Influencer marketing only works for consumer brands and requires budgets in the tens or hundreds of thousands to be successful. We’re kidding. These are two of the most common misconceptions.
Lots of our #clients are adding paid influencers to their marketing strategies this year (and yes, we’re talking about B2B brands). Why? Influencers have done the work to build trust with their large followings, making them reliable referral sources that can recommend your product or service in an authentic way. And you don’t have to spend a fortune, especially if you choose to work with nano-influencers (1,000-10,000 followers) or micro-influencers (10,000-100,000 followers)—but you want to ensure it’s a wise investment.
How do you determine if it’s a good fit (or not)? Our Vice President of Digital Strategy Christine Montes offers these six, smart considerations:
Develop a steady cadence of content on social channels before engaging influencers. It’s important to build a base of followers before starting influencer work — influencers are more likely to work with influential brands.
Knowing your desired outcomes is one of the best ways to establish an upfront strategy and narrow down a shortlist of relevant influencers. What do you want to accomplish? Support lead generation? Increase engagement and social proof? Grow your audience? Understand how the influencer campaign will fit into and support your customer’s journey.
Influencers want to delight their followers and grow their audience. Engage with people who are naturally aligned with your products, services and values! Just like working with reporters, every influencer relationship should be mutually beneficial. Remember, it’s all about community.
At the beginning of any influencer engagement, always ask for their average impressions and engagements, and any other metrics they are able to provide. Views/reach, impressions, engagement or clicks and conversions/sales or referrals are most common.
Sure, an influencer has a bigger audience than the average person—but are their followers engaged with the content? When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s all about reach and engagement. This requires you to dig a little deeper to determine the influencer’s follower-to-like ratio. For example, if they average 100 likes and get 20,000 impressions per post that would mean only .5% of their average viewers engage with each post. So, although they have a good reach, their audience isn’t very engaged (and probably not the best bang for your buck). Hint: smaller, niche (and engaged) audiences can lead to better, qualified interactions.
Interactive content like video typically performs best on social media. For example, our #client Gigamon was recently interviewed by industry influencer, Shira Rubinoff, about some of the biggest obstacles facing cybersecurity professionals – and the post promoting the interview received higher engagement than the average B2B static post. Visual storytelling will help make the campaign a success.
“The success of an influencer program is built upon the foundation of trust and humanity.” — Christine Montes, vice president of digital strategy, Inkhouse
Laura is the vice president of marketing at Inkhouse.