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A Guide to Influencer Advertising

Sep 08, 2022

Social Media Platforms

A Guide to Influencer Advertising

You could scour the internet for hours upon hours trying to piece together individual pieces of information in an attempt to better understand influencer advertising. Tedious, right? That’s why we have done the work for you and compiled a blog overflowing with essential information on the influencer marketing industry. Instead of traipsing through every single website for certain tidbits of information, you will be able to find those that are relevant all in one place. 

Understanding influencer advertising and the ins and outs of the industry is imperative for remaining up-to-date and relevant in a rapidly changing landscape. Social media influencer advertising is the future of the marketing industry and getting to grips with it sooner rather than later will be the most beneficial move you can make for yourself as an influencer or for your brand.

A Brief Introduction to Influencer Marketing

Simply put, influencer marketing utilises established profiles on social media platforms – influencers – to promote the products/services of brands to their loyal followers. 

Influencers

Influencers come in all shapes and sizes and, depending on the size of their following, can yield different results for your brand campaign; from gaining you more social media followers to increasing your return on investment (ROI). In the early days of influencer advertising, consumers were persuaded to buy products through celebrity endorsements. The narrative has drastically shifted since and today’s industry favours the micro influencer with 10,000-100,000 followers for product endorsements. For reference, here is a list of influencer types and what results they can potentially achieve through an online marketing campaign.

Nano influencers – 1k-10k followers – ideal for start-ups and small to medium sized businesses.

Micro influencers – 10k-100k followers – good for generating focused leads.

Macro influencers – 100k-1M followers – can help increase reach.

Mega influencers – 1M+ followers – great for increasing brand awareness.

The difference between a celebrity and an influencer is that an influencer is more relatable and authentic. Social media users feel like they know influencers personally and can, therefore, trust the product/service recommendations they promote on their profile. Influencer advertising thrives on the authenticity of an influencer and so the more they appear to be as close to your ‘everyday person’ as possible, the more likely they are to produce results for a brand. 

Benefits

Aside from influencer advertising quite literally being able to bring you up to speed with the modern, digital era, there are a whole host of other reasons as to why it is beneficial to implement. 

Increases brand awareness and reach

Builds credibility and trust

Enriches your content strategy 

Creates long-lasting partnerships

Boosts SEO and ROI

Drives purchase decisions

Increases sales

It is cost effective and saves time

It is suitable for any business 

The terminology might not mean much to you at this point, but once we start delving into how to build an effective social media marketing strategy, the penny will drop. 

What’s the point?

As a brand or an aspiring influencer, asking yourself why influencer marketing is even needed is a good first step to understanding the industry’s vast landscape. 

Social media influencer advertising is a way of stepping into the new ‘normal’ digital sphere. While it keeps you relevant it also is a result of the following: 

Consumers have completed their move to digital – We have arrived in a new era of democratic media consumption where consumers can choose who they trust when it comes to making purchasing decisions. 

Creative and media are becoming one – The fundamentals of advertising haven’t changed, just the format within which they are shared. What many traditional media outlets are struggling to understand is that consumers no longer want to see advertising. They want to see content. Brands no longer talk to consumers about products. Consumers talk to each other about brands. This is the fundamental psychology of trust: consumers prefer peer recommendations. 

Performance-based influencer marketing is on the rise – Influencers are your content production. They can create ads that resonate with consumers which, in turn, can enhance your advertising performance and improve overall conversion. 

Collaborations

At its core influencer advertising is all about the collaboration between a brand and an influencer, as this is what the ‘advertising’ element falls under. 

Influencer collaborations can take on many different forms: 

Sponsored posts

Discount codes/affiliates

Giveaways and competitions

Brand experiences 

Product collaborations

Brand ambassadors

Top Tip: when it comes to selecting a campaign type, it is important to consider the size of the influencer you are collaborating with. For example, product collaborations are often expensive to create and so you will need to be sure that you will generate high ROI. This cannot be done with a nano influencer with just a few thousand followers, as the audience simply will not be there. Consider choosing a mega influencer for this campaign type. 

Influencer advertising can occur on any social media platform, but in this blog we will focus on Instagram influencer advertising

Creating a marketing strategy for Instagram

Ultimately, your marketing strategy is going to be what ensures you reach your goals. The beauty of creating one of these is that it can be tailored exactly to your liking; improving your chances of success from the get go. While this is not a one-size-fits-all process, there are essential steps that need to be taken by all brands to get a campaign up and running.

Determine your goals – The most common goal among brands utilising influencer marketing is to reach new customers, which makes sense seeing as influencer advertisements are what put you in front of new audiences. Think about how your influencer marketing campaign will fit into your broader social media marketing strategy and create measurable SMART goals that you can report on and track. 

Know your target audience – An effective marketing strategy requires you to speak to the right people, using the right tools and right influencers. Creating buyer personas can be a beneficial way to better understand who you are trying to reach. Creating influencer personas can also be used in the same way to help you find creators. 

Choose your influencer(s) – Consider the three Rs when picking influencers to collaborate with. Reach, relevance and resonance. These will be key in putting successful influencer advertisements out into the online world. An influencer’s engagement rate is also something to consider during the selection process.

Measure your results – possibly the most important element of this process. Keeping track of and consistently measuring the results of your influencer advertisements (not just at the end!) will determine what is working well for you and what isn’t. From here you can filter out the elements of your campaign that are negatively impacting your results and move forward with a more successful campaign. 

Collaborations 

Maintaining a healthy relationship with your chosen influencer(s) should be at the forefront of your mind at all times; after all they are your business partner, not your employee. Before sending your influencer advertisements out, there are a few crucial steps you must follow during the influencer collaboration process to ensure that these are created and sent out at their full potential. 

Reach out to your influencer(s) – For micro influencers, you can slide into their DMs and for bigger influencers you might have to get in touch with their agency/manager or business email that is often found in their bio. Whichever size influencer you choose, ensure that your opening message to them does not sound like a sales pitch. Express your interest in their work and explain what benefits are in it for them if they choose to collaborate with you. 

Discuss with the influencer what product/service will be promoted – does this align with what the influencer already puts out to their audience? Remember, influencers have every right to say no to a collaboration if they do not feel it will align with their image or if they think their audience will not respond well to it. 

Hand over the reins – when it comes to the creative process, hand over as much creative freedom to your influencer as possible. Remember, no one knows their audience better than they do and so they will be able to produce influencer advertisements that are likely to resonate with them. This will also show the creator that you trust them enough to produce exceptional content and will make them want to consider working with you again. 

Have fun – above everything else, have fun with it! Creating content together is a fun experience and you should bear this in mind every step of the way. 

FAQ’s

How do influencers affect advertising?

Influencers can bring your products/services in front of an audience who is engaged and genuinely interested in what you have to offer. 

Why is influencer marketing needed?

Influencer advertisements bring brands into the modern, digital world and keep them relevant. 

What are the key platforms used by influencers?

Instagram and Youtube are the current reigning platforms for discovering influencers.

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blog.

@ Socially Powerful

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Author

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James Hacking

Writer

Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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