Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key influential people who influence over potential buyers rather than the target market itself. It identifies these individuals and orients marketing activities around them. The influencer is used as a bridge to connect brands with their followers instead of direct advertising to consumers. In Singapore, almost half of the population aged 16-24 display more trust in what they access online about products, with the Instagram being the most used platform, 63% of connected consumers use Instagram in Singapore.
In today’s digital age, word-of-mouth has never been more influential in marketing. Whether through social media or traditional marketing, consumers are more likely to learn about a business or brand through online sources rather than traditional media.
According to HubSpot Blogs research, consumers are two thirds of the way through the information-gathering phase of their purchase journey before they’ve even made up their mind. While they may have heard of coffee giants Starbucks or Keurig, they may not know a great deal about what exactly a Keurig is or does, which could affect their decision to purchase one.
Starbucks has more than 11 million registered users on its platforms – Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook – which makes it one of the social media platforms with the largest audiences. As a result, its content tends to attract a large number of organic ‘likes’ and shares. This makes it a popular choice for companies seeking to establish a social media presence.
It’s clear that big brands can harness the power of influencers and use them to promote products and services and raise brand awareness. While this may seem like a luxury only reserved for large businesses, strategically placing influencers in key roles across your marketing stack can leverage their vast audiences towards your benefit.
Brands looking to use influencer marketing should keep up with the trends in the industry in order to strategically plan on their campaign. Below are the strategies for influencer marketing that can assist a company to reap maximum benefit from its marketing campaigns:
Embrace Relevance, Reach and Resonance
Reach, resonance, and relevance are the three secret keys to success in influencer marketing today. The main reason why this form of marketing is more important and efficient in generating sales is that it is a more authentic form of storytelling for brands. Companies that intend to use this type of marketing need to do reverse engineering from the expected outcome to find an influencer who best suits the brand.
Defining the Target Audience
Influencer marketing campaigns need to be aligned to the needs and expectations of the people you are trying to influence as this will help in being extremely specific. The better you define the target market, the simpler it will be to find the right influencers for the marketing campaign. This is also aided by a business plan that clearly defines the target market. This will be important, especially for the brands dealing in everyday consumer goods as they will know how to qualitatively differentiate their marketing in order to reach the specific group.
Setting the Objectives
Objectives are the goals that one specifically wants to fulfill at the end of a specific period. Any influencer marketing strategy should not be drawn without first determining the objectives. Some of the common objectives that are to be put in mind are creating visibility for brands that have been recently launched in the market, building a brand image or certain characteristic, positioning of a brand in order to be on top in a particular sector, generating traffic for a company’s website, conversion of consumers and finally creating brand loyalty with consumers. This will help a campaign to be coherent and will have the highest possibility of potential returns.
Discovering and Choosing the Right Influencers
The main reason for influencer marketing is to create a wider reach of the content relating to a product. Consumers mainly rely on this type of marketing for the recommendations as influencers create trust and authenticity that are needed by the potential consumers. When discovering the right influencers, a company will need to select those that reach the desired target market demographically and can help in achieving the set goals and objectives of the brand.
Evaluate the Influencer’s Content
It is critical to assess the type of content that the target influencer posts on social media before reaching out to know if they resonate with the company goals and orientation. Concisely, research will help you avoid embarrassment and possible adverse responses from the target audience. As you engage with the influencer, make sure that you explain the company’s goals and objectives to start the journey on the right foot.
Understand the Influencers Broadest Reach Interests
There is a difference between what marketers and influencers think are the most relevant online marketing platforms. For the traditional digital marketers, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the best platforms to launch a marketing campaign. On the other hand, influencers value and use their personal blog to reach out to their followers than social media platforms. The point is; you should work in close collaboration with the influencers to know which platforms they intend to use to reach out to your target audience.
Set Workflow Expectations
Just like any other modern marketing strategy, it is important to set goals and objectives from the word go. You need to understand that influencer marketing is indeed a form of partnership, and associations deliver the best results when they are mutually beneficial. Influencers will be more selective about the organizations and companies they work with as this form of digital marketing becomes more popular. You need to state your preferred workflow, be flexible, and open-minded.
Influencer marketing is here to stay and will have a significant impact on the success of online businesses. Heed the above four tips to get the best results from it.
Method of Approaching Influencers
Influencers are individuals who may be hard to approach or access as mostly their schedules are overfilled. It is, therefore, key for a company to choose the method that will have maximum results when approaching a potential influencer. A company can either go through the manual process of identifying influencers, sign up to a database that has potential influencers or work with a specialist influencer agency to assist in the stages of the campaign.
Build a Relationship
Once a company has approached a potential influencer with whom they can work to campaign for their product, it is important to foster a relationship that meets both their needs and expectations. Every relationship takes time and effort and both parties should be in a position to work together. Reciprocity, the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, can be a very important tool when building a relationship with an influencer.
Working to Find Opportunities
The right influencer can be of great help to a company as they can assist in shaping the content strategy of the campaign by offering advice on what engages the potential target market. Influencers are in a better position to do this as they know their followers and the type of conversations they hold. This will be crucial when creating content where there is demand.
Content and Opportunity Audit
Carrying out this audit at the beginning of the campaign process can give a better understanding of the needs and concerns of the target market/audience. This will give information on the feeling that a brand elicits in consumers, competitor strategies, influencer motivation, audience perception, and measures to make a brand more relevant to the target audience.
Preparation of a Content Plan
Once the general topic areas of concern have been decided upon, it’s necessary for the company to create a content plan. This plan should have a coordinated series of content that closely meets the needs and expectations of the target audience. Specific influencers should be used for more specific topics. Keeping a content schedule helps in planning and coordinating shareable content to the audience.
Adjusting to Current Issues
Influencers are selected on the basis of the niche a company wants to bridge. Influencers, while sharing your content also share other stuff with their followers. How do the two fit in the bigger picture in order to create maximum returns from the campaign? This can greatly help to find new opportunities that keep up with current trends and remain relevant to the audience.
Producing Quality Content
The success of an influencer depends on the quality of the content that the influencers share with the audience. An influencer should offer content that is either informative, entertaining, educational, or inspiring to the audience in relation to the company’s niche. Influencers also need to be on the lookout for newer compelling content and can also work with the company to co-create content items.
Set Up the Distribution Campaign
Once the content is ready, it’s time for the company to collaborate with the influencer to launch the distribution campaign. The type and formality of the campaign will also depend on the relationship fostered between the two parties. Any content that is distributed and the method of distribution are some of the things agreed upon. The campaign can be for free-informal or for payment-formal.
Measure the Success
The objective of the campaign will ultimately influence the success of the campaign. Once the campaign is over, it is important to track the ROI that each contributes to each of the goals earlier set. It is only through this that a company can make timely and well-thought decisions to modify the influencer marketing strategy to optimise results.
Establish a Solid Foundation
To succeed in influencer marketing in the Singapore market, you need to focus solely on the target audience. Find out what motivates and encourages them to purchase your product or subscribe to your service. Look at whom they engage with most when making these critical decisions and the platform that they use.
The most successful brands have a multi-phase influencer marketing strategy. This strategy is developed in conjunction with the selected influencers and designed to facilitate a smooth transition of customers from one stage of the sales funnel to the next one. That is, it facilities a seamless movement of customers from the awareness stage to the consideration stage and finally to the decision-making stage where they decide to place an order.
A good understanding of the customer journey will help you set the goals, focus on them, and establish a solid foundation for your entire influencer marketing strategy in the country.
Finding the Right Influencer for your Brand
At the start of the article, we discussed the importance of choosing the right influencer. We did not go into the details of how to find the right influencer. The first thing that you need to note is that the social influencer landscape is very fragmented. Industry, channel, business acumen are the primary factors that you should put into consideration during the selection process.
According to Marcy Massura, the CEO of MM+CC, it is recommended to consider the engagement level of each influencer in your list over the perceived online popularity. For example, an influencer who has a million followers but only 1% of the followers engage with the content he/she shares is not suitable for your brand. You are much safer hiring an influencer with 15,000 followers who have a 15% engagement level with them.
Such influencers are more accessible to their audience and best poised to market your products and services. Concisely, their audience will be more receptive to your content. The worst thing that you can do during the selection process is taking shortcuts. During the evaluation process, make sure that you audit their content and the subsequent conversations that are sparked by it.
More importantly, in the current competitive digital marketing space here in Singapore, micro-influencers who are in line with your brand needs and committed to helping you thrive deliver the highest ROI. As noted by the Founder of Digitalux, higher cohesion between the influencer and brand (strong follower engagement) results in better brand recall, ad recall, and higher conversion rate.
Strive to Establish Authentic Relationships with Influencers
Earlier on, we discussed the importance of fostering a relationship with the influencers and pointed out that every relationship takes effort and time. Now, we will look at the importance of making sure that the relationship that you have with the influencers is authentic. Otherwise, you might end up spending thousands of dollars on an influencer marketing service that will not meet your expectations in the long run.
Before you even request an influencer to start promoting your brand, you need to be willing to invest in them. For example, you can offer the newly hired influencer anything from attention and time to tangible things such as a special invitation to exclusive events and samples of your upcoming products. The primary goal of doing this is to make them feel special and at the same time increase brand recognition.
That said, it is essential to monitor the scope of your effort. The wider your pool of influencers, the more difficult it will be to track individual influencer performance and your multiple outreach projects. Luckily, there are advanced tools such as Nimble that you can use for this purpose. This tool creates 3-dimensional profiles of people thereby making it easy to interpret the data presented and make the right decisions.
Amplify What is Working
Continuously monitoring the performance of your Singapore influencer marketing campaigns will help you to know if you are headed in the right direction. However, you need to go the extra mile and amplify or put more effort and allocate more resources to what is working. This move will help you to get high results from every dollar that you spend on this form of marketing in Singapore.
For instance, you can decide to create and implement a content marketing plan or social media plan that repackages and repurposes the content distributed by the influencers. This will keep your campaign fresh and enable you to reach new audiences faster and more conveniently.
Mentioning and tagging individuals and specific audiences in your niche who are likely to be interested in your content can also increase awareness of your Singapore influencer marketing efforts. This will also add more value to the greater community.
Make Sure the Deal is Mutually Beneficial
In business, it is essential to make sure that the deals you sign up for are beneficial to your business. The same case applies to hire and working with influencer marketers. One of the best ways of compensating them for their work and effort is by creating a custom affiliate program for them. This program will motivate them to use the affiliate links to drive traffic to your website to get more commissions.
Such a program will also make it possible for you to keep track of clicks, impressions, conversions, and other performance metrics especially if a graphics pixel is involved. Cost-Per-Action agreement (CPA) works best with most influencers as it entails paying them a particular percentage for every conversion. That way, every sale that they make through the affiliate link will encourage them to invest more time and effort to promote your brand.
Make sure that the terms that you agree to are documented from the start of the contract to the end of the campaign to avoid any tussles. The contract documents could help resolve issues amicably if they arise along the way.
Personal touches help build trust
In an increasingly digital world, it is important to remember that consumers are twice as likely to buy a product or service after they’ve been touched by a human being. This human element is critical in building trust and credibility.
According to the NPD group, retail sales via personal touches was valued at £17.9 billion in the UK in 2018 and is projected to rise to £24.9 billion by 2027.
What is significant in these figures is that they represent growth of 20% compared to the previous year. That’s an incredibly healthy increase, which proves that businesses are responding to customers’ needs and wants and are creating products that incorporate those needs and wants.
One of the most effective ways to build trust with customers and potential clients is to use personal touches when marketing and selling security equipment. For instance, when you’re advertising a security guard’s services, incorporate those services into your marketing content and ensure that each part of the advertisement, from the face tattoo to the snazzy uniform, is unique and memorable.
Make sure that your marketing material, including your website and social media platforms, is slick, easy to navigate, and contains all the necessary information a potential customer might need. You can also use interactive tools like drop-down menus and live chats to make the customer experience as seamless as possible.
Targeting specific groups can boost your reach
In the same way that not all demographics are created equal, not all types of customers are valuable in the same way. This is a critical concept to remember when marketing your security equipment brand or business.
What is often seen as a luxury purchase by some may be worth considering for other types of businesses. Bear in mind that not all security guards are created equal and some may be more expensive than others.
According to the NPD group, retail security sales was valued at £8.8 billion in the UK in 2018 and is projected to rise to £12.9 billion by 2027, which represents a growth of 20%. This means that there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to cash in on the security equipment market.
There are four key groups of customers that you need to consider when marketing your security equipment brand:
The tech-savvy consumer
This is the generation of customers that grew up with technology and learned to use tools such as Google and YouTube to research information. They’ve become accustomed to quick and easy navigation, which provided them with the ability to discover information in nanoseconds.
This is the type of consumer that is likely to be researching your company before they make up their mind and decide to buy from you. The more you can do to appeal to this group of people, the better. Create informative and educational YouTube videos that demonstrate the capabilities of your security equipment.
The Gen-Z group
Also known as the digital native generation, the Gen Z group grew up with the internet and social media and have become the biggest consumers group in the world.
Not only do they spend more time on social media than any other group, but 72% of Gen Z have bought something influenced by a social media post, according to HubSpot Blogs research.
This group of people is highly visual and prefer marketing material that is sleek, clean, and simple. Additionally, they value credibility over traditional marketing material, as demonstrated by their affinity for brands that have an ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ slant. Finally, make sure that your social media platforms reflect the values of your brand and that your content is consistent across all platforms.
Marketing to millennials is a whole different ballgame. First off, they are a generation of digital natives and have grown up with smartphones in their hands and cameras in the vicinity, constantly seeking the perfect shot.
These are the consumers that grew up with social media and search engines and use them regularly to research information. Naturally, they’ve become accustomed to comparing products and services and have developed a heightened sense of awareness around those topics.
However, unlike the generations that came before them, millennials aren’t as interested in owning a physical object as a symbol of status and brand loyalty. This tendency makes them a little more difficult to market to. Still, you can appeal to this group of people by creating informative content around topics that they are passionate about.
To conclude, influencer marketing can be a great acquisition channel for your brand. It is crucial to create a detailed digital strategy, carefully select influencers you need to partner with and use the right tool to track and measure impact during and after the campaign.
There are many different types of influencers to choose from, this article will help you learn how to choose the right kind of influencer for your brand and make your partnership a success. Find influencers who genuinely love your brand and can’t wait to share with the world.
Here is an article we recently published on the top influencers in Singapore to guide you through the hiring process.