Last year we posted on our social media about the importance of the three R’s of influencer marketing and how nano and micro influencers offer the best engagement rates, so we thought we better expand on these with a little post.
What’s all the fuss about?
Business Insider reported in December 2019 that the influencer marketing industry is set to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, and how, although influencers can span across all social media platforms, nearly 4 in 5 brands look to Instagram for their influencers.
And this is the same trend we are seeing ourselves, with most clients and potential clients now talking to us about how they can get involved with influencer marketing (they’re now actively looking to allocate budget to it) with mostly focused on Instagram influencers.
But what should you be aware of before introducing influencer marketing into your 2020 plans?
The three ‘little’ R’s
There are other factors to consider as well as the three R’s, but we’ll start with them as a little reminder;
Relevance, reach and resonance.
Relevance is simple, it’s checking to make sure the influencers you are thinking about working with are actually relevant to your brand. Ask yourself, is the content they post relevant to our brand? Are their audience (their followers) relevant to our brand? A simple scan of their feed and followers, looking at who is liking and commenting on their posts, will help to determine this.
Reach is, again quite simple, how many people could you look to reach through the collaboration with the influencer. Is it wide enough? Or, more importantly, is it engaged enough? There is no point choosing an influencer with 100,000’s followers if they do not interact with the content they produce. Again, put your spy glasses on and scan through their feed to see.
After this scan, you may decide to choose an influencer with a smaller amount of followers than you first expected, because engagement with their audience is better – something we’ll touch on below in more detail – which is, the resonance of influencer marketing, the potential level of engagement the influencer can create with the audience who is relevant to your brand, because, ultimately, this audience is able to resonate with it.
As you can see, all three of the R’s are interlinked too, you can’t really have one without the other if you want your influencer marketing to be a success.
What else should you think about?
- Who are you trying to influence? – As with all marketing, you need to know who your target audience is
- Is the influencer trustworthy? – You need to know if the influencer is real or fake, and whether your audience is going to trust and respect them. How do you do this? You (as mentioned above) put you spy glasses on and see; what engagement the influencers’ posts are getting, if those engaging with their posts are similar to your target audience, or if they are fake, spam accounts or bots
- Is the influencers’ content of a good quality? – You want the influencers posts to be of a good standard, with them posting consistently, but not so often that the quality of their posts suffer. You also need their content to compliment your brands, especially if you are going to share the content they produce in collaboration with you on your channels – which we’d highly recommend you do. Whatever you do, don’t force the influencer to match your style, find someone who is already a great fit for your brand and who will help to enhance it
- Is the influencer a walking billboard? – What do we mean? Is their feed full of sponsorship deals and brand collaborations? Yes, you want an influencer who has experience in working with brands but you don’t want someone who only produces content for this purpose, as it’s likely engagement with their feed and posts will be lower than you need, and not worth your investment
And, you should also:
- Get to know the influencer before you contact them – There is nothing more annoying for an influencer than receiving an email from a brand that doesn’t match their likes, beliefs or ethos. Do your research, follow their socials, read their blog, don’t just contact them on a whim and hope they’ll want to work with you
- Contact the influencer privately – Generic DM’s or comments on their posts asking them to contact you to collaborate, are a big no no! Once you’ve taken your time to get to know the influencer, send them an email explaining all the reasons why you think the collaboration is a good fit for both them and your brand. Can’t find an email address? You can DM them as a last resort, but, again, make it personal, give them a reason to read it – they’ll, potentially, be getting hundreds of them a day
- Be prepared to let go of (some) creative control – You need to trust the influencer and their ability to create good quality content that will get you the engagement and results you need, they do this all day everyday, after all. Don’t stifle their creativity by creating loads of rules that they need to follow, let them have the creative licence
- Create budget – Be prepared to pay for influencer marketing, working for free is no longer accepted and being an influencer is a career – you wouldn’t expect to pay your bills with free stuff, so don’t ask them to either! Plan a budget, know what you’re prepared to spend and don’t disrespect them by trying to haggle too much, you’ll look desperate and you’ll get a reputation – and influencers talk to each other, so if you annoy one, you’re likely to annoy them all
Macro vs micro vs nano
We touched on reach above – the number of followers influencers have – but something worth noting before you decide on the influencer you want to work with is, bigger isn’t always better.
In the same study where Business Insider reported the amount influencer marketing is likely to be worth by 2020, they also reported that influencers who get the best engagement rates are those classed as nano influencers – those with 1,000 to 5,000 followers.
They showed that these influencers gained engagement rates of 8.8%, which are much higher than those obtained by those classed as macro influencers – those with 10,000+ followers – who achieve engagement rates of 3.6%. Micro influencers – those with 5,000 to 10,000 followers – were seen to accomplish an average engagement rate of 6.3%.
Why might this be? Things are forever evolving, and who we once engaged with and listened to the most is now changing. No longer do we (well, the majority of us) want to be just like the people we see on reality TV or in soaps and other programmes, we want to be more like the people we feel are ‘real’, the ones we can resonate (there’s that R again) with the most, the ones who have a more realistic lifestyle, similar to our own – the people we see down the street i.e. the nano’s, and not the macro’s.
MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS!
One final tip from us, measure your influencer collaborations and find out if they actually are a success.
There is no point in continuing to spend and allocate budget for something that doesn’t give you the ROI you need, so after each influencer collaboration or marketing campaign you do, measure the impact it has including; if they write a blog post, the traffic you gain from it, if you share the content on your channels, the engagement you get, and, of course, ask the influencer for the stats from their social channels so you can see what engagement they got too.