Why do brands use influencer marketing? Or why should you do influencer marketing, in the first place? Consumers are always looking to friends and trusted sources for endorsements and advice on purchases.
A study suggests that 71% of marketers are likely to buy based on social media recommendations. When brands collaborate with influencers, they are looking for social proof and want to show customers that they are trusted.
Apart from driving online sales, influencer marketing helps brands to:
- Drive consistent traffic to their sites.
- Build brand awareness
- Generate quality backlinks for their published content.
- Increase social media engagement
- Nature a connection with target customers.
Having said that, let’s take a look at how to build a successful influencer marketing strategy – six important things to consider.
1. Understand Why You Are Doing Influencer Marketing
First things first: As with any marketing plan, you need to define your goals.
Understand the reasons why you want to run an influencer marketing campaign so that you can work on making sure you achieve your goals. Of course, every marketing campaign must accomplish something. What are your intentions?
Understanding your intentions beforehand will help you develop and execute a consistent strategy. This will also make it easy for you to track and measure results after accomplishing your campaign.
Here are key goals every influencer marketer must consider in their strategy:
- Drive sales: Attracting, engaging, and convincing people to buy your products or services.
- Building brand awareness: Publicizing your brand so that people can know you exist.
- Building audience: Increasing your followers and subscribers.
- Engagement: Attracting more likes, comments, and shares for your online content.
- Lead generation: Convincing more people to subscribe to your offers.
- Customer loyalty: Getting repeat customers.
- Building backlinks: Using influencer marketing for link building to get people to link to your site.
2. Choose Your Preferred Influencer Marketing Tactic
Now that you’ve defined your influencer marketing goals determine the type of influencer marketing that will help you achieve those goals.
The different types of influencer marketing campaigns include:
- Gifting – Asking influencers to review or mention your products in exchange for free products or services.
- Guest posting – Creating content and publishing it on an influencer’s blog.
- Sponsored content – Getting your brand’s content to be featured on an influencer’s blog in exchange for money. You may create the content or the influencer may do it themselves.
- Social media mentions – Getting influencers to mention your brand on their social channels.
- Influencer takeover – Getting an influencer to manage and control your social media channels within a specified time.
- Affiliates – Offering influencers a unique link or code they can use to promote your products then pay them a percentage of each successful sale.
All these influencer marketing tactics and many others not featured above are flexible in that they can help you achieve more than one goal in your influencer marketing strategy.
3. Define Your Target Customers
Up to this far, congratulations, you’ve made huge steps. But wait, you aren’t done. Once you have defined your goals and your marketing tactics, you need to identify your target customers.
Who do you want to promote your brand to? Who do you want to connect with through your campaign?
Here, you need to formulate a buyer persona. Once you know your target customers, it will be easier for you to find out influencers they follow or social media channels they spend most of their time in.
4. Find and Research the Right influencers
Now that you know your target customers, you can move to the next step and find the right influencers who can help you connect with your potential customers.
There are more than 500,000 influencers on Instagram. 81% of these influencers are followed by between 15k to 100k followers, 15% have around 100k and 1 million followers.
Don’t be deceived by the number of followers though because the majority does not always translate to engagement rates. In fact, most marketers prefer to collaborate with influencers with fewer followers also known as micro-influencers.
The types of influencers you should consider looking at include:
- Industry experts
- Social media stars
- Thought leaders
- Non Competing brands
The influencer marketing world is full of influencers but not all are genuine. You need to be cautious when finding partners to work with, in your influencer marketing campaign.
Several tools can help you find and research the right influencers.
Here is a list of a few powerful tools you could consider taking advantage of to research the right influencers.
5. Create Irresistible Content
If your influencer marketing involves guest posting or creating content for their website, you need to create content they can reject.
Research the type of content already published on their site then find ways how you can repurpose it or come up with new content based on ideas that target great keywords that address ideas they haven’t covered on their site.
Take advantage of keyword research tools to come up with terms related to their industry. Here, you need to mix both competitive and less competitive keywords.
Once you research and find out the content that influencers can’t reject, it will be easier for you to get your content published on guest posting sites. Once you get sites to publish your content make sure your content addresses what people are looking for on the internet.
6. Track and Measure Results
Up to this far, you may think that it’s time to celebrate your victory. But wait, are you done with your influencer marketing strategy campaign?
Well, you may be happy to see that influencers have made people realize and mention your brand on their social channels. But does that show success? Have you accomplished your goals?
After achieving the goals you set in step #1 about when you can say you’ve successfully executed an influencer marketing strategy.
Here, you need to track and analyze results based on the initial goals you set when starting your campaign strategy.
Track and analyze the results of each influencer marketing tactic so you can know what worked and what didn’t. The information you get can inform your next strategy.