Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing tool to grow your business. It can help your business to reach out to new prospects, gain authority, increase brand loyalty, and most importantly, increase sales! Yes, you can’t wait to see these incredible benefits of influencer marketing, but you are not sure if the success can be replicated in your business. You are tempted to get your influencer marketing campaign started but at the same time you are hesitating: am I really ready to do this? Is my business right for influencer marketing?
We get it, it is not easy to jump to the decision.
In this post, we will have all your questions answered and you will know how to make sure your business is ready for influencer marketing.
Since consumer product sales highly rely on human connections, trust, and relationships, influencer marketing will be beneficial in helping B2C brands in increasing brand awareness, brand loyalty, and sales.
Top Industries Benefiting from Influencer Marketing
Among all the B2C brands, the following industries are the top ones that can get the greatest results from influencer marketing. If your business is in one of them, congratulations, you are already so much ahead in the game!
Health & Fitness
Health and fitness is a very popular industry in influencer marketing, especially on Instagram. Almost every time you open up your Instagram, you can see brands hire influencers such as foodies, yogis, fitness trainers, lifestyle bloggers, bodybuilders to share photos and videos to promote their products. It works so well on Health and Fitness brands because the content in this industry is visually striking, which is perfect for social platforms like Instagram. Consumers are more likely to be convinced when they see the before and after photos of an actual person using a health/fitness product.
Fashion and Beauty
Similar to Health and Fitness, influencer marketing is very effective in the Beauty and Fashion industry. Since the content of Fashion and Beauty is visually enjoyable, many brands successfully utilize influencers to help them create engaging content to reach out to more potential customers. Furthermore, the leading beauty and fashion influencers have a collective reach of followers up to 31 million people.
Although the travel industry is impacted by the pandemic in 2020, influencer marketing usually works very well for travel brands. Photos and videos about travel destinations are desired content on social media. Consumers love to discover new travel locations and tips from influencers.
Entrepreneurship and business-related brands are on the rise in influencer marketing. As more and more people are looking into starting a new business, a side hustle, or learning new skills online in 2020, entrepreneurship and business-related brands are leveraging influencers to reach out to more audiences. Business content works very well on social media live streams such as Facebook and Youtube Live.
Now, are you thinking what if your business is B2B? Is your business still right for influencer marketing? 100%! Even though influencer marketing seems more common in the B2C sector, it doesn’t mean that B2B brands cannot benefit from influencer marketing. In fact, it’s super effective! A tech software brand, for instance, can work with tech influencers that are knowledgeable in technology and ask them to give reviews or make tutorial videos for the software. It could effectively reach out to potential business clients that are seeking similar software and solutions.
However, for B2B brands, influencer marketing will be effective only if you are patient and willing to invest in the strategy for a long haul. Because B2B purchase decisions are more complicated than consumer goods. Unlike consumer goods, B2B purchases don’t happen in one day by one person. Since multiple stakeholders are involved in the B2B buying decision, it takes a longer time to nurture B2B leads. But once you are committed to a long-term influencer marketing strategy, you will see how effective it is to speed up the nurturing process along the way.
Signs That Your Business is Ready for Influencer Marketing
How can you tell if your business is ready for influencer marketing though? We found four signs that can help you find out whether or not your business is ready for it:
You Have a Good Product to Sell
It might sound like common sense but many people forget that a good product is the starting point of your business and your influencer marketing strategy. You can’t go anywhere without a good product. It could be a tangible product, a concept, or a service that you provide value to your customers.
If you have a product ready to sell, great! You have one thing down in getting ready for influencer marketing! To take it one step further, it’s wise to think about what niche your product is in, and who your target audience is. Perhaps your skincare product is in the organic niche and the target audience would probably be people who have a skincare routine and are health conscious.
This will be helpful in the process of setting up your influencer marketing strategy. By understanding your niche and target audience, you will be able to identify what kind of influencers you should work with.
Your Business Has a Social Media Presence
Before launching your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to have your business’s social profile set up. If your business has already had a social presence, it is going to support your influencer marketing strategy to be successful. It will help the audience to get to know your brand, your products, and give them a place to connect with you.
Now, are you wondering what it means to have a social presence? How to tell if your brand’s social profiles are ready for influencer marketing? Here are the minimum requirements for a social media presence: a complete bio, content posted, followers, and a general social strategy.
One thing we want to point out about social presence is that you don’t have to have a big following to run influencer marketing campaigns. The number isn’t as important as the strategy and quality of the content. A well-curated social bio and content strategy with only a few pieces of content and followers are going to do much better than a directionless social strategy with tens or hundreds of thousands of followers.
You Are in Influencer Marketing for The Long Haul
If you understand that Influencer marketing isn’t an overnight success, you are ready to move forward. A common pitfall of influencer marketing is having the influencer post about your brand once then drop the relationship. A long-term influencer marketing strategy allows your brand and products to get more exposure to the target audience and warm them up to the buying decision. Successful brands who develop long-term relationships with their influencer network get 7+ times higher brand awareness and conversions than brands that are not committed to a long-term strategy.
When running influencer marketing short-term, you might see some results like a spike in sales, if you are lucky, but these results won’t sustain. For example, if you own a make-up brand, and you paid for a few influencers to promote your products with Instagram posts, it might help to boost the sales of that specific product in a short period of time. Perhaps the sales of the product increased for that month. But after that, if you didn’t have a long-term, well-crafted influencer marketing strategy, the sales would go back down to normal and you may find influencer marketing unhelpful. But the truth is, the disappointing result is not on influencer marketing itself, it’s because of the lack of a long-term plan. We recommend at least a 6-month campaign to get the best out of influencer marketing while we have seen the most successful campaigns running a year or more.
You Have a Budget for Influencer Marketing
Like many other marketing strategies, influencer marketing requires some budget to carry out. Hiring an influencer marketing agency, a specialist, or executing by yourself all requires a marketing budget. If you have allocated some budget to influencer marketing, then you are in a good place.
Depending on the budget you have, you have several options to carry out your campaign. A lower budget option is to hire a solo freelancer to execute your campaign. For this option, you’re looking at about $500-2000 per month for basic beginner-level campaigns. If you want to move beyond the basics, you can hire a generalist social media or marketing team, which can cost about $2,000-4,000 per month. At this price level, you’ll likely get more refined campaigns and more planning, but often the teams are not specialized in influencer marketing and excel more at general social media management. Their influencer marketing results can be mixed and suboptimal. Clients of these firms often come to us disappointed and frustrated their influencer marketing didn’t achieve the results they’ve seen other brands achieve. $2,000-4,000 per month may sound like a lot of money for generalist talent, but remember your budget includes funds to pay influencers and pay for supporting ads as well as to pay the strategists who are executing the campaign. Once resources are divided among these items, they’re much more limited.
If you are willing to invest in a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy and you want optimal results, find a specialty agency that knows influencer marketing insideout. With an influencer marketing agency, you will be able to work with a team of experts who have specialized experience in planning, executing, and measuring influencer marketing campaigns. For comprehensive specialty agency services like this, expect to pay $4,000+ per month.
But what if you are a start-up brand and don’t have a significant budget? Can you still get yourself ready for influencer marketing? The answer is yes. There are product-for-post or gifted campaigns where you can use the budget for influencer marketing services. You could work part-time with a freelancer to reduce the cost of services and do some of the work by yourself.
The right thing to do is to start crafting a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy, by yourself or hiring someone to help. Write the strategy down and review it a few times before the execution.
So did your business check all four signs? In the end, if you still not sure if your business is ready for it, we have some bonus tips for you.
Do Your Market Research
If you have been following our blog, you probably knew that market research is an important step in setting up your influencer marketing campaign. By doing market research you will be able to find out who are some influencers in your field. You can start a spreadsheet to collect the influencers’ contact information to get ready for influencer outreach. Through your research, you can get familiar with the influencer marketing best practices and avoid some common mistakes in running your first campaign.
Have a Comprehensive Strategy
Once you conduct your research, don’t plunge into execution yet. We know it’s tempting to get started as soon as possible and get results ASAP. But don’t forget that a result-driven influencer marketing campaign requires patience. Jumping right into execution without a clear plan could waste your time and money. The right thing to do is to start crafting a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy, by yourself or hiring someone to help. Write the strategy down and review it a few times before the execution.
Take a look at our post to start planning your campaign:
How to run an influencer marketing campaign
Now you should feel fully prepared for your first influencer marketing campaign! If you will need more help from our experts, just leave us a message to set up a one-on-one meeting!