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Tips & Guides — 13 Jul 2022

3 Epic Lessons From Top Brands Using Influencer Marketing

3 Epic Lessons From Top Brands Using Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is helping big and small brands skyrocket their businesses by harnessing the power of social media. According to a Statista report, around 5 million people will be using social media in 2024, which is 36% higher than the current number of social media users. That potential gives influencer marketing more traction.

Various brands have different approaches to influencer marketing. Many smaller brands target one-off projects, while larger brands are more interested in long-term organic relationships with influencers. However, 89% of brands agree that they are interested in influencer marketing.

The question remains: why do top brands swear by influencer marketing?

Well, as you can see below, influencer marketing offers them better ROI than other marketing channels:

What’s more, according to Oberlo:

  • 61% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations;
  • For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, the expected average return is $18;
  • 8 out of 10 consumers have bought something after an influencer recommendation.

So let there be no question about why top brands rely on influencer marketing. In this article, I’ll review three lessons from top brands using influencer marketing to reach millions. 

Let’s dive in.

 

  • 1
    Target Smaller Influencers

When influencer marketing became popular, more and more brands started to put their money into this tactic, and the payment rates for influencer promotions went too high. Top influencers with huge fan followings got especially expensive. But investing in celebrities doesn’t have the best gains in the long run. 

Before diving any further, let’s see the range of followers of each type of influencer:

  • Nano influencers: 1,000 – 5,000 followers;
  • Micro influencers: 5,000 – 20,000 followers;
  • Power / mid-tier: 20,000 – 100,000 followers;
  • Mega influencers: 100,000 – 1 million followers;
  • Celebrities: Over 1 million followers.

Although celebrity influencers have millions of followers, the brands tend to work more with micro-influencers. This category is favored by 77% of brands, as you can see in the chart below.

According to a HypeAuditor report, over 47% of influencers on social media are micro-influencers. But it’s not the only reason brands prefer them to others.

The same survey from HypeAuditor shows that nano influencers have the biggest engagement rates, which is about 56%. The chart below shows us the engagement rate of different types of influencers. It indicates that engagement decreases as the influencer achieves more followers.

It’s clear why top brands like to work with smaller influencers. There’s an ample supply of influencers who are still growing. Plus, they can offer high engagement rates without any paid contracts.

The top brands tend to focus more on turning their fans and community members into brand advocates. According to them, it’s the most effective way to drive more eyeballs to their brand.

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Brands seek out influencers who genuinely use and admire their products. Here, the content creators share something they value and generate engagement, and the brands get more traffic.

Like the top brands, focus on encouraging influencers ready to post more authentic experiences about your brand. These influencers also encourage their followers to talk more about your brand by posting genuine reviews and posts. 

That said, how do you build relationships with micro-influencers?

Your influencer marketing team can take certain steps to reach more influencers who show affinity toward your brand.

For example:

  • Send influencers your products and ask them to use and share their experience with their followers;
  • Create more exciting events and campaigns aligning with the goals of your target influencers;
  • Offer influencers collaborations that’ll benefit them too.

Creative campaigns can help influencers increase their follower bases and engagement. And if you target smaller influencers, you can easily grow alongside them. Also, it’s easier for your team to outreach and onboard influencers of this level.

 

  • 2
    Retain Influencers For Bigger Success

Good influencer retention is an excellent way of generating earned media value (EMV). The influencer retention score indicates the proportion of content creators who have mentioned you in their posts at a specific time and did that before that time.

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A recent metric from Talking Influence shows us that brands with high retention scores grow better than their competitors. They invest their time nurturing existing relationships instead of looking for new ones.

If a famous influencer shares a post about your brand, you may get an instant big bump in engagement. But such one-time shout-outs won’t help much in the long run.

Instead, aim to retain your influencers and encourage your community to post more about you, month after month. It’ll offer better traffic and exposure for your brand than one-time promotions.

When you focus on existing connections, you get more valuable and compelling content from influencers. Bigger brands tend to focus more on retaining influencers because it’s a sustainable way to achieve loads of high-quality content. 

When measuring your influencer retention score, remember that good retention looks different across various industries. Industries with more influencers, such as cosmetics, have higher retention scores. See the following chart for a better understanding:

To create an authentic connection and sustain influencer relationships, don’t tell them what you want them to do right off the bat. Instead, keep in touch with them on social networks, drop comments on their blog posts, ask them questions, share their content and provide value to their audience.

Below are some more detailed points on retaining influencers in the long run:

Show That You’re The Advocate You Say You Are

Show that you totally understand what influencers do, stand for, and their community. Next – engage with them over some time and slowly build rapport of mutual respect and not at the last second when you can’t do without their help. It’s essential to retain influencer relationships.

Ask influencers to collaborate with your brand only after you’ve established a rapport with them. Sure, you might be willing to give them money, but chances are other brands are offering that too. So a relationship will set you apart.

Ensure A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

Both sides need to feel they’ve got a win-win deal out of the collaboration. Otherwise, it wouldn’t sustain. First, decide what sort of opportunity will benefit both parties the most. Whether you’re paying your influencers or not is an essential consideration. 

With most influencers, payment is expected. Some don’t want money but would accept other incentives, such as free access to your product. Sometimes, a frank conversation is called for to ensure both sides like the collaboration.

Avoid Being Overly Demanding

When collaborating with influencers, you need to let go of a certain amount of freedom regarding your brand messaging. Similar to working with a journalist, don’t expect the influencers to present your business just the way you would. 

Plus, their posts won’t be genuine if it’s not aligned with their style of posting. Trust that they know how to connect, convey, and resonate with their target market.

In the end, retaining influencers is easier said than done. It’ll be time-consuming and require a proper plan and tons of hard work. However, this is the right way to go if you want to see your brand on the top list.

 

  • 3
    Track The Key Metrics Of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Top brands care about the results – the numbers. That’s because proper measurement of your campaign performance keeps you out of guesswork. With the correct numbers, you can compare campaign ROI and make better decisions. 

After establishing your plan and relationships with your ideal influencer, here are the key metrics you should be tracking:

Reach And Impressions

When analyzing influencer marketing performance, the foremost metrics to focus on are the average:

  • Reach of every post – the total count of actual people who saw a post.
  • Impressions of every post – the number of times the content was shown, irrespective if it was seen multiple times by the same individual.

Audience Engagement

Before and after you run influencer marketing campaigns, audience engagement is one of the most vital metrics to analyze. That’s because lots of social media algorithms rely on engagement as an anchor to decide how many consumers will see a post.

When evaluating audience engagement, don’t judge it based on raw numbers only. Instead, compare an influencer’s engagement based on their audience size. For instance, micro-influencers should generally offer much more engagement than the influencers with over 1 million followers.

Audience Growth Rate

After an influencer post is published, one key metric to track is the company’s audience growth rate. Assuming the influencer’s company and your company is aligned, there should be upticks in the audience growth alongside their posting schedule.

Brand Mentions

Another crucial metric is the number of brand mentions you get before and after the campaign. You can use a tool like Mention to correlate influencer posts with spikes in brand mentions.

Social Media Traffic

Audience reach and growth are required, but most influencer marketing campaigns also have a CTA to send traffic outside social networks and onto the company’s website. Analyzing this traffic signals you how receptive the audience is to brand collaborations.

Often, it might be the first time the audience sees the brand. Although, if users visit the website, they can be retargeted with value-packed content and converted down the road.

Conversions From Social

Just like traffic from social networks, analyzing conversions is essential to determine influencer marketing ROI. And tracking conversions from these platforms is easy thanks to trackable bit.ly links that can be viewed in Google Analytics.

Revenue From Social

Lastly, measuring the revenue from each influencer and each social channel is essential. You can track this with Google Analytics’ “Goal Value” metric – an optional value assigned to a conversion. 

In influencer marketing, if you offer trackable URLs or discount codes for every influencer, you’ll be able to quantify the exact revenue it’s bringing to the company.

Such key indicators help you know which influencers among your pool are the best for the long run. You’ll be able to create more campaign ideas that bring you significant exposure.

To Wrap It Up

If you’d like to create a spot-on influencer marketing strategy, take these three valuable lessons from the top brands. Build connections with influencers who show genuine interest in your brand. Maintain a good influencer retaining score and keep track of other vital parameters.

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Mehedi Hasan Shoab

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Mehedi is a freelance writer for marketing, SaaS, and personal development businesses. He’s the founder of PowerhouseBlogger. Mehedi is growing businesses with sizzling writing, one piece at a time.