What is Social Media Influencer Marketing?
That’s a mouthful. What do you immediately think of when you read it? You should think of influencers. Those people that get paid (sometimes a ridiculous amount for the level of work involved) to post pictures with testimonials for brands, with the fine print of “Paid Promotion” or “Paid Partnership with Crest” or whoever above the Instagram photo. They may also post a story - can be on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or whatever platform the person uses that has a story feature - to shout out a brand or give a testimonial, tagging the brand. Usually, the influencer has been given a product in order to trial it in a video or feature it in their post.
Social Media Influencer Marketing is one tool that’s key for increasing your reach. If your brand’s Instagram has 2,000 followers, then that’s how many people, give or take, are seeing your posts. If someone with 50,000 or even 500,000 followers posts something, whether it’s on their feed or their story, tagging your brand - then now you’ve expanded 25 to 250 times the amount of people you’d normally reach. This also will likely give you some new followers as well - that is if the content you’re putting on your feed is appealing.
As mentioned before, influencers may also do a little testimonial. While it’s best to have honest reviews that an audience knows hasn’t been paid for, it should still give your brand a bit more credibility to have someone well-known feature your product.
How Much Does it Really Cost?
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the price range varies. A lot. If you get Kylie Jenner to post something on Instagram, it could be upwards of a million dollars. If you get someone with 10K followers who is known only by people in a specific niche, it’ll probably cost way less. I’m just going to give a brief overview of the variety of prices for social media influencers and what can affect the cost.
What affects the cost of a social media influencer is as follows:
Facebook through the platforms to Twitter vary from $25 to $2…. But that’s per post, per follower.
Number of Followers
If your chosen influencer has 100K followers on Instagram, and Instagram’s average going rate per post, per follower, is $10, then that could total $1,000. (If you’re bad at math, this equation was 100,000 multiplied by .01, which is 10 dollars in math talk.)
Another way that cost can be calculated is by engagement. It’s possible to purchase fake followers, but pretty impossible to fake engagement. This price can range from $250 to $750 per 1K engagements, but of course this also depends on the influencer.
Like I said earlier, getting someone like Kylie Jenner to post about your product is going to be on a different cost scale than your average social media influencer. This is solely because of just how well-known Kylie Jenner is.
If you send the influencer a free product, this may lower the cost. If you want them to fly somewhere to take a photo or a video, you likely would have to cover their travel expenses.
Format of Post
As a bonus, videos may cost you more.
Full Extent of Campaign
Is this a one time thing or ongoing? Is it a partnership or just a promotion? Is this something you want to use outside of just their social media platform, such as on your website? These will affect the cost.
This might also blend into something called an Affiliate Deal. This is when the influencer is given a trackable link or coupon code and then a certain cut of the profit from purchases made using their unique link/code is given to the influencer.
Lastly, there are platforms and agencies that will connect your business with influencers. On Facebook and Snapchat, there are specific to that platform software that will do this for you for free. On YouTube, there is a software that does this as well, but it costs you. Then, there are agencies that will connect you with an influencer, and of course they will charge a fee.
Is it Worth it?
What this type of marketing is going to help you with is brand awareness. If nothing else, this gets people to see your brand name. The likelihood of gaining thousands and thousands of followers, or selling out of your product because of an influencer post is not very high. But, if someone sees that the influencer has posted about it, is aware of it themselves, then maybe the next time one of their followers is in a store and sees your product, or is Googling around for something and your brand name comes up, they might be swayed to purchase yours over another company’s product.
Let’s just remember though that this type of marketing is not really new. Think about all of the celebrity endorsements you see on television. All of the basketball players having their own sneakers from Nike is the same idea as having someone with a lot of followers on Instagram promote your product. Someone is aligning with your product that a bunch of people already trust. But, would you really choose Heineken over Dos Equis because you’ve watched all seasons of How I Met Your Mother and have only ever seen the Dos Equis guy in… the Dos Equis commercials? Maybe if you’ve never drank beer before and you go into a store to buy some and remember that Neil Patrick Harris said Heineken was good in that commercial. The person who has never purchased your type of product, or perhaps they have and had a bad experience or can’t access the one they’re used to, then they will be more likely to purchase yours simply because they’ve seen your name before. On someone’s profile that they trust in some way.
What might be new is what YouTube started with testimonial videos, when someone viewers trust unbox items and try it themselves. It may be more beneficial to use this strategy with an influencer who is specific to your niche market. Then that person can speak directly to your target audience and perhaps have more of a sway, especially if they are trialing the product. It’s good to keep in mind that YouTube is right behind Google in search engines, and that videos are huge. Even when we look at Instagram, a lot of marketing from influencers is done with videos.
Okay - so is it worth it? It may not seem as behavior-changing as hard-earned, real person reviews, but in terms of getting your brand name out there and perhaps converting some people, it may do some good. There are just a few questions you need to ask yourself to find out.
- Is the influencer going to reach your target audience? And a substantial amount of your target audience?
- What is the potential ROI?
- How much would it cost to reach the same audience through other marketing tools?
With some more thought into whether or not it’s worth it for your business, you can decide what’s right for you.
Considering some social media influencer marketing in your strategy? We can help you answer the questions to see if it’s a good fit for your brand. We at Firon have worked with social media influencers and have an entire suite of digital tools to boost your campaign even further. Reach out to us and we’ll help you out.