How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy?
Do you know Santa Claus was one of the pioneers in influencer marketing and the most experimented one? However, that was back in the 1930s. Maybe your grandparents have some memories of those cute fat-man adverts. Do you think that would work out that well this time?
There used to be a time when companies would reach out to celebs for endorsements and take their help to attract customers. Gone are those days when it was all about known faces from the big screens. Now it’s more like reaching out to influencers on social media and growing your brand three times year-over-year, just like FitFabFun has been doing since 2014.
In the old days, influencer marketing was caged within the TV media. Nowadays, as the social media era has taken over, it has become a challenge for marketers to develop something innovative and futuristic. That’s how influencer marketing was introduced as social media marketing, in which companies reach out to social media influencers or individuals for a product mention and endorsement.
‘Why influencers? It’s simple. They have followers who trust the word of mouth of their favorite social media personality. That’s why the company uses the social proof of the influencers to attract more customers and increase sales unless they are one of those HBO’s ‘Fake Famous’ influencers who simply fake influencing a large audience. Something that we come across on social media now and then.
Even for Fake Famous influencers, social media marketing worked out pretty great. However, when it comes to a brand like yours, you have to be pretty strategic about it.
Don’t know where to start? We have a guide here for you. Follow the steps, and you will have a full-fledged plan for your next or first influencer marketing campaign.
1. How to find the influencer?
While starting influencer marketing, this question always pops up in your head. As a beginner, you will look for influencers with millions of followers on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Regardless, is having a large audience enough? Maybe not.
When it comes to finding the right influencer for your marketing, there are a few things you must focus on like:
- Choosing the right platform for effective social media marketing.
- Influencer’s relevance to your brand niche.
- Micro or macro influencer depending on the number of followers (this will determine your budget).
- Frequency of every post about your brand.
For instance, Fit Tea’s target customers are social media users, fitness freaks, and between the age of 18-40 years. Understanding this, they reach out to the potential influencers relevant to their niche, like the Kardashian sisters. They took this influencer marketing game far enough to make millions of sales every year, even if their influencers may cost them like million dollars.
Talking about the cost, what should be the payment model once you find the right influencer to reach out to? The next part is all about that.
2. How to pay influencers?
Coming to payments, you have to pick up a cost-effective mutually-profitable deal. It would be best if you spent some time thinking and analyzing what you expect from that deal and looking for the right budget to spend. This helps you understand what type of payment model will fit you the best.
Down there are some commonly used payment models you must look at.
● Gifting or rewards
Gifting influencers free products is one of the most effective ways to pay influencers. This gives them a chance to try the product in person and write a genuine review for their followers. In fact, for the company, too, this is a pretty cheap deal that can turn into a long-term partnership.
If you are looking for the no-payment option, this is the way to go. Besides, you can even offer store credits and cashback deals that will help influencers advertise better.
● Free event or trip
Imagine if you are someone from the travel industry, you send your potential influencer on a free trip to promote your hotel and its services. The influencer, in return, posts the fundamental insights of your services and property that compel their followers to come and visit the next time they are around. This is exactly that.
Mostly, when you offer a free trip or entry to a big event, influencers wouldn’t ask you for an additional cash payment, making it a practical option for your brand. Moreover, as a marketer, you can understand the conversion drive better.
● Content licensing fee
It wouldn’t be a surprise to know that 92% of consumers have faith in unknown’s recommendations as long as they are on the brand’s content list. That’s the reason why most companies reach out to real users and pay for their content usage. This leads to faster spreading of words and better conversions because people see real users on your company’s profiles.
Content licensing sure gives faster results, but it also puts a lot of pressure on marketers to take action as soon as possible. Moreover, they would have to come up with new content in a short time to keep the ball rolling.
● Pay per post
Pay per post is the most common one you have ever heard of. An influencer would love to be paid for every media or story they post. However, as a marketer, it would cost you a fortune. In reality, this is not the case. Not every brand has a budget to pay like $1 million to hire Ronaldos and Jenners.
You’ll be glad to know that per post cost can be as low as $10 for every 1000 followers (depends on what platform you are going for). Nonetheless, you would have to focus on finding the right influencer – Nano, Micro, or Macro; it’s up to you. The real benefits come in when your influencer would use features like swipe-up, description in bio, or shop now in their post from time to time.
● Performance only
Here comes the one that works like affiliate marketing. As the name suggests, you would only have to make the payment according to the performance of quantity leads influencers bring to your company. This happens when influencers share a CTA (Call to Action) that determines the results at the end of the marketing period or even before that.
Performance-based payments come with many benefits because you don’t have to make the payment upfront but rather analyze the performance and then make the payment. This makes it easier to understand what influencer brings the most sales to the company (or other criteria).
● Fixed-rate + performance bonus
Fixed rates and performance are when the company agrees to pay an advanced payment to the influencer and, in addition, pays them based on performance as well. This is undoubtedly the most beneficial because the advanced payment encourages influencers to take up the job and the opportunity to earn extra pushes them to produce quality content for more customer attraction.
3. Planning marketing management and the budget
Since we talked about the Kardashian sisters and their endorsements, do you know Pepsi and Kendall Jenner’s 2017 ‘Unity in Diversity’ campaign turned into an epic disaster? Sure, using a soft drink as a symbol of peace was too much for the world, and so was going for the wrong influencer.
You don’t want to be in place of Pepsi and go through this embarrassment. That’s why you need to plan everything ahead of time. Influencers are human, not some AI tool that you can rely on. Take some time to ensure the post goes live on time, as discussed in the contract. Moreover, plan things out to understand how you will track the influencers’ performance.
Regarding prices, about 78% of brand managers believe in reserving about 10% of their marketing budget for influencer marketing. So, ideally, it should be 15%, but that depends on your preferences and analysis.
4. Setting goals and spreading the right message.
Whenever you have a new launch in your company, you have a purpose in mind, and on paper, why should influencer marketing be an exception? Despite understanding the importance of having an objective, most marketers put the campaign at risk and end up having unsatisfactory ROI (Return on Investment), bad ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend), and above all, poor management.
Deciding a goal is a must, and that shouldn’t be just about having more ROI and what message you will spread to have the expected results. So, whether your goal is to have more influencers, better conversion, or just have valuable market insights, make sure you have a clear idea about it. Also, don’t forget to note it and spread the word with the team for better future campaign development.
5. Finding and reaching out to the influencers
You have a plan ready, have a budget to spend, and now you need a list of influencers to reach out to, but how to do that? Again, you can’t just go after the number of followers on the influencer’s profile because there are other factors as well.
To make it simple, here are some questions you need to answer whenever you look into an influencer’s social media.
- How relevant are they to your industry? Let’s say if you have an application to promote, you will look for someone who is tech-savvy and reviews the technical things about smartphones or computers.
- How good are they? Are they taking their influencer role seriously? Just scroll through their profile and understand the ratio of followers’ activity. A poor ratio between likes and followers may indicate a scam.
- Are they interested in a brand like yours? You can see that by just scrolling through and getting an idea of how often they post about a brand like yours.
Now that you know whom to reach out to, here is how you can contact them to complete the deal. If they are someone with fewer followers, you can simply send a text on the same platform. However, if they have many followers, you can note their contact details (probably mentioned in the bio) and contact them for a business inquiry.
6. Continuous review and analysis
Starting influencer marketing is the easy part. The tough spot comes when you have to continuously track down the performance and responses of this social media marketing campaign. There are many ways to do that like:
- Use a hashtag to check out the responses. This helps you track how the spread-of-words strategy is working out.
- Take help from a professional marketing analytic tool. One good tool can make things a lot easier for you.
- If your focus is on sales, you can simply share a trackable link, coupon code, or affiliate link with the influencer, which is easier to track.
These are just to name a few but what is essential is having a strategy that helps you make changes in the campaign wherever necessary.
Private profiles are transforming into private brands on social media. Without any doubt, influencer marketing is going to get complex with every coming year. It is up to marketers to make the best use of this change and generate better collaboration with the influencers.
Therefore, this list of strategies will help you better control your marketing campaign. Don’t miss out on any of the points mentioned above. You never know when a new addition will come in influencer marketing trends. However, we’ll be back with more information on this one. So, stay tuned.