How to Create a Social Media Influencer Campaign in 5 Steps
7 Minute Read
You probably know what a social media influencer is by now.
If you haven’t, they are the ‘popular group’ of the social media world. The people that make a lifestyle out of their ability to hop onto trends and set a tone for their audience. Their talent lies with their ability to build and maintain engagement with a following. They are the trusted source of direction and influence online.
When executed correctly, mastering a social media influencer campaign can be extremely rewarding for the following:
- Spreading brand awareness
- Creating branded content
- Improving SEO
- Generating lead
- Increasing website traffic
- Increasing sales conversions
- Communicating your story
With influencer marketing set to be a $10 Billion industry by 2020, many marketers are looking to kick-start campaigns. The main issue being, a lot of people are unfamiliar with the process – how do you conduct a social media influencer campaign?
This post will provide you guys with a step-by-step guide.
1. Campaign strategy
There is such a wide range of avenues to conduct your social media influencer campaign. It is important to create and maintain a specific goal throughout. As we now know, there are more effective ways to use social media influencers than a simple ‘one-post promotion’. The goal is to establish a long-term relationship (we’ll talk more about this later).
You should have already decided what products you want to promote. The first real decision is choosing which platform is most suitable for your brand and product. This will narrow down your search slightly.
Following this, it makes sense for you to explore what market you are tapping into. What demographic would love your brand? Who holds that demographic in their social media following?
Once you have this idea in place, you need to think about the story you want to tell. One study suggested that 80% of consumers consider “authenticity of content” as the most influential factor behind their decision to follow a brand. Social media influencers are fantastic at telling stories. They will make your product shine amongst any ‘everyday’ setting. Make sure that you have your brand story in place prior to approaching your future partners; it will make their decision to work with you much easier.
If all of these points add up, you have the framework to start your social media influencer campaign.
2. Choose your influencer(s)
If you have a finger on the industries pulse, chances are that you know who the hottest influencers are in your market. If you do not (which is not uncommon), you will need to get researching.
Social media influencers can typically be split-up into generalised categories. Fashion, Fitness, Lifestyle, Beauty etc. It is not always that straightforward but you get the idea – you can see below that Pamela has a fitness page. Chances are, she would be unlikely to promote your new alcoholic beverage. Her audience doesn’t go to her page to see that content. It’s best to keep it simple and stick to what you know will correlate properly.
Have a real good look into the audience interaction that the influencer receives. You should be aiming for an audience category which matches up with the demographic you decided on earlier.
In your search, you want to identify the influencer who seems to represent the values of your brand. If you sold high quality denim jeans, you wouldn’t want to work with someone who promotes cheaper alternatives.
Still struggling to find who you’re looking for? Use tools.
With social media being a busy place, it is not always easy to find what you’re searching for. In response to demand over the past few years, there is now a market full of tools to help you on your social media influencer campaign.
There is quite a lot out there, so choosing the right one for your brand can be daunting. You can click this article recently released by Brandwatch to discover some of the most popular. From some research I conducted in a previous blog, Ninja Outreach seems like a great, simple tool to use.
Ninja uses a great filtered search tool with a catalogue of over 20 million influencers. One of the coolest features is the engagement rating provided to influencers profiles. It gives you an impression of how much an influencers audience respond to their content, based on a metric of likes, comments and follows. This kind of thing is particularly useful if you’re worried about the authenticity of the influencers page.
If you are clever with these kinds of tools, they will be very rewarding in matching your brand to the right social media influencer.
3. The approach
By this point of the process, you will have short listed your ideal marketing partners. Those who share similar brand values, have an audience that you would love to tap into and promote products that you would deem in a similar category to your own.
It’s time to start reaching out to your list of influencers. You should remember, this is still part of the long-term strategy so its better to be patient and stick at it.
It can be tricky to break through the noise by sending out bulk emails. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work, it just means that influencers inbox’s are very busy with demand. The best thing you can do in this situation, is attempt to build up a more personal connection. Here are a few tips to help gauge some attention…
Your brand page should be following, liking, sharing and commenting on the content they put out. Engage regularly, but don’t push it. You want them to know that you admire their work. Influencers pay close attention to their socials, so getting their attention may not be as difficult as you think.
You can also even try and involve yourself in their conversations. Lot’s of influencers hang out in LinkedIn groups, Webinars etc. See if you can get involved in any way. You can also look to see who they are following to check if you have any mutual connections – you never know, there may be one or two.
4. Make a proposal
Hopefully at this point, you would have gathered a little attention from your targeted social media influencer. But it is pretty unlikely that they will reach out to you. It’s now time to get a little more professional and draft up an email of proposal.
The proposal needs to be in line with their genre of work and beneficial to themselves as well as their audience. If you are aiming to promote a physical product, it’s always good practice to send over some free products if you can get hold of an address.
There are some fantastic articles about, advising how to properly reach out to a social media influencer via email. Again from Ninja Outreach, check out this article about email proposals. It provides some excellent examples and explanations for inspiration.
As I said before, these people get bombarded with emails. Don’t take it personally if they do not respond. Send out follow ups to ensure that they are receiving your inquiries.
5. Get to work
By now, you will have found a social media influencer who wants to collaborate. You have a product/ brand that needs promoting, you have a target demographic to aim content at and you have a story to tell.
Things have changed somewhat over the past few years. Scares in the authenticity of influencer marketing have changed the way that followers interact with sponsored content. Marketers have learnt that throwing a lump of cash at a single-post on a big account is not the most effective way to use a social media influencer.
You should take this opportunity to work collaboratively. Creating a campaign that shows the authenticity behind your brand story. It will likely be mirrored in your audience’s response. Your approach will vary depending on platform, but the principles pretty much remain the same.
Time it well
Start off by gifting your social media influencer with a box of goodies. This will give them a chance to familiarise themselves with your product range and it breaks the ice a little. At the start of a partnership, influencers are likely to share these gestures on their social stories.
Next would come a sponsored post (whether it be an image on Instagram or a video feature on Youtube). Blog posts are also a fantastic way to share content at this stage. They allow your product range and brand story to be properly understood by readers who hold a real interest.
A follow-up to this could be a competition or giveaway. Influencers love increasing their engagement and competitions are a great way to boost the activity on the accounts of both parties. It also shows compassion towards your audience, you want to reward them for investing time and money into your brand.
To continue building your partnership, you could involved your influencer in the process of creating products and campaigns. Brands have often opted into collaborations and exclusive product launches with influencers. A fantastic way to create more urgency around your brand by releasing limited collaborative product lines. Joining two names on one product is a very powerful move and it solidifies your relationship.
Naturally, these campaigns can stretch to interviews, photo shoots, brand events etc. Creating a partnership with a social media influencer is all about joining two worlds; generating more leads, creating more exposure, tapping into your target audience, proving legitimacy and telling your story.
Tackling a social media influencer campaign can be tricky. If you stick to the basics and use the opportunity to create a powerful relationship, the results will follow.
Finding the perfect individual who holds your target market audience is the key. You can build from the ground up after finding them. Keep it fresh, innovative and exciting. Work together and build a campaign that works well for the both of you.
If you have any questions regarding this article then we’d love you to reach out. Make sure to check out our new social media influencer tool, Shopcast – you can try it out for free today.