Both startups and global brands are relying on influencer marketing strategies to help them achieve their campaign goals. Influencer marketing is a partnership--a collaborative process that occurs between brands and their selected influencers. Instead of the brand marketing itself, it relies on an influential party to market its products or services with influencer content marketing. Brands need to connect with the ideal influencers to perform this marketing and, of course, they need to hire and pay them. The result can be a decided increase in sales and revenue. If you're eager to tap into this hot marketing trend, consider the following ten tips for creating a successful social media influencer marketing campaign.
Choose the Right Influencer
No matter how many thousands of followers an influencer has, if they aren't right for your brand, they aren't going to lead you to a profitable outcome. It's important to work with an influencer that can be an authentic voice for your brand's products or services. Look for influencers who have a similar target audience to yours. Choose someone who has a natural affinity for your brand and products.
Research Influencers' Previous Campaigns
Before hiring an influencer marketing agency to promote your campaign, take time to consider their past campaigns and how they promoted other products and nurtured engagements with their followers or Instagram users. Not all influencers can produce the 'goods' they claim they can. Many may simply be hoping to cash in on their large group of followers. It's important to choose an influencer who can deliver the content you're looking for to drive leads and produce revenue; otherwise, you're wasting time and money and, possibly, even damaging your brand.
Choose an Influencer with Expertise in Your Industry
Many powerful influencers are experts at marketing on social media, but that doesn't necessarily make them qualified to promote your products or services. Look for an influencer that has related expertise in your field. Expertise generates trust. Subject matter experts may not have the same numbers of followers as a celebrity influencer like Gwyneth Paltrow, but they do have experience and expertise that may carry more weight than a celebrity opinion or an influencer who is willing to promote any product they're paid to.
Quality Is More Important than Quantity
Did you know that micro-influencers with smaller audiences have more marketing campaign success than micro-influencers with larger audiences? Influencers who have a tight niche group that is active may have more brand awareness to offer a brand than an influencer with a larger, less-engaged audience. Influencers with a smaller, highly targeted audience help brands achieve highly targeted traffic. When searching for influencers, don't necessarily believe that a larger audience is indicative of greater success. It seldom works that way.
Relinquish Some Control
It can be tough to lay off when it comes to directing your campaign, but keep in mind that this is an influencer campaign. It's more effective to allow the influencer doing the content creation to handle the campaign management and influencer strategy, and speak with their voice to promote your brand in a manner that's keeping with their normal persona. It may actually help to discuss upfront how the influencer prefers to work or take direction. This is a collaborative partnership so you still have a say, but it's important to treat your influencer with respect. You are, after all, tapping into the influencer's audience. Just make sure you target influencers whose platform you're comfortable with, and let them do their thing.
Create Long-Term Relationships with Influencers
Many influencers or content creators will be happy to promote a product, accept payment, and move on. These types of collaborations may not produce the types of lucrative campaigns your brand is hoping to create. When researching influencers, you can often tell if they're a one-off type of campaigner. A lasting relationship with your influencer can be beneficial for you both. Long-term relationships demonstrate trust between you both that audiences will be influenced by. If they follow an influencer who is committed to your brand, they're apt to take note and consider your products more carefully.
Broadcast Your Partnership
Remember, you are in partnership with your influencer. While they're doing a good deal of marketing for you, be sure that you are broadcasting your collaboration and nurture your influencer relationship. Take time to post about your influencer or blogger campaign on social media and all social platforms, including in Instagram posts. Just inform your influencer about how you're promoting them on social media platforms. You might rely on a press release or even a blog on your business website to highlight your influencer partnerships.
Consult with an Agency
Some brands may not have time or staff to research the best potential influencers adequately. In this case, consider working with a Facebook ad agency that specializes in influencer marketing to help you find an influencer and create a winning marketing campaign. In fact, if this is your company's first influencer campaign, it makes sense to consult with marketing pros who are experienced with influencers. An agency with experience and expertise can help you find someone who is likely to provide you with a solid return on your investment and be the perfect influencer for you.
Finally, as with all digital activity, be sure to use analytics to find out how your influencer marketing campaign is performing in real-time. It's tough to gauge the success of any marketing campaign without measuring its performance. How much traffic is the influencer generating? How many new leads and sales is the influencer responsible for? Use analytics to find out. Companies need to know which influencers are performing and which aren't so they can decide who to cut ties with and who to continue to work with on future campaigns.
Use these tips to help you create a successful influencer marketing campaign. Be sure you stay tuned in so you can develop your own format for choosing and working with influencers down the road.