Under the Influence: How to Establish an Influencer Marketing Campaign
You’ve probably heard the term “influencer marketing” being discussed in marketing circles, but what does it even mean?
At their core, influencer campaigns seek to tap into existing communities of really engaged followers in order to grow their own. This isn’t a new concept; for years, brands have been working with individuals to help promote their brand in both subtle and overt ways. But the evolution of social media has fundamentally changed the way influencers engage with brands and their customers.
So why are these tastemakers and innovators important to your business? Consider this:
- Influencer marketing content delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. (TapInfluence study with Nielsen Catalina Solutions, 2016)
- 40% of people say they’ve purchased an item online after seeing it used by an influencer on Instagram, Twitter, Vine, or YouTube (Twitter and Annalect, 2016)
- 73% of Millennials see it as their responsibility to guide friends, peers, and family toward smart purchase decisions. (Fleishman-Hillard PR & Hearst Magazine)
- 73% of marketers say they have allocated budget for influencer marketing.
With the ever-changing landscape of traditional and digital advertising, influencer marketing can be an effective way to cut through the clutter and make sure your marketing messaging is seen, heard and, more importantly, acted upon.
So, what’s your influencer strategy?
Don’t have one?! Don’t worry; these tips will help you blog, video, snap and pose your brand to success.
- Understand Your Audience
Before you go off and hire what you think might be the “best” influencer for your brand, take a look in the mirror. Do a deep dive into your analytics and user base. Find out what kind of followers you currently have, what platforms they gravitate toward, what kinds of content perform best, and where their interests lie. These insights will start to create the framework for the types of influencers that will be right for your campaign.
- Quality Over Quantity
I get it, the mega-influencer with millions of followers sounds great for your brand. But is it? Like with other media, bigger doesn’t always mean better.
With a shift toward micro-influencers – accounts with fewer than 100,000 followers – chasing large influencers that don’t align with your audience is a waste of your time and budget, and may land the right results you expect.
According to Gil Eyal, founder of HYPR, “More than 90% of posts are made by influencers with less than 1 million followers. This number was around 60% in the beginning of 2016… In early 2016 a client could be satisfied with two influencers with two million followers each. Now they want to see 20-30 influencers with smaller followings.”
- Develop Partnerships
An influencer campaign isn’t a transaction, it’s a relationship. The influencers you work with should help support your business goals – whether that’s growing your social following, launching a new product or increase sales. None of these goals can be achieved if they perceive that the campaign is developed from an unauthentic place.
Influencers are influential because they’ve developed a personal brand that connects with their audiences. Embrace that. Rather than pushing an agenda, provide the framework and let your influencer partner do what they’re good at in their own voice and style. This opens the door for more a meaningful, long-term partnership.
- Track and Measure
Once you have your platform, influencer and tactic set, you can determine your KPIs.
There are many tools that you can use to your advantage to track clicks, conversions, and engagement. Use them to your advantage. This will help you measure, analyze and make appropriate adjustments for future campaigns.
Ready to dip your toes into the influencer marketing pool?
No brand is too big or too small to leverage the potential and power of influencers in their marketing efforts. With an eye on context, channel, and authenticity – and hard data to back up your hard work – social marketing domination is within your grasp.