Influencer Marketing in 2022: An Exhaustive Guide With All You Need to Know
In the digital-first world exists a novel way of marketing.
Called “Influencer Marketing”, it can give a boost to brands’ reach, its awareness among customers and a better Return on Investment (ROI). For this reason, influencer marketing popularity has grown among marketers in recent years.
Scroll through your social media, and you'll see influencers posting videos, stories, traditional posts to market various brands, including clothes, makeup, snacks, or candles – there's an influencer for all categories of products, businesses and services. No matter whether you're a startup, a big label brand, or even a D2C brand. And this is just the beginning. Influencer marketing is rapidly evolving to become an omnipresent entity.
Table Of Content
- Why is influencer marketing such a success?
- What is influencer marketing?
- An Example of Influencer Marketing
- Why does influencer marketing work?
- Successful eCommerce Influencer Marketing Campaigns
- What works in influencer marketing?
- What doesn't work in influencer marketing?
- One Simple Rule to Follow
- The Remarkable Growth of Influencer Marketing
- Why do brands rely on influencer marketing?
- Why is influencer marketing important?
- Benefits of Influencer Marketing
- Who is an influencer?
- What are the types of influencers?
- How to find influencers?
- How much does influencer marketing cost?
- What are the factors that impact the influencer's rates?
- What are the types of influencer marketing campaigns?
- How to create an effective influencer marketing strategy?
- List of Influencer Marketing Platforms & Tools
Why is influencer marketing such a success?
For the simplest of reasons, people trust recommendations from people they like. Social media influencers have built a high amount of trust with their followers. Any recommendation from them is a form of social proof for the audience that consumes their content and seeks their advice and approvals on products and services.
That being said, there's no one-size-fits-all approach for influencer marketing, but with the right planning and research, just about every business can benefit from it. If you are wondering how to navigate through influencer marketing strategies, our guide is here to make sense of it all.
What is influencer marketing?
Most marketers and brands know the answer by now, but let's take a look at it anyways - Influencer marketing is the process of promoting and selling products or services through individuals on social media that are capable of driving action from your target audience.
Here's what that means - Influencer marketing is a relationship between a brand and an influencer – and how the influencer's followers become the brand's customers.
Here's how it works - It employs trusted content creators within a niche community with a dedicated, loyal social following. These leading, niche content creators promote the brand's products or services, improve brand awareness, increase traffic and drive your brand's message to your target audience. These content creators already market to your ideal audience across different channels such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, which allows you to expand your reach across your buyer personas.
An Example of Influencer Marketing
Let's say - A popular fitness vlogger on YouTube is an expert in weight training and nutrition. Sportswear and supplements companies can ask this vlogger to promote their products. This influencer may not have the relevant experience to advertise the product, but they rely on the trust and loyalty they have built within their community to influence their followers.
Some common influencer categories include photographers, models, adventurists, food enthusiasts, artists, beauty experts, stylists, and comedians, to name a few.
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Why does influencer marketing work?
Influencers have invested their time, effort, and money to set a solid foundation of trust with their target audience. Here are 3 solid reasons why influencer marketing works for every business:
- Consumers trust influencers. According to the Search Engine Journal, 91% of consumers (age 18 to 34) trust online reviews and recommendations from friends and family. Influencers have the power to influence their followers because of their trust. Any recommendation from the influencer is taken seriously by their followers.
- Influencers are experts in their niche. People follow influencers because they create quality content thatcommands attention. Followers yearn for quality content, and they'll keep coming back for more.
- No dreaded ad blocking. Nearly 30% of all internet users use ad blockers. If your business is trying to reach the target audience, this can be a problem. But with influencer marketing, the chances of anybody blocking a YouTube video or a blog post is next to zero.
Successful eCommerce Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Influencer marketing has earned a reputation as the channel with the best ROI. That's why many marketers continue to pursue this marketing strategy to raise brand awareness and increase engagement.
It has, especially driven success for several eCommerce brands such as Shopee, Tokopedia, Tiki, Zalora, etc.
Shopee leveraged localized marketing campaigns where they took time to understand their target market and their buying behaviors to engage local customers, which enabled them to achieve notable success in their target market during their year-end shopping season in 2019. They partnered with local celebrities like Phua Chu Kang in Singapore, and collaborated with SGAG to heighten the awareness of the campaign. The same campaign was a major hit in Thailand where they tied up with more than 100 local influencers to promote their super shopping day. In the Philippines they added to the strategy by driving traffic from social media to their app. And for the Vietnamese audience, they pulled in famous Vietnamese singers.
Takopedia’s campaign was beautifully designed to use the right time to their advantage when they wanted to launch their campaign which helped them stand out against their competitors.
At the time when eCommerce was at its growth during the start of COVID-19 in March 2020, Takopedia partnered with several Indonesian social media influencers to promote specific deals like free shipping, casbacks, flash sales and so on to drive users to shop on their site.
We have an entire blog on these and other successful eCommerce influencer marketing campaigns to help you further learn about the campaigns and how these brands leveraged influencer marketing with finesse.
What works in influencer marketing?
If you want influencer marketing to work for you, two things are of utmost importance.
- The right approach:
- Be organized and spend time researching to put together an influencer marketing strategy. Plan a budget for executing this marketing strategy.
- Figure out your approach to finding influencers. Are you going to find them organically, invest in influencer marketing software, or hire an agent to find them for you?
- Once you find the influencers, handle them patiently. Be human – talk to them as people and not as a company.
- What does your influencer prefer? Monthly/quarterly/biannual calls or newsletters?
- Integrate their schedule with your needs such as, product release schedule, sales, events, etc.
- Send emails, plan travel schedules and arrange face-to-face meetings.
What doesn't work in influencer marketing?
Two things that can derail your influencer marketing efforts are:
- A generalized approach to finding and using influencers:
One size doesn't fit all influencers. If you need a specific type of influencer, you need to tailor your approach. For example, if you are wanting to run a campaign in two different countries, then you would want to use different influencers for the different regions. It wouldn’t be ideal to use just one influencer (unless, of course, that influencer has strong audience trust from both regions.
Another point to keep in mind is that not all influencers are made alike! There are different types of influencers and based on your needs, you will need to choose the right influencer. An influencer that worked well for a certain brand, might not be your best option, and similarly, an influencer that worked well for one of your own campaigns, might not work well for another one of your campaigns.Choosing the right influencer is essential forsuccess of your influencer marketing campaign
- Superficial popularity of the influencer:
The popularity of an influencer doesn't equal influence. This means people with a high number of followers may not always have the power to influence their followers. Your goal is to elicit a particular action from the audience, so make sure your influencer has the power to drive that action.
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One Simple Rule to Follow
"Influencer Marketing = Marketing to Influencers."
Influencer marketing directly influences people whose likes and dislikes we are already aware of, and they are aligned well with the brand. This means you need to engage these people across social accounts, not only by following or liking their posts but also by commenting to demonstrate your knowledge and personality. You can also create or curate content to get the attention of your influencers.
The bottom line here is although the influencer's audience is the ultimate prize, the target market for your brand includes the influencers themselves. So targeting the influencers is a way to target your audience.
The Remarkable Growth of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is genuinely mainstream now and shows an upwards trajectory. Here are the stats that highlight the current state and the future of the influencer marketing landscape:
- Between 2016 and 2019, there has been a 1500% increase in searches for "influencer marketing."
- Businesses earn an average of $5.78 promotional publicity for each $1 they spend on influencer marketing.
- 90% of a survey's respondents believe influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing.
- Nine out of 10 brands are using some form of influencer marketing.
Why do brands rely on influencer marketing?
Although influencer marketing is fairly new, it is a viable solution for marketers who are keen on building trust with their audience. Three reasons why brands rely on influencer marketing.
- Influencers are powerful.
- Influencers affect your SEO
Influencers help you increase your social media following. This, in turn, can be beneficial to your site’s SEO, besides helping with brand awareness. The more eyeballs you get on your social media platforms, where your audience is consuming the content you share, the more chances you get to direct them to your site on various instances. This eventually means more traffic for your site.
Also, when you engage with influencers where they mention your brand, or if you run a campaign that results in user generated content where your brand is mentioned, Google will reward these mentions, again helping the SEO for your site.
- Influencers are social.
According to Oberlo, influencers have the power to influence people belonging to a wide range of age groups.
Why is influencer marketing important?
The internet and the popularity of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, have given consumers unlimited freedom to choose the content they wish to view. This is a problem for brands because it spreads their target audience across various forms of media, making it difficult to reach them.
Influencer marketing offers a solution to this problem. It allows brands to advertise directly to their target audience through influencers.
Social media influencers have niche followers that they engage with on a daily basis. Advertising through influencers allows brands to promote their products through someone their target audience trusts.
If the influencer loves a product, it's highly likely that their followers will love it too!
Benefits of Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing brings more than just brand exposure. It offers you much more, some of the top Benefits of Influencer Marketing are:
- Access to millennial & Gen Z consumers
- Enhances brand awareness and expands your reach
- Promotes emotional brand messaging
- Enhances ROI and bottom line
- Builds credibility & trust with persuasive product reviews
- Drives purchase decisions and boost sales
- Helps you acquire customers faster than other online marketing methods
- Overcomes advertising blindness
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Who is an influencer?
An influencer is an online superstar, trendsetter, tastemaker, and knowledge leader who has amassed a massive network of followers.
These influencers can potentially influence the behaviors and opinions of your target audience. They are present across a variety of social media platforms like YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram, among others, to express their opinions and discuss specific brands or products, thus building a relationship of trust with their audience.
Influencers use their authority, authenticity, knowledge, leverage, or position of power within the industry to engage with their followers and affect their purchasing decisions.
Brands love influencers because they create trends and encourage their followers to buy products they promote.
What are the types of influencers?
Types of Influencers by Follower Count
- Mega or celebrity influencers (1M+ followers)
- Macro influencers (100K–1M followers)
- Micro-influencers (10K–100K followers)
- Nano influencers (1K–10K followers)
Types of Influencers by Types of Content or Niche
- Sports & Fitness
How to find influencers?
The influencer marketing process of identifying the right influencer is a daunting task. But you have to make sure you get the right influencer to help you improve your brand awareness, expand your reach and generate leads. We've put together this list of ways you can use to find the right influencer for your brand:
- Social Media
When you are looking for social media influencers, a great place to look is social media platforms. Their social media profiles are a great way to know more about them. By studying the social media presence of various influencers, you can gain a fair idea of whether they might be beneficial to your brand or not.
While on social media platforms, follow these tips:
- Search for keywords and phrases, hashtags, specific users, and tagged audience members on specific posts.
- Look in the comments sections of high-traffic posts related to your industry or type of work.
- Get some ideas from influencer posts on your competitor's accounts.
- Google Search
Your right influencer is already creating content for your target audience. You can use Google or any other search engine to look for them using industry-related terms and keywords. Some tips when doing a Google search:
- Review blogs on your industry-related topics.
- Search for individuals you've already heard of or know as high-impact contributors.
- Browse through industry-specific websites and web pages for influencers.
Use your personal or professional network to get referrals. Some tips on getting referrals:
- Go through key opinion leaders on LinkedIn and ask for referrals.
- Ask your team if they have been following any influencers on social media who post content regularly and are aligned with your brand and image.
- If you've worked with any influencers in the past, connect with them to find out if they know of other influencers who could be right for your business.
By reading blogs, you can locate blog authors and their sources. Some tips on finding influencers through blogs:
- Look for people mentioned in the blogs. It could be that the blogger has reviewed the influencer's work, mentioned a quote from them, or asked them to contribute content.
- Go through expert round-ups. Most industries like art, fashion, beauty, and business often do expert round-ups featuring influencers in their fields. This is a perfect opportunity to research the individuals further to figure out if they're a good fit for your business.
- Talent Agencies and Agents
If you want to work with celebrity influencers, you cannot possibly reach them through direct emails or calls. You'd have to go through talent agencies or agents to determine whether the celebrity is interested in working with your brand and for what price.
- Influencer Marketing Software
Technology has been helping businesses find the right influencers. Most of the strategies mentioned above in this list are manual processes, which require a considerable amount of time and effort. The best thing about influencer software is that you can identify the right influencers at a click of a button. The three most popular software options include:
- Affable.ai: You can use Affable.ai, an AI-powered end-to-end influencer marketing platform, to find relevant and authentic influencers within your industry and also manage and measure the ROI of your influencer marketing campaigns.
- BuzzStream: This software allows you to research influencers. You can build profiles, review influencer interactions, and measure their engagement levels.
- BuzzSumo: Using this software, you can identify key influencers, analyze their content type and also review the content of your competitors.
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How much does influencer marketing cost?
Influencers with extensive reach and engagement levels rightly expect to be paid for their work. Therefore, you need to have a budget to carry out influencer campaigns.
Let's have a look at the factors that impact influencer rates:
What are the factors that impact the influencer's rates?
Our list comprises the most common factors that can impact influencer rates.
- The influencers reach and engagement
- The platform they use
- Number and frequency of posts you need
- Types of posts (images, videos, and audio)
- Time and effort investment of the influencer
- Where the ad will be promoted/cross-promoted
- Agency fees, if applicable
That said, you can negotiate the terms based on the influencer and your campaign goals. Here are a few payment models you can explore depending on your campaign goals:
- Cost per engagement: Pay a flat fee for each type of engagement your influencer produces. (Campaign goal: Drive engagement)
- Cost per click: Paying the influencer a flat fee each time a consumer clicks a link. (Campaign goal: Boost site traffic)
- Cost per acquisition: Paying the influencer based on how many sales they generate. (Campaign goal: Drive sales)
- Product compensation: offering your product or service as payment or in addition to cash payment. (Campaign goal: Raise brand awareness)
- Payment per post: Pay the influencer a flat fee for each piece of content they post mentioning your brand. (Campaign goal: Generate leads and boost brand awareness)
What are the types of influencer marketing campaigns?
When you decide to go with influencer marketing, you'll be spoilt for choice with numerous types of influencer marketing strategies. In this section, we'll dive into 8 different types of influencer marketing campaigns that you can use:
- Social Media Takeover
Social media takeover allows an influencer to navigate your brand promotion on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for an agreed period of time.
This strategy works well during festive seasons for an added boost to a seasonal discount, or sale event.
- Host Giveaways
In hosting giveaways, the influencer asks the audience simple things, such as entering their emails, commenting on a post, like a post, answering some questions in a contest, etc. The winner is then selected, and the winning prize is announced.
Giveaways are superb for new product launches.
- Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a system that relies on influencers to promote a product sale onsite or redirect the consumers to your website. When a sale happens, the affiliate partner is paid or rewarded as agreed.
Consider leveraging this strategy year-round, but it works especially well during the offseason when commission payout can be increased to increase growth.
- Product Seeding
In this type of campaign, you send your products to an influencer in exchange for free publicity. This is also called product seeding.
This works well for new product launches to create popularity.
- Sponsored Social Media Content
Here the influencer gets compensated to create content and promote your products. Nano-influencers or micro-influencers would be ideal for sponsored posts as they would be more than happy to do a barter deal whereas high-end influencers like mega-influencers would work majorly on pay per post and will have a higher charge.
- Sponsored Blog Posts
Sponsored blogs can be all about your product and services, probably offering discount codes for the purchases. Sponsored blog posts can also be asking the influencer to add your brand mentions in posts where similar products and services are discussed.
- Brand Ambassador Programs
In this type of influencer marketing, the influencer is your brand ambassador sharing posts, images, blogs, and videos about your product on social media on a regular basis.
- Guest Blogging
Guest blogging can be a very effective way of promoting your brand. Your influencers write blogs or accept niche blogs that talk about your brands.
How to create an effective influencer marketing strategy?
Incorporating influencer marketing into your overall marketing strategy requires planning. While building an influencer marketing strategy, ensure that you have a thorough and methodical approach. If you do this the right way, you'll know exactly what you want to achieve from influencer marketing, and you'll have a process in place to measure the progress of the influencer campaigns. Here are the steps for building a solid influencer marketing strategy:
- Determine your goals
What is it that you want to achieve from influencer marketing? Some of the common goals Include: boosting brand awareness, extending your reach, and driving sales. Determine what your goals are; keep them measurable so that you can track their progress.
- Determine your target audience
For your influencer marketing strategy to be effective, you need to use the right influencers to speak to the right audience. So, first, define your audience for the campaign. Create influencer personas that match your target audience. This will help you understand what qualities you are actually looking for in your influencers.
- Decide the right platform
Where is your target audience? Are they on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, or LinkedIn? Choose the correct social media platform to ensure your brand promotion reaches the right people.
- Know the rules
It's important to understand the rules to ensure that you adhere to your country/state's rules for influencer marketing. Also, make sure your agreements with influencers have disclosure guidelines.
- Consider the 3Rs of influence
Relevance, Reach, and Resonance - the 3Rs of influence.
- Relevance- relevant influencer to share your industry-relevant content to your target audience
- Reach- the number of people you can reach through your influencer
- Resonance- the engagement level your influencer can create with your target audience
- Shortlist the influencers
Make a list of influencers who your target audience is most likely to trust. How do you know if your influencer is trusted? Their engagement level. If you see a lot of likes, comments, views, and shares, it means the influencers have loyal followers.
- Reach out
Start your communication with your potential influencer by interacting organically (like, comment, share, view) with their posts. Appreciate their content without sounding salesy. When you are ready to begin a partnership, approach them with a direct message or an email. And, remember that your outreach email needs to be spot on to get an influencer’s attention. To learn how to draft effective outreach emails, and for templates that you can use right away, you can read our blog here.
Manual outreach can be cumbersome and pretty time consuming, and this is where, to further amplify and get the most out of your camping, using an AI driver influencer marketing platform like Affable.ai is what you must rely on. You can automate your campaigns and even use pre-drafted templates to send out multiple emails to multiple influencers in one go.
- Collaborate with your influencer
Influencers have worked hard to build a following. They will never accept a deal that will make their own personal brand appear inconsistent. Give them the freedom to showcase their skills but at the same time provide some guidelines on what you expect. Don't micromanage the entire campaign.
- Measure your results
Finally, you need to measure your influencer marketing strategy results to evaluate your success with the campaign. Some metrics you'll want to keep an eye on when measuring influencer marketing strategy success are:
- Engagement: Track the engagement involving content shared by the influencer about your brand and products. Interactions are in the form of shares, likes, mentions, retweets, comments, reposts, and direct messages across channels like social media, forums, and blogs.
- Brand awareness: Brand awareness can be measured quantitatively (direct traffic and social engagement) as well as qualitatively (social listening and awareness surveys).
- Resonance: Learn the level of resonance your audience created after consuming or interacting with an influencer's content involving your brand.
- Clicks: Check the number of clicks you have for the content your influencer has shared about your brand. It could be a direct link to your website, a social media giveaway, a sign-up form, or a CTA.
- Reach: By looking at the total number of views, you can determine the reach of the brand content your influencer shared.
- Conversions: Calculate how many leads you converted as a result of the influencer marketing strategy by dividing the conversions by the overall number of visitors.
- Followers Count: Track the number of social media followers or blog subscribers over time to see if the influencer has positively impacted the follower/subscriber count.
- ROI: Divide the benefit (return) of influencer marketing by the cost of the influencer marketing investment to find its ROI.
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List of Influencer Marketing Platforms & Tools
Here are some tools to get you started with influencer marketing:
- Affable.ai: A powerful AI-based software that works as a comprehensive influencer marketing platform - does it all – from helping you find and choose relevant influencers to manage your influencer marketing campaigns and monitoring their performance. Affable.ai helps you analyze your outreach campaigns so that you get to know what works and what doesn't.
- Hootsuite: Hootsuite helps you identify influencers by monitoring relevant conversations across multiple channels. Once you have your initial set of influencers, you can track them to see what they share and how relevant it is to your audience.
- Right Relevance Pro: You can use this app to search influencers based on location and topic. You can also identify thought leaders and discover potential partnerships based on the type and quality of the content they share.
- BuzzStream: This software allows you to search for influencers and run effective outreach campaigns. BuzzStream allows full access to the influencer's online presence across various social channels.
- Buzzsumo: This is another great software for finding relevant influencers. Its influencer search feature allows you to search for influencers across niches, locations, and social media platforms.
- Pitchbox: This influencer marketing platform helps you to find influencers in your niche within seconds through its feature of multiple prospecting profiles and intuitive keyword search.
- GroupHigh: GroupHigh is an influencer marketing tool that allows you to research social and blog posts to find any blogger's contact information quickly. It also helps you build targeting outreach lists.
Influencer marketing is here to stay. But the world of influencer marketing will evolve. In 5 years, it will be drastically different from what it is today. This guide on influencer marketing is to help you get started. But like any other marketing strategy, you need to stay prepared for the change that's coming your way.
As we bring in the year 2022, being aware of the trends that experts have predicted to rule the influencer marketing landscape is vital, take a look at what they are:
- Video-First Content Strategy
- The Rise of Specialized Creator Economy and Co-creation Strategy
- Leveraging Nano- and Micro-influencers
- Social Commerce and Live Shopping
- Creating Big Social Moments for Brands
- Cross-channel Influencer Marketing
- AI and Data-Driven Influencer Marketing Platforms
We have a detailed post on influencer marketing trends that you should leverage in 2022 and you can read about them here - you don’t want to miss out on this.
Like most marketing strategies, influencer marketing strategy has a rhythm and usually revolves around research, setting a budget, determining the goals, finding your influencers, reviewing your campaigns, and revising the strategy.
If you're looking to get more resources to run effective influencer marketing campaigns, try out our blog on effective influencer marketing tips for small businesses.
What does influencer marketing do?
Influencer marketing uses top content creators within a niche to increase traffic, improve brand awareness, and drive your brand's message to your target audience. These content creators are on various different channels, thus helping you expand your reach across your buyer personas.
What is an example of influencer marketing?
Many big brands like Adidas, Motorola, and Pepsi, use influencer marketing to reach their target audience. For example, Adidas has been using influencer marketing for years now to market its products to a younger audience through Instagram.
Why is influencer marketing successful?
Influencer marketing works because it uses two important tactics: word-of-mouth marketing and social proof. Customers trust the recommendation of their peers, friends, family, and people they admire to make buying decisions. That makes influencer marketing a very successful marketing strategy.
Why are influencers so powerful?
Their audience trusts them, and that makes influencers powerful. Consumers often buy a product or service if someone they trust recommends it to them. Influencers convince their audience to buy a product or service that they can vouch for.
Is influencer marketing effective in 2022?
Yes. More than 67.9% of US marketers from companies with 100 or more employees will use influencer marketing in 2021. This figure will rise to 72.5% in 2022. Moreover, the influencer marketing space is expected to grow from over $13 billion to at least $15 billion by 2022.
Are influencers good for business?
The right influencers can help your business to build effective influencer marketing campaigns and easily expand your reach. As your partnership with your influencers grows, your network will also expand. This means you'll have access to their niche audience, who trusts the thoughts and opinions shared by the influencers.
Which is the best influencer marketing platform?
The best influencer marketing tool for you will depend on the goals you want to achieve. That said, if you want a comprehensive tool that does all that is to be done in influencer marketing, Affable.ai could be your best bet. Book a free demo to determine how Affable.ai can help you create effective influencer marketing campaigns.
Why is influencer marketing important?
Influencer marketing is important because it helps reinforce your brand's reputation and foster your credibility. Additionally, when you partner with influencers, you also gain the trust of their audience. In the long run, influencer marketing is a perfect marketing tool to grow your loyal brand advocates. This helps you boost your brand awareness and revenue.
How to leverage influencer marketing?
If done right, influencer marketing is a very cost-effective way to create deeper engagement between the influencer's followers and your brand. The best way to leverage influencer marketing is by paying influencers directly for posts.
For example, on Instagram, many influencers promote various products – from water bottles to protein powders. These influencers are paid per post. And you don't have to be a huge company to afford this kind of marketing.