Influencer marketing has become a popular and effective way for brands to increase their visibility and reach a new audience.
However, at Bloom, we think influencer marketing can be leveraged for more than just brand awareness.
In this blog post, we will discuss ways that brands can enhance their influencer marketing strategy to not only increase brand awareness, but also drive sales.
But, First Thing First, What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which brands partner with influential people in order to promote their products or services. These influencers, also called creators, have a following, large or small, on social media, and they are able to reach a wide audience with their content.
You could think of Influencer Marketing as a form of word-of-mouth marketing, just on a much larger scale. Like traditional word-of-mouth, influencer marketing relies on the credibility and influence of the person promoting the product or service. When someone we know and trust recommends a product or service, we are more likely to consider purchasing it.
Influencer marketing can be an effective way for brands to increase their visibility and reach a new audience. When an influencer promotes a product or service, their followers may be more likely to purchase it due to the endorsement from someone they trust. This can be especially effective if the influencer is seen as an expert in a particular field or has a strong personal brand.
Where Do Influencers Usually Fit Within The Marketing Funnel?
Influencer marketing is most often associated with upper funnel marketing tactics. One of the main benefits of influencer marketing is that it can help to increase reach and awareness for a brand.
It has proven its worth time and time again. We could give countless examples of brands leveraging micro-influencers or celebrities to reach a new audience and increase brand awareness.
That said, by applying affiliate marketing and paid media principles to influencer marketing, we believe brands can also drive sales and have a performance aspect to their strategy.
What are the differences between Influencer Marketing and Affiliate Marketing?
On one hand, the influencer model focuses on creating content that aligns with a brand’s views and values. Related KPIs include views, impressions, reach and engagement, but, generally, the impact and ROI of influencer marketing is hard to track. Also, influencers, most often, charge brands a flat fee per post.
On the other hand, because of its pay-per-commision model, affiliate marketing is highly focused on actions and purchases. Using unique affiliate links and promotional codes are standard practices in affiliate marketing. Because affiliate marketing requires accurate tracking in order to attribute the conversions to the right affiliate, its impact is much easier to track.
Turning Influencer Marketing into a Performance-Based Tactic
Here are a few tips on how to add a performance side to your influencer marketing strategy and, in the end, not only increase brand awareness and credibility, but also drive sales.
1. Consider Influencers Outside of Social Media
Affiliates aren’t necessarily content creators using social media platforms to engage with their audience. They can take multiple forms: news outlets, blogs, review sites, coupons sites, etc. Having these types of partnerships in addition to influencers will diversify your revenue streams and increase your online presence.
2. Provide Links with UTMs and Promotional Codes To Influencers
Offering affiliate links or custom promo codes to influencers will have a direct impact on your sales as it will entice users to visit your site and purchase your products and will make tracking the impact of your influencer strategy that much more easy.
3. Make Use Of Influencer Content In Your Advertising
Influencer content is also great user generated content. Don’t be afraid to repurpose it (but, first, make sure your contract specifies that you can!)
Branded Content Ads on Instagram are a great way to boost the impact of your influencer content. In a nutshell, brands can create an ad on behalf of the creator, with their permission of course. To learn more on Branded Content Ads, check out this blog post.
Bring Your Influencer Strategy To The Next Level
To be effective, performance influencer marketing campaigns need to be well-planned and carefully executed. It’s important to choose influencers who are a good fit for the brand and have a loyal and engaged following. But, how do you do that?
The best way is to probably team up with an agency, they, most often, have a pool of talent they can vet and they understand each influencer’s niche and specificities. Otherwise, you can also reach out to influencers on a one-by-one basis and discuss partnership opportunities.
To get started with affiliate marketing, we recommend joining an affiliate network. Alternatively, you can work with a digital marketing agency like Bloom to support or manage the process for you.
To learn more about influencer marketing or affiliate marketing, reach out to our experts!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marie-Joelle works at Bloom, a digital marketing agency, as the Director of Marketing. She's passionate about digital marketing tactics (from social media to web design) for B2B businesses looking to grow online.