influencer.
• When the brand approves of the content, the influencers share the same among the audience. It aids in augmenting engagement and increase sales in the long run.
Pitchbox is prominently known as a content marketing platform for customer outreach. Therefore, it is useful for publishers, marketers, and brands.
• Brands can find influencers based on an intricate keyword search function. It provides access to the most popular influencers in a segment based on the social media profiles, website URLs and other factors.
• There is an option to create and launch customized outreach campaigns so that to get in touch with the most relevant and authoritative influencers in the segment.
• Apart from being an effective influencer marketing tool, it also aids in sending automated emails and follow-ups to the influencers. It is useful for an increased response rate so that the brands do not miss out on prospects.
• It provides valuable insights that can be used for designing the strategy of the outreach campaigns. Furthermore, the performance of the campaigns improves based on such insights.
HireInfluence created Advowire in the year 2014. It mainly targets social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and such like. The brands are charged based on a credit system for connecting with the influencers.
• It is more than a search and pitching platform. Additionally, it acts as an interactive tool for content creators. There is an option for collaboration, promotion, and exploring of industry events.
• Advowire has a feature rich UI with a diverse set of functionalities. It provides detailed influencer analytics to the brands. This aids in better search of influencers for effective outreach.
• There are four tiers of subscription for this influencer marketing platform. The basic plan is free of charge and acts as a trial with 25 credits.
• The Premium plan gives access to event promotion and broadcasting. The Professional plan provides access to the Influencer Search Engine. The Agency plan encompasses all features along with Twitter Blast Campaigns.
Openinfluence was previously known as InstaBrand. Finally, it was renamed in 2017. It is an influencer marketing tool that has a database of 1 lakh influencers. The targeted social media platforms of this tool are Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube.
• The main focus of Openinfluence is towards mobile usage patterns and the primary target platforms are Snapchat and Instagram.
• It has a powerful search engine which is capable of recognizing 5 million keywords and 3 million mentions. Therefore, it aids in the most appropriate influencer search for a brand.
• The influencer comparison is done based on detailed information and analytics. There is an option to build influencer communities as per the brand requirement.
• There are advanced algorithms and information helping in monitoring the influencer performance with respect to a project or a campaign.
• It also has content analytics functionality. Additionally, it can analyze content performance. The tools have specific search filters for content attributes.
Klear is a prominent influencer marketing and social media analytics platform. There are three main functions of this tool. Social media monitor, competitive intelligence and influencer marketing. It was established in 2011 which channels over 2 million visitors per month.
• The companies can use this tool based on subscription plans. The basic plan is free of charge. It has limited influencer search options.
• The advanced plan has a host of functionalities. Brands can look for influencers in a particular category. One can effectively monitor campaigns and manage relationships. Additionally, Klear provides the opportunity for working one on one with every influencer.
• There is a plan for startups and is a budget-friendly option. It has limited search options and there is a limit on the number of influencers.
• There are 60,000 categories for sorting influencer profiles. Furthermore, there is a scope to monitor the social performance for competitive analysis.
Julius is one of the most sophisticated and comprehensive influencer marketing solutions in the segment. There are some prominent functionalities of this tool.
• Influencer identification is easy and convenient with Julius. There are more than 50 search filters which aid in finding influencers according to the target audience and brand category. It aids in aligning marketing strategies with accurate social media matrices. Additionally, it is supported by data-driven insights from high-end CRM tools.
• The tool provides detailed influencer profiles. There is information available with respect to the audience and demographic data. Hence, the businesses can determine the people following the influencer.
• Efficient campaign management system is in place. One can effortlessly create and manage the campaigns as per requirement. It has notes, custom tags and active monitoring system for effective organization and workflow streamlining. One can upload past data related to the influencer and track posts for performance observation.
Brandbacker platform is a targeted influencer marketing tool that focuses on certain specific industries. The industries in the spotlight are men’s apparel, women health, and beauty, lifestyle, travel, and food. The database of this platform houses nearly 30,000 influencers and creators.
• It provides precise influencers beneficial to a brand. The searching and sorting are done based on demographics, location, and group and influence level.
• The businesses can create meaningful content in association with the influencers. This aids in increasing brand recognition by reaching out to the customers in an appropriate manner. The purchase decisions can be influenced by this approach.
• The brands can collaborate with influencers through articles, reviews, social campaigns, surveys, and live events. As a result, there is an effective product promotion.
• Smart analytics is available on influencers and the published content. It helps the brands to gain a competitive edge in the market. There are effective tools to measure customer outreach, engagement and media value statistics.
InNetwork is an influencer-centric platform. In this influencer marketing tool, the influencers get the choice for using this platform. There is an intricate screening process for accessing this platform. The important parameters in this platform are quality and loyalty, rather than just the number of followers.
• This platform facilitates identification and collaboration with the most appropriate influencers. There is a database of more than 11,000 influencers. Additionally, there are 15 search filters to precisely identify the most relevant influencers for the brand.
• It is a high-quality platform for campaign creation and management. It facilitates streamlined collaboration so that importance is given to the content.
• There are advanced influencer analytics and reporting functionality. It has both onsite and offsite tracking mechanism. Hence, the company can measure the performance of content and result in influencer marketing ROI.
• InNetwork is mainly associated with Twitter and different blogs. It has a project calendar that is useful for managing campaigns and other tasks.
IZEAx Unity Suite is a popular influencer marketing tool by IZEA. It is a sophisticated branding and influencer marketing mechanism.
• IZEA has high-end search and filter options to find the right influencers for the brand. It allows influencer search with respect to demographics, location, and other criteria. Additionally, there is a visual search option also, known as the VizSearch.
• It showcases a detailed profile for the influencers. The platform shows earlier posts of the influencers and a detailed biography.
• There are tools to measure the audience following trajectory. It allows comparison of certain channel average engagement rates in order to determine the better performers.
• IZEA is powered by a ranking system. It assigns creator scores that allow the brands to locate the appropriate influencers for a specific target or strategy.
• It offers custom listing function. One can build roasters for the most preferred creators and send an invitation to multiple creators for a specific goal.
With competition rising in the online space, new marketing strategies are increasingly becoming important each day. Influencer marketing is a fresh and competent approach to business growth. It is a powerful tool for brand recognition and customer outreach. It is beneficial for any business. A larger number of businesses will recognize the importance of influencer marketing in long run.