How To Maintain A Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
Every business relies on customers in order to stay afloat and to grow. Customers are the fuel that keeps your business going. Without them, all of your efforts, from production to marketing, would be for nothing. That’s why it’s always important to attract customers, meet their expectations, and keep them happy.
The digital age makes it fairly easy to communicate with your prospective and existing customers. There are all kinds of platforms that allow you to reach them, from social media and video streaming sites, to emails and blogs. However, the oversaturation of marketing messages can be too much for many consumers. It’s noise that they often choose to ignore.
Because of this, you need to find clever ways to grab their attention long enough for them to hear what you have to say. But what if they won’t listen? Internet users heavily rely on other people’s recommendations when it comes to making purchase decisions. The only difference is that they are no longer as gullible as they once were.
During the prime of traditional advertising, celebrities like sportsmen, actors, and musicians dominated the endorsement scene. People looked up to them and trusted their words. But this tactic doesn’t seem to work anymore. Consumers have become more discerning when it comes to what they want and need. They won’t easily believe a supermodel who promotes a beauty brand but they might be more open to recommendations from an ordinary person. Hence, the rise of influencer marketing.
What is Influencer Marketing?
The concept itself is not something new. It draws from the notion that people base their decisions on word of mouth. Usually, this comes from their relatives, friends, and people they admire. But modern-day marketing gives this a refreshing twist.
The convincing power now comes from real individuals who create valuable content online, amassing thousands, if not millions, of loyal followers in the process. They are not celebrities but their words hold just as much weight as a superstar’s. Young internet users depend on them when deciding what products in the market are cool and reliable and which ones are worth buying. In fact, a 2018 study found companies that incorporated influencer marketing on their digital strategy witnessed a 520% return on investment.
Influencers take marketing to a whole new level. Here are some of its many benefits:
Research shows that 49% of users rely on influencers for product recommendations. They trust influencers more than conventional celebrities because the former appear more relatable, honest, and authentic.
Influencer marketing dominates the social media game. If you want to start a conversation, and solidify your brand’s social media presence, working with influencers is the best way to go. The right influencers can create conversations around your brand and reach a wider audience.
Influencer marketing can also improve your engagement and, in turn, increase your return on investment. Influencer marketing content delivers an ROI that is 11 times higher than other traditional forms of marketing.
Influencer marketing strengthens the relationship between brands and consumers through relatable and genuine content. That relationship all starts in the trust that consumers have in influencers.
Now that we have established the power of influencer marketing, it is time to develop a solid influencer marketing strategy that will best fit your business.
Take a look at these seven steps to help you get started:
Set Your Goals and KPIs
Just like in any other marketing venture, it is important to know what you are trying to accomplish. By defining your goals, you will be able to execute your influencer marketing campaign with careful consideration and effective tactics. You will know where you are heading and you will inherently use your time, energy, and money wisely.
Of course it is only sensible to identify your expectations. What are you trying to achieve? What aspects of your marketing strategy are you trying to improve? It can be brand awareness, engagement, conversions, or all of the above.
Whether you are in it for a wider audience, or a product promotion, knowing your goals will help you plan your campaign. This will also help you determine what platform you should use and which influencers you should work with.
Once you have established your goals, you can move on to identifying your key performance indicators. Which specific KPIs should you use to measure the success of your campaign? How will you track your performance and analyze your results?
Let’s say, for example, that your goal is brand awareness. You might consider the post engagement, brand recall, and fan growth to determine if you have achieved this goal.
Find the Right Influencers
With your goals in mind, the next thing to do is to get to the most important aspect of influencer marketing strategy – finding the right influencers for your brand. Who is your ideal influencer?
Answering this question requires you to think of your target audience. What kind of consumer are they? What demographics do they belong to? Knowing their age, occupation, and location is essential. With this information, you will be able to zero in on the right influencers who will be able to help you achieve your goals.
Once you have your target market in mind, it will be easier for you to narrow down your list of influencers. Your ideal influencer must be someone who shares your vision for your brand, resonating with your marketing goals. That influencer should also have a hold on your target audience. Moreover, they should be actively producing content that their followers subscribe to, and engage with. Ideally, your target audience will already be these followers. If you are a brand that sells software products, you probably shouldn’t collaborate with a beauty enthusiast. No matter how massive her following is, she simply will not be your best choice. Make sure that your influencer’s audience is aligned with your own buyer persona.
Your goals can guide you in picking the right influencer as well. Think of this: if you are trying to increase brand awareness, then you need influencers with massive reach. But if you want to drive engagement, then it is better to work with micro-influencers who have higher engagement rates.
Focus on Valuable Content
Your chances of succeeding on your campaign rely heavily on the kind of content strategy you have in place.
What kind of content do you need? Is it something that your chosen influencer is comfortable with doing? How often should he or she post? You might want to let your influencer know what on-brand content is relevant to your potential customers and the tone of voice that would work best for your brand. But, you should do this while still taking the influencers’ personal brand into consideration.
Another thing thing to remember is to give your influencers the creative freedom they need. Allow them to stay true to their personal style, incorporating their own voice into your brand.
You want this marketing campaign to flow naturally. Although you are willing to pay the influencer and the influencer is willing to work with you, you still need to keep in mind that influencer marketing is rooted in authenticity and relevance.
This means you cannot ask your influencer to plug your product every day of the week because too much promotion would become redundant for viewers. The audience will notice if the posts are heavily leaning on marketing and this might turn followers away.
The ideal influencer will be someone who only has one sponsored posts every 10 posts.
It is more helpful if you and your influencer focus on valuable content instead of ads. If you are selling skincare products, for example, you might want to take a break from product posts and give your audience a useful tutorial instead. This particular type of content takes the time and effort to teach the audience how to use a specific product more effectively.
Take Time to Measure Results
Your influencer marketing campaign will be useless if you aren’t tracking your results and outcome. Is your strategy working? What areas do you need to improve on?
You should be able to meet your goals and determine which posts performed the best and which ones did badly. Knowing this will help you think of new ways to do better next time. You will also determine if the campaign is effective and if it is worth your investment.
Incorporating influencer marketing into your overall digital strategy can do wonders for your brand. However, that is something that does not simply happen overnight. It will take a lot of consideration, time, money, and effort.
At the heart of your influencer marketing strategy lies the importance of building a solid relationship with your influencers and your audience. Be sure to make this collaboration mutually beneficial for you both. You should both stay true to your brands. And you can do so while also leveraging an authentic voice that compels your potential customers to snap into action.