Alright so unless you live under a rock you’d know that Katy Perry is kind of the queen of everything right now. Just this week she was announced as the first person to reach 100 million followers on Twitter, the newest panelist on the American Idol reboot, and her live stream album launch strategy and seemingly inability to stay out of the media this past week, has skyrocketed her newest record, Witness, to number one on the Billboard Top 200!
And no, it’s not just because she apologized to T-Swift.
Katy Perry is the QUEEN of Influencer Marketing 👑
If you somehow accidentally find yourself in a random Youtube video spiral today (don’t lie, we’ve all been there), you will without a doubt see some sort of video having to do with Katy Perry’s Witness 96-hour live stream, or a video with one of Youtube’s many famous content creators. Yes. She’s THAT good that she’s literally everywhere. Here are just a couple fun examples:
Not to mention Katy also roped in celebrity friends such as James Corden, Rupaul, and even appeared on Gordan Ramsay’s new show the F word. Her current YOUTUBE ONLY viewership for the Witness Live Stream is roughly 13.5 million… Not including the audiences, she would have reached when her segments with both James Cordon and Gordon Ramsay aired on national television… I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaws up off the floor
So how does our new reigning Queen of Pop do it exactly? Well, she’s got a hella rad marketing team that understands Influencer Marketing is no joke, changing drastically every day, and definitely picking up speed. Any marketing professional who tells you that Influencer Marketing or Influencer Relations is a secondary strategy or simply a trending fad that will soon pass is sadly, poorly mistaken. Influencer Marketing is here to stay (or slay as KP would say).
In a recent post on The Next Web, David Greer talks about the reality of Influencer Marketing and how important it is for you to pick a niche. He writes that Youtuber’s who focus on video game reviews might be harder to connect with because they already have connections and partnerships for developing their content, but that those content creators focusing on costume design might be more obtainable, and he’s completely right!
When I was with Onboardly I did a lot of influencer outreach (and I mean A LOT) and one thing I learned very quickly is that influencers come in all different shapes and sizes, but mostly these three categories. Let me break it down for you:
Freemiums: Influencers who have less that 2,500 followers on Instagram and Twitter are potential consumers that you can reach out to and offer discounts and some free swag to enrich customer experience and create a brand ambassador. This is best delivered in the form of a freemium (free trial or giveaway) in exchange for a product review. Usually very little cost for your company.
Sweet Spot: Influencers who have 2,500 - 50,000 followers on Instagram and Twitter are your “sweet spot” influencers. They usually have these followers for a reason. Either they hold some celebrity status, or are a popular and trusted blog. You usually will be able to reach out and offer them free trials and some swag in turn for a review and may cost you some marketing budget but chances are you’ll steal some partnerships for free! The most value here comes from their trusted blog or influence having a much larger reach than the previous category.
Heavyweight Champs: Influencers who have 50,000-100,000+ followers on Twitter. Much like our Sweet Spot influencers, these folks have their large audiences for a reason and 9 times out of 10 have agents or managers sorting through their “paid gigs/opportunities”. Agencies like TRIBE are popping up more and more as marketers realize the true power of influencers and authentic endorsements.
Make no mistake, there’s value on the other side of things as well. If you’re thinking about ramping up on your influencer status you absolutely should! While in my research efforts we discovered some Instagram bloggers were charging up to $25,000 for one blog post. It’s a lucrative and in-demand market because it works!
LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE FACTS
I’m sure you’re wondering… Okay, okay - so Katy Perry did it but how is Influencer Marketing going to be helpful for growing my business? Well, for starters in 2017 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers said that they trusted influencer opinions over traditional celebrities AND 51% of marketers say that video content produces the best ROI. Putting both of these statistics together creates the perfect storm for influencers currently crushing it on YouTube or Twitter and Instagram to absolutely rake it in! And it’s not just the teens that are turning to social media celebs for advice or referrals.
People between 18-34 years of age prefer a recommendation from an influencer, according to MediaPost
86% of women turn to social networks before making a purchase.
71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.
B2B decision-makers rely on trusted online communities when buying, according to Forrester Research
Now that I’ve convinced you that Influencer Marketing is on the rise and showing no signs of slowing down - you’re probably hoping that I’m going to tell you where to get started… And you’re in luck! What? You didn’t think this was just another fluff-piece-Katy-Perry-clickbait situation, did you? Y’all know me better than that!
HOW TO BUILD MY OWN INFLUENCER MARKETING STRATEGY IN 2017
The first thing you’re going to want to do before you build your Influencer Marketing strategy is to identify what your goals are. Keep in mind that these influencers usually take their work very seriously and think of their fans/followers as close friends or even family - so they need to 100% believe in the products they will be recommending because, at the end of the day, it’s their reputation on the line!
You’re going to need to know what you’re ask is before you begin the next phase. Do you need your influencers to help you reach your sales targets? This may require a much more in-depth conversation and could even develop into something more like a brand partnership. Or maybe you just want to increase exposure for your brand and think leveraging their following can help you do that? If that’s the case - I always recommend looking very closely at their actual social media feed. You’ll probably be able to tell what posts are sponsored and which ones are not. Do they do it well? Their distribution strategy will need to be on point to help you achieve either of these goals.
Next, go on your hunt! Find the top tier influencers in your space on social media (Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram will normally be the most powerful but you might find surprises elsewhere!l). Search through blog posts in your industry and forums on Reddit too, you never know where the perfect influencer may be hiding! I’d start by compiling a list in a Google Sheet, take note of all their social media profiles and their followers. Feel free to categorize them based on the information detailed above. Are they a Heavyweight champion or a Sweet spot influencer?
Once you’ve compiled your list you can get started on reaching out to them! You’ll notice that some influencers will detail how you can contact them in their social media bio’s, if not it’s totally okay for you to tweet at them or send them a DM. Best advice (depending on what industry you’re in) is to just be super friendly and casual. You should also think about tracking your contact with your influencers in your Google Sheet! Throw in their email and track when you reached out, when you heard back, where you’re at in your relationship, etc! This will just help you avoid things like double outreach and things of that nature!
Amazing! At this stage, you should have a handful of influencers agreeing to help promote your product (if you didn’t get any fruitful responses from your outreach efforts, perhaps take a look again to be sure you’re reaching out to the right audience/influencers!). You’re going to want to make sure you’re capitalizing on these partnerships as much as possible. Heavy duty social media promotion is an absolute must! Your influencers are probably taking care of it on their end, but it’ll be good for you to show your existing followers/customers that you’re partnering up with some of their favorite and most trusted social media celebrities!
If your influencer is publishing a blog post, or maybe even a YouTube video featuring your product/service it may be a good idea to ask them if the content can be syndicated to your company's blog for additional exposure. I like to create a miniature post promoting the content and then adding a “read more here” link after the first paragraph and linking it to the influencers post.
MONITOR & OPTIMIZE
There are so many different ways you can track engagement and the ROI if this strategy. For the purpose of this article, let’s use native social media analytics. The biggest KPI you should be looking for is your engagement rates, this is something that can be found easily in Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics and now Instagram Insights as well! On top of your engagement, you should be optimizing these campaigns to track conversions as well (Again, this will all depend on what your goals are for implementing this strategy). I like to use Bit.ly the most for creating trackable links for all my promoted content so I can properly adjust if I’m not seeing the conversions I want to!
Lastly, going back to our Google Sheet - it’s important that you are measuring all your influencer marketing campaigns. What was successful, what wasn’t? What can you change, what can’t you? The more you track this kind of data - the easier it will be for you to improve and deliver even better campaigns in the future!
I was completely inspired by Katy Perry this week with the launch of her live stream and how it affected her album sales, and as a marketer it truly woke me up to how important authenticity truly is. If you do have the chance to go check out any of her content I strongly recommend it. This post was pretty heavy with analytical and strategized content, but the real key to her campaign being so successful was that she was completely and brutally honest and real, and THAT is truly the most powerful thing about influencer marketing. It gives the viewer/reader an opportunity to see a very raw look into a product/service or brand and there really is nothing more valuable than that, especially in a world full of #fakenews.