By adapting the famous word-of-mouth principle to digital, influencer marketing proves to be a particularly effective strategy for improving a brand’s visibility, reaching an ever-wider audience, and acquiring new prospects.
In this article, we will explain what influencer marketing really is and why an influencer strategy can be fruitful in terms of communication for your brand.
Definition of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that allows a company to promote its product or service through influencers or opinion leaders, while relying on their reputation and expertise in a field, so that they share content with their community.
The importance of influencer marketing in digital strategy
Influencer marketing consists in developing and maintaining relationships between influential people and a brand’s target audience. These community leaders create a trusting relationship with their Internet users by capturing their attention with content that interests them, opinions, advice, etc., and engaging them.
Considered less intrusive than brands in terms of communication, influencers can help you promote your products or services thanks to the credibility and affinity they have developed with their community.
Why use influencer marketing?
First, influencers and micro-influencers have an active, receptive and loyal community of followers. This is why collaborating with influencers can allow you to grow your notoriety quickly, with a large audience.
The second reason is that influencer marketing can have a direct impact on your sales. Customers today search advice from influencers and opinions leaders on products they want to buy. They feel reassured to be able to rely on the opinion of someone outside the brand. Your partnership will therefore have more impact than a classic advertisement.
Finally, influencers allow you to interact with your audience. They represent a direct link between your brand and your customers. You can build loyalty and create a relationship of trust and commitment with them.
Are you interested in influencing marketing? influencing marketing ?
Instagram influencer: the different levels
Well no, not all influencers are the same! In total there are five degrees of influencers: nano-influencers, micro-influencers, intermediate influencers, macro-influencers, celebrity influencers. Here the focus will be mainly on the first two (nano- and micro) because this is the biggest trend today, although the celebrity influencer is still used by large companies with huge budgets to pay the stars.
This first level of influencer in terms of community size – from about 1,000 to 10,000 followers – is the last one to have entered the definition of influencer marketing.
It is mainly due to this low popularity that these influencers are contacted by brands, as they represent the lowest costs of all existing levels of influencers. They are therefore usually called when a brand has a small budget for its campaign. The brand avoids overspending by offering to the influencer free products in exchange for publications showing the influencer using these products. A disadvantage here is that it requires a significant investment of time from a management point of view for the brand. To be able to obtain significant results, the brand must use several nano-influencers and therefore spends more time managing these collaborations than if it only used a macro- or mega-influencer for example.
However, despite this, it is very useful to collaborate with these nano-influencers because their small community allows them to establish a close relationship with their subscribers. As the community is smaller, this gives these influencers time to interact with their followers, respond to their comments, ask for their opinions, etc., which in turn generates a higher engagement rate.
Here are two accounts of nano-influencers:
- @bestylishlike : an account focused on fashion and beauty This nano-influencer gives us advice on cosmetics based on her own preferences and ideas for outfits while asking the opinion of her Internet users. Very involved in the relationship with her subscribers, this Instagrammer who recently started this account manages to generate a 15% engagement rate from her community! A very interesting rate for brands that want to increase their brand awareness. These offer free products to the Instagrammer, as well as promotional codes for its subscribers. With such a high engagement rate, there is no doubt that fans will trust this young fashionista to test the highlighted products ☺
- @travel_orpix: breath-taking landscapes, creative photos taken with original angles, magnificent colours… how can you resist the urge to travel after visiting this very pretty account? ☺ As these pictures are taken by this young Instagrammer herself during her travels, a bond of trust was established between the influencer and her community thanks to the authenticity felt in her publications. All this generates a nice engagement rate of 12%!
Remaining in a small-scale community, this group of influencers includes on average between 10,000 and 50,000 subscribers. This segment was the most popular in 2018 and probably remains the most important for influencer marketing strategies because it allows brands to target a slightly larger community than that of nano-influencers (although generating a slightly higher cost), but more accurate and at a lower cost than that of macro-influencers.
Apart from that, this type of influencer remains similar to nano- in terms of advantages and disadvantages, except the engagement rate that is starting to decline because the community being larger, the influencer is a little less close to its Internet users and has less the luxury of according them time. Moreover, it is a rule of thumb that we find most of the time: the more fans there are, the more the engagement rate tends to decrease.
- @little.miss.nessie: a nice account featuring the Instagrammer’s dachshund, named Nessie. The main theme of the account is therefore the dog, but not only that. This micro-influencer from Spain has perfectly succeeded in customizing her account with her canine companion by integrating her in an original way into her activities. Here we play on the emotional side of Internet users by touching them for sure with a face as cute as Nessie ☺ With an engagement rate of 2.74% (almost in the norm (3.1%) for this number of followers), this influencer interacts with her Internet users using clothing tips and contests to win products or promotional codes!
- @annablachut: a clothing, cosmetics and travel account managed by our dear Anna, member of Eminence’s team ☺ Always very involved in her relationship with her community (comments, questions, etc.) despite its large size, our micro-influencer generates an engagement rate of 3.3%, perfectly in the standards for this category of influencer ☺ Feel free to visit her page to benefit from promotional codes !
The intermediate influencer:
This group of influencers – between 50,000 and 500,000 followers – tends to have reliable and frequent sponsorships, and offers brands a greater ability to reach their audience by remaining more accessible than macro- or celebrity-. However, here the cost for brands is starting to not being negligible because some of these influencers are engaged in this activity on a full-time basis, not requiring a complementary professional activity. They represent a relatively good balance between intimate followers and large scale audiences.
In most cases, the presence of these influencers on social networks with between 500,000 and one million subscribers represents the majority of their income, or are movie stars, athletes, etc.. This range represents the best balance in terms of cost per thousand impressions, i.e. the best balance between cost and audience reach.
The celebrity influencer:
These influencers have a really large follower base – over a million – which allows them to shape their community’s culture, set trends, create demand for products, etc. This last tranche of influencers is in principle reserved for brands with very large budgets where the price can go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single post.
However, when brands use celebrities to sponsor a post, it is important not to forget what the interests of the audience in question are, as there is a risk of losing authenticity. According to a study, consumers are 10 times more likely to buy a product recommended by an influencer who is not a celebrity than by a celebrity. However, the advantage here is that the extent of the reach of the message is much higher.
→ Everything you need to know about influencer marketing – Part 2
Eminence, your influencer strategy partner
Working with influencers can be very interesting for your brand, provided you select them carefully, and design your strategy correctly.
Our experts at Eminence have a deep knowledge of social networks and the digital world. They will help you create a solid influencer strategy by following these steps:
- Studying your target audience
- Selecting and contacting relevant influencers for your brand
- Setting up a tracking tool to have a clear visibility on the actions and their performance
- Evaluation of the influencers’ marketing actions for your brand
- Strategy management
A well-structured influencer marketing strategy and approach can definitely increase your chances of getting your business off the ground!
Are you interested in influencer marketing? Do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to guide you in the implementation of your influencer strategy, and optimize your digital ROI.