Today, strong digital marketing programs remind me of a salad (hang in here with me for a second - it will make sense). Organic social media posts are the lettuce - or maybe it’s a mix of kale (Instagram), arugula (TikTok) and romaine (LinkedIn). You have to have the lettuce to make a salad, but no one wants to eat a whole bowl of lettuce. So, you add in croutons (short-form video content) and some carrots (great graphics), tomatoes (contests and giveaways) and tie it all together with dressing (paid social media campaigns). You have to have the dressing to make the rest of the ingredients shine.
This is a good salad. But what if you added something really special, an ingredient that ties the whole thing together and takes it to another level. For me, that’s probably fresh mozzarella balls. Or even avocado. Do you have to have it? No. Does it transform a perfectly good salad into a real dish? Yes.
Enough salad talk - I’m talking about influencer marketing.
The power of social media is undeniable, and it’s one of the only places where you can tell your own story to a rapt audience. But when you’re still building that audience, why not work with existing social media users that have a following made up of people you want to reach to ensure your content is getting in front of those eyes?
This year, it’s estimated that 74.5% of marketers from companies with over 100 employees will work with influencers. Influencer marketing spend is projected to grow 23.4% and 15.9% YoY in 2023 and 2024, up to $7.14 billion. While a few years ago we may have said influencer marketing was only for a few certain clients, I’m officially amending that statement. Influencer marketing is now an asset to almost any social media or digital marketing program. Here’s why:
1. The ROI on influencer marketing remains strong.
It’s not surprising for our clients to initially have sticker shock when we present an influencer’s fees to them for approval. Two, three even five thousand dollars for some Instagram creator to make a little video about their product? Influencers have an extremely high engagement rate, as well as a high potential reach number on their post. If that initial investment results in a Reel with over 100K views - easily attainable by a mid-sized influencer - you’re looking at a CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) of $10-$20, about half the average CPM of a typical newspaper or TV ad.
2. There is a wider variety of influencers out there now.
A few years ago, we largely worked with Instagram influencers in a few main verticals like fashion, food and beverage, lifestyle, etc. We still work with these folks all the time and earn great results, but now there are better fits for more clients. TikTok is a great place to find influencers to promote almost any type of client, and LinkedIn is full of influencers with business and industry audiences. With our influencer database and partnership with influencer vetting service Klear, we’re able to identify the right partners for businesses of many different types and sizes.
3. We’ve established processes to make these programs work.
Our influencer processes go beyond searching and vetting influencers on Klear. Of course it’s important for our team to determine if an influencer’s audience is the right fit for our clients and that their engagement is high so our ROI is good, but we’re also responsible for how your story is told. We work in partnership with our clients and influencers to facilitate programs that have exciting, on-trend content that reflects our clients’ key messages and gets the result they want from the partnership. We negotiate all fees and are often able to earn lower rates by working with clients to include VIP experiences and traded items. We handle payment and provide in-depth briefs for the influencer, and compile a post-campaign report. Our processes are important for ensuring that ROI is there and the end content piece is something we’re proud of.
If you want to add influencer marketing to your efforts in 2023, contact Wilbert.