folder Digital Marketing

Wanna Market Your Brand With Influencers? Here's How to Start Without Breaking the Bank

calendar 2021-09-24 | glass 10 min read | user Ricky Hayes
Influencer marketing
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Admit it or not. We are all influenced by other people.   

Sometimes it's celebrities who capture our attention. Or the style of our favorite fashion icons may inspire us. While some of us love to try what our favorite YouTubers eat.  

You see, ‘Influence’ is a powerful force.💪

In fact, you can't scroll through your social pages without seeing any form of influencer marketing.

No, I am not only talking about Kylie Jenner showing off her makeup palette and designer footwear (though, that’s also an example of influencer marketing!).

What I'm talking about is people around your audience who can influence their buying decisions.

That's influencer marketing in a nutshell.

It helps you...

Create a customer base. Increase your brand's awareness. Reach your marketing goals faster.

In this post, I'll walk you through the top influencer marketing trends of 2021. And help you start your own influencer marketing strategy that doesn’t sacrifice revenue.

But before we dive right into the nitty-gritty.

Lemme give you a brief intro to influencer marketing and how it actually works.

Let's get started...

What Is Influencer Marketing And How It Works?

Influencer marketing allows you to promote your products through influencers. But, the question is how does it work.

Influencers do it through endorsements, brand mentions, and recommendations. 

You're probably wondering, "what do they get in return?"

Well, it depends. Some brands hire influencers in exchange for cash. Others may offer rewards or free products. 

For example, Marriott was one brand that embraced the idea of influencer marketing.

And here's what they did:

They launched a campaign to celebrate the millionth check-in on their official app. They teamed up with the YouTuber Jeana Smith to surprise the winner.

(Source)

The video went viral in no time and reached over 4M views.

Isn't that great?

Still not convinced whether you should go for it?

Let's look at another brand that is killing it with influencer marketing.

None other than Coca-Cola.

Since they sell their products through distributors. They usually work with micro-influencers to provide brand storytelling.

(Source)

The thing is, people, get excited when they see their favorite people around. It doesn’t matter if they are on the TV, video, or at any physical place.

They want to listen to them and do what they want them to do.

Now lemme share with you some stats you need to know before we dig deeper. Numbers never lie, after all.   

Let's go!

Influencer Marketing Stats You Need To Know!

Influencer marketing gained traction when social media channels replaced conventional media outlets. We have seen people ditch celebs and follow social media influencers like crazy.

Today, these social media influencers have the same influence as media figures.

Did you know there were 1360 influencer marketing agencies as of 2020?

Not only this but the term 'Influencer Marketing' grows by 5000% in Google searches every month.

(That’s really a lot of eyeballs checking it out. And you shouldn't miss it as well!)

And according to a Twitter report, buyers seek influencer's recommendations as much as friends. 

Another survey reveals that 49% of consumers trust influencers for product recommendations.

When done right, influencer marketing can help you with...

Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Online Businesses

1. Gaining Customers' Trust

Did you know that influencer endorsements serve as a powerful form of social proof?

According to one survey, consumers trust influencers more than brands during the pandemic. 

Here are a couple of examples I'd like to share...  

First, I want you to meet, Matt King.

Matt King

He has over 1.3 million followers on Instagram. That's a lot of followers. So, why do they trust him? His followers trust him because of his honest opinions and candid nature.

Matt King often partners with different brands and share branded content with a hashtag #ad. He loves the product he promotes. His captions are interesting too.

Gaining Customers' Trust

Let's look at his post for HP. He received 183,498 views and lots of comments. Think of the exposure that HP got with just one post from Matt.

Sounds like a perfect opportunity for your brand, right?

But that's not the only thing influencers can do for you.

Let's move on to the next...

2. Expanding Your Reach

Partnering with influencers makes it easier for you to reach a wider audience.

How? Let me explain...

Sure, you have your own target audience. But when you work with an influencer, you can convey your message to their followers, too.

And the best part is...

You don’t even have to bat an eyelid to create attractive posts. Because the influencers will take care of creating the content themselves.

And they will make sure they provide you with...

3. User-Generated Content

Ever wonder what potential customers need?

It's a go-ahead signal from other buyers. Yes, you read that right. Even if you have the best products, people want to see others using or buying them.

That is where influencer marketing steps in...

Influencers create and share user-generated content that you can use to build trust. 

And the best part...

You can use the influencer’s content in many other places. Such as, you can use it on your website, other social handles, and even in paid ads. 

That's why influencer marketing is a brilliant investment!

But that's not the end of the list.

You'll also get...

4. Better Return On Investment

On average, brands get $4.87 of media value for each $1 spent on Instagram influencers.

With increased brand awareness comes more ROI. You have time to reach more people. As a result, both traffic and on-site conversions will grow.

Talking about traffic, influencer marketing is super helpful for...

5. Your SEO Efforts

Influencers can also help you get high DA backlinks for your website.

The result?

You'll get more organic traffic on your site. This goes without saying that more traffic contributes to more sales and conversions.

I know what you’re thinking...

How to start an influencer program that doesn’t sacrifice revenue?

The thing is influencer marketing without a strategy can cost your business a lot. You don’t want that.

Not sure where to start?

The following section can be the best next step.

How To Create An Influencer Program That Doesn’t Sacrifice Revenue.

Set Your Goals And KPIs

The first step to create an influencer marketing strategy is to set goals.

Find out answers to these questions before you move to the next step:

  • Which market segment do you want to attract?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you want to partner with micro-influencers or high-profile celebs?
  •  What do you want to achieve from your influencer marketing program?

Once you’ve set your goals, I would recommend you to tie them to specific KPIs. It will help you measure the performance of your marketing campaign.

For instance, your goal is to increase brand awareness. By using the social media engagement rate you can get an idea of how well the campaign went.

After that, you must...

Determine The Persona Of Influencers and Connect With Them

It's time to document your ideal influencer's personas. 

Now, what does that mean?

It means the influencers you select should:

  • align well with your brand's mission and vision
  • have a sizeable following and engagement
  • be pros in what they do
  • be reliable

Selecting the right influencers isn't as easy as it may sound. Partnering with the wrong influencer can do more harm than good for your brand. 

So, what is the solution? 

Here Are A Few Fail-Safe Techniques You Can Use To Find The Best Influencers:

1. Influencer Seeding

Influencer seeding is a fantastic way to create relationships with influencers and their audience.

Influencer seeding is when you send your product as a sample to the influencers. If they like your product, they will create branded content based on their experience. 

Another thing you can try is…

2. Outsource To An Influencer Marketing Program

Working with an influencer marketing program will give you two benefits:

  • First of all, they will find the best influencer for your campaign;
  • Secondly, they will monitor the campaign and its performance.

You just have to sit back and relax.

One more option is…

3. Affiliate-Based Partnership

Ask influencers to become your affiliate partners. That means you have to pay them performance-based commissions.

I understand these things are tricky. And it takes time.

That's why I'm sharing the top 3 influencer marketing examples...

Top 3 Influencer Marketing Examples (Case Studies)

1. Zara

I have never seen Zara trying to hard-sell their products. They have a track record of creating ads that are clever and impactful.

Did you know the brand works with many influencers to get its message across?

You can even check out their dedicated account 'Living Zara.' They have created it solely for their influencer programs and collaborations.

Zara's primary account currently has a fan following of 46.5m. The company is seeing rapid growth, thanks to its impeccable marketing tactics.

Because of the company’s strong online presence and collaboration with influencers. It has reported immense growth. In 2018, the company stated that its earnings were around $3.8 billion.

Zara

Another company that played its influencer marketing cards right is...

2. Loeffler Randall

Loeffler Randall partnered up with influencers of all levels to reach its audience. The Facebook influencers used the hashtag #LRAmbassador while posting content on their feed. The hashtag showed the influencers’ connection with the brand.

The marketing was pulled off successfully because Loeffler Randall selected the best influencers who resonated with its customers.

Loeffler Randall

(Source)

Next example we're looking at...

3. Audible

No other brand has used YouTube influencer marketing strategy as smartly as Audible did. 

The company collaborated with popular YouTubers to create highly engaging ads.

One interesting ad came from the channel Jacksfilms. The YouTuber Jack Douglass uploaded a video of funny acronyms for ‘Audible.

People loved the ad, and Audible became known to millions of people on YouTube...

Audible

Before you leave, I want you to know what is trending in the space of influencer marketing.

These trends are going to dominate the current and the next year. So, make sure you keep these things in mind before creating your strategy for this year and beyond.

Influencer Marketing Trends 2021

Trend#1: Micro-Influencers Will Get More Attention

Brands in 2021 are more likely to invest in micro or nano influencers

There are two reasons for this.

First, these influencers are affordable. Second, they have a following that actually follows their advice. 

So, if you start a program in 2021, try to stick to small influencers rather than stars. 

Let's move on to the next trend.

Trend#2: Brands Will Prefer On-Going Partnerships Over One-Off Projects

Brands will look for long-term collaborations rather than one-off projects.

When influencers work with your brand long-term, they understand your mission and values.

The result? They'll produce more personalized content. 

Now we proceed to the next...

Trend#3: Performance-Based Deals Will Dominate

When brands seek long-term partnerships, they'll expect influencers to deliver on their promise.

That means influencers will need to sign performance-based contracts and guarantee specific results.

Trend#4: Visual Content Will Be All Over The Place

People love videos... You love them too, right?

And we're going to see a lot of visual content shared by influencers in the coming days. 

That's a trend you shouldn't miss out on.

But the trend does not end here. Here's the last.

Trend#5: 'Data' Will Rule

Influencer marketing 2021 will be all about planning and data. Today, many brands track their social media metrics. To gain attention, influencers have to work harder than ever before.

Now that you know the latest influencer marketing trends.

My question now is...

Are You Geared Up To Market Your Brand With Influencers?

Influencer marketing is here to stay and grow.

The question is... Are you ready to make the most of it?

Sure, influencers have a greater responsibility to deliver on their promises. But that's not the only thing that will help you succeed.

Your online presence should also be interesting enough to attract the top influencers.

And that is only possible when you partner with someone like Debutify before collaborating with anyone else.

Our design and conversion add-ons will help you create an outstanding online presence. Watch this video to get started!

Speaking of impressive design and conversions! Why not...

Try Debutify Today!

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Written by

Ricky Hayes

Ricky Hayes is the Co-Founder and Head of Marketing at Debutify - free Shopify theme, helping dropshippers build high-converting stores in minutes. He is a passionate entrepreneur running multiple businesses, marketing agencies and mentoring programs.

360,043+ Are Reading The Debutify Newsletter.

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