Influencer Strategy: 5 tips to create a successful marketing campaign
4 Minute Read
Influencer marketing has exploded.
No longer do brands reach out exclusively to celebrities for endorsements. Now, they look to influencers: bloggers, thought leaders, and social media stars who have built their following through their carefully curated content.
Influencers are masters of their personal brand. They know their audience, and connect with them by delivering value. People scroll their feeds to be entertained, educated or to feel connected.
Given the respect they command, it’s no wonder a single promoted post from an influencer can cause a product to sell out in a matter of minutes. The earning potential for businesses is huge, and that’s why 65% of brands plan to increase spending on influencer marketing this year.
But, as with all great things, there are of course downfalls and things to avoid. Influencer marketing fraud is becoming increasingly problematic, with brands unknowingly paying for the services of influencers with purchased followers.
Here are our top tips for crafting your lucrative influencer strategy:
1. Choose your influencers carefully
The influencer you choose needs to be the right fit for your brand and audience. Marketers are no longer looking to the influencers with the most followers but, rather, the people with the audience most aligned with their brand.
Likewise, influencers are protective of their image and reputation – and are unlikely to work with a company they don’t feel fits with the ethos of their personal brand.
Micro-influencers – those with fewer than 50,000 followers – are more in demand than ever, and for good reason. They have a targeted group of followers, not to mention are more affordable. They often have a very dedicated, niche following, and typically have higher engagement levels than that of influencers with large audiences. In addition, they may put out fewer sponsored posts, meaning their audience has a different degree of trust to that of large-scale influencers who heavily use sponsored posts.
You might even want to incorporate your in-house experts or even customers into your influencer strategy – a great option for those with a low budget.
2. Do your research
With influencer marketing fraud on the rise, it’s important to do your due diligence. It’s not uncommon for a brand to pay an influencer huge sums of cash for a social post sent out to to thousands of fake followers. In fact, a recent study on influencers and marketing spend found that 12% of UK influencers bought fake Instagram followers in the first half of 2018.
Look beyond followers to engagement – look at the interactions on their posts. What kind of conversations are taking place? This will give you an insight into the authenticity of the audience.
There are tools that claim to be able to algorithmically detect fake followers. These tools can help you look out for things such as large overnight follower spikes that can ring alarm bells.
3. Be creative
We’ve all seen the myriad sponsored social media posts with an influencer showcasing a product in some way with an accompanying #ad hashtag. But there are so many others ways to create content collaboratively and stand out from the crowd. Influencers love having creative freedom. In fact, a survey by Crowdtap found that for most influencers, their favourite projects are the ones that give them creative freedom.
Work with your influencer to create something special. Consider videos, interviews, tutorials, live Q and A sessions or top tips articles. If you’re a food brand, it could be sharing a much-loved recipe, or if cosmetics is your thing, a tutorial on the latest makeup or skincare trend. What content would your audience enjoy? How about your influencer’s audience? Whatever you do, make sure the content is relevant, provides value, and doesn’t come across as spammy or overly promotional.
4. Try and be as authentic as possible
You’re legally required to state when a piece of content is sponsored, so you need to work harder to overcome consumers’ cynicism when it comes to promotions. This is why it’s so important to choose an influencer who fits with your brand values and ethos, and why the content you create needs to avoid being too salesy. A post which effectively states ‘buy this’ just won’t cut it, and while you may get a few more sales, it risks harming your brand’s reputation. Be sure to identify a clear brand voice and guidelines for your content in your influencer strategy.
5. Set clear goals and measure
There are a host of reasons why you might want to use an influencer: raising brand awareness, loyalty, or raising sales of a specific product line. Regardless, you’ll need to set clear KPIs for what you want to achieve.
Influencers can provide value in ways that are not easily measured, such as raising brand awareness amongst a new audience. That being said, you do need to find ways to measure the impact of your campaigns.
Some ways to measure impact include:
Traffic – request that your influencer uses tracked links so you can measure the traffic driven to your site.
Conversions – Likewise, by using trackable links you should be able to detect conversions that came directly from an influencer campaign.
Social media stats – measure the impact on your social media followers and engagement.
Mentions – are people talking more about your brand? Use tools like Mention to see if conversations around your brand are increasing on the web.
That’s all for now folks…
So, we all know influencer marketing is a hugely hot marketing tactic right now, and you might want to dive in straight away. But do remember it’s so important to get that influencer strategy nailed before launching your first piece of content. Don’t forget to do your due diligence, plan effectively and strategise how you and your chosen influencer will work together. Importantly, have fun!
We hope you enjoyed the tips in this article. Good luck on your influencer strategy endeavours and let us know how you get on!