It’s become one of the most powerful tools in marketing.
A good review from the right social influencers for your brand can give a better return on investment than a television advert, an SEO campaign or even email marketing.
And it’s not a myth – success stories are everywhere.
Fashion label 3Elfen experienced its first growth after spending less than 500 euros on an influencer marketing campaign.
A manufacturer of writing implements grew its Facebook channel by more than 20,000 followers with monthly spendings of around 5,000 euros.
While lingerie website Braboo invested a few hundred euros for a sponsored YouTube content and ran out of stock for the featured product.
So how can your brand achieve the same?
Well, the good news is there’s no secret formula, no hidden mechanism, no magic trick – if you know your target market, then a bit of research and some old fashioned common sense is all you need to emulate these results.
The Berlin-based lingerie website which launched last July spent a few hundred euros to commission a video by popular German YouTube couple Lisha and Lou.
During the video Lisha unpacked the lingerie she bought and talked about Braboo while quizzing Lou if he knew how underwear sizing worked.
The brand’s spokeswoman Mailyn de la Cruz told us: “We didn’t have any TV advertising at the time. The morning after the video went online the boss came in and said ‘Sales have gone crazy!’
“Not only had our conversion rate doubled, but many of the items featured had sold out.”
The old adage “you have to spend money to make money” really isn’t so relevant with an influencer marketing campaign.
How much you spend is not necessarily what determines if your campaign is successful, or what the return on your investment will be.
It’s more than possible for small to medium sized brands – with budgets to match – to achieve returns like multinational corporations regularly spending six figure sums for the biggest names on YouTube or a mention on the most popular Instagram feeds.
In fact, Homeware retailer Senkale Home credits its first growth to an influencing marketing campaign. The brand invested in sponsored YouTube content, obtaining 35,000 views, a 7% engagement rate and achieving a cost per view of one cent.
Why are you running the campaign?
Are you looking to increase awareness of your brand, grow your brand’s social media channels, increase click through rates to your product website, improve conversion rates or get more sales? Or all of the above!
Picking a content creator with reach directly to your target market can do all of these, but you can spend more effectively if you focus your efforts.
If your goal is getting more people talking about your brand it might be better to seek out several creators with a reach of between 1,000 and 100,000 followers to create a buzz across multiple channels.
If you want an instant sales boost, perhaps sponsoring a bigger name creator with a tried and tested track record of converting views into orders is the way forward.
Well-known pen manufacturer
Their goal: Achieve sustainable growth on the brand’s German Facebook channel
How did they make this happen: Regular monthly spending on sponsored content of around 5,000 euros promoting a prize giving Facebook game
Result: The brand increased its German Facebook following from 600 to 23,000 in the first campaign; now the brand has more than 36,000 followers
Once your goal is established you can start looking for the right content creator to represent your brand.
A bit of research here can be the difference between a failed campaign or one that’s a storming success.
Ask yourself what social media platform is best for your product. YouTube might be the right call if, for instance, you are selling a makeup product or something that can be demonstrated and reviewed, whereas Instagram has proven effective for food and fashion brands.
Once that’s settled, look at the creators and what type of content they specialise in. Do you want pictures of the creator wearing your clothes, a video of the creator unboxing your product and testing it out, or are you looking for a more unconventional YouTuber with a quirky, engaging personality?
And don’t forget to really look into who follows them – not just the overall number. Guaranteed they are your target market, but try and assess how engaged the audience is.
You might get better returns by sponsoring a creator with fewer total views if they have a stronger relationship with their followers.
That is, if they select content specifically for their followers, keep the conversation going after the content is published and answer all the comments as and when they come in.
With the right content creators for your brand and campaign goal, an influencer marketing campaign can deliver some of the best ROIs in advertising.
For help choosing a content creator see our influencer checklist