Influencer Marketing for Lead Generation: Top Trends in 2018

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Conventional methods of marketing are losing their effectiveness with time, as consumers no longer want to be sold to. Consumers make informed decisions about their purchases through extensive research.

In order to grow, brands need marketing strategies that will help them earn the trust of their target audiences. Influencer marketing is one such strategy that can help you win the trust of your audience and generate a high ROI. In fact, the ROI from influencer marketing can be 11X greater than traditional forms of marketing.

An influencer’s audience trusts them immensely and follows their recommendations. Which means that they can help you generate quality leads and increase your conversions.

Here’s our take on the use of influencer marketing for lead generation in 2018.

1. Focus on Micro-Influencers

When choosing the right influencers for your brand, a large following isn’t always better. It is more important to ensure that the influencer aligns with your brand and has very engaged followers.  

Compared to bigger influencers, micro-influencers have better engagement rates. Since they have a smaller number of followers, they are able to build more personal relationships with their followers. So they are perceived as more authentic and present a better opportunity for lead generation.

According to Experticity, 82% of consumers are extremely likely to act upon the recommendations of a micro-influencer.

Macro or mega-influencers have really high follower counts, however, their number of engaged followers is relatively low. And their followers are less likely to follow their recommendations.

These influencers can provide you with a massive reach, but won’t help much with lead generation. With larger audiences, it is more difficult to have loyal followers.

The Sorry Girls

Image via Instagram 

Google collaborated with lifestyle micro-influencers Kelsey MacDermaid and Becky Wright who call themselves, “The Sorry Girls.” They promoted Google’s new PixelBook on their Instagram account.

The post generated more than 11K likes and 7K comments which demonstrates the high engagement that micro-influencers can generate.

2. Find Relevant Micro-Influencers

A Markerly study found that influencers with between 10,000 and 100,000 followers can provide both high engagement and reach. However, you need to make sure that you collaborate with relevant micro-influencers in your niche in order to be successful.

Choose micro-influencers who are aligned with your core values and who share the same aesthetic sense. If a DIY influencer suddenly starts to promote cosmetics brands, their followers will be startled and might eventually unfollow them.

However, if they talk about an oil paint that they use to create a great effect in their art projects, their followers will find it credible. It will also create a positive feeling about the brand and evoke their interest in it.

The best influencers are those who are loyal supporters of your brand. Their followers know how much they love your brand. So they are more likely to believe any sponsored content or promotional effort that comes from them.

Make sure that the influencers you reach out to are experts in their niche. Check their posts on social media or on their blogs to make sure they have a genuine passion and knowledge in that field.

This can help make sure that you don’t connect with fake influencers. And it can help you identify people who have genuine influence over their followers.

Grin can help you find and connect with the most relevant influencers to run successful influencer marketing campaigns. You can filter by category, reach, engagement, and many other parameters to find the ones who can give you the best results.

3. Provide Creative Freedom to Boost Authenticity

Running a micro-influencer campaign requires significant time and effort. For sustainable results, and to generate a large number of quality leads, you may need to collaborate with multiple influencers at a time.

Influencers have a better understanding of their audiences and know what kind of content can pique their interest in your product. 51% of marketers have reported that influencer-generated content performs better than content created by the brand.

Let your influencers know your brand’s objectives and expectations from them. Then allow them to use their creativity and let their voices be heard.

Authenticity is one of the main attributes of influencer marketing that sets it apart from conventional marketing. People crave authenticity more than ever. 86% of consumers claim that authenticity is an important factor that helps them decide which brands they like.

If the content doesn’t appear sincere, both you and the influencer will lose the trust of your respective audiences. Authentic and relatable content helps to pique an audience’s interest in your products.

The reasons for the effectiveness of micro-influencers is their authenticity and relatability. For instance, Rachael is a food influencer who posts about “healthy(ish)” baking. She shares recipes, ideas, and tips on her blog and Instagram. Her brand endorsements are relevant and authentic.

Rachael

Image via Instagram

4. Leverage Reviews from Influencers

Reviews from influencers are a great way to increase your credibility and win the trust of your target audience. You can offer free samples of your products to influencers ask them to review them.

A great way to use this strategy for lead generation is to combine such posts with a discount code or affiliate link. You can share a unique discount code or affiliate link with each of the influencers you are working with.

byeehun

Image via Instagram

These act as incentives and can encourage the followers of an influencer to make a purchase. Which makes it a great lead generation strategy.

When their followers use those codes or links to make a purchase, you could also provide a percentage as commission to your influencers. Not only is this strategy great for lead generation, but it can also help you build stronger relationships with your influencers. It really is a win-win strategy.

Video reviews also work great as they enable your audience to see how your product works before they actually buy it.

5. Leverage Instagram

Did you know that influencer marketing on Instagram is worth $1 billion? This clearly indicates how effective Instagram is for influencer marketing.

With over 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, you shouldn’t overlook the potential this medium carries for lead generation.

This visual medium is a great place to grab the attention of prospects by posting attractive (and relevant) photos.

Influencer marketing through Instagram is a popular lead generation strategy used by many brands today. You can collaborate with influencers on Instagram and generate leads using reviews, giveaways, discounts, and even Instagram Stories.

Gaming app, Bejeweled, collaborated with some of the top Instagram influencers to boost their app purchases. As part of the campaign, influencers like David Lopez shared photos of themselves playing the game using a branded hashtag #shinyplace.

Bejeweled

Image via Instagram

Within a month, the app moved to the 182nd position from the 702nd position in the list of top-grossing Apple App Store apps in the US.

Final Thoughts

If implemented properly, influencer marketing can be an incredibly powerful lead generation tool. It can motivate and inspire your audience to connect with you organically.

The secret to successful influencer marketing campaigns lies in identifying the best potential partners to create mutually beneficial relationships. It will help you achieve results that exceed your expectations.

Give your influencers good enough reasons to work with you and try to keep them motivated. Focus on developing meaningful relationships with your influencers. This will result in better lead generation opportunities for your brand.

What’s your take on influencer marketing for lead generation in 2018? Let us know in the comments section below.


Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin Brandon led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. He is an expert in consumer marketing and has extensive experience working with with the worlds largest brands to reach consumers through influencers, athletes, musicians and artists.

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