Influencer marketing strategy: 5 steps to start yours
There was a time when influencer marketing was limited to the likes of the Kardashians. However, these days the industry is no longer restricted to millionaire celebrities. There are, of course, still many celebrity influencers out there, but micro- and nano-influencers are quickly gaining traction in the marketing world and can be just as effective at promoting your brand, at a fraction of the cost. What matters most is that you follow a well-designed influencer marketing strategy that aligns with the goals of your campaign.
With that in mind, here are some best practices to help you design and integrate a successful influencer marketing strategy for your brand.
1. Define your goals & online audience
The first step in creating your influencer marketing strategy is identifying your goals and metrics. Are you looking to increase brand awareness or engage more with your target audience? Do you want to increase subscribers, get more visits to your website, or sell more products? Once you’ve clarified your goals, identify a few specific KPIs that will help you track the performance of your campaigns. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, then you could focus on KPIs related to reach and impressions.
You also need to define your target audience. This means conducting market research to identify the demographics of your typical buyer. Which social media platforms does your target audience use? What convinces them to make a purchase decision? You can then use this data to find an influencer who aligns with your goals, target platforms, and brand values.
2. Find the right influencers
The next step in your influencer marketing strategy is finding the right influencers for your campaign. If you are new to influencer marketing, then this might seem a bit daunting. Do you know how to find influencers manually on the social media sites that you use, or is it worth using an influencer database to speed up the search?
If you choose to do a manual search, then you can use popular hashtags that are relevant to your business to filter your search. The downside to this is that it can be time-consuming. Instead, you might choose to use an all-in-one platform like Influencity to help you find the best fit for your campaign.
Whichever method you choose, make sure your shortlist is made up of content creators whose audience demographics match your own. You should also look for people with the potential to affect the decision-making process of your target audience.
3. Review their metrics
Once you have your shortlist, it’s time to review their metrics to work out who would align best with your influencer marketing strategy. You can do this by taking a look at their social media platforms. How many followers do they have? What is their reach? How engaged are they with their audience?
It’s also important to make sure they are relevant to your brand. For example, if you are selling cosmetics, then there’s no point connecting with a content creator who usually promotes travel and tourism brands.
Don’t be swayed by a large audience, either. Remember, the bigger the following, the less engaged an influencer is likely to be. If you are targeting a specific market, you might be better off using your budget to collaborate with several nano-influencers that have more relevant, niche audiences.
4. Take action and engage
Ok, so you’ve filtered down your shortlist and you are left with one or two potential candidates. Now is the time to take action and engage with them.
The first step is reaching out and communicating with them. Ask them about their successes and what they are interested in. Listen to what they say and show an interest. Answer any questions that they might have. Your influencer will be more open to your pitch if you establish some form of relationship with them first.
Once you find the right fit, pitch your offer and negotiate your influencer marketing strategy terms. Make sure you are clear about what you are willing to pay, how much brand coverage you are looking for, and how much control you expect to have over any sponsored posts. Don’t forget to discuss content usage rights at this point, too. Then once all terms have been negotiated, make sure you sign an influencer agreement with them.
5. Measure your results
The final step in your influencer marketing strategy, once you have started collaborating with someone, is tracking and measuring your results.
For this you will need to review your original goals. Is the influencer performing as expected? Have their promotions had a positive impact on your campaign? For example, has your website ranking improved, or do you have more social media followers? Have you made more sales? These questions will help you determine if your campaign has been a success or if you need to make any adjustments to your influencer marketing strategy.