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Everything You Need To Know About Influencer Marketing

Since my full-time job is as a Social Media Manager, I am well aware of the importance of influencers when it comes to a brand's marketing strategy. In many ways, obtaining an authentic and popular influencer can take your brand to the next level. And more and more brands are jumping on the influencer marketing bandwagon, as they’re discovering the effectiveness of this game plan. Business Insider unsurprisingly predicts that global ad spend for influencer marketing will reach between $5 billion and $10 billion in 2022.

As I saw the influencer marketing trend grow, I decided to partake in it myself, too. And so, my blog was created! Now, not only do I send pitches to bloggers and influencers to collaborate with my clients, but I also receive pitches from other brands and agencies to work with me and my blog. (Which I believe makes me especially qualified to talk about this topic.)

What is an influencer?

How I define an influencer is someone who is typically super personable, physically attractive, takes visually-appealing photos, and has a very large social media following and a blog site to go with it. Often times, they give off the celebrity illusion, meaning it looks like they have their own personal photographer following them around all day because their content appears casual, candid, and unintentional.

Influencers usually specialize in a few things, such as fashion, fitness, beauty, health, home decor, parenting, etc., but much more often times, they have a niche in one of those more general categories. For an example, if their "thing" is healthy eating, they may focus specifically on the keto diet. Personally, I call myself a beauty blogger, but my niche is primarily about how to have great-looking hair and not break the bank. And occasionally, I'll write about fashion, marketing, and my life!

How does an influencer make their money?

The way influencers get paid is through working with big name brands to promote their products and services. The conversation starts with one or the other-- the influencer initially reaches out to a brand or it's the other way around. From there, they have a conversation about what's expected in the deal, whether it's a blog, an Instagram post/story, Facebook post/live video, or something else, and they also decide how much of that thing is required. For an example, the deal could be for the influencer to post three IG stories and one IG post that link to the one blog post.

PRICING & CONTRACTS

Once that's all established, they talk about pricing. According to Buffer, a brand or advertiser should weigh the costs of Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat all differently. For Instagram, the general rule of thumb is $10 per 1,000 followers or $250 - $750 per 1,000 engagement on one post. For Youtube, it's $20 per 1,000 subscribers or $50 - $100 per 1,000 video views. And for Snapchat, it's $10 per 1,000 followers or $100 per 1,000 views on a snap. Sometimes influencers are given a discount code to provide to their followers so they can earn an additional commission on top of their base rate for everything they "sell" to their fans.

Many times, if the influencer is smart and experienced, they will exchange a contract with the brand. This protects both parties from any miscommunication or scam. These contracts confirm content ownership, social platforms, deadlines, duration of the project, expected campaign deliverables, and more.

How do brands benefit from influencer marketing?

1. Several More Views

There are several reasons that brands love working with influencers. First of all, brands just want their products or service options to be seen as much as possible. And like I mentioned above, influencers normally have a large number of followers, which means A LOT of eyes will be seeing the brand's ads.

2. Influencer/Brand Shared Niche

Second, influencer marketing is even more effective when the influencer resides in the same niche as the brand involved. For an example, that same keto diet influencer would work well collaborating with a vegetable/fruit produce company, or an almond or chicken company because it just makes sense.

3. Sales & Content Creation Mastery

Third, influencers are really freakin good at sales. Instead of getting repulsed by ad after ad, followers are surprisingly sticking around. And what does that tell you? These influencers are great at making their ads feel genuine, as opposed to salesy.

4. Higher Engagement/Conversion Rate

And four, because influencers give off the celebrity-illusion and their content is so dang good, followers become that more interested in what they have to "sell." In fact, the average influencer has an engagement rate of 5.7% versus the 2-3% average that brands have. For an example, if Kelsey Floyd posts a selfie wearing a cute dress, there's a good chance I'll check out the company that the dress is associated with.

What's the stigma around being an influencer?

As great as being an influencer sounds to up-and-coming bloggers, like myself, unfortunately, there's a lot of stigma around the idea. People judge the types of posts, the frequency of them, the number of giveaways, the length of Instagram stories— the list goes on. Some people even perceive blogging as a way to receive extra attention and vanity.

You may have heard influencers/bloggers labeled "Instagram models," which we all know has a super negative connotation. To make my point, here's Urban Dictionary's definition:

"An Instagram Model is a shallow, desperate female that doesn't have the ambition necessary to become anything valuable, so she adheres to a label with little or no real meaning."

First, an influencer, or "Instagram model," most definitely does NOT have to be a female. As a matter of fact, there are several men who are absolutely killing the influencer game. For an example, check out this blog of 21 male Instagram influencers that blog and promote fashion, lifestyle, travel, and more.

Second of all, it's much more calculated than just a pretty photo; each post is intentional and targeted to a very specific audience. And despite what you may think, it's not easy coming up with regular content that's both strategic and consistent with your aesthetic or color scheme. The influencers who aren't successful are the ones who don't have a real plan. Their content is sporadic with no real purpose.

Third, being an influencer means a lot of sales, whether it's selling ourselves or selling a brand's products or services. And most of the time, influencers don't wait around for money coming to them-- they constantly sending out pitches to big brands, in hopes that they'll be interested in collaborating with them. Not only that, they have to be good at their job, meaning followers are sticking around, engagement is increasing, and sales are being made. Being good at the job is what attracts more and more brands to work with an influencer.

So, are influencers master marketers or just self-centered?

In short, influencers are most definitely master marketers.

Blogging and Instagramming are not all about showing off and looking pretty. In my opinion, the majority of negative judgments like that have to do with people's lack of experience in marketing. In reality, frequently posting interesting content is the best way to grow on social media. It functions as a constant reminder to fans that you exist and your page is worth following. And influencers are GREAT at doing this.

Still, we can be honest about the fact the job is a little self-centered— I mean, we're promoting ourselves. But, as I say that, I want to make it clear that it truly is much more than that.

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MORAL OF THE STORY

I'm going to speak for myself when I say this, blogging has been my outlet for expressing creativity, building self-confidence, meeting new friends, and developing my marketing skills. And every day, I kick myself in the foot for not starting this journey sooner.

So, if you're thinking about joining the influencer/blogger tribe, you have a lot to learn and look forward to. But, I hope this blog helps to start. Feel free to reach out with any questions here.

As always, stay beautiful. ❤️

Stay tuned for my next blog. Follow my social media pages to stay up to date with future blog posts and tutorials!

Instagram: @HHofHair 

Twitter: @HHofHair

Facebook: Holly’s Home of Hair

 

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