Did you know?
Influencer marketing helps over 70% of marketers get higher quality and more targeted audiences for their campaigns.
Within 4 years the global market value of influencer marketing doubled to more than $16.4 billion USD from 2019 to 2023. (IMH)
It’s the year 2019 in rainy Vancouver, B.C. and Joe Parenteau is facing a significant challenge for his startup dinnerware company, Fable. Parenteau and his team recognized that:
“In order for a person to buy a product or to trust a brand … they need to hear about it from three to five different times. They need to see it… And ideally, someone they trust has talked about it.”
The team at Fable understood the undeniable influence of social media on consumers' buying choices, a fact supported by a Forbes study which states that 81% of consumers are influenced by social media posts from their friends. With this knowledge in mind, Joe Parenteau and his team seized the opportunity and began an Instagram search for influencers whose stories aligned with Fable's brand narrative. They approached around sixty independent influencers and offered them free products with no expectations of reciprocity. The influencers loved the gifts and revealed them in unboxing videos that generated excitement for Fable’s products. From there, Fable ingeniously bootstrapped its way into the hearts of its target market and became a Canadian household name by leveraging the incredible power of influencer marketing — for free.
Influencer marketing is a low-cost marketing strategy that works. Duer is another Canadian-born apparel company that adopted influencer marketing strategies as it transformed from a crowd-funded startup into a fan favourite. And to support its rapid growth, Duer now relies on the Embold team and platform to streamline its influencer marketing efforts and effectively manage its larger-than-life campaigns.
Many more inspiring stories highlight this high-value low-hanging fruit and this guide is here to show you exactly how to capitalize on influencer marketing for your brand today.
Influencer marketing is a dynamic form of marketing that harnesses the power of social media influencers and content creators to collaborate with brands, leveraging their following, expertise, and social influence to:
Through strategic partnerships and co-creation, influencers endorse brands, products, or services, serving as trusted sources of information within their respective communities. This influential content is shared across various online channels, including social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok, generating social proof and effectively influencing the purchasing behaviours and actions of the target audience.
“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend… A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising.” - Mark Zuckerberg
Today, there are nearly 16 million social media users in Canada alone. But social media presence does not equal influence. And the best type of influence is built on trust. So which of these 16 million users has influence?
Influencers and content creators are generally grouped into three categories based on their follower count:
1. Nano influencers:
2. Micro influencers:
3. Macro influencers
Tip: The number of followers does not always equal the influence or impact an individual has towards their audience. When choosing the right influencer for your brand, remember to look past numbers and align their size, style, and strengths with your strategy.
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is - it is what consumers tell each other it is.” - Scott Cook, Co-founder, Intuit
If we listed all the hundred and one reasons you should invest in influencer marketing, this would be more of a book than a guide. This guide will take a systematic view of influencer marketing impacts and focus on a few pivotal benefits.
In today’s marketing and media landscape, it’s harder than ever to grab - and hold - attention, especially that of younger audiences. Influencer marketing combats distractions by framing marketing material as regularly consumed content by people with familiar faces. It offers an agile and cost-effective alternative to traditional advertising and allows your brand to tap into real-time consumer preferences. In order to differentiate themselves and survive on social media, influencers need to be knowledgeable and aware of trends to remain on top of their craft. Their need to compete for attention teaches influencers to continuously create highly engaging content. So with minimal resources, you can outsource creating engaging content for your brand’s needs through influencers.
Using influencer expertise also assists your brand in aligning with current social and global trends in a short period of time so your brand can remain top-of-mind. For example, your brand can take inspiration from successful influencer marketing campaigns such as Microsoft’s highly effective and engaging influencer marketing campaign #MakeWhatsNext for International Women’s Day, or Hagen Dazs’ Open Container campaign that plays on the local political movement in New York at the time the campaign was launched. These timely campaigns are highly successful because they capitalize on the trends that their ideal audiences are familiar with and already engaged in.
By leveraging influencer marketing, your brand can receive a cost-effective flow of fresh content and remain engaging and consistent, especially in today’s fast-paced and dynamic marketing landscape.
Tip: Content produced by influencers and creators is often labelled “User-Generated Content” or UGC. With permission from the creator, you can repost and repurpose UGC for your brand’s accounts for free or for a small fee.
Influencer marketing ad spending is expected to grow by 11.61% yearly, resulting in an expected market size of $47.80 billion USD by 2027 (Statista)
One of the reasons influencer marketing is growing rapidly with PR and digital agencies is how easily it capitalizes on psychological phenomena like the familiarity bias and the illusion of choice. The illusion of choice is subtly guiding customers towards predetermined choices while giving them the perception of a diverse selection of outcomes. The familiarity bias is the tendency of consumers to prefer and choose familiar brands based on a sense of comfort and trust associated with familiarity. If you want your brand to lead, you need to adopt marketing that plays on human psychology, which is exactly why influencer marketing is so successful and will continue to grow. Consider the following two examples:
Data shows that Customer 2 is much more likely to be engaged with the influencer’s use of the mug than Customer 1 is with the stock-like ad. In both cases, the customers know they have many mugs to choose from, but Customer 2 was discreetly nudged in the direction of a certain brand by seeing it with someone they know, while Customer 1 had an in-their-face exposure to the brand through a stranger they don’t relate to in a highly polished ad.
Influencers are real, imperfect people, and imperfection is familiar and relatable, while highly polished and edited content is not. That’s why your brand needs to leverage influencer marketing to deliver your personalized brand story in a relatable way that traditional advertising can’t compete with.
“Influencer marketing creates long-reaching interactional impact for brands [compared to] the quick punch of traditional advertising.” - Lori Moreno
According to a Global Web Index study, 49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations when making purchase decisions. When consumers see influencers they admire and trust recommending your products or services, it instills confidence in the consumers’ minds. Influencers are trusted voices, building trust and credibility for your brand by providing positive reviews and endorsements to your ideal customer. By collaborating with influencers who align with your brand values and cater to your target market, you can establish a genuine connection with your target audience.
Influencer marketing also provides a unique opportunity for direct engagement with customers. Through comments and responses on the influencer's page, you can engage with customers, address their questions, listen to their concerns, and gather valuable feedback. This level of interaction allows you to actively participate in conversations and shape your products, services, and brand image based on real-time customer input.
Influencer marketing can also help you discover new customers, niches, and customer personas you may not have considered for your brand before. For example, say you're a skincare brand targeting a specific age demographic, but through influencer collaborations, you discover that your products resonate with an entirely different audience, such as young mothers seeking skincare solutions for their babies. This insight can inspire you to tailor your marketing strategies and product offerings to better cater to this untapped market.
Influencer marketing will not only help expand your customer base and build your credibility, it will also help you uncover new opportunities for growth.
At this point in the guide, we hope that some influencer marketing campaign ideas have started flowing, and in the next chapter, we will guide you through how to implement them into an influencer marketing campaign from start to finish.
So, you decided you want to capitalize on the opportunity that influencer marketing promises, congratulations! Your brand is about to receive love like never before.
To get started on your influencer marketing campaign, follow these eight steps, then check out the additional resources at the end of this guide to help you remain organized throughout your campaign-building journey. And if you need any additional help, book a call with us at any time throughout.
“The first thing to consider in any influencer marketing campaign is understanding why your organization exists, and what it is trying to achieve. Absent this, and you’ve yet to influence yourself, let alone others.” - Philip Sheldrake
Depending on your marketing needs, your campaign can have one specific goal or a number of different goals. The good news is, influencer marketing is flexible enough to meet any of your marketing objectives. However, narrowing down your goals will help you create your campaign faster.
This article can help you narrow down your goals and align your campaign strategy with your desired outcomes by showing you the different types of influencer marketing campaigns you might need and the strategies to follow for each.
After choosing your campaign focus, answer the following questions to determine your campaign requirements. Your answers to these questions will help the influencers understand your goals and recreate your desired messaging in later steps. Keep in mind that these answers should shape your communication with influencers.
Including these factors in your influencer search and outreach in later steps will ensure that your influencer collaborations result in compelling, on-brand content that drives your campaign's success. Consider leveraging the features provided by Embold’s influencer marketing platform to simplify and streamline all aspects of your campaign management.
Did you know? Instagram still ranks as #1 for the most important and impactful social media marketing channel (MediaKix).
Once you’ve narrowed down your campaign goals, begin to draw out your customer persona, which is your ideal customer. This step will inform the rest of your campaign details such as which influencers you need and what timeline is best for the campaign to go live, so it’s important to be as specific as possible. Consider the following points when creating your customer persona:
By combining these details, you can create a blueprint for your campaign. The more specific and accurate your customer persona is, the better you can align your campaign strategy and influencer selection with your target audience.
After you’ve built your customer persona, create an influencer persona for your ideal influencer so you can begin searching and communicating with them.
Did you know?
Embold provides a free search engine specifically designed for discovering Canadian creators. Embold's influencer discovery feature leverages advanced algorithms to identify influencers who perfectly match your requirements and saves you time and effort. You can easily find influencers based on demographics, preferences, values, niches, and their audiences and allows you to evaluate influencers based on their content, engagement, reach, and authenticity metrics. Additionally, the platform includes direct messaging and group chat features enabling seamless communication, negotiation, and collaboration with all of your influencers.
To maintain control over the content being shared and avoid any potential risks that may come with content publishing, follow these steps:
By following these steps, you can effectively manage influencer content creation, maintain control over the content being shared, and optimize the impact of your influencer marketing campaign.
Once influencers have created their content, review and approve the content before it goes live to ensure brand alignment, consistency, and the fulfillment of campaign objectives. These steps will help you effectively review and approve influencer content:
By following these steps you can efficiently review and approve influencer content and maintain the campaign’s brand consistency, quality, and effectiveness.
After the content is posted, there’s still some work to do to wrap up your campaign. You would likely want to measure how well your campaign did, and you would have to compensate influencers for their work.
The best way to measure the performance of your campaign depends on how and why you use influencer marketing. For example, you can measure the success of a product launch campaign by gathering quantitative data on pre-orders and website traffic, and qualitative data like positive sentiments in comment sections. To define success for your influencer marketing campaigns, ask yourself what would make the campaign a win for you and your team.
Consider these strategies to establish clear benchmarks and evaluate the campaign’s effectiveness and impact of your influencer marketing campaign:
For more specific performance measurement, consider these metrics categorized by type of campaign.
“Influencer marketing at its core is about developing real relationships to ultimately champion your influencers to market with you.” - Amanda Maksymiw
Lastly, ensure that the agreed-upon compensation reaches each influencer in a timely manner no matter the campaign’s outcomes.
Tip: The details of compensation should be discussed and agreed upon directly with influencers in Step 3.
Remember that many influencers rely on influencer marketing as their largest or only source of income, and that in order to sustain influencer marketing, you have to prioritize building good relationships with influencers.
Tip: Through the Embold platform, you can pay influencers directly with no hassle.
After your payouts are complete and all the influencer marketing content goes live, engage with customers and followers on your influencer’s pages and watch as your brand reaps the benefits of this cost-effective, brilliant form of marketing. If you have doubts about the success of your influencer marketing campaign, remember this:
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is - it is what consumers tell each other it is.” - Scott Cook, Co-founder, Intuit
If you find that your influencer marketing campaigns are too overwhelming to manage on your own, sign up with Embold so we can guide you and help you streamline all the processes involved in an influencer marketing campaign, from inception and influencer discovery to payouts and measuring success while you sit back and enjoy the show!