You might have heard of Influencer Marketing or even use it for your SaaS service. But what makes it one of the most efficient and used strategies in the digital world?
With the impact social media has made on business growth, it’s become an integral part of every company’s overall strategy. (If you aren’t leveraging social media, you are definitely missing out) And although it is a great way to engage with your existing customers for free, the organic reach of all social media platforms is decreasing quickly.
Gone are the days when creating a page, and simply posting a few pictures and links resulted in a successful social media marketing execution. According to Neil Patel, the organic reach of business pages has now fallen under 2% of their full audience.
" Influencer marketing is the modern word of mouth & is eating the lunch of traditional digital media in many ways.”
You have to reach your target audience in some way. And this is where influencer marketing comes in handy.
But what does Influencer Marketing mean?
Influencer marketing is the concept of contacting people whose opinion matters to your audience and using them to promote your product.
Easy right? Except you have to spend.
And build a good strategy.
And manage it over time.
But don’t worry, all of these are covered in this article step by step.
Typically, companies run influencer campaigns identifying relevant influencers and paying them to present a particular product.
How much a placement cost depends on the size of its followers and how engaged its audience is. If you want to buy an Instagram post from Lebron James, it will cost millions.
Honestly, I hope you make that far, but this isn’t a good way to use influencer marketing for your SaaS Startup.
How Effective is It?
In 2019, 80% of marketers said that influencer marketing is effective. When it comes it consumer trust, 38% who engage with influencers trust their sponsored endorsements more than when brands self-promote. Numbers like these explain why 65% of marketers plan to increase their investment in influencer marketing.
The audience of large influencers is too wide, so you end up paying for a lot of uninterested views. Nike can do it because it is a global brand in this case, but not a small company.
So you should be looking for micro-influencers. These are particularly effective for a tight budget. The engagement rates for campaigns with micro-influencers are 60% higher than with traditional campaigns.
So forget Kevin Hart, Leo Messi, and Drake. Target small bloggers, and developers who have attracted an audience that will convert.
Take this case study by Dyson
In order to engage pet owners to buy their new cleaner product, Dyson partnered with 5 pet influencers on Instagram, largely targeting dog owners. The brand gave influencers a very loose creative brief, giving pet owners creative control over the posts themselves.
By giving pet owners the freedom to design posts while using influencers this campaign equaled success.
- Over 1 million views.
- 115,000 likes.
- 1,935 comments.
- 10% average engagement rate.
Awesome, But How Do I Start
To run a successful influencer marketing campaign for your SaaS product, you need to follow the below steps.
Let’s elaborate starting with…
I know everyone says this, but all mentions of this step can’t stress enough the importance of determining your goals before any action you take.
When it comes to influencer marketing this step is essential as well. You should make it clear why you want to reach someone and what you expect them to help you.
There are many types of goals but we usually do influencer marketing to achieve them:
1. Brand Awareness
You want to make your SaaS business popular and if you want to do this you find popular influencers and ask them to mention your product. One other way is by assigning them to make a review of your service or create a contest or giveaway.
You want to use influencers to boost your website traffic.
Some do this by cooperating with bloggers who can write an article about their product.
Others write as guest posts to a highly authoritative website to generate links from there.
But there’s another way by creating sponsored social media content. For example, a food company Klean Plate managed to grow traffic by 204% in four months, primarily using influencer marketing. They collaborated with a number of food bloggers, mom bloggers, and fitness enthusiasts while using proper hashtags to grow.
3. Sales and Lead Generation
To achieve this goal you might need influencers whose audience highly resonates with your product. For instance, using methods such as affiliate marketing discount code can help you achieve this goal.
4. Social Media Followers and Engagement
To get more followers, you need to build a strong bond with influencers. Establishing strong relationships with them can help to increase brand awareness and follower count. You might want to create brand ambassadors that will constantly promote your SaaS brand.
No matter what you say, people will always trust more their peers, friends, and family. If you want to go after this goal, you need to create a meaningful relationship with your influencers. Inviting influencers to your events or sending them gifts is a huge help. If they trust you, they will help to build loyal customers to your brand.
Suppose you defined your goals clearly. Now it’s time to find some influencers that will align with those goals.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Marketers declared this step as the most difficult one.
But here are some things you should consider to make it easier.
Of course, before you reach out to someone you need to determine the criteria.
Here are some basic traits an influencer should have to be effective.
Your influencer’s follow base matches your audience
You wouldn’t want a car passionate to recommend your SaaS service. It might bring you some results but not at all what you intend to achieve.
It’s not how many followers an influencer has but who the followers are.
To find these people you must know your audience and what they want and then try and match their wishes.
Influencers should be authentic
How do you know that an influencer is authentic? You can easily tell by looking at their content. The audience should feel that the content is authentic.
They should be able to feel that the influencer has actually used your SaaS service for example and is giving honest feedback about it.
Your influencers should have knowledge for your industry
Again, one million follower person who isn’t relevant won’t bring you the same result as one thousand followers who post about your industry. You need to make sure they talk about your industry most of the time and are familiar with everything.
Tools that will be a great help to find your influencers
This is so much research but you don’t have to do it manually. Here are 10 tools we suggest that will ease things for you.
Now that you’ve followed all of the steps to identify your ideal influencers, you’ll need to get in touch with them. You have to make it clear your influencer Marketing goals to promote your SaaS service.
Not the most favorite step, right?
Have in mind that before simply reaching out in a cold way, you should try and do things such as subscribing to their blog or following them on social media. In other words, make yourself visible to them.
After you think you have achieved visibility in front of your influencers you can….
Reach them out
How you want to reach out to an influencer, will really depend on your goal. For example, if you have a piece of content you want to share online you can offer them as an added value to their audience while indirectly asking for a favor.
On the other hand, if you want them to promote your product on social media, you might need to approach them differently.
The key to successfully succeeding with the email is to be personal and never write in a generalized way.
Don’t start your pitch letter with “Dear blogger” or “Dear influencer.” That’s just going to be ignored 99% of the time.
You might not know how to begin writing an email. But you can check this guide of email templates that might give you some ideas. However, as much as comprehensive we find this guide, it might never fulfill your specific needs.
A broad email example would go like this:
Creating content and promotion plan
If you and the influencer have agreed upon the terms of a deal, begin to create the content for the promotion.
Are you doing a social media promotion or looking to market your eCommerce business? Typically, the brand will send the influencer products, the influencer will take a picture with the products, and send it to the brand for approval. Then, the brand will send “talking points” for the influencer to touch on within the caption.
For example, the brand may ask that the influencer mention a special discount they are offering on the product.
Note that an influencer knows exactly how to communicate with their audience.
Normally, you need to leave them some free space, so that they remain natural in their format. A few things, however, should be written down to avoid misunderstandings on either side.
If you are creating content to place on the influencer’s website, you will generally be responsible for writing 100% of the content, and the influencer will have final approval.
Based on statistics, Instagram is the most-used channel for influencer marketing by far and SaaS companies are no exception. However, it’s really up to your audience and how
The ways to present your brand or show your product in an interesting way are plentiful. If possible, discuss all of them with the influencer. Ask them how they think.
Maybe instead of taking photos on Instagram, it will be better to regularly show Insta Stories. Instead of a series of entries, how about a series of movies or a podcast? The most important thing is that the message is conveyed in the most accessible form to those whose attention you seek.
Think about what your target audience cares to watch, and what values they look for in the content they choose to see.
SAP, for example, the software giant, has recently begun incorporating SaaS programs into its assortment of offerings.
They chose Facebook
SAP launched a series of Facebook Live videos featuring influencers from several industries, forcing viewers to look at different perspectives and consider how SAP’s software might fit into their own needs.
Live streaming to Facebook helped both the influencers and SAP’s SaaS programs to increase their stature in the marketplace.
Manage the Campaign by Tracking Results
An influencer marketing strategy for your SaaS will always be affected by the way you manage it. And by saying managing, I mainly mean your relationship with the influencer.
Aim for a vital relationship between your brand and influencers. Influencers want to have their creative freedom because they also have their brands. So, before you suggest content, consider also their feedback and what is good for their audience as well.
Also, make sure you see them as part of a team and not just a means to an end. Here are some tools that will help you manage the campaign more effectively.
Top 8 Influencer Relationship Management Tools:
How do I know if the campaign is working?
To see if your efforts are paying off, you need to measure the results of a particular campaign brought to you. And as anywhere in the digital world, there are metrics you need to track.
Pro tip: These metrics should depend on the overall goals of your campaign.
So, depending on your goals these are some of the most important metrics:
- Brand Awareness Metrics: website traffic, page views, social mentions, time on site, site users
- Building Brand Identity Metrics: social mentions, PR coverage (number of articles or links)
- Audience Building Metrics: opt-ins, follows
- Engagement Metrics: shares, comments, and likes
- Lead Generation Metrics: opt-ins
- Sales Metrics: new sales, revenue changes, price per ticket
- Customer Loyalty Metrics: customer retention rates, renewal rates
- Link Building Metrics: number of links, quality of links
Track these data to know if your campaign is heading in the right direction. If yes, keep doing it. If not, find the problem and try to add the missing stone.
Influencer Marketing is one of the most important tools to grow your business in the digital world. You might want to harness its power for your SaaS business as well. People nowadays, especially in the digital part, want to know what they’re buying. Thus, they’re always looking for someone to trust, someone who can recommend to them what to buy.
People are constantly seeing a lot of information and the chance, as we see in the article, to choose a product based on others is huge. Conditioned by the time limit, they tend to make many of their decisions starting with the people they follow the most.
Having someone to recommend your SaaS service while following the process we suggested, will be able to utilize the power of influencer marketing.
“Show me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are”