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We have seen a significant shift in the marketing industry in recent years. Traditional advertisements have become much less influential on today’s consumers; while new, innovative social media strategies have proven to be extremely effective in achieving extraordinary results. As our society becomes increasingly reliant on social media and the internet, both small and large brands have started prioritizing the use of influencers in their marketing strategy. Through the success of trendsetting campaigns and trailblazers in the industry, it is clear that social media influencer marketing has completely revolutionized the marketing industry – and that it’s not going anywhere.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing that involves using influencers to promote a brand, product, or service in a marketing campaign. There are many benefits to influencer marketing over traditional marketing strategies. For example, it is effective in building brand awareness, new social media trends can help brands diversify their content, they have the ability to target a specific audience, and these campaigns typically cost less than traditional advertising campaigns.
Any brand has the potential to benefit from influencer marketing, from global brands to small businesses. It doesn’t matter if it’s a clothing brand, travel agency, bank, toy company, bookseller, subscription service, etc. – there is an audience on social media for every niche a brand could fit into.
For example, consider the overwhelming success of Bang Energy. While Bang was around a couple of years ago, the brand was still relatively unknown compared to its competitors. Since then the brand has skyrocketed into popularity, becoming one of the most prominent energy drinks in the industry. How did they do it? They invested in influencer marketing on multiple platforms and it paid off. They aren’t the only ones. We have seen countless brands revolutionize their marketing strategy through influencer marketing and see amazing results.
Want to see the full breakdown of Bang Energy’s success? Check out the Band Energy campaign teardown here.
How Brands Utilize Influencer Marketing
The main social media platforms brands are capitalizing on influencer marketing off of include Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. In addition to those top three, brands may also utilize YouTube, Twitter, and a number of other smaller platforms for campaigns. Although there are endless ways brands can collaborate with influencers on these platforms for social media influencer marketing campaigns, here are some of the most common influencer marketing strategies:
1. Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts, which are posts that directly promote a brand or product, are the most commonly used influencer marketing strategy. After reviewing a brand’s stated guidelines and goals, influencers can then share a video, image, or blog post dedicated to the brand’s campaign. Sponsored posts are intended to give creators the ability to formulate a post that will both fit their personal brand and resonate with their audience, while also promoting a specific product or service.
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2. Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are influencers who partner with a brand frequently. When selecting an ambassador, brands look for influencers who engage with their followers, represent the brand’s target audience, and will promote the brand with pride. Brands typically work with ambassadors from 6 months to a year or longer, allowing them to establish strong professional relationships with those influencers.
Want an easier way to search for brand ambassadors? Check out NeoReach’s new freemium influencer marketing platform here.
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This strategy allows influencers to give an honest review of a product or service that was sent to them by a brand. This, in turn, promotes that brand to their followers. Although reviews are suitable for all post formats, they are most effective when shared in a video format. Because of this, they are most commonly seen in YouTube videos, Instagram stories/IGTV, and TikToks. The most popular review videos are unboxing videos, in which a creator will open a product for the first time on camera and give a first-look review to their followers.
Giveaways are a great interactive influencer marketing strategy that allows the influencer’s followers to get involved. These typically give the audience the chance to enter a giveaway for a free product and service from the brand under the guidelines that they interact with the post and brand. These guidelines can include following the brand, tagging friends in the comments, sharing a post on their own social media, and more. This allows the brand to reach a wider audience through both the influencer and their followers.
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A brand takeover takes place when an influencer has control of a brand’s social media channels for a day. They post content promoting themselves, the brand, and the products. Influencers can promote the takeover on their own platforms, which directs their loyal followers to the brand’s social media channels. Takeovers are best suited for social media platforms with a video sharing feature. The video format allows influencers to make the content much more personal and interesting.
5. Discount Links
Discount links are exactly what they sound like: a link that gives consumers a discount on a product or service. Brands can give influencers a unique discount link that gives their followers and viewers a certain percentage off of their purchase. These are the same as a unique promo code that an influencer’s followers can enter at checkout when purchasing a certain product or service.
Discount links are also a great addition to any of the social media influencer marketing strategies above. For example, when an influencer posts a product review or mentions a product or service in a video or post, they often direct their followers to a discount link or promo code in their bio or description.
Looking to run an epic influencer marketing campaign on TikTok? NeoReach has the best experience in creating viral campaigns that convert on social media. Sign up here!
Great Tools for Influencer Marketing
There are a lot of great resources and tools that brands can use to find influencers and navigate influencer marketing campaigns. Here at NeoReach, we offer influencer marketing software that allows subscribers to search for and filter through influencers for potential campaign partnerships. Our freemium platform is complete with an organized influencer database with each individual’s relevant metrics and demographics. The premium platform has all of those features plus the ability to navigate advanced audience analytics, track campaign performance, and access our API software.
Here are a few other helpful influencer marketing tools:
Many brands decide to hire an agency to assist them in carrying out a social media influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing agencies provide a variety of services to help make sure a campaign runs smoothly for everyone involved. These services typically include finding and contracting influencers, managing campaign spending, developing a content strategy, planning posts, and tracking performance. Hiring an agency can be extremely helpful for brands who are looking to work with experts in the industry and have some of the stress taken off of their hands!
The Bright Future of Influencer Marketing
The influencer marketing industry has skyrocketed in the past few years, and it’s only going up from here. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 this past year, consumers have become increasingly reliant on social media and the internet. This has stimulated the growth of the industry even more than before. A large number of brands have learned to adapt to this transition by experimenting with new and innovative digital marketing strategies – particularly those involving social media influencers.
As more and more brands begin to utilize social media influencer marketing in their advertising strategy, the more opportunities there are for influencers to make a living on social media. Because of the growing amount of influencers, brands are sure to find an influencer who fits their brand perfectly. Accompanied by the rise of TikTok in 2020, many influencers have established a social media presence across multiple platforms to grow their audience and greaten their chances of partnerships. This is how much brands utilize each of the social media platforms for influencer marketing campaigns – courtesy of Influencer Marketing Hub:
|Social Media Platform||Brands Utilizing the Platform (%)|
Research has shown that the influencer marketing industry is set to be worth $15 billion by 2022. This is remarkable, considering that the industry was worth only $8 billion in 2019. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, more than half of the brands their researchers surveyed intend on increasing their influencer marketing budget this year and an impressive 90% of brands consider influencer marketing to be a very effective marketing strategy. We expect all of these numbers to continue growing as time progresses. The amazing thing about influencer marketing is that, as social media advances, so does the industry. The opportunities are endless, new trends are always being created, and it is sure to stay relevant for years to come – one could say the same for influencer marketing.