Revisiting influencer marketing and its effectiveness: What you need to know

Influencer marketing is a hot topic among marketing professionals and social media users alike.

People debate if it really works, how to manage it correctly, or whether or not it brings in the right return on investment (ROI).

If these are questions you or your marketing team are asking, then you’re in the right place. This article covers everything you need to know about influencer marketing. By the end of this piece, you’ll know what to plan for and what to be aware of.

First thing’s first: When it comes to revisiting influencer marketing and its effectiveness in 2020, you need to start at the beginning.

Revisiting influencer marketing and its effectiveness in 2020

There are a lot of gray areas with influencer marketing, and that causes a lot of marketing professionals to struggle. In fact, our friends at Campaign Monitor recently put together a comprehensive guide to the current state of small business marketing. When asked which channels small businesses found the most difficult to use, influencer marketing ranked number one. 

Campaign Monitor guide to influencer marketing

Source: Campaign Monitor

Before you and your team can decide if influencer marketing is right for your brand, you must understand the basics. 

What’s influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing focuses heavily on audience and less on content. That's not to say your content doesn’t play a big role, it’s just very important to consider who distributes your content. 

This marketing channel involves utilizing other people's followers to build brand awareness and boost sales. For example, Instagram is known for their mass amounts of influencers that share a variety of products or services with their following. 

Hilary Duff instagram influencer and celebrity

Source: Instagram/Hilary Duff

That said, the art of influencer marketing is really nothing new. Brands who can afford it have been paying celebrities to endorse them for years. However, when it comes to influencer marketing in 2020, it's important to point out that for the average brand, influencer marketing focuses less on celebrities and more on smaller influencers.

Types of influencers

As with any marketing channel, influencer marketers come in several forms. Celebrity influencers are well-known individuals famous for their work in entertainment, politics, and more. 

While these are some of the most sought-out individuals, they’re also the most expensive option and don't always provide the ROI brands hope for. 

For example, an influencer post shared to Instagram by Beyoncé can cost around a million dollars. 

Beyonce influencer instagram post for Pepsi

Source: Instagram/Beyoncé 

Due to the cost of these celebrity endorsements, many brands have opted to use lesser-known influencers — known macro influencers, micro influencers, and power middle influencers. 

Macro influencers are typically those with more than 250,000 followers. While overall reach is more significant here, these advertisements don't always provide the same sense of authenticity as micro influencers (although this is not always the case). Many macro influencers prioritize their followers over brand sponsorships — like up-and-coming makeup mogul Maria Gloria Stark. 

Maria Gloria Stark brand influencer

Source: Facebook/Maria Gloria 

Micro influencers are those with 10,000 followers or less. These people have proven to be more beneficial because they come off more authentic. That's because they just want to build their following and to do that, they know they must nurture relationships with their followers. 

Power middle influencers have between 10,000 and 250,000 followers. This group is ideal for most brands because they have a very intimate and engaged audience with excellent reach.

When it comes to determining your brand's ideal influencer, ask yourself a few questions:

  • What's my niche?

  • What's my end goal? (To build brand awareness? Increase sales?)

  • Who’s my target audience?

Once you answer these, then you can start narrowing down to the perfect influencer group for you. Ideally, your choice will share your brand's goals and mission. Otherwise, the campaign won't seem authentic to anyone. 

How effective is influencer marketing?

While influencer marketing continues to be a channel that befuddles many, its use shows how effective it can be. 

Studies show that influencer marketing has an average ROI that’s 11 times greater than other digital media channels and has the potential of generating $11.69 for every $1 spent

effective stats on influencer marketing

Source: Mediakix

If this channel is so tricky, how can nearly 80% of marketers find it effective to some degree? Well, when done right, influencers can help your brand in several ways, including:

  • Increase new traffic to your website or landing pages

  • Drive conversions

  • Build brand awareness

In fact, the same study showed that 71% of marketing professionals agreed that this channel brought in higher-quality traffic than many other forms of digital marketing.

effectiveness of influencer posts stats

Source: Mediakix

How to get influencer marketing right (and see real results)

Influencer marketing is one of those channels that requires quite a bit of trial and error before you can get it right. That said, you don't have to go in blind. Instead, consider these four steps to set up your campaign. 

1. Know the ‘Rs’

As a marketing professional, you likely already have an excellent understanding of the four Ps of marketing. Now, when it comes to influencer marketing, you'll want to learn the three Rs:

  • Reach: The total number of people you have the potential of reaching thanks to the influencer's following.

  • Relevance: Influencers who share content related to your niche. For example, if you’re selling a music subscription service, it would make sense to connect with an up-and-comer in the music industry. 

  • Resonance: The potential level of engagement your chosen influencer could create. 

2. Know your target audience

Now it's time to revisit your audience. This shouldn't be difficult, considering you need to have a carefully defined target audience for your brand to thrive. 

Ideally, you want to define your ideal audience in terms of:

  • Gender

  • Age

  • Geolocation

  • Interests or hobbies

Defining these will help determine a good influencer. After all, those who follow gamer PewDiePie are very different from those who follow Kim Kardashian West.

examples of influencers. PewDiePie and Kim Kardashian

Source: PewDiePie Instagram/Kim Kardashian West Instagram

3. Research influencers who share your beliefs and values

Once you’ve identified your audience, you can jumpstart your research into the ideal social media influencer to partner up with. These individuals have likely already run through the same process to learn their target market. 

That only gives you a starting point, though. Just because you share an audience with an influencer doesn't necessarily mean that person shares the same beliefs, values, and goals as your brand. That's why you first conduct a thorough search. 

4. Know your campaign goals

Finally, before you start contacting influencers about your campaigns, you need to carefully define your campaign goals. This will then help the influencer know how to work with you and your products or services.

Wrap up 

Revisiting influencer marketing and its effectiveness in 2020 is an essential part of a quality digital marketing strategy. Not only has influencer marketing changed quite a bit over the last few years, but — when used correctly — professionals have also found it an effective channel. 

Considering adding influencer marketing to your strategy? Keep these four steps in mind:

  • Know the Rs

  • Know your audience

  • Research influencers

  • Know your goals

Are you ready to dial your marketing game up a notch? Request your live demo with Emma today.

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Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. With our​​ powerful automation and personalization features, you can create and send email campaigns that reach the right customer at just the right time. It's email marketing that works for you.

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