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Influencer marketing and the flooring industry

Could an influencer help your business?
Yes, says Chloe Rushworth.

At Unify, we’re constantly emerged in the world of social media and influencer marketing, delivering successful campaigns for a multitude of clients, including companies in the flooring industry.

Influencer marketing is part of this, and involves brand endorsements and product placement from individuals who have a strong social influence in their fields, and who have the ability to influence the purchasing habits of everyday consumers. For us and our clients, influencer marketing is essential for humanising a brand and increasing authenticity.

Instagram remains the most dominant network for influencers
A lot of our success has been down to leveraging the power of a digital presence on social media like Instagram or LinkedIn. I also have seen the power of email marketing and the results it can bring.

The influencer space has boomed in the last five years with brands of all sizes keen to get a slice of the cake and find suitable ways to feature creators who have strong credibility to elevate key marketing campaigns and boost sales. Influencers tend to house their content on social media platforms including Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, with Instagram remaining the most dominant network. The use of Reels and Stories are among the most popular content types for creators.
It’s evident that everyday consumers look to influencers for product recommendations.

From ‘nano’ to ‘mega’ influencers
Influencers can be categorised into different tiers, all dependent on the level of influence and audience size. You really don’t need millions of followers to be classified as an influencer. ‘Nano influencers’ have an audience of anything between 1,000-5,000 followers, right up to ‘mega influencers’ with over one million followers. It’s important to note that these smaller scale accounts tend to have high engagement rates and feel more authentic than mega influencers.

Brands typically avoid sharing perfectly curated studio product shots to their social feeds as these feel like a ‘hard sell’ pushing products, and don’t gain as much traction as a more ‘real’ lifestyle piece of content created by an influencer, with brands often merging their own Instagram content strategy with posts from their favourite influencers. Instagram influencers provide a different advertising channel for brands beyond paid social advertising, and can be much more cost-effective, plus, brands can guesstimate the reach and engagement results beforehand too, based on the influencers audience size and engagement rate percentage.

Affiliate links
Advertising standards have changed in recent years, and now influencers must disclose their sponsored content to their audience, with a relevant hashtag, such as #ad or #gifted. In some cases, brands simply provide influencers with free products in exchange for a post or in exchange for content, but in most cases an additional fee is agreed while drawing up a contract. As well as sponsored content, affiliate links are used by most influencers. An influencer will share an affiliate link usually to a link sticker in an Instagram story, or through posting the link in their ‘Instagram bio’ and every time a consumer taps the link, that action is tracked, and the influencer is then compensated if the link click converts into a sale.

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes when putting together a detailed influencer marketing campaign, it’s not quite as simple as getting products into influencers’ hands and generating results.

The process involves a lot of manual research into the influencer you want to use. There are also some useful third-party influencer databases out there that act as a match maker, but these can often be costlier for clients. You then have to check their engagement rates and look through their feeds to make sure they’re on brand and there’s no controversial content that could reflect badly on the brand. Just because someone is an ‘influencer’ doesn’t mean engagement is guaranteed.

Tracking results
Next up is reaching out to them (either directly or through their agent) for availability, and to see if they are interested in collaborating. At this stage, we either receive a detailed media pack, or a cost estimation to see if they’re within budget before the conversation goes any further. We then have to drill down the details of exactly what we would like to feature within the content, and draw up a contract both parties are happy with, with clear deliverables, costs and deadlines outlined. Once the content goes ‘live’ it’s important for brands to monitor performance and be reactive to any comments and feedback from consumers. And like with any other type of campaign, results and KPIs matter! There’s plenty of data to track on behalf of your influencers, and KPIs relevant to your business goals such as audience growth, web traffic spikes through link clicks, reach figures and engagement rates. Keeping track of all this activity requires co-ordinating with influencers and keeping a close eye on the live data.
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