We all want more profit, but can we really get it by engaging influencers? Entrepreneur and Lead Strategist at SocialCow, Kristina Centnere says, “Absolutely, but only if you do it right.”
From balancing cost of resources, utilizing advanced methods like neuromarketing to creating value-adding services, Kristina has spent the last decade not only growing her own marketing company, SocialCow, but helping other businesses do the same – well before influencer marketing was a thing.
“Influencer marketing is a relatively new term, but it has been around for a long time. We used to call it ‘word of mouth,’ and that has always been the most cost efficient way to acquire customers.”
Kristina shares that there are several ways of participating in influencer marketing campaigns for your brand. Knowing which one to use for what is where you can either waste your resources or invest them for a big return.
- Influencer Loop Campaigns: Centered around giveaways, influencer loop campaigns are an effective way to get somewhat targeted followers. In some cases you can get as many as 25K organic followers from a 72-hour campaign! Loop campaigns consist of an influencer posting a giveaway and inviting their followers to follow other accounts that a specific page is following to enter-to-win. This list of accounts to follow consists of people who paid to be part of the campaign – a significantly lower amount than they would have to pay the influencer directly.
“It’s not just e-commerce brands that participate in loop giveaways to raise their following. Doctors, attorneys and public figures all understand the power of a large following, which is ultimately the power of perception in this case,” Kristina states. “But loop campaigns alone will not give you sales or increase your profit margin. You need followers that will buy and unless the influencer’s following is your product’s perfect match, you will not convert a high percentage of it into sales.”
- Direct Influencer Campaigns: This type of influencer marketing is a bit more effort intensive as you are working with the influencers directly, offering them your product in exchange for promotion.
“This is something every product brand has to get great at. When engaging an influencer, many things can go awry so it is important to have a solid process in place.”
One such thing is contracts. Kristina notes that many companies wrongfully treat influencer relations as a handshake deal.
“As much as an influencer can help your brand, they can hurt it. It’s important to have your brand’s expectations outlined in a binding agreement and always reserve the last approval rights. The more seriously you take your direct influencer campaigns, the more seriously the influencer will take them.”
As with any campaign, numbers are key. That’s how you will know which influencer has the higher chance of successfully promoting your brand, and whether to rehire them after the campaign.
When searching for the right influencer to promote your product, consider their follower count as well as their engagement rate.
“Typically, the higher the follower count, the lower the engagement rate. That’s just how it [Instagram] works. A good engagement rate is 2%+ which includes likes and comments. We put more weight on comments as they indicate a higher rate of interest.”
Instagram is about perception. Making certain that the influencers you work with have the right perception is key. One consideration is that they have the right vibe for your brand. If you are promoting a workout supplement, you will want to find someone who works out. Passion is also key.
“We prefer to work with influencers between 10K – 50K followers because they are the most passionate and authentic about the products. This consistently delivers more engagement and more sales for the brand being promoted.”
- Brand Partnership Giveaways. Whereas loop giveaways typically consist of an influencer giving away products that are not your own, brand partnership giveaways are a great way to grow your brand awareness, following, sales and authority – all from your own page. This is accomplished by partnering up with a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) or another non-competing brand and hosting a giveaway of their or both your products.
When implemented properly, all three influencer marketing methods can increase your profit margin. Kristina notes that all three should be used for best effect,
“Just growing your following through a loop campaign will not increase your profit margins. But strategically combining your new follower growth with a direct influencer campaign and topping it off with a brand partnership will help you gain the momentum you need to squeeze the juice out of your campaigns. When you do this consistently, you will see that influencer marketing is one of the most cost effective ways to promote your brand.”
SocialCow, a digital and neuromarketing company in New York and Miami, strategically formulates influencer marketing campaigns for both e-commerce brands and public figures. To learn more, follow Kristina Centnere and SocialCow on Instagram.