Influencer Marketing is a modern-day marketing strategy that is pretty hot amongst the brands these days. In fact, stats say that since 2015, brands find it the most effective marketing strategy as the majority of them found success in the influencer marketing campaigns, they launched.
A successful influencer marketing campaign is one that gives your brand: exposure, authority, leads and new customers. It gives the brand, a chance to connect and promote its products and services to a newer audience who can potentially be your permanent customers.
So, by now, if you are related to this marketing world by anyway, you know how advantageous influencer marketing is for the brands both in the short-term and long-term. However, one also cannot deny that it a process that can get a little complicated if you are very new to it. But, don’t you worry as we have made for you, a guide to create a perfect Influencer Marketing Strategy.
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What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer Marketing is a strategy where brands partner with people who have a large following and have built a reputation and sense of trust among their audience. This collaboration is aimed at increasing your brand authority, giving your brand exposure in the digital world, marketing a product or service, etc.
This strategy is applicable to influencers who are having a type of following which also happens to the target audience of the brand. For instance, a brand that makes Whey Protein and other supplements will like to collaborate with a health and fitness-based influencer in order to market their products. Likewise, a travel-based start-up will have to collaborate with a Travel Influencer for the best results.
Influencer Marketing is getting very popular these days because the influencers are able to endorse the brands in a more meaningful and relevant way. Also, it is different from the traditional forms of marketing as the very idea of it is to make brands appear in front of their audience through a content-based advertisement where the main objective is to spread a positive and authentic message to the consumers.
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What does it take to be an “influencer”?
Well, as the social media sphere is continuing to expand every minute, Social Media Influencing is getting immensely popular and many people are looking at it as a full-time profession.
To define an influencer, they are people who have a large audience in their social media channels which they have built by creating and sharing authentic, educating and entertaining content on a regular basis. A good influencer is one who has credibility and is trusted by his/her followers. It is mainly the genuineness of the influencer that persuades the followers to check out the brand endorsed by him/her.
How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy?
Outline Your Goals
Well, if you are planning to market your brand by any means, it is pretty obvious that you are doing it for a reason, to achieve something. Just figure out that reason and construct your strategy according to that.
Even traditionally, Marketing is characteristically recognized as ‘Goal-Oriented’. So, it is very important for a brand to define its goals and all the research and development work should revolve around the goals only.
Defining the objectives of your influencer marketing campaign at the very initial stages to form a more effective and detailed strategy. Additionally, it is the base on which you will be measuring your success when the campaign ends.
An Influencer Marketing Campaign can be done for various goals:
Brand Awareness: It is the process of attracting more people to know, learn about and like your brand. Many brands go for influencer marketing as it is a great option for some of them who completely operate offline to get some much-needed digital exposure.
As digitalization is the next big thing in the Indian as well as the global market, building brand awareness should be in your priority list if yours is a relatively new brand.
Engagement: It means getting more people to like, share and comment on your posts. Influencers are particularly great at engaging audiences so they can be a great way to increase the engagement rates on your social media channels.
Competition and Giveaways: Contests and giveaways are a great option to drive traffic and engagement and thereby and gaining a lot of brand exposure. Getting influencers on board to promote these competitions and giveaways can be really fruitful as they can spread the message to a wider audience through their YouTube videos or Instagram stories.
Ideally, if the goal is to increase engagement rates through these contests, the prizes should be lucrative enough the rules must include stuff like:
- Tagging 5 friends
- Like the Post
- Share the Post
- Follow the Account
As this is an organic way to boost engagement and brand exposure, most brands follow this strategy.
Boosting Sales: Although almost every marketing goal is directly or indirectly focused on increasing sales only but a brand may specifically launch an influencer marketing campaign to boost sales of the products or service too.
Generating Leads: Generating new leads for your brand means getting more potential customers.
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Know Your Audience
Once you are done identifying your goals, you should now focus on defining your audience. As a brand, it is really important to know who your target audience is. Basically, the target audience should be people who you think will be interested in your product ideas and can be potential customers in the long run.
Do a lot of research in finding your audience as the influencer marketing strategy that you are going to implement will be greatly impacted by the type of people you want your brand to connect to. For instance, Unacademy, an online educational forum mainly focuses on marketing themselves to the people of ages 15-25 as they know that this is the target audience for a start-up that is based on education.
To find your target audience, you need to keep track of a lot of demographics like the age group, gender, income group, geographical factors and so on. Once you find the perfect audience for your brand, it is now time to research their interests and the people they follow.
Look for the Right Influencers
When you clearly know who your audience is, it is now time to look for the influencers who can help you achieve your set goals.
There are a lot of boxes you need to tick before you finalise the influencer for your campaign.
Audience: Of course, you need to select the influencer that shares your target audience. There are a lot of tools available for finding out your competitors and once you find them, you can know about the strategy they are using and the kind of influencers they are collaborating with.
Types of Influencers: Remember, Influencer Marketing is not just limited to Instagram and YouTube. There are a lot of other options that you should explore:
- Industry Experts
- Social Media Stars
Audience Size: Influencers must not be qualified or judged based on the number of their followers. There are more than enough stats available to prove that micro-influencers are sometimes more beneficial than the influencers with a larger audience.
Type and Quality of the Content: The most basic measure to qualify the influencer as a marketing partner must be the type of content that he/she is putting up on their social media channels.
It is very essential to make sure that the influencer is creating content that aligns with your brand’s ideas and industry. Additionally, make sure that the content is of high quality and the followers respect them for that. Many people get very famous by posting cringe content but they are not a great option for Influencer Marketing because they lack authority among their audience and there is no sense of trust and respect.
Social Media Engagement: Do your research about the number of likes, shares and comments an influencer is getting in the posts. The more is the engagement, the better it is for your campaign.
Once you have shortlisted the influencers based on the above parameters, it is now time to contact them for forming a partnership. Reach out to them with your deal and your expectations with them and offer them a fair compensation for the collaboration.
Once the agreement is finalized, it is now time for the most vital part of the strategy- ‘the content’. Remember, Influencer Marketing is essentially marketing driven by content, so no compromise on that. Focus on creating content that people would like and be willing to share.
Moreover, take influencer’s ideas into consideration as he/she has probably done many brand deals before this and perfectly knows what works and what doesn’t.
Try out video content for better results and content which is creative and persuasive at the same time.
Track Your Results
Now that all your thought is implemented, it is now time to measure your success in terms of the goals you had set at the very beginning.
For instance, if your goal was to boost sales, it can be measured by new sales and revenue increase. Likewise, Lead generation can be measured by the clicks on the landing page designated to that particular influencer.
Engagement can be obviously measured in likes, share and comments and brand exposure by new followers, increase in site traffic, and so on.
Tracking and analysing results is very important because they are vital to know what worked in this Influencer Marketing campaign and what didn’t. Mistakes committed in this particular campaign shall be avoided the next time.
Influencer Marketing is a great way to market your brand to a digital audience and now that most of the brands are making their efforts to get recognition in the online world, it is a great time to start right away with your strategy.
If you too have any success stories to share that you achieved in your Influencer marketing campaigns, do not forget to share with us in the comments below.
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