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What is Influencer Marketing?

With the advent of Instagram in 2010, a new marketing phenomenon came into being — the social media influencer. Since then, stars have risen and fortunes have been made — both by influencers themselves and by the brands that employ them. 

Simply put, influencer marketing utilizes the social influence of people like bloggers, celebrities, and thought leaders to influence consumer behavior. Influencers create content for your brand and post it on their social media accounts, blogs or podcasts. These content creators are viewed as experts in their niche and have a loyal following that listens to their insider tips and opinions, creating value for your brand when they mention it in their posts.

What Makes Influencer Marketing So Effective? 

There are numerous reasons why influencer marketing works. First, people trust influencers they follow because those influencers build a relationship with their audience over time. In fact, 63 percent of consumers say they trust an influencer’s message over a brand’s advertising message.

Influencers are also great storytellers. They know how to tell stories about people to highlight what is special about a brand or product. They present images and information in a way that is interesting, relatable and engaging. They are in tune with your target audience and help to form an experiential bond between your brand and a community of consumers with a message that feels more like a conversation than a commercial. 

Due to their expertise and storytelling prowess, influencers have an established following of thousands or even millions of people. Brands benefit by tapping into the traffic influencers have already created, thereby boosting engagement rates and brand loyalty.

Influencer marketing can add flair and legitimacy to any product or brand, from apparel to beauty products to chicken eggs. Eggs, really? Yes, really. Just take a look at what Big Chief Creative Media (BCCM) has done for its client Chino Valley Ranchers, a family-owned, sustainable producer of quality eggs. 

Example 1: Who doesn’t love shopping at Trader Joe’s? This trusted grocery purveyor recently featured Chino Valley Ranchers Pasture Raised Eggs in its Trader Joe’s Food Reviews on TikTok. A demonstration for making TikTok’s famous breakfast burrito. View the video here: https://www.tiktok.com/@traderjoesfoodreviews/video

Example 2: Healthy eating influencer Emma Abrahamson, @onecrazedfoodie on Insta, featured Chino Valley eggs from Trader Joe’s in her selfie-worthy veggie skillet. You can see the deliciousness at: https://www.instagram.com/p/CGVVU2WFoCC/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Where Do I Start?

An influencer marketing program requires strategic planning. To begin, find influencers that are the right match for your brand. You want someone whose values, audience, and persona align with your brand. Also, plan to define clear marketing goals and expectations, and create legal contracts with the influencers you engage. 

Your influencer doesn’t have to be a superstar. You may choose to work with a micro-influencers (someone with fewer than 2,000 followers) or someone with a larger audience, depending upon your budget and goals.  

To get an idea of cost, Influence.co published the results of its 2017 research. It revealed that overall average cost per Instagram post was $271. The average price for micro-influencers with fewer than 1,000 followers was $83 per post, while the average price for influencers with more than 100,000 followers was $763 per post. Costs since have gone up dramatically.  

Choose the network you want to focus on, preferably one where your brand already has a presence. Consider also the demographics of that network and where your brand is the best fit. While Instagram has set the gold standard for influencer marketing, other networks like Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok offer their own community of influencers with different demographics. For instance, fashionistas dominate on Instagram and YouTube, while video gamers follow Twitch.

You’ll also need to clearly define your goals and message. Most marketers want to elevate brand awareness and increase sales. The more specific your objectives, the more effective your influencer can be. Do you want to increase your customer base in a particular demographic, or expand into a whole different market sector with a new product? Maybe you want an influencer to highlight your brand’s values. Give your influencer clear guidelines to ensure that the information they post will support your marketing campaign.

Working with an influencer differs from an automated ad strategy, in that you’re working with a person. It’s important to take the time to build relationships with your influencers. The trust you create will result in more loyalty to your brand, inspiring more genuine and quality content.

Running a successful influencer marketing campaign requires careful monitoring and follow up. Working with a digital marketing agency can make the whole process simpler and more effective, from setting a budget and goals, to identifying possible influencers, and measuring the ROI of your campaigns. BCCM has the creativity and technical know-how to bring social proof to your brand. Contact us today, and we’ll get started!