Being Queen of Something – Everything You Need to Know About Influencer Marketing
"What's a queen without her king? Well, historically speaking, more powerful."
Like most people I’ve been obsessed with the British Royal family for the longest time keeping tabs on what they are doing, where they are going, and what the royal women are wearing. I still remember so vividly the epic event when Prince Charles married Lady Diana in 1981 in a lavish and highly publicized wedding ceremony at the St. Paul Cathedral in London. Their story was a fantasy come true — a prince swept a commoner off her feet and brought her into the royal family. And I’ve continued to follow the family saga.
A couple of weeks ago, as I was reading about Queen Elizabeth II funeral procession and King Charles III's ascension to the crown, I came across the big brouhaha over the 620 companies the Queen endorsed by granting something called a “royal warrant” and was absolutely floored. I know just how important endorsements are for brand awareness…but an ‘effing royal warrant! Must be a British thing, ha! Well, shame on me! That term has been used by the royal family for the last 200 years. As a matter of fact, the British Crown has been in the endorsement business since 1765 when King George III’s wife Queen Charlotte endorsed Wedgwood as the Pottery of her Majesty. Practically overnight, demand exploded throughout the Commonwealth and Wedgwood China became the lexicon of sophistication, elegance, and wealth among the aristocratic class.
This was how one gets brand awareness back then… Royal Warrants of Appointment. While this practice still exists to this day with Royal Warrant by Appointment to HM King Charles III, other channels have come up, especially with the evolution of the digital age and social media.
Let’s first understand the concept of brand awareness. Brand awareness refers to how well your audience knows your company and your products, including the qualities that set you apart from the competition. Consider the beer industry, without branding through their distinct packaging, many beers are indistinguishable. The big brands in the industry, Corona and Heineken rely on brand awareness to make their brands the beer of choice among consumers. And brand awareness is the foundation upon which all marketing strategy is built upon.
Brand awareness is extremely important for the success of your business. The more your current customers know about your brand and products, the more clientele you’ll be able to achieve through social influence. Here’s more ways brand awareness help businesses:
Improves brand perception – the sum of a consumer's feelings, experiences, and thoughts about a product or service.
Creates an emotional connection with people which in turn generate leads, increase sales and revenues, and creates brand loyalty
Turn prospects/loyal customers into brand advocates.
In this day and age, how then do you build brand awareness? There’s a multitude of ways, from hashtags to blogging and free offerings but we’d like to focus on one of the more powerful, and to some industries, an essential tool, which is influencer marketing.
Influencer Marketing is a hybrid of old and new marketing tools. It takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven branding and marketing campaign where brands collaborate with influencers, instead of celebrities. 93% of marketers have used influencer marketing in their ongoing campaigns. In terms of ROI, brands earn up to $6.50 in revenue for every $1 spent. And globally influencers have become a $16.4B industry.
Let’s take a look at how influencer marketing work.
Niche Market – Influencers are the go-to people who provide the answers to people's questions. They share and create the content of their daily lives, revolving around their niche. The niche chosen by the influencer can be as broad as being a fashion influencer or as narrow as being a sustainable fashion influencer. Their opinions and reviews are respected and believed by their followers because of their knowledge and expertise in the niche.
Community - influencers have built a huge following, a community on their platforms of choice. They are known and loved by their followers for what they represent, for their work, for their values, and for how they are perceived as human beings. If a brand finds that an influencer’s followers are their ideal clients, then a collaboration with the influencer can be beneficial for the brand.
Engagement - it is all about getting closer to the audience, listening to them, and getting to know what they do, and what resonates with them. Engagement as a metric is important to scale the success of a marketing campaign. You can gain good engagement through influencers on a low budget. Hence, it becomes an ideal choice for many small businesses.
One of the biggest challenges brands faces is choosing the right influencers for their branding and marketing campaigns.
There are 4 types of influencers according to their number of followers: nano influencers (1k – 10k followers), micro-influencers (10k – 100k followers), macro-influencers (100k -1M followers), mega or celebrity influencers (1M + followers).
And 8 types of influencers based on their niche: gamers, sports and fitness, bloggers/vloggers, photographers, travel, beauty, fashion, and parenting.
Lastly, there are fake influencers everywhere. These are accounts that pay for followers and engagement in order to look like they’re influential. Having no actual influence over a real audience, these fake influencers deliver no real results. These are the type you want to avoid at all costs.
The pricing of the influencers is dependent on quite a few factors - the social media platform, their reach or the number of followers/subscribers + engagement rate, industry, type of content, exclusivity (if any), etc. As such the rates can vary from as low as $10 to over $25k per post.
With all these different types of influencers, you’re sure to find one that would match your goals, niche, brand personality, and budget.
For more business tips, check out my other blogs. And for help with branding and marketing for your small business, email me at email@example.com.