How to make the best of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing enabling companies to collaborate with individuals - called influencers - in order to increase brand awareness and promote products and services through specific content strategies.
This marketing field fits perfectly with social media, as influencers are content creators specialised in specific sectors and running profiles with big followings who are able to drive the interests of people.
The dimension of influencer marketing business
If we take a look at the dimension of this business, constantly growing throughout the years, it appears clear that we’re talking about a key trend. Let’s consider different moments and the related estimated value of the whole influencer marketing business:
- In 2016 it was less than $2 billion;
- In 2020 it grew up to almost $10 billion;
- In 2022 it reached more than $16 billion;
- By the end of 2023 it is expected to be around $21 billion.
The fashion industry is one of the most thriving sectors spending budgets for influencer marketing, considering an estimated investment into this business of around $3 billion in 2021 and a growth expectation rate of up to 36% by 2030. Moreover, 74% of Gen Z consumers get easily inspired by influencers for their purchases.
How to make influencer marketing effective
Influencer marketing, as part of a larger brand marketing strategy, of course, requires paying attention to some key factors to be effective: setting goals, learning about the audience, and choosing the best channels and the best influencers to work with.
Set specific goals to achieve
The first aspect to consider refers to the goals that a company wants to achieve through its collaboration with influencers. These goals must be smart, which means:
- Clear and goal-orientated to increase brand awareness and reputation, reach out to specific target audiences, involve the community and generate conversions;
- Time-bound to a specific period which can include short and long-term deadlines;
- Measurable by considering specific parameters, like visibility (views, reach, impressions per post), engagement rate and conversions.
Know the target audience to influence and choose the best channel
Another key factor to take into account is surely the knowledge of the target audience to influence, which is possible via studying several market insights.
It’s vital for all marketing actions to know exactly if your brand is communicating to men or women, to Gen Z or to Millennial people and many other parameters - and of course, this applies to influencer marketing as well.
Knowing the target audience allows companies to identity where to reach out to potential consumers. But in the digital marketing era some platforms perform better than others. Let’s take a look at the three best channels for influencer marketing:
- TikTok, used by 56% of brands;
- Instagram, used by 51% of brands;
- YouTube, used by 38% of brands.
Make a list of influencers matching the strategy
Once marketing goals, target audience and communication channels are clear it’s time to select the best professionals to carry on the influencer marketing strategy.
There are four main categories of influencers that companies can work with:
- Mega-influencers, or celebrities, counting more than 1 million followers;
- Macro-influencers counting from 100K up to 1 million followers;
- Micro-influencers counting from 10K up to 100K followers;
- Nano-influencers counting from 1K up to 10K followers.
Nowadays brands prefer to be partners with nano (39%) and micro-influencers (30%) because their communities are much more engaged and open to influencers' advice in terms of new purchases. However, brands with bigger budgets work with macro (19%) and mega influencers (12%) too, revolving around the celebrity endorsement effect.
Moreover, brands should keep in mind the three R of influencer marketing:
- the relevance of the influencers in specific industries;
- the reach that influencers' content can get;
- the resonance that influencers generate to an audience in terms of engagement.
The main benefits of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing enables companies to generate very interesting benefits producing positive long-term effects on the brands. Let’s check them out:
- Influencers establish social proof and enhance trust in the brand and its products and services, especially leveraging great communication skills on a human-to-human level, as usually, followers see influencers as friends or people like them, overcoming the barriers of the classic brand communication;
- Influencers improve brand awareness and inspire purchases, playing the role of brand ambassadors as the faces of the company from a promotional point of view, moreover, they often provide followers with special promo codes or affiliate links to proceed to shopping with discounts or bonuses;
- Influencer marketing can deliver a very high Return on Investment (ROI), considering an average profit of $5 for every $1 spent and a better effectiveness than other digital marketing activities like social media, SEO and banner ads.
How influencers engage the community through connected products
Influencer marketing plays a key role in the engagement and inspiration of the brand community. But what if influencers would add value to your brand directly starting from your products?
Connected products represent a great answer. Thanks to the digital transformation that’s changing the way we do and see many things, nowadays we consider products and services from a different perspective, beyond the mere quality factor, with a focus on how they can hook customers, create deep connections and relate physically with digital.
This applies perfectly to the fashion industry. For example, connected garments: these products, through digital markers which can be scanned via smartphone, represent the starting point of a new improved way to experience the customer journey connecting people with brands, as a platform where extra information and content are shared.
And here comes influencer marketing. Through connected products platform, which provides consumers with information, advice and inspiration about the clothes they’re willing to buy, there’s the possibility for influencers to appear with their content related to that garment and trigger engagement. Thus, connected products can help to make stronger relationships connecting brands, influencers and the community of followers and, possibly, potential consumers.