Beginner's Guide to Influencer Marketing

December 22, 2022
10 Min
Guadalupe García
| Author
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Beginner's Guide to Influencer Marketing

The #1 most popular introduction to Influencer Marketing trusted by millions.

In today’s marketing ecosystem, successful brands always put social first. Besides the offer, urgency and scarcity what is the number one variable which influences purchasing decisions? You guessed right: Social Proof!

This Guide outlines a step by step approach for creating a performance driven influencer marketing program. It includes tips, tricks and advice based on real case studies and success stories backed by numbers and clear ROI metrics.

1. What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing strategy that involves collaborating with individuals who have a large and loyal following on social media or other online platforms. These individuals, known as influencers, use their platforms to promote products or services to their followers – read a detailed definition of Influencer Marketing here.

The Basic Workflow

  • Identifying influencers
  • Outreach & communication
  • Tracking results: ROI
  • Scale: relationship management & affiliate marketing

2. Why Invest in Influencer Marketing?

As mentioned earlier social proof is one of the strongest drivers of conversions and has a significant influence on purchasing decisions. After all we are all human beings which are social by nature. Seeing other’s interact and positively reviewing a product creates trust and confidence in the brand people are considering to purchase from.

Below are several key advantages of Influencer Marketing

  • Higher ROI
  • Content Creation
  • Social Proof
  • Native Content is non-intrusive
  • Amplifies performance across channels.

Read our detailed post: 5 reasons you should invest in influencer marketing here

The rest of the guide will be dedicated on how to successfully implement and execute your influencer marketing program.

3. Find the Right Influencers

Identifying the right influencers to work with can be a crucial step in the success of a marketing campaign or brand collaboration. This can be challenging, as there are countless options to choose from and not all influencers are a good fit for every brand. Here are some tips to help you identify the right influencers to work with:

  1. Define your target audience
  2. Research potential influencers
  3. Be willing to test different segments
  4. Look for authenticity
  5. Avoid influencers with high percentage fake followers

Read: a detailed explanation on Influencer Discovery and Things to Consider When Deciding With Which Influencers to Work With.

Based on the following size of the influencers you can categorise influencers into 5 different types.

  • Nano: 1 – 5K
  • Micro: 5 – 15K
  • Rising Stars: 100 – 500K
  • Mega: 500K+
  • Celebrity: 1M+

Each type comes with unique advantages and challenges.

Read More: the advantages, challenges and a detailed explanation on how to best work with different types of influencers.

Identify Influencers Using Influencer Hero

4. Offer and Compensation Structures

There are different compensation structures which can be used with Influencer Marketing. Each compensation method has its advantages and challenges. Often the different models are used in combination with each other.

1. Barter Collaboration: Free Product in Exchange for a Post/Mention

The product or service is usually offered free of charge as the product / service has to be reviewed by the influencer. The advantage of offering products is that the perceived value is usually the retail price. This is an advantage for you as a business to negotiate. Having a product with a high perceived value and which is desired by the influencer will lead to considerable tailwind in your influencer marketing success. Additionally, many influencers now have their own storefronts, where they curate and recommend products directly to their followers. You can consider some creative ways of promoting their storefronts on your website or social media to help them increase the visibility of their products.

2. Affiliate Commission: Percentage of Referred Sales

The great advantage of affiliate commission is that you can hedge your downside. If an influencer doesn’t sell your ROI wouldn’t be negative. The opposite is the case with high performing influencers where you could achieve higher ROAS with fixed payments.

3. Fixed Payments: Flat Fee in Exchange for a Post or a Package with Multiple Posts

Good for high performing influencers especially if you know what performance approx. you can expect.

4. Official Brand Ambassador: Agree to Monthly Compensation for Being an Ambassador

This type of compensation is often used with celebrity marketing. Having celebrities use your products / service on a consistent basis in exchange for a monthly fee.

5. Setting Up Your Influencer Program

Based on countless campaigns we have helped our clients with, we always recommend the same approach which is based on the Pareto Principle. We have helped countless clients and users of the Influencer Hero platform to successfully adapt this strategy which led to significant growth for their brand(s).

The Pareto principle states that 20% of the input is responsible for around 80% of the output. E.g. 20% of your marketing spend is generating 80% of your revenue. Based on countless campaigns we have seen that the performance with influencers often follow this same 80/20 distribution.

This essentially means that it is your objective as a brand to identify the 20%. Based on these insights your influencer marketing program should be structured based on two aspects.

1. Influencer Testing Campaigns:

first time collaborations to identify influencers which are able to influence their audience to purchase

2. Performance Campaigns:

working with top performing influencers by inviting them to your seasonality campaigns. This is where you really make your money and ROAS north of 30X are not uncommon.

Read: How to Implement and What Things to Consider When Setting Up Your Influencer Marketing Program.

In the next chapters we will further elaborate on this Strategy as effective communication is key to achieving the desired results.

6. How to Communicate with Influencers

Communication plays a central role within influencer marketing. After all, you are trying to convince as many people (influencers) as possible to work with your brand.

Having a successful Influencer Marketing program requires a robust system which enables you to scale and manage all relationships effectively. The Influencer Hero platform enables you to easily set up an outreach flow similar to Klaviyo or Mailchimp. With a click of a button you can reach out to hundreds of influencers. Together with our CRM platform you will be able to streamline and automate most parts of your communication.  

Automating Communication with Influencers Through Influencer Hero

Communication for your Influencer Marketing program can be structured into the following segments:

  1. Outreach including follow ups
  2. Negotiation
  3. Awaiting post
  4. Post Campaign

Read: A Detailed Explanation and How to Succeed in Each of These Stages.

7. Relationship & Affiliate Marketing

As previously mentioned the objective of your Influencer Marketing program is to identify top performing influencers with which you want to work with long term. Some of these influencers can contribute significantly to your top line revenue which means that you want to nurture and care for these relationships.

These are the influencers you should invite to all of your seasonality campaigns and product launches. Use combinations of fixed payments and affiliate marketing commissions to onboard these influencers to your seasonality campaigns. Sending a product which can be used for each campaign usually helps to increase the commitment of the influencer to the campaign.

Offer exclusivity and make the influencer feel special for being part of the campaign to increase performance. These so-called seasonality campaigns where you invite your top performing influencers to participate are usually the campaigns which result in the highest returns (ROAS). Having a ROAS north of 30X within these campaigns is not uncommon.

Access a detailed guide on how to effectively set up and manage influencer seasonality campaigns and manage relationships with influencers here.

8. Measuring Success & ROI

In order to successfully scale your influencer marketing program it is crucial to know your numbers. Tracking the performance of your influencer marketing program is crucial for decision making on where to allocate and increase your budgets. There two ways to track your influencer marketing performance:

1. Affiliate Links

2. Discount/Coupon Codes

All of this is automated in our CRM where you can create discount codes and affiliate links with a click of a button in the deal page.

Keep in mind that as with every other digital marketing channel you will never be able to attribute / track 100% of your performance.

Read: influencer tracking, how to effectively measure ROI and how attribution/tracking can get lost here.

9. What Performance Can I Expect?

The question about how many conversions and eventually revenue influencers can generate for your business is very important especially if your budgets are limited.

The short answer to this question is: it depends. The reason the performance depends is as with any other marketing channel. Certain KPIs such as AOV (Average Order Value), CLTV (Customer Lifetime Value), CR (Conversion Rate) and if the product / brand resonates well with influencers all impact the performance of your influencer marketing program.  

Within Influencer Testing Campaigns which is often described as the engine of your influencer marketing program (as you are identifying the influencers you want to work with long term), high performing influencers can refer >50 conversions with a single story post (24 hours) while low performing influencers usually refer zero to 2-3 conversions per story post. Medium performing influencers refer anything in between.

For a detailed explanation of average conversions per influencers and how to optimise your Influencer Marketing program based on these insights read our article here.

10. Top 10 Influencer Marketing Software

Running an effective influencer marketing program involves multiple aspects which can be categorised into the following:

  1. Influencer discovery / search
  2. Managing communication
  3. Tracking performance & KPI’s

The ideal influencer marketing platform covers all these steps. As the different platforms all have their benefits, challenges and offer different features we have created a clear overview of the top 10 Influencer marketing software platforms. We also compare each platform based on their UI/UX, effectiveness, and value for money.

Read: Detailed Comparison of the Top 10 Influencer Marketing Software

comparison of the top 10 influencer marketing software

11. The Power Of Organic Influencers

Leveraging your own customer base for organic influencers can be beneficial for brands looking for authentic influencer partnerships. Working with customers as influencers guarantees that they already understand your target audience and are genuinely interested in your brand.

Partnering with customers can also make influencer campaigns more authentic. Working with influencers who are already customers and have used the products or services before makes them more believable advocates, and therefore more effective in promoting the brand.

Finding these organic influencers in your customer base can be done retroactively using Influencer Hero’s Customer Influencer Finder feature. With this powerful tool, you can discover hidden influencers among your customer list and collaborate with them effortlessly.

Read: Customer Influencer Finder Feature

12. Partner with Creators for Whitelisting

Influencer whitelisting is the process of running your ads through an influencers account instead of your business account. This approach has several benefits, including better targeting, improved ad performance, and scalability.

Your audience will perceive the advertisement as content since they’ll see it on the influencer’s account, but the CTA (call to action) still leads to your website. As a result, view rates increase, click-through rates rise, and your overall ROAS improves.

Read: Achieving 2X your FB/IG Ads ROAS using Whitelisting

How do get access to the influencers ad account? To explain this lets first take a step back and try to understand this from the influencers perspective. What is their main asset? It is their audience. It’s quite simple, the larger the audience, the more attractive they are to brands seeking partnerships.

You can use this to your advantage by explaining that you’ll be paying Meta to showcase their profile to new people, increasing their following and personal branding, all paid for by you. By highlighting that this would be a win – win you will be able to get a lot of influencers to run your ads through their account without them charging you an additional fee’s.

Read: Detailed Guide on How to Partner with Creators for Whitelisting

Influencer Hero offers a User-Generated Content (UGC) library, enabling you to collect influencers’ content in real-time for easy downloading. This functionality simplifies the process, allowing you to effortlessly download the UGC from influencers through the CRM and upload the content to your Meta Business Manager for whitelisting purposes.Moreover, if you are looking to showcase authentic UGC as shoppable content or as social proof from your loyal customers, you can consider using an AI-powered UGC marketing platform. This integration enhances your ability to leverage user-generated content effectively, elevating your marketing strategies with genuine customer experiences. Exploring diverse types of marketing, such as influencer collaborations, social media campaigns, and UGC marketing, can further amplify your brand's presence and foster deeper connections with your audience.

13. How to Get >50K Followers Using Influencer Giveaways

An Instagram giveaway is a competition where Instagram users enter for a chance to win a product or experience offered by a giveaway organizer (your brand). To reach new and wider audiences, partnering with influencers to host giveaways on your behalf often leads to even better results. Whether collaborating with influencers or not, giveaways prove to be an effective marketing strategy.

To run a successful Instagram giveaway, follow these steps:

1. Find relevant influencers
2. Choose an Irresistible Prize
3. Determine the entry requirements
4. Simplify Entry Requirements
5. Reach out to influencers
6. Promote Your Giveaway or Contest
7. Announce the winner

One way to further boost the engagement of your giveaway is to partner with other brands and businesses. Each brand is chipping in some of their products which will significantly increase the value of the prize. Besides the brands you can invite 1-2 influencers as well and you will have a multi-layer giveaway.

Discover How to Gain Over 50k Followers Using Influencer Giveaways here.

14. Bonus Tips & Tricks for your Influencer Marketing Program

To ensure the success of an influencer marketing program, it is crucial to understand the following:

  1. How to negotiate with influencers
  2. When to offer fixed payments to influencers
  3. How to maximize ROI with influencer marketing
  4. What medium to use for influencer marketing
  5. What to do to improve performance
  6. How to work with talent managers and agencies representing influencers

Read: Tips & Tricks for Your Influencer Marketing Program

15. Conclusion

Now that you are equipped with a detailed guide on how to implement your Influencer Marketing Program it is time to take action and become a Social First Brand! Make sure to refer back to this guide when you need to.

For a detailed business case study read our post: How a D2C brand scaled from $0 to $1.2M in revenue within one year using the Influencer Hero platform.

Interested in learning more about Influencer Marketing and how Influencer Hero can help you grow your business?

Talk to an expert by booking a Demo below.

What are the best strategies for selecting the right influencers for my brand?
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