Influence marketing
In 2022, 68% of marketers around the world collaborate with influencers. About 88% of marketers set a budget  for influence marketing – on average it is $50-500k. And according to HubSpot, 11% of marketing experts say that collaboration with an opinion leader has brought them the best ROI compared to other marketing tools. Experts of the Internet marketing agency Clickmagic shared in the article what benefits influence marketing brings to the companies and how to choose the right opinion leader.

Who are opinion leaders and what does influence marketing mean

Influencer marketing is a method of promoting goods and services with the help of people who are known and respected by the audience: stars, bloggers or famous personalities in a narrow niche. For influencer marketing to be effective, you need to follow the three R’s rule:
  • reach – the ability to transmit the message to the target audience;
  • resonance – the ability to influence the audience;
  • relevance – the strength of the relationship between the blogger and the audience.
Influence marketing is effective if a particular audience considers a particular person an authority and trusts his or her opinion.

How an influencer can help

According to some estimates, for every dollar invested in a campaign with an opinion leader, a brand receives $7.65. In 2020, influence marketing increased brand profits by $9.7 billion in the global market, and by the end of 2021, brand profits increased to $13.8 billion. A campaign with an opinion leader increases sales, boosts company awareness, improves and strengthens reputation, increases traffic to the site and improves the position of the company’s website in search results.

4 types of opinion leaders

Influencers – primarily in SMM marketing – are divided into four types.
  1. Mega-influencers – audience from 1 million, but heterogeneous, relations with it are not very close. The cost of advertising for such users is cosmic – for example, American model Kylie Jenner receives $1 million for an Instagram post.
  2. Macro-influencers – from 100.000 to 1 million followers. They gained popularity thanks to blogging. They have a more loyal audience, it is easier to create content that the audience will like, and it will cost less.
  3. Micro-influencers – 10-100.000 followers. The accuracy of hitting the audience is much higher – advertising is seven times more effective than that of macro-influencers.
  4. Nano-influencers – up to 10 thousand subscribers, the connection with which is as close as possible. Often the blogger is personally acquainted with his subscribers, trust and loyalty to him are as high as possible. Advertising campaigns are ten times more effective than those of micro-influencers. Publications usually cost several hundred dollars.
You can become an opinion leader by accident. In 2020, a potato warehouse worker posted a video on TikTok in which he was rushing to work on a longboard (because his car broke down) to the song Dreams, holding a bottle of cranberry juice in his hand. The video went viral, the brand’s cranberry juice was instantly sold out of supermarket shelves. The video itself has collected more than 13.5 million views, 137 thousand comments and 690 thousand shares.

Which influencer is more effective?

A study by the media agency MullenLowe Mediahub shows that the difference in engagement between different influencers is huge:
  • for a base of 1000 followers, the engagement index is 4.5%;
  • for 100.000 followers – 0.7%.
When choosing an influencer, it is worth taking into account the quality of content in their account, the level of audience engagement, the correspondence of the blogger’s views with the company’s values, aesthetic requirements (style, appearance, language), as well as expertise in a particular field.  Most often brands engage micro-influencers whose channels and communities have from 10 000 to 100 000 followers. Among the companies in the United States that are actively using this type of bloggers in 2022 are Coca Cola (on Instagram and TikTok), Amazon’s Audible audiobook and podcast service (on Instagram) and others. To estimate the future opinion leader, use an online calculator. For example, Influencer Marketing Hub calculates the level of engagement of account posts and even recommends a price range for an advertising post.

Checklist of preparation for collaboration

Before contacting an influencer, it is important to decide on the goal, audience, key message and KPIs. When this is clear, you can dive into the content of specific influencers. It is important to:
  • find out the background of interaction with other brands and audiences;
  • understand whether the influencer is organic for your brand;
  • see how he/she communicates with followers;
  • evaluate qualitative and quantitative indicators of the blog.
If, for example, you need to communicate the value of a product, choose bloggers who will try everything themselves, test it and tell their followers all the nuances.

Tips for working with an opinion leader

Do not expect that the blogger will come up with everything him/herself. It is important to share your concept with the influencer, discuss limitations (if any) and give space to create unique content specific to this author. We have collected additional tips on how to work with bloggers: 
  1. Write down the key message. If the influencer does not have the opportunity to try your product, you need to describe it in as much detail as possible and highlight what is important to emphasize in communication.
  2. Discuss Q&A. An opinion leader should understand how to respond to questions posed by the audience. You should not ask the blogger to answer “with a piece of paper”, but they themselves need to understand how to respond to comments under the post about the company’s product or service.
  3. Allow the use of products. An opinion leader cannot advertise a robot vacuum cleaner without knowing how it works. A great example is Huawei, which always provides influencers with new products. In addition, it gives IT products for long-term use.
And finally: not every opinion leader will increase the company’s profit, but can, on the contrary, harm. Even global stars can ruin the brand reputation or will not fit your product. A striking example is Cristiano Ronaldo and his advertisement for a Japanese face simulator. In the video, the Portuguese footballer performed several tricks with the ball and showed the Facial Fitness Pao simulator, which helps to strengthen facial muscles. However, other characters in the video demonstrated how to use it. The simulator should be held in the mouth and waved with its side blades. Although the footballer is known for his attractive facial features, cheekbones and a beautiful smile, the audience doubted that Cristiano uses the device in real life (on the company’s website in the product description it was stated that the simulator will help to make a smile as bright as Ronaldo’s). In addition, users did not understand why the athlete agreed to this advertising contract, if only thanks to football he earns $ 60 million a year.

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