If you ever question the power of a strong influencer strategy, the answer should be that it helps you in a myriad of ways- connect with target audiences, increase brand awareness, drive more traffic to the brand website, increasing the conversion rate, and many more.
The benefits however are always complemented with complications in terms of setting a coherent strategy, launching it, and finally managing it. In the end, it is a tedious process. To help your brand with making a kick start, we present to you a small guide to creating an impactful influencer marketing strategy.
What is Influencer Marketing?
It is a strategy that identifies and then eventually partners with individuals who have a strong influence in the industry of a brand or its target customers. The underlying idea of the partnership is for the influencer to expose the brand’s message in front of his or her large and engaged audience.
Influencer marketing is much more than an influencer of a large following. It is about being able to reach the right audience, one which is more likely to engage with your brand in meaningful ways.
1) Identify the Brand Goals: Before jumping into anything, it is vital to define what your brand wants to accomplish with the campaign.
For instance, as a marketing manager of L’Oreal, you might want to see how the brad’s influencer marketing campaign has changed the customer behavior in terms of awareness about the product, brand preference or intention of buying.
But on the other hand, if it was Uber, you would want to the impact of the influencer campaign on leads, downloads, purchases.
Below is a list of goals your brand can consider when working on an influencer marketing strategy:Brand Awareness
- Establishing Brand Identity
- Building Audience
- Increasing Engagement Rate
- Increasing Conversion Rate
- Customer Loyalty
2) Select the Type of Influencer Marketing Campaign: The kind of relationship your brand hold with the influencer can vary-it can either be that of ‘inspire’, ‘hire’, or can be a blend of both. As with inspiration, an influencer gets motivated on his or her own to share your brand content. The second kind can be when it is sponsored and you pay them to promote your brand. To take a mid-way, brands can also opt for a mix of the two.
The ways in which your brand can have a partnership with the influencers are as follows:
- Social Media Mentions by the Influencer
- Contests: The influencer can run a contest wherein your brand giveaway event can be shared.
- Gifting: Influencer can be given goodies or free services in exchange for sharing your brand content.
- Co-Creating Content: Your brand can partner with the influencer to create content that can be featured on either your brand or the influencer’s website.
- Affiliates: Your brand can provide a unique code to the influencer which would allow him or her to get a percentage of sales he or she drives.
- Sponsored Content: Your brand can pay the influencers for featuring the brand on their blog or social channel.
The aforementioned ways can be used flexibly and customized in a way that works best for your brand.
3) Identify the Prospects: Ideally, identifying your prospects has to be the first thing your brand should look for. Creating a buyer persona on the basis of both demography and psychology helps identify the right influencer for your marketing campaigns. Once, the picture of the audience is clear, it is easy for your brand to identify the people they follow and engage with the most.
4) Identify the Appropriate Influencer: Once the clarity with the prospects is attained, your brand can then seek out the right influencers. There are different kind of influencers which you should know:
- Social Media Influencers
- Industry-Specific Experts
- Non-Competiton Brands
- Target Audience
Here are a couple of tools that you might consider when looking for the most suitable influencers for your campaigns:
5) Review Influencer Content: To be successful in your campaign, your brand should partner with an influencer whose content aligns well with your brand’s philosophy. It is vital to spend a considerable amount of time reviewing their social media updates and website content to make sure it is not only aligned well with your brand values but is also relevant to the products and services you offer as a brand.
6) Analyze the Results: With only achieving to make a partnership with the brand, only half the battle is won and it is no measure of success. The key to a successful campaign lies in whether the results have been achieved or not.
The success of the campaign can be measured using metrics depending on the initial marketing goals your brand had set for the campaign:
- Brand Awareness: Page Views, increased website traffic, mention on social channels
- Brand Identity: Mention on social channels, PR coverage (number of articles or links)
- Building Audience: Followers
- Engagement Rate: Comments, shares, likes, mentions
- Sales: New purchases, revenue increase
- Customer Loyalty: Customer retention rates
Influencer marketing is gaining a lot of traction and there is no doubt that it can be beneficial for your brand exposure, increasing website traffic, building the right audience, and leading more conversions. However, to be able to achieve positive results, it is important for your brand to have a well-structured and data-driven influencer marketing strategy.