Organic Influencer marketing is fast becoming a buzzword. While most Influencer marketing content comes from paid and/or sponsored partnerships with Influencers, organic Influencer marketing is also a thing now.
You know that Influencers have the power to drive audiences. Some of you may already be running or may have run Influencer marketing campaigns. So, let’s assume that the rest of you are still contemplating whether you should invest in Influencer marketing or not.
Well, here’s an interesting fact- studies have shown that brands earn 11X ROI with Influencer marketing. Influencer marketing content is sponsored content- that is- it is paid for by brands. This could be in exchange for monetary benefits or some other benefits/incentives.
But, what if we told you that you could actually create organic content through influencer marketing.
Sounds far-fetched, right? Building your brand organically through Influencer marketing is possible and we’ll show you exactly how you can do that. However, first, let’s quickly brush through the basics.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Before we delve into organic influencer marketing, let’s break down influencer marketing as the broader term.
To define the term, Influencer marketing refers to ‘the technique of marketing where brands bring key niche leaders to market their brands.’
Influencers are content creators specializing in creating niche content. Their expertise and knowledge in creating niche content deem them as opinion leaders in the industry. Influencers’ opinions have an impact on the consumers- particularly their fans and followers.
Investing in Influencers, in this sense, is lucrative for brands and businesses. Influencer marketing turns out to be a great medium for sending out the marketing message.
Want to Start an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Here’s a 6-Step Guide to Activating Killer Influencer Marketing Campaigns.
Within Influencer marketing, there are various types of influencers.
In this category of Influencers, you can include all those influencers who carry the ‘celebrity’ status. They may not be subject matter experts and perhaps, also may not be as influential. However, they have huge fan bases nonetheless.
The biggest advantage of working with Mega influencers is undoubtedly the coverage and awareness that it brings. It is important to remember that the investment is very hefty though.
Macro-influencers are those Influencers who have a follower base of 100,000 and more and an engagement rate of at least 3%. Unlike celebrities, most macro-influencers have built their follower bases by creating niche content on social media platforms.
As a matter of fact, macro-influencers start by setting up social channels and expanding their follower bases. Working with macro-influencers can also help you generate awareness as well as impact.
Micro-Influencers and Nano-Influencers
Micro-influencers and nano-influencers come with smaller follower bases, albeit with strong influence. Micro-influencers tend to have 5,000 to 100,000 followers on their social media handles. Nano-influencers are those influencers who have a follower base of 1,000 to 5,000.
The thing about micro and nano influencers is that they may be small in terms of the number of followers that they have. However, they have managed to build well-impacted, loyal communities of followers based on their niche content.
Broadly speaking, these are the main tiers of influencers. Irrespective of the follower-size, all influencers are typically in a transactional relationship with brands. Influencers enter into barter contracts or receive benefits in exchange for creating and posting branded content.
And then there’s another category of Influencer marketing- organic Influencer marketing. As ironic as it may sound, you can also generate organic content through Influencer marketing.
So, let’s just solve all the puzzles around what is organic marketing and cut straight to the chase.
What is Organic Influencer Marketing? How is it Different from Influencer Marketing in General?
When Influencers promote or talk about a brand without taking anything in return, it is referred to as organic Influencer marketing. To put it in another way, organic Influencer marketing refers to a form of Influencer marketing where influencers speak like brand advocates.
But, the question is- Who are brand advocates?
Brand advocates are all those people who regularly speak in favor of your brand on social media platforms. These are loyal brand followers who are always voicing out positive opinions about your brand.
And, what’s most interesting is that they do not do it for some incentives. From these brand advocates come organic statements about your products and/or brand in general. This can turn out to be very advantageous for your brand.
Organic peer reviews coming from people without any incentives are the most authentic ones. This helps leaves a positive impression. After all, consumers will always trust fellow consumers who have actually tried/used a particular product.
How about we combine the power of influencer marketing with the organic voice of brand advocates?
When Influencers go out to say good things about brands and/or products, all by their own accord, they are essentially acting as brand advocates. Organic Influencer marketing is all about turning Influencers into brand advocates.
In the next section, we will take you through the step-by-step process to build an effective organic Influencer marketing plan-
Organic Influencer Marketing in 5 Steps
Starting Organic Influencer marketing asks for a well-planned strategy. Especially if you’re trying this for the first time, you’ll probably need help navigating through the process.
Don’t worry, we’ve made your job much easier with these 6 steps to starting Organic Influencer marketing.
1. Be Clear About Your Goals
To begin with, you need to identify what goals you want to achieve eventually, through Influencer marketing. To activate any high-ROI yielding strategy, it is important to set your goals straight.
Want to expand your audience base?
Is your goal to increase sales?
Setting clear goals will help you make important decisions more conveniently and easily. As a matter of fact, your goals will also determine which types of Influencers you want to work with- whether it is Macro-Influencers or Micro-Influencers. Which audience segments should the Influencers cater to and many other such questions will be answered by specifically talking about your goals.
2. Find the Right Influencers
Influencer marketing, whether for paid campaigns or organic Influencer marketing, is a successful effort only when you hire the right set if Influencers. But it can be a challenge nonetheless.
If you’re thinking of searching for Influencers directly on social media platforms, you’re in for a long hunt. There is a huge number of talented Influencers out there. But if you randomly go on looking for Influencers on social media channels, it will take you forever to come to a conclusion.
Use an Influencer Marketing Platform
Finding Influencers becomes easier with an Influencer marketing platform. Use the Influencer marketing platform by Unbox Social to scout the best Influencer talent. Here’s how you can get started-
- Sign Up on Unbox Social Account
Sign up on Unbox Social to get started. Fill up the necessary details in the form and submit. Someone from the team will get in touch with you to understand your requirements.
- Go to the Influencer Marketing Platform on the Dashboard
Once you have all the details, you can log into your Unbox Social account and head on over to the Influencer Marketing section.
- Curate Influencer Lists by Niche/ Category
Easily find Influencers from your niche. Curate a whole list of influencers from the categories of fashion, lifestyle, luxury, sports, and so on.
- Filter by Follower Range and Engagement Rate
Make well-informed decisions by looking into the follower range and engagement rate for the influencers you want to hire. Steer clear of influencers with in-authentic follower bases by checking for follower quality on the Influencer marketing platform.
What’s more, you can sieve through the list of influencers by location, age, and gender. Here’s a snapshot of the tool:
- Conduct Brand Checks
Looking for influencers with specific brand experiences? Use the brand check feature to look for influencers who have experience working with brands similar to yours.
- Confirm your Influencer List
Finally, confirm the list of influencers you have selected. This will give you access to all the important information about the influencers on your list through the Unbox Social dashboard.
Now that you know how to find the right set of influencers for your brand, you can go on to the third step.
3. Plan Influencer Outreach by Tracking Influencer and Brand Posts
In this step, you can plan influencer outreach by listening to all social mentions. Unbox Social allows you to listen to all the campaigns that influencers are working on. At the same time, important performance metrics for these influencers are available for further perusal.
This is all the important data you will need for approaching influencers for organic Influencer marketing. Perhaps there may be some influencers who are already voicing out positive views about your brand. This tool will also help you spot influencers who are already brand advocates.
4. Approach and Build Rapport with Influencers
By now, you probably know which influencers you want to work with. You have also probably done your research around each of these influencers.
Now is the time to reach out to these influencers. And, here’s the most important thing that you should remember- focus on building a relationship with them.
Organic influencer marketing, in this sense, is not a one-time effort. It is a long-term process. And, here’s how you can go about it-
Look for Mutually Beneficial Options
Find out mutually beneficial options. An Instagram post swap or perhaps a shout out on YouTube- something which can work in your favor as well as that of the influencer. For newbie influencers, working with brands for coverage can be a lucrative option.
Do your research and find out if you can offer a mutually beneficial opportunity to them.
Send out Samples and/or Gifts
You can opt to send out gifts and/or product samples to influencers, as well. This will help you get much-needed awareness. Then there’s also the added advantage of influencers sharing their reviews after using your product.
Share Influencers’ Content
Another way to initiate a good relationship with influencers is by sharing their content through your social media handles. But make sure you don’t go overboard, sharing every post that they put out.
Are there specific influencers who are already putting out a good word about your brand? Acknowledge them. If influencers are sharing your content, thank them for doing so. You never know when it could open new doors for new organic influencer marketing partnerships.
Keeping a watch on the influencers in your industry is important. This will help you understand how to build relationships with them and run organic campaigns.
5. Measure the ROI on your Organic Influencer Marketing Efforts
By now you know how to initiate organic influencer marketing campaigns. Once you see your influencer marketing campaigns rolling out, you can go on to the next step, that is, measuring your ROI.
Like any other influencer marketing campaign, it is equally important to track your organic influencer marketing efforts. Once you activate your organic influencer marketing efforts, it would make sense to track the following:
Campaign Reports: Capture all the important stats and performance metrics around your organic influencer marketing campaigns. Find out if it’s actually helping you gain traction. The influencer marketing platform by Unbox Social will allow you to dig deeper into influencer campaigns.
Share of Voice: How is your brand faring as against other players in the industry? Did the organic influencer content contribute in any way to your growth? Use the social media competitor analysis tool to find out your share of voice.
Reach and Engagement: What impact is your organic influencer marketing bringing? Has it helped you enhance your engagement and reach? Get a social media analytics tool to dig deeper.
Benefits of Organic Influencer Marketing
There are so many perks to running influencer marketing campaigns. But, when you push out organic influencer marketing content and campaigns, it becomes a win-win situation. As a matter of fact, there are various benefits of organic influencer marketing.
If you’re still wondering if organic influencer marketing is worth the effort, these benefits will help you get some clarity:
Lucrative Marketing Strategy
The greatest thing about organic influencer marketing is undoubtedly the fact that it demands almost no monetary investment. If you do it right, you can reap good results. Instead of having to allocate a huge budget towards influencer marketing, you can actually be cost-effective by working on organic influencer campaigns.
Generate Authentic Content
Organic influencer marketing content shows that the influencers’ opinions come from a place of authenticity. When influencers promote your brand without taking any incentives from you, it speaks for the fact that your brand and/or products are worth investing in. Genuine, unpaid reviews from influencers play an important role in building an impact.
Organic influencer marketing allows you to gain coverage through the content creators you work with. Organic influencer marketing helps you reach out to these followers. What’s even better is that influencers impact their followers’ choices to a good extent.
Examples of Organic Influencer Marketing and Brand Advocates
Organic influencer marketing is not a gimmick or fiction, it is real and some brands are already tapping into it. Some brands have also been fortunate enough to have brand advocates.
Many influencers turn out to be brand advocates when they genuinely like a product and/or brand, in general. Here are some examples-
Hunaina Rasool is a make-up influencer with more than 170k followers. She recently went on Instagram to applaud the products by Rida Zayn Cosmetics and clearly put the hashtag ‘#notsponsored’. Here, Hunaina turns out to be a brand advocate for Rida Zayn Cosmetics and leaves a good impression of the brand on her followers.
Here’s another example of a brand advocate. Chef Claudia Sandoval, who is a verified Instagram influencer, shares how she used products from ‘Sprouts Farmer’s Market’. She has made sure to put the #notanad hashtag as a way to recommend the brand to her followers.
Like these examples, there are so many other influencers who are brand advocates. Such opportunities are waiting to be tapped into. All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open.
Start Building Organic Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Whether you are already tapping into influencer marketing or not, organic influencer marketing is worth every effort. It is cost-effective and has the potential to be much more impactful than paid influencer marketing campaigns.
So, start working on your organic influencer marketing campaigns now. Begin with identifying which influencers you want to work with. Sign up on Unbox Social to find the right set of influencers for your business.