7 mins TO READ
Influencer marketing is one of the hottest topics in marketing right now. With the market for influencers estimated to grow to $6.5 billion by 2019, it’s easy to understand why.
But there is a lot of uncertainty around how to use it to get more customers and make sales.
After all, who are these influencers? Is it anybody who has a lot of followers on social media?
At the end of this article, you’ll understand what influencer marketing is. And how to use it to grow your business online. We’ll cover everything you need to know to get started, including:
- Who is an Influencer? (It’s all about action, not awareness)
- Why you should work with influencers.
- Does Influencer Marketing work in Switzerland?
- How to use influencers for B2B marketing.
- How much do you pay influencers?
And much more!
Before We Continue …
Influencer marketing can seem complicated and unclear at times. Don’t worry about it. If you keep it simple and focus on your marketing goals – it becomes straightforward.
Without a campaign built on good strategy and planning, it won’t get you the results you’re looking for.
PS: If you’re already familiar with Influencers and want to use them in your business, book a strategy workshop with us. If not, read on and find out why you should be using influencer marketing.
What Is An Influencer On Social Media?
“Word of Mouth” (WoM) spreads like the flu on social media. It doesn’t matter if it’s comments, recommendations, and criticism.
We call the people who are best at spreading WoM influencers.
They are bloggers, social media stars, and niche experts whom others pay attention to.
Influencers may have huge social media followings of millions of people.
Or they can have smaller but highly engaged audiences that they serve as ‘micro-influencers’.
In either case, these people get recognized as experts in their field. And they have a sizable following of people who listen to them.
In other words, these people have authority in a given niche market. Their opinions, recommendations, and advice matters.
Also, they have reach, which creates a lot of awareness around any topic they bring up to their audience.
It’s this reach that causes a lot of frustration with influencer marketing.
You see not all influencers will get results for your brand.
What Is A Micro-Influencer & Why Are They Awesome
Updated Extra Content (July 2019)
An alert reader pointed out that my definition of a micro-influencer was a little off base.
I had said that micro-influencers are very influential in specific niches or areas. Which isn’t 100% true.
Thanks for catching that Reader! Let’s fix it right away.
You see the ‘micro’ in this case refers to the fact that they have a smaller follower base than the big guys.
Yes, some influencers with smaller followings are focused on niche topics. But other deal in mainstream topics and have global audiences.
The cool thing is that micro-influencers get more engagement from their posts. Influencers like this can receive up to 85% more engagement on their content.
Why? Because people feel they are more accessible. This leads to a real feeling of connection and community.
How many followers do you need to be a micro-influencer?
It depends on whom you ask…
Our commenter says that anybody with less than 10K followers is a micro-influencer.
But Hubspot says that micro-influencers have between 100k and 1 million followers.
Based on my professional experience I agree with our commenter.
When you look at the size of Swiss social media and figure in average follower counts it makes sense.
Someone in Switzerland who’s influential and has less than 10k followers is definitely a micro-influencer.
The Secret Of Getting Results From Influencer Marketing
Influencers might be able to help you create awareness in your target audience, but do they get them to act?
American entrepreneur Jay Baer says it best:
“We tend to confuse audience with influence. Having a lot of Twitter followers or a “large” blog readership doesn’t inherently make a person influential in any way. It gives them an audience. True influence drives action, not just awareness.”
What drives action?
Trust. People have to believe in the authority of an influencer in a given market. This is based on their perceived knowledge and expertise.
You have to make sure that any influencers you work with are a good fit for your brand. More importantly, they have to have a track record of delivering results.
Keep in mind that the only thing that a good influencer can give you is the social proof you need to close more sales. Nothing more and nothing less.
Once you’re given the chance to make a pitch – the sale is yours to win or lose.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is old-fashioned celebrity endorsements brought online.
You’re “borrowing” the trust and authority that an influencer has. All to reach their audience to promote your products and services.
The big difference is that influencers are more specialized than traditional celebrities.
Influencers work together with brands as part of digital marketing campaigns. This could involve social media posts, video content, or sweepstakes and contests.
The most important thing to keep in mind here is that influencer marketing is a top of funnel activity. Influencers help you create awareness around your product or service.
You need to take that awareness and take prospects through your sales funnel to close the sale.
Now we also need to point out what influencer marketing is not.
It’s not about finding somebody with a large audience and having them say nice things about you.
It’s about leveraging their credibility and network to meet your marketing objectives.
Lastly, don’t expect influencer marketing to make you quick money. As mentioned before, converting leads into sales is the job of your sales funnel. Influencer marketing is just another source to drive traffic into it.
Why Should SMEs Work With Influencers?
Here’s a simple reason… People trust recommendations from other people more than what brands say about themselves.
Research in 2007 found that the average person living in a city is exposed to 5,000 advertising messages a day!
One of the side effects of being bombarded by ads is the fact that people are wary about the claims brands make.
Would you trust a stranger who comes up to you, tells you how fantastic she is and that you should buy stuff from her?
On the other hand, if a friend knows and vouches for what she says – that’s a completely different situation.
Now that you have a bit of common ground and it feels like listening to this person is a bit less risky.
Modern customers are smart, good at internet research, and allergic to nonsense. They want to research brands and make decisions themselves.
But they will listen to someone they trust as part of that process.
This is why ‘Word of Mouth’ is so powerful. Influencers signal to their audience that your offer is real and safe.
It’s a great way to break through the barriers that customers have put up between you and their attention.
Think of working with influencer like an honest business introduction from a friend.
In an age of noise and fake news, this means the difference between closing a sale or losing out!
Does Influencer Marketing Work in Switzerland?
It’s clear that Influencers are becoming a major part of everyday life in Switzerland.
The press is full of profiles of Switzerland’s top social media influencers.
Reports on how being an influencer is the dream job of many young people are common.
There’s even an ongoing controversy about influencers and ‘Schleichwerbung’ (i.e. undeclared advertising).
But all these reports focus on the fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment sectors. Which leads many businesses to conclude that influencer marketing is not for them.
So let’s take a step back and look at what it means to be an influencer.
We’ve already talked about influencer marketing as being modern day celebrity endorsements.
And that is correct. But the word ‘celebrity’ gets in the way of understanding the essence of influencers.
To recap… an influencer is a person (or group) that has built trust and authority with a specific audience.
Switzerland has always had influencers.
Wilhelm Tell was the Swiss ‘Ur-Influencer’. His story leads to the birth of the Swiss Confederacy.
When you look at it from this point of view, there are ‘micro-influencers’ all around you.
It doesn’t matter what industry or market you work in.
There is always somebody whom other people trust and listen to. And that person is an ‘influencer’!
Can I Use Influencers For B2B Marketing?
Business to Business (B2B) Marketing can also make use of influencer marketing.
Recent research has found that businesses can make an ROI of 600% on influencer marketing.
The idea of using key business leaders to spread the message of a brand is not new. In the early 2000s, the concept of a ‘thought leader’ developed to do just that.
People are far more likely to act on the recommendation of people they trust than anything else.
But B2B influencers also need to show real insight into their field.
A good B2B influencer provides your marketing campaign with the following benefits:
- A unique position that resonates with your target audience.
- Credibility that helps your audience find solutions to their needs and pain points.
- Access to a valuable network of professional contacts you could otherwise not reach.
- Thought leadership that makes your business more visible in your industry.
Use your marketing personas to find the right influencer for your SME.
This will help ensure that you find an influencer who is the right fit for the context of your audience.
And often your influencer doesn’t even have to be a person. It could be a company or brand that is well respected in your industry. Case studies are built around this idea.
What Are The Challenges of Influencer Marketing?
While influencer marketing can be very effective, it also has its downsides.
As you know last year the issue of influencer fraud became a big issue in digital marketing.
A study found that at least 20% of all the follower’s that ‘mid-level’ influencers have are very likely to be fake.
Buying fake followers from bot farms to inflate reach on social media has become common.
Here’s a viral video from Like-Wise that makes it clear how widespread these practices are:
But reach isn’t the only thing that can be faked – engagement is also being manipulated.
An investigation found that 15% of all Twitter users are likely automated accounts. Twitter has since deleted thousands of accounts but the damage is already done.
But, fraud isn’t the only challenge to influencer marketing.
What happens when the influencer you’re working with gets involved in some sort of scandal?
Cut your risk by looking for a good fit. Vet influencers carefully, and be 100% transparent and honest about your business relationship.
Select your influencers like you would an employee. Use care, patience, and listen to your gut.
How Do I Find The Best Swiss Social Media Influencers For My Brand?
Finding the right influencer for your brand will take some time and effort. But generally speaking, there are four main ways you can find influencers:
- Search For Them Manually
- Use A Database
- Work With An Influencer Agency or Marketplace
Let’s go through each of these methods and see what they mean.
Find Influencers By Searching Online
Searching manually means that you search for influencers online, one-by-one. This is a very time-consuming and ineffective process.
You’ll have to spend some time on social media to figure out who’s who in your niche.
Start by searching for the most popular social media platform in your market. We recommend that you come up with a spreadsheet. Take down the relevant details for the top 25 influencers you find.
You’ll want to target influencers who are a good fit and have enough reach. Active social media accounts are also important.
Once you’re done you can reach out to them and see if you can work together.
Find Influencers By Using A Database
Using a database is a much simpler way to find influencers, but establishing a good fit can be tricky.
With a good database like Influence.co you can find the top Swiss influencers by niche, region, and etc.
This saves you the work of manually finding them, but still leaves you with the job of qualifying them.
Find Influencers By Using An Agency
Next, we have agencies. Agencies represent top influencers just like they represent normal celebrities. A good agent takes the work of finding and matching you with the right influencers off your back.
But most agencies might struggle to connect you with influencers in your niche. They are usually set up for influencers from fashion, entertainment, and lifestyle.
Find Influencers Through Networking
Last but not least, we’ve got good old-fashioned networking. You know who the experts are in your industry and market. And if you don’t know how to reach out to them directly, I bet somebody you know knows.
So ask for help.
LinkedIn is great for this. Visit the profile of an influencer you know and see if you have any friends and colleagues in common. Then ask them if they can introduce you to the influencer. Simple, no?
How Much Do You Pay Influencers?
It depends. Pricing in Switzerland will vary from what you find online for places like the USA and Germany.
Local news reports state that Swiss Instagram influencers get paid 1% of their total follower count for a post.
That means that somebody with 100,000 followers would generally be paid 1,000 francs.
Please take the above figures with a grain of salt.
The amount of money and influencer earns can vary wildly. This example is based on Instagram stars who are involved in fashion, lifestyle, and entertainment niches.
It’s much more useful to approach this issue like you would hiring a professional speaker.
You’d find somebody who has authority with your target audience and compensates them accordingly.
At this point, I also need to stress that no genuine influencer works for free.
They spend a lot of time and effort building trust and rapport with their networks. As a result, they have to guard that trust and will not just allow anyone access to their network.
But there are several ways your business can work together with an influencer, including:
- Gifting Your Goods or Services to Influencers
- Paying for Sponsored Posts
- Paying for Product Reviews
- Hosting Giveaways
- Using Affiliate marketing competitions
The key thing is to find a way to work together with the right influencers to meet your marketing goals.
Pro Tip: Give your Influencer a small ad budget to promote your paid posts. This help will increase reach and build a strong relationship.
I’m Ready To Try Out Influencer Marketing, What Do I Do Next?
You don’t have to figure out influencer marketing all by yourself! Book a strategic workshop, and we’ll help you put together a clear digital marketing plan that will show you how to make it work for you.
But that’s not all…
Together we’ll plan out how to automate your lead generation, close more sales and grow your business. All in one, half-day workshop.
When it’s done, the plan is 100% yours – unique to your business needs and goals. You can use it to get started with your influencer marketing right away.