Guest post by Shane Barker
Influencer marketing is a proven tactic to amplify brand reach, reputation, and engagement. When done right, it can even boost qualified leads, conversions, and brand advocacy. That’s why influencer marketing occupies a place of pride in most digital marketing mixes. Here’s a crash course on influencer marketing facts to boost your marketing results!
First of all, check out how marketers ranked influencer marketing in a Linqia survey:
As you can see, influencers are even more important to marketers than old marketing reliables like display advertising.
However, the rules of influencer marketing are evolving fast. You need to stay abreast of the latest influencer marketing facts before you venture into this space. And that’s precisely what I will be discussing in this post.
What Most Marketers Don’t Know about Influencers
Influencer marketing is no mystery, but it differs from traditional marketing in many ways. To learn the art of working with influencers, you need to understand a few lesser-known influencer marketing facts. Here they are:
1. Influencers Value Creative Freedom
When overbearing brands stifle their influencers’ creativity, the results are never good. Discerning audiences are quick to spot when an influencer’s voice is compromised. The backlash can be severe.
Either the partnership falls out, or the influencers’ credibility suffers. In the worst cases, the brand loses face, followers, or market share.
While brands need to keep an eye on their influencer’s activities and guide them during initial campaign stages, micro-management is not desirable or required. It hampers brand-influencer relationships and sets back your influencer marketing goals by miles.
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A better approach is to provide detailed briefs to your influencers, keeping their values and style intact. As the campaign progresses, touch base with them and voice your expectations if needed.
This way, you maintain the sanctity of the relationship and prevent crises. Don’t forget that 19% of influencers push back when they demand out-of-character, heavily branded content. You don’t want that, right?
2. Influencers Value Follower Trust Above All
An influencer’s personal brand is strong as long as they have their followers’ trust and respect. Without that, their voice is inconsequential.
Which brand in its right mind would want to partner with influencers who can’t drive purchase decisions or influence public opinion? Not one, I bet.
That’s why influencers like to build authentic follower relationships, declare their affiliations, and collaborate with complementary brands.
The takeaway for brands?
Follower trust (measured in terms of engagement) should be your top differentiator during influencer selection, especially on Instagram.
Why, you ask?
Because Instagrammers dig micro-influencers who they find more approachable and relatable. If you plan to leverage influencers on Instagram, don’t be swayed by the large follower counts of high-tier influencers. Also consider working with micro-influencers with deeply engaged followers, resonant content, and similar values as you, if they fit your strategy.
3. Most Influencers Expect Monetary Compensation
Gone are the days when seasoned influencers promoted brands just for shoutouts or free products. Today, 44.3% of influencers expect compensation in cash for their efforts, according to a SocialPubli survey of 1,000 influencers.
The shift in expectations is probably because more than half (51.6%) of influencers pursue content creation as a full-time profession, not a side gig. With big-budget brands joining the fray, the stakes are getting higher. It’s quite natural that content creators want a share in the monetary rewards their efforts generate.
What does that mean for brands?
They need to fulfill the new-found aspirations of influencers. To do so, brands can compensate influencers for creating sponsored posts, on pro-rata or fixed rates, or find an alternative pricing model.
To tie sales with efforts, you can convert influencers into affiliates. In this model, you award influencers a fixed commission on the revenue attributed to their promotions.
Influencer marketing can be extremely rewarding if you know how it works. In this post, you learned that influencers want creative freedom, follower trust, and monetary compensation.
I’m sure these influencer marketing facts helped you to get these basics right and lay the groundwork for solid and mutually-beneficial relationships with influencers. With that done, you can explore innovative influencer marketing programs for your brand.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant for 15 years with an emphasis on Influencer Marketing in the last 5 years. He is specialized in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities. Find Shane on LinkedIn.