What is influencer marketing?

The popularity of social media platforms across the world has resulted in the emergence of a whole new digital marketing strategy; influencer marketing. You’ve heard the buzzword, but you want to know the nitty gritty; what is it really, how can it work for your business, and how successful is it? 

Although implementing a social media influencer marketing plan can be daunting, we’re here to help. At Goat we’ve tried and tested influencer marketing for over seven years, and we know how to turn it into a reliable tool to help your business grow – when it’s done right. 

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Why is influencer marketing important?

Collaborating with influencers on social media is a great way to help build brand awareness and boost conversions for your company. Influencers have a powerful platform in the world of marketing, as they have the ability to influence what their followers purchase by fostering a close relationship with their community.

 

Using social media marketing allows you to tap into a resource that is extremely difficult to achieve with other forms of digital marketing; trust. Once you’ve got trust, it’s much easier to convince potential customers to take the plunge and buy your product or service.

 

Social media influencer marketing is also a way of applying social proof. This is the concept that people follow the crowd in their decisions. Think of an empty restaurant compared to one that is full of people during the lunch rush hour; which would you choose? 

Your answer was probably the bustling restaurant – most people would choose this, for two main reasons. First, they want to fit in with the group, and secondly they believe that the group is better informed than they are. In the case of influencer marketing, the same principles are at play, but the trusted influencer and their followers are the group of diners at the restaurant. 

The blend of trust and social proof is why influencer marketing is so powerful, especially in digital marketing. When a potential consumer cannot physically touch or interact with the product, it is harder to convince them to use their own judgement. By providing them with a trustworthy and high-authority influencer, who is promoting the product or service, they are much more likely to buy. 

What does influencer marketing do?

Unlike other forms of digital marketing, one of the great benefits of using relevant social media influencers is that your product or service will be seen by your target audience. How does this work?

Your product or service will fit a niche; the smaller the niche, the more specific and targeted your marketing campaigns have to be. This is where influencers are invaluable. Contrary to popular belief, a large number of followers does not necessarily mean that someone is the right influencer for your product; you want one that aligns best with your niche.

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Choosing the right influencer with the right amount of followers will depend on your brand and your goals. Mega influencers like beauty blogger Huda Kattan, who has over 45.7M followers, will have a huge reach with a variety of interests – but this doesn’t target a specific audience and is also extremely expensive.

Micro-influencers, on the other hand, are those with 1k to 100k followers; paltry in comparison to Kattan. However, they are active in their tight-knit community and their followers consider them to be experts in their field. As a result, they garner more trust and more valuable engagement. 

Generally, the lower the number of followers, the more cost-effective an influencer campaign will be and it will result in a better-targeted reach, engagement and authenticity. If your company niche aligns with that of a micro-influencer, this could be a fantastic opportunity to promote your brand in front of an engaged and receptive audience.

Does influencer marketing work?

At Goat, we draw on our seven years of data and insights to choose influencers who work so that we can help you carry out a successful influencer marketing campaign across different social media platforms.

Although it is easy to rely on vanity metrics (such as followers and average views) to measure the success of an influencer campaign, we are more interested in performance data. How many clicks did that influencer drive? What was the conversion rate? This is how to measure the true value of an effective influencer marketing strategy. 

For example, Belmond luxury hotel company wanted to raise awareness around the high-end accommodation they offered around the world. Goat selected seven influencers from the luxury travel and photography niche and together they published 28 Instagram Posts and 139 Instagram Stories at seven locations, from Sicily to Southern Africa.  

This campaign was deemed successful, not just because of the increased awareness of their brand (shown by over 8M impressions and 3.6M engagements), but also because of the 24k clicks to the brand website driven as a direct result of the Instagram campaign. 

Our work with other clients like Beefeater, Nivea and Audi have shown how we can create and implement effective influencer strategies across a range of industries to meet a variety of campaign objectives. 

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What is Instagram influencer marketing?

Where can I find an influencer?

An Instagram influencer marketing strategy will involve paying an influencer to promote a product or service to their followers. Instagram is one of the most popular channels for brands to invest in influencer marketing strategies due to usage, influencer saturation and the ever-developing features that enhance the e-commerce experience on the platform. 

The influencer marketing industry is set to be worth up to $15 billion by 2020 according to Business Insider Intelligence estimates, and 79% of brands predominantly use Instagram as their influencer platform of choice.

With over one billion users, Instagram has a huge reach. Beauty, fashion and lifestyle verticals are leaders in terms of influencer verticals and brand sectors. According to a Retail Dive study, 72% of respondents said that they had made this type of purchase (often clothes, makeup, shoes and jewellery) after seeing a related product on Instagram. 

The study also found that Instagram (in comparison to other social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter) was the most likely to influence their shopping behaviour. 

However, this doesn’t mean that Instagram is the only social media platform that is effective for influencer marketing. At Goat, we’ve found that new apps such as TikTok can also be an invaluable resource for utilising influencers to raise awareness and drive engagement with a branded campaign. 

Finding the right influencer for your brand isn’t easy. You need to take into account your target audience and their social media habits, as well as finding an influencer who can reach your audience in an authentic way. After all this, you need to contact them and present them with an effective influencer marketing strategy that works for both parties.

Sound daunting? That’s where Goat comes in. We’ve got seven years of experience working with influencers and delivering results. This means we have the knowledge and resources to find an influencer who is right for your business and to develop a marketing strategy using performance data (clicks, conversion rates), rather than vanity metrics (number of followers, average views).

We know what works, and we know how to identify and align influencers with the right brand, at the right time. Contact us today to find out more about how influencers can boost your digital marketing strategy.