How To Do Influencer Marketing
Influencers – we’re all familiar with what they do. If you’re around young people, you’re probably aware just how many want to become them. Savvy marketers know how to leverage the power of influencers into their campaign strategies. By contrast, those who see influencers as a ‘Gen Z’ fad will fail to attract younger audiences.
Influencer marketing is centred around gaining endorsements and product mentions from the prominent figures that so many people look up to – and frankly, want to be. But how do you go about influencer marketing? Getting started can be tricky. It’s not as simple as making a deal with an influencer who has a large following and expecting drastic results. Influencers who have a dedicated social media following are often experts within a niche. We at Osi Affiliate, have put together a guide to help you to find the right influencer and gain access to that niche.
Step 1 – Research
When getting started with an influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to have a clear goal in mind. That will take research and planning. Are you looking to raise brand awareness? Gain traffic to your website? Maybe you’re looking to increase sales and lead generation by a particular amount?
According to a Linqia survey, of the marketers who used influencer marketing, 89% wanted to create authentic brand content, 77% wanted to drive engagement and 56% to drive traffic to their websites. Many businesses look for influencers to help create brand content around a specific event or product.
Your choice of influencer may change depending on your goal. For example, if you’re looking to raise awareness around a new line of products, you may be targeting an influencer whose expertise goes beyond your core brand message. Regardless, it’s important to search for an active influencer who shares regular, high-quality content. They should appear to be authentic. Crucially, they should have an engaged audience that likes and comments on their content.
An influencer with a larger audience won’t necessarily transfer their following to your brand. In fact, smaller influencers, known as micro influencers, are more likely to help your campaign succeed. The reason is engagement. According to Digiday, Instagram influencers that have a follow of 10,000 to 100,000 usually receive better engagement (2.4% like rate) than compared to those that have 1 million to 10 million followers (1.7% like rate). Truly, there is an art to pairing your brand with the right influencer.
Step 2 – Outreach
Once you’ve identified your preferred influencer, there’s the tricky game of outreach. In fact, many respectable companies will outsource this step to a marketing company entirely (we like Reward Agency for their honest ethos). Outreach is tricky given the fact you have to leverage your brand and the idea of collaboration to an influencer who likely gets tons of similar requests on a daily basis.
The best starting point is to get on their radar. For example, follow an influencer on Twitter, Instagram or Linkedin and begin to like their posts and comment on their blogs. Most influencers are active across multiple platforms, so take advantage of that fact. However, it’s also strikingly apparent when you’re looking to gain something from someone. You don’t want to pester your potential business partner. In fact, honesty should be the linchpin of your dialogue. There’s no point trying to hide your intentions. Influencers are often busy people with many suitors – they’ll know that you’re contacting them with a transactional relationship in mind. However, this relationship should also be useful to them. Put the focus on how you can help them (are you offering free products or a paid promotion?). Most of all, do it in an open and courteous manner.
Whenever you’re contacting an influencer, tailor a personal message. When you use a template message, you’re actually communicating something very specific – that you haven’t done the research, or haven’t the respect required to make them feel special.
Step 3 – Management
Managing an influencer campaign is a tricky beast in itself. If an influencer posts too frequently about your company, the chances are that their followers will see it as a nuisance, or tune out to it entirely. If they post incorrect information – well, we don’t need to outline the damage that can do to your brand.
To make sure everyone is on the same page, effective campaign management should include the onboarding process. You should work to ensure that the influencer’s content meets your brand’s requirements. You should clarify how you are going to track posts, engagement and following. At this point, you should set the realistic expectations of a campaign, negotiate rates and terms, and explain the scope of a project.
Campaign management will include a review of an influencer’s ongoing posts – in regards to your brand and even their other content. You don’t want to align yourself with a controversial figure. You should also monitor the infleuncer’s audience, ensuring that they’re real followers (not bots) and that your campaign is reaching the right demographics. Crucially, the posts should comply with the necessary legal requirements (such as the FTC disclosure rules. Finally, campaign management should ensure that any and all posts (past and future) should follow your brand’s guidelines and message.
Step 4 – Monitor Performance
According to studies, 89% of all marketers find the return on investment (ROI) from influencer marketing comparable to or better than other marketing strategies. But how is this ROI measured? That depends on the goals of the campaign. If you set out to generate a certain amount of income in a particular time frame, you would examine the relevant revenue metrics.
Alternatively, you may be keeping on top of the total impressions, number of clicks that lead to your landing page/website, the average engagement rate or even the conversions that a campaign has produced.
Marketing agencies often provide the best route to effective social media strategy. That’s because agencies understand how social media growth is achieved – they’re best positioned to work with influencers on an organic and effective campaign. One that uses the right amount of posts, optimised to produce the greatest results, reflecting your brand and products in the best possible manner.