Influencer Marketing vs Content Marketing

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A lot of marketers excited by the idea of influencer marketing might be forgiven for thinking that they can just give up their content marketing efforts. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both strategies are essential for a successful business in 2018.

Content Marketing

Content marketing refers to any piece of content that is created by a business in order to promote it. There are different goals for content, but the main ones are to get more:

  • Traffic
  • Subscribers
  • Sales
  • Brand Reach

Depending on the goal, you then create various pieces of content, such as:

  1. Blog posts
  2. Video
  3. Sale letters
  4. Podcasts
  5. Infographics

And so on.

All of the content at your site can lure traffic and give prospective customers a clearer idea of who you are and what you do. Words on a page, or tags/keywords will also signal to search engines what your page and site and content are all about.

The same is true on social media sites. Publishing a video on Facebook, for example, can boost your visibility eight-fold. But you also need to use keywords in your title, descriptions of the video and tags in order for your content to get discovered.

All of the content you generate should help position you as an expert in your niche or industry.

Once you’ve created an attractive blog and well-organized social media accounts, you will be ready for influencer marketing.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can speed up the process of getting your content discovered, but of course you need to create it in the first place. With influencer marketing, you are not trying to connect with thousands of potential customers. You are trying to connect via quality content with influencers who have a large following related to your niche or industry in the hope that they will pass along your content to their followers. You are also engaging with their content by following them, and creating your own content in response, such as comments.

By targeting influencers, you are going after what is termed social proof: likes, reviews, testimonials and recommendations on the social networks. Studies have shown that these are far more trusted by consumers than any marketing material that a company might generate. It is only by positioning yourself as an expert first that influencers might be willing to start paying attention to you, and perhaps even give you the benefit of the doubt and try one of your products.

They will also respect your engagement with them more. Making helpful comments about things they post about is one way of gradually getting their attention. As long as you are not spammy and don’t appear as if you are trying to take over their account, they should be happy to hear from people like you who are in the know.

You might even get the chance to guest blog for them, offering quality content that will have your name and a link back to your site, for more traffic and prestige. They might be willing to add you to their Pinterest boards, for example, as a contributor. You could even be invited to do an Instagram or Snapchat account takeover for a day, which would give you even more brand exposure.

Influencers are a shortcut to accessing potential customer you might otherwise not reach. But if you do manage to connect with them, they will want to see evidence that you are worth paying attention to. Use both content marketing and influencer marketing and see what a difference it can make to your business.

Useful Tools for Influencer Marketing

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There are a number of free or cheap tools that can help you start and maintain influencer marketing campaigns. They are an affordable alternative to using software or an agency to connect with influencers.

In most cases, you should know your niche well enough to find at least a few influencers worth interacting with who can help you grow your business. In other cases, a little research can go a long way to finding just the right influencers that fit your brand. Here are some suggestions.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo tracks social media buzz. Search for your niche and discover who the top movers and shakers are. Then find them on social media, check their number of followers, and determine the best place/s to engage with them, depending on your target audience. Depending on your target audience, for example, you can connect with older people through Facebook Groups. With younger people, try Snapchat and Instagram.

Deep Social

This tool helps you dig deeply into Instagram influencers. While it is true that Instagram influencers don’t have the same number of followers as larger social networks, studies have shown that is the most influential, and extremely popular with consumers 18 to 30. Type in a search term to get started with the detailed reporting. There are free and paid levels of service for this tool.

Discover.ly

This is a Chrome browser extension that helps you see your social media connections in one place so you can manage them. It links up with many popular sites, including

Google+, Klout, and FourSquare. You can also search to see if any of your existing contacts have connections with influencers in your niche. In this case, you might be able to ask for an introduction if you think the influencer is a good fit for your business.

Tweetdeck

Tweetdeck is Twitter’s free social media dashboard that will help you manage all your tweets. You can use its search features to find mentions of you or your competition, hashtags, and more, which can help you locate influencers who will be a good fit for your business. You can even track people who have a large number of re-tweets, which is usually a pretty good sign of a large following and influence over that following.

Alltop

Alltop can help you find influential blogs, forums and more. The tool aggregates blog posts, which are curated people, not by algorithms. Each day, these people search for the top blog posts each day in particular niches. This should help you connect with influential bloggers who are a good fit for your business.

You can use it to find the top posts in your niche, which should help give you an idea of the most influential blogs on your topic.

Klout

Klout measures your influence by awarding a social media score between 1 and 100 based on your activities at the top networks. Top Klout scores include Barack Obama at 99 and Katy Perry at 92. The average person has a score of 40. Take time to find influencers in your niche and connect with ones who have the highest score. Use the Klout extension for Chrome to see everyone’s Klout score appear beside their name when you log on at your Twitter account.

GroupHigh Monthly Influencer Lists

This site creates lists based on niches. While some of the lists are old, topics like sports, parenting, pet and technology influencers can help serve as inspiration for you to find the right connections for your business.

Luxury Brands x Influencer Marketing

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Influencer marketing is a good fit for luxury brands, provided that the influencers they select make sense for the brand. Luxury brands have used celebrities for years in their ads, dating back to the early days of Hollywood. They still have brand representatives like Nicole Kidman and David Beckham to visually help them sell their products.

So, it should come as no surprise that drafting in influencers who are style and taste-makers and on top of trends can work well when it comes to marketing luxury brands. It is a great way to boost buzz around every new product launch, and keep the brand in the public eye.

It is also important because luxury is in the eye of the beholder. A Rolex watch is expensive, for example, but many people would prefer to own one good watch than an endless succession of cheap ones that break.

In addition, shoppers 18 to 30 follow influencers eagerly, and are willing to pay more for something with a higher perceived value, such as a Rolex.

The Secrets of Success with Influencer Marketing

The main trick with influencer marketing, no matter what you sell, is to think long-term relationships, not just “selling stuff”. You will want your chosen influencer to be eager to hear from you and see your latest products. You need to interact with them in such a way as to add value to their content in the eyes of their audience.

This means influencer marketing is much more of a 2-way street, with them interacting with you, not just you pushing content to them, and them pushing it out to their followers. Turning key influencers into brand ambassadors can give you a significant boost in brand reach and sales. This can involve their making suggestions, giving feedback, and conducting polls about what you are working on, your packaging, and so on.

Innovating

Innovation can happen in terms of who you work with and what luxury items you are able to offer to a discerning crowd. It can also mean jumping on new social platforms if they start to emerge as leading players. For example, Instagram has become the most popular network for working with influencers.

Innovation can also mean using new tools, such as Instagram Stories, Polls, and Live to connect with consumers like never before.

Advertising

Luxury brands can also boost their best posts, for even more reach. It’s easy to pick a winner after it’s been promoted through influencer marketing. This ensures a better return on investment than just creating an ad from scratch and hoping for the best.

Organizing your Influencer Marketing

It’s essential to get organized before you try to use influencer marketing for your luxury brand. You need to identify what people on which networks will best represent your brand. Then you need to follow and interact with them in a helpful, not spammy way. Over time, they will start to see you, and pay attention to what you do. This is where they might be willing to learn more about your products and services, try them, like them, and pass along your information to their followers.

Since influencers will all have large followings anyway, engaging with their content will always make you more visible. But in some cases, influencers are actually willing to advertise for you as well, at relatively reasonable rates. New software and services to connect with influencers, track activity and make sure influencers get paid, will become increasingly common in the next couple of years as influencer marketing grows. But for now, start doing your research and connect with influencers that match your luxury brand, and see what a difference it can make to sales.

Influencer Marketing Calculator

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When discussing an influencer marketing calculator, there are two types. The first is a calculator such as Instagram that can estimate how much you can earn as an influencer if you have a good number of followers and are willing to accept product placements/ads from third parties to recommend to your audiences. There are a number of tools that can help, and more are being added all the time as influencer marketing becomes more mainstream and hardworking bloggers and social media figures want to start earning money for all their efforts.

The second type is related to calculating the return on investment of your influencer marketing. There are a number of tools that can help you track and test your results. In this article, we will be discussing this latter type of calculation.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Influencer marketing can be one of the best ways to extend your brand reach without it costing you a lot of money. Most influencers don’t charge a fee in relation to working with your content. They are happy to get it in order to satisfy their followers and show that they are “in the know” in their niche or industry.

Having said that, any content creation does take time and effort. Measuring your ROI in terms of the goals you set for the work you are doing, and what your results are, is essential if you want to make smart decisions about where to expend the most effort.

Choosing the Right Influencers

It all starts with choosing the right influencers who will be a good fit for your brand and goals. It might be tempting to aim for a top celebrity, often referred to as a macro influencer, because they have so many followers (more than a million). But studies have shown that businesses using influencer marketing tend to get more engagements and a better ROI from micro influencers who have fewer than 1 million followers. This could be because micro influencers tend to publish more niche-related content that is high quality and their followers appreciate this and pay more attention as a result. The micro influencer isn’t just posting lots of reviews and recommendations all the time, they are being selective.

Setting Your Goal

You can only calculate your ROI if you first set a goal. Will it be engagement, traffic or sales?

Track the Right Metrics

Once you have set the goal, you need to track the right metric. For engagement, you will be able to see likes, comments and shares. For traffic, set up a special landing page for each influencer campaign and check your logs. For sales, check your sales reports. You can also provide a special coupon code to help track the success of the campaign.

Calculating the ROI

If you have been given a free mention by an influencer, then your only cost has been the time it took to put together the campaign and track it. Decide what your time is worth, or that of a freelancer. Deduct it from your total value of sales made. If you were measuring traffic and profits, calculate the potential value of those visitors. One way to do this might be to send them to a page to subscribe to an email newsletter. You could then estimate that value of each subscriber on that list, such as $1 per month.

If you are paying an influencer for a mention, subtract how much you paid, such as $100, from your total value in sales. If you made $2,000 in sales, that would be a total profit of $1,900.

So, (1900/100) x 100=1900% ROI

Set up a spreadsheet with this formula and you can calculate every campaign easily. Eventually, once the money is coming in, it might make sense for you to subscribe to one of the calculator tools available online to help track all your campaigns and ROI.

How Effective is Influencer Marketing?

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Influencer marketing is one of the latest trends in online marketing. But how effective is it, really, and can it work for your business?

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing can be defined as marketing which is focused on getting the attention of influencers, that is, prominent people in a niche or industry. They usually have a large following on social media, so the theory is that if you can get them to pay attention to your brand, products and services, they will pass along your information and make recommendations to their followers. In this way, you can gain traffic, subscribers and sales.

The Importance of Engagement as a Social Media Metric

Social media engagement, such as Likes, Comment and Shares, are an indication to Facebook and your own marketing team as to how well your posts are resonating with your target audience. Increasing engagement, especially shares, will help spread the word about all your business has to offer.

Targeting an influencer has the potential to give you a lot more brand reach and engagement, providing you are not too “spammy”, and your company is a good fit for what they commonly talk about in their posts. If you sell pet products, you don’t want to target a top sports personality, for example, no matter how many followers they have, unless they have a clear track record with respect to animal welfare, rescue and so on.

Engaging with an Influencer

You can follow pretty much anyone online, but posting too often can start to seem like spamming or even stalking. If you are going to engage with their content, make sure everything you contribute is short, helpful, and demonstrates your expertise in your niche.

Social Proof

Another important reason to engage with influencers and hopefully build a relationship with them is something called social proof. Studies have shown that people trust recommendations about products when they come from their peers, even though they might barely know the person in their network, as compared with marketing material that a business publishes.

This being the case, reviews, testimonials and positive comments are essential for getting prospective customers to try your products, because it lowers the risk of being disappointed or scammed. Influencers can help lend your business credibility, but only if they are a trustworthy source of information and are not recommending everything under the sun.

Who Pays Attention to Influencers?

The short answer is anyone interested in a particular niche or topic will always follow at least a couple of influencers and pay attention to what they do, say, and recommend.

Having said that, the youngest generations of shoppers rely heavily on influencer input. In fact, a large percentage of their social media activity is to check out influencers, and to see what is trending. They want things that really work, and are willing to pay a reasonable price for them. They are also willing to share their experiences, both positive and negative, with others, giving influencer marketing a magnifying effect.

How Effective is Influencer Marketing?

Surveys of marketers currently using influencer marketing show that 94% of them find it effective, with 11 times more return on investment than traditional advertising. They report that influencer marketing drives content about their brand and niche, traffic, sales and engagement, all in a cost-effective manner. Add to that the chance to reach younger consumers, as we just mentioned, and influencer marketing could be just what you are looking for to extend the reach of your brand.

Essentials of Social Media Marketing

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Though it might seem easy, there’s more to social media marketing than simply sharing a post to Instagram followers. Before taking a dive into social media marketing, brands should be aware of the essentials—so they don’t waste their money, their time, or their content.

Micro-influencers are important

Influence by Newswire has always been ready to stress this point: though you might reasonably assume that a bigger number of followers equals bigger impact, micro-influencers actually offer a higher ROI than costly influencers with large followings. Before establishing your strategy and reaching out to all the big names on the Internet, be aware of the costs and benefits, and keep in mind the significance and effectiveness of influencers with slightly smaller but still substantial audiences.

Specificity is just as important!

Similarly, be aware that social media, as expansive and wide-reaching as it is, contains pockets of interests. In appealing to an audience through social media, you must utilize influencers across all platforms of social media who will most convincingly advertise your product or service, and to an audience that would be most receptive to buying it. This means that if you’re a home decor business, you should be reaching out to the more obscure interior design bloggers over fashion bloggers, food bloggers, or anything else too general or unrelated. Niche influencers, sites, or pages will draw in niche and therefore more interested consumers.

Even then, listen and figure out what audiences want

So you’ve established specific audiences across social media platforms that you can market to, knowing that they have the greatest chance of being interested in your product. Still, you can’t take them, or the power of social media marketing, for granted. Listen to what audiences have to say, and pay attention to what they’re interested in, the trends that appeal to them, and what they expect out of a brand. Let all of this influence the type of content you put out, and how you put it out.

The importance of cross-sharing

Finally, the most basic essential of all: ensure easy cross-sharing across all social media platforms. Easy buttons or links to share across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Twitter, and everything in between is essential to getting the word out about your brand, and making the most out of a single post on one platform. If your content is good, the quality will show, and you will attract followers and consumers regardless of the app or website.

Influence by Newswire not only guides you through the essentials of social media marketing, beyond the handful listed above—we’ll help you achieve them. Interested in promoting your brand? Click here.

How to Compensate Your Influencer(s)

 

So you’ve found someone who you want to promote your campaigns-great! They’re going to constantly be talking about how great your brand is, but they will seek compensation. There are a variety of compensation options, such as:

  • Financially- Often, influencers are being paid sums of money to promote a brand to their audience. This is probably the most common way to engage influencers
  • Promoting them- You can share their campaigns on your social media as well, which helps them gain followers and can be a win for both parties
  • Discounts and giveaways- Give influencers your products for little to no cost
  • Commissions- Giving influencers financial compensation, however instead of paying them for doing the campaign, you pay them depending on how many individuals they successfully reach. This is a good way to work with smaller influencers.