Tuesday, July 5, 2016

INFLUENCER MARKETING IN 5 EASY STEPS





Spending your company’s marketing and advertising budget on online ads and social media promotion that is not paying off as you had hoped.  The marketing advisors to whom you entrusted your marketing budget felt this was the best return on investment, but nine months in, you know something needs to change.  After a lot of stress, headaches, late night research and investigation, you stumbled across the idea of influencer marketing and all of the research, statistics and information lead you to believe influencer marketing might just save your company’s marketing strategy.
How you can incorporate influencer marketing into your company’s business strategy in five simple steps.  
Are you ready to take your business to the next level?  
1. Set the stage for success
Creating an influencer marketing campaign is not rocket science, but it does take dedication, planning, and foresight.  Some things to consider to set up the best foundation for a successful influencer marketing campaign:
  • Know your audience, industry, and niche
  • Understand how your target market (for this campaign) thinks and brainstorm how you want to reach them digitally.  Think about types of content (video, images, written reviews, Twitter parties, live events that are streamed on Periscope and Tweeted about, etc.).
  • Get a sense of the type of influencer who could execute this project for you.
  • Set campaign goals.  These can range anywhere from driving sales, improving your social numbers, boosting brand awareness, introducing a new product into the market, and so on.
2. Find the right influencers
Going about finding influencers is always a little challenging.  Naturally, you can hire an influencer marketing agency to ease this – and all other aspects – of your campaign.  If you do take this on yourself, ample tools exist to help you uncover influencers.  Keep in mind:
  • Target influencers whose audience is the one you wish to reach.
  • Don’t base your influencer decisions solely on follower count.
  • Compile a list of influencers you would hire for the project and begin the process of reaching out to them.
3. Engaging and recruiting influencers.
Once you have chosen a group of influencers you would hire for your campaign, have your team reach out to them systematically.
  • Do in-depth research on each and eery influencer including each of their social profiles, their blogs, About Me pages, and any other information you can find.
  • Include personal information in any communication with the influencer, be it email or phone call.  Influencers receive hundreds of emails every day.  The only way to grab their attention is to send an authentic, genuine, and human message.  Connecting with an influencer on a personal level will make that happen.
  • Once you receive responses from your chosen group of influencers, source the people who express genuine interest in working with your brand and representing your product.  Influencers are very frank; they will either not respond, tell you they don’t think your product is a good fit for their audience, or say they can’t wait to represent your brand because their followers will love what you have to offer.
4. Be flexible with creatives.
As you put together a list of viable influencers, have creatives in mind that you would like to use in the campaign.  Keep in mind that influencer marketing works because it is understated.  If you have an ad for a hot new clothing line, keep that for your direct brand campaign.  Instead, send the influencer a couple of items to wear in photos.  The influencer is an expert at wearing brands’ articles and promoting them in a very natural way, so defer to the influencer.  You might not want to give up control since it’s your product and money, you are paying an influencer because you trust what they do and the power they have over their audience.  Negotiate “must haves” in a post, and leave the rest to them.
5. Measuring results.
There are many different ways to measure the results of your campaign, and a lot will depend on your initial goals.  Some metrics can help you determine the current status of your campaign.
  • Total reach of campaign
  • Overall engagement on influencer posts (comments, likes, shares, clicks)
  • Direct traffic as a result of influencer posts
  • Conversions attributed to influencer posts in the form of sales, etc.
  • Increase in brand awareness – measured by increase in new mentions of brand by new individuals aside from influencers

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