Let’s face it, people are today more inclined to purchase various goods and services if they’re promoted strictly by their own peers rather than advertised by multi-national corporations. There’s a general feeling of distrusts nowadays in larger companies and a prejudice that they only cater to their own greed instead of their customers. Traditional methods simply don’t work anymore, as everyone’s grown tired of them. For this reason, word-of-mouth and influencer marketing is stronger than ever before. Brands are slowly realizing the importance of peer reviews and testimonials as they employ countless influencers to do their bidding. Yet, it’s not as simple as that. Building a successful influencer marketing strategy that will eventually make any sort of impact takes time, careful planning and an analysis of collected data. So, if you’re interested in setting up the said strategy yourself, read on.
1) Plan your campaign in advance
Rookie marketers often make the same mistake of jumping right into the fray without any idea what exactly they want to achieve with their marketing campaign. First and foremost, you need to set specific, measurable goals and objectives that you want accomplished before doing anything else. For example, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority employed DJ Khaled to help them launch their new Snapchat channel and gain some additional exposure in the process. For a few days he was in charge of the whole channel as he showed the city during his tour. Needless to say, the campaign was an immediate success with over 300,000 channel views, which was a huge boost to their brand awareness . However, this doesn’t mean you should spend your entire budget on getting the first celebrity you can get your hands on to promote your brand. In this case, DJ Khaled was actually relevant for the said Snapchat campaign as he is generally known as the ‘King of Snapchat’, making him the most logical choice over other celebrities.
2) Finding the right influencers
As seen with the DJ Khaled example, finding the right influencers for your brand on your own isn’t at all easy. You need to be aware of who your target audience is, what and who they like, if you wish to find an influencer that is compatible with your goals and objectives. To do this, you can search different social media platforms yourself, and then proceed to contact each of these influencers; or you can use sophisticated influencer opportunity and link building tools to save time and do the job for you. Searching manually doesn’t always guarantee success as the influencer in question might not be interested in the job or too busy with something else, whereas computerized tools both collect and sort data much faster than a human ever could. In addition, they do a better and more in-depth analysis of the gathered data, and usually have some built-in spam protection protocols and filtering systems to simplify searches. Either way, finding micro-influencers who are somehow relevant to your brand is smarter than working with someone who has millions of bandwagon followers.
3) Building a relationship
Hopefully you have found the influencers you were looking for and can now focus on forging a solid relationship with them and their followers. In order to do this, you must collaborate with your influencer and listen to what they have to say. They know best who their followers are and what they like, so work together on building content that they will thoroughly enjoy. Don’t just pass on random content you’ve just made like a hot potato and expect results. No influencer in the world will save you if you feed them rubbish content that their readers can’t relate to. Focus on providing quality content that will in some way inform, educate or entertain your followers. Also, be up to date with all the relevant hot topics and don’t forget to tune in on them as well. If you previously found yourself a micro-influencer, you’ll probably have a much easier time with this as they have a better understanding and a much deeper engagement with their followers than the ‘big-shots’.
4) Measure everything
Finally, you want to keep track of your KPIs so you can analyze the data gathered later on. KPIs, or key performance indicators, are quantifiable metrics you use to record data in order to measure just how successful your marketing campaign has been. For example, some of these metrics include views, conversion rates, reach, engagement, and so on. Without them you cannot determine which areas of your strategy need further improvement and which are turning the most profit. This is done by calculating your ROI (return on investment) based on your initial budget to get some exact figures. Depending on the numbers, you want to either change something completely or keep doing more of the same for your next campaign.
All in all, don’t forget that influencers are human beings too. They’re not just robots that do your bidding. Treat them with respect, listen, and build a lucrative working relationship that will benefit both sides.