Influencers are the new cool kids.
We see them work every day with the best sports, snacking or traveling brands out there. And many times, the results are pretty cool.
Remember this EPIC ad from Volvo featuring Van Damme?
How cool is that…?!
Now, you’re probably wondering how can something like this apply to a SaaS business, right?
Well, fellow SaaS marketers, we @mention feel your pain. Having said that, we also know that influencer marketing isn’t only a privilege for world-famous sports brands. All brands can benefit from it.
That includes SaaS companies.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how successful SaaS businesses already leverage influencer marketing to promote their products and services (and how you can do the same).
If you’d like to learn more about how to map out the perfect social media strategy for your SaaS company, download our dedicated guide.
How can SaaS businesses benefit from influencer marketing?
Influencer Marketing: What should you expect?
Did you know almost 1 in 2 consumers will believe anything an influencer says online? According to Nielsen’s Global Trust Report, a whopping 46% of us do.
What are influencers anyways?
Influencers are social media content creators who are often dedicated to a niche market. We call them so because their voices are carefully listened to by their loyal followers. They are usually compensated by money or other benefits to promote a brand.
Influencer marketing isn’t a nice-to-have anymore. Many brands are already leveraging it, and those using it right see, on average, a 7 fold increase in their ROI. In fact, in 2019 alone, it’s estimated that brands spent over 8 billion dollars to have influencers advertising their products and services online (it is predicted to reach $15B by 2022).
Now, most average and smaller-sized companies simply can’t afford to spend thousands on a tweet or an Instagram post. Besides, they most likely won’t have access to popular and highly coveted influencers – which isn’t the end of the world.
When it comes to influencer marketing, we believe here at Mention that bigger isn’t always better. More often than not, working with smaller influencers is far more interesting as they have focused and engaged audiences. Besides, they, themselves, will appear more involved in partnering with your brand. This is why we’d recommend to all SaaS businesses to partner with micro-influencers.
Who are micro-influencers?
Micro-influencers are (just) regular people with an average of 10 000 followers or less (Social Media Today). They are a golden choice for brands in niche markets, where influence often depends on quality rather than quantity.
Influencers vs. brand advocates vs. organic influencer marketing
- Macro-influencers: These are typically celebrities or highly popular social media users who have tens of thousands, sometimes millions, of followers. Due to their high demand and market prices, smaller brands usually won’t get to work with them.
- Micro-influencers: These are “regular people” with an average of 10 000 followers or less. They are the preferred choice for brands in niche markets, where influence often depends on quality rather than quantity.
- Brand Advocates: Brand advocates are people in the online community that rave about your brand; they aren’t necessarily influential. The share your content, interacting with you, and sharing reviews of your products with their peers – they aren’t motivated by money or any other kind of compensation.
- Organic Influencers: Organic influencer marketing is the result of turning influencers into brand advocates. They’re the perfect choice for brands with limited resources as the influencers promote your brand and products simply because you have a great relationship with them.
3 benefits of running influencer marketing campaigns
- Build trust and gain credibility: This is the #1 reason to work with micro-influencers. Their followers trust them for their judgment and expertise. Sending the right message through the right micro-influencer will reflect effectively on your own brand.
- Reach out to new audiences: working with influencers is a way to expand the reach of your messages to new audiences. What’s more, working with the right influencer, you’ll even amplify your message to your core audience.
- Share engaging stories: influencers usually are great storytellers. Use it to your advantage and pick their brain to share your message in a way that matches both of your values and your target audiences’. What’s more, this will contribute to giving more character to your brand.
Where to find the right influencer for your brand?
There are essentially 2 ways to encounter influencers:
- Through agencies
- Through social media, blogs, and forums they’re active on
Why consider agencies?
Working with an agency is the ideal way to get in touch with influencers. Great agencies will have contacts and established a trust bond with them as they will usually only suggest gigs that make sense for them and their image.
This means that you will not spend countless hours trying to find someone who’s both the right fit and who’s willing to work with you.
It can be very pricey. You will need to pay both the influencer AND the agency for they may take care of everything from researching the influencer to running the campaign with them.
Why consider looking for influencers yourself?
First, not all influencers work with agencies. The vast majority of micro-influencers are managing their own agenda and brand and the only way to get in touch is to reach out directly to them.
Now, you don’t want just any influencer. You want to find the right one for your brand.
Using a listening tool, you can crawl through social media, blogs, and forums and identify influential people who also happen to be experts on your topics.
However, you’ll have to hunt influencers down yourself and try and convince them to work with you.
How to select the right influencer for your brand?
It’s worthless to spend thousands to partner with an influencer if their audience isn’t a good match for you.
It’s not(only) about the money
An influencer, especially, smaller and more niche ones – won’t work with your brand unless it makes sense for them. There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when shortlisting a couple of influencers you should contact.
Aligned values and audiences
An influencer marketing collaboration can only work if there’s a match between your values AND the influencer’s. If your images are too far apart and have very little to do with each other, the story won’t sound genuine and your collaboration will come off unnatural.
Audience size on specific platforms
Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the influencer’s community on each social media platform that matters for your business. This is also another way to spread out your message on platforms you’re struggling with. Say you know that your target audience is actively using Instagram, but you’re having a hard time getting them to interact with your content – working with a niche Instagram Influencer could unlock the situation for you.
Lastly, you need to keep the budget in mind. So that you know what to bargain for, here is an example of market prices you should expect when negotiating with an influencer.
Social platform Price for a post $25 / 1000 followers $10 / 1000 followers $2 / 1000 followers YouTube $20 / 1000 subscribers Snapchat $10 / 1000 followers or views Blogs $60 / 1000 views
Those who are doing influencer marketing right.
Understand SaaS influencer marketing better with examples from Adobe and Nord VPN.
Example 1. Adobe working with influencers to spread inspirational thoughts
“This is who we really are”.
4 reasons why we like these initiatives:
- Puts a face on the company: It can be a tad dull to be SaaS company on social media. Adobe wants to stay a vibrant, colorful and human company – working with influencers is perfect for this.
- Share shared values with their community: in 2019, Clutch reported that 71% of consumers say it’s important for organizations to take a stance on social issues and current movements. What’s more, 75% say they’ll only shop at companies supporting issues they also support themselves.
- Entertain their community: everybody likes a good story. Well, HubSpot is doing just that here.
- It shows what their tools can do … and the result is stunning.
Example 2. Nord VPN partnering with Liverpool FC in the US
“Our tool is as exceptional as LFC”.
Why we liked the initiative
- There’s a real incentive to trigger engagement and grow one’s audience: Liverpool is one of the best, if not the best, soccer teams in the world. Offering tickets to go and see them play is a real incentive that’s hard for the US-based community to ignore.
- Nord VPN makes it about
Liverpool FCNord VPN: they’re leveraging Liverpool’s reputation to bring up what they do best. They defend & protect the identity of their users all around the globe the same way Liverpool’s defense pushes all threats away: “the best defense works around the world”.
Influencer marketing can work for your brand too!
Selecting the right influencer is hard for all marketers. We know something about that — we chat about it every day with our clients and prospects.
The great news is that whatever your business’ focus, there are thousands of trusted experts you could eventually rely on to reach out to new audiences and reinforce your brand awareness.
Now, this is only one in many tactics that you could adopt to boost your SaaS business’ online performance. Download our Guide to Social Media Management for SaaS Businesses to learn more.
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