Influence marketing has enormous potential when it comes to achieving long-term results. However, success can only be achieved with a conscious approach. Opinion leaders should be a mandatory part of your marketing strategy. But how do you identify them? Find out in this article.
What is Influence Marketing?
Influence marketing is a cross between old and new marketing tools, based on celebrity endorsement of a product or service. The distinguishing feature is that the result of the campaign is a collaboration between brands and influencers.
The audiences of certain Instagram stars or bloggers of popular YouTube channels are comparable to those of major media outlets. The demand for advertising continues to grow. One-time collaborations can evolve into permanent brand representation. The advertising message doesn’t interrupt the content we want or distract with an annoying banner, but is neatly embedded into the information we’re interested in. This is how native advertising works, only one example of influencer marketing.
Questions to Ask Before Cooperation
Working with an opinion leader can either bring your brand to a new target market or cause you to waste your advertising budget. To guard against the latter, conduct brief interviews with potential influencers you’re considering collaborating with.
How AIR Works With Bloggers: A Step-By-Step Algorithm
Preparation: gathering a database of bloggers
Based on historical data and KPIs for subscribers, AIR calculates the number of bloggers needed to contact, and then plan the number of placements for the month.
Pay attention to the following data:
- Only 25% of bloggers will respond to our message;
- Only 50% of them will be willing to advertise;
- Only 50% of them will send statistics;
- Only 41% of them will agree to the asking price.
It’s important to check that bloggers statistics are accurate and to negotiate a discount if the requested advertising cost does not suit us. AIR Media-Tech is a great service and ecosystem of talented and proven creators.
Matching subscribers and ad placement conversion:
- Minor bloggers (from 1 to 100 thousand subscribers). The conversion rate is 2%;
- Medium bloggers (from 100 to 500 thousand subscribers). Conversion rate – 5%;
- Major bloggers (from 500 thousand subscribers and more). Conversion rate – 15%.
Step 1. Selecting bloggers.
The first thing we do is check to see if bloggers are complying with our requirements. Consider also the platform on which the blogger posts. For example, if your product is intended for a young audience, then TikTok would be the best option.
Check the content of their profile for relevance and fit:
- Topics: business, marketing, promotion, training;
- The moral and ethical design of the account;
- Review not only the posts but also the stories.
Step 2: Request statistics.
Write a request in personal messages, the blogger’s PR account, or in the mail.
If the blogger agrees to accept the ad, we request his account stats. The statistics should be fresh, from placements in the last week or month.
It’s important to remember: bloggers can manipulate statistics. To avoid getting fooled by someone’s creative Photoshop work, it’s better to request a video with a copy of the stats screen, not a screenshot.
Enter all the data into an improvised CRM system:
- Country of residence;
- The age of the audience;
- Average coverage of stories;
- Coverage of the last posts.
Step 3: Predict the results of future posts
If the opinion leader has statistics on previous posts we calculate his personal conversion rate of the posts.
If not, we take the value calculated from the results of our past placements, using the beta distribution according to the PERT method.
Step 4: Planning the placement
Once the customer has approved the candidates, we move on to planning the placement.
We send the blogger the TOR (in the form of a presentation) and examples of past postings with good results. We then agree on the date of placement.
Request a rewritten text of our offer from the opinion leader in a style familiar to his or her audience.
We all agree on the text.
The blogger prepares creatives as part of the visual presentation of his account and sends them for approval.
Step 5: Analysis of placement statistics
A day after posting, we request statistics.
We enter the data into the CRM system and analyze placement.
How to monitor the effectiveness
To properly track the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, you first need to determine your goals. To increase brand awareness or increase audience trust, to get a certain amount of sales, conversions, or to attract a new audience.
Based on the specific goals, think through the strategy, create a brief, and select the right opinion leaders. Using automated influencer marketing platforms makes it a lot easier.
Measuring ROI (Return on Investment)
Sales, growth of subscribers on the official brand pages, and conversions to the website will show the final profitability of the campaign.
To understand exactly how many conversions a particular post brought, use UTM tags. To clearly track sales generated by cooperation with an Influencer, come up with a unique promo code, which the opinion leader presents in a promotional post. Using a promo code is often beneficial to users, so be prepared to provide some kind of bonus with it (i.e. discount, gift, etc.).
LET’S CALCULATE THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT FROM A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
You sell divine toothbrushes. You chose an Instagram star with a snow-white smile and paid him $5,000 for an opinion about your product. After the promotional post came out, you got the following numbers:
The post was shown in the feed 5,000 times, so the Cost per Impression is $1. Our post was liked 700 times, hence the Price of a Like is 50 00/7 00 = $7.14. Similarly, the Price of the Comment is calculated.
We calculate the Engagement Index (ER) of this particular post: take the number of likes, add to it the number of comments divided by two (since many people commenting have previously liked this post and we shouldn’t add them up), then divide by the number of subscribers for this blogger and multiply by 100%. 700+(200/2)/7000 *100% = 11.4%
By analyzing the ROI, we can conclude that the ad campaign was not particularly successful. But influencer marketing does not only work directly. It is important to consider that cooperating with opinion leaders increases overall brand awareness, audience loyalty, increases subscriber base for official accounts, etc.
Also, do not forget about the potential customers who move to the website after the publication.
Brian Jarvis is a digital marketer with more than 10 years of experience. He is a contributor to Content Marketing Institute and regularly quoted as an expert in large media outlets.
Influencer stock photo by Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock