How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy
One of the best ways to amplify brand presence and boost ROI is influencer marketing, which works by teaming up with digital creators who promote products or services through carefully crafted messaging. How can you build an influencer marketing strategy?
Before initiating an influencer campaign, it’s essential to identify your desired goals. Common targets may include raising brand recognition and increasing sales.
Know Your Purpose
Before embarking on any influencer marketing campaign, it’s essential that the goals are clear. Whether your objective is driving social conversation or lead generation, KPIs (key performance indicators) should be set as benchmarks; BuzzStream wanted to increase trial sign-ups and email subscribers as its KPI. Having clear goals set before beginning an influencer marketing initiative, it can guide content and tactics used throughout it.
Once you have your KPIs in mind, it’s essential to identify which product or service you wish to promote with influencer marketing and the type of influencer that would best serve it – be it celebrities with large followings or micro-influencers that provide authentic engagement and access to niche consumers. Your industry could also dictate which platforms work for you: fashion brands tend to flourish on Instagram while video game manufacturers favor YouTube/Twitch as platforms.
Determine what messaging and content you would like your influencers to send out to their audiences. Be creative in your approach, rather than copying what other influencers do as this could backfire and damage the brand’s image.
Attracting influencers is also vital, so be sure to draft a contract that sets forth your expectations in regard to payment structures, influencer responsibilities, and image manipulation clauses that protect your brand from influencer misuse of editing apps or filters – this may make products appear more appealing but could damage credibility should the manipulation become known to your target audience.
Analyse Your Competitors
Competitor analysis is a crucial element of marketing campaign planning so you need to know it when you build an influencer marketing strategy, providing you with an overview of what your competitors are doing and their successes to provide a solid basis for creating a more effective strategy for influencer marketing campaigns. Knowing what competitors are up to can help improve performance, open new doors for growth, and make wiser decisions.
With the right tools, conducting a competitor audit for influencer marketing is straightforward. Traackr’s technology makes it simple to assess competitors on multiple criteria ranging from audience engagement and ROI, budgets and campaigns analysis and even finding influencers that have worked with them.
An influencer marketing competitor analysis can yield many beneficial insights, from the overall effectiveness of strategies to specific details like spending amounts per campaign. You’ll gain an idea of their audiences’ responses – for instance, age and location differences may come into play here.
Though not every brand is yet using influencer marketing, if your competitors are, this may be an indicator that it may be beneficial in reaching new audiences and driving growth. Influencer marketing presents unique marketing opportunities to engage customers through genuine content creators who build trust among audiences while forging authentic connections that other forms of promotion may miss.
The second step when you build an influencer marketing strategy is analyzing your competitors is identifying their influencer marketing strategies. This can be accomplished by exploring their social media profiles and blog posts as well as any sponsored content that might be beneficial to your business.
Know Your Audience
When building an influencer marketing campaign, it is crucial that you clearly communicate your goals and KPIs to all involved influencers so they understand the scope of it and what’s expected from them. Setting an initial deadline will also allow you to keep tabs on its progress over time.
Understanding your target audience is key when selecting an influencer who best matches up with your brand. Although large audiences can be useful if your product covers a broad spectrum, smaller influencers with niche audiences could prove more valuable for more niche product offerings.
Influencers tend to take great pride in their platforms and ensure the content they post is generating results, so they look for brands they believe to be an ideal partner.
One way to boost conversion is to offer influencers exclusive promotions they can share with their followers – this will not only generate revenue while simultaneously promoting your brand but can also make tracking performance and conversions simpler. Giving influencers links directly to your website makes tracking performance and conversions simpler as well.
When working with influencers as you build an influencer marketing strategy, it’s essential that a contract be drawn up that outlines their campaign guidelines and protects you from influencers who may attempt to manipulate images to deceive consumers or misrepresent products in their posts. Furthermore, your contract should include a morality clause requiring that influencers remain honest and transparent with their audiences.
Influencers are trusted sources of information for younger generations, which makes partnering with influencers when targeting a new audience crucial. Indeed, 89% of marketers cite ROI comparable to or greater than other channels when it comes to influencer marketing.
Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
As you select platforms to implement in your influencer marketing strategy, keep your goals in mind when selecting them. If brand awareness is top of mind, look for platforms that track engagement such as views and clicks; or if ROI is the focus, select one that allows for sales lead tracking. Whatever direction your decision goes in, just ensure it is easy to use with all marketing tools and programs you utilize.
As influencers must genuinely love your products, it is crucial that influencers are taken on board with your cause and brand sincerely. A great way to do this is by looking at similar brands within your industry that share similar target demographics such as Herschel Supply Co’s outdoor gear sales as an indicator of their influencer campaigns are working well for them.
Once you’ve identified potential influencers, it’s time to reach out. For micro-influencers this might mean sending a private message or email; with larger followings, you may require reaching out directly to their manager; usually, these professionals focus on their client’s career development so you’ll need to convince them why partnering with your brand will benefit both parties involved.
Influencers often accept products in exchange for an endorsement, while some will expect payment – whether in the form of a flat fee or commission on sales, leads, or engagements. Make sure there is an agreed-upon contract in place and that influencers make appropriate disclosures in their content. E-commerce platforms like BigCommerce offer Buy Online Pick Up In Store functionality which can strengthen your influencer marketing strategy.
Review Your Content
Influencer marketing requires more than simply advocating for your ideas; you also must gain endorsement from influential figures within your industry for them to gain any traction. Paul’s team focused on finding relevant influencers within SEO and content marketing fields whose opinions were widely held and respected as they shared their content. WordStream found experts such as Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer at Content Marketing Institute and one of the world’s foremost voices in content marketing who regularly shares her insight on social media and at conferences. Larry Kim, WordStream’s Chief Technology Officer is also known for his considerable expertise and thought leadership within paid search and content marketing fields.
When working with influencers, you must ensure their content complies with your campaign goals and expectations. A clear contract should outline all terms of this partnership including any compensation they may be receiving as well as how they’ll access and publish any content you create for them if it has copyright protection and for how long.
Awario is an invaluable tool for businesses to evaluate both their own influencer marketing campaigns as well as those of their competitors. The platform’s influencer marketing analytics and audience response reporting allow you to gain invaluable insight into tactics used by competitors and audience response to content promotion strategies used. Furthermore, Awario’s social media management tools make it possible to identify, join and amplify discussions surrounding your brands anywhere online from news articles, blogs videos, and forums to track growth awareness metrics and get industry benchmarking reports from Awario itself.