How to Use Influencer Marketing to Drive Sales
Here’s a shocker – 70% of all millennial buyers are influenced to buy a product instead of using their own free thoughts.
So… what exactly is Influencer Marketing? And how efficient is it in driving your sales up the roof?
Quite a lot if we follow the current trend of shoppers.
Businesses earn an average of $6.50 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing. If you aren’t utilizing influencer marketing, you’re missing out on huge profits.
Don’t fret, at Cleverism we’ll demonstrate exactly the importance of using Influencer Marketing to boost your sales campaign.
WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING? WHAT MAKES IT THE NEXT BIG MARKETING TACTIC?
Back when you were a kid when your favorite celebrity endorsed a new product on TV, you were magically drawn towards the product.
Now be honest and ask yourself –
- How likely were you to buy this product if it was endorsed by someone you didn’t like?
- How likely were you to buy it from your favorite celebrity?
The answer is obvious – we are all influenced by people around us whether they are non-interactable celebrities or our family and friends.
We recommend products in our homes, in the gyms, in the workspace, or during a barbeque party – “Hey, try out this delicious teriyaki steak sauce to pair with your steak.”
While all of this is predominantly done to assist our family and friends in making wiser choices, today, there is a serious wave of influencer marketing utilized in digital sales.
Understanding the Scope of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is all around us – we see people endorsing products on Instagram and Facebook every day.
There are numerous YouTube channels where people review products and breakdown the pros and cons to provide valuable insight into the product you wish to buy.
These social media influencers attract viewers and entertain them with humor or brighten their day through quirky videos describing the products they endorse. Highly engaged viewers became consumers of their favorite influencers.
Because they form a bond with the influencer.
Why Influencer Marketing is a High ROI for Businesses?
A billboard set up with a product endorsement attracts anyone who strolls by the location.
However, an influencer attracts their viewers to their product endorsement via digital mediums like YouTube and Podcasts. Hence, the targeted audience is extremely high when compared to standard advertising and costs much lower too.
Followers of the influencer are happy to stay and watch the entire video. A billboard or an advertisement simply doesn’t attract an audience in the same interesting way.
Let’s assume you’re a brand that deals with gaming peripherals. It makes sense to reach out to a gaming influencer, right? The gaming influencer could be someone who reviews games or the latest gaming gadgets.
Assuming this gaming influencer has 2 million followers on YouTube. Having your product as an endorsement at the end of their video allows the influencer to endorse your product with his viewers.
And most of the audience just so happens to be? – Well, gamers of course!
Now that’s a smart way to target your products to the right audience utilizing influencers.
You’re probably left wondering why viewers find an influencer interesting?
That’s a simple one to answer.
Influencers are real people. Individuals in an advertisement are hired actors with scripts.
A key aspect that creates an interesting bond between influencers and their followers is ‘Simplicity’. Influencers have a heart-to-heart conversation to explain the product in detail and provide in-depth knowledge about the product that an advertising campaign simply fails.
People love honesty and influencers are all about being natural and to the point.
Here are 4 examples of successful Influencer marketing campaigns that have driven a high ROI for their products.
Chances are you probably came across this quirky name while browsing around the internet that belongs to Swedish YouTuber – Felix Arvid.
PewDiePiew has a whopping 101 million subscriber base on his YouTube account. With a combined total of over 140 million subscribers across all social media formats, he’s undoubtedly the top social media influencer that earns over $12 million every year.
Yes! A millionaire. That’s how big influencer marketing is to sales marketing.
Much of his videos revolve around video games and other popular culture content. PewDiePiew endorses colossal brands such as LG, Volvo, and was even said to be recruited by Disney until the deal fell through due to a controversy.
If top brands have adopted to utilizing Influencer Marketing as their top choice for gaining customers, it demonstrates a working business tactic that is replacing the age-old ‘Post an Ad’ approach.
2. Bigelow Tea
The name Bigelow is quite a household name with specially brewed teas that would capture the soul of anyone lucky enough to catch a whiff.
But did you know that Bigelow increased its sales by 18.5% through influencer marketing alone?
With the assistance of blogger Ashley Thurman, Bigelow began to create an influencer campaign to directly reach out to their consumers by connecting to them via Ashley’s lifestyle blogs. Ashley already had a good viewership on her Instagram and personal blog. Many of her audience were millennials.
Bigelow wanted to strike a chord with the youngsters, so Ashley began to demonstrate various recipes for creating tea-based drinks on her blog and Instagram. Interested people reached out to her endorsement link and ended up on Bigelow’s website.
In this way, Bigelow grew its sales by reaching out to other lifestyle bloggers to directly reach out to the young and millennial viewers.
3. Mercedes Benz
The luxurious car manufacturer has utilized several micro and celebrity influencers to strike a chord with their prestigious customers.
One such influencer campaign that was unique was when Mercedes got a hold of Loki, who’s known in the social media world as a wolfdog that goes on adventures with his fellow humans.
Yes! You heard right – a pet dog drove the sales of Mercedes Benz up the roof.
The VR campaign utilized Loki to embark on a chilling journey through the snowy cliffs of Colorado with his owner Kelly Lund.
The campaign was heavily praised and became viral due to the bond shared by Lund and Loki while driving through the snow peaks in the cozy atmosphere of a Mercedes vehicle.
The campaign proved the durability of the automobiles made by Mercedes that were capable of traversing over rough terrain through the snow-clad mountains. It also gave the viewers a sense of adventure that they could share with the wolfdog and owner on their epic journey.
4. Dude Perfect
What happens when you mix a gang of five friends in love with basketball doing trick shots on a lazy Sunday afternoon with a camcorder?
You get a viral video shared by millions of people enjoying the tricks demonstrated by these talented basketball players.
Skip a few years into the future and the five players are professional influencers with their own TV show. They have their own merchandise store as well as various mobile apps to draw their viewership to their endorsements.
The friends have over 46 million YouTube subscribers and 9 million Instagram followers to their name. Visiting their social media pages demonstrates the various products they endorse and why sports brands prefer to use them as their sales campaign.
Do you still doubt the magnitude of influencer marketing with the examples above?
Now that you’ve understood why influencer campaigns are so successful, it’s time to start your own campaign.
Allow us at Cleverism to demonstrate how to get it done in a few simple ways.
TOP INFLUENCER MARKETING STRATEGIES THAT ARE GUARANTEED TO DRIVE SALES
Just because a marketing strategy works, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing to enter without a plan.
Influencer marketing like other successful marketing strategies requires careful forethought before venturing into the unknown.
Leave the rest to us to show you the exact science in picking the right influencer strategy for your brand.
1. Research Your Influencers
Always choose an influencer that understands your brand and products.
What we mean is choose an influencer that loves your products beforehand. To do this, perform research on all the videos or material that the influencer has previously reviewed or talked about.
Grab your big yellow notepad and create a pro and con list. List down all the positives of the influencer on one side and the negatives on the other.
Make sure to check out some influencer marketing platforms to find influencers.
Here’s a sample pro/con list to review an influencer.
+ Understands my niche
+ In-depth review provided
+ Clear vocal clarity
+ Creative Marketing
– Expensive to hire
– Creates only 3 videos every month (requirement: 5)
The following example shows that the Influencer understands the product that you require and does a full review of your product. He or she also has a positive attitude and has an extremely mindset to entertain its audience. All great points and perfect to launch your product.
The 2 big cons demonstrate that their pricing structure is quite expensive and out of your budget. They also don’t seem to do more than 3 videos every month. This means you’ll either cough up the dough or negotiate to reach a common ground.
Remember, once you’ve broken down the information, it’s easier to take a call if the influencer fits your requirements or not.
Let’s assume you sell makeup essentials. Reaching out and collaborating with a makeup artist that reviews products for years and has a long list of followers is ideal to kickstart your publicity campaign.
However, it’s ill-advised to reach out to fashion-based influencers as ‘Fashion’ is a general term and not a niche. Your product endorsement could be all over the place.
2. Long-term Commitment Always
Are you someone that takes a trial of a product before switching over to the next brand?
Well, an influencer marketing strategy should always remain long-term or it’s never worth the effort.
- The audience doesn’t relate immediately to a new product that the influencer speaks about
- Takes time with repeated endorsements for viewers to relate with the product
- Long-term commitments are efficient for both – the influencer and the brand owner
- The audience is likely to trust your product if the influencer is in collaboration for a long period
- Builds and strengthens the relationship of your product with the influencer
- The long-term relationship allows the influencer to gain knowledge at marketing your product through experimentation
A new product is like a blossoming romance to the influencer. There is bound to be product shyness and distance in the early days.
While they perform their best to endorse your product through hot marketing trends, it takes time to connect the product with their audience.
Partnering up for a long-term removes the awkwardness and the stress of coming up with a winning formula. The influencer gets into the grove in a natural way and ends up connecting with your product in a natural manner.
Long-term commitments convert into affiliate links and coupon codes personalized for the influencer to share with their audience. Something that won’t work with a short-term contract.
3. Work a Unique Strategy for Your Product With Your Influencer
Yes! You do have a say in how the influencer markets your product but remember the reason you are approaching the influencer in the first place. For their expertise!
If you think you have a phenomenal idea to market the product, put it across and develop the concept while working with the influencer. However, If the influencer has a plan for your product, hear them out!
Remember, they are expert marketers, they haven’t attained a high follower count if they didn’t know what they were doing. It’s best to trust your influencer’s strategy over your own in the event of clashing opinions.
If the influencer comes off rude or negative, it’s best to terminate the contract before proceeding further. Your product’s success is directly proportional to the healthy relationship that you possess with your influencer.
The influencer will look forward to coming up with interesting concepts if they are interested in your product. Creativity and unique marketing are something that an influencer must come up with.
An excellent example comes in the form of GymShark, a fitness apparel-based brand. Noel Mack remarks “Instagram as a huge part of our success story.”, GymShark invites their influencers along with their followers to their store for an interactive session of meet and greet.
The session is usually followed by selfies and fitness advice. This level of interaction caused the fans and the influencers to bond even closer and in turn, drive the sales up the roof for GymShark. According to MarketingWeek, the brand doubled their earnings in a single year with these strategies.
A marketing strategy doesn’t require a complex plan but to achieve success it usually works best when working together with your influencer and both are on board with the execution.
4. Clearly Map Out Your Objectives and Audience
A general audience for your product won’t cut it. That’s like selling meat products to a vegan.
It rubs people the wrong way and marketing to a general audience is extremely intrusive and unprofessional.
Even if your brand deals with common household stuff like brooms and pans, it’s a good idea to market it to a target audience that is likely to make a purchase.
Targeting everyone may seem like the way to go but remember – maximizing your sales with the right audience bumps your profits.
That’s why influencer marketing is perfect for putting the spotlight on your brand to grab the eyeballs of your niche audience. But even an influencer is helpless if you don’t have objectives on the kind of marketing required.
Ask yourself the following questions.
- Is my product targeting a luxurious range of individuals or am I most interested in giving the budget folks a good deal?
- Will I include discounts and coupons?
- Does my product come with a positive message? If yes, should the influencer include it in their presentation?
- Who is most likely to buy my product? – single mothers, young professionals, fresh graduates, retired folks, children, etc.
- Are my competitors using influencer marketing as well? If yes, do I copy their best practices or simply go with a brand-new concept?
- Is my aim to maximize sales or to generate publicity or a balance of both?
- Am I tracking my current ROI for all the campaigns I have launched?
- Are my influencers closely related to my product?
Write the answers to these questions down on a piece of paper.
The answers to these questions provide you with the biggest solution to your marketing puzzle – Perspective!
Once you understand your perspective and draw conclusions, the search for your influencer narrows down. Hiring the right influencer can make or break your brand.
5. Don’t Chase After Influencers with a Large Following
Before you say another word! Hear us out.
You’re probably thinking why you shouldn’t go for the cream of the crop in terms of hiring an influencer.
While on paper, gunning for the most popular influencer seems to be the best choice, you haven’t fully considered the following negative aspects.
- A large following doesn’t necessarily mean the influencer is doing a good job in marketing a product.
- Going by large follower numbers is a good way for you to fall into a scam. Many fraudulent influencers buy their followers through various nefarious sources.
- Even if a popular influencer is a ticket to the top, ask yourself – How much do you think their fee is? Can you afford it? And if you could, is it worth it?
- The biggest influencers usually sponsor more brands and hence, their focus is diverted and most definitely not loyal to your brand.
- The big bad influencers may not be as easy receiving to your input and the breach in communication won’t ring a delicate tone.
- Another aspect to consider, if an influencer is popular and targeting a specific niche, chances are the niche is already tapped out of its potential by other well-known competitors in your field.
The rule of the thumb is, leave the popular influencers for the large brands. Until your brand has matured into an organization, it’s best to stick with less popular influencers who have demonstrated their ability to market products.
However, if you already have a large brand and are on the search for an influencer marketer, it’s best to match the other strategies in this article and choose a famous influencer.
You don’t want your brand to be out in the cold while the rest of the world are utilizing influencer marketing to drive their sales through the roof.
Collaborating with an influencer is an effective way to get honest publicity and a loyal audience.
When was the last time you bought a product that an influencer recommended? What was it? We’d love to read about it in the comments below.
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