Influencer marketing has become synonymous with brand building. Numerous studies and surveys have revealed that the majority of shoppers trust recommendations from people that they know—even when the person is a fitness lifestyle blogger that the consumer has never met.
Influencers exert influence in their industries and niches because they’ve built brands around the content they produce. For instance, travel bloggers that showcase beautiful photos while offering advice as they globetrot are able to cultivate a following that values them. Their followers can see their adventures firsthand and get a feel for their personalities and style. As a result, the travel influencer can resonate with a consumer interested in traveling much better than they can with a company.
Today, any business can launch an influencer marketing campaign of their own. With that in mind, here are seven must-know tips for creating a campaign that produces results:
List SMART Goals
Use the SMART goal strategy to create goals that are more likely to succeed. The SMART acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-bound. Following these steps ensures you’re on the right track to creating goals that are realistic and can help you set new, better goals in the future. For example, a SMART goal might be “we plan to increase Instagram followers by 25% within the next three months.” A goal like this allows you to easily ascertain whether you’ve met your goal at the end of the three months.
Use an Influencer Marketing Platform
Influencer marketing platforms are ideal hubs for finding the perfect influencer for your campaign. There are many platforms to choose from and you should test different options to see what works for you. However, the premise is similar across the board; use influencer platforms to search for influencers that align with your needs.
Rich sorting and searching features allow you to hone in on the ideal influencer. Sort by engagement rate, follower count, industry/niche, price range, and more. From here, you can shortlist influencers that match your criteria and check out each of their social profiles. Reach out to the influencers you’d like to work with, but remember not to message too many at once. Start with two or three ideal options and work from there.
Choose the Right Social Channel
Instagram is considered the king of influencer marketing—but it isn’t the only platform you can use in your campaign. After Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and blogs are also common channels. The best social channel depends on your brand and it’s best that you base your decision off of data and not opinion.
It’s important that you determine where your target market is likely to be. Just because you have more Facebook likes than Instagram followers doesn’t mean Facebook is the best platform for reaching new customers and capitalizing on current customers. Instead, focus on buyer personas. This allows you to go where your potential customers are most likely to be. The social channel you choose also depends on the goals you’ve set for yourself.
For example, if you own a line of skincare products and are looking for an influencer to review them, you might decide that YouTube is a better social channel. Explore all potential opportunities when it comes to choosing the right social channels.
Don’t Forget About Micro Influencers
Micro influencers are influencers that have anywhere between 2,000 followers and 25,000 followers. While micro influencers aren’t as well-known as macro influencers and celebrities, studies have shown that they have higher engagement rates and have built more personal connections with their communities. A study from Collective Bias even found that micro influencers are 10x more likely to drive in-store purchases than celebrities. Micro influencers are great options for brands that want to capitalize on high engagement rates, have lower marketing budgets, and who have niche services and/or products.
Allow Creative Freedom
There’s a reason why influencers are able to generate consistent income from their social presence; they create content that resonates with consumers and are able to build trust with them because of it. If you’ve selected a particular influencer, it’s because you’ve seen the content they produce and are happy with the work they’ve put out. Keep this in mind and allow them to have some creative freedom.
If you give them too many restrictions and guidelines, it could stifle their ability to create content that resonates with their followers. If they stray too far from the content they typically produce, it could come across as disingenuous and sponsored. This could alienate them from their audience and make their recommendation seem less reliable. Not to mention it could cause tension in the working relationships.
Many companies falsely assume that influencers are all about products. But the reality is, you don’t need a product to work with influencers and even if your company is product-based, you can still branch out and use influencers for other promotional needs. For example, let’s say your company is leveraging virtual conference platforms to host a virtual event. You can work with influencers to help promote your event and get more attendees.
Another popular and unique influencer tactic is the “takeover” method. Influencer takeovers are when the influencer has access to your brand’s social media accounts for a specific amount of time. Takeovers help cultivate a partnership that is mutually beneficial, and this strategy works for many brands. Takeovers are also a great way to grow your audience and give followers a different perspective of your company culture.
Create & Communicate Budget
Every influencer marketing strategy requires a budget. The good thing is that you can create a campaign with next to nothing. Micro influencers may accept free products, discounts, or services in exchange for posting favorable content, while nano influencers may promote your brand for free to help establish their personal brand. Your budget depends on how much you have to spend and the type of influencers you want to spend it on.
Keep in mind that there are several factors that impact influencer rates. These factors include the influencer’s reach and engagement, the amount of collateral and content you’ll need, the amount of effort required from the influencer, where the ad will be promoted and cross-promoted, and any applicable agency fees.
It’s important that you discuss budgets before any work begins and that the influencer’s compensation is written in contract form. Some influencer marketing platforms, like Scalefluence, show influencer costs upfront to avoid lengthy back and forth negotiations. If you cannot see an upfront cost, let your influencer set their own price and let them know if it meets your budget requirements.