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How to Leverage Influencer Marketing to Maximize Earnings

Coral Drake | December 7, 2023 |

Marketing 101 Featured
How to Leverage Influencer Marketing to Maximize Earnings

Unlike traditional advertising, which broadcasts a single message to a wide audience, influencer marketing relies on the trust established between influencers and their followers in specific niches. 

This trust differentiates influencer marketing from other digital strategies and makes it one of the most compelling marketing strategies in today's advertising landscape. 

Influencer marketing enables small businesses to establish a reach previously out of their grasp and empowers big companies to find new audiences. 

The Rise of Influencer Marketing

As advertising on social media and other platforms increasingly infiltrates our lives, consumers are looking for trustworthy sources of information. An influencer's power is in authenticity—a trait modern consumers crave. 

In fact, consumers are increasingly turning to influencers and rejecting the perfect polish of conventional ads. According to Hubspot, 50% of millennials trust influencers to suggest products and 33% of Gen Z-ers have purchased something based on an influencer's recommendation. 

The way influencers weave brand endorsements into their content means consumers don't shut down and hit "skip" when the ad starts. 

Where other digital marketing strategies push content towards users, influencer marketing pulls users towards the content. Consumers line up to hear an influencer's take on the next product or watch the next unboxing video. 

The shift from push to pull marketing is about creating a marketing strategy that builds brand awareness through informative messaging rather than bombarding consumers with ads. 

How to Build Effective Influencer Relationships

To find the right influencer partnerships, you need to nail down your target audience's demographics and interests. Collect data through social media analytics, surveys, and market research to build customer profiles.

When you know who your target audience is, find out who's influencing them. Tools like BuzzSumo or HypeAuditor can help identify potential matches. You can also find out by asking your customers through surveys. 

One of the great things about influencer relationships is how many options you have in how to sign on. Influencer collaborations are as varied as influencer niches, ranging from sponsored content to full-fledged brand ambassadorships. You may already have your next influencer on the payroll, which we’ll explore in more detail in the next section. 

Look for Influencers Within Your Own Ranks

There are all kinds of opportunities for authentic content within your own organization. Employees have in-depth knowledge and passion for your business that can make them a powerful voice for your brand. True, not every employee is excited to jump on TikTok and show off your latest product, but you may be surprised by how many are. 

And you don't need to hide the relationship you have with this influencer. The fact that your influencer is your employee is fantastic for brand awareness

Here are some examples of how to transform an employee into your best advertiser:

  • A tech company asks their developers to start a podcast discussing product usability or providing helpful tips for end users.
  • A restaurant features one of their chefs or baristas on social media enthusiastically sharing culinary creations or coffee concoctions. 

Leverage Industry Experts as Influencers

Professionals in any industry have sway, but when the target audience is well-informed and analytical, the endorsement of industry experts is particularly impactful. Experts provide in-depth knowledge and insights into specialized products or services, explaining complex nuances while marketing the product. 

For example:

  • A well-known IT security blogger could discuss the latest software released by a cybersecurity company.
  • A popular fashion guru influencer discusses the assets of a new clothing line. 

Find Your Cause

Cause-related marketing is a powerful way to resonate with audiences who increasingly care about the ethics and behavior of the companies they choose. Over 60% of consumers under 30 feel an affiliation to companies who "subscribe to a larger purpose." Cause marketing is a superb way to show your purpose and build loyalty in your target audience

For example, a business offering eco-friendly products might supply a lifestyle influencer with what they need to pursue environmentally-friendly living. Not only will the influencer's followers associate your business with an eco-conscious lifestyle, but you get to showcase your products to a target audience highly likely to purchase them. 

These collaborations can extend far beyond product placements:

  • Ask influencers for sponsored content that tells the story of your partnership to use for advertising. 
  • Host fund-raising events together. 
  • Develop co-branded campaigns that contribute a portion of the proceeds to the influencer's cause. 

You won't have to look far to find influencers with causes your business could support, and the benefits of this kind of collaboration are twofold: powerful brand building and targeted advertising for products or services. 

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing to Maximize Earnings

Now that you have your influencers, let's dig into how to capitalize on your relationships to maximize profits. 

  • Boost Publishing for Holidays: Ask influencers to create tailored content for holidays, which tend to see spikes in consumer spending. For instance, partner with a family and motherhood influencer to offer your product or service as gift recommendations leading up to Mother's Day. 
  • Create Exclusive Social Media Groups: Invitation-only groups where influencers can engage with a brand's most loyal customers offer early access to sales, special promotions, or exclusive content. The sense of community and exclusivity these groups provide can be big drivers of engagement. 
  • Build Brand Ambassador Programs: Brand ambassadors take the role of influence a step further. As a brand ambassador, influencers consistently promote your brand as a partnership. Continuous exposure offers sustained revenue as your products constantly reach new audiences. Furthermore, a program like this ties your brand to authentic influencer content in the minds of your target audience, instilling brand awareness and loyalty. 
  • Repurpose Influencer Content for Social Ads: Why use great content only once? Repurpose influencer-generated content as paid ads on social platforms. This is a great way to extend the reach of authentic content and target audiences who may have yet to see the original content. 
  • Prompt Urgency With Limited-Time Offers: You don't have to wait for the holidays; you can create your own buying rush with the right combination of influencer marketing and fear of missing out (FOMO). Collaborate with influencers to promote time-sensitive deals, especially limited-release products or services, that customers just can't miss. 
  • Sponsor Events or Meetups: Use influencers to host or promote events online or in-person (or both). You can directly boost revenues with ticket sales or exclusive access and gain a lot of exposure to boost brand awareness.  
  • Host Virtual Workshops or Webinars: Influencers who are experts in fields relevant to your business can host conversations about educational content related to your brand. Make money by having consumers sign up or leave it free and enjoy the heightened brand trust this authentic content can generate. 
  • Utilize Campaign Data: Just as in any advertising campaign, you need to track your investment and returns regarding engagement rates, click-through, and conversion data from influencer campaigns to fine-tune your strategies. 

Leverage Influencer Marketing Effectively

Influencer marketing campaigns are a powerful driver of brand awareness, offering a unique opportunity to reach a target audience where they are most open to suggestions: in the feed of their favorite influencer. 

The genuine content of influencer marketing is highly likely to result in sales and conversions, even with a limited budget. To make the most of engagement rates generated from influencer marketing, be sure to have a robust loyalty program in place to turn casual customers into lasting ones. 

To be sure that the loyalty program never skips a beat in collecting data and offering promotions at every step of the sales journey, integrate it with a powerful POS system

With the right collaborations, tactics, and data collection, you'll find that you can make a huge return on investment in influencer marketing.