In the olden days where the Internet was less prevalent, the title of being an “influencer” was mostly a status reserved for only a few, such as celebrities. Unless you had a part in a major blockbuster or song, being an influencer was a rather difficult task. But not anymore.
Nowadays, the trend of influencers has evolved to include people from all walks of life – they’re no longer restricted to just famous movie stars or singers! On social media, even kids and teenagers have made a name for themselves as influencers with large follower bases just as community leaders have, like a certain cheeky former prime minister… heh.
With their level of influence, businesses have made use of these influential people in the form of influencer marketing! Only question is, does your business need influencer marketing? You might most certainly do! While there are no rules dictating whether you can or should get an influencer, here is a little guide to help you see if influencer marketing is for you!
Getting to know influencers
Before you can get yourself acquainted with an influencer, it really does pay to know the different categories that influencers fall into. With each one having varying levels of influence, influencers these days can mainly be divided into four distinct types:
In practice, influencer marketing can be divided into four main categories of mega, macro, micro, and nano, differentiated from each other by their follower counts. Although they carry a level of influence, they can be very different people. For instance, mega influencers are usually celebrities while a nano influencer may just be a well-known person in a community.
The follower counts for these four influencer types are typically as follows:
- Mega influencer: Typically over 1,000,000
- Macro influencer: 100,000 to 1,000,000
- Micro influencer: 10,000 to 100,000
- Nano influencer: Less than 10,000
Moreover, the prices of working with an influencer scale with their popularity too – the higher the follower count, the higher the costs tend to be. Fortunately, however, not every business needs a mega or macro influencer all the time as nano influencers are just as ideal for small and medium-sized businesses looking to get good results at a low budget.
When should I work together with an influencer for my business?
Undoubtedly, influencer marketing is no mere passing fad, especially not in Malaysia either – statistics show that as many as 75% of people follow an influencer on social media as of October 2020. Furthermore, other numbers show that around 63% of female and 53% of male respondents bought an item or product because it was endorsed by an influencer.
With these statistics, it stands to say that influencer marketing can prove quite helpful in getting your business noticed by a lot more people. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be a big brand to turn influencers to your advantage.
As its own type of marketing strategy, do take the time to consider the factors where hiring an influencer is better than other options like paid advertising and so on.
For the most part, here are a few reasons where influencer marketing will do great:
You want to expand your online reach faster
When it comes to business, expanding your reach online can be tricky as not everyone will know or care about your brand, and this can impede your ability to get more customers.
By hiring an influencer to work with your brand, you’ll have someone prominent to help you stand out from the competition and reach more people. After all, having a well-known, recognizable face is quite effective in turning heads to your brand.
You’re starting a new business or launching a new product
Nowadays, the large number of businesses on the Internet and content saturation mean that it’s all too easy for a new business or product to be overlooked, especially if they are something that people have never heard of.
In practice, if you’ve just started introducing something new, working together with a group of influencers can give you a much-needed boost to get your new business or product seen by your audiences.
You have a good product
Sometimes all a good product needs for it to sell is some publicity by a well-known person.
If your particular product is not selling well, an influencer can help you promote it to your target audiences and spread the word. This is particularly helpful for products that regularly face a lot of competition, such as those related to health, beauty, food and beverage. With a good influencer, it might just give you the edge you need to get customers coming to you.
You are looking for niche customers
Every business has its own customer base, but it can be difficult to build relationships with all of them, especially niche customers.
Fortunately, influencer marketing is great for helping you connect with niche audiences. For instance, if you’re a food business looking to attract more vegan customers, a real vegan influencer will have the necessary expertise and charisma to get them lining up for your business.
You need real feedback or testimonials
Doing business comes with dealing with many customers, and it’s not always easy to get real, authentic feedback or testimonials, which can make it hard to figure out what needs to be improved or changed.
Fortunately, working with an influencer can help remedy this as their content’s reception by your audiences can help you see what is being liked and what isn’t. More than just a way to market your brand, influencers are also great for getting your needed feedback.
Tips on getting started with influencer marketing
At this point, you should be plenty convinced (or at least considering) that influencer marketing can be of good use to you. As there are many different influencers out there, the three pointers below are quite useful for finding your ideal influencer.
For relevance, do note that these tips are mainly for our Malaysian readers.
1. Look for local influencers with online tools
Thanks to the Internet, there are plenty of online resources that can help you find local influencers. NoxInfluencer, for instance, is a website tool that lets you keep track of YouTube channel statistics and their popularity. Likewise, StarNgage is an influencer marketing platform that allows you to meet and find the right influencers for your campaigns. Another useful resource is Influencer Marketing Hub, which has a handy search tool for easy searching of influencers.
Certainly, there are also many other tools on the Internet for finding influencers, so rest assured that you should have no trouble in finding an influencer for your business.
2. Do research on their content
Not all influencers are a perfect fit for every business, and some just work better with others.
Before you work with an influencer, do some research on their work, personality, and past experiences. Do they align well with your brand or aesthetic? Are they able to deliver content that is up to your standard and quality? These are all important things to consider for success.
Plus, collaborating with an influencer means you get to reuse or re-share any creative imagery or photos they post, and you’ll definitely want those that resonate with your brand.
Once you have found the right one, do make it a point to allow your influencers some creative freedom. While you’re supposed to work closely with them, giving them space and flexibility will help them better ideate and produce the best content possible for their followers. After all, they wouldn’t be influencers in the first place if their creativity is stifled.
3. Take note of engagement rates instead of number of followers
Here’s the thing about marketing, engagement rate is crucial. It lets you gauge how much interaction your content receives from your audience and, by extension, how well your campaigns are performing.
As a metric, engagement rates are calculated by the number of likes and comments added together, divided by the number of followers, and multiplied by 100.
As the engagement rate is reflective of your campaign’s overall success and effectiveness, it should not be too low. Generally, you want to see an overall engagement rate of 1–5% on your influencer’s posts. If it’s dipping below that, it might be time to review and revise your strategies.
To sum it up, influencer marketing is becoming an increasingly effective marketing strategy for many businesses, and for good reason!
Although finding the right influencer might be the biggest hassle, the efforts can be well worth it in the end by helping your brand get noticed by a lot more people than you would have without an influencer. In the best-case scenario, it’s a win-win for both you and your influencer.
If you’re just starting to venture into influencer marketing or just seeking to test the waters with a budget, Artisense is here for you if you happen to need some help! Being professionals ourselves, we can get you sorted out with your influencer needs along with your other marketing needs. Don’t hesitate any further, kickstart your business with influencer marketing by contacting us today!