Are you thinking about working with online influencers, but don’t know where to start? Influencers come in many shapes and sizes, including micro-influencers that write niche-specific content on their blog, and full-time social media personalities with millions of subscribers.
Essentially, influencer marketing is when a business owner or marketer works with an influential online figure in an attempt to sell their product or enhance brand awareness. The most common examples of this strategy come from the makeup and clothing industry. Women and men with hundreds of thousands of subscribers try on different articles of clothing and makeup styles in an attempt to promote a product to their loyal fan base.
Consider that 80 percent of internet users have a social media account, and three-fourths of all social media users have used applications like Facebook when shopping. Is it surprising that business owners and marketers want to work with these figures in an attempt to promote their company? We don’t think so. In fact, we want to give you some tips if you’re planning on starting your first influencer marketing campaign.
Let’s dive in!
Establish Your Marketing Goals
You’re going to have a hard time building a successful influencer marketing strategy if you don’t decide on your goals in advance. Ask yourself one simple question when established a new campaign;
“What do I hope to achieve?”
Understanding your intent can have a considerable impact on how well your campaign performs. For instance, if your goal is to spread brand awareness and grow your social media channels, you’ll want to work with influencers within that platform.
Instagram has over one billion active users every month. If you wanted to flesh out your Instagram account by working with an influencer, you wouldn’t look for someone on another platform. It simply doesn’t make sense to target consumers on Twitter if you want to grow your following on a different platform.
Keep in mind; your goals can overlap. If you want to reach new subscribers on Instagram while engaging with existing followers on your Twitter, your goals and choice of influencer will vary greatly.
Understand Your Target Audience
If you don’t understand the people you want to reach, you’re going to have a bad time creating material for your influencer campaign. Imagine trying to win someone over, but you were given the wrong information on them before you walked into the room to present your sales pitch. What do you suppose will happen if you walk into the room with confidence?
Truthfully, you would end up embarrassed. Even if the information is correct for someone, it won’t matter because you’re not talking to the person that would benefit most from your product or service.
Extensive customer research using customer persona sheets and detailed user tracking on-site can help you learn more about the people interested in your industry. If you want to dig a little deeper, you can create a feedback form where you ask customers to answer common questions about your industry.
Let’s say you work for a marketing firm and find out that most customers struggle with email marketing. You can use that information to find an email marketing influencer and promote your brand through that channel. You’ll manage to reach your target audience, and the relevance of your message can have a significant impact on performance.
Sponsor Influencer Events for More Exposure
Influencers often make promoting products and brands their career. In this spirit, they hold contests and events for certain brands in an attempt to drive more traffic to the website they are sponsoring.
If you want to make the most of your campaign, think about the type of events you’ll want to have when you start working with medium to large influencers. For example, online contests can help build customer loyalty and spread brand awareness.
Look for an influencer with plenty of followers and ask them to raffle off one of your products, or something everyone can use, such as an Amazon gift card. These events are a great way to get consumers to land on your page organically, browse your catalog, read your blog, and subscribe to your email list.
You could also consider holding an AMA (Ask Me Anything) event with an influencer social media personality in an attempt to build credibility and get consumers talking about your brand through various social websites.
Review Your Analytics and Make Changes
Finally, it’s important that you track and review your Google Analytics and social media information while working with an influencer. Not every internet personality will work out for all businesses. You’ll work with some people that generate tons of traffic, while others remain stagnant.
Look for factors such as social shares, engagement, and sales when you’re trying to determine if an influencer is right for your business. You may have to make changes to your marketing campaign or influencers over time, but these changes will help fuel the success of your small business.