Let's face it: Customers have become smarter than brands!
And to make them buy from you, you first need to develop a sense of trust between your brand and them. The trust that will allow them to put their hard-earned money on your product. But how to do that?
Start with those who have already earned their trust.
The influencers whom they follow.
Influencers are those who have a large follower base on various social media platforms and have the vigor of influencing others' buying decisions. And using those influencers to promote your brand is called influencer marketing.
According to a study, not only 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations, but 40% had even purchased after seeing a product on either Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube. Moreover, a whopping 89% of marketers say that ROI from influencer marketing is more than other marketing methods.
However, having influencers to promote your brand isn't sufficient; you need a proper strategy to make your campaign work. And this article is all about that "proper strategy."
This article will explore 18 tips that can help you create your first killer influencer marketing campaign.
Any marketing strategy which doesn't have specific goals and a defined target audience is most likely to fail. To leverage influencer marketing for your brand, you need to start with a set of goals or objectives first and then define your target audience accordingly.
What do you want to achieve through your influencer marketing campaign? Your goal can be anything like-
Once you set your goals, you'll be able to measure your success rate by evaluating the key metrics. For example, if your goal is to drive traffic to your website, you can check your analytics and see how many people visited your website through the social media platform you're using.
If your goal is to boost social media reach and engagement, you can check how many people engaged with your post through comments, likes, and shares.
So to start with, set your goals and then work upon creating the rest of the strategy.
Do you know the people you wish to reach? Creating a strategy becomes much easier when you know whom you're targeting. You can consider age, gender, location, demographics, etc., to draw a clear image of your target audience. Moreover, once you have defined the target audience, you'll be able to pick the right platform and the influencers for your campaign quickly.
You're new, and investing a lot might not be a great strategy. So what you should do is find smaller influencer communities.
Influencers who are famous and well-known can help you expand your reach and promote your brand name. These are the influencers who might not have followers in millions but in thousands. However, these influencers can have a highly targeted audience who are most likely to follow your brand and later get converted into sales.
There are several Facebook and LinkedIn communities, companies offering influencer marketing services, and even individuals consultants who can help you get such influencers.
Instagram ranks in the first position as the most powerful influencer marketing platform. However, there are many other powerful platforms, like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. But do you know that not every platform can be beneficial for your brand? Yes, you need to choose the platforms wisely.
To choose the right platform, put yourself in your customer's shoes, and determine which platforms they use the most. Is it Instagram or Facebook, or LinkedIn? Now, based on research, select the platforms and then create your strategy accordingly.
You don't need to use just one platform; you can target as many as you want based on your target audience. Also, if you're confused about the right platform, experiment with one and then move forward with another one accordingly.
The most significant factor on which your campaign's real success is dependent upon your influencers. It would help if you had a complete strategy for choosing the right influencers for your campaign. However, there are several influencer marketing platforms out there that can help you choose your influencers wisely and drive your campaign. However, if you want to pick it yourself, you need to research your influencers thoroughly.
Several fake influencers buy followers and likes for attracting brands to pay them for posting. This might help you get great engagement, but that isn't going to help increase brand awareness or get real leads.
In addition to it, you also need to check the influencer's niche and if it aligns with your target audience. For example, if you're dealing with food items, you should go for food bloggers who have a significant number of followers and get enough engagement on their posts. Also, you need to determine which kind of influencers do you need, micro or macro. Micro-influencers are those 500-10K followers, and macro-influencers have 10K to 1 million followers.
As aforementioned, customers are smarter than brands, and woo your customers by leveraging influencer marketing; you need to have wooing ideas. The majority would never engage seriously with a post that is blatantly promoting something. Now you may leave this on the influencers or try to come up with your ideas.
To find ideas, you first need to determine the solutions you provide and then create a content idea around that solution. Put simply, develop an idea that shows how your product or services can help your audience or add value to their lives. The best idea here is to share stories of your customers who have benefited from your products/services.
While you can simply get them to post about your brand in exchange for some cash or a free product, you need to go for a long-term relationship. A long-term influencer relationship is nurtured over time for the benefit of both parties. For the brand, it helps in developing authenticity in front of their target audience. For influencers, it reflects that they have worked with a brand and have proven to be beneficial for the long term, helping them get more opportunities.
If you think that just having the influencers can help your brand grow exponentially, you're mistaken. People look out for more human-like brands. This is why even brands like Netflix and Zomato keep commenting on random posts by their users.
When you engage with your audience, you allow them to talk to you as a human and not a brand, helping them get the 'wow' experience. To start with-
This is undoubtedly the best idea to engage with several influencers and get them to post about your brand: create a roundup post. A roundup post is a list of influencers working in a specific niche—for example, the top 10 food bloggers to follow on Instagram.
Once you create such a post, you can easily reach out to these people and ask them to share the post with their audience. This is beneficial for both parties because it helps the influencer boost their brand and help the brand get more eyeballs.
Your influencers are your brand ambassadors, and you need to keep them happy if you want to keep connecting with your target audience. One of the best ways to do this is to keep giving your audience. Gift them a product but don't expect them to post about your brand if you're not sponsoring the post. However, you can still ask the influencer to post about your brand if they like the product and think that their audience might benefit from it.
Just know that gifting a product doesn't mean that they must post about it. They may even post negative reviews if the product is not that good or they don't like it. To get the influencer to post positive about the product, you need to focus on building a good relationship with the influencer. Also, your product must be excellent and worth sharing.
Do you have competitors? Do they use influencer marketing? Are they getting benefitted from it?
Your competitors can be your most significant source of information. Studying their strategy can help you create your winning strategy. If they are leveraging influencer marketing, you can check who their influencers are and how they help them.
Once you do some digging, think about which strategies can help your brand and if you can contact the same influencer or find similar ones. This step will also help you understand your audience and which type of influencers and posts woo them.
Everything that you're doing is because you need results. Based on what goal you had before launching the campaign, check if you're getting the right results. If you're getting it, you can start investing more in your campaign and make it a bigger one, but if you're not, think about what modifications your campaign needs.
Remember, you need results, and if you're not getting them, it's time to look upon your strategy and rectify it.
Partnering with the same set of influencers might not be that effective after a certain period. You need to keep reaching out to new influencers in your niche for marketing your brand.
With every new influencer, you'll be able to reach out to a new set of audiences. If you allow influencers to use their creativity for posting about your brand, you allow your audience to see your brand from a different angle.
However, you must choose influencers based on your target audience and their follower base instead of the followers' count.
Remember that post where an influencer claimed that using her name as a coupon code can get you 25% off on the product? Yes, that's what I am talking about here.
This a simple strategy used by brands to woo the influencer's audience in the go. With an exclusive offer like this, you boost people's chances of buying from you once they hear about you from a trusted source. An exclusive offer can be anything like a discount, freebie, buy one get one, free shipping, etc.
Don't limit your brand in your region only, but instead, go for the bigger picture and target influencers from around the world. There are several influencers on the various platforms covering plenty of niches, and you need to choose the ones related to your niche and help your brand regardless of their location.
However, do this only if you're capable of shipping your products to other countries. If you can't, don't try this strategy. And if you can, there's no point in sticking to just the nearby influencers.
Instagram stories are one of the best ways to keep interacting with the audience. However, many brands still ignore stories and go for posts when it comes to influencer marketing. The "swipe-up" feature is the best way to get your audience to your landing page.
As stories aren't permanent, influencers also charge less in comparison with the sponsored posts. So, if you're starting and want people to visit your landing page, stories are a better option than posts. Though if you have a good budget for your campaign, you can try a mix of both. But whatever, you do never ignore stories thinking that it's useless.
Most of the social media platforms have an in-built analytics tool. However, these tools might not provide you with sufficient data for analyzing the results correctly. And there come third-party analytics tools. There are several tools out there helping brands analyzing the data in a better way.
One such tool is Google Analytics, which allows brands to check if the social media platforms help their landing page more traffic and get converted. Once you check such data, you'll understand if your campaign is working and if your landing page needs any modifications.
Based on what social media platform you're using, you can find third-party tools that provide better analytics.
You're running your influencer marketing campaign on Twitter, so why not promote the tweets on Instagram and Facebook as well? It's fine if your Twitter influencer isn't an influencer on Instagram, but you can always tell your audience on Instagram about the Twitter influencer and how he/she liked your product.
This allows your Insta fam to see how helpful your product or service is. Also, most of the time, when someone is famous on one platform, a part of their audience always follows them on other platforms. So, it's always a good idea to cross-promote your campaign on various social media platforms.
Like any other marketing strategy, influencer marketing also needs basic experiences that can boost success. Now, if you're a newbie, you might not be able to manage everything on your own, and that's where you'd need an expert by your side. If you decide to work without getting any help, you might end up with a failed campaign.
You can either hire an entire agency to help you or an experienced freelancer. Based on your budget, hire someone, and once you understand the dos and the don't, you can work on your own.
Influencer marketing is an ongoing marketing trend that is helping brands of all sizes get tremendous benefits. Now, based on your marketing budget, you can either do it all by yourself or use an influencer marketing platform to do the job for you. It's always a great idea to hire experts to work because they have a better idea of making influencer marketing work for your brand. However, several tutorials and self-help resources out there can help you in the process if you want to move alone.
So these were the 18 top tips that can help you launch your influencer marketing campaign and help your brand grow exponentially.
Charu Mitra Dubey is a content creating and marketing expert for B2B and SaaS companies. Other than content marketing, she also helps startups and individuals to boost brand awareness and build an audience on LinkedIn. She has been featured on several websites including Entrepreneur, GoDaddy Garage, and Hackernoon. In 2019, she was awarded as one of the 50 most influential content marketing professionals in India by World Marketing Congress.