Thinking of incorporating influencer marketing into your marketing strategy? Well, it can be a hit or miss. This means that not every influencer marketing campaign that you launch will be successful. That is if you don’t know how to build a successful influencer marketing strategy.
In this article, let’s talk about strategy. Let us talk about how you can ensure the success of your influencer marketing campaign.
STEP 1: Start with Your Goals
How will you know if your influencer marketing campaign is successful? Well, it depends on your goals. You will never know if you have reached the finish line if it doesn’t exist. You need to know where you are and where you want to go. Like a map, you’ll want to chart your trail so that you can reach your destination.
When it comes to influencer marketing, you may have some desired outcomes. You may want to implement an influencer marketing campaign for the sake of getting traffic and sales. While sales is the common metric, there are other indicators that you may want to look at. These are the following:
- New Leads – This can be measured by how many subscribers you gain out of the campaign. This is not limited to email subscribers. It can also be chatbot subscribers as well. Leads may not necessarily convert to a sale. But it is a good indication that the traffic that comes from influencer marketing is taking action.
- Engagements – This can come in many forms. It can be a simple like in your Facebook page or post or it can be a comment. It is any form of interaction that the prospect does in your social media assets or blog posts. This means that the traffic that you are getting from influencer marketing are not robots. They are real people who are able to relay how they feel. Now, this may not translate into subscribers and sales. But this is a good indication that your brand marketing is working and people are reacting.
- Sales – Of course, the ultimate metric is how many people actually took action and bought your product and service. This is the metric for online stores as you would learn in ecommerce podcasts. This is the metric that will tell you if investing your money in influencer marketing is worth every penny. If you get more sales than what you have spent, then it is worth it. If not, try to see the lifetime value of the customer. The prospect may not buy from you immediately. But as the prospect engages with your page, he has a higher chance of conversion in the future.
From here, you should select the metric that you want to target as you implement your influencer marketing campaign.
STEP 2: Look for Relevant Influencers
It is not enough to look for influencers with huge amount of followers and blindly promote your products to them. If you do that, you’ll find that you’ll get turned down quickly. It is important to consider the niche of your products and to look for influencers who have primary interest in them.
For example, a vegan skincare product would go well with a vegetarian or vegan blogger or influencer. It can be a lifestyle influencer who is vegan. The key is to introduce the product to them and share all of its benefits.
Aside from searching compatible influencers by chancing upon them, you can also organize your search by searching by niche. One of the things that I love to do is search for blogs. This will allow me to uncover influencers with decent engagements on their blog posts. From here, I create a spreadsheet that contains the name of the influencer, his email address and his social media profiles. I then label this as my ‘target influencers’. They will be the people who I will approach once I decide on my campaign.
You can also use some tools. One of the most popular influencer research tools is Buzzsumo. This allows you to uncover content with high engagements and look for influencers in a particular niche. The best part is that you can sort the data by numbers. This will allow you to filter through the data and find the best influencers to interact with.
Now, there is also an issue of confirming that the email of your target influencers are valid. There are many mail research tools that can do this for you. There is FindThatLead that allows you to look for the emails of certain influencers and confirm it. If you find that this is too cumbersome, you can always look for the contact details of influencers using a tool called Voila Norbert.
PRO TIP: When looking for influencers, the quantity of followers is not that important. You see, the number of influencers in every niche is growing. What’s ‘in’ and ‘out’ are no longer determined by a selected handful of influencers. Instead, there are influencers of different levels in every niche. It is important to consider not only the popular influencers but also those influencers who have a low but very active following. These are the micro influencers. Once you combine their power, it is even more powerful than one promotion from one popular influencer. Their power lies in social proof and engagement. If you get 10 micro influencers to promote you, you have an army that is backing up your brand. This is more powerful than paying a hefty amount for an influencer with millions of followers. The followers of micro influencers are also highly engaged. This is better than big influencers where their followers hardly see or react to their post. Also, micro influencers are more niche-specific. This means that if your product is related to the niche, their followers are far more likely to take action and buy.
STEP 5: Get Creative
It is easy to approach influencer marketing in the same way you would for advertising. Set a budget and wait for success. But influencer marketing doesn’t work that way. You need to think outside of the box to convince influencers to work with you.
Here are some ideas.
First, you can launch a giveaway. But it should not be an ordinary giveaway where you just work with one influencer. Work with a group of influencers and offer the prize as you promote them. This will give your brand more exposure in different influencer channels as well as encourage some influencers to join. Influencers are far more likely to join if they see that their industry peers are supporting you.
Another way is to host an event. In this event, you can invite business owners and influencers alike. This will not only allow you to expand your network and meet new people. It will also give your brand more exposure due to influencer promotion.
Another way is to collaborate on content. Some brands offer influencers a chance to fulfill their dreams by allowing them to record a music video or a commercial. In this setup, you’ll be able to work with the influencer closely and really build a relationship with them.
Another way is to promote your referral program. You can easily set up one yourself with referral software. Best Hunting Bow labs has done this with great success. If you have an online store on Shopify, you can do this with a Shopify affiliate app.
Also, you can be transparent about your network. Do you know what will attract influencers to you and your brand? Your network. If you show others that you are already working with certain influencers, then other influencers in the niche will be more inclined to work with you. The goal of influencers is not just to create content, make money and make connections. Their goal is to spread their message to the world. They can only do that if they reach as many people as possible. If your brand has a network of influencers promoting you, other influencers will be attracted to work with you as well.
STEP 6: Measuring Results
How can you know that the influencer marketing strategy is successful? Well, you should measure the results. You’ll have to go back to your target metric and see if you managed to reach your goal. If you didn’t, you have to step back and think about what went wrong. Take a closer look at the influencer, the influencer’s promotion and the engagements. How are people reacting to the promotion? Did they like it? Did it get comments? This will allow you to see if the influencer has the capability to encourage people to take action.
Influencer marketing may not have a launch-and-succeed strategy but it works. In fact, it worked really well that it remains to be effective despite the waves of search engine algorithm changes and social media updates. The power of influencer marketing is the trust that followers give to every influencer they follow. They trust them and their recommendations. It is this trust that fuels them to take action.
Creating a successful influencer marketing strategy is all about knowing your goals and taking the necessary steps to attain success. When you are talking to an influencer, you are building a relationship. So it is important to take their best interest in mind. Put yourself in their shoes. Think of a reason that will convince them to work with you instead of your competition. What do you have that other brands don’t? Only when you answer this question will you be able to convince your target influencers to work with you.
STEP 3: Interact with Influencers
It is impossible to create a successful influencer marketing campaign without influencer interaction. You need to reach out to the right influencers and get them to promote your products and services.
There are many ways you can do this. But let’s start with the basics. First, there is the template-based outreach. In this type of outreach, you create a template which you fill up and send to all the influencers in your list. Now, you can do this manually or you can use a tool. One tool that allows you to send bulk emails is Mailshake. What I love about this is that the templates are built in and they are proven to work. Aside from this, there are also some outreach tools that will help you track which emails are opened. An example of this is Ninja Outreach. It will keep all of your influencer details in one software.
However, influencers may not reply to your request right away. This is because they are often busy and already bombarded with messages from brands. This is where you alter your strategy. Instead of simply sending a template-based email, you can engage with them and their brand. Start to interact with them and ask for nothing in return. Slowly build the relationship.
Another approach is to give them a request that they cannot say ‘no’ to. For example, a creative influencer will be drawn to collaborate on products with you if you give them a chance. This can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them. Another approach is to show them that you do business for more than just money. If you support a cause that they are likely to support, then you may convince them to say yes.
Ultimately, it depends on your negotiation skills. You cannot send template-based outreach emails and wait for success. That will never happen. You need to know how to build and nurture relationships with influencers. This is the only way you can get them to say ‘yes’ to you when they have a hundred brands to choose from.
STEP 4: Diversify Your Platform
It is a common error for business owners to stick with one platform. If they find Instagram successful, they will stick with that. While there is nothing wrong with doing that, especially if you are on a tight budget, you are still missing the chance to reach more people if you diversified your approach. Also, you have to consider the marketing trends. Is there more chances for conversions on video? If it is, then look for influencers in that platform. The chance for conversion will depend on the product and service that you are offering and the nature of your target market.