Influencer marketing is growing because it provides a way for brands to connect with customers in a more direct manner. Buyers today are smarter and more well-informed than ever before and they are resistant to many forms of advertising.
Leveraging influencer marketing can help brands to get through to a niche audience. If they hope to get leads from a website, every interaction with potential customers must add value and this is where influencer marketing can help.
Influencers know how to engage with an audience on a chosen social media platform. Their opinion carries a great deal of weight and using them means brands can expect a higher return on their investment than with any other form of marketing.
Influencers are somewhat like mediators between a brand and an audience, inspiring their followers to check out what a brand has to offer without feeling pressured to buy. Brands can win consumer trust by using an influencer who has an engaged following in a special niche.
1. Identify influencers
Before launching an influencer marketing campaign, you must identify the right influencers to use. There is a lot of research that has to take place as it involves finding out who influences the opinions, decisions, and actions of your target audience.
An influencer’s audience size and reach means less than relevance and influence over a target audience. Micro-influencers may have fewer followers but usually have much more of a personal connection with them.
Using a list of relevant keywords or PR tools can help to identify a broad group of influencers. From there, it is important to find out more about what they post, how their followers react and what sets them apart.
It can take time to find influencers who are the right fit for your brand. For instance, popular fashion brand, H&H, found women bloggers with a style that resonated with their brand for a successful influencer campaign.
If you want to ensure that your brand message comes through loud and clear, you need an influencer who feels positive about your brand and is enthusiastic about collaborating with you.
2. Start making connections
Prioritizing a list of influencers will depend on who is likely to have the most influence on your audience. Targeting those individuals and engaging them in conversation can help to start building a connection.
The social media experts from essaymama.com suggest not to be too aggressive but follow them on social media, start commenting on some of their posts, retweet content, etc. in a natural way. You need to become recognizable to influencers if you want them to promote your brand.
At a certain point, it will feel that the time is right to send the influencer a personal email message. It should introduce your brand, give a quick pitch of what you hope to achieve with a campaign and what they can expect in terms of payment. Some brands offer monetary compensation and others offer broader exposure.
Each influencer should be approached differently depending on their preferred means of communication, what they can add to your brand story and their needs. Understanding this can help you to deliver more effective pitches.
By building a relationship with influencers, they get a deeper insight into your customer base and this makes it easier for them to come up with content that works best for you. Each influencer has a preferred platform and style and you need to understand this in order to utilize their influence most effectively. If you can place your product or service organically as part of the lifestyle of their followers, you have found a good fit.
3. Have a well-defined content strategy
You will need to identify and set your goals before a campaign. You can always adjust these throughout a campaign based on feedback and analytics.
Taking your budget into account is vital as this will help you to decide on the type of campaign you want to run, frequency, content, platforms etc. Talking to an influencer can help you to develop a plan. You need to think about what you are going to invest and what type of return you can expect. You may decide on monthly posts or large campaigns, depending on your budget.
4. Decide on the content type
Content is the key to success and it needs to solve the problems and answer the questions of your audience. It must align with your brand values and tell a compelling story that is relevant to your audience. For instance, if you hope to boost conversions, you need to use customer-centric copywriting techniques in email marketing and social media marketing.
You may decide to create content for influencers, have them create copy that promotes your brand or collaborate on content like dissertation help. If you want influencers to share content for you, it needs to be good quality content that offers value. When influencers create content for you, you need to give them the opportunity to tell your brand story in their own way.
Collaboration can be as simple as providing influencers with products or services for free, and asking them to write an honest review for their audience. A review works well if an influencer has a following composed of your target consumers.
A demo video of an influencer using your products or services is a great way to showcase them. DIYs or tutorials can help to connect with an audience and build trust. Sponsored content, brand mentions, event coverage, and affiliate links will all help when working with influencers to promote your brand.
Remember that consumers are often able to tell the difference between real, organic posts and sponsored posts. The wrong sponsorship will get you called out for not being authentic. It is important to monitor influencers and make sure their posts feel as organic as possible.
Once you have collaborated, make sure to thank influencers for contributing. Follow up to let them know how content performed and whether you may want to collaborate more in the future.
5. Measure ROI
You need to know the return on investment of your campaign. This means tracking and measuring the traffic to your website, engagement in terms of clicks or shares, comments etc. There are many marketing tools available today that can help you to get an accurate overview of performance.
The Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder gives you an easy way to track campaign data by adding a code to URLs used by influencers. They add more value to your campaigns by giving you information about each link.
Common metrics will include visits to a website, referral visitors, social media reach etc. These metrics help to evaluate the worth of an influencer to your brand and act as a benchmark for future campaigns. It is only when you can draw actionable insights from data that you can improve future performance.
A final word
Inﬂuencer marketing is powerful but it is vital to choose the right influencers who are the best fit for your purpose. Generating the right content, whether this is in the form of a review, a demo video, or sponsored content, will help to expand your reach and increase confidence and trust in your brand. A campaign can be hit-or-miss unless it is planned and monitored carefully. Nurturing a relationship with influencers can help to generate better ideas and create a more successful content strategy. Using analytics is also important to establish the value of an influencer to your brand and to help create higher-performing campaigns in the future.