What is Influencer Marketing and How Does it Work?

What is influencer marketing and how does it work? Today we’ll talk about influencer marketing. It has been used a lot in the last 2 years. What is influencer marketing? If you are an influencer then how can you monetize your influence. If you are a company then how can you use influencers to sell your products or services in the market? 

If you are not an influencer then how can you become one. What do we mean when we say Mr X is an influencer? Let’s clear all the above points in this post. 

First of all let’s understand influencer marketing. It is a type of marketing where we use influencers to promote a product or service. Who is an influencer? Influencer is a person or a group of people who motivate people to take an action. 

Suppose I urge people to choose Hostinger for Web-hosting services. With my affiliate link, my followers go and subscribe to Hostinger’s services. That is influencer marketing. Businesses think that influencers have earned their fan following and therefore can promote services through influencer marketing.

YouTube Influencer Marketing

Let me share some cases of influencer marketing. You may have seen that celebrities promote their movies or music through YouTube channels. In the image below, Superstar Madhuri Dixit is promoting a song she has sung on Prajakta’s YouTube channel “MostlySane”.

What is Influencer Marketing and How Does it Work?

Now here she was not paid. But this is a win-win situation for both Prajakta (her YouTube channel has 5.54 million subscribers) and Madhuri Dixit.

What is Influencer Marketing and How Does it Work?

If Madhuri Dixit appears on Prajakta’s channel, she gets to promote her song to 5.54 million subscribers. And Prajakta’s channel gets more subscribers. 

Influencer marketing can be both paid as well as free. Free, when it is mutually beneficial. 

Suppose if you ask me to promote your product and I am asking for money, that is a paid promotion. Now a paid promotion does not necessarily mean I am lying. Here I am just influencing my audience to buy a certain product and I am sharing the pros and cons of it. 

Influencer marketing is also not only about selling a product. A lot of times, businesses use it for brand awareness, sending traffic to their website, increasing their registration applications etc. So, influencer marketing can be done in many ways. 

Unboxing Videos

So many times, you see unboxing videos for brand new smartphones on YouTube channels. The product hasn’t been launched yet but influencers have already received a sample to test its features and promote it on their channel. 

Companies give away free samples because it is a win-win situation for both of them. If you are an influencer or want to be one, you need to work on your brand equity. Will big brands collaborate with you? 

You may have seen channels with a million subscribers and views but their brand equity is low. Big brands won’t consider them. Same for small channels, who have brand equity even with less subscribers. So big companies can consider them. This is the power of influencer marketing.

How will this help brands? Let’s understand with an example. I have Rs One lakh set aside as my marketing budget. For brand promotion, website sales or even YouTube subscriptions. So what would I do? I would run ads on Google Ads or Facebook Ads.

Or I will approach a famous YouTuber. Let’s say his videos normally get 1 lakh views. I will give the guy Rs 10,000 and ask for a sponsored video. A YouTube video about my brand, products and services etc. So that more and more people get to know about my business and its offerings. 

For the same budget, if I use Google Ads, maybe I could have spent 2.5 lakh for one lakh views. But their audience will be defined. If I want, I can show the ad to only boys who live in New Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida. I could do that with location targeting. 

Amitabh Bachchan & OnePlus

So when will a brand use influencer marketing. When they want to go for a broader audience. For example, Coca Cola frequently indulges a broader audience. Sometime ago OnePlus hired Superstar Amitabh Bachchan for their brand new smartphones. That is Influencer Marketing at its best. 

What is Influencer Marketing and How Does it Work?

The kind of influence Amitabh Bachchan has in India, he can promote any product for brand awareness or sales. If after watching the OnePlus ad, people get influenced. They may visit OnePlus’s website, examine it’s products, do some research. But the buying decision will also depend on the paying capability of the audience. 

Let’s say people who blindly trust Big B or OnePlus. They bought it. And if that product didn’t turn out to be good. So product is the most important thing here. If you want to use influencer marketing as a brand or as an influencer, if you promote on your channel, testing of that product is very important. 

Brands should also inform influencers about their goals. Whether their goal is conversion or Brand awareness. 

How can you Leverage Influencer Marketing?

Let’s dive into how you can leverage influencer marketing. There’s three main social networks you should use for influencer marketing; Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Those are the main three. And if I had to bring it down to two, it would be Instagram and Facebook. 

Snapchat’s not really doing that well compared to Instagram and Facebook. With influencer marketing, the first thing you need to know is if the fans aren’t relevant, it won’t do well. 

If you’re not leveraging influencers in a positive way in which they’re related, it’s not gonna help. 

Think about FitTea. FitTea does extremely well on Instagram because they’re getting fitness type of people on their social profiles to post, “Hey, I’m getting more fit, I’m losing weight, I have more energy by drinking FitTea.” It’s very relevant. 

The next thing you need to know is that you need to continually post for six months. Think of this as branding. OnePlus didn’t get big all of a sudden, it took them a long time. That’s how it works with influencer marketing. If people talk about you, it doesn’t really do much unless they talk about you consistently over a period of 6+ months. 

You should see financial results, in which you should be generating more brand awareness and sales within a few months. But within six months is where it really starts taking off. 

The next thing you need to know about influencer marketing is you ideally shouldn’t be paying people. If you can get them to do it for free in exchange for products and services, that’s ideal. If not, pay them but negotiate. 

Don’t go through agencies because agencies markup things usually by double or triple. It’s much cheaper to go directly and negotiate with these people. Sure, they may try to charge you an arm and a leg, and it may not be worth it. But if you work out longer term arrangements, where they post once a week for months at a time, the rates start going down substantially. 

And when you pay them and negotiate, negotiate for them to do this with all their social networks because they can take that same picture or video, and post it on all with little to no effort.

I recommend that to almost every single B2C company, that they should try it out. And the B2B world, you can do the same thing, but keep in mind it’s harder to get influencers. You need people who are authoritative if you’re going after B2B influencer marketing. 

Another important question is should you be working with YouTube influencers to grow your business and your brand? The short answer is yes, it is definitely an effective strategy. But there are a lot of people who make mistakes. They’re not sure who to reach out to and some of the critical details that go into it.

How to leverage YouTube to grow your businesses faster? One of the ways is influencer marketing. 

Instagram Influencer Marketing

When you’re running an online business, traffic is key. After all, every person who visits your store is a potential customer. But, how do you draw in people to your store? Simply put, marketing. And Instagram is one of the most effective platforms that ecommerce entrepreneurs can use when marketing their store. 

Let’s look at Instagram influencer marketing. We’ll break down what it is, how it works,and what you can do to launch your own influencer marketing campaign today! Even if you’re new to ecommerce, you probably know that there are new marketing tactics popping up all the time. 

When you’re getting started, it can be tough to figure out which of those marketing tactics to focus on. Instagram influencer marketing is one of the most popular marketing tactics around today. 

Before we dive into that, however, let’s quickly talk about why Instagram is a great platform for ecommerce entrepreneurs. We mentioned earlier that Instagram boasts a HUGE audience which you can tap into with your marketing campaigns.

1 Billion+ people use Instagram per month, and that audience is growing bigger by the day. The great news for entrepreneurs is that 70% of those users seek out brands on Instagram. 

This is such a useful channel for ecommerce entrepreneurs. You can use the platform to promote your latest products, acquire new customers, and even communicate directly with your fans. If you’re worried about creating stunning panoramas and product photos for every post, relax. You can share other users’ content with your audience.

Simply ask the original user for permission, and credit them in your post. It’s a win–win situation, you post new content, and they get promoted for free. 

Why should you care about Instagram Influencers? 

Building a following on Instagram is tough, especially if you’re new to operating a business account. It certainly helps if you sell visually-appealing products. But honestly, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to build a following just by posting images related to your products or brands. 

The bottom line is, If you don’t already have an established audience on the platform, it’s going to be hard to use Instagram to grow your business. 

They’ve already built up their following on the platform organically. They have thousands of followers, and these followers are genuinely interested in what the influencer is posting. You can use influencers and tap into their audiences of highly-engaged potential buyers, and promote your products directly. 

Because Instagram influencers are people and not brands, their followers are much more likely to trust their advice. When they recommend certain products to their followers, their followers are more likely to engage with that content. 

So Instagram influencers are great, they can help grow your brand and sell your products. But how do you get influencers involved with your marketing campaigns? And how do you know if you’re choosing the right influencers for your brand? 

The world of influencer marketing can be intimidating at first, but don’t worry. We’ve got a strategic approach that’ll help you nail influencer marketing. 

First things first, you’ll need to find the right influencers for your brand. This is totally dependent on what you’re selling, and the brand image that you’re trying to build. It’s always a good idea to use data-driven decisions when it comes to building a business. 

With Instagram, there are plenty of tools you can use to find the best influencers for your brand. Tools like Ninja Outreach and Snapfluence can connect you to a wealth of influencers who are ready to get involved with new, exciting brands, like yours. 

Simply search for the type of influencers you’re looking for, using keywords like “womens fashion” for example. And you’ll be presented with a list of high-potential influencers. 

You can also search for influencers manually with tools like Keyhole.io. Search for terms related to your niche, and you’ll see which users have the highest engagement. Later, you can reach out to those influences directly. Finding the right influencers might take awhile. 

You’ll probably need to go through many different posts and hashtags to find influencers who are a good fit for your brand, but it’s worth it in the long-run. Investing time up-front can help you to avoid failed marketing campaigns in the future. 

Once you’ve found the right influencers for your brand, you’ll need to start taking steps towards forming a business partnership with them. 

First, send your chosen influencers a brief introduction of your brand. Give them an idea of the products that you’re trying to sell, and provide them with some information about what you’re looking for from their posts. 

You’ll also need to compensate influencers for their services. Typically, Instagram influencers are paid in one of two ways – by flat monetary compensation (say, $200 for one post promoting your brand) or by a commision-based payment, like 10% of every sale that they bring. 

You can measure the sales a particular influencer generated by providing the influencers with a discount code, like ‘SARAH20’. You can assume that every buyer who enters that discount code came from that influencer, and you’ll know how much commission you need to pay. 

Decide which payment method fits your business best, and include your choice in your initial pitch to them. Once you’ve come to an agreement with your influencers, it’s time for them to get to work by promoting your brand. 

You’ll likely need to send your influencers a couple of products that they can use in their campaigns. You want their followers to notice the influencers wearing or using your products. Don’t worry if you’re dropshipping, there are no problems there. 

Just ask for the address of your influencers and ship the products directly to them. Once they’ve received the products, reiterate what you’re looking for. Consider giving them a few examples of Instagram posts you love, so they know what you’re expecting. 

And here’s a pro tip: Create an account on bitly.com and use it to shorten the links to your product pages. Why? It’ll look more professional when influencers post the links and bitly will give you analytics about the number of people who clicked the link. 

That’s great for gauging the success of your influencer campaigns. Within no time your influencers will be posting about your brand , and hopefully driving tons of high-potential traffic to your online store. 

Alright, so that’s all for today. I hope you liked the post “what is influencer marketing and how does it work”. Let us know in the Comments section, if you have any questions or clarifications. If you learnt something new, please share by using the social media buttons on your left. Thank you so much for reading.