Influencer marketing does not appear to be any kind of passing fad in the world of social media. In fact, it has already achieved results which are significant enough that make it something you should consider for your overall marketing strategy. In some cases, it may be better for you to work with a well-known celebrity who has a massive following.
For some companies, it may be more advantageous to work with several lesser celebrities who have niche appeal and smaller followings. Regardless of which approach you use for your business; it can be very helpful to take advantage of influencer marketing to reach your target audience. Here are some ideas on how you can get your influencer marketing campaign up and running.
What exactly is influencer marketing?
This form of marketing is one which involves hiring a spokesperson for your business who already has a following on the social media. This person would promote your brand to their audience and influence them to purchase your products. Since many consumers learn about new products via social media, this can be an ideal way for new customers to hear about your products.
When businesses engage in influencer marketing, they first must identify the target audience whom they are trying to reach. After that, they try to find people who are able to exert influence over that specific target audience, in order to help make brand and product promotion easier. The reason why influencer marketing is so effective, is that it’s a very personal connection between influencer and their audience. That connection is much more direct than any advertising campaign which your business could make use of.
Most of the time, when you create an advertising campaign, you simply make your message available to an audience, and it’s completely hit or miss whether or not they pay attention to it. With influencer marketing, an audience is already interested in what the influencer has to say, so you have a much better chance of having your brand and your products promoted to them.
Identify your goal
The first step in preparing an influencer marketing campaign is to identify your main goal. Most businesses seek the help of influencers so as to promote brand content for a specific product, and sometimes for a specific event. A survey conducted by Lingia showed that 89% of all marketers made use of influencer marketing to create brand content.
The same survey showed that 77% of businesses used influencer marketing to increase brand engagement, and that 56% were simply aiming to drive increased traffic to their websites. Having established your main objective, you should then create some key performance indicators which you can eventually use to measure the success of your campaign.
Define your influencer profile
One of the keys to the eventual success of your influencer marketing campaign will be the definition of your influencer. Many businesses have difficulty with this step, but you should be successful with it if you follow a few specific rules. Make sure your chosen influencer is someone who regularly shares content of high quality. Their audience should be at least somewhat large and engaged with the influencer.
The style and general theme of your influencer should be a good fit for your company, so they will make an appropriate spokesman. If you find that influencers with smaller followings have better engagement rates, that may be the way to go. It commonly happens that influencers with lesser followings are more actively involved than mega-celebrities with enormous numbers of followers.
How to find potential influencers
Once you establish the profile that you’re looking for among influencers, you’ll have to go out and find your spokesperson. This is almost always the hardest part of getting your program started, but fortunately there are some tools you can use to make the job simpler. You can identify appropriate influencers for your business by using LinkedIn, BuzzSumo and Ninja Outreach.
If you don’t have the time to conduct your own search, you might also make use of specialized agencies who work with such influencers. As a last resort, you can simply monitor the social media yourself to see which individuals are exerting serious influence over large followings of people in your target audience.
Securing influencer services
Even if you’ve found your ideal influencer, there may still be some uncertainty about securing their services. Many influencers are strongly motivated by the kinds of perks you may be offering them, as opposed to a straight financial compensation. In a study conducted by Augure, it was found that the following motivations appealed most to social media influencers:
- earn money
- live new and different experiences
- receive perks such as free products or discounts on products
- extend the shaping of their personal image
- create content for their personal following of high quality
- increase engagement with their audience
- expand their reach in a chosen medium.
As you can see, money is a factor, but it’s only one of the factors which really appeal to social media influencers. The more incentives you can offer your chosen influencer, the more likely it is you will secure their services.
Measure your results
After your influencer marketing campaign is up and running, you will definitely want to start measuring the results of the campaign to see how you’re doing. Using the key performance indicators you established early on, you should compare actual results to those which you hoped to achieve. Make sure to give your campaign some time, so it can take hold. Don’t be disappointed by early results, because these can improve from month-to-month.
If you don’t see the results you were hoping for, you need to analyze why your campaign fell short of expectations. It could be that your chosen influencer simply did not resonate with your audience. There might also be several other factors which contributed to poor performance, and you’ll need to identify these, so you can be more successful next time. On the other hand, if your campaign did perform well, you might still want to tweak a few elements, so that you can achieve even greater success on the next campaign.