Influencer Marketing: Basics of a Strategy

Planning to strengthen your position in the banking industry? Ask the hero of some Hollywood thriller to confirm that you can be relied on just like him.
Do you sell natural cosmetics? Ask the beauty blogger to demonstrate its quality in front of her (and your) target audience.
Looking for a way to get a few percents on the overflowing sportswear market? Make the face of your brand a new popular rapper and broadcast your lifestyle – his fans will want to be like him!

Everything similar that you once saw on billboards, TV or Internet, has long been a clear term and is used to increase brand recognition and loyalty to many professional marketers around the world. Influencer marketing is an effective tool for speaking to via popular and famous people, to whom your audience listens, honors and respects.

Influencer Marketing goes to the masses

Half a century ago: technology for influencer marketing was only available in large companies or brands that had massive budgets for attracting famous personalities – such as big campaigns of tobacco corporations with Clint Eastwood in the main role, as well as other stars who persuaded the whole world that smoking is a sign of masculinity, sexuality and maturity.

Today, against explosive growth in the development of social networks and mobile devices, we see the second birth of advertising via popular personalities.

influencer marketing trend epicstars
Growth rate of interest in influencer marketing Based on Google Trends data, August 2018.

Thanks to this, in our today’s days, even some home bakery can provide to itself to get the ad posted on barter terms in 30-50K Instagram page with real followers. Moreover, such methods work efficiently and bring orders. And what can we say about medium and large companies that allocate separate budgets and expenditure items for this.

According to research Collective bias:

  • 65% more reliable is opinion about a product or brand in a social network, than from more direct advertising channels
  • 150% return on investment from marketing activities of the agents of influence (based on analysis of 300,000 hours of content from more than 5,000 opinion leaders).
  • 59% of marketing departments of leading brands plan to increase expenditures on influencer marketing this year.

So, we suggest to learn more about what this direction consists of and what are its main features. As in any kind of marketing, influencer marketing has its own “tools” or channels, through which the set goals are achieved. The only difference is that these channels are live people, even if they are broadcasting through the Internet platforms. Let’s see into what types these people can be divided.

Leaders of public opinion

If we talk about global things, then the leader of public opinion can be a politician (for example, Donald Trump), a popular actor or a representative of art. These people have a certain “weight” in their communities, whose members support and share their views on most issues.

Online opinion leaders are usually represented in almost every niche and industry. Usually, they are show business stars, as well as people who conduct their blogs or author columns on information portals, Youtube or Vimeo, and also publish various thematic information through channels or entire communities via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and others.

Offline, this role is usually represented by experts (if we are talking about B2B industry), who broadcast authoritative and full of meaningful speech at business forums, seminars, conferences and other industry events.

As we said above, in almost every niche there is a leader of opinion and the main task is to find him and make your agent of influence.

Agent of influence

Agents of influence are people who can influence the opinions of other people with actions and authoritative opinion, incl. pursuing defined goals.

It can even be small discussions and correspondence within various forums, thematic venues where your target audience can hang out. These people, their comments and discussions created by them, have weight and their task is to persuade the general direction of the dialogue and its essence in the direction that is right for you.
Useful article: “Agents of influence in online marketing”

Ideally, those who read such messages and discussions are more likely to become your satisfied customers. And companies with quality service are exactly the same.

In fact, this type strongly overlaps with opinion leaders and, in most cases, they are a single whole – as soon as the leader understands that he is the leader, he understands that he can influence people.

The lawyer of the brand and the ambassador

The lawyers of the brand or, as they are called ambassadors are in fact identical concepts, therefore, in this article, we will unite them into one section (more detailed article: “Brand ambassadors: details about the new concept in marketing”).

We may say that this is the elite of influencer marketing in any campaign. Even if the company has only one ambassador – he is, first of all, a consumer and an ardent admirer of the their products or services, he defends the interests of the company and leads arguments in favor of and support for the protected brand.

Turning a client or the star you need into a brand lawyer can be either literally buying him/her, or using classic marketing techniques and providing such a necessary and high-quality product that he/she him(her)self will want to share it with everyone around him/her.

The international brand UBER, which offers taxi services in 68 countries around the world, attracted 65% of its actual customers on … recommendations. The scheme was simple to disgrace – you send a friend a special link to register in the application and you both get to the account bonus money that you can use on trips (and therefore have free rides). Agree that on such terms, many people at any opportunity will persuade friends to try this particular taxi? Without knowing it, they all became lawyers of the UBER brand.

Men everywhere want to be like Cristiano Ronaldo with his dashing good looks and great sports achievements – making him perfect for brand endorsement. Ronaldo currently has brand ambassador deals with Nike, Tag Heuer, Sacoor Brother suits and Monster headphones.

Where does the work on introducing of influencer marketing tools in business usually begin?

Drawing a portrait of an audience

This is the key stage – you are supposed to best know your customers – describe a few of them in the most detailed way: sex, age, approximate way of life and interests, what do they do at work and in their spare time, life values and principles, what they dream about and what they do not like.

It’s okay if there are several such personalities and portraits – as a result, 3-5 detailed characters can be obtained – clients.

Identifying the personalities that influence your audience

After you have the clients’ portraits, the abstract mass of orders, calls, letters and appeals materialize in quite specific characters. Then only understanding their deeper interests remains. What are they reading? What video channels are watching? Who is respected and admired by whom?

For example, for a fitness club or sportswear manufacturers, the thematic channels of popular sportsmen or fitness stars on Youtube and Instagram will be most effective. For the children’s medical clinic, the video channels of young mothers on Youtube or their blogs in LiveJournal, as well as thematic “women’s forums” will be useful.
We recommend reading the article on the topic: “Native advertising: what is it like”

Build communication with the owner of the media platform

Where to search and how to contact popular personalities?
Some managers have contacts indicated and even have special assistants to deal with such issues. And someone is not so sophisticated in commercial matters and it is difficult to find even an e-mail. Many people use specialized platforms in their work, for example, advertising exchanges on Youtube, where a large number of bloggers and authors of various genres run their own blog on platforms such as BRANDS.GG.

Create a promotion (ad task) for an artist

Agreeing with the leader of opinions, it is necessary to correctly and clearly formulate the task and fix all the conditions. In this article, we tried to describe the main points, what you need to pay attention when drafting an advertising task.

Summarizing

The strategy of promoting products and services through influencer marketing is a rapidly growing trend, revived amid the boom in the development of social networks and globalization as a whole. This is proved by both research and real practical experience, including companies from the business segment.

Thanks to new formats of communication and exchange of opinions, various tools have appeared to retain old ones and attract new customers. Should you try these format? The decision is yours!

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3 September 2018
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