How to leverage influencer marketing in 2022?
Influencer marketing is a tool based on using influential accounts on social networks to advertise a service or product. Influencers are people who have built their personal brand and have earned credibility and the trust of their followers. These content creators are usually present on the most visual social networks such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitch and YouTube, although there are also influencer accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
After the health crisis, companies have continued to rely on these accounts to make themselves known. In Spain, during the March 2020 lockdown, they were a key resource for reaching out to stakeholders. We stopped walking the streets of cities and did not take public transport, which meant that some of the platforms where companies traditionally advertised no longer had an impact on us. We no longer looked at bus shelters when waiting for the bus or billboards when walking.
But how do we start?
The most important step in implementing an influencer marketing strategy is to choose the right account. We often see accounts with thousands or millions of followers, assuming that “the more followers, the more buyers”, but that’s a big mistake. Not all accounts are suitable for all brands, and vice versa. Therefore, we must measure engagement, which is the number of interactions such as likes or comments that users have had with the posts. This metric will allow us to ensure that the account not only has a good number of followers, but that it also has good engagement with them.
A study by Binfluencer shows that micro-influencers have an engagement rate of 8.21%; those with more than 50 million followers have a rate of 1.46%.
This does not mean that follower loyalty is lower, but that engagement is lower. Therefore, when designing a marketing campaign with influencers, it is usually more profitable to invest in more accounts with segmented groups of followers. For example, if we are working with a sports gadget company, it will be more profitable to look for Spanish athletes who have fewer followers that are directly focused on the sector, rather than opting for an account with an audience with diverse interests.
When you have the right account, a good influencer strategy is easier to implement. During the campaign, it is important to provide a detailed briefing, take care of the content to be posted and make a correct evaluation of the results to determine which accounts have worked best. And, if it has been a good experience, do we repeat it?
It is estimated that 75% of brands will have invested part of their budget in influencers by 2021.
Partnering with influencers – how does it work?
There are many ways in which we can work with influencers. In Spain, some influencers often do this through an exchange of a product or service. In these cases, they receive the product or service for free to show to their followers.
However, most of them do it for financial compensation by signing a contract or agreement with the advertising company. In this way, in addition to letting them experience the service or give the product as a gift, they show it on their social networks for an amount of money. This can vary depending on the campaign, the brand, and the product to be promoted.
And what will happen in 2022?
Investment in these accounts has not stopped rising, and everything indicates that the trend will continue in 2022. In 2021, global influencer marketing has grown by US$13.8 million.
Micro-influencers will continue to play a key role in this sector. This group includes accounts with more than 3,000 followers, but no more than 10,000. As mentioned above, they are key accounts because of the engagement they generate with their followers. These influencers are the best for an effective strategy.
In recent years, Instagram and YouTube have been the two platforms par excellence, but Tik Tok is here to stay! This platform revolutionised social networks in 2020, and next year a huge investment in its most followed names is expected. Some companies are already getting ahead of the trend to be pioneers. For example, Oscar Mayer has created a new trend with some of the most important accounts on the platform; will it become a viral campaign? For the moment, there are many Spanish influencers who have already tried dancing, such as Paula Collantes and Aida Martorell.
TikTok was the network with the highest increase in users in 2020, going from 3% to 16% in one year.
Linked to the increase in users on this social network, video has become a key format in influencer marketing. Instagram Reels are gaining strength and will be one of the platforms where this format will be presented in its most creative versions. Those that present advertising campaigns with transitions, tell a story or introduce the product in a subtle way will stand out. For example, the @familiacoquetesoficial account already uses the video format in their advertising campaigns just as they did with La Piara (Spanish manufacture and marketing of pâtés and spreadable savoury spreads).
Betting on authenticity will be increasingly important. One of the key characteristics of this marketing tool is the trust influencers have built with their followers. This turns out to be key to the success of the campaign. For that reason, consumers will trust accounts that give honest reviews and recommend products that they actually use beyond the contractual relationship with the brand.
Investing in influencer marketing will no longer be a one-off thing, but rather will be particularly strong through long-term collaborations. Sporadic campaigns have come to an end, and those companies that use an account as their brand image will obtain better results. From that moment on, we are associating the brand with that account, so for this type of collaboration it will be of vital importance to pay attention to the choice of influencer.
Lastly, one of the trends that will be strongest in the coming year and that has us most expectant is Employee Advocacy. Have you ever thought that no one knows your brand better than your employees? If so, you can turn them into your new influencers. This trend is already being implemented in companies like Ikea.
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