Brands can use influencer marketing to increase awareness, drive traffic and get more followers on social media. This strategy is so effective that it has become a $13.8 million industry within a few years.
But if you aren’t sure how to approach influencer marketing, this is the place for you. These are 10 tips that will help you improve your influencer marketing campaigns.
1. Define a clear, actionable goal
Without a clear goal, your campaign can’t begin. You should make this goal actionable, so that there are steps you can take to reach it.
Your goal and strategy roadmap should be planned now to guide you throughout the campaign. To track your progress, you will need to identify key performance indicators (KPIs) once you have established your goal.
If you are running a campaign for branding, for example, some of your KPIs might include impressions, clicks on links to your site, and mentions.
2. Select the social network where your target audience spends most of their time
Marketing is all about knowing your target audience. For influencer marketing, it’s no different. It is important to understand who you are trying to reach and how they spend their time online.Market research is a great way to get started if you haven’t done any yet on your buyer personas.
When you have data about your target audience, you can decide which social network will help you reach them. This is the network where you should search for influencers and launch your campaign.
TikTok influencers are best placed, for example, to help you reach teens. They can help you connect to this demographic, as there are so many Gen-Zers using TikTok. But with other age groups, another network may be better suited.
3. Learn about the different levels of influencers
All influencers aren’t equal. Based on their followers, we can divide them into different tiers. The tier of an influencer will affect the price they charge for their services.
These are the five tiers:
- Nano influencers, 1-5K followers
- Micro influencers, 5-50K followers
- Medium influencers, 50-100K followers
- Macro influencers, 100K-1M followers
- Mega influencers, 1M+ followers
Each tier has its pros and cons. Mega influencers, for example, have the most reach but have lower engagement rates. However, micro and nano influencers have the most engaged audiences in the industry despite their small audiences.
There is another type, the KOL or key opinion leader, that exists outside of these tiers. People who are well-respected as experts in their chosen field are key opinion leaders. They have a degree or years of experience in their chosen field to support their reputation. Oprah is a good example. KOLs’ influence is not limited to a specific follower threshold on social media, as they have other outlets where they can voice their opinions.
4. Understanding influencer payments
Simply put, there are two options to pay influencers. You can either pay in product or fees. Fees can be flat, or they can also be commission-based with influencers receiving a percentage or portion per the acquisition you specify.
Many micro and nano influencers are open to collaborations where you only give them free products. Once you reach the medium and higher ranges, expect to pay fees in addition to free products. KOLs may have different ways to charge you for your collaboration. Oprah, for example, will often mention a product and then give one away to everyone in her audience.
5. Analyze the influencer content and performance
It’s not enough just to choose the most popular or beautiful profiles when you begin to search for influencers. It’s important to look deeper and analyze the content and performance of influencers.
Consider how the content of influencers aligns with your brand. Are they committed to the same values that you are? Is their style consistent with yours? You want to make sure that their voices can convey the message your brand is trying to send.
Analyze their profile performance, including their follower growth over time, engagement rate, audience demographics, authenticity, and authenticity. Anything that seems strange could indicate that the influencer has bought fake followers or interactions.
6. Be creative with the content for your campaign
There are no limits to the content that you can create with your influencer partnerships, thanks to social media and technological advances. There are many ways to create content, including photos, videos, podcasts with custom notes, webinars, live streams.. Whatever you need, there is a way.
Go back to your target audience again and find out what content resonates best with them. You can come up with your own ideas, but you should also listen to the opinions of influencers. They are content creators after all, and may have an idea that you didn’t think about. Be open-minded and receptive to their suggestions.
7. Get in touch with twice as many influencers
Influencer outreach can be frustrating. Many people you contact won’t reply to you. Some people will not even open your email. Therefore, it’s better to contact at least twice the number of influencers that you really want to hire to help your campaign. This helps you ensure that you’ll get some replies.
Email is the most common way to get in touch with someone for collaborations. But if you don’t have an email address, don’t worry. You can also reach them via social media. You can send them a DM to let them know that you are interested in establishing a connection, and if necessary, ask for their email address to move the conversation to that arena.
8. Decide whether you require a contract.
In all cases of influencer collaborations, contracts are not always necessary. It all comes down to the way you pay influencers. You don’t need to sign a contract if you give them products for free and no cash payments. Although if the product is extremely valuable, such as a new car, you might want to use one.
However, you should include the terms of the collaboration in a contract when you pay fees. You can download an influencer contract template if you have never made this type of document before. Simply modify the details to suit your collaboration. You can discuss any questions with a lawyer who is familiar with the details of the agreement.
9. Give influencers artistic license
It is okay to establish publication guidelines. For example, you should discuss these points with influencers:
- Hashtags, mentions or discount codes you want them to use
- Certain aspects of your brand/product you want them to highlight
- Aesthetic standards you want them to maintain for your branding
- Ways to disclosure the campaign so it complies with regulatory requirements
However, you should allow influencers to be creative when creating content. They have cultivated their audience and are the ones who best know their followers. They are thus the best qualified to communicate your brand’s message directly to their audience. So don’t micromanage, and let them do just that.
10. Remember that success is relative.
You must collect all results from your campaign and evaluate your achievements at the end. Some people compare their campaign results with other campaigns or competitors, which can lead to disappointment. However, success is relative and you should only compare yourself to, well, yourself!
One way to gauge your success by weighing the benefits against the cost of the campaign. For example, if you paid an influencer $200 to promote sales of your product and generated revenues of $300, you’ve been successful.
A different way to define success is to compare your actual performance with your initial expectations. Did you exceed them? Let’s look at an example. An influencer was paid $100 to create content about your brand. You expected them to get around 20,000 impressions. This would translate to a CPM (cost per thousand impressions), of $5.
Now let’s suppose that the influencer receives 30,000 impressions. Your CPM now stands at $3.33. This is lower than you had originally predicted, so this is also a great success!
There are many moving parts to influencer marketing campaigns. These campaigns require planning, organization, and constant monitoring and analysis, but these 10 tips should make it a bit easier.