Influencer marketing 2021: 5 tools and many tips
Every marketer and their mother is talking about how awesome influencer marketing is — and they are not wrong. Even though influencer marketing has been repeatedly included in the "20xx trends" for at least the last ten years, it is there for a reason.
This strategy had some changes over time, but it still remains one of the most effective digital marketing strategies out there. According to the 2020 survey conducted by the Influencer Marketing Hub, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. Perhaps that's why 91% of the survey respondents believe influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing.
However, as I mentioned before, there have been a lot of changes introduced to the way we carry out influencer marketing campaigns. Can you be sure that your influencer marketing strategy is not outdated?
You can with this article! We gathered the most up-to-date influencer marketing tips to show what you should and shouldn't do in 2021. This advice is based on influencer marketing trends that we could observe in 2020. So let's refresh your influencer marketing strategy according to influencer marketing 2021 trends.
Tip 1: Work with micro-influencers
For newbie marketers, the more followers an influencer has, the more leads their campaign will generate, right? Wrong! The biggest mistake a marketer can make is to go chasing follower numbers. A study by Experticity found out that 82% of consumers are “highly likely” to follow a recommendation made by a micro-influencer.
Oftentimes, micro-influencers are focusing on a specific niche: they can talk about growing plants, reading Tarot cards, reviewing different bikes, and so on. This helps you choose an influencer whose followers are certainly in your target audience. Laser-focused marketing is the best kind of marketing!
Another advantage of micro-influencers is the relationships with their audience. Due to the size of their following, they are able to build a more genuine and authentic connection with their followers, and thus, people trust their recommendations much more than those of a macro-influencer.
For these reasons, it might be more beneficial for your brand to contact a smaller influencer for an influencer marketing campaign.
Tip 2: Pay attention to analytics
As we learned, marketers are convinced that influencer marketing works. But it's not enough to believe that it works, in the marketing world, data is everything and you need to back up your beliefs with robust analytics.
When you set up an influencer campaign, it's most likely you check the number of clicks and purchases from links you provide the influencer with. Many marketers stop at that. However, this is not enough.
It's becoming more and more common to ask influencers for deeper analytics such as:
the number of views or impressions,
and so on.
You can also use social listening to check how much buzz your campaign generated and among which demographics it was more popular.
Tip 3: Get creative with influencer campaigns
In 2020 and especially 2021 it's no longer enough to post a picture of a product and say you like it to convince people to buy it. Both brands and influencers are getting more creative with their influencer campaigns and using different mediums, formats, and types of content to convert consumers.
Take a look at this paid partnership post by Hannah Witton. The Old Vic theatre partnered with Hannah to promote their online Christmas performances and asked her to play Jingle Bells with the handbells they've sent her. They partnered with her for several reasons: she lives in London and The Old Vic is a London theatre, she loves theatre and musicals, and she has a bubbly charming personality perfect for this kind of a challenge. Thus, she matches their target audience great!
This campaign is a perfect example of сreative influencer marketing. Don't just give your influencers a short pitch with a product description and call it a day. Use your imagination!
Tip 4: Say yes to long-term partnerships
More and more brands are prioritizing long-term relationships with influencers over one-time collaborations. For example, in the make-up world brands create PR lists with trusted influencers and send them every new product they launch, invite them for their events (in pre-COVID times obviously), take them on trips, invite them to host their online streams, and so on.
Of course, building relationships requires more effort than collaborating on one social media post, but the ROI can be incredible. The audience of the influencer is getting reminded of your brand more and more often and thus becomes more and more interested in it. Besides, long-term collaboration is a sign of a brand's quality: you wouldn't use a product more than one time if it was a bad product or service.
For example, this influencer has been partnering with Glossier for the last 3 years and many of her followers learned about the brand through her videos.
Tip 5: Invite influencers to host virtual events
Speaking about online streams, with everyone locked inside to stop the spread of COVID-19, online events are more popular than ever. An online event doesn't have to be a huge deal like an awards show or something like that, it can be just a live-stream on Instagram, a Q&A session, or something else as easily produced.
This tactic was successfully used by Joe Biden during his presidential campaign. The future president invited influencers from different niches, from young women rights activists to mommy bloggers, and they interviewed him on their topic of interest. The interviews were streamed on Twitch, YouTube, and Instagram.
It would be presumptuous to say that influencer marketing helped Joe Biden win the elections but it certainly worked. All the more reasons to try it yourself!
Tip 6: Use reputation analysis tools
When choosing an influencer, it's extremely important to monitor their reputation. You need to make sure that you won't stir up controversy or straight-up cause a PR crisis by partnering with this Internet personality.
Luckily, modern marketing technology allows you to run a check of someone's reputation much quicker and on a much deeper level than a simple Google search could do.
In addition to that, online reputation management tools are often using social listening technology, so you can employ them for influencer search as well. You can find influencers based on keywords related to your niche: we wrote a more thorough guide on how to find influencers if you want to check it out!
To give you some impression of what top reputation analysis and influencer marketing tools look like, here's a small list!
Online reputation management tools
Awario is a social listening tool that helps you monitor and manage your online reputation. It also has a dedicated Influencer report that ranks influencers in your niche based on their reach i.e. how many people see their posts.
In the Influencer report, you can see how prominent voices in your industry talk about your brand and related topics, what kind of sentiment they express, how often they mention them, and so on.
Awario also can help with brand monitoring, lead generation, link-building, target audience research and more depending on your goals. You can try it for free for 7 days.
Klear is an influencer marketing platform to help you find and manage online influencers.
Klear helps you find influencers, analyze their popularity, demographics of their audience, facilitate your reach out and collaborations. The platform also analyzes the results of your collaboration: the aspect that we highlighted in our article.
Upfluence is a full-scale influencer platform, offering a well-rounded set of features including an influencer search and discovery engine.
The platform analyzes each piece of content an influencer produces for reach and engagement rate. It's more of a database of influencers than a social listening tool that searches for influencers online, but with more than 3 million influencers it should be more than enough to find someone who is a perfect fit for your brand.
Buzzsumo is primarily a content analysis tool, but it has a separate dashboard dedicated to influencers. It includes an Influencers and Outreach section which allows you to find, analyze, and follow influencers. You can sort this in many ways to determine who are the most important influencers on social media in your niche.
Since the tool works heavily with written content, it also displays such stats as domain authority for blogs and websites, which is great if you're looking to collaborate with a blogger.
Buzzstream is another tool that works with social media and websites but focuses on websites and blogs specifically. You can analyze their social media presence as well as their website's audience.
Then, you can easily add those influencers to sortable, filterable prospect lists. For example, you can sort by authority, or whether someone has promoted you in the past.
Once you have your prospect lists with their email adress, BuzzStream makes it easy to send out personalized emails and automated follow-ups, as well as see data on how effective your outreach efforts are.
And that's all the tips and tools you need to make your influencer marketing strategy 2021-ready. What new things do you want to introduce to your influencer marketing in 2021? Share your plans in the comments!