How to create the ultimate influencer marketing strategy
You probably know that word-of-mouth is one of the most valuable forms of marketing out there. Even you are more likely to follow recommendations from someone you trust than from ads or other corporate messaging.
In this digital era, word-of-mouth extends well beyond recommendations from friends and family, people now follow advices from experts, opinions leaders or even their favourite Youtuber.
These entities are known as social media influencers and many consumers seek purchase guidance from them. On this Guide we’ll give you a detailed strategy on how to reach your target audiences using influencer marketing on Instagram.
WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING
According to BusinessDictionary.com influencers are “individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position or relationship.”
Basically they are online leaders that drive your brand’s message to their audiences. Rather than you marketing directly to a large group of consumers, you instead gather influencers to spread the word out for you.
Let’s say you have a clothing business and a close relationship with a fashion influencer with thousands of engaged followers, now imagine how powerful would be for your brand to be featured on their Instagram regularly. Sounds like a great scenario right?
We’ll show you how to cultivate such relationships with the right influencers for your brand down below.
WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO INFLUENCE?
Before you start looking for influencers or create a strategy you need to have a clear idea of who your target audience is. Take a step back and see who you are trying to reach.
Sometimes the buyer may not be the person you want to influence but rather the person who influences the buyer to take action. For example, the buyer of teenager’s footwear is usually the mother or father, but these usually buy accordingly to what teenagers choose to wear – The decision making process of footwear is influenced by their children.
What this shows is that before choosing your influencer you should rather take a look on all decision making participants and understand who you should target.
Old spice case study shows exactly this.
The brand was losing ground on the market until they changed the entire branding. This happen due to a research on which they found women were responsible for more than 50 percent of body wash purchases.
‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ and ‘Anything is possible when your man smells like Old Spice and not a lady.’ ads were targeting the housewife’s since they were the ones who decided what to buy for their husbands in this low involvement category.
SET CLEAR GOALS & SUCCESS METRICS
To start an influencer marketing campaign you should have a clear idea of what your purpose is.
There are many reasons to use influencer marketing strategies, some broad reasons may be:
– Increase brand awareness
– Increase follower count by X %
– Increase sales by X %
– Leverage on influencer established associations
After choosing your campaign it’s time to choose your success metrics – There are many KPIs you can use or methods to track your campaign results
1 – Measure the awareness of your brand before and after the campaign
2 – Check the total reach your campaign had with Instagram new insights for business (Influencers private page)
3 – Check the number of social mentions or hashtags
4 – See how many sales came from Instagram links during campaign
5 – The amount of followers you got from influencer marketing
There are many methods to track the success of an influencer marketing campaign, just be clear of what you want to achieve before choosing your influencers.
HOW TO FIND YOUR IDEAL INFLUENCERS
We’ll divide this in two parts
PART 1 – What Defines an Influencer for Your Brand?
The answer of this question can be analysed with the RARR method
Relevance – The influencer’s audience must be relevant for your business! It makes no sense to use Justin Bieber to promote b2b software, young girls don’t buy them and the ROI would probably be negative.
Actionability – This is the influencer’s ability to make their audience take action. This happens naturally when your business fits within the context of the influencer’s page.
Reach – It’s the number of people you can potentially reach through the influencer’s follower base that can bring value to your business.
Resonance: This is the potential engagement an influencer has with their audience. It is better for your business to invest in people with an engaged follower base.
PART 2 – Where to find the right influencers?
There are many techniques to find your influencers.
Here’s a short list of methods you can use to track down the right speakers for your business
– Scan your competitors to see which influencers they are using. Go to suggested profiles of those and find other similar profiles that may be interested for your brand to partner with
– Go to agencies like Instabrand or IMA to find your ideal influencers
– Use tools like Klout, Speakr, Hypr, Traackr or Snapfluence
– Search on Google for your industry influencers
You have many ways to find your ideal influencer, just be sure of your goals and needs before reaching out to them.
CREATE MUTUAL VALUE
Now that you find the right influencers it’s time to have them by your side. Since they are about to create a tremendous amount of value for you, they have to get something valuable as well.
Depending on your product features and budget, there are many ways to create value for influencers, some may be:
– Inspire your influencers. If you really have a great product-fit in the market and you are solving a need/problem of the majority of influencer’s audience and himself, then you can just let them know about your mission and hopefully they will promote you and support your cause.
– Financially. Proceed with caution on this one. The flash of your brand on their page needs to be perceived as sincere and not paid, otherwise is not natural and can hurt both sides.
– Product discount or giveaway. Offering a lifetime discount on your service or giving them the product for free will work as a boost for them to support your business.
– Commissions. For influencers who have great power of persuasion with their audiences and can generate you instant sales, you can grab their attention with a commissions or affiliate program that will give them a % of the sales they bring.
– Shout outs. Sharing something they did for you on your social media platforms will work as an emotional trigger for them. Make sure you appreciate their efforts and make them feel unique and an important pillar of your brand.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR INSTAGRAM STRATEGY?
When in conversations with your ideal set of influencers, ask them for their business analytics (now Instagram gives them analytics like reach, impressions, follower info, etc). This will be critical to see if their audiences really fit within your strategy.
Personal advice: I rather invest in middle tier influencers with lower follower count but more targeted and engaged ones than in top tier influencers that are starting to have shuffled audiences. It’s hard to understand which one brings better returns, but ultimately I rather go for middle tier because they have growth potential, they don’t have their profile overloaded with sponsorships (keeping their authenticity) and the investment is exponentially smaller than top tier.
INFLUENCER CAMPAIGN TYPES ON INSTAGRAM
Depending on your goals and product nature you can use different influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram. The most common are:
– Product placement. One of the most popular ways that brands can partner with influencers is by developing a product placement campaign, which involves incorporating a company’s product into a digital influencer’s content in a creative, flattering, or engaging way.
– Contests. Hosting Instagram contests like giveaways, sweepstakes and event activations can create a buzz around your brand and inspire the follower base to take action by commenting, liking or interacting with your page in many different ways.
– Hashtag Campaigns. Developing an influencer marketing campaign around a branded hashtag is a great way for brands to facilitate a genuine social conversation and increase their brand awareness, especially if the hashtag happens to go viral.
– Story telling. Telling your brand story with influencers is a great long-term strategy when partnered with the right people. Not only will you benefit from their audience’s attention, but your brand will also earn meaning according to the context in which is used.
– Creative campaign. These campaigns are usually free rides of trust on influencer’s ability to promote your brand in a creative way. No one is better communicating to their audiences than influencers themselves – Just tell them your end goal and let them do their magic
MONITOR & MEASURE RESULTS
Depending on the type of campaigns you choose different methods to measure results can be applied. For example a hashtag campaign can be measured with social mentions by counting the specific hashtag spread. Instagram stories provide the total number of views the story featuring your product was seen and you can follow the content engagement directly through their page.
If you wish to compare the persuasive power of different influencers, give each one a code to share with their audiences and see the return each time someone activates that code on a purchase.
Nowadays there are many platforms that can show you analytics on your campaigns. Influencer’s Instagram insights can show you what was the reach of their post, the CTR to your website and much more.
You can be creative about it, just be sure to look to the analytics and understand what made you successful and what your problems were. This will help you to prepare future campaigns for your brand.
Influencer marketing is one of the hottest and most effective marketing techniques in these days. In fact, 60% of fashion brands already employ an influencer marketing strategy and 84% of marketers are planning to use an influencer marketing campaign in the coming year.
One of the main reasons is because the average return per each dollar invested in influencer marketing is above 6 dollars, which gives marketers great on their campaigns.
This being said, be sure to use influencer marketing strategies wisely, don’t hurt your brand’s image and look always for original, authentic and untapped influencers when employing a strategy like this.
Go get them!