Influencer marketing for apps: Best practices, examples, and more
Influencer marketing is a powerful method to reach a target audience. Influencers can help companies of all sizes achieve targets for user acquisition, brand awareness, and reputation. Insider Intelligence reports influencer spending is expected to reach $4.14 billion in 2022, up from 2021’s $3.69 billion. This uptick is likely due to marketing buy-in as 60% of marketers say influencer-generated content performs better and drives more engagement than branded posts.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- Where to find on-brand influencers
- Which platforms and metrics to use to measure influencer engagement
- How to reliably track, attribute, and measure influencer campaigns
- Campaign ideas for e-commerce, lifestyle, and gaming apps
In addition to the above, we’ll share best practices for social media influencer marketing for ecommerce, mobile gaming and lifestyle apps.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is the practice of collaborating with online influencers to help spread your marketing message in an authentic way that is native to the channel. So what — or who — is an online influencer? Generally, an online or social media influencer is someone who has a considerable online presence, leveraging their influence to achieve your marketing goals. They may be bloggers, YouTubers, Instagrammers, or even TikTok personalities. Whatever their chosen platforms, influencers come in all shapes and sizes — from micro-influencers to Kardashians. The ways in which companies work with influencers will depend on their campaign goals, their target audience and the scale of an influencer’s following.
Social media influencers can be anyone with a significant online following, often built as a result of their expertise and online persona. However, influencer marketing isn’t all about followers: you’ll also need to consider engagement statistics when choosing which influencers are worth your ad spend.
Considerations before investing in influencer marketing
Who is your target audience
Your target audience will determine which influencers and social media channels are relevant to your campaigns. For example, B2B companies may want to work with thought leaders on Linkedin, while a mobile game targeting younger audiences may prefer influencers using YouTube and Twitch.
Which regions do you want to target?
Identifying the marketing regions you wish to pursue will determine which influencers will work best for your campaigns. Don’t forget to perform market research on each of the regions you wish to target to discover regional preferences, phrasing, and competition in the location to see how to position your influencer campaigns.
How will you find and communicate with influencers?
To find your ideal influencer, review hashtags related to your app and search blog posts to find relevant content. You can also set Google alerts for keywords pertaining to your brand to identify popular specialists who cover topics most related to your app.
You can also utilize influencer marketing tools like Buzzsumo or influencer-specific agencies like Find Your Influence to discover the influencer(s) most aligned with the campaigns and products you are promoting. Keep in mind that micro-influencers, those with 1,000 to 100,000 followers, come with a lower price tag as well as followers who are more deeply invested in their niche, and have an engagement rate up to 60% higher than followers of macro influencers.
Influencer marketing by vertical
Marketers can work with influencers in different ways depending on the function of their app or vertical. Below we share examples of how e-commerce, mobile games, and lifestyle apps can leverage influencer marketing.
Fashion and e-commerce influencer marketing examples
Marketers can pay influencers to wear and display products as paid advertisements on their social media channels. For example, fashion influencer Chiara Ferragni has over 27.5 million followers and shared a product placement for MooRER coat jackets. Keep in mind that in this scenario, in many regions, influencers have a legal obligation to be transparent when their posts are sponsored.
You can also work with influencers by asking them to post about a branded raffle. This is a form of paid product placement that directs users to a call to action that benefits your brand. For example, users who follow your account, install your app or sign up for your company’s newsletter will then be entered into a raffle to win one or two of your products or perhaps get a free subscription to your app.
Free products and reviews
Brands can also send influencers products and gift cards, so they can be featured on the influencer’s social media channels. This is a cost-effective marketing method that can generate authentic exposure for your brand. However, in this case, marketers will have significantly less control over the content that is shared.
Creating content together with influencers can be mutually beneficial. Not only will their followers be directed to your app, but your audience will be exposed to the influencer across several channels. For example, fashion brand ASOS collaborated with Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Co-founder of luxury bikini and swimwear brand In'A'SeaShell, by sharing a blog interview and an Instagram Live Q&A. In addition to co-founding the luxury brand, Pinnock is a member of British pop group Little Mix and has 8.9 million followers on Instagram. The collaboration meant all four brands: ASOS, Pinnock herself, In’A’SeaShell, and Little Mix received good exposure as followers of each could all participate in the Live Q&A and read the interview. Don’t discount collaborations when it comes to influencer marketing.
Lifestyle app influencer marketing examples
Broadly speaking, lifestyle apps cover several different topics including health and fitness, dating, music, food, and travel. Here are two effective ways you can work with influencers to promote a lifestyle app:
Social media takeovers
In a social media takeover, you will give an influencer control over your social media channels for a set period. For example, if you have a food & drinks app, you may want to give your Instagram account to an influencer chef or food blogger for the day. That influencer can then share a step-by-step Instagram Story on how to make one of their tasty recipes or review venues and meals. Takeovers can be a great way to get original content and encourage an influencer’s fanbase to follow your account. The same principle can be applied to your website and blog, and guest posts can be shared across an influencer’s social media channels.
Lifestyle apps can also drive installs by offering discount codes and promotional deals to an influencer’s followers—an extremely common tactic in influencer marketing. For example, recipe delivery app HelloFresh offered the 102K followers of professional football player Raul J Vallejo $90 off of five HelloFresh orders with a unique code.
Gaming influencer marketing examples
Live streams are a core component of gamer culture that can be leveraged by marketers to gain exposure and drive installs. Marketers can pay influencers for a live stream of their gameplay. This is an effective way to showcase your app’s gaming experience with an influencer’s audience.
Just like fashion apps, mobile games can offer goods in exchange for exposure. For gaming apps, this could be a free subscription service or in-game currency, ensuring the influencer gets the best possible user experience for your game.
Marketers can also recruit influencers to take part in online events and tournaments to promote their app. For example, YouTube and Twitch streamer Cupquake took part in a special event to promote Disney Emoji Blitz, a mobile game developed by Jam City, Inc. The campaign also gives users an opportunity to win an in-game character.
We hope you now feel confident to include influencer marketing in your overall marketing strategy. For more insights, check out Scaling your App to 1M Users: The Ultimate Guide Part 1: App store optimization and user retention.