Influencer marketing is emerging to be one of the most profitable marketing strategies in recent times. Just between 2017 and 2019, the size of the worldwide influencer marketing industry is expected to more than double from $1.07 billion to $2.38 billion.
A major source of growth for influencer marketing has been Instagram. The social media platform has over 800 million users and according to recent stats, more than 70% of the users here have looked up various brands on the platform and have expressed a desire to consume their content.
The influencer marketing is also quite easy on your wallet. The cheapest influencer marketing campaigns in the US are estimated to cost just about $500. In India, this figure is expected to be much lower.
If you are a small business owner, here is a short guide on how to make use of Influencer marketing to build a trustworthy brand.
What exactly is influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is the use of trusted social media users to spread the word about your brand. Take PV Sindhu, for example. As one of the best badminton players in the world, Sindhu enjoys unparalleled admiration on social media platforms like Instagram.
This is very similar to celebrity endorsements but with one key difference. The social media influencer for your business does not necessarily have to be a real-world celebrity like PV Sindhu. Even a regular social media user could become an influencer given the impact of their posts on their followers
How to find the right influencer for your business
The follower count of a social media user is often used as a measure of their influence. This is however not true. Padding up one’s follower count with the help of bots and fake followers is not really expensive. A marketer must look at the following parameteres instead pf looking at the absolute number of followers:
Niche followers: Marketers often make the mistake of hiring a social influencer for your business who fits your niche. What matters more however is the niche of the followers.
In the earlier example of PV Sindhu, it is worth pointing out while she is a popular sportsperson, her followers are mostly casual followers of the sport. So while Sindhu’s endorsements may help with brand visibility, they may not necessarily contribute towards sales. This is an important factor to consider since influencer marketing campaigns are mostly one-off in nature and are thus focused on sales than brand exposure.
Campaign frequency: The ideal influencer is one who does not sell too often. An Instagram user whose page is littered with sponsored messages is often not as valuable as one who only posts commercial messages once in a while. Followers are more likely to trust the word of an influencer who does not use the medium to monetize too often.
Engagement: Social media users engage differently with each of the users they follow. Understanding the engagement pattern of followers on an influencer’s posts will help you understand the potential ROI from your campaign. High average engagement triggers higher sales.
Determining a budget
Once you have identified a list of prospective influencers, the next step is to determine the right budget per campaign. Influencers with large follower count cost more than those with a smaller following. Picking one social media influencer for your business from your list can seem tricky.
The answer to your dilemma depends on your current business needs. If you are an established business with a credible brand name, then you may make use of the larger influencers to exert your brand authority. However, if you are still a small business with not enough branding, then you may want to look at smaller influencers.
This is recommended even if you have a larger budget to spend. Small businesses without a brand should focus on conversions. It is better to spend your money on multiple small influencers than reach out to one large influencer.
Instamojo provides influencers with an easy way to share a payment link with marketers without the need for a website. From a marketing perspective too, Instamojo is perfect as it allows you to sell products directly from your influencers’ Instagram or Facebook post. This leaves your customers with a seamless experience that is vital for high conversions.
Author Bio: Anand Srinivasan is the founder of Hubbion, a suite of free business apps and resources. Check out their latest app to schedule meetings at your office space.