Throughout 2017, influencer marketing was the buzzword that kept on, well, buzzing in digital marketing circles. There are plenty examples of influencer marketing campaigns that have had wild success that you can turn to for inspiration.
The organic, authentic, and innovative nature of influencer marketing makes it the vehicle to supernormal success for all kinds of marketing goals. However, it’s very likely that your first few attempts at this innovative new methodology will leave you dazzled. That’s because the word is out, audiences are getting picker, influencers are getting expensive, and there are too many of them out there, making choices complicated for brands.
Here’s a guide, however, to help you get better at the art of achieving supernormal success in any marketing goal with influencer marketing.
Understand Your Audience Before Beginning the Influencer Research
The best kept secret of influencer marketing is to always adopt a bottom-up approach. You can’t engage an influencer just based on the mammoth number of social media followers he/she has. The influencer’s style, tone, and niche have to be perfect fits with your target audience’s tastes.
You would need to actively participate in popular forums for your niche to understand the tone and conversation style adopted by audiences. Also, you might want to use BuzzSumo to find out the trendiest topics for your niche, and see which influencers are also actively posting on similar topics.
This helps you create a small list of potential influencers who’d be a fine fit foe the audience you’re targeting. Brands that skipped the audience insights part of influencer marketing had terrible results. Chriselle Lim, an influencer who got most of her success from the fashion and lifestyle niche, endorsed a Volvo car wash solution! The result was catastrophic. Don’t let the same happen to your campaign.
Know Your Goal
Influencer marketing is a phenomenal method of achieving success for your varied marketing goals. Unlike what many brands believe, influencer marketing can work for a lot more than just brand awareness. For instance, the Augure’s State of Influencer Engagement 2015 study concluded that influencer marketing was relevant for:
- Content promotion
- Content creation
- Product launch
- Corporate communications
- Event management
- Reputation management
It’s obvious, the choice of an influencer will be majorly influenced by your marketing goal. RecingLife magazine talks about how influencer marketing is a great way to secure racing sponsorships. Apple’s iPhone was a rage even before the launch, because Apple used influencer’s like YouTube’s Unbox Therapy to spread the word before the launch. So, matching the influencer with your specific market goal is the right way to go about it.
Equipped with insights from the last two steps, now’s the time to shortlist some potential influencers. Here are a couple of methods.
Begin with a basic hashtag search across platforms; this is a great way to find potential influencers already interested in your brands, advocates that can be grown into influencers, and influencers working for related and non-competing brands.
Use an influencer outreach platform that can help you discover, connect with, engage, follow up, and measure influencers and their marketing efforts.
Let the Influencer Create The Content
It can be tempting to ‘tell’ everything to the influencer, so that you retain complete control over your influencer marketing campaign. However, you’ve got to understand that the secret sauce of success with influencer marketing is the influencer’s authenticity of connection with his/her audiences. The influencer knows the tine, timing, style, and format of content that gets the maximum engagement from audiences.
For example, influencers could easily switch between creating a visually engaging collection of apparel for promoting a fashion brand, to creating a no-nonsense, value adding, insightful, and authoritative video targeted at high net worth investors via LinkedIn.
Deciding on a Compensation Model
When you shortlist a few influencers for your campaigns, you will need to agree on a compensation model. Most influencers understand that they need to create a win-win proposition for the brand and themselves, so it’s not exactly a hard battle there.
However, brands would do well to do their homework and create a model that motivates the influencer to be invested in the success of the campaign. To do this, you need to understand the key motivations of influencers, apart from the money. These are:
- Increase their audience base
- Help their followers
- Strengthen their online brand
- Get discounts and perks
- Enjoy new experiences
Irrespective of your specific marketing goals, influencer marketing is a terrific option to achieve them quickly, and without investing a lot of money. Begin with audience insights, goal clarity, and then identify the right influencers for the campaign. Keep the basics discussed in this guide in your mind, and you’ll be able to secure success for your campaigns.