Influencer marketing is an effective way to reach specific audiences. In today’s day and age, where people are glued to Instagram and always looking for the latest trend or bandwagon to jump on, social media influencers are essentially the popular kids- the bloggers/vloggers/comedians of the world, people who have set themselves aside via high-quality content published on social media platforms for a specific audience. People view these people as experts in their fields of interest, they trust their opinions and admirably look up to them, so if you get the right kind to promote your product, there will be plenty of new sales leads from followers who worship these social savvy online mentors. Suddenly you’ve tapped into your audience and they have the added incentive to buy for the mere fact it’s being promoted by their favourite influencer. Read to find out how to start your influencer marketing campaign and find the right influencer for your brand.
- Define Your Objectives & Budget
Before beginning any marketing campaign, it’s vital to make a plan and set your objectives. And so influencer marketing is no different. Before you go shake hands with an influencer and strike a deal, be sure to be clear on exactly what the plan of action is and what the compensation is (and more so what it depends on).
Are you going to pay a set rate per sponsored post? Or offer them your product/ service for free in return for a set amount of sponsored posts per month? Another option is having them promote a unique discount code, and in this case, you can measure their success by seeing how often the discount code is used in checkouts and compensate them accordingly to their effectiveness as an influencer? This all needs to be decided and based on the budget you have going forward for this campaign. Don’t go in blind and be sure to establish KPIs.
- Define Your Audience
This step is massively important as you need to know who your target is, what their interests are, who they’ll listen to, and essentially who they’ll be influenced by, before going ahead and picking a random social figure merely for their large following. This is how you’re going to find the influencers that can reach your specific audience. You’ll need to complete foolproof, extensive research that will show you exactly the type of people your target market is. Using tools such as facebook’s audience insights and google analytics can assist with finding the pages/people your audience follows. Research on google will also help as a lot of influencers are easily found if you know the type you’re looking for, which you should know after analyzing your brand, product, and target market.
- Decide On Either Micro or Macro Influencers- Look at Audience/ Reach/ Engagement
What are Micro and Macro influencers? A macro influencer is essentially a celebrity-type public figure with upwards of 10/15k followers, (some consider it’s upwards of 100k, we feel that it’s subjective to social platforms). While a micro-influencer has between 1k to 10k followers (again, subjective). Essentially, micro-influencers would not consider themselves famous and will also accept less compensation due to this fact, but will not get your product/service seen by as wide an audience as macro-influencers. Bearing that in mind, research shows that micro-influencers, while having less reach, have a much higher level of engagement and tend to have higher conversion rates when working in association with a brand. While they have a smaller following, their content is often for a niche following who are loyal to their brand. Explore their social analytics; their level of reach and engagement, and who their main target audience is, does it match your target audience? Weigh your options and your objectives and decide from here.
- Follow and Monitor Influencers- Their Reputation & Content
Now that you know to look for a micro or macro influence, start researching who these influencers are whose branding is in line with your own. Start following them and monitoring their content to see if the activity going out is up to par, is what you’re looking for and is right for your business.
Explore followers to engagement rates, if someone has 50k followers but is only getting around 1k likes, they likely have fake followers that they paid for and you will not be benefitting from partnering with them at all.
Make sure the content they post is in line with your company guidelines. Explore the reputation they carry, ensure its a positive one and is in relevance to your brand. Make sure their content is of good quality and there’s an obvious way your product/service can be incorporated into their social platform.
- Get Contacting.
You’re hopefully down to a few options and now you’re more or less in the interview stage. Get in contact with influencers to let them know you’re considering them and ask them any relevant questions you need to know as a business if they’re interested of course. Get to know them, see how they handle themselves professionally and ask about any previous partnerships. Find out if this is a person you want to enter into business with.
Arrange a deal and monitor and nurture your influencer campaign and relationship and hopefully watch your sales increase!