There is a lot of buzz about influencer marketing these days. The internet revolution and the increasing focus on millennials by brands have further increased the popularity of influencers. In fact, studies have found that 39% of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing campaign budgets in 2018.
Influencer marketing focuses on identifying and working with influential people who can inspire and motivate their followers to take an action. They could be celebrities, public figures, or industry experts. Essentially, someone who’s knowledgeable in their field – be it fashion, beauty, food, photography, fitness, etc. And whose opinions and recommendations are trustworthy.
People trust social proof more than anything else these days whenever they need to make a purchase decision. And influencer marketing can help you provide your potential buyers with just that.
If you’re still new to the influencer marketing game, here’s your step-by-step guide to launching your influencer marketing campaign. And if you’re already leveraging it, this will help you do it even better.
1. Develop a Strategy
The first step of your influencer marketing campaign is to chart out a well-planned strategy. Use the following checklist while developing your influencer marketing strategy.
Define Your Goals
Do you wish to promote a specific product or service, or your brand itself? If you are a new entrant into the market, you should aim at creating brand awareness and increasing your followers. Without knowing your objectives, it will be difficult for your influencers to convey your message effectively to their audience.
Know Your Audience
It is very important to know who you are targeting. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts to the defined target group, and customize your content accordingly. Think about the demographics and categories of customers you want to focus on.
Set Your Budget
Decide upon the cost that you can invest into your influencer marketing campaign. Keep in mind the costs involved in sourcing content, sponsoring content, paying influencers’ fees, etc.
Determine Your KPIs
Once you have defined your goals and budget, you need to decide on the outcomes you want to achieve. How will you measure your efforts? What will be your key performance indicators (KPIs)? Whether your goal is to increase brand awareness, leads, or conversions, attach a number to it so you can measure your results.
2. Choose Your Platform
You need to select the platforms that will work best for your kind of business to maximize your returns. Each social media platform is unique and serves a particular purpose. And you need to choose one that can effectively help you fulfill your purpose.
For example, Twitter is a great platform to increase brand visibility. While Instagram is superb if you want to display your products in front of your target audience and grow your website traffic. In fact, fashion, beauty, and food are some of the winning industries on Instagram.
Image via Bloglovin’
For ecommerce businesses, Instagram is certainly one of the best choices when it comes to influencer marketing. And it can be even more effective if you use Instagram to promote your influencers’ blog reviews.
Image via Instagram
3. Identify Influencers
A crucial step towards a successful influencer marketing campaign is finding the right influencers for your brand. These are a few things you should keep in mind while choosing your influencers.
Always check the niche and type of industry they are known for – what kind of content they share and which demographics they target. Their niche needs to align with your industry.
For example, if you’re a beauty brand, working with a food influencer will likely not give you the desired results. Which tells you exactly why Maybelline’s association with Gigi Hadid is a successful one. As a model, she is a great fit for the cosmetics brand.
Image via Instagram
The influencers you select for your campaigns should have a decent number of followers and be trusted by their audiences. Their personality should reflect the aura you want to build around your brand. And their sponsorships should look authentic and resonate with your target audience.
Image via Instagram
Another important thing to check before selecting your influencers is their engagement rate. Is their content reaching their followers and making an impact? An influencer with a high number of followers but a low engagement rate will be of no use to you. Here’s a report you can refer to when you’re trying to understand how much engagement is good enough.
Image via Influence.co
There are various influencer marketing platforms available that can make your search for influencers easy. Grin, for example, can help you find and engage with key social influencers in your niche. You get complete control over managing your overall influencer marketing campaigns and make adjustments if needed.
Image via Grin
4. Reach Out and Connect
Once you have identified a set of influencers that you want to work with, begin your outreach. Approach them politely and try to create a personal connection in your outreach emails. Talk about what benefits you can offer, and why they should consider working with you.
Once they respond, set up a time to talk about your campaign objectives and goals. Share your campaign brief and explain how they can contribute to your goals. Negotiate and sign the agreement after clearly communicating guidelines around publishing schedule, FTC regulations, and copyrights to sponsored content, etc.
For more details, you can read the LemonStand blog article on how to approach influencers to work with your brand here.
5. Collaborate Effectively
Assist your influencers in creating great content for your campaign, but do not interfere with the actual creation process. Creative freedom is the most important prerequisite of a successful collaboration. In fact, 77% of influencers are likely to work with brands more than once if they’re provided creative freedom.
Send them your products as gifts that they can use and write about. Ask them to post pictures with your products. And you can help them with product videos or marketing collaterals they can use to create content.
Image via Instagram
You can even share unique discount or coupon codes that they can incorporate into their content. Ask influencers to use call-to-actions in their posts to encourage customer actions. This will give their followers a greater incentive to buy your products.
6. Promote Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Your support and cross-promotion can truly make a difference in your campaign’s success. So comment on and promote your influencers’ posts on all your social media networks to create the maximum impact.
You can even allocate some budget to sponsor their content using paid ads. This will further increase the reach and effectiveness of an influencer post.
7. Measure Campaign Performance
You’re almost done! Your influencer marketing campaign is up and running, and it’s time to measure and analyze your social media ROI.
While measuring the performance of influencer marketing campaigns, businesses consider clicks and engagement as the top performance indicators.
Image via Linqia
Whether you are using Google Analytics or influencer marketing platforms, check for the following:
- How much traffic and engagement was generated by influencer posts?
- Has any sale been accomplished directly through influencers’ leads?
- Have you gained any new social media followers?
- Were influencers successful in driving unique visitors to your site?
- Are there any returning visitors?
The above questions will help you determine the results of your influencer marketing campaign. You will know what worked well and what didn’t. Accordingly, you will be able to change your strategy and shape your future campaigns.
Over to You
Influencer marketing is growing by the day, and marketers are devising new tactics and strategies to excel at it.
The above guide is a comprehensive list of the most important influencer marketing tactics that you need to know. I’m sure this will help you quite a bit in your influencer marketing journey.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to share them in the comments section below.