Looking to set up an influencer marketing campaign but you’re not exactly sure where to start? You’ve dabbled a little in influencer marketing but can’t seem to make it work?
Then this guide is definitely for you.
We’ll help you launch your first influencer marketing campaign by giving you step-by-step guidelines that’ll help you develop your marketing strategy, find the right influencers for your brand, and set up a successful influencer marketing campaign or improve your existing one.
In this digital age we’re all a part of, many businesses have already changed the way in which they advertise. Since traditional advertising doesn’t let you speak directly to your target audience, and doesn’t really allow you to follow the success of your campaign as closely as you can with social and digital marketing – not to mention that is costs a lot more – it’s no surprise that social media advertising marketing is on the rise.
Influencer marketing is one corner of the huge umbrella that is SMM, but in recent years it has become a powerful tactic for brands who want to expand their reach and bridge the gap to their target audiences.
The facts speak that consumers nowadays trust social proof more than ads on billboards.
So, it makes total sense that more and more businesses are starting to make use of influencer marketing to share their message through an influential brand ambassador.
Let’s show you how they do it – and how you can too.
Define the Goal(s) of Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Setting up a successful influencer marketing campaign largely depends on clearly defined goals, so before actually looking for the influencers you want to work with – defining your goals is exactly what your first step should be.
Identifying and defining your campaign’s goals is essential for getting specific results, otherwise, how would the influencers you contract know what message to convey to their audience?
That being said, everyone’s goals are somewhat different, so whether the purpose of your campaign is to increase brand awareness, acquire more followers, or generate more sales – be specific! Each will require a different strategy.
For example, if your goal is getting more followers on a specific platform, you should look for an influencer who has a large following on that platform and a great engagement with their followers. You surely won’t pay someone to promote your Instagram profile on Facebook or Twitter, right?
If your company offers new products or promotes a new brand, you probably should focus on increasing your brand awareness. If this is the main goal of your influencer marketing campaign, you may want to create a giveaway with the influencer of your choice and give their followers a free product or a one month trial for your service.
As another example, brands that want to generate more sales should seriously look for an influencer who is popular on YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest or some other predominantly visual social media platform. Ideally, people want social proof or reviews of the product they plan to buy. Another strategy for generating sales would be with affiliate marketing, since that’s a win-win situation for both your business and the influencer(s) you collaborate since they’ll be more motivated to support you and promote your brand.
Identify Your Target Audience and Choose Your Platform(s) Accordingly
Defining your target audience is another crucial part of the whole process. If you don’t know who your target audience is, how will you figure out which social media platforms they predominantly use and which influencers they follow? Since this is one of the initial critical steps of your marketing influencer campaign, you need to be accurate and precise when determining your primary and secondary target audience so you know what platforms and influencers to target.
For example, there are popular travel vlogs on YouTube you can work with. You can contact them and they may agree to promote your product or brand. But even though they have the ability to reach many people and tell them about your phenomenal brand, if your products are in a totally different sphere, like the gaming industry, you won’t get a good return on investment (ROI).
So, a quick tip: before looking for specific influencers, decide on a social media platform first.
For example, if you want to make direct sales of a product with a great design, you should consider YouTube since there is no better place to showcase your stunning product. YouTube influencers can show the full beauty of your product and skyrocket the success of your campaign if they genuinely like it or even better, use it. That is, of course, if your target audience spends most of their time on this platform.
Instagram is another great platform for promoting products, especially if you’re in the fashion, beauty, and food industry. So, take into consideration where both your target audience and influencers of your industry are, and choose the social media platform(s) for your influencer marketing campaign accordingly.
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Find the Right Influencers
After you define your goals, target audience(s), and the right platform(s) it’s the right time to start looking for the right influencer(s) for your campaign.
So, what’s the easiest way to do this?
Firstly, take into consideration your influencer’s niche. If your business is in the fashion and beauty industry, for example, then the ideal influencer to work with would be someone who’s part of that world – like an Instagram model or a fashion vlogger. The reasons for this are clear – the influencer is relevant to your customers, their target audience is your target audience, and their content aligns with your brand.
Secondly, decide whether you’ll be looking for macro or micro influencers. Macro-influencers have a large following, from hundreds of thousands to millions, are more expensive, and harder to reach. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, usually have from a few thousand to one hundred thousand followers, are easier to reach, and cost less.
If you think the former is your best choice – think again.
Micro-influencers on average have better engagement rate, are more relatable, and have a higher conversion rate than macro-influencers.
So, if you have a big budget to spend, we’d recommend that you collaborate with a few micro-influencers from your niche.
Thirdly, check out their engagement rate. Do they communicate with their audience? Do they send their message across and make an impact? Do they nourish the relationship they have with their followers? Are they respected and understood? Remember, their engagement rate is more important than their number of followers, so keep this in mind.
Lastly, start looking for the ideal influencer(s) for your brand. You can do it for free and use the right keywords and hashtags on Google and other social media platforms but this can be very time-consuming. If you want to make this task faster, you can use tools that help you find the perfect influencer based on the industry, demographics, number of followers, and so on. You can also use influencer networks, marketplaces, or agencies to find your ideal match.
Reach Out and Connect
Once you have a couple of options, it’s time to reach out and connect with your potential collaborators. It’s very important that you start on the right foot since a good relationship with your influencer is very important for the overall success of your influencer marketing campaign.
Be direct and honest. 8 out of 10 influencers prefer that the business owner or marketing campaign manager reaches out directly, so be polite, professional, and genuine. Tell them about your business, the reasons why you want to collaborate, and the value you’ll bring to the table. If they agree to a collaboration, tell them about your campaign’s goals, your expectations, and everything else you think is important for them to know so they can convey your brand’s message in the best way possible.
Be careful not to give them too many rules and restrictions though. After all, the point of influencer marketing is to promote brands, products, or services in a sincere and authentic way, so keep that in mind.
Talk about how the campaign will look like and all the ways in which the influencer in question will promote your brand, whether that’s product reviews, giveaways, blog posts, videos, stories, photos, and so on.
Finally, figure out the influencer’s motivation for this collaboration. You can even ask them directly if they prefer to be paid with money or with some of your business’ products or services, and don’t forget to create a contract in case something goes wrong.
For more information, check out our guide on how to manage influencers and micro-influencers.
Monitor Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Your influencer marketing campaign is finally launched – great, but this doesn’t mean your job here is done. You still need to monitor the campaign and see if the influencer you hired or collaborate with regularly promotes your brand as you agreed beforehand. You only need 5 minutes of your time each day just to check and see if everything runs smoothly and according to your contract.
Measure Your Success
They only way to know whether your influencer marketing campaign is a success is after you measure the results.
Of course, for the most accurate results, this should be done once the campaign is over, but you can see if it’s on the right track even a few days after its launch.
Want to know more about analytics and tools? Check out our SMM guide on analytics and reporting.
You can check your analytics and see if there’s a difference in the engagement on your social media posts, the number of followers, visitors to your site, product sales, and so on.
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Want to know even more about influencer marketing? Check out our 2 guides to learn more.