The way consumers make their purchasing decisions has completely changed over the last ten years. People are no longer looking at commercials or combing through their local yellow pages to make a purchasing decision. Nowadays, social proof is what drives consumer decision-making.
Third party influencers on social media have really gained the trust of consumers and their credibility is now affording businesses increased visibility and traffic. By using a social media influencer that has real digital influence, brands are able to build a deeper connection with their target audience as well as build up their brand equity.
With that being said, you need to make sure that your influencer marketing strategy features high-quality content and highly quantifiable data.
Source: ( MarketingCharts.com)
Here are five tips to help you have a more successful influencer marketing campaign.
1. Choose the right partner
Influencer marketing has seen a real boom over the past few years; therefore, we are also seeing an uptick in people trying to pose as “digital influencers” in order to make a quick buck.
For this reason, it is key that you take the time to research who you ultimately choose to collaborate with. Take the time to browse their content and check to see the level of engagement they are receiving.
You want to make sure that you are seeing real conversations taking place with their followers and not ones generated by bots. The level of influence someone has with their audience is directly linked to three key attributes that are important for marketers to think about before they decide on an influencer to collaborate with:
- Relevance: You want to seek content that is relevant to your brand, or a topic that is important to your brand.
- Reach: The potential number of people you could reach via your influencers’ audience that will bring value to your business.
- Resonance: The level of engagement you can expect to see from followers that are both relevant and valuable to your brand.
2. Establish a mutually beneficial relationship
Once you have chosen an influencer to work with, you want to make sure you are cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship. You may be compensating them monetarily for their content creation, but you want to come up with terms that will help create opportunities for both sides in the future.
Here are some incentives you can create:
- Prior to reaching out to an influencer, find ways to mention or tag them. You can use their photos or retweet/repost something of theirs.
- Write a review of their product or include their opinion on something in a post you write. (this can also be done before reaching out).
- Offer new versions of your product.
- Dedicate a blog post to them.
- Invite them to events where they can network.
- Feature your influencers on your websites and social media platforms.
3. Decide on content
When it comes to the content you want from your partner, you do want to give them some freedom but it is also important to clearly define your expectations. By being clear on what you expect from the content, you help make sure that both sides feel they are getting what each needs from the relationship.
By now, you should have a clear understanding of the type of content that your audience responds to. If you are struggling with finding the right content that best represents your brand, you should consider using a social media company to create content for you. Content creation is the most important element to any social media campaign and should be at the top of your list.
Here are some popular types of content you can create with influencers:
- Collaborative Branded Content – This type of collaboration works great with influencers since they can add a great deal of value and boost the impact your branded content will have on your target audience. Influencers are typically known for being especially creative in certain areas so it makes sense to brainstorm ideas with them. Consider featuring the influencer in the content and have them share their own unique story through it.
- Review Content – Social proof is everything today when it comes to consumers making purchases. Influencers are in a unique position where their recommendations and opinions are highly valued and trusted by their followers. Having influencers create review content about your product or service that is honest and helpful could be a great way to achieve credibility for your brand among your desired audience.
- Tutorials/Demos – Another great type of content that will help build trust with your target audience is a tutorial or demo video. By doing a how-to video, people will get a sense of your product in action which will, in turn, make them want to try it out for themselves.
- Influencer Takeover Content – Having influencers take over your social media accounts is a great way to drive engagement and enhance your content. With this type of collaboration, the influencer will take over your account for one day. They will have access to your account and create posts based around a chosen theme. The news of the takeover will be shared with their audience which will help generate buzz around your social media account and hopefully bring in new followers.
Once the type of content is decided upon, you want to give thought to timing and scheduling. Scheduling posts to Instagram or any of your other social media accounts will help ensure that your content is posted on time and without a hitch.
4. Consider working with micro-influencers
Choosing an influencer with a large following may seem the obvious choice, but there is something to say for opting for one that has a smaller following. A micro-influencer can be described as someone who is an everyday consumer that has grown a significant social media following (less than 30k followers). They may have a smaller reach, but studies have shown that they also tend to receive more interaction and higher engagement levels.
5. Measure the effectiveness of the campaign
Once you have everything together for your campaign, you need to give thought to how you are going to measure it.
Here are some metrics you want to consider:
Reach – This is the number of people who have been reached by your campaign. The more reach you achieve, the higher the amount of potential sales you can net. In order to get to this number, you want to look at the influencers’ reach. This will help you determine how many people saw your message. Here are the key performance indicators to pay attention to:
- Number of followers – The number of followers your influencer has.
- Impressions – How many times your message is seen by your target audience.
- Traffic data – The amount of traffic that is being driven back to your site.
Engagement – Likes, comments and shares fall under this category. Out of the three, the true measure of engagement would be shares followed by comments and likes. A share provides you with validation that the content you shared was indeed helpful and of value.
- Clicks – Clicks help you determine the interest level among the audience. You want to strive to have a good balance of clicks, likes, and shares.
- Reactions – Reactions are now a big part of Facebook’s algorithm. Facebook now gives more weight to these than the number of likes a post receives. They view reactions are requiring more effort which in turn is a better gauge for determining the value of your content.
- Brand Mentions – This tracks where your content is being discussed.
Conversions – If one of the goals of your campaign is to boost your conversions, then you want to measure how sales have been affected by influencers. This can be done by adding links and codes in your campaign.
- Affiliate links – Using these links will allow you to track which clicks are resulting in a conversion since the link will contain the influencers’ username.
- Discount codes – These work in the same way. You will be providing personalized links so you will know how many purchases were made from your campaign.
- Campaign URLs – These will help you determine the overall effectiveness of your campaign. This is especially helpful if you are running your campaign across multiple social media sites as you will know which one you are getting the most traffic and sales from.
Using social media Influencers as part of a marketing strategy has become very popular but the practice is not really new. People simply trust the opinion of other people more than they trust a brand. For this reason, influencer marketing works. The key to a successful campaign for your brand is to follow the above tips, choose the right influencer for your brand and focus on building positive long-term relationships with them.
About the Author: Denise Amara is the Senior Marketing Director of Autogrammer.com, the ultimate social media scheduler and planner for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Denise has over 15 years experience working in marketing with the last 10 focused in the digital realm. She is passionate about helping clients make social media management more efficient and effortless.