In the last couple of years, we have witnessed the boom of social media and the rapid growth of influencers, some people love influencers, and some don’t. The truth is that influencers have become a powerful tool of marketing and sales. According to recent research, 66% of brands are planning on increasing their marketing budget for influencer campaigns in 2021 (Shaffer, 2021).
We’re aware of the popularity and impact of this type of marketing, but before going any further let’s define the term influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is when companies collaborate with influencers in specific campaigns to increase brand awareness or generate conversions. This type of marketing is not just for big brands, small businesses can also benefit from it to expand their customer base and increase sales. If you are considering working with an influencer to reach your marketing goals, we have 7 key tips for you to use as a guide when planning your strategy.
Tip #1 Set clear goals for the campaign.
What do you want to achieve with this campaign? Is it increase brand awareness or increase sales on a new product? Perhaps both but is important you know your goal so you can explain to the influencers what the point of the campaign is and how can they contribute, by working with influencers you can increase followers and engagement on your social media channel, build a stronger community, or attract traffic to your website.
For example, influencer Fleur De Force partnered up with the new skincare brand Allies of Skin for the launch campaign in 2020. Fleur introduced the brand to her followers in an IGTV video, she explains why she loves the brand and the benefits she has seen on her skin and shares with her audience a special giveaway and discount code.
The main takeaway of this point is once you know exactly what you want to achieve with this campaign, then you can choose influencers that have the experience and skillset required for your campaign.
Tip #2 Research influencers.
After setting clear goals, now it’s time to find the right influencers!
Start by searching relevant hashtags to find influencers in your niche, for example, if you are a bakery shop then look for hashtags like #bakersofinstagram #scoringbread #bakingtherapy. By doing this, you narrow down your research to finding influencers who have similar a similar audience to your target market.
Do the homework and research the influencers you have in mind, for example, you can start by paying attention to their comments on Instagram and see how they interact with their audience. You can also pay attention to the type of content they make, perhaps you are looking for an influencer who will write a full review of your product or service, then a blogger might be the perfect fit for your campaign instead of the video vlogger type of influencer.
Lastly, tools like Fohr Card and SocialBlade are great to include in your research process. These tools allow you to check the quality of the influencer’s followers, e.g., if they have authentic followers or mostly are fake accounts. It also gives you a detailed report of the influencer’s social media accounts, including the engagement rate, average likes, average comments, and more.
Tip #3 Explore your competitors’ social profiles.
It’s important to keep up to date with that competitors are doing!
The first reason being that you will be able to see the type of influencer campaigns they have done in the past and the influencers they have worked with. This is important because it gives you a clear picture of what you can do in your campaign and maybe what to avoid doing!
Another reason is that you want to note the influencers that have worked with your competitors and maybe avoid considering them for your campaign because they probably have an exclusivity contract with that brand. However, you can look through your competitor’s comments to find other influencers they have not worked with yet because if they like your competitor then there is a strong chance, they will be interested in your brand too!
Tip #4 Get in touch with your chosen influencer.
Once you have done all your research and found a couple of influencers you like to work with, it’s time to get in touch with them!
Your first message is important because is the first impression you will make, and it can make or break the collaboration deal so take the time to write a good message and find the appropriate contact details of the influencer. Before sending your first message through DMs, check their contact details in case they have an email address for brands, some influencers are managed by agencies or have a manager, if this the case, then contact them directly don’t waste time by messaging the influencer.
Make sure to keep it professional when emailing the influencer or the agency, if you are contacting the influencer directly, use their first name instead of the username, introduce yourself and your role share brief information about your brand and the campaign and let them know you are open to answering any questions they may have about your products, campaign, etc.
Tip #5 Open the conversation.
Remember to explain to your chosen influencer the details of your campaign and the goals. Be transparent, discuss project timeline dates, deadlines, rates, and everything important for you and the influencer. Make sure that everyone is on the same page and everything is clear from day one.
Be prepared to negotiate your influencer’s rate, it can be hard to have an idea of how much this campaign can cost as the influencer market is very diverse, but one thing is for sure and that is that there is always room for negotiations.
Tip #6 Write an agreement
This is a business exchange therefore, having an agreement with your chosen influencer sounds like a no-brainer. You should include in your agreement details of the projects, requirements, collaboration obligations, the use of language in the campaign, and the guidelines to disclose sponsored content online. You can’t launch an influencer campaign without disclosing it is a collaboration, you must make it clear and follow the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI) guidelines for influencer marketing.
Tip #7 Track metrics and analytics.
You have the campaign ready to go, and your influencer is all set to go but before launching the campaign is important that you set a process to track metrics that will measure the success of the collaboration. You can use Instagram’s Paid Partnership feature to gather data about the performance of the campaign.
Be transparent with your influencer and explain the metrics you are interested in as they will need to share certain statistics from their account with you once the campaign is over.
Don’t worry if the first influencers you contacted say no, there are many more Remember that many micro-influencers are willing to collaborate with small businesses! Executing the campaign does not need to be costly or difficult if you set a clear strategy and follow our 3- step process – Marketing, Management, Measurement.
Once you have your roadmap and follow these 7 tips you will achieve successful influencer campaigns for your business, and most importantly, you will build meaningful relationships with influencers that will complement your brand’s goals!
If you would like to know more about planning a strategic roadmap to your digital marketing plan then let us help you, book a free strategy call with our team.