Influencer Marketing is more than just a hot trend from the internet marketing world. It is a genuinely effective way of reaching a specific audience segment, perfect for brands and businesses who want to expand their reach through effective internet marketing campaigns. Influencer marketing is also famous for bringing in higher conversions when done successfully.
But it’s not a fad or an “instant win button” for businesses and marketers — it’s a new opportunity for businesses to establish more direct and interactive relationships with their consumers through the use of influencers as brand ambassadors. And like any other channel for marketing communications, it needs to be thoughtfully integrated with your business strategy.
1st as Very Important: Have Clear Goals
One of the reasons why influencer marketing has taken off in a big way is because the results of influencer marketing campaigns can be tracked down to the very last detail, as most digital campaigns can be if they’re set up properly. But in order to succeed, you must first define success.
If you’re promoting a new brand, for instance, exposure and brand recognition are the two most common goals to aim for. But for brands who’ve already attained that exposure, the goal tends to become more specific — turning the reach you’ve grown into the conversions you need.
You need to assess the current state of your brand and consider your influencer partnerships accordingly. If you need to establish a broader audience, you might be looking at raw follower counts. But if your brand message is in already in good circulation, raw follower counts become less meaningful.
2nd With Seriously: Focus on Engagement
Something to remember when you start looking at influencers is that it’s very easy to think of it as purely a numbers game. Influencer A has twice the followers of Influencer B — so even though B levies a hefty fee, you tend to think they’re the better person to work with. If nobody’s heard of your brand, that kind of raw exposure is absolutely worth investing in. But once your message has that raw visibility, it needs to be trusted, and it needs to be compelling in order to start converting consumers.
Recent studies have indicated that when we take a closer look at influencers, the ultra-high follower counts that seem so attractive at first tend to come with lower engagement rates between those influencers and their audiences. The problem with this is that it almost flies in the face of two of the biggest advantages to using influencers in the first place: trust and relatability. This is a lot more than followers and fans, and it’s also more than likes. What you’re looking for are comments and responses that demonstrate positive sentiment and the kind of connection you’re really trying to leverage with a given audience.
3rd and last BUT Very Important: Be Clear and Direct (YES, same as sprite Ads)
Similar to other marketing campaigns, you will have to create a brief for the influencers you’re working with. The brief will act as a guideline, explaining the values your brand represents, the things you want to achieve with the campaign, as well as some do’s and don’ts to follow.
The first step toward ensuring that your influencer marketing campaign goes smoothly and successfully is by having a clear brief in the first place. After that, you have to maintain that same level of clarity by continuing to work in tandem. Make sure that any questions the influencers have are answered accurately and in a timely manner. Understand that the people you work with are a part of your extended team, and treat them accordingly. You can use a CRM solution or a dedicated influencer marketing platform, for instance, to keep track of questions and progress from a single interface, making managing even the most comprehensive campaigns that much easier.
Naturally, there are other keys and secrets to running a successful influencer marketing campaign.