Having a good influencer marketing strategy is key with brands in today’s society. This past year alone more than 70% of brands used influencers as a part of their influencer marketing campaign. Influencer marketing can take up a considerable amount of time, so it is important to use your time in the most effective manner possible.
To help cut down on man-hours and time the first thing you want to do is map out an influencer marketing campaign. This is ideal because it provides a roadmap for you to view and take action with.
Before we take a look at seven actionable ways that we can develop a killer influencer marketing strategy, let’s take a deeper look at what exactly “influencer marketing” is.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is basically a way that brands and companies get individuals who have a strong social presence to talk about their products, their brand, their beliefs, etc. Influencer marketing will also vary, based on what niche you are trying to market. For example, these strategies will work much better for an online business than they would for a brick and mortar business.
An even better example of this is when a company hires a celebrity with a strong social following and has them talk about their products and/or services. This is called a social media influencer marketing strategy. Certain influencers have a lot of pull in certain fields, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and this can be used to leverage a product by a company.
From an influencer marketing strategy standpoint, there are a few key things that a great partnership with an influencer can bring in. These include:
- Engagement and Reach: The right influencer will be naturally engaging and have a lot of pull with their audience. They are able to easily engage audiences through a single channel, even though more often than not multiple social media channels are being used.
- Authority: Influencers that are well known in their fields will bring even more clout with them, as you can be sure they know what they are talking about and that their audiences are listening.
- Knowing How to Close: Most influencers are also entrepreneurs, at least to some extent. This gives them the ability to establish relationships through all phases and allows them to get a firm hold on their audience throughout the buying process.
With all that being said here are seven actionable ways you can develop a killer influencer marketing strategy. Mapping out these things and thinking through the issues beforehand should enable you to maximize your influencer marketing strategy results.
Define Your Target Audience
First and foremost, for any influencer marketing campaign to be successful, you need to know the audience that you are trying to build your campaign around. The more you can narrow your audience down the easier it will be to find the right influencers. This is the first, and perhaps the most important step when you are learning how to develop an influencer marketing strategy.
Defining your audience should not be very difficult, especially if you have already written a business plan. The business plan should be filled with audience defining material. Defining the audience for your influencer marketing campaign can include all sorts of statistical categories. Facebook targeting ads are a good place to see how you would want to define and reach a target audience.
Do not! I repeat do not, try to target everyone. Create ranges, focus on niches, target people who favor the quality of your product. Trying to target everyone is not only pointless, but it wastes valuable resources.
When you are learning how to build an influencer marketing strategy it is important to determine what exactly it is you are trying to achieve. Do you want more traffic to your company website? Do you want more newsletter signups? Are you trying to increase sales right away? Do you want more possible clients driven to your social media pages? There are all objectives, and they need to be set before you continue to develop an influencer marketing strategy.
It is literally impossible for you to measure whether or not a certain campaign has been successful or not if there are no set objectives in place. You would just be grasping at straws and taking guesses at that point. Measuring the ROI (return on investment) at the end of an influencer marketing campaign is impossible with no set objectives in place to start.
A popular goal setting template called “SMART” can be used as well for this.
- Specific: in other words, it needs to be detailed.
- Measurable: if you can’t measure the success of your goal, why even do it?
- Achievable: can you really reach that goal?
- Relevant: how is this goal helping your business?
- Time-Bound: what is your goal’s deadline?
Find the Most Appropriate Influencers for Your Campaign
The main reason any business learns how to develop an influencer marketing strategy is to widen the reach of the content that is related to their product and/or service.
For many years businesses went about creating ads to promote products and services. While some of these ads hit a target audience, most people can see right through them. You see, ads are self-serving. By definition alone, an ad is something that is telling a consumer why they should buy a product or service. Even if the product or service is dysfunctional, more than likely the ad still promoted it as being good for the consumer.
Now though consumers rely heavily on influencers they know and follow their business recommendations. This just extends, even more, the point as to why influencer marketing is the new content king.
Influencers connect with their audience on a deeper level and provide the consumer a level of trust and authenticity when they are promoting a product or service.
Map Out the Influencer Landscape
Once you have defined a target audience and set objectives you need to map out the influencer landscape. This will help you target the best influencers who will have the most influence on your target audience during the influencer marketing strategy that is going to be set in place.
You need to do this for every campaign, not just the initial one, as your products or services may change over time, and your target audience may develop. Always take the time to make sure you have the right influencer.
You can use a set of questions to help develop an influencer marketing strategy example. Answer the following questions about your business niche:
- Where do the most online conversations regarding your niche take place? How social are the key participants in the niche?
- What motivates people in your niche to promote relevant content?
- Is activity concentrated in a particular place, e.g. on Facebook or on a respected blog, or is the niche more fragmented?
- Who are the people that most often write or create other content about your topic?
- What is the background of these people?
The more questions you get answered and the more you find out about your niche, the easier it will be to find the right influencers.
Work With Chosen Influencers and Create a Content Plan
Once you have gone through the process of choosing the right influencer you will want to work with them on how to develop and influencer marketing strategy. Simply put, you want to come up with some great content and find the right spaces and times for your influencer to blast this content out.
This is called a content plan, and it will play a huge role, especially when developing a social media influencer strategy. The content plan is something both you and the influencer will have input on. Sure, you know what you want to get across, but your influencer can help you shape your content strategy by showing you what most engages your target audience. This, in turn, helps you spot trends and opportunities along the way that you may have otherwise overlooked during the process.
Set Up Campaigns and Let Influencers Distribute Your Content
This is where the nature of the relationship between your business and influencer will come into play more. That is to say, if you are working on a one-to-one scope with your influencer, then the level of formality and familiarity will be much higher than it would be if you have signed up to a platform or agency and found influencers there. On that level, you have to clearly set up specific campaigns with your influencers.
If you are on a one-to-one relationship level with the influencer you have chosen for your influencer marketing campaign, then you are probably able to arrange a set number of posts, days, formally agreed payment, strategy and more. However, you will get to do this on a more formal level. Be careful here, with no formal contracts, dates, or payment schedule in place you may find it difficult to get the influencer marketing campaign going in the direction you desire.
I am not saying there is a right or wrong way to go about this, I am saying there are choices to be made, so make them. Building a good organic relationship with an influencer is good in a way that you may be able to approach them and have them blast some content out for a much lower price, if not free. Maybe you work in a product trade as well.
Measure the Results and ROI of Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
So you have pretty much done a lot of due diligence at this point. Defining your audience, setting up a plan, putting your content into place and picking the right influencer have all taken place at this point. You have set up your influencer marketing campaign and blasted it out. Now it is time to take a look at the results and the ROI (return on investment).
There are a few different ways to measure influencer ROI and other results. Honestly, oftentimes the results measured are not strictly sales. You may be gunning for other aspects and it is important to remember that sometimes you need to build different influencer marketing campaigns for different aspects of your business.
When your campaign is over, compare your actual ROI to your stated and set objective. If you find the results to be pleasing you can continue to build. You may have to do some tweaking to either a part of the campaign or to several parts of the campaign, but at least you know where you stand.
You may find you have the wrong influencer after all, or you may find you simply need to work out some kinks in the content plan. Whatever the case, measuring results is extremely important in the overall scheme of things.
There isn’t a perfectly set way to develop a killer influencer marketing strategy. That being said, there are some guidelines you want to follow to ensure that the progress and overall influencer marketing campaign goes smoothly.
I hope I was able to highlight a few of the major ones for you. Following the above steps will definitely put you on the right track when developing an influencer marketing campaign.