Influencer Marketing: Everything You Need to Know

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The past few decades have seen exponential growth in the digital world. Nowadays, business owners have to adapt their business practices to fit the digital world to be able to reach more consumers. When learning about digital marketing, the term influencer marketing gets thrown around a lot. But what is influencer marketing, and why is it so important for your business?

Influencer marketing is defined as a social media marketing strategy between a brand and an Instagram user with a large following. The brand pays the Instagram influencer to advertise their product or service via a post on their feed or story. In return the brand will pay the influencer (or hand out free product to review). This way, the influencer can be paid for their advertising services and the brand will get exposure to their audience, and depending on how popular the influencer is, could reach thousands of eyeballs.

In today’s blog, we’re delving into everything you need to know about influencer marketing, starting with its origin and some tips on do’s and don’ts as a social media marketer or influencer in the business. Let’s get started!

A Closer Look at Influencer Marketing

The origins of influencer marketing can be traced back to the start of social media — particularly Instagram. Influencers started as big figures like Santa Claus promoting big name products in commercials like Coca Cola. From there, celebrities became the major influencers on social media — first in commercials and eventually on social media.

Specifically, in 2010, Instagram became the go-to platform for influencers to promote products due to its visually-focused content. As Instagram continued to grow in number of users, these users continued to gain followers. Soon, there were individuals who garnered large followings organically — not because they paid for them or because they were a celebrity, but because their followers really liked their content.

This is where the true value of influencer marketing is found. You see, if a user follows an influencer because they like their content, this is a genuine connection that is being made between the influencer and their follower. This connection is priceless, and can be used to the advantage of marketers looking for a place to promote their product to an audience that will be receptive and interested organically.

Today, marketers form partnerships with influencers that cater to a similar audience to theirs. Audience targeting has become highly segmented thanks to influencer marketing, and one can easily pinpoint the demographics of these followers. This makes marketing on Instagram a lot easier because the map is drawn out for you.

There are four types of influencers today (these groups know how to get paid on Instagram):

  • Mega-influencers: Have a following of over 1 million
  • Macro-influencers: Have a following between 40,000 and 1 million
  • Micro-influencers: Have a following between 1,000 and 40,000
  • Nano-influencers: Have less than 1,000 followers

The cost to hire an influencer depends on their following on at least one social media platform. The higher their following, the higher the cost.

An influencer can be found on the following platforms:

  • YouTube
  • Blog
  • Podcast
  • Social Media

3 Must-Have Attributes in Influencers

What makes an influencer? Anyone with a large following online has the potential to sell to their audience via a third party and get paid to do so. But what specific attributes will ensure brands and companies slide into your DMs looking for a partnership?

  1. Include your contact information in your bio. This can say something like “For inquiries and partnerships, email XX” and shows you are open to partnerships.
  2. Have a consistent theme on your feed. This makes your profile attractive to marketers because they have a clear sense of who your audience is and if they are a fit.
  3. Be a face for your profile. Don’t be shy to post videos of yourself talking to your audience or create copy that speaks directly to the consumer. Marketers like to know that you are engaged with your followers.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Influencer Marketing

There are many ways you can successfully conduct influencer marketing, but there are also several actions you should try to avoid. Here is our top list of do’s and don’ts when it comes to influencer marketing:

Do:

  • Provide clear direction for promoting the product
  • Pre-write the copy for the post
  • Tag the company or product
  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Agree on what will be posted and frequency
  • Engage with the post

Don’t:

  • Be vague with your marketing goals with the influencer
  • Let the influencer decide where to post and how
  • Misspell the name of the company or product

So, why should we avoid these small actions? Even though they may seem small and harmless, these don’ts can have a very negative affect on your influencer marketing performance.

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