Answering all your queries about influencer marketing!
Influencer marketing is a powerful yet challenging strategy.
Brands often find it difficult to run successful influencer campaigns due to problems like finding the right influencers, managing campaigns, spotting fake followers, measuring performance, increasing costs, etc.
So whether you're new to the influencer industry or a seasoned professional, you will need proper knowledge to execute winning influencer campaigns. Before diving into word-of-mouth marketing with little expertise and wasting countless hours, you should understand the strategy from end to end.
Our list of influencer marketing FAQs covers basic to advanced questions like what is influencer marketing and how to tell if a campaign is working to help you understand the problems other brands struggle with. It will also help you improve your strategies to implement successful campaigns.
Let's dive in!
Influencer marketing (or word-of-mouth marketing) involves influencers who promote a brand or product to a target or niche audience. The marketing strategy helps brands reach their end goals, like building brand awareness, increasing sales, inviting traffic and leads, and more. Influencer marketing can be a sub-strategy of social media marketing and content marketing as it focuses on two elements:
• Social media – influencers mostly promote products and services on their social media pages
• Content – influencers create relevant content to talk about the brand
The term influencer is used to define someone who has an influence or convincing power over a group of people. It can be anyone from social media influencers to content creators, celebrities, and key opinion leaders.
The influencers have an established presence and a loyal following on websites and social networks like Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, etc. They create relevant content in specific niches like beauty, lifestyle, gaming, sustainability, fashion, and so on to engage their audience.
Some influencers are also known as opinion or thought leaders who have the power to persuade the target audience based on their knowledge and expertise in a particular subject. They can be doctors, lawyers, nutritionists, and more.
Brand ambassadors promote your products, services, and overall brand message with the consumers for little to no compensation. They are existing customers of your brand who love your products and have previously shared reviews, testimonials, and guides on social media, websites, or events. Brands approach ambassadors for long-term partnerships as they are already familiar with the product and can build credibility.
On the other hand, influencers are knowledgeable people who have experience creating content in a niche. Influencers may or may not be existing brand customers, but they speak passionately about your brand and share personalized content with their followers for compensation. Brands approach influencers for relatively shorter partnerships.
Choosing between the two depends on your business goals and budget. If you have a small budget and want to partner with someone who has in-depth knowledge about your product, then go for brand ambassadors.
But if you aim to boost awareness and reach new customers with shareable content, go for influencers.
Check out our guide: How To Launch a Brand Ambassador Program with Influencers
Affiliate marketing includes affiliates who work with a brand to bring new customers and increase sales for a fixed commission.
Whereas in influencer marketing, brands focus more on generating awareness, increasing traffic, boosting sales and revenue, improving social engagement, and more with the help of different types of influencers.
Learn more: Use Influencers to Power Up Your Affiliate Marketing
Influencers can be divided into categories based on their level of expertise, niche, follower count, location, and more.
Here are three main categories of influencers:
Based on the follower count
• Nano influencers: 1K to 10K followers
• Micro-influencers: 10K to 50K followers
• Mid-tier influencers: 50K to 500K
• Macro influencers: 500K to 1M followers
• Mega or celebrity influencers: Above 1M followers
Based on niche or industry
• Non-fungible token (NFT)
• Mental Health
Check out our list of top influencers by niche and geolocation.
Based on area of expertise
• Social media
• Thought leaders or experts
Read more: 19 Types of Influencers Based on Follower Count and Niches They Serve
Virtual or CGI influencers are computer-generated people with personalities and features similar to human beings. These influencers create digital content and promote brands in multiple industries on social media. Technical creators or programmers create and manage these influencers and their social media accounts.
Virtual influencers have become a sensation in the social media world, including Lu Do Magalu, Lil Miquela, noonoouri, and Imma, who have thousands and millions of followers on their Instagram pages.
Leading brands like Tinder, Prada, Dior, and Calvin Klein have already collaborated with virtual influencers to reach new potential customers.
Read more: Virtual Influencers In Influencer Marketing: Creepy or Cool?
Creator management is the technique of managing brands' relationships with creators or influencers. It includes the end-to-end communication between a brand and the creator, including outreach, negotiations, content creation, content approvals, campaign management, payments, and performance measurement.
Absolutely! Influencer marketing is an effective strategy used by more than 70% of marketers today. Consumers trust influencer recommendations and follow them to get information on new products, learn tips and tricks about a subject, and more.
Hubspot's research shows that 80% of marketers say that influencer marketing is very effective. Not just that, 71% of marketers believe that the leads and traffic from influencer marketing are of better quality than other strategies.
A 2022 research shows that influencer marketing is practiced by more than 75% of marketers who believe it is more effective than other marketing methods.
It helps you:
• Increase engagement on social media
• Improve sales and conversions
• Attain warmer leads
• Improve the return on investment
• Build authentic relationships with the audience
• Win the audience's trust
• Acquire loyal fans for your business
Learn more: 8 Benefits of Influencer Marketing for D2C Brands
Influencer marketing is a reliable marketing strategy used extensively in multiple sectors. Earlier it was used by businesses in selected industries like beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, but today, brands in multiple sectors, like pet, fintech marketing, fitness, tech, travel, parenting, etc., are now using word-of-mouth marketing to amplify their messaging.
Even the B2B sector is now catching up and seeing merit in using influencer marketing to reach the target customers, regardless of the industry. For example, SAP, American Express, and TopRank are some brands excelling in their word-of-mouth marketing strategies.
Discover how the health and wellness industry uses influencer marketing to win the audience!
Influencer marketing is a strategy that can be adopted by every type of business, whether you're a multinational corporation or a startup with a small budget.
The cost of your campaign depends on the type of influencer you choose to collaborate with. If you partner with micro and nano influencers like gamers, photographers, videographers, bloggers, etc., you can generate more engagement and loyalty for your product at less cost. Some may even promote branded content for rewards, free products, or event invites.
Check out our blog: Effective Influencer Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
Always-on influencer marketing means running long-term campaigns to promote a hero product or an existing product line. You can employ influencers or brand ambassadors to share content on social media regularly instead of collaborating with them once to launch a new product.
For example, Gymshark is a fitness fashion brand that has built a community of health and wellness influencers who believe in the brand and keep sharing brand-related content on their social channels.
Search engine optimization (SEO) helps you increase traffic for your website to rank you at the top of Google result pages. Besides the on-page and off-page strategies, influencer marketing too can enhance your SEO efforts.
It helps you:
• Build quality backlinks
• Create authentic and rankable content
• Increase website traffic
• Use branded keywords for better ranking
• Expand your audience reach
• Gain engagement on social networks
The main reason why most brands go for influencer marketing is to spread awareness about their company or a new product. But you can also use it to increase sales for your business by building long-term relationships with influencers. Lasting brand-influencer relations help you gain the audience's trust with consistent content, ultimately leading to more sales.
You can also give creators a custom discount code or link, which customers can follow to make a direct purchase from your site or eCommerce store and avail the discounts. This strategy works very well for eCommerce and D2C brands.
Influencer marketing agencies are third-party companies that run word-of-mouth campaigns on a brand's behalf. They oversee influencer selection, outreach, negotiations, contracts, management, and performance measurement.
Agencies have years of experience in the industry through which they build authentic connections with creators, who rely on agencies to collaborate with brands. Many agencies also use an influencer marketing platform to find new talent for brands.
The services provided by an agency vary according to the expertise they have in the field. Some agencies, like Ogilvy, TOP, PurpleBug, Nomad, etc., provide word-of-mouth marketing with prior experience in public relations, talent management, digital marketing, and more.
A creator marketplace is a platform you can use to find influencers or content creators. The marketplace has a database filled with numerous creators who sign up on the platform to collaborate with businesses directly.
Brands and agencies can post their campaigns on the platform, receive pitches from the content creators, and pick suitable ones.
For example, the TikTok creator marketplace launched by the platform allows you to look through the profiles of content creators and collaborate with them for your TikTok influencer marketing campaign.
An influencer marketing platform is an AI-powered (Artificial Intelligence) software that helps automate the influencer campaign process - from finding creators to managing campaigns and measuring their success.
Each platform offers advanced features like a search engine, database, influencer relationship management (IRM) tool, eCommerce integration, data reports, and more to help brands and agencies run campaigns from a single dashboard instead of jumping between platforms and managing everything manually.
For example, affable.ai is an influencer marketing tool that helps businesses and agencies run end-to-end campaigns. 100+ brands have trusted the platform to find creators from its 6M+ influencer database, manage campaigns through its easy-to-use software, and measure performance through detailed reports.
Get insights on how exactly 100+ brands use affable.ai to scale their campaigns!
This is a commonly asked influencer marketing FAQ by marketers as there are several platforms in the market that offer different set of features. It is up to you to understand all the features and pick the one that fulfills your requirements.
Refer to this checklist to pick the best platform:
• Easy to use and understand IRM software
• Search engine with multiple filters
• Supports the social media platform that caters to your target audience
• Large database of influencers
• Detailed insights into creator profiles
• Fake followers identification feature
• Ability to run end-to-end campaigns
• Ecommerce platform integrations for product deliveries
• Content tracking feature
• Social listening tools
• ROI measurement report
Discover more: How to pick a YouTube influencer marketing platform – A complete guide
This is probably the most common influencer marketing FAQ since most brands know about word-of-mouth marketing and its effectiveness but don't know how to start with it.
Well, there are no set steps or processes to get into word-of-mouth marketing, which is why most businesses get confused and drop the plan to execute a campaign.
But still, to make things clear and easier for you here is a process that has been followed by many brands and has worked for most of them. You can follow it to get started with influencer marketing.
• Set achievable goals like brand awareness, sales, leads, traffic, product launch, etc.
• Define the audience you want to reach or sell to
• Choose the social media platform you want to promote your product on
• Pick relevant influencers who have experience in your industry
• Reach out to creators with a pitch telling them about the collaboration
• Negotiate terms of the contract to avoid future conflicts
• Clearly explain the content guidelines to ensure right messaging
• Allow them creative freedom
• Monitor campaigns from time to time
• Make necessary tweaks to the campaign to improve returns
• Evaluate the campaign performance
• Calculate the ROI
Many businesses fail to run successful influencer marketing campaigns because they don't spend much time developing a plan. Before reaching out to creators, you need a plan in sight to carry out the process effectively and generate the desired returns.
Here's what you can do:
• Set your goals and KPIs to create a road map for campaign execution
• Decide the message you want to give your audience
• Map the influencer landscape to determine creator segments in your industry, like journalists, key opinion leaders, etc.
• Decide the content type you want to promote – educational, promotional, funny, or more
• Plan the number and type of influencers you will need
• Note down the returns you're expecting to set a benchmark for later
There is no perfect answer to this influencer marketing question. Influencer marketing can be carried out on any social media platform. So the right platform for your campaign depends on your target audience because if you choose a channel that does not cater to your ideal customers, your campaign won't generate desired results.
For example, if you're a B2B business, you'd probably want to choose Linkedin, Twitter, or both. But if you're a B2C or D2C brand, you can go for Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or Pinterest.
Another way is to hire creators for one platform and then repurpose their content to publish across multiple platforms, targeting a different audience segment on each.
Ideally, no. The influencer selection process is a crucial step in the influencer marketing process as it defines the campaign's success.
Picking any creator randomly might work for some brands, but it wastes a lot of your time and money. Data like engagement rates, followers, audience interests, etc., are required to make the right decision.
Data can help you pick influencers who:
• Understand your niche
• Have a good engagement rate
• Don't have fake followers
• Target your ideal audience
• Are experienced in endorsements
• Have a loyal following
Read in depth about how data can help you find talented creators and execute better campaigns!
There are two ways to find influencers, either manually or through data. Among the two, data-driven influencer selection is the most time-saving and effective way to find suitable influencers for your business. With data, you can access insights about creators like engagement rates, audience distribution, interests, followers, etc., and draw a clear picture of whether the influencer would be a good brand fit.
Influencer analytics tools like affable.ai can help you access such data to pick the right creator.
Learn in depth: How affable.ai takes the guesswork out of influencer marketing
Influencer mapping means analyzing a creator's influence on the audience by evaluating his/her ability to engage the followers, generate sales, and bring views.
Influencer mapping helps you:
• Understand the number of people talking about your brand or competitors
• Find the best ways to reach out to a creator
• Learn more about the social network and the audience
• Find undiscovered audiences
Here's a step-by-step process to carry out influencer mapping:
• Define a clear goal
• Identify influencers in the industry
• Shortlist the relevant ones
• Analyze their social networks and content
• Build a detailed profile
• Group similar talent together
• Measure their performance
Check out our detailed guide: What is Influencer Mapping and How D2C Brands Can Leverage It
KPIs help narrow your search for suitable talent and help you determine which influencer can be useful in achieving your campaign goals.
You can look for the following KPIs in a creator before choosing:
• High engagement rate like the number of likes, comments, shares
• Right number of followers based on your strategy and budget
• Their cost per post
• Their followers match your target audience
• Number of brands they've worked with
• Type of brands they've worked with
• Their audience demographics like age, location, interests
• Branded to non-branded content ratio
There is no one way to answer this influencer marketing question as each type of influencer has a different payment preference. Some prefer pay-per-post, while some may work for rewards, free products, event invites, or more.
Influencer payment may also depend on the follower count or the social media platform.
Based on follower count, influencers charge per post:
• Nano influencers: 10 - 200 USD
• Micro-influencers: up to 1K USD
• Mid-tier influencers: up to 10K USD
• Macro influencers: up to 20K USD
• Mega or celebrity influencers: up to 1 million USD
Based on social media channels, influencers may charge per post:
• Facebook: $25 per 1000 followers
• YouTube: $20 per 1000 followers
• Instagram: $10 per 1000 followers
• Snapchat: $10 per 1000 followers
• Twitter: $2 per 1000 followers
The influencer rates are not fixed and may vary based on the following:
• The type of content you want – does the content fit their expertise?
• The number of posts you want
• The amount of engagement the creator generates
• The kind of post – image, video, audio
• The amount of effort needed from the influencer – do they provide the content or you?
• The place of content promotion – is it their social page, or do they have to cross-promote?
The most preferred payment choices by influencers are are pay-per-post and free products. Besides this, influencers can be paid via store credits, performance-only commissions, performance bonuses, events, or trips.
Influencer marketing has become a saturated industry. There's a chance the influencers you want to work with are occupied with other branded content or engaging with their audiences and may reject your proposal.
There's also a chance they collaborate with brands through an influencer marketing agency or a creator marketplace.
So to reach influencers and stand out in your proposal, you'll need a solid pitch to persuade them to endorse your products.
The pitch should include the following:
• Campaign details – number of posts, content deliverables
• Product details – price, unique selling proposition
• Content requirements – audio, video, images
• Reason why a creator should collaborate with you
• Reason why you're choosing that influencer
• Terms and conditions of the contract
• Payment method – per post, rewards, free products
Learn more: How to Write Influencer Outreach Emails & 6 Email Templates
Long-term influencer relations promise positive content, audience trust, increased credibility, and brand loyalty.
To build a meaningful bond with your creators, you can do the following:
• Partner with relevant talent
• Get to know them
• Keep constant communication
• Remember to keep clarity in content requirements
• Provide them total creative freedom
• Compensate them fairly and timely
• Motivate and encourage them along the process
• Treat them as a part of your team
• Realize their value
This influencer marketing question does not have a clear-cut answer because the level of creative freedom to be given depends on the preference of the brand, the type and experience of influencer, and the type of content.
Still, to answer your query, you should give total creative freedom to your creators and let them decide the story they want to tell to the audience. Giving complete creative freedom is suggested because most influencers out there have been creating content for years now and they interact with their followers regularly through comments and DMs. They understand their audience and know how to represent your brand in front of their followers.
But giving total freedom sometimes risks conveying the wrong message or damaging the brand's reputation. To avoid such scenarios, you must find experienced creators who understand your brand and product messaging. So when choosing influencers, spend time reviewing their content and past brand collaborations to see if they can spread your brand message correctly.
Collaborating with relevant influencers will keep you in control of the brand's messaging and creators in control of the content, creating a win-win situation for both!
Influencer marketing has become a saturated industry since possibly every business is diving into it to maximize growth. Such popularity of the strategy has increased some risks for the businesses using it:
• Low engagement on some social media platforms – Collaborate with nano and micro-influencers
• Inauthentic collaborations with influencers – Find relevant and experienced creators who understand your brand
• Problematic morality issues – Include a morality clause in the contract
• Potential of damaging brand reputation – Draft content guidelines to help influencers understand the Dos and Don'ts
• Rigid FTC regulations – Create content that appeals to your audience and is in regulation with the FTC guidelines
• Influencers using fake followers – Look out for red flags or use an influencer marketing platform
Influencer fraud occurs when:
• A fake account on social media claims to be an influencer
• A creator buys followers and engagement to look authentic
According to research, more than 55.3% of influencers indulge in fraudulent activities on social media. Most of them buy followers, likes, and comments to boost their visibility and look more authentic.
To reduce influencer fraud and misleading content toward consumers USA's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued guidelines to be followed by brands and influencers when endorsing products.
When promoting content, influencers need to:
• Disclose material connections they have with the brand
• Disclose sponsored content through hashtags, brand mentions, or paid partnership label
• Avoid mixing the disclosures with blocks of text; make it clear and direct
• Keep disclosures in sight and not behind 'click more' or 'see more' buttons
• Put disclosures not only in descriptions but also in content creation
These guidelines help the consumer know which content is sponsored.
Every country has its own guidelines, so checking them before publishing content in any region is advisable.
For more information on FTC guidelines, visit: https://guides.loc.gov/influencer-marketing/regulations
When identifying influencers, look for these red flags to avoid influencer marketing fraud:
• Rapid follower growth
• Low engagement rate
• Low impressions
• Spamming on content
• Unrelated comments
• Strange audience demographics
Or you can pick an influencer marketing platform like affable.ai that analyzes all the red flags and shows every influencer's fake follower percentage.
Read in detail: How to do Instagram Fake Followers Check?
The rights to sponsored influencer-generated content remain with the creator, which means brands cannot sell the content without the influencer's permission as it benefits the influencer's name and reputation in the industry and can be used by them to bag more brand collaborations.
Since brands pay the creators for content, they can reserve the license to use the content by mentioning it in the contract. The license will allow you to repurpose the content for ads and other social media platforms.
Earned media value in word-of-mouth marketing is the monetary value derived from the audience's interactions with influencer content on social media. EMV is a quantitative value that defines the exposure a brand gets from the influencer content.
For example, an eco-friendly influencer posts content on social media channels and tags brands like Allbirds and Patagonia. Now, if the content generates engagement worth $100K, Allbirds and Patagonia will earn $100K EMV from the post.
EMV can be in two forms:
Impression EMV – generated from views
Engagement EMV – generated from likes, comments, and shares
EMV is a great way to measure performance in case the brand hasn't paid for the content directly and instead sent free products, rewards, or invites to the influencers.
To calculate EMV:
• First, set up a cost per impression or engagement based on digital media rates, past paid influencer campaigns, or previous marketing data
• After setting the cost, use the formula:
EMV = Cost * views, likes, shares, comments delivered / 1000
There are many different formulas that brands use to calculate the EMV.
Return on investment (ROI) differs for every business depending on their end goals and the course of the influencer campaign. To calculate ROI for your campaign, focus on the data points you think will be relevant for achieving your goals. Here are some essential data points to track:
• Views or impressions
• Audience sentiments
• Follower growth or decline
• Sales and Revenue
• New customer reach
• Customer loyalty
Pro tip: Tracking all the essential metrics will help you understand whether your influencer marketing campaign is working well and use the data to improve future campaigns.
The following step-by-step will help you employ the data to calculate the ROI for your campaign:
• Set your goals from the beginning of the campaign
• Set the KPIs or data points you want to track
• Analyze your budget and expenses
• Add up your costs for the campaign
• Evaluate the sales or revenue
• Calculate returns in terms of brand awareness, engagement, direct sales
• Analyze the results to see if the campaign was successful
Discover more: How brands can boost their influencer marketing ROI
Influencer marketing can be a game-changing inclusion to a brand's marketing plan for attaining more traffic, better leads, loyal customers, and social recognition.
But even if you gain the relevant knowledge with influencer marketing FAQs, you will need data to plan and manage effective campaigns, spot fake influencers, understand industry trends, and more.
affable.ai, an influencer marketing tool, helps brands and agencies attain valuable data to make the right decisions and scale their campaigns. The platform's advanced features help you learn market trends and competitor strategies, find and connect with experienced influencers, implement campaigns using data, and calculate their success.
Head over to our product FAQs page to discover what affable.ai offers or get a free trial today and speak directly to our team!!
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