Influencer marketing is about channeling your brand’s message through the voice of the ultimate consumer. Because of higher level of trust, people are more likely to make a purchase based on a peer recommendation than after watching a commercial with fabricated dialogue, a photoshopped supermodel directed to say a product is great. Social recommendations and word of mouth is, in fact, the factor behind most of our purchases.
Marketing research has proven the effectiveness, and now companies are shifting to take advantage - and even spawning startups who provide a direct feed to influencers. This growing popularity is mainly due to the authenticity, targeting capability, and high ROI of influencer marketing compared to traditional channels. So how should you be planning and running your first campaign? Get started below:
First, Find the The Influencer
As one can guess, the influencer is the most important factor in the success of these campaigns, and yet based on a recent survey 61% of marketers identify finding a relevant influencer as their biggest challenge. There are plenty of tools for finding compatible influencers who can effectively expand a brand’s visibility through credible and personalized social content, but we love Traackr and BuzzSumo.
When selecting an influencer, the focus must be on three elements: reach, relevance, and resonance.
Reach refers to the organic number of followers, and the more followers an influencer enjoys, the higher his/her reach. However, collaborating with someone merely based on their high number of followers does not translate into a successful campaign.
Another aspect to consider is the closeness of the influencer’s followers with the brand’s target audience. For instance, partnering up with a blogger with millions of followers who writes about luxury clothing to promote a green eco brand may not be the best idea. Instead, implementing a blogger who specifically talks about eco-friendly fashion with only a few thousand followers will be a more effective strategy.
The third qualification to look for when selecting an influencer is his/her degree of engagement with their followers. The more engaged the followers, the higher the chances of them making a purchase based on a social post as they look up to that influencer.
Next, Determine Credibility
The second ingredient of a successful influencer marketing is what has led to its widespread popularity, which is its high degree of authenticity. Working with a blogger who will publish any content just to make money, in most cases, will backfire. The whole point of influencer marketing is to allow real people talk about products and honestly share their opinions with others. When collaborating with bloggers and influencers, brands must give complete authority regarding the content, so it looks and feels authentic. Brands can specify the type of campaign they want to run and their ultimate objectives, however, the execution part is in the influencer’s domain.
Last, Track and Optimize Performance
The last ingredient of a successful influencer marketing campaign is the constant monitoring of the performance. Nowadays, there are numerous platforms that allow marketers and brands to get access to real-time performance metrics. Although the focus must be on long-term results when it come to influencer marketing, short-term results should not be neglected. Reach, engagement, and ROI are three of the main metrics to look for when it comes to measuring the success of an influencer marketing campaign.
Every brand must make sure that their target audience receives the influencer's content. Reach refers to the number of times an influencer’s post is viewed. Through influencer marketing a very targeted and relevant audience will be reached who in most cases actively search for that content. Marketers can also dig deeper and segment the impression to identify the demographic of the audience that received the content.
Also the influencer’s content must be interesting enough to them that they engage with it. The ultimate goal of influencer marketing campaigns is to receive some earned media as the readers themselves share the influencer’s content with their followers. This amplification factor is what’s missing in a lot of other promotional tactics. Engagement with the content refers to the number of likes, comments and shares by the readers.
As concluded by a recent survey by Burst Media, advertisers receive on average $6.85 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. As any other marketing activity, conversions must be tracked to ensure high return rate for the money spent on influencer marketing. ROI can easily be measured by trackable links to online stores, or promo codes, as well as increase in sales during the period of the campaign.
In a nutshell, with the growing popularity of influencer marketing, not all influencer outreach campaigns will necessarily be successful. The influencer is the essential ingredient to an effective campaign, as well as the reliability of the content. At the same time, with the help of influencer marketing platforms, it is crucial for marketers to oversee the performance of the campaign to ensure high ROI rates and engagement.