What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing, is a form of marketing that has emerged from a variety of practices and studies, in which focus is placed on specific key individuals rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers.
As we’ve shifted towards a more social media focused landscape, consumers are looking at their peers to inform their shopping decisions more than ever. Rather than billboard advertisements, personalities and peers are directing decisions through their massive followings on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, etc.
The rise of social media influencers is opening up a world of possibilities. There are now more channels for brands to connect with their audiences in a more organic and authentic way – at scale. Using branded content with influencers, brands can amplify their message while avoiding wasting spend on an ad blind audience.
An influencer recommendation is like a supercharged word of mouth mention as these stars of social have vast, engaged followers and subscribers hanging on their every word.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more ’affiliates’ for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. The biggest differentiator between affiliate and influencer marketing is that with influencers, you typically pay a set fee for their promotion, whereas affiliates are compensated with a commission according to the direct results of their activities.
The affiliate model gives a bit of extra motivation for the affiliate to hustle and promote a little bit harder to ensure they get the maximum possible compensation. This isn’t to say though that influencers can’t be affiliates – with a mutually beneficial partnership they most certainly can.
How does this Integrate with Crowdfunding Campaigns?
For entrepreneurial campaigns, if your product has minimal market share or little in the way of existing exposure, working with affiliates and influencers is a great way to give your product visibility and, perhaps more importantly, viability. Word of mouth is going to be your best friend as you launch your product and your crowdfunding campaign, and there’s nothing better than high-quality endorsements at this stage.
But how do you reliably attribute contributions and donations to the right affiliate? The logistics of tracking who’s responsible for what contributions can be a little daunting with some of the platforms out there. The easiest way to do this while allowing the influencer’s brand to shine through in tandem with yours is to use sub-campaigns on FundRazr.
With sub-campaigns you enable influencers and affiliates to use the content from your master campaign (images, videos, your brand story) and put their own spin on it with their own content and perks, allowing you to track exactly which campaign your contributions are coming from.
How to Find the Perfect Influence for Your Product
First, find out who’s relevant and talking about your space. If you’re launching a fitness tracking tool, find out who’s an influencer in your particular area, and who actually talks about fitness, and specifically fit-tech products in a positive light. Then make sure their audience is in the right region, and find out things like their Klout score and follower count.
Don’t mistake posting frequency for posting quality. Look for signs of high quality posts with high engagement. The nice folks over at Wishpond have some great tips on finding your industry’s leaders over here.
As always, the best partnerships are found in relationships, so take the time to get to know your affiliate influencer and find out what their motivations are so that you can both be successful.