A CMO’s Guide to Influencer Marketing

Amanda Windsor
By Amanda Windsor

Today’s digital marketing landscape is more competitive than ever. Not only are consumers inundated with information, ads and offers, at virtually every touchpoint imaginable, but they’ve also become more savvy, informed and aware of exactly when they’re being marketed to.

Chief Marketing Officer’s must continue to uncover lucrative, forward-thinking strategies to engage their existing customers and reach prospective ones. Brands that fail to innovate and implement new approaches will not cut through the noise and will be left behind.

One such innovative and emerging strategy is influencer marketing, and, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase thrown around at least once or twice. Whether you read about it, spotted a competitor campaign or have even kicked off the discussion with your team internally, it’s no secret that influencer marketing has set the marketing world abuzz… and for good reason.

Celebrity Endorsement Or Influencer Marketing?

While similar in theory to the goals of traditional celebrity endorsements via TV spots and magazine ads – think Michael Jordan and Fruit of the Loom, Jennifer Aniston and Smartwater – social media influencer marketing utilizes a new age type of celebrity; one that has amassed a hyper-engaged and hyper-targeted following on social media, and, this following is where the true value of an influencer lies to your brand.

In short, influencer marketing uses influential individuals to bring your brand’s message to your target market or audience. With influencer marketing you’re able to reach current and prospective customers in a very personal and thoughtful way.

Related: How to Find the Right Instagram Influencers for Your Brand

By following a given influencer, consumers have shown their initial interest and concern for staying up-to-date on the influencer’s day-to-day life, unlocking a personalized and potentially lucrative communication channel for marketers to tap into.

But what does this all mean for your business in the long run? How should you properly approach a strategic influencer marketing campaign that will move the needle and support your sales initiatives? This post will serve as your introductory crash course to all things influencer marketing and equip you with the necessary information to kickstart your brand’s influencer marketing efforts.

Must-Know Influencer Marketing Lingo

Since social media influencer marketing is relatively new, here are a few terms to bring you up to speed when looking to add influencer relations to your digital marketing repertoire:

3 R’s of Influence

Keep the 3 R’s in mind when determining if a social media influencer is the right fit for your brand. They are: Reach, Relevance and Resonance.

  • Reach: Look at how many followers a given influencer has – this number can be the sum of multiple social media platforms or of a single platform. This number is the amount of people your brand and key messaging has the potential to reach.
  • Relevance: Take a look at the type of content the influencer is creating and sharing with their followers. The tone, style and general aesthetic of the content they create should match the audience and market segment your brand is looking to target.
  • Resonance: Take likes, comments and shares into consideration, resonance is the potential engagement rate an influencer can create with their brand-relevant audience.

Micro-Influencer

Influencers that have between 10,000 and 50,000 followers depending on the industry or vertical they’re relevant to. Micro-Influencers have high levels of trust and engagement from their followers – more so than a traditional celebrities – making them the ideal target for your influencer marketing campaign.

Engagement Rate

The level at which an influencer’s followers are interacting with their content. This interaction includes: likes, comments and shares. Ideally, an influencer’s engagement rate should be 10 percent of their total followers or higher.

Related: How to Create an Influencer Campaign That Generates More Than Likes

Meaning, total up the number of likes, comments and shares they receive on average per post, then compare this number to their total number of followers or potential reach.

 

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Feature Post

The most coveted post or coverage type in the world of influencer marketing. In this post your brand is the only one included, placing 100 percent of the focus and attention on your product or service and key messaging.

Product Gifting

The sending of your brand’s physical product to an influencer in exchange for a social media post(s). This product is the influencers to keep and you should not expect to get these samples back.

Sponsored Fee

The price an influencer charges for a post(s), imagery or a social syndication package to mention your brand on their social platform(s). This fee can be drastically lower or non-existent depending on the price point of your product gifted to the influencer. Higher end items offset this cost, while lower priced items typically need a sponsored budget for maximum influencer campaign success.

Business Profile

A classification that Instagram gives to influencers with over 10,000 followers that enhances their profile page with a ‘contact’ button and gives the influencer access to account performance analytics.

UTM Code

A simple URL that you can create for influencers in order to track source, medium and campaign name in Google Analytics. Influencers with business profiles can include UTM codes (provided by the brand) within their Instagram stories enabling brands’ to track key performance metrics including traffic, conversions, conversion value, time on site and bounce rate. These insights can help your brand determine the influencers that perform the best.

FTC regulations

For influencer marketing, the Federal Trade Commision makes it mandatory for influencers to clearly disclose when they’re promoting or endorsing products on social media.

Related: When to Use Hashtags (& When to Leave Them Out)

This disclosure should include hashtags such as #ad, #sponsored, or #promotion. Brands that comply with these regulations position themselves as trusted businesses in the eyes of the consumer.

Campaign Agreement

An agreement between your brand and the influencer that clearly spells out the terms of your influencer agreement. This legally binding agreement protects both parties and ensures a smooth collaboration. Campaign agreements should be tailored for each influencer on a case-by-case basis, detailing the product to be gifted, number of posts, number of Instagram story mentions, duration of contract, amount to be paid to influencer (if necessary), and FTC regulation disclosure (this protects your brand).

Image Release Agreement

An agreement between your brand and the influencer giving your brand permission to repurpose any images taken by the influencer however you see fit. This can and should be included in your campaign agreement and enhances the value of each influencer relationship as these photos can be used on your brand’s various social channels and integrated into comprehensive marketing efforts.

Wrapping Up

Social media influencer marketing presents a new opportunity for brands to connect with their target audience through a trusted third party endorsement. Like any marketing channel and strategy, your approach needs to be thoughtful and must take things into consideration like brand perception, customer acquisition and ROI.

Related: Getting Started with Social Media Influencer Outreach

A successful influencer marketing campaign is intricate and laden with countless moving parts, but something that the influencer marketing pros at Power Digital flawlessly manage on a daily basis for some of the most forward-thinking brands in their respective industries!

Does this new and highly lucrative digital marketing strategy seem like a great fit for your brand? We’d love to hear from you!

 

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Amanda is a PR & Outreach Manager at Power Digital Marketing where she spearheads all media relations and outreach initiatives. She’s passionate about executing campaigns that thoughtfully blend digital and traditional PR tactics to boost her client’s bottom line. Outside of the office, Amanda can be found supporting her beloved Liverpool FC (YNWA!), binge watching reality TV or breaking a sweat at CrossFit.