The number of cheap ways to get your brand before thousands of people online is slowly running out. However, one method that’s still underutilized is influencer marketing.
While you’ll see that many businesses are following this practice, it’s only a fraction of the business world. To be precise, only 17% of companies put influencer marketing first. Therefore, it’s still a great way to stay ahead of the competition.
Keep reading to learn what influencer marketing is and some actionable steps to help you find and start working with an influencer.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing connects your business with individuals who have thousands of followers on their social media accounts. In general, collaboration comes down to promoting your content or product using someone else’s followership and credibility.
There are multiple forms of influencer marketing strategies you can deploy. These include:
- Guest blogs
- Social media shoutouts and mentions
- Social media promotional materials
- Podcast collaborations
- YouTube marketing collaborations
No matter what option you choose, the goal of your influencer marketing is to get your brand in front of more people.
Businesses opt for this marketing form because it’s an effective marketing method. That’s why its market is continuously growing year over year. It’s simply one of the most authentic ways to get to your target audience.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing owes a lot of its popularity to its effectiveness. According to a Tomoson influencer marketing study, businesses can make up to $6.5 per $1 invested with influencer marketing.
That brings a lot of value to businesses, as other forms of marketing are costlier. PPC and social media PPC campaigns require high investments to be effective, and all the competition is already doing it.
With today’s fast-paced world, it is more difficult than ever to get noticed. But with the help of social media marketing proposal you can influence your marketing efforts in a positive way by giving yourself an edge in the highly competitive marketplace of online search engine rankings.
There’s none of that with influencers, but many businesses still steer away from doing it because it’s “immeasurable.” While you don’t get as much data as you would with a PPC campaign, you can still measure the effectiveness of your influencer marketing strategy.
Therefore, the most significant benefits of working with influencers are:
- More exposure to different audiences
- High conversion rates
- Building a network of influential people
- Increase in brand awareness
Getting all the rewards from influencer marketing will require you to take the correct steps. Keep reading to see what’s the best approach to pick.
What steps do you need to take?
The following five steps will allow you to create effective marketing campaigns that bring results. Fortunately, the good news is that they are simple. But, it’s crucial to be detailed with every one of them to get great results that are also measurable.
1. Establish a clear goal
Setting a clear goal is necessary for measuring the success of your campaign. Without it, you won’t know the precise effects of your influencer marketing strategy.
For example, some of the goals you can set for your campaigns are:
- Improve sales figures
- Grow your follower count
- Traffic boost to your website
- Increase social media engagement
- Generate more leads
- Establish more brand ambassadors
- Work with increasing numbers of influencers
Now that you know what kind of goal you want to achieve, you can monitor when your influencer collaboration begins. Take a snapshot of all your data, and use it for comparison after the onset of your influencer marketing campaign.
2. Find the best influencers for your business
Searching for the right influencer for your business will take the most time. It’s essential to be very careful with this process because a mistake might lead to a completely ineffective marketing campaign.
Simplify the whole process by deploying the best influencer search tools. They’ll help you create a list of influencers that you could contact. Furthermore, they’ll also be helpful with finding influencers who have a similar target audience to yours.
If you’re unsure what your target audience is, you can perform segmentation according to customer behavior. That way, you can quickly learn more about your target audience.
As mentioned in the opening section, using an influencer search tool will make it easier for you to analyze their followers. If they match your target audience, add the influencer to your contact list.
Aside from focusing on the quality of their followers, another thing to consider is their follower count. As the numbers go up, the influencer’s pricing dramatically scales up. However, a higher follower count doesn’t necessarily mean better results.
Micro-influencers generally have a higher degree of trust and better engagement rates. That means five influencers with 5,000 to 10,000 followers are a better option than a single one with 25,000 to 50,000 followers.
Still, that doesn’t mean that influencers with high follower counts are not great for collaboration. They are a great way to boost your brand awareness, especially for attracting people with different backgrounds. It all comes down to your business needs.
You can always experiment with both approaches and see what works best for you.
3. Approach them openly
Once you’ve created a list of influencers to contact, it’s time to reach out to them. You’ll be able to find a contact email for most of them, as they also want to get in touch.
Avoid creating a template that you’ll just use for all of them. Go with a more personalized approach and start by mentioning the benefits of collaborating with you.
For example, if you need a product review, offer to send the product for free. On the other hand, propose to reward the influencer’s audience with a free product from you. Start your email with this value proposition, and then explain what your brand is about and what you want to achieve.
End with a call for collaboration and let them know that if they’re interested in working with you, you’re waiting for their contact.
The goal is to quickly present all the relevant details of your contact reason and wait for their reply.
4. Define your collaboration
Once the influencer gets in touch and the negotiations begin, there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind.
- Explore trends to get marketing ideas
- Leave plenty of liberty to the influencer
- Define a step-by-step course of action
You can start by letting the influencer know more about your website, product, or service. Then, provide some ideas to them as to how you see them advertising the product. For example, if they’re an Instagram influencer, you can familiarize yourself with the latest marketing trends.Or if they are related to web development, you need to analyze your competitors’ market, identify strengths and weaknesses, and already then offer website app ideas that can interest them.
You can then go into more details and propose a strategy that would work for you.
Then comes the critical part, pay attention to what they have to say and their terms. Listening is essential as they know their audience much better than you do. They will suggest a couple of ideas of how to promote your business most naturally.
Evaluate what the influencer says and go for an option that works best for both. Being too pushy and insisting on your terms might put a lot of pressure on the influencer. They might walk away.
Last but not least, create a precise number of posts, stories, blogs, links, and any other promotional materials that the influencer will perform for your business. Make that a part of a contract to ensure that both parties respect their part of the deal.
After defining all the steps, it’s time to start working together.
5. Monitor your campaign progress
After you start collaborating with influencers, it’s time to start monitoring your progress. You can do this in several ways, depending on your business needs.
- Search for traffic changes to your website. You should notice an instantaneous surge of traffic after the influencers start promoting it.
- Check Google rankings to see whether your content is climbing. More traffic to your pages means more relevance, which leads to a higher ranking.
- Monitor the number of sales to calculate the exact ROI of your marketing strategy. If an influencer is promoting your product, you can assign the sale surge to your marketing efforts. Use the new data to calculate how effective it is.
- See how your follower count is progressing. You can organize giveaways that would require people to start following your brand. The follower numbers should go up rapidly once you begin the promotion.
- Note all the dates when an influencer has shared a post. You’ll find this practical when you compare it to your analytics data. You can conclude what kinds of posts and influencers worked best for your business.
- Use URL shorteners to see how many people have clicked on the link the influencer has shared.
These are only a couple of ideas you could use to track your campaign progress. You can figure out a way to create the methods that work best for your influencer marketing campaign.
The goal is to have a clear overview of how effective the collaboration is and how you can improve it.
Search for new opportunities and nurture old ones
As time goes by, you need to aim to establish continuous collaboration with multiple influencers. Given that their follower base will keep growing, so will the exposure of your business.
That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep looking for new options. Make sure that your marketing team is actively working on finding the best influencers for your promotional needs.
Put in an active effort in maintaining and searching for new collaboration opportunities. It’s one of the best ways of growing your business.
Hopefully, this guide will help you establish your influencer marketing strategy. The crucial part is to do detailed research. Dedicate some time to finding the best influencers for your brand – while it might be challenging at first, you’ll see how simple and effective it is.
Grow your network of influential brand ambassadors and watch your business steadily grow!