Influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the best ways to earn a return on your advertising dollars. The industry is predicted to be worth more than $15 billion next year.
If you aren’t using influencer marketing for your dietary supplement business, you could be missing out on a huge growth opportunity.
Influencer Marketing Basics
Influencers are social media content creators who have a dedicated following on one or more social media channels, like Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, or TikTok. Social media users look to influencers they follow to find product recommendations, and they often purchase through affiliate links.
The main difference between influencer and affiliate marketing is the payment structure. Influencers are paid in a similar way to traditional media campaigns. They earn a commission per promotion, post, or other content generated. Affiliates earn a percentage of the sales for a particular product or brand referral. Influencer marketing can directly boost product sales, but it can also support other marketing goals like brand awareness or acquiring new followers.
Dietary Supplement Influencers
In the dietary supplement niche, trust is one of the most valuable characteristics of successful marketing. When you use influencers to help market your product, you get instant access to an audience that has already established trust with the source of information. This can help increase the success of your influencer marketing campaign.
Influencers can describe their personal experience with the product and use their content generation expertise to create compelling testimonials for the product. Since many followers of influencers find them inspirational and aspirational, they are more accepting of their product recommendations. This provides a warm audience for your product and an easier way to generate new followers and sales for your dietary supplement brand.
The Future of Influencer Marketing
Since the dawn of the internet, marketing has changed rapidly. New trends develop quickly, and it can be hard to invest your limited resources to learn each new marketing tactic. The rapid rise of influencer marketing may have had some believing it was a short-term trend. However, the massive growth of the industry and wide range of sectors that find value through influencer marketing makes this a tactic that is here to stay.
The main reason that influencer marketing is a reliable tactic for the future is that social media is where consumers are spending most of their online time. In 2020, the average person used social media for over two hours a day — 145 minutes to be exact. This is just short of the amount of time people spend watching TV. For advertisers looking to connect with potential customers, getting onto social media is a top priority.
As Millennials and Generation Z grow up, the trend toward more social media time will likely continue. These users are comfortable with the platforms since they grew up using them. They understand influencer marketing, and they trust it more than traditional advertisements. If your dietary supplement business is looking to expand its audience to a younger demographic, influencer marketing is a trend that can yield results.
Influencer marketing delivers excellent returns on investment and attracts better customers than traditional advertisements. Each year, businesses are increasing their budgets for influencer marketing spend. Without influencer marketing, your business could be left behind the competition.
How to Get Started
A successful influencer marketing campaign is easy to set up once you know how to get started. If your dietary supplement business has used affiliate marketing successfully before, then you most likely already have the foundational elements in place for influencer marketing.
Find the Right Fit
Not every health or fitness influencer is right for your dietary supplement brand. Before launching your influencer marketing campaign, you need to find the right fit for your product and your goals. To vet potential influencers, you need to assess the alignment of potential influencers with your brand. The content they produce should fit with your brand’s themes and messaging. If an influencer is misaligned with your brand, the promotion won’t ring with authenticity to their following. Without authenticity, social media followers are more likely to feel like they are being sold to, and they will develop negative feelings toward the product.
The right influencer for your dietary supplement brand should have an engaged following of your ideal customers. Depending on your budget for the campaign, you can look for macro-influencers, micro-influencers or even nano influencers. Micro-influencers typically have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. A smaller audience can sometimes offer a larger ROI for your campaign. The influencer’s followers feel closer to the influencer and can be more accepting of recommendations, resulting in a higher conversion rate than you would have with a macro-influencer account.
Set Clear Goals
Before reaching out to potential influencers that you feel fit your brand, it’s essential to set clear goals for your influencer marketing campaign. Unlike affiliate marketing, where the goal is to generate more sales, influencer marketing can achieve several different goals for your dietary supplement brand.
Influencers can help increase brand awareness. This can help your ideal customers become comfortable with your brand and products, taking them along on a journey to eventually buy your products. Potential dietary supplement customers may need significant education to understand why they should use your product and how they will benefit as a result. When you use influencers to increase brand awareness, you start this education process with a warm, receptive audience.
You can increase your audience engagement with influencer marketing. Partnering with an influencer can bring new energy to your brands’ social media accounts. You can run a contest or giveaway in collaboration with an influencer. This encourages engagement across both accounts, which can simultaneously grow your audience while encouraging current followers to interact more with your brand.
An influencer marketing campaign can also generate leads and sales by having a direct call-to-action or a promotional discount available through the influencer’s marketing campaign. This marketing goal makes it easy to calculate your campaign ROI since success is directly linked to increased revenue. When you first start working with influencers for marketing campaigns, it’s a good idea to have just one goal in mind. This makes it easier to gauge your success and helps you be more clear in your communications with the influencer. Once you are more experienced, you can experiment with adding more goals.
Reach Out to Influencers
You can find influencers on social media platforms or through online directories of influencers. When evaluating influencers, you want to keep track of engagement on their account over simple follower count. Some influencers buy fake followers to make their numbers seem more appealing. However, these fake followers can’t become potential customers for your brand. Look at recent posts and evaluate the number of likes and comments compared to followers. Influencers with a closer match between likes and follower count are likely to be more profitable for your business.
Influencers can choose who they work with, and many of them value this freedom. It’s essential to make a good impression and be professional when interacting with an influencer. A good pitch to an influencer shows them how working with your company can benefit them and their personal brand. It’s about more than offering them a paycheck. If you are contacting social media influencers directly on the platforms, it can help to engage with their content first. Comment on their recent posts to start a conversation. Then you can reach out to them directly to propose a collaboration. This can set the tone for a friendly working relationship rather than a transactional one.
Being specific in your goals for the campaign can also help potential influencers accept your project. You’ll show that you have thought through the strategy, taking away some of the legwork from them. Your goals can help create an exciting project vision for the influencer that piques their creative interest. If you are offering a collaboration or contest, be sure to include as much detail as possible when first reaching out.
Set Up Your Contract
Each collaboration or campaign with a social media influencer has different goals, deliverables and expectations. Clearly outline each of these elements with a campaign contract. These are general recommendations for setting up an influencer campaign and should not be considered legal advice. Always consult with your lawyer when creating a contract.
Your influencer marketing contract should include the deliverables for the campaign. These vary greatly depending on your budget and your campaign goals. Deliverables can include the number of posts, the channels content will be posted on and the content format you prefer for promoting your dietary supplement brand. If you want to approve content before it is posted, you should outline timelines for this in your influencer contract. You may want to clarify who owns the content and if you have permission to use it in the future.
Influencer marketing is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This requires that any sponsored posts be identifiable as a paid ad by social media consumers. This can be a simple disclosure statement on each post or using a hashtag to designate each post as a paid advertisement. Your influencer contract should include the FTC guidelines to encourage them to meet these regulations. This is also an excellent place to include any FDA guidelines on marketing dietary supplements to help your influencer stay compliant.
Outline your campaign goals and state how these will be measured. If this is your first time working with an influencer, you may want to include performance expectations and cancellation terms. This can protect you from a campaign that isn’t handled as you expected it to be.
Launch Your First Campaign
Once you have all the details figured out, it’s time to go live with your first influencer marketing campaign. This is an exciting step for growing your dietary supplement business and helping more people with your product.
You should have your tracking metrics set up before the campaign launches so you can monitor performance. Document your current follower count and daily sales. Set up any tracking links needed to monitor influencer-directed traffic. An affiliate marketing platform, such as Refersion, can make the tracking process simple and efficient.
As the campaign progresses, provide the influencer with any support they need. You and your team should be interacting with the posts and engaging with the influencer’s followers to build trust and goodwill toward your brand. A successful campaign requires your participation as well as the influencer’s content.
Monitor the campaign to see if you are achieving the results you expected. If things aren’t going to plan, collaborate with the influencer to make adjustments and steer the project toward success. They have a lot of expertise about their audience and content generation that you can learn from to improve the success of your future marketing campaigns.
Develop a Long-Term Relationship
While individual influencer marketing campaigns can be profitable for your dietary supplement brand, a long-term relationship can yield even more impressive results. For many customers, dietary supplements are part of a lifestyle and long-term healthy living. A long-term influencer relationship can show customers how the dietary supplement fits into their lifestyle vision.
The longer you work with an influencer, the more they understand your brand and product. The content they produce will be more authentic and is more likely to connect well with their audience. This can result in increased ROI the longer you work with a particular influencer.
A long-term relationship can help you simplify your advertising budget and invoicing schedule. When you work with influencers for short contracts, the prices can vary from month to month. The dates you receive invoices can be spread out and could make cash flow challenging for some businesses. A year-long collaboration simplifies this by setting a budget for the year and a set payment schedule. You’ll be able to spend more time focusing on other aspects of your business instead of managing influencer contracts and invoices.
The Bottom Line
There’s a lot to keep track of when you are launching an influencer marketing campaign. An integrated platform can make viewing your results and paying your influencers and affiliates easy.
You’ll have all your data in one place so you can easily monitor campaigns. You can even set up recurring performance reports to give you feedback automatically. You’ll be able to save time and maximize performance. Getting started with Refersion is easy. Set-up can take as little as six minutes. Start today to simplify the management of your affiliate and influencer programs.