Categories for Informative

Brands look to influencer marketing to drive awareness and sales

March 9, 2017 12:37 pm Published by

Every day there’s a disruption to the process of retailing. Amazon is now the biggest retailer of fashion. Laast month, Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm run by Warren Buffett, sold 90% of its holdings in Walmart because it believes the traditional approach of retailing is changing fast. What’s core to these changes? The consumers are spoilt for choice, deals, and convenience through delivery and easy exchange. The question remains, which marketing and advertising initiatives work best in light of these changes?

What’s staying very much the same is that retailers have to continue advertising to their prospective audiences. More digital players are retailing through e-commerce (e-tailing) and are attracting potential customers from where they spend a lot of their time: online.

Influencer marketing is the traditional approach to “word of mouth”, but in a 2017 setting. It is collaborating with a credible creator to produce content and share it with audiences by highlighting the retailer’s brand, campaign, or specific product. Awareness leads into a funnel of conversion, and ultimately, a sale. To help motivate your next marketing initiative, here are some of the important motivators behind the use of influencer marketing as a core strategy. 

 

Influencers are your partners in user-generated content

Imagine having any number of creative agencies on tap, each owning access to a niche audience that you’re after, who can work with your brand to share relevant content? Creators understand the product or service in a way that’s important to their audience. They help brands make meaningful marketing material for their target market.

 

Influencers help build trust and credibility

If you’re a brand breaking into a new territory or a startup with a new product wanting to launch, your brand probably lacks credibility. The most promising way to make up for that is by leveraging the social credibility of a creator and making use of their reach to convey your message to a wide audience.

 

Celebrate your customers like celebrities

Not every brand can afford Justin Bieber as their brand advocate. Forbes recently covered the rise of the micro-influencer, the everyman with a social following of 10,000 people. Enabling them, and rewarding them, for being brand advocates can do wonders for sustained awareness online. Attracting their friends and people of similar interests to buy your product or service.

 

Create experiences for consumers

Associating the experience of the outdoors with your dog and buying a vehicle to enable that full experience is where you will need great storytellers to share their experience, and bridge the gap from the showroom floor to the smell of the forest. Creators provide a means to share the use cases of your product or service with their audiences and convert the consumers from the phase of consideration to action.

 

Research online purchase offline (“ROPO”)

More consumers will ask friends and family about their potential decision before making a purchase and run a search for reviews on the product or service. By sharing content through influencers, this becomes a readily available source of insight from respected peers in assisting with the purchase decision.

As a brand, if you were spending money on traditional advertising or display media, influencer marketing provides the same access to audience with the added benefits of credibility. Influencer marketing can also stimulate a feedback loop to learn about how the market receives and interacts with your product or service. The cream on top is the trust and credibility that tips a person considering your product, to actually buying it. Try your first campaign today.

Making use of great influencer marketing technology to leverage and report on your efforts also helps you win at your influencer marketing campaigns.

Murray Legg is an active digital entrepreneur and holds a Ph.D in engineering. He is the strategy lead for Webfluential.

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How to spot an Influencer and the metrics that matter

February 23, 2017 3:39 pm Published by

Successful Influencer collaborations rely on the way that the brand and the Influencer co-create content.

There are a few things to consider: the Influencers chosen to work with, their audience demographic, and the expectations the brand has on the content and how it performs. These are all important considerations when choosing which Influencers to work with. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.

 

Content:

Brands usually have specific guidelines when it comes to their own image and the content around it. As much as Influencers should be given the freedom to express their own creativity there are still elements of content that should speak to the value and personality of the brand. This is so that the audience feels like they are still experiencing authentic content from a creator they trust, as well as engaging with the brand. You wouldn’t expect Mike Tyson to promote red lipstick from Rimmel. It just wouldn’t seem authentic. So, it is important to choose Influencers whose creative style and content are more or less in line with your brand.

 

Audience:

The other reason it is unlikely to see Tyson promoting a lipstick brand is because the majority of his audience would not be interested in lipstick. For content to perform well it needs to be served to the audience who are likely to consume it. Looking for Influencers who speak to a specific audience can open up a whole new world of options. For example, if you wanted to sell lipstick you would look for Influencers who spoke to impassioned users of lipstick. You could go with the obvious and choose a makeup and beauty star to review the lipstick. Or you could choose someone like George Clooney who has an audience primarily of women between the ages of 35 and 60 and get creative with the content. Often Influencers can be found with an engaged and targeted audience who are not necessarily celebrities. The point is that they are well known to a specific audience. Making sure the Influencer’s audiences are also your consumers is vital.

 

So how do you find Influencers who are already relevant to your brands’ audience?

When looking for Influencers, use keyword searches and get creative.

When looking for an Influencer for Adidas, don’t just search “Adidas”. Dig deeper to find the gems. Try search terms like, “parkour”, “The Weekend” (He is their current face), “running” etc.

Broaden the scope. What does your brand’s audience love to do? Are they travelers? Are they business people? Are they moms? Then consider what they love. People talk about what they love. If you can find an Influencer who loves the things your brand provides, a perfect union is created.

 

There are 6 primary Influencer archetypes; all of which will be valuable to an Influencer campaign depending on the brands objective.

 

The Celebrity:

These Influencers have a mega following and are generally well known by the public either in their local community or internationally. The Celebrity plays a role in influencing public opinion. If brand awareness is the objective of your brands campaign, then including Celebrities can definitely help achieve that. In addition, the Celeb is also a great driver of traffic and link clicks. Brands should consider collaborating with Celebrities if they are looking to drive audiences to a product page or website. Spotting a celebrity in the wild is as easy as turning on the TV or reading the news.

 

The Agitator

Well known for having strong opinions and generating debates online, the Agitator is a good Influencer to include in a strategy when looking to target a specific audience and swing opinion. Agitators generally drive high engagement and responses from their audience. They are able to generate high conversions to public pages but are also strong when it comes to amplifying a message. You can spot an Agitator in the wild by their unique tone, and by the way, they command the attention of people.

 

The Specialist

Having developed a very niche audience in a very focused topic, Specialists are able to add credibility to your brand’s message and drive conversation online. While oftentimes the reach that is gained from collaborating with a Specialist is not so high, their persuasive power is incredibly valuable. Spotting Specialists is not always so easy, as they are quite rare. You can spot them by their use of references and authoritative tone. They will commonly only speak about a specific topic. You should validate their expertise by extended online research, too.

 

The Activist

These Influencers tend to be passionate about a specific cause and create content with the purpose of driving awareness and conversation around that cause. Collaboration with activists should happen when your brand’s cause and an Influencers cause intersect. For example, if a children’s television brand wants to create a campaign about anti-bullying, they could collaborate with an Activist whose cause is anti-bullying. In this scenario, the brand gains credibility but they also gain high engagement and amplification of their message.  Activists can be identified by the content of their posts. They generally tend to have long conversations on social media and can be spotted by the long comment threads.

 

The Creator

A visual storyteller with creative skills, the Creator is the perfect Influencer to collaborate with on content creation. Their creatives skills can range from photography to illustration, to origami. Creators have built up audiences who appreciate and value their content. Engagement garnered around the content is usually about the quality of the material shared. Some of the best campaigns have a strategy where a creator teams up with another type of Influencer to create and share the content. Spotting Creators is not often very difficult. Their biggest social channels are typically Instagram, Youtube, and Pinterest. Generally, a creator can be identified by the resolution of their images, and by the estimated time required for them to produce and publish their content.

 

The Foot Soldier

The main contributing factor of a foot soldier is not a particular strength in creative, or expertise in a specific area, it is their collaborative power to cause content to go viral. Foot soldiers have often been called micro-influencers or “pebbles”. They are essentially influencers who do not have large followings and on their own may not cause much noise. However, if you are able to combine the voice of at least 10 Foot Soldiers, you will find that the volume goes up a couple of notches and you are able to start a movement. Foot Soldiers are the glue of many a successful campaign and possibly the most effective tactic to spread a message.

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New Webfluential features to kick start your marketing efforts in 2017

January 10, 2017 3:18 pm Published by

With sites like Forbes, SocialMediaToday and Adweek listing Influencer Marketing as one of the hottest trends to watch in 2017, we thought it was time to give our registered marketers more features and flexibility – empowering your brands to make an impact through influencers in 2017.

Most marketers understand Webfluential to be an influencer marketing agency – but what most marketers don’t know is that all the tools and technology required to find influencers are available to use as self-serve.  In addition, we have recently introduced regional agency partnerships – to support marketers with the running of larger scale campaigns. Our accredited partners can be found here.

If you’re already registered as a marketer – I’d like to encourage you to log into your Webfluential account and have a look around. If you aren’t, you can register here to try out the platform for free. You’ll be able to see first hand just how easy it is to find and connect with the right influencers, you’ll also be able to see all the new benefits you have access to once you upgrade your account. If you’re not quite ready to upgrade, you’ll still have access to our partners to help you run great campaigns. 

This is a sneak peek under the hood of the new Webfluential self-serve platform:

Connecting with influencers has never been so simple

 

Get influencers to pitch creative ideas to you

Build relationships with influencers in your Networks (please note that managed Networks are only available through partners) 

Chat directly to influencers about briefs and pricing

Think of how Hootsuite helps you run your social campaigns, and how Adwords helps you run your search ads.  In the same way, Webfluential and Webfluential accredited partners can help you run your Influencer Marketing campaigns. The above images show the tools that can help you overcome the challenges you expect walking into your first influencer marketing campaign.

The new features below will help you with the challenges you only discover once you get going…

Guidance on pricing: helping you understand how much to pay

Ensuring your campaign is a success and that each influencer delivers

Creating basic reports for all your campaigns

PLEASE NOTE: The trial period on your marketer account will only last a few days so login to upgrade if you are looking to utilize the self-serve platform. Alternatively, you can get in touch with one of our partners via our partner directory found here.

Webfluential accredited partners offer a wider support network to brands and agencies looking to run large scale influencer campaigns. If you don’t have the time, experience or resources to run your own brand campaigns then you’ll have access to regional partners to help you do so. Webfluential currently has Partner agencies in South Africa, UAE, United Kingdom and South America.

Our partners have years of experience working with content, media, and Influencers, across multiple verticals. They also run a premium Webfluential technology stack, which means they have access to deeper influencer analytics, the ability to manage influencer networks on your behalf, paid media integration and most importantly – fully integrated reporting on campaignsThe images below are just some of the examples of what our partners can offer.

Costings for large scale campaigns, including management 

Campaign Management tools, with paid media integration 

Creating integrated reports for campaigns

Track only reports for brands and clients to find the most relevant influencers in real time 

PLEASE NOTE: Managed Networks are exclusive to Clockwork Media in South Africa, so if you already have a network of influencers and you’d like to manage them more effectively please get in touch with Clockwork Media through your ‘Partners’ tab.

That’s it from us, if you’re looking to understand a bit more around how influencer marketing can work in your brands vertical you can see some examples of influencer campaigns here. If you’re ready to get going, and kick start your 2017 with an Influencer campaign, then head over to our marketers area to get going. Good luck!

 

Kirsty Sharman

Head Of Global Operations

https://webfluential.com/marketers

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