94% of marketers use influencer marketing because it drives 11x more ROI than traditional marketing. Just so we’re clear if you spend $1000 on influencer marketing, you’d most likely make $11,000. That’s pretty huge!
Stats aside, influencer marketing can damage your brand and ROI will most likely be the last thing on your mind if you get in bed with the wrong influencer. Marketers need to keep an eye out for influencers with the right set of qualities, making sure to keep under-performers out of their list.
Let’s do a light introduction to influencer marketing before we do a deep dive into influencer qualities.
An influencer is someone with the power to sway the purchasing decisions of others — regular people like you and me. They’re bloggers or social media personalities with a lot of influence in their verticals.
Influencers become influencers by being:
- Celebrities — these are the original influencers. They could be models, musicians, actors etc. They have way more followers and cost more to hire.
- Industry experts and thought leaders — qualified in a particular niche — macro and micro. These influencers should be in finance, skincare, venture capital etc.
- Bloggers/vloggers — these influencers have a large reader base who seek out their opinions.
Influencer marketing involves brand collaborations with online influencers — celebrities, thought leaders, bloggers/vloggers — to market a product or service.
In today’s digital age, with multiple social platforms taking consumer attention away from traditional media, it’s even more crucial to engage with your target audience on these platforms. The best way to do so? By working with specific social influencers to directly promote your brand, product or event to their legion of loyal followers. Why? Consumers are easily turned off by brands who use hard-selling marketing techniques.
Asides the huge ROI, see some other reasons why brand teams are choosing to listen to the everyday consumer’s need to hear from people like them:
- Consumers trust influencer recommendations — 83% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers over brands, and 66% from opinions posted by consumers online.
- Influencers boost brand awareness — bringing authenticity to your brand and strengthening your social media presence.
- Social media’s increasing dominance — Instagram is the champion of influencer marketing with 12.9 million brand-sponsored posts in 2017, expected to double in 2018. With a market size of nearly $1.7 billion.
- AdBlockers and the fast-forward button — in 2015, brands lost $21.8 billion to ad blockers, expected to increase to 35 billion in 2020. Ads can be skipped and ignored, while many streaming services are now commercial-free.
The stats above are mind-blowing. When done right, influencer marketing can be a win for everybody.
Influence is a force and it was one of the ingredients used to sell the infamous Fyre Festival, “the greatest party that never happened”. What Fyre festival lacked in management, it made up for by pulling off the most talked-about influencer marketing strategy ever. The Fyre team held the attention of their target market by wielding a strong combination of influence, intrigue and exclusivity — garnering over 300 million impressions in only 24 hours.
Billy McFarland, CEO of Fyre Media Inc. was able to pull off that sham because he leveraged influencer marketing. Billy went for influencers who most likely had some or all of the following qualities:
Brand Persona Fit
If your brand is conservative and you’re not looking to spice up the brew, you probably shouldn’t put a rough-and-tumble blogger on your payroll.
Having an influencer that is a fit with your brand persona is a wonderful way to further promote that brand persona and show your audience it’s truly who you are. If your influencer ultimately shares the same values and has similar goals, the audience is going to see the connection.
Every one of Billy’s influencers fit into the luxury lifestyle, making the sham festival even more believable.
Not the quality you’d think of but a great influencer needs to be likeable. An influencer who’s focused on building a positive reputation for themselves, won’t think twice before doing the same for your brand. 100% avoid influencers who alienate a segment of their audience for one reason or another. They might cause you to lose out on the much-needed brand penetration within those segments.
If an influencer is not an authority on the subject s/he is speaking about, no one is going to listen to them. No one’s going to go to a non-finance person for financial advice. Someone who is an authority has the knowledge and the expertise to convey accurate information in a way that people believe. People go to this influencer to find the facts.
A good influencer won’t sleep on his/her message. They grab every opportunity to promote their vertical and followers have come to trust that they’ll always deliver great content. Stay away from influencers who have trouble committing to their vertical(s).
The whole point of working with an influencer is to tap into their audience base through them. An influencer who isn’t great at engaging will do very little for your brand. The ideal influencer keeps an active and consistent publishing schedule and takes the time to comment, share, and like on social media to keep the conversation going. To keep people talking about your brand, you need someone who’s great at talking to people.
This is a no-brainer. Social media is less and less about connecting with friends and family and more about getting your daily dose of entertainment. If no one’s scrambling to an influencer’s page for a daily shot of happy, then they’re probably not the right influencer for you or your brand.
If you take your time and do your research when you’re looking for influencers, you’d end up with the perfect ambassador for your brand.
Don’t just do influencer marketing, go a step further and make it data-driven. Sign up for CXL’s ‘Data-driven Influencer Marketing’ course so you can effortlessly connect your brand’s influencer marketing activities to spend and results etc.