This influencer marketing guide has everything that can direct you to set your influencer marketing strategy in a modern, timely, and most engaging manner.
With 17% of the businesses investing half of their marketing budgets on influencer marketing, you should realize that your marketing strategy is a bit old fashioned. What if we tell you that these 17% of the businesses are actually earning $6.50 for every $1 spent? We guess this is enough ROI to encourage you to at least read more about the influencer marketing strategy, right? So, let’s formally get started with the influencer marketing guide.
Okay, so if you are thinking that we are going to start promoting some of the celebrities that you should link your brand to, then you are absolutely wrong. Firstly, we don’t aim to promote any specific influencer here. Secondly, celebrities aren’t the only influencers in the arena anymore. The game has diversified far more than you can think.
Now anyone around you can be an influencer. You just have to find the right one through which you can get closer to your set objectives. And obviously, this is among some of the prominent challenges that businesses face. But we hope that with this easy to understand influencer marketing guide, you won’t have any problems in devising your own influencer marketing strategy.
What to expect from this influencer marketing guide?
Let us give you an overview of what we’ll cover in this influencer marketing guide. It will help you in building up your expectations about the way you’ll form the influencer marketing strategy. So, to make sure that everyone knows what influencer marketing is, we’ll start with defining the phrase. Then we’ll move on to the major Influencer marketing platforms that you can utilize for this purpose.
Additionally, some of the real-world examples might be the best way to give you an idea of how practical things actually work in this field, so we’ll be focusing on them as well. Obviously, influencer marketing strategy making, covering the content, process of finding relevant influencers, measurement of results, etc. would also be there to make your life easy yet practical. Let’s embark on the journey to learn something new and valuable for your business.
What is an Influencer marketing?
We’ll try to keep it simple so that you can understand it properly. Do you know about celebrity endorsements in traditional media settings? Just to give you an overview: you might have seen ads of different products or services with some famous movie stars or sports person in it. Here the brand or company is using celebrity endorsement.
Influencer marketing is just a bit advanced and modern form of this technique. In this technique, you don’t have to find the celebrities to talk about your product (it can take many forms, we’ll be discussing that later in this influencer marketing guide). People around you can be influencers as well, generating the same or maybe more benefit as that of celebrity endorsement (depends upon your influencer marketing strategy).
Additionally, the medium doesn’t have to be the traditional one, as well. It employs a new form of media for this purpose, where simple social media profiles can be used for the creation of the right impact.
So putting it simply, people who have high reach or influence on others through their social media profiles (usually, but there can be some other forms as well), propagating your brand, company or product is known as influencer marketing. And obviously, people doing such marketing for different brands are known as influencer marketers.
“Influencers are people with significant networks (followers, readers, etc.) who can speak to a broad range of products and services with the ability to sway opinions in their favor.”
This explanation by Jess Estrada would have resolved issues, if any, from your mind. Still, if you feel you need any more clarification about it, just go to the comments section and ask.
Why does influencer marketing work?
As we in this influencer marketing guide are highlighting the changing landscape of the marketing itself, so it gets important that we tell you why does it actually work? You rightly think that why would a random group of people be influenced by anyone around them. Obviously, when you are thinking from the perspective of spending money, you should have your mind clear about everything.
The influencers that we are talking about aren’t any random group of individuals. They have established their authority and credibility overtime in their audience. Most of these influencers are experts in this field; this is why their audience listens to what they have to say about the products, brands, or anything. So, you are ultimately going to get benefit from their established trust with their audience. And for letting you use this trust, the influencers charge you a decent sum of money.
According to the research data revealed in Forbes, only 1% of the millennial population trust advertisement. So, with this data at your disposal, you shouldn’t actually be advertising. Nontraditional advertisements should be used, and influencer marketing is one of them.
Worth of Influencer marketing technique:
This trend of marketing is not only a FAD; rather, it has some big numbers involved as well. By 2020, this form of marketing is going to reach $10 billion, according to one of the reports presented in Adweek.
Similarly, nearly 89% of the people surveyed in 2018 revealed that the return on investment (ROI) attained by this form of marketing is at least the same when compared with other channels, if not more. Even most of the respondents declared the ROI of influencer marketing to be higher as compared to the other marketing techniques.
The research from Altimeter showed that nearly 70% of the influencer marketers that you can find today have chosen to be an influencer for the purpose of earning money. So, this technique is not only prominent in the businesses; rather, people influencers are actually adopting it as a full-time career for earning money. It definitely shows the prominence that influencer marketing has got overtime and the worth that it has established today.
Moreover, another research study from Adweek shows that 40% of the people surveyed have shown a higher level of trust in influencers as compared to advertisements. The data revealed that seeing others use a product on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, etc. increased their tendency to buy a product.
Influencer Marketing Platforms:
Now, when you have the basic idea about the influencers and what this type of marketing actually is, we are going to discuss the prominent platforms for influencer marketing. There are NO specific platforms for influencer marketing. Yeah, you have read it right. None of the platforms is especially dedicated for this purpose. Certain social media platforms might have the edge over others, but you cannot call any of these forums to be specifically dedicated to this purpose.
It is better to discuss influencer marketing as a phenomenon rather than a platform-based approach. With this phenomenon, you can take any influencer marketing platform depending on your need and preference to play this specific role.
Didn’t get it? Here is what we mean. You can use Twitter as an influencer marketing platform if your brand needs to be promoted via tweet. Similarly, you can use Instagram if the nature of posts on Instagram matches your needs. The same goes for YouTube, Facebook, SnapChat, Twitch, or any other platform.
So, you can say that you can adopt any forum to get your influencer marketing done. It also means that you can actually find influencers on every platform. So, isn’t that actually great?
Current landscape of Marketing:
You’ll have the idea that traditional marketing has already reached its saturation point where potential customers or audiences exactly know that they are being tricked into buying the product or services unless there is something out of the box. Those out of the box gimmicks in the traditional setting requires a lot of investment. And we aren’t talking about just a bit increase in your budget. We are talking about the budgets to compete with conglomerates. So when traditional marketing is out of possible solution. You are left with social media marketing.
We would say that this is the forum that you should adopt as a new business or a medium-scale business as it helps you in selecting your target market to micro-level, thus helping you attract the right audience, which would more likely be to convert.
“Reputation and influence must be earned. Social media is the quickest way to show your audience how good you are.” ― Stacey Kehoe
Despite the benefits that social media marketing brings in, you just can’t expect to create your business profile on different social platforms and start getting the benefit. You’ll have to go in the depths of these forums and design something, which is either different or persuasive enough to grab the attention of people that you are targeting. Yes, you have got it rightly. Influencer marketing is one such technique, and this is why we are sharing this influencer marketing guide to help you up.
Current landscape of Influencer marketing:
Around 5 years back, the scope of influencer marketing was quite narrow, but it actually provided wonderfully, and we would say easy opportunities for businesses to get prominence in their target market.
Even the influencers did not have to do much for becoming an influencer, years back. Good high-quality pictures were enough to attract the audience along with the creation of a specific image in the niche that would portray them as an expert.
But with the presence of high-quality cameras and other technological advancements that we have got, grabbing the attention of users has become more difficult. Now the perfect pictures aren’t something that attracts users; rather, influencers will have to go for casual poses, normal routines, and low levels of editing to show users that they have a normal life like them. Today’s influencer marketing landscape is governed by this “normal impression” from the lives of the influencers.
It also means that while going for this marketing technique for your brand, you should be focusing on this element so that you can ultimately relate with your own audience. It will help you in generating the impact that you wish to generate.
“Activate your followers, don’t just collect them like stamps.” ― Stacey Kehoe
Influencer Marketing Examples:
After a lot of theory, we believe now it is time for some practice. Before reading this influencer marketing guide, if you weren’t aware of this technique or the way it worked, then you might have missed its application in practical life too.
So here, we are sharing some of the prominent brands using this technique for grabbing the attention of their consumers. You’ll like seeing how to have these brands worked with influencers. Make sure to take notes of the things that you think would help in forming your influencer marketing strategy. We’ll be uncovering the entire process of creating your own strategy in a few minutes. So, you’ll be able to use your points and get a rough idea about the strategy that you are going to employ while reading this influencer marketing guide.
One more thing before we proceed further, and that is, you would see that not only new brands or companies are using this technique; rather, the established brands who want to extend further to the micro-level are also using this technique of marketing. So, it can be used by anyone irrespective of the size and brand name that the company has.
1. Chase Sponsoring The US Opens:
One of the influencer marketing examples is of Chase. Chase has been sponsoring US Open for years. But in 2016, it tried to do something different, and this is where influencer marketing comes into play.
If you are a tennis fan, then Andy Roddick won’t be a name new to you. Chase partnered with Periscope and Andy Roddick to provide a great tennis viewing experience to the fans of tennis and this particular championship from anywhere in the world.
So, what happened in this campaign was that viewers were able to watch their favorite game with live expression from Andy Roddick along with the live commentary that he did while sitting on his couch. How did it impact viewership and engagement? With this practice, 9.1 million impressions, and 2.5 million video views were managed. In total, 385 hours of Periscope, video for fans was available. Thus, creating a win-win situation for everyone that was involved
2. Dunkin’ Donuts Using Influencer Marketing On Instagram:
Dunkin Donuts’ campaign will also help you learn the influencer marketing examples. On National Donut Day, Dunkin Donuts aimed to create more awareness about their brand and increase their sales. For that, their marketing agency approached 8 lifestyle influencers on SnapChat. These influencers took over the SnapChat of Dunkin Donuts for 24 hours and promoted the special offer created by the company.
The result of such an effort was an increase of ten times in their Snapchat following. 3 million people were reached, and statistics showed 40000 cases of engagement.
3. Sony Xperia Z5 On Instagram:
Sony Xperia Z5 was known for the powerful camera. This is why the company chose to use Instagram to promote it. The content that they created for the campaign was highly rich. One zoom photo with 50 detailed surprises was covered in a single picture.
30 influencer accounts were selected for launching the campaign, and the users could identify a 5 digit code from each account. This campaign for Xperia Z5 got successful, and 17 million potential contacts were generated through this campaign.
Influencer Marketing Strategy:
“Have an influencer strategy. I would say 99% of businesses that say they want to partner with influencers actually have no strategy. Start with why you are engaging with influencers (what is it going to do for your business).” Alex Plaxen
Okay, now, after discussing some of the prerequisite topics for understanding the entire influencer marketing guide, now we are sharing the most important part. We believe that you’ll probably be most excited about this one as this part is going to help you with designing your own strategy too.
If you want to plan the influencer marketing strategy for your business alongside, then it would be better if you’ll have your basic objectives for creating a marketing campaign in mind. Without your objectives, you wouldn’t be able to capitalize on any of the points mentioned in this section.
“The First thing to consider in any influencer marketing campaign is understanding why your organization exists, what it’s trying to achieve, and what it stands for. Absent this, and you’ve yet to influence yourselves appropriately let alone others.” Philip Sheldrake
Step by step, the process to create an influencer marketing strategy for your business:
Without any further delay, let’s start working on it.
1. Define your goals:
This is the primary step that you’ll have to work on before you can proceed any further. Know what you are up to? Or where will you stand after you’ll end your campaign? Why are we calling it the most integral factor of the entire process? Because if you won’t be clear about it now, then your entire strategy would show the confusion. And the end result would be a total mess.
One of the amazing things here is that neither we nor your influencers would be expecting a written statement of your goals. Or where you want to be in the future, but your goals here will determine every other thing mentioned in this influencer marketing guide.
We’ll explain this point by this saying from Simon Sinek, “Martin Luther King did not say ‘I have a mission statement.’– Simon Sinek.
And yeah, that is correct. He directly worked on his agenda, and even today, we know his name as one of the important individuals from American history. And there is no chance that even our next generation is going to forget him any time soon, right? So, what, the point here? You have started a business; you just can’t expect to go around and tell people that this is what we want to achieve in the future, or these are our future goals. No one is going to show an interest in it, and why should they? They are only going to be connected to your business because of the value that you have for them. And value is not told, it is actually provided.
But at the same time, you just don’t expect to wander and see what you can achieve. If Martin Luther King wasn’t this clear about his objectives, do you think he would have achieved all this?
Some Possible Goals:
Every business could have a different goal. But here are some of the possibilities that you might have in mind or the ones that you can set up for your campaign:
Creation of brand awareness: you might want to inform potential customers about your brand, product, etc.
Building brand identity: you might want to create a special image of your brand in the eyes of your customers
Building audience: creating an audience for your website, social media platform, or any other forum
Attracting a new target market: you might be looking to open up for a new market. Even then, this influencer marketing technique can be of great help, and you can choose it as a goal and set other priorities accordingly.
Generating leads: you might consider generating comments or likes for your pages or posts
Generating sales: you might want to sell more of your products
Creating loyalty: another objective that you can have in your mind is to keep your customers connected with your brand for a longer time and higher interactions
Building links: you might be interested in generating links that would refer back to your website
Select one of these goals or define your own in order to create your campaign.
2. Think Of The Relationship Trigger That Your Brand Would Create With An Influencer:
Influencer marketing campaigns can usually have three different types of relationship triggers between the brands and the people who are promoting them. These types are defined on the expectations of your brands from the influencers. We’ll be highlighting each of these types. So, you won’t have to go somewhere else to look into them as we promised that we’d be sharing everything here in this influencer marketing guide.
You can inspire influencers with your brand image or product, etc.that they would promote your website or mention your brand or product on their own without requiring you to invest in the entire campaign.
Why would someone do that?
One of the legit questions that you can have here is that why would someone do that. Let us clarify it with the help of an example. Just imagine if a brand is doing something for the climate change or plantation drive. Don’t you think that this initiative would simply be discussed by the celebrities because everyone is concerned about climate change, and they would want to utilize their audience and influencer-ship to contribute towards a good cause?
In this setting, your brand won’t have to reach out to all the celebrities or influencers, you just need to create such a campaign, and there is a high probability that celebrities will promote this campaign, and your brand will get the promotion on its own.
The second type of relationship trigger that can create a bond between you and your influencer is to hire them specifically for promotion. We’ll be focusing on this relationship trigger in the entire influencer marketing guide as you would be in more control in such a situation.
Why would someone do that?
There can be different motivators for getting into such a relationship. You could either be paying the influencer for such an act of creating a win-win situation, both for your brand and the influencer. We’ll be discussing this aspect in detail in the next section (Decide upon the type of influencer marketing campaign).
The mixture of both:
You can use a mixture of both these types of triggers, too, for the creation of a relationship. The exact setting would depend on the initial situation. But there is a chance that if someone would be inspired by your brand, he/she will more likely get into a close relationship, which can actually help in the generation of positive results.
3. Decide upon the Type of Influencer marketing campaign:
Now, after the selection of the relationship that you would like to establish with your influencer, the next thing that you are going to finalize is the type of influencer marketing campaign through which you want to achieve your objectives. It would be dependent on the relationship that you chose in the above step. We’ll show you some of the options that you can have in this regard in this influencer marketing guide.
There are many different types involved. But you don’t need to stick to any one of these in your entire campaign. It is your choice and the negotiations that you finalize with your influencer. So, it can be simultaneous usage of two or more of them or just relying on one.
To make the selection easier for you, let us discuss some of the types that usually have while negotiating with your influencer.
Gift product or services:
One of the most common types of a marketing campaigns that you can generate through influencers is by gifting them a product or offering them a free service that you want to promote.
With the battle of traffic going on the internet, content is one of the most important things that you can agree to contribute towards your influencer. In this type of contribution, you can create content for the influencer’s blog. The type of content and other details would have to be discussed with the influencer first.
In this type of campaign selection, you can simply pay the influencer and decide on the mechanism through which your campaign would be done. In this case, it is not essential to provide the content.
Sometimes, co-creation of content can also be used as a strategy. In this type, you decide on the content that will be published by the influencer (in any form), so there is no confusion on either end.
Social Media Mentions:
In this type of influencer marketing campaign, you or your brand are mentioned on the different social media platforms. Whether you get to feature on one of the platforms or multiple of them depends on the dealing that you have managed to create with the influence.
Contest And Giveaways:
You can provide some gifts or giveaways to the influencers that they can share with their audience or followers. The motivation behind this technique is to influence people to know about the brand or engage with it in return for a free gift.
You can hand your entire social media account to your influencer for a particular period of time. In this time, he/she manages to attract his/her following to your channel. By using this strategy, you can expect to generate a lot of engagement.
You might want to share your sales with the influencers, as well. In this form of campaign, you’ll be sharing specific codes with your influencers. Any purchase of your product or service that would be generated through that specific code would entitle your influencer to earn a share from the revenue. In such a situation, influences usually have their stakes involved, so self-generated promotion can be expected from the influencers.
Similar to the contest and giveaways, you can generate a specific discount code for the influencers’ audience. Upon using that code, those people would get a benefit. However, such a setting might require you to pay the influencer as well.
The strongest form of campaign that you can generate by the help of influencers is by making them the brand ambassadors. In this setting, you don’t have to limit the channels on which you’ll be promoted; rather, the influencer you have hired displays the image of your company or brand everywhere. It could be in the physical world, television and print ads, and social media. This is done in exchange for the exclusive offer or products of your company.
We would emphasize the point that any of the relationships that we have discussed here are not very rigid. You can modify things based on your individual requirement and the setting that you end up with your influencer.
4. Identify Your Audience:
We would say that this is probably an easy step in the overly consuming preparation for the influencer marketing strategy. Why? This is because if you were running a business already, then you would have defined the audience already. Ideally, you should have an idea about who your customers are, how often do they use social media, what do they prefer, and all other things that could be relevant to your audience.
However, calling it one of the easiest steps doesn’t mean that it is not important. Anything that goes wrong at this stage would spoil your entire strategy, so make sure to be vigilant about that as well.
In case you haven’t identified your audience yet or are new to the business, then here (in this influencer marketing guide), is a brief procedure through which you can know the audience that you are targeting and their likes and dislikes.
Define The Demographic Variables:
Firstly, consider the age, gender, social status, educational level, and income of the people to whom your product or service is directed. It will help in separating the audience that you want to engage with your brand and the company.
Find Their Interest:
People from a specific age group, gender, etc. can have specific interests. They might be interested in fashion products, games, technology, etc.
Determine Which Phase Of Life They Are In?
Targeting the right customers is not very easy. You’ll have to be sure about everything. Determine if your buyer is a student or a parent, married or single, etc.
With this basic knowledge about your audience, you should create a customer persona. This persona should actually help you in making a clear picture of who your audience is and where should you find them.
If you have a defined target audience already, then you should be going after that. There is no need to create this persona again, as it won’t be helpful. Additionally, it is not essential that you should go for the entire audience through a single campaign, you can divide your target audience into segments too. And cater them according to their interests.
This is particularly true for the products that have varied customers and audiences. Such as Pepsi Inc. or Coke Inc. So, in this case, they may try to set up different campaigns for different audience segments. And for that, they’ll have to clarify the segment-based needs and interests of the audience in the product.
5. Choose The Influencer Marketing Platform:
As we have discussed earlier, as well, there are many influencer marketing platforms, and you can choose any depending on your needs. However, this is the time when we’ll help you in determining your needs and choosing the one fitting the best to your requirements.
When you define your audience, you would get an idea which platform does your audience uses the most. So, you should give the first preference to that specific platform before thinking about others.
Moreover, the industry in which you are operating could also help you determine your best platform. If you are a gamer, then choosing Twitch can be the best option that you can get. Similarly, for technology products, YouTube could prove to be the right medium. Instagram could suit you if you are working in the beauty or fashion industry or want to promote such products.
In most cases, you’ll end up with Instagram or Facebook to be the most used forum. This is because Facebook has the most active users and growth rate of Instagram, and its engagement is at the top. Moreover, the theme and overall stance of this social media platform are sharing with very importance given to visual media.
Try to go for a single platform if you are just starting out with this type of marketing strategy. You can definitely move to other ones at a later stage. Spreading your wings to all platforms together would create chaos and confusion. This might divert your own attention from the original message and goals. Additionally, the message you want to portray can be lost completely too.
So, we would recommend you to take baby steps towards your goal.
6. Find The Influencers:
By now, we hope that you would have chosen your platform on which you are going to start your influencer marketing campaign. If you have any questions up till now, you can simply scroll down to the comment section and ask your query. It might not only help you but the other readers as well.
Choose Between Micro-Influencers And Mass Influencers:
At this step of the influencer marketing guide, you’ll have to make your choice about which type of influencers to select for your campaign. The trend of micro influencing is also prominent. It can actually yield better return because lower the followers, higher engagement can be generated. Moreover, the charge that the influencers would charge could also be lower.
A study from Markerly reveals that generally, the influencers with 1000 followers to their account generate an 8% engagement in the form of likes. However, as the number of followers of the account increases, the engagement lowers. For a 10 million + follower account, the engagement level was just 1.6%. Now you’ll be deciding if you want a better connection of your influencer with their audience, or would you be going for a looser connection. Roughly, the number of interactions in both cases would be the same.
According to Sophie McAulay at AND CO from Fiverr, “It’s important to consider how engaged an influencer’s audience is,” she says. From the suggestions of Sophie, micro-influencers should be the option that you choose. According to her, “You’ll get the most value from working with someone in your niche who has a loyal and relevant following, and who’s able to talk about your product or service in a way that is authentic and not dissimilar to the type of posts they usually create.”
Look For The Best Influencers:
Now when you have made a decision if you are going to choose the micro-influencer or a mass influencer, it is time to look for some of the best influencers that can fit your selected criteria.
However, you haven’t made all the decisions about the selection even at this point. Bloggers, Social Media Stars, Celebrities, Industry Experts, Thought Leaders, Customers, and Noncompeting Brands are some of the other aspects that you have to look into while making your choice.
“There are exceptional people out there who are capable of starting epidemics. All you have to do is find them.” Malcolm Goldwell
For social media influencers:
In order to find influencers on social media forums, you can use the manual procedure of finding the right individual or group of individuals. The techniques that you can utilize for manual search include:
To find people who have influence over the specific niche, you can use hashtags, especially on Twitter and Instagram. These hashtags can lead you to some of the most prominent influencers talking about that particular topic.
Use Search Bars:
The search bars present on social media channels are there to help you with all such matters. You can search based on topic or influencers to know more detail about them and to see their profile and engagement statistics.
Use Search Engines:
Any of the search engines can prove to be a perfect starting point for any kind of research. This goes for the influencers too. Apart from landing at the direct profiles of the influencers, you can also find some valuable resources like 10 best Instagram influencers posted by different blogs, thus making your research easier and comprehensive at the same time.
You don’t necessarily have to manage the entire search for influencers manually. There are some tools that can help you at this stage. You can analyze these influencers based on the topics they cover, their recent post engagements, and the people who form their audience.
Let’s have a look at some of the marketing tools that you can use here:
BuzzSumo is one of the tools that can do all the data scraping work for you. It can find you the influencers and their reach, depending upon the specifications you provide.
It is a holistic tool that cannot only help you find the influencers but can also let you contact them with your offer, set up the marketing campaign, and the key metrics for the analysis of the entire campaign. Even this tool can help in finding the right match through demographic variables. Moreover, it works as a marketplace where you can make settlements too.
This special influencer marketing tool allows you to have three functionalities covered in one. Influencer search, campaign manager, and influencer marketing analytics. However, with this tool, you won’t be able to reach the selected influencers directly, so you might require an email of the contacts.
At this stage, we’ll advise you to curate the best influencers that would align with the strategy that you have formed up till now. You can contact them at a later stage when you are done with some of the other important decisions required for your influencer marketing campaign.
For Blog Post Influencers:
You can again use the manual process for finding your right influencers. Search engines can be the first source that you can utilize. But here are the other options that you have:
Link Your Content To A Relevant Audience:
If you are looking for influencers’ websites to post on as a guest post. For that, you can use a number of SEO tools that are available. Using your own website’s URL, you’ll be able to find dozens of websites that have the audience similar to yours’. You can reach out to the owners of these websites manually or can use the opportunities provided by these tools to close a deal.
Backlink Search Can Be Helpful:
Similarly, using those same SEO tools, you can conduct a brief backlink analysis of the competitors of the website. It can provide you with potential opportunities to find the relevant audience.
Search Influencers By Topic:
Like the other search options that we have stated above, you can also find the topic based websites where your content or brand can be shared. In some cases, you’ll have to provide the content, whereas in other cases, the owner of the website would only need your information, and the rest of the things would be handled automatically.
7. Set Key Performance Indicators:
While you are still in the planning phase, it is important that you should set some prominent basis on which you’ll track your entire performance. These metrics or KPIs would be developed depending on the goals that you have set. For example, if you want to increase your customers or sales, you’ll have to use a number of sales made or the number of sales made as metrics.
Furthermore, these KPIs should be evaluated with respect to time, as well. You can’t see the number of customers that your brand got after the campaign for an unlimited amount of time. You’ll have to set a specific time frame. It would also depend on the duration of the campaign too. However, whatever you want to set as a metric, make sure to do it at this stage.
If you aren’t sure which of the metrics would suit in which condition, then here is a brief overview of some of the prominent indicators. But you can always choose any other thing that you’ll think would prove to be a better measure.
Brand Awareness: it can be measured through the views of the page, traffic of the website, and time spent on the website.
Building Brand Identity Metrics: it can be measured through social mentions, PR coverage
Audience Building Metrics: for measuring the audience building metrics, opt-ins, follows, can be used
Engagement Metrics: Engagement can be measured by shares, comments, and likes
Sales Metrics: new sales, revenue changes, the price per ticket are the metrics used for analyzing the sales generated
Customer Loyalty Metrics: it can be measured by customer retention rates, renewal rates
Link Building Metrics: for link building, number of links, quality of links can be used
8. Analyze The Influencer:
After finding your social influencer or the influencer for the guest post, you might get over-excited and contact the influencer directly. Although there is no harm in it. Wouldn’t it be better if you’ll waste your time and energy only if you really want to establish an influencer relationship with the other party?
For that, you should analyze the shortlisted influencers. In both the cases, whether your influencer is for social media or otherwise, you should incorporate this procedure in your influencer marketing strategy.
For social media influencers:
You’ll get to know the followers that these influencers have with the tools that you have used. But we recommend you to hover of the profile once to see if the influencer is really an expert in the field or the audience actually considers his/her opinion important. Moreover, some people could be liked for their blunt response or the negative image that they have. Be sure to check if you’ll like your brand to be linked with sushi reputation.
Furthermore, the reach of your audience is an important aspect that you should actually give importance to. If you select an influencer with too few followers, you might have to pay more per follower gained for your website. Similarly, selecting someone with too many followers but to little engagement wouldn’t be a suitable option either.
For website influencers:
In order to choose the website influencers, you’ll not only have to check the reputation of the writers and editors but also the ranking of the website. Once again, you can use various tools here. Domain Authority, page authority, UR, and DR are some of the metrics that can be used for determining the reputation of a website.
Make sure the content published on the website reflects the image and perception that you want to create in the mind of the audience. Otherwise, all your effort could be wasted completely.
Congratulations! you are half way through this influencer marketing guide that means that you have actually created half of your influencer marketing strategy already.
9. Set A Budget And Management Strategy:
You’ll have to set your budget before going any further. If you are thinking that getting quotes from some of the influencers would help you in this process, then you are totally wrong, as it is only going to create more confusion.
So, what should you do? Just allocate a portion of your marketing budget to influencer marketing. It can be 100% to any other percentage, depending on how you want to take your marketing, on the whole.
Why would it benefit? Because with a clear budget on hand, you’ll be able to contact the specific tier of influencers. If you don’t have enough budgets, there is nothing to worry about as some of the low tier, new, or micro-influencers would still be available in your budget.
If you have a high budget, then obviously there won’t be any issues in selecting the ones that fit all your criteria and requirements.
General Budgetary Estimations:
The industry in which you are looking for the influences could have a strong impact on the overall budget that you should expect. In some industries, you can find the influencers in thousands of dollars, whereas in the other industries, this price could be a hundred thousand dollars. But as there are different tiers involved too, so you can probably find the best fit.
Moreover, these cost estimates are for one post, usually. But you don’t have to worry about it. This post is going to reach a wide audience, so the cost that you are going to bear to reach each of the followers are going to be lower.
Tiers Of Influencers:
There are six prominent tiers of influencers, regardless of the industry that we are talking about. The first and the most expensive ones are the celebrities. Usually, such people have more than 5 million followers. Next comes the mega influencers with a reach of 1M to 5M.
Macro influencers have 500K to 1Million followers. Mid-tier and micro-influencers have 50K to 500K followers and 10K to 50K followers, respectively.
Nano influencers have a following of 1K to 10K followers. All this data is in reference to the estimates generated by MediaKix.
Nano influencers can be your life saviors:
Although, up till now, the smallest level of influencers that we have discussed in this influencer marketing guide were micro-influencers. But now, let us introduce you to Nano influencers; they can actually save your life when you are already struggling with budgetary issues for your new business.
What are Nano influencers? Nano influencers are the influencers that have limited audience and reach, but they can actually be afforded by any sort of business, which is at any business stage. You can contact with them freely and negotiate all the matters. However, one important thing that you must consider here is that complete conduct study before hosing the Nano influencers. Choosing the right ones with appropriate reach can be as beneficial as choosing one of the micro-influencers. Here at this point, the success of your campaign rest on you.
“Numbers are hollow. It’s all about community and involvement”Andrew Steinthal
10. Create Content:
Obviously, we can’t go on repeating the importance of each of the steps again and again. It goes understood here. You can’t compromise on the content in any way. You need to create the best. However, it would be applicable in a situation where you want the influencers to publish your content as it is. It could be a problem for some, but then you can make adjustments accordingly (either by changing the influencer or by getting the input of the selected influencer).
Make sure to keep your objectives and the audience in mind before creating content. We would say that all of the above steps that we have discussed already are important here as they’ll help you in creating a perfect message for your audience.
You don’t only have to satisfy your customers or possible customers only. As you’ll be using influencers for propagating the message, so that would require you to satisfy the influencers as well. Your message should be matching with their image and style as well to make them publish it.
Selecting keywords and targeting the low competition keyword shouldn’t be forgotten here, as well. If you have been handling all your digital content on your own, then by now, you’ll know that is the most established norm.
In order to find such keywords, you can utilize SemRush, Alexa, SimilarWeb, or any such tool that can provide you with keywords, difficulty level and help you expand your research with some of the related keyword options.
11. Contact your influencers:
When you have done each of these steps, it is now the optimal time to contact your influencer. First, let us discuss the main methods through which you can contact your shortlisted influencers.
Use Market Platforms:
There are some market platforms available, which not only highlight the number of followers that these people have on different forums but also provide statistics regarding the engagement level that each of the influencers brings. Along with that, these platforms also ensure that you can reach out to them with great ease in return for a platform fee.
Both of the parties can find the relevant parties without putting in much effort. However, there are some benefits and disadvantages associated with this technique. Some of the benefits include the ease in contacting and payment security. However, you might not find some prominent influencers with good reach and engagement on the market platforms.
Consider Special Outreach Tools:
The tools that we have discussed above also provide the users with some options to contact the influencers. In most cases, the email address from social media profiles or websites is retrieved. It can be used for contacting the influencers. Firstly, you can contact them easily by using these tools. Secondly, you can add a personal touch in your message, which can increase the prospects of better results.
However, the drawbacks of this technique include the lack of complete coverage of all the influencers. Sometimes missing details could create real problems when trying to reach out to the influencers using this method.
Contact An Influencer Marketing Agency:
Some influencer marketers, probably from the upper tiers, prefer to deal via influence marketing agency. But keep this in mind that the influencer marketing agency is going to charge you extra for the deal. And this can actually be two to three times more than the original cost that you have to bear for implementing your influencer marketing strategy.
Then why is it an option? Do you think celebrities would be reachable without any intermediary? We don’t think so. If you are looking for some higher tier influencer, then the only option that you have is to go for these influencer marketing agencies.
In all other cases, it would be better if you won’t go for these influencer marketing agencies and get in direct contact with the influencer. Apart from the celebrities, even the other higher tier influencer marketers would be reachable to you via some of the other options that we have discussed above.
Do You Think Everyone Would Get Back?
No, you should not start your influencer marketing strategy with this thing in mind. You can compare it with cold calling. You won’t be able to generate leads from every call you make. There are higher chances that you won’t even hear a reply back. So, reaching the negotiation stage is something that would require a lot of patience from your side.
We’ll be discussing more tracking your outreach in the next section of this influencer marketing guide.
12. Process of Contacting the Influencer:
If you aren’t using the direct tools for reaching the influencers, then you just go and tell them that you need them to be your influencer. Your message would go ignored in most cases. This is the first step of this influencer marketing guide that would require you to talk about your objectives with third-parties. Up till now all the steps were to be handled on your own.
So, here are some of the steps that you should follow to contact the influencers.
Create Social Engagement:
Before you reach out to the influencers for promoting your stuff, i.e., brand, product, etc., make sure to join their social networks and engage with their posts. Here, by engagement, we don’t mean just liking the picture or creating an emoji. Create a meaningful interaction where you can appreciate the efforts of the person posting it or the graphics used along. You can even share your perspective about the post that would stand out and grab the attention of the influencer.
Talk To The Influencer:
Once you have established the basic level engagement on social media, then talk about your main purpose. Keep your information concise, but make sure to cover all points. Tell briefly about your campaign and the budget that you are willing to allocate for the campaign.
When a proper conversation is generated, see if they want to achieve some particular career objective in which you can help. This will not keep the relationship transactional only; rather, it would foster the relationship towards long term commitment and mutual benefit.
A good piece of advice here is:
“When activating an influencer, ask yourself how you’re helping them accomplish their own goal. If you don’t know, find out, if your ask helps them, you’re gold, if it doesn’t, you should probably think hard before engaging them.”Pierre-Loic Assayag
Take Your Relationship To Another Level:
You should interact with the influence to create long term relationships. You should talk about the mutual benefits and the way the brand would be in synchronization with the image and audience of the influencers. By doing this, you’ll be creating a better interaction between the two that would be ultimately reflected in the actual influencing post.
“Developing relationships with internal and industry experts with active networks, to co-create content that helps drive measurable business goals.”Lee Odden
You can take the example of rehearsing. Why are all the school plays and important days rehearsed properly, so that there won’t be any surprises on the main day? Moreover, it also helps everyone in building up chemistry for working together. This is what you should aim to achieve in this setting too.
13. Track Your Outreach:
It would be absurd if you’ll keep on sending emails or messages to all the influencers that you have selected until now. How would you know who has responded and with whom to close the deal? In order to keep all such things in order, we need to track the outreach program.
You can use the tools that you used while finding and reaching out to the influencers. You can even set a manual plan to record all the points of contact for reaching everyone. But it can be complex if you want to contact multiple influencers.
The same is the case with the influencers for websites, as well. You’ll have to contact multiple websites and blog owners that you think are relevant for your brand or product. But not everyone is going to reply to you back. Those who rely upon you back might not want to work for you for different reasons. So, you’ll have to keep a record of it as well, which comes under tracking.
You can set your own percentage to determine the success rate. For guest blogging, it is believed that generating a 5% result is actually good. Anything lower than that should require you to revisit your approach through which you are counting the influencers. And obviously, anything more than 5% should be considered as a success.
What to Track?
Our suggestion is to create a document where you’ll answer these points with the maximum possible detail:
- Who initiated the reaching out process with a particular influencer
- Time of reaching out
- Who was contacted
- Communication notes
- Follow up plan
- Current status of the effort
You can create an Excel sheet for saving all this information as it would be easy to find and use whenever required.
But note that this is just one of the steps; still, your work is not over, and you need to have a lot of patience.
14. Create A Campaign Brief:
Although you have set your content strategy earlier (see above sections from this influencer marketing guide), you need to communicate it to the influencer as well. So, for that, you’ll require a campaign brief.
In the campaign brief, you can share the objectives that you have set for the campaign. Additionally, you should share how you want your brand, product to be portrayed.
It will not only help in generating positive input from the influencer but would also ensure that you people are on the same page, aiming to generate the required result. Make sure that Key performance indicators that you have set for your campaign are also part of this brief, so everyone knows that what is being aimed at.
We would suggest that creating complete content would be the best idea. You can tell the main message points that you have created in your content strategy and emphasize some of the important things that you necessarily need to be part of the message. But leave the rest to the influencer as they are more experienced in getting the message through, and you should definitely leave some of the things to the experienced individual.
15. Go Live with your Influencer Marketing Strategy:
After all this brainstorming and physical effort, now is the time to go live, according to this influencer marketing guide. You have a limited role here as your influencer would be doing this for you. At this stage, you should be getting ready for the response that this influencer marketing strategy would be generating for you.
We guess we have made this step too easier. It actually isn’t. With social media as the major forms for generating engagement, you should be expecting engagement in a few minutes of the post. So, your nervousness and excitement would be mixing up at this point, and you’ll be eager to measure the results of the campaign that you have designed.
But don’t be too hasty. You should follow your key performance indicators that have been defined already. With this key performance indicator, you would have defined a time frame too. So, just follow that.
16. Analyze Your Campaign:
Measuring your effort and checking the return on investment is the major focus of this step of the influencer marketing guide. The generation of results should be measured against the key performance indicators that you have set.
You can utilize tools available for this purpose as checking the engagement on that particular post would be possible without these tools. You won’t be able to now about every mention or share that your brand, company or product has received as a result of the campaign. Additionally, hashtag analysis would also get too complicated without the involvement of a formal tool.
So, using your favorite tool would be a necessity at this stage. You can find a number of paid and free tools available for this purpose. Review them properly before relying on any of these for analyzing the results.
Keep in mind that a non-appropriate tool can also generate issues in the tracking of performance. So, don’t take this process as easy too.
Why Is The Analysis Actually Required?
Even if the campaign is a one-time effort from the influence, you would like to know the return on investment generated through it. Moreover, it would be essential for any of the future effort too. You can come back to the same influencer. Or use the sameinfluencer marketing strategy depending on the results that you’ll gather and analyze at this stage. We’ll be discussing the ways through which you can review your strategy in the next section of this influencer marketing guide.
17. Review Your Influencer Marketing Strategy:
You don’t have to rigidly see the influencer marketing strategy going towards the wrong direction continuously just because you have set a strategy, and you can’t change it. Social media usage allows such flexibility. You can analyze your metrics and see if it requires any changes or improvements to make it better. You can implement these changes while the campaign is live; it might help in managing the damage control.
Even if everything is done, you can note the learning of this campaign and keep them for any future attempts that you make in the influencer marketing domain. You can also review the results from the perspective of the overall marketing budget that you have allocated. It will not only help you in measuring the performance of influencer marketing strategy , but it will also be helpful in analyzing which of the marketing techniques has generated the best results for you.
Let us give you a quick overview of the entire influencer marketing guide. So, you can use it as a checklist to help you in ensuring that you are done with each and every step that could have added value to your influencer marketing campaign.
Firstly we discussed what influencer marketing where we highlighted the importance of this marketing technique and the current prevalence in the market to give you strength that you’ll also reap results from this influencer marketing strategy as others are already reaping good rewards is. Then comes some of the prominent examples that have used this strategy previously and showed high levels of engagement.
After establishing this ground came the process in which we advised you to set the goals for which you want to initiate the campaign, then defining the target market, creating a content strategy, setting KPIs are the prominent steps. Don’t forget to choose the right platform for influencer marketing and the right type of influencer.
Once you have shortlisted a list of influencers, then comes the process of reaching out to them and sharing your campaign objectives. When all these aspects are properly set up, it is the time to go live with your influencer marketing campaign.
At this point, you need to analyze the results based on the Key Performance Indicators already set. The results of tracking these metrics should be incorporated in the campaign, if possible. If not, a record of the learning should be maintained for the next campaigns.
So how was the journey through each and every step of the influencer marketing strategy? Did you like our influencer marketing guide? We hope that we have not only helped you in setting up a complete strategy but have also highlighted the importance of using this method for promoting your product or brand or achieving other purposes.
We don’t want you to set unrealistic expectations from your first influencer marketing strategy. Being a first timer, things can go wrong and you might not achieve everything that we have discussed in this influencer marketing guide properly. You can trust us that. this is completely normal. No one gets things right first time with a few exceptions.
Failing in achieving your influencer marketing strategy objectives for the first time should not mean lose of hope. You should keep up the motivation level. And soon you’ll realize that you are mastering this art of reaching to your customers through influencer marketing strategy.
If you have any sort of question to ask, then you can use the comment section below. Please give your feedback on this influencer marketing guide too. This will encourage us to bring some other important guides for you as well.
For now, implement this influencer marketing strategy, get results and share them with us. And let us celebrate your success together with you.