TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABOUT JASON QUEY
Jason Quey is the owner and founder of Growth Ramp. Growth Ramp helps early-stage startups establish their growth strategy.
The Storyteller Marketer is his previous marketing blog. Here you will find information about influencer marketing, SEO, and content strategy.
For more information on how to establish your growth strategy, check out the latest Growth Ramp articles.
He has helped his clients:
- Generate an 88% lift in monthly traffic in three months, which led to 20% more inbound clients, with LTVs of $25,000+.
- Use influencer outreach to drive over 22,000 unique visitors to a single article. This led to backlinks from Microsoft, the University of Geneva, and other respected big data sites.
- Increase blog traffic, such as +71% in three months, +88% in three months, +127% in two months, and +313% in eight months.
You may have seen his name on Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, SalesForce, Copyblogger, and Sumo.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
“You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”
– Inigo Montoya, Princess Bride.
Inigo Montoya was right. Influencer marketing is one of the most used and abused words out there. So what is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing where you identify key people who have influence over your potential buyers.
These influencers are incredible people who’ve built a community based on connection and trust.
So when she advocates your product to her audience, sales start flowing in, fast.
Why Does Influencer Marketing Work?
People have a low trust in ads. In fact, almost 70 million people in the USA use ad block software. Instead, people have turned to the opinions of influencers over impersonal ads.
So why does influencer marketing work better than other forms of non-ad marketing?
In a word, targeting. Are you familiar with the 80/20 principle? Roughly 80% of your results will come from 20% of causes. In theory, 20% of people create 80% of the content online. Of the 20% of content creators, only 4% (or 20% of 20%) are creating the most effective content.
By targeting the 4% of people (that is, the influencers), you can reach the rest of your target audience at a fraction of the cost.
The ROI and Benefits to Your Brand
But is influencer marketing worth all the hype?
I’ll let the numbers do the talking.
- On average, for every $1 invested in influencer marketing, businesses receive $6.50 in return. (source)
- 70% of businesses earn $2+ for every $1 invested. The top 13% earn $20 or more. (source)
- Twitter reported a 5.2x increase in purchase intent when people were exposed to content from a company and an influencer. (source)
- And 49% of Twitter users say they rely on recommendations from Twitter influencers when making a buying decision. (source)
Influencer marketing is all the rage.
So how do you build an effective influencer marketing strategy, even if you don’t have a six-figure budget?
Here’s how to create an effective influencer marketing strategy, even if you don’t have a six-figure budget.
72% of influencers share posts about their sponsors outside of a contract. And 88% of influencers tell their friends about brands that sponsor them. That means you can see growth outside of your paid campaigns.
How do you find influencers worth connecting with your brand? Here’s how to find powerful influencers to win your audience.
If you treat influencers the same, you will get mediocre results.
Why? Because not every influencer values the same thing.
Some think connecting with influencers takes a special secret sauce. Like any type of marketing, it’s more about learning an effective process that scales.
TIPS, TRICKS, AND TACTICS
Do you ever find that your niche is so crowded, it’s difficult getting the attention your website deserves?
One of the most effective ways I’ve found getting a foot-hold in this busy world is by connecting with those that have captivated my audience.
I’ve had the privilege of connecting with over 1,000 influencers.
If I were to boil everything down to 10 concise lessons I’ve learned, these are the 10 lessons I’d share.
There are a lot of articles about how to do influencer marketing. A blogger gets their first couple wins, and then immediately write about it as if they’re an expert.
1. How likely can I expect a return from influencer marketing?
70% of businesses earn $2+ for every $1 invested. The top 13% earn $20 or more. (source)
2. How do I measure the ROI of influencer marketing?
If possible, use tracking codes and coupons.You can use Google’s URL Builder or tools like Bitly or Goo.gl for tracking clicks. Coupon codes can help track direct sales that a tracking code might miss.
3. Why should I use influencer marketing over other forms of marketing?
There are pros and cons to all types of marketing. Here are five benefits to using influencer marketing:
- Influencers have built trust with your target audience.
- Influencer marketing can be paid or free.
- Influencer marketing can be used to increase ROI of other marketing channels.
- Unlike paid ads, with influencer marketing, you can see growth after a campaign finishes.
- According to Nielsen, 66% of consumers say they trust opinions posted online. Compare that to search engine ads (47%), social media ads (46%), and banner ads (42%). As you can see, buyers trust influencers more than impersonal ads. (source)
4. How does influencer marketing relate to content marketing?
93% of marketers say they do content marketing. (source) As more brands create content, it becomes more challenging to stand out from the noise. Influencer marketing is one way to stand out. Influencer marketing can be used to promote content, improve SEO, and create valuable partnerships.
5. What are the most effective social channels for influencer marketing?
It depends. When determining which social channels to use, ask these four questions:
- What social media channels do your customers use?
- What social channels do your influencers use?
- What social media channels are you familiar with?
- Do you need to focus more on immediate growth or long-term growth?
This is a rule-of-thumb. Your strategy and influencers you work with will change how fast and sustainable your growth will be.
Here are four social media channels I recommend:
B2B: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube
B2C: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube
6. What are some ‘red flags’ when looking for influencers?
Here are three questions you should ask:
- Do they have fake followers? If they have a low number of likes, shares, comments, or views, they may have bought fake followers.
- Check who is engaging with their posts. Are the same accounts engaging with their posts? They may be using bots to fake their popularity.
- How often do they post relevant content? People have a wide variety of interests. But it’s impossible to be influential in a wide variety of topics.
7. Do you have to pay influencers for a campaign to work?
No. But you should know what value you are giving influencers for their work. In some cases, paying an influencer is offensive. In other cases, not paying is inappropriate.
8. Are there other forms of compensation we can use?
Yes. As an example, you can offer free products, a lifetime membership, or event tickets.If you give an influencer money, save her time, increase her fame, or improve her life in some way, you are providing value to her.
9. How much should influencers get paid?
It depends on the platform they use, their audience size, audience engagement, and their commitment.My recommendation is to not focus on what you pay, but on your ROI.
10. What’s the best way to build a relationship with an influencer?
Start by sending an email. After you have worked with the influencer, find new opportunities to continue connecting with them.Think of this more like making a new friend, rather than sleazy “networking.”
11. What if my company is not active on social media? Will influencer marketing work for us?
Yes. There are benefits of having active social accounts.But with most influencer campaigns, the influencers drive traffic to your website, not your social accounts.
12. How many influencers should I target?
It depends on your goals. You only need one influencer to start getting results.But it’s unlikely one influencer will create a significant impact. By working with a few influencers, you will get a better idea about the nuances of your industry.I recommend reaching out to 25 influencers. You should get a few influencers on board and see growth outside of the first 25 influencers’ reach.
13. How often should I expect an influencer to post on social media?
It depends on your contract. It is best to find what the influencer is comfortable with. Each influencer knows what works best for their audience.
14. What restrictions do influencers have when promoting a product?
In certain countries, including the US and Canada, any endorsement or product promotion must be mentioned that it is a paid message.Bloggers often use a page that mentions possible partnerships. Social media influencers can use tags like #ad and #sponsored. They can also tag a brand or mention the partnership in some other way.
15. Can I tell the influencer what to say?
You can. But I strongly discourage you from doing so. A pre-scripted message can come across as fake or rigid, resulting in fewer sales.My recommendation is to give the influencer a template.This allows the influencer to know what to share, but allows her to craft the message in a way that fits her voice.
16. How do I work with influencers if they make a mistake?
If you talk to the influencer about the issue, they are often happy to fix the mistake. Most influencers know their reputation is a large part of their business.
17. What should I do if the influencer does not fulfill their end of the deal?
Be careful about jumping to conclusions. It’s best to give someone the benefit-of-the-doubt.Make sure that expectations were clear up front. It is also not unheard of to create a contract. This can save you from a lot of time and hassle if they are unwilling to change.