The Growing Power of Influencer Marketing in 2018

Ron Dodby Ron Dod

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Here at Visiture, we’re fascinated by influencer marketing. Right now, the market isn’t completely saturated with this type of promotion, and it can bring high value at an affordable cost. Many retailers still don’t consider influencer marketing as an essential part of their marketing plan or they may be hesitant to try something new. However, some brands have already given it a shot — with great results.

Marketing spend on influencer markeringA recent case study pointed out that this trend is likely to continue in the future, as roughly two-thirds of marketing departments are seeking to increase their budget for influencer marketing over the next year. On average, marketers are expected to invest a budget of $25,000 to $50,000 for this type of campaign.

Modern consumers are saturated with conventional advertising, and they have become accustomed to ignoring it. However, influencer marketing gives the appearance of being more genuine and trustworthy. The posts look organic, and they can be hard to spot unless the influencer adds the hashtag #ad.

Also, influencers can leverage the attention of thousands of followers, which is not so easily accessible for brands. Sometimes an influencer can build a following faster than a new brand that has no defined spokesperson. In this article, we’ll discuss about the growing power of influencer marketing in 2018 and outline how your eCommerce business can make the most of this powerful trend.

Reach a targeted audience

Research by Bloglovin determined that 67 percent of marketers credit influencer campaigns in helping them reach a more targeted audience. With this type of marketing, retailers can get hyper-focused on the audience they are looking to target by leveraging the influencer’s following.

Trying to get in front of fashionistas? Hire a fashion influencer who is followed by people who share her interests. For instance, you can partner with an influencer like Danielle Bernstein from @weworewhat with more than one million followers:

weworewhat instagram account photo of camel

Alternatively, if you’re looking to target boxing enthusiasts, you may want to target an influencer like UFC fighter Valentina Shevchenko @bulletvalentine with 487k followers:

bulletvalentine instagram account photo

By selecting the right influencer profile to match with your marketing campaign, you’ll have access to a pool of accounts that fits your target customer persona.

Have an influencer marketing plan in place

Jump on the trend early by allocating a budget and strategy for influencer marketing. We already know that it works. Now, it’s time to identify the goals you are trying to accomplish. Are you looking to generate actions such as purchases or are you looking for a brand experience? Once you answer that question, quantify it. If you’re looking to generate conversions, how much revenue do you need to justify the budget?

How to calculate an influencer’s engagement rateIf you’re looking to gain brand recognition, how many likes, follows or comments are you looking to acquire from this strategy? You can estimate the average amount of engagement by calculating the influencer’s engagement rate. This is also key in the vetting process for potential influencers. Just because an influencer has the most followers doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right fit. You’ll want to work with someone who aligns with the marketing agenda and your brand identity.

To calculate an influencer’s engagement rate, just take the average engagement rate (%) per post = Total Engagement/ Follower Count/ Number of Posts x 100. This number may change according to the social media platform you are analyzing.

For this example, we’ll focus primarily on Instagram. According to Scrunch Influencer Analytics platform, their analysis showed that the average profile on Instagram has an engagement rate of 2.7 percent, and the top performing profiles have an engagement rate of 17.8 percent. Use these averages to compare the ratings of your influencer shortlist.

Optimize your vetting process

So, you’ve decided you want to give influencer marketing a shot, and you have some influencers in mind…now what? How do you discover more influencers to connect with for future projects? Discovering them manually would be a very tedious process. That’s why there are easy-to-use platforms ready to do this in a more efficient manner.

Interview

One of these platforms is BrandSnob, which supplies a list of influencers according to a set number of characteristics. That makes it easy to list a job, and influencers can apply for it if they are interested. Instead of marketing teams manually looking for influencers, they come to the brand.

Another thing to keep in mind during the vetting process is campaign specifications. Have the finalized copy and image/video inspiration ready to go when an influencer accepts the influencer opportunity to keep the momentum going.

The power of influencers can be multiplied with paid advertising

Let’s say you pay a blogger for a promotional post about your product. Maybe you’ll get followers, likes, engagement and traffic to your site thanks to that post, but not everyone who lands on your site will make a purchase. This is why it is key to retarget those previous website visitors with paid campaigns to encourage them to come back to your site and make a purchase. Thus, you are maximizing every marketing dollar to its fullest potential.

You can run remarketing or retargeting ads using social media platforms and Google. Just make sure to install the proper remarketing tags to track visits to every page on your site. For Facebook/Instagram, you’ll have to install the Pixel and for Google, you’ll have to install the Remarketing tag. If you have doubts if your tags were set up properly, use the Facebook Pixel Helper extension and the Google Tag Assistant extension to verify installation. Both of these extensions are free and easy to use.

Besides pairing influencer marketing with remarketing ads, you can also use the same influencer posts to create paid campaigns and target your ideal audience for the first time. These ads serve to build trust and authority with a new potential customer. If your targeted consumer recognizes and follows the influencer you are working with, he or she will be more inclined to click on your ad and learn more about your brand.

Influencer Marketing in 2018 Quote

Influencer marketing is one of the hottest trends in advertising today. Not only can it drive sales, but it can put your products in front of a brand new audience. That means it can increase your brand awareness exponentially. With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to harness the power of influence marketing to make this year your most profitable one yet.

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