A Beginner’s Guide to Influencer Marketing 

Influencer marketing has become one of the hottest buzzwords in the digital marketing world. But what exactly is influencer marketing, and is it an effective strategy for your business? 

Experts tell us that the global influencer market is currently worth around $21 billion. We’ve even spotted that the South East Technical University in Carlow, will offer a bachelor of arts degree on How to be an Influencer… read the full article here.

Let’s demystify influencer marketing and help you determine if it’s worthwhile for your brand.

What is Influencer Marketing? 

Influencer marketing refers to partnering with influencers on social media to promote your products or services to their following. Influencers are people who have built a reputation for expertise on a particular topic and cultivated large, loyal audiences around that niche.

The key benefit of influencer marketing is that recommendations from influencers serve as a form of third-party validation. Their stamps of approval are more authentic and trustworthy to followers than direct promotions from brands themselves.

How Does Influencer Marketing Work?

There are four key steps to executing an influencer marketing collaboration:

1. Identify relevant influencers in your industry who appeal to your target demographic and align with your brand values. Analyse factors like follower numbers, engagement rates, content quality, and audience persona.

2. Reach out to potential influencers and explain why you think they would be a great partner. Discuss opportunities for creating co-branded content.

3. Negotiate terms of the partnership including content strategy, compensation, usage rights, and success metrics. Ensure you have a formal written agreement.

4. Amplify the co-created content across your own social channels when the influencer shares it. Track engagement and sales impact.

Types of Influencer Partnerships

Influencer marketing partnerships can take various forms:

– Sponsored posts – influencers create branded posts promoting your product.

– Product reviews – influencers test and review your product/service. 

– Giveaways/contests – influencers promote contests and giveaways you are hosting.

– Brand ambassadorships – long-term partnerships promoting your brand overall.

– Takeovers – influencers “take over” your social media account for a guest post.

– Co-created content – joint development of content together with the influencer.

Influencers come in different tiers based on number of followers:

– Mega influencers – over 1 million followers 

– Macro influencers- 100k to 1 million followers

– Micro influencers – 1k to 100k followers

– Nano influencers – under 1k followers

While mega influencers have immense reach, engagement is often highest with micro and nano influencers in specific niches.

Should You Use Influencer Marketing?

Here are key factors to consider when deciding whether influencer marketing is right for your brand:

– Target audience – Evaluate if your customers are active on social media and engage with influencers. If not, it may not be an effective channel.

– Product fit – Influencer marketing works best for consumer lifestyle brands rather than B2B companies. Your product should appeal visually and personally to individuals.

– Brand values – Ensure the influencers you choose match your brand identity and values. One mismatching partnership can backfire.

– Cost – Influencer marketing requires paying influencer fees, along with staff time and resources. The ROI may not make sense for some budgets. 

– Goals – Know what metrics you want to achieve before investing. Track conversions beyond just reach and engagement data.

Top Influencers in the UK

Here are the top 5 influencers in the UK based on followers and engagement:

1. Zoella (Zoe Sugg) – 11+ million YouTube subscribers. Popular lifestyle and fashion influencer. 

2. KSI – 24+ million YouTube subscribers. Comedic gaming, boxing and music influencer.

3. Joe Sugg – 8+ million YouTube subscribers. Lifestyle and entertainment influencer.

4. Jim Chapman – 3+ million YouTube subscribers. Male fashion, grooming and lifestyle influencer. 

5. Louise Pentland – 3+ million YouTube subscribers. Lifestyle, parenting and books influencer.

Some other top UK influencers are:

– Caspar Lee – Comedy and entertainment influencer with 7+ million YouTube subscribers 

– Mark Ferris – Fitness influencer with 5+ million Instagram followers

– Jazzybum – Fashion and beauty influencer with 1.5+ Instagram followers 

– Nella Rose – Family and parenting influencer popular on Instagram

– Chloe Morello – Beauty influencer with 4+ million YouTube subscribers

– Anastasia Kingsnorth – Vegan food and lifestyle influencer with over 500k Instagram followers

The top influencers in the UK tend to be personalities in the lifestyle, fashion, beauty, parenting, comedy, fitness, and food niches who have built large followings on YouTube and Instagram. Their authentic engagement and niche expertise make them effective partners for relevant brands.

Influencer Marketing a tool for your Business 

If positioned strategically, influencer marketing can be a versatile tool to achieve brand awareness, trust building, lead generation and sales for the right brand. But it requires thorough research and commitment for success. Weigh your specific goals, budget and audience persona to determine if it’s a wise marketing channel for you.

Creating an Influencer Strategy for your Business

Here are some tips on creating an influencer marketing strategy for your business:

Define your goals

Be clear on what you want to achieve from influencer marketing campaigns. Goals could include:

– Increase brand awareness/reach new audiences

– Generate leads/sales 

– Build credibility and trust  

– Educate customers on your product

– Boost engagement and website traffic

Identify your ideal influencers

Look for influencers who:

– Have high expertise and relevance to your product, brand and niche

– Create high-quality, engaging content 

– Have an audience demographic that matches your target customers

– Have good engagement rates and positive responses from followers

Research thoroughly 

Vet potential influencers carefully by reviewing their content history, engagement metrics, follower demographics and feedback. Look for red flags like fake followers or clickbait content. Shortlist influencers who align best.

Set clear expectations 

When reaching out, be clear on campaign goals, types of content you want them to create, links/handles to feature, timeline, usage rights for content, and performance metrics.

Establish fair compensation

Consider factors like the influencer’s followers, typical rates, content usage rights, and campaign scope to arrive at a fair payment. Non-monetary rewards can also be negotiated.

Track performance

Use unique links, promo codes, and campaign-specific hashtags to track traffic, conversions, and engagement driven by each influencer partnership. This helps optimise future initiatives. 

Analyse and improve

Review results across influencers and campaign types to identify what worked best for your brand. Refine your partnerships and strategy going forward based on performance data and lessons learned.

Ongoing relationship management

Influencer partnerships shouldn’t be one-off transactions. Nurture relationships through regular communication and potentially signing on influencers as long-term brand advocates.

By setting clear goals, vetting strategically, establishing win-win relationships, tracking diligently and optimising continuously, you can create an effective influencer marketing program. Maintain authenticity throughout when working with influencers.

Elevate Your Brand with an Influencer Marketing Strategy Tailored by Piece of Cake Marketing

If you’re looking to leverage influencer marketing to grow your business, Piece of Cake Marketing can help craft the perfect strategy. 

Whether you need help identifying the right influencers for your brand, negotiating partnerships, developing compelling co-created content, tracking performance data or managing ongoing relationships – we’ve got you covered.

With our local knowledge and passion for generating maximum impact through marketing, you can trust us to build an influencer program tailored for your brand’s goals and audience.

Let’s collaborate on an influencer marketing strategy designed to boost your brand awareness, trust, engagement, and sales.

Contact us by emailing hello@pieceofcakemarketing.co.uk or call Emma on 07799626332. Let’s work together!