Influencer Marketing and How It Can Positively Affect Your Business
In an online world that has become increasingly dominated by social media, influencers have become a major part of the online advertising landscape. The opportunity to leverage a captive audience can be too good pass up.
Influencer marketing can significantly boost brand awareness, bring more traffic to your page, and possibly increase your sales numbers - but it does not come without some significant questions. How much does it cost to use an influencer and is it actually worth this cost? What happens if the influencer does not like your product?
These questions are all valid and we are taking a closer look at each one in an effort to help you determine if influencer marketing is the right avenue for you, your product, and your brand!
How To Calculate Expected Costs
Exactly what you will spend on an influencer is dependent upon a few factors like the social media platform, exclusivity, and the size of their followers. A standard list of costs does not exist but there are a few things you can use to estimate your costs before jumping head first into influencer marketing. Here’s how the costs break down for Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.
On Instagram, you can expect a base rate of $1,000 for 100,000 followers and then scale the price up or down from there depending on other metrics like engagement rate, the length of your influencer campaign and your budget. Generally, you can expect to pay around $250 per Instagram post for influencers with less than 50,000 followers and $1,000 for 100,000 followers.
The average cost for an influencer on YouTube currently sits around $2,000 per video for every 100,000 followers. At one million followers, you can expect that a dedicated video would cost you somewhere between $25,000-$50,000. It takes a considerable effort to produce video content around a product or brand and that is reflected in the price. The price will also be dependent on what is being done, a dedicated video versus a 30-second mention, for example. Other factors that can impact the price are subscriber count, time watched, and the particular market the influencer caters to.
Snapchat prices are based on active views and usually start at $500 per 1,000-5,000 views but could run as high as $10,000-$30,000 for 50,000-100,000 views. Snapchat counts repeated views as one view and because posts only last 24 hours, views are more deliberate and intentional, making them potentially more immediately effective than posts on other social platforms.
What Makes Influencers Worth The Price?
Influencer marketing is not a cheap venture but it is a form of advertising that offers benefits that cannot be found with other forms of online marketing.
The Return on Investment (ROI)
Influencer marketing has an ROI unlike anything else. For every $1 spent, an influencer campaign can make up to $6.85 in earned media value. The reason that this method can be so effective is that influencers are able to speak directly and authentically to your target audience. Other forms of advertising reach a more general, wide-ranging group of people and hopefully connect with your target market within it. Influencers remove all those other people leaving you with only the ones who are likely to be interested in your product. When you are looking for an influencer to work with, do not just look for the one with the largest account, look for the one that has a following that looks the closest to your brand target. This may mean turning to micro-influencers to reach a smaller, niche audience.
The goal of most advertising is to create a connection between your product and your potential customer. Because influencers are highly trusted by their followers, they are able to promote an emotional connection to your audience without much effort. Again, it is important for you to choose the influencer that is right for you and your product. If you were to pair a kitchen appliance with a fashion influencer, it would not make a whole lot of sense and your campaign would likely fail. Your product does not properly speak to the influencer’s audience and will feel out of place. While this is an extreme example, it demonstrates what can go wrong if you do not do your research first. If you fail to strike the right chord with both the influencer and their audience, it can make your brand look clueless, out of touch, and worst of all, irrelevant. If you are able to find an influencer who already uses your product or is a fan of your brand, your campaign will be more effective. The way they talk about your product will reflect this genuine affection and make a bigger impact on their followers
Brands Appear More Authentic
Influencers can talk about your product with an authenticity that is missing in most forms of advertising. It is easy for them to create buzz around various products. Their audience follows them because they are interested in their opinions in the first place. If you are able to allow an influencer to speak freely about your product, you will find the best results. It is important that you are clear about what you are expecting from the influencer and understand exactly how you will be measuring the campaign’s success, but try not to script the influencer or dictate their talking points. Their ability to openly and honestly talk about their experience with a product is what makes them so attractive to their followers and if you start to place limits on them, it will come across as stilted or forced, not quite landing with the audience. Remember, the biggest benefit of influencer advertising is that it does not look or feel like traditional advertising. Anything you can do to facilitate this, the better.
Troubleshooting Negative Reviews
Not everyone is going to love your product or brand. This is one of the greatest risks associated with influencer marketing. You may find an influencer who is excited to work with you but once they try your product, they are not really into it - and because you are not controlling their narrative about the product, there is no telling what they might say.
The majority of the time, an influencer is going to be honest but they are also going to be professional. They may pan your product, but they are not likely to make attempts to destroy your brand -- doing so is not in the interest of their own brand. They will be honest in their criticism. But remember, if this is what happens, it is not the end of the world. Many times, when influencers discover that they do not like a product, they may decide to not review it at all. They are aware of what can happen and like we said, they are not usually interested in destroying a brand.
If you are concerned that they may not like your product AND leave a review saying as much, you can try to work something out with them in advance. Ask them to skip leaving a review if they are not able to provide a positive one. Instead, let them know that you are willing to offer them a small portion of their purchase to compensate them for their time and feedback. Remember, any negative feedback you receive is valuable and can help you improve your product and marketing strategies going forward!
While your influencer may have a large audience, their audience is not your entire target market. You are still able to market your product through more traditional methods like email marketing and banner ads. Influencers are able to reach an extremely targeted audience which is great when it comes to ROI, but it also means that damaged caused by an unsatisfactory review will not ruin your entire business, there are plenty of people out there that will still be interested in your product. Remember, the more research you do into your potential influencers, the less likely this is to happen. By looking at previous posts and audience composition, you can determine if someone will be a good fit for your product in the first place. Do not just send the influencer one of your products on a whim - if you have multiple offerings, send them your catalog and give them the opportunity to choose the product they wish to review. Again, it is important to be upfront with your expectations. Make sure you are clear about which products it is you are more interested in boosting and why. The better suited the influencer is and the more they understand your aims, the higher the odds that they will find value in your product.
Influencer marketing is a powerful way to access a pool of interested and motivated potential buyers. When done properly, it can significantly increase brand awareness and credibility while providing an unparalleled return on your investment. By finding the right influencer for your product, you can expect your own following to grow and an increase in sales to follow close behind.