Building a Powerful Influencer Marketing Strategy in 2021

Online influencers use a variety of platforms to advertise products and services. Learn more about developing an influencer marketing strategy.

Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing trends in online marketing. Influencer marketing is not a new idea. In previous years, it was called celebrity endorsements. The basic premise with influencer marketing is you sell an ad using influential individuals. The ad focuses on the personality of the influencer, not the strength of the product. These advertisements work because fans want to purchase the product because they trust the influencer and want to emulate their style.

Influencer marketing was previously limited to celebrities and athletes. While influencers still require some level of fame, it is much easier to become an influencer online thanks to social media. Fans are also more likely to purchase products from social media influencers because it is much easier to connect with a social media influencer compared to an athlete or celebrity. The ads themselves also feel more natural and sincere. This is one of the main reasons so many brands are shifting to influencer marketing.

Influencers by Followers

There are many ways to categorize influencers. Some advertisers prefer to break down influencers by their follower numbers, while others differentiate based on the type of social media. The highest tier based on number of followers is a mega influencer, which refers to anyone who has at least one million followers or subscribers. Because they have so many followers, mega influencers are the most expensive to hire. They are also bombarded with offers, giving them more freedom in selecting who they work with. Some of the most successful mega influencers are paid one million per post, working exclusively with major brands who can afford their rates.

The next level is macro influencers. Macro influencers have at minimum 50,000 followers. The majority of online influencers are classified as macro influencers. Because it has such a wide range, the costs for hiring a macro influencer greatly vary. On average, these influencers receive between $1,000 and $5,000 per post.

The last two categories are micro and nano influencers. Some advertisers combine these into a single category. Traditionally, nano influencers have a minimum of one thousand followers, while micro influencers have a minimum of ten thousand. On average, it costs between $100 and $1,000 to hire these influencers.

Influencers by Content

Influencers advertise on many different platforms. In 2021, many influencers advertise on social media sites, with Instagram being the most popular. These are excellent sites for advertising because it lets viewers see the influencer directly using your product. This is particularly effective to market clothing brands.

If you want to advertise a more complex product, YouTube or other video advertising sites are an excellent choice. Many companies that sell a service hire YouTube influencers to make a brief video showing off their service. Many subscription-based services rely on YouTube influencers, since their products are much harder to summarize in a single image.

While it is not as popular due to how much video and social media advertising has taken off, bloggers once represented a large portion of online influencers. Today, most bloggers are considered micro or nano influencers, but there are some blogs with larger audiences. These blogs typically focus on specific areas, such as gaming or technology. Some bloggers allow you to buy a spot on their site to post as a guest. Others write a review based on the product or service you provide.

Another area to find online influencers is podcasting. Podcasting has always been popular, with many celebrities hosting their own shows. It received a larger surge after 2020, with many turning to podcasting as both hosts and listeners during quarantine, when it was harder to socialize in person. Podcasting advertisements are similar to radio ads. They typically last between one to two minutes, with the majority of advertisements including some kind of discount code or limited bonus to new customers.

Developing a Strategy for Influencer Marketing

The first step in influencer marketing is research. There are thousands of influencers to choose from, and there is no guarantee they will accept your offer. First, narrow down what platforms you want to advertise on. If you are new to influencer marketing, focus on a single platform.

The platform must reflect the type of product you want to sell. With fashion, you want an image or video-based platform. Always look through the type of content the influencer normally produces. If the influencer traditionally wears darker clothing, you do not want to contact them to sell your bright summer outfits. You also want to consider the general audience. For example, if you only sell products in the United States, do not advertise with a European based influencer, no matter how many followers they have.

Once you find an influencer, the next step is to reach out. Most influencers work with an agency, but with smaller influencers, you may speak with them directly. Influencers typically have a specific email address for business inquiries. If you are having trouble locating an influencer, you can also contact one of these agencies directly. The agency will recommend a client, based on your marketing needs. This is an excellent way to find influencers, but some agencies will use your inexperience to increase their rates during negotiation.

Some influencers prefer to work with you directly to come up with an advertising campaign, while others give you creative control. During this process you discuss rates and how long the campaign will run. Because they are more involved, videos are typically a one-time deal. When posting on sites like Instagram, campaigns typically involve several posts spaced over a short period. Podcasts normally run advertisements for several episodes.

Working with an Influencer Agency

With so many advertisers turning towards influencers, the number of influencer exclusive agencies has greatly increased. Unfortunately, not all these agencies are legitimate. Some agencies artificially boost viewer numbers by paying for views. This gives the impression their clients have a significantly larger audience, allowing the agency to charge more for their services.

One of the most reliable agencies is Viral Nation. Viral Nation primarily represents influencers across Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, but they also have YouTuber clients. Viral Nation behaves like a traditional advertising firm, with agents directly representing clients. Many businesses new to online advertising find it easier to transition to influencer marketing through Viral Nation.

Another popular agency is Influencer Marketing Factory. These agents work directly with businesses to come up with a marketing plan. They are more expensive than other agencies, but they guarantee successful advertising campaigns. The agency primarily focuses on YouTuber and TikTok influencers.

If you want to market to a younger audience, contact Fanbytes Agency. Fanbytes has several clients across multiple platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. The agency is most known for running advertisements for registration and subscription-based services.