Does Influencer Marketing Really Work?
In the ever-changing world of marketing, it can seem like new strategies are popping up every month. One newer strategy that has stuck and gained traction over the last few years is ‘influencer marketing.’ This genre of social media marketing has shown proven results time and time again and has begun to get more refined and structured as the popularity of influencer culture increases worldwide.
If you’re considering investing in influencer marketing for your business, read this guide from the experts at Radiant Marketing, to be fully educated before making any decisions.
What Is An Influencer?
Let’s start with the basics. What is an influencer? An influencer is a person with the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on social media. Influencers can also be considered “internet celebrities” and often boast large followings on various social media platforms, curating and creating original digital content as their full-time jobs.
While these individuals often have large followings and high engagement rates, their audiences typically feel more personally connected to them than traditional celebrities, because of the tight-knit feeling social media can provide and the interaction opportunities provided by direct messaging and comment features. This makes influencers the perfect people to market products and services to their impressionable audience who truly trust their opinion. However, not everyone who simply has a large following can be considered an influencer. A key feature of being an influencer is also having a large engagement rate and an audience that interacts with your content.
What Is Influencer Marketing And What Is The Purpose?
To get technical, influencer marketing can be defined as a type of social media marketing that involves endorsements and product placements from influencers. This can involve the influencer themselves creating original content that is posted to their own account in the form of videos, posts, or stories (often referred to as User Generated Content (UGC). Or, the influencer can create content that is sent to the business itself and posted directly on the business’s social media accounts.
There are three main purposes of influencer marketing:
- To attract the audience of the influencer - Brands typically choose influencers who have an audience that is similar to the demographic they are hoping to target and reach. By using an influencer who is well-liked and trusted by this target demographic, they can potentially gain a large influx of new customers from the influencer’s audience.
- To expand brand reach - It’s no secret that influencers have an incredible reach on social media thanks to their high following counts and engagement levels. This reach can easily be extended to the business that has hired the influencer to promote their brand. This will allow a business to quickly and efficiently reach new members of its target audience.
- To open the door to more collaborations - While influencer marketing thrives on the concept of what is “cool” and “in-style” at the time, having an influencer market for your business can open the door to collaboration with other influencers. Because of their impressive reach, it’s highly probable that once one influencer begins to market for your brand, you may receive messages from other influencers who identify with your product or service and also would like to work together.
The 5 Different Types of Influencer Marketing Campaigns
With the wide variety of content that can be produced on social media from Tweets, to Reels, to traditional photos, it’s no wonder that there are a variety of influencer marketing campaign types.
Here are the 5 most common types of influencer marketing campaigns we see present day:
- Sponsored Posts - This is the most traditional form of influencer marketing, where an influencer will simply post a static feed photo to their Instagram or a photo on their story incorporating the service or product, with a call-to-action that prompts their followers to make a purchase.
- Unboxings / Gifted Partnerships - This type of influencer marketing is popular for the launch of new lines of products, such as a new line of drinks, beauty products, or clothing. A brand will send an influencer a box of their products for free as a “gift” in exchange for the influencer creating a video “unboxing” the products, or providing a review, typically in the form of a video.
- Giveaway Competition - Offering giveaway bundles is a great way to gain brand awareness and followers on your business’s own social media accounts. An influencer will “host” a giveaway of a business’s products and their followers can enter by completing a number of tasks, typically including following the business’s social media accounts or subscribing to correspondences from the company.
- Product Affiliation - This is a more complex form of influencer marketing where the influencer actually becomes part of the product creation process and has a line of products within the company under their own name. This is often seen in the beauty industry where influencers and celebrities will have a line of makeup products within a larger brand.
- Brand Ambassadors - Hiring brand ambassadors is a great way to ensure a long-term partnership with the influencer of your choosing. An influencer brand ambassador for a brand will typically sign a contract for an extended period, agreeing to a certain amount of posts or content uploaded over this period of time. This will ensure they are reaching as much of their audience as possible by having repetitive references to the company they are working with over several months.
The Best Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Now that you’ve learned what influencer marketing is and the different forms it can take, let’s take a look at some of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns.
One of the most successful influencer marketing campaigns we’ve seen over the past few years is the Dunkin’ Donuts' partnership with TikTok Influencer Charli D’Amelio. A viral campaign was created under the hashtag #CharliXDunkinContest and Dunkin’ released a drink after Charli, called “The Charli.” This drink led to an astonishing 57% increase in app downloads on launch day and a 45% increase in cold brew sales the next day.
Gymshark partnered with a large number of influencers on TikTok to launch the ‘66 Days: Change Your Life Challenge.’ The #gymshark66 campaign videos achieved 241.3 million views on TikTok and the hashtag #gymshark66 now has nearly 750,000 posts on Instagram, gaining huge exposure for the brand.
Benefit Cosmetics strategically partnered with make-up artist and influencer Manny MUA to launch the #benefitofcrocschallenge encouraging participants to do beauty routines while wearing Crocs on their hands in honor of their new Crocs-themed makeup line. The challenge led by Manny received 6 million views on TikTok and helped lead to the limited edition Crocs line to sell out.
What Does Influencer Marketing Cost?
Now that we’ve seen first-hand that influential marketing can be extremely successful, let’s break down what the costs can look like.
Our Content Strategist, Lauren, recently sat down with full-time model and influencer Caroline Karwoski who has a combined following of over 30,000 between Instagram and TikTok, to discuss the importance of ensuring your influencers are properly compensated.
“I only partner with companies who truly value influencers as members of their workforce and marketing team. If a company doesn’t respect you enough to pay you a fair wage for the time, effort, and creativity that goes into the content creation process, then it shows that they don’t fully understand the world of digital marketing and influencer culture, and how it is evolving,” explained Caroline.
Influencer marketing rates are typically negotiated on an individual basis, based on factors such as the type of campaign, content creation requests, and the number of followers the influencer has.
Below are the average 2022 rates for a standard sponsored post on Instagram.
Does It Really Work?
A survey from GlobalWebIndex showed that roughly one in five of Gen Z and millennial respondents from the U.S. and U.K. made a purchase inspired by an influencer or a celebrity post on social media in the last year. Additionally, a Digital Marketing Hub report found that 91 percent of the survey respondents, which was composed of marketing agencies, brands, and other industry professionals, believe influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing.
While these numbers and results speak for themselves, your brand will need to determine the campaigns and type of influencers that work best for your unique products and services.
Let Radiant Marketing Upgrade Your Marketing Strategy
Don’t do it alone! Radiant Marketing can help you find and utilize influencers to market your brand! We have the knowledge and expertise to help you create a unique marketing plan, and offer services to help you maintain consistency in your content and properly utilize influencer marketing strategies.
Schedule a Discovery Call with us today to get started.
And, to ensure you never miss any useful social media tips or guides, subscribe to our blog!
Interested in more more useful marketing and social media tips? Subscribe to our blog to make sure you never miss any of our guides!