Step-by-Step Guide to a Powerful Influencer marketing Strategy
Understand the growing importance of influencers in marketing and establishing your brand in a digitally inclined world? Trying to figure out an influencer marketing strategy to launch or build your brand on social media platforms? You have come to the right place.
As social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook gain ground in our lives, influencer marketing is rapidly becoming the most effective form of advertising, beating organic research, paid search and email marketing.
Influencer Marketing - Building Meaningful Relationships
A successful influencer marketing strategy helps the brand build a deep and credible connect with its existing and potential audience by engaging meaningfully with them. It builds trust, enhances the brand’s visibility and image, drives traffic to its website, to name a few.
59% of marketers use influencer driven campaigns to launch their product or services and for creating content.
However, setting up an influencer marketing campaign can be a time-consuming and challenging process which can sometimes intimidate and overwhelm the marketers.
New to influencer marketing or a veteran in the field, a lot of brands are still shaky when it comes to forming a viable strategy.
Taking the help of experts, an influencer marketing agency, will go a long way in making this process easier and fruitful.
Here are six foolproof steps that will help you ideate and execute a forceful and effective influencer marketing campaign for your brand.
6 Steps of Influencer Marketing Process
Step 1: Goal Determination
The very first step of the process is identifying what you want to achieve with it.
Defining your goals will help you shape a consistent, efficient and highly scalable strategy.What is it you want to achieve? How will influencers help in reaching these goals in the most effective manner? How will you position your influencers to get the best possible results?
Are you launching a new product/service and want to build awareness around it? Do you want to boost your following on social media platforms? Announce a company landmark?
Want to align your brand with a social cause and want to create awareness around it?
These are some of the short term goals which ultimately go towards establishing a brand in the long run as well.
Some of the long term goals could be:
Creating brand awareness:
Creating opportunities for more people to know about your brand - recognise it and in time, gravitate towards it.
Building brand identity:
Educate your target audience on your brand’s core values and personality.
Creating interest, arousing curiosity and involving the consumers in a meaningful and interactive way.
Providing a seamless consumer experience which will lead to them signing up for more information and offers from your brand.
The ultimate goal of any campaign would be for people to purchase your products or services.
Build customer loyalty:
Every smart brand would like to build long term relationships with its customer base.
Building strong backlinks:
So that more traffic gets diverted to the brand’s website to increase exposure and visibility.
Step 2: Competitive Analysis
A successful influencer marketing strategy makes it possible to stay ahead of the competitors.
To achieve that you must be aware of the current trends, vis-à-vis your brand, in the industry. Are there any industry breakthroughs? What is your standing in the industry? What strategies are being followed by your competitors?
Additionally, assess the performance level of the competitor’s campaigns - the kind of influencers they are using. Also, how are they performing on various social media platforms?
Get information on your competitor’s successful campaigns. What strategies are they devising for these campaigns etc.? These are some of the areas where you should be drawing a comparative analysis, within the industry and competitor-specific.
It is crucial that your influencer marketing strategy is the best and delivers the desired results.
Therefore, a detailed and relevant competitive analysis will help in giving you the appropriate and crucial information that will help you create a kickass campaign.
Step 3: Ideation Process
An essential part of the campaign, you cannot just play it by ear. You need to have a well thought out and strategically designed plan in place.
A well-designed ideation process should ideally involve a stringent focus on the following:
This is the most crucial part of the strategy. Who do you want to target? What are the demographics of your target audience?
An in-depth understanding of your target market will help you in designing a custom and effective campaign.
What is the timeframe of the campaign? Are there any deadlines for the content to be published?
Chalk out an end to end plan of action required at every step of the campaign.
It will ensure clockwork execution of the campaign and is especially crucial when the product or service is seasonal, time-bound or a new launch.
What funds are you allocating to your influencer marketing campaign?
How much of it will be towards paid content creation and paying the influencers?
How many contra products or services will you assign for the influencers? Do you have the budget to sponsor an event?
Social media platform:
Identifying the right social media platform which will resonate with a particular campaign is most critical in making it a success.
Every platform responds differently to a specific industry and campaign. What might work for a brand’s campaign, on say Instagram, may not work for the same brand’s next activity.
So, it’s essential to focus on engaging influencers who are popular on the preferred platform for a specific campaign.
Area of focus:
Your influencer marketing strategy should take into account the purpose of the campaign.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself - Are you promoting a particular product/service or the brand as a whole?
Is it announcing the launch of a product or reinforcing it? Are you announcing a significant movement or transition for the brand?
The campaign should address these and devise the communication accordingly.
There are many ways a business can work with influencers.
Strategise and create innovative and ingenious campaigns that will stand out and make a difference.
A sponsored event or team, a curated competition or launch, guest blog post, social media shout out? The possibilities are endless and it is all about finding the right fit with the correct influencer.
KPIs (Key Performing Indicators):
Identify your goals and your KPI’s to achieve them.
Are they getting more exposure for your brand or a particular product or service?
Do they boost your social media following? Build your customer base? Increase sales?
Keep these in mind and focus on reaching the desired targets.
Step 4: Influencer Discovery
A Nielsen study establishes that 84% of consumers trust the opinion of their peers and those they follow online.
After defining all aspects of the strategy, it is time to identify the ‘right’ influencer for the brand and the specific activity.
A critical step in your influencer marketing process is the identification and analysis of the influencer vis-à-vis the activity at hand.
Do not get swayed only by the influencer's following. Do an in-depth analysis of each influencer and put it in perspective with the expected result of your campaign.
For example, Instagram influencers with a massive following with food lovers will not be of any help when promoting lifestyle products like cosmetics. It won’t generate leads with the target audience or help in conversions and will be a lost exercise.
Use external sources like Google, Instagram, Twitter, Blogs, Vlogs, and authenticated recommendations etc. to zero down on the influencers.
Consider influencers already aligned with your brand – in brand mentions or interaction through comments or likes.
These engaged influencers will prove to be extremely valuable because they are already aligned with your brand. As a result, they will have a high level of credibility and authenticity when promoting your brand.
Do check the quality of the content given by the influencer. We want it to be classy, consistent, relevant, engaging, inspiring and high quality. Additionally, the influencer’s content, imagery and tone should align with the brand.
So, choosing influencers relevant to the campaign and social media platform are critical.
Step 5: Outreach & Promotion
Once the list of influencers for the campaign is in place, the next step is to reach out to them and initiate a dialogue.
Talk about your brand and brief them on how you want them involved. Gauge their interest level.
Ask for their media kit, to give you a comprehensive look into their profile and reach – both quantitative and qualitative. Expected compensation should be another point of discussion.
Focus on building long term relationships.
Once the above factors are in place, you are ready to kick off your social media campaign!
Execution of the campaign will give you valuable insights for your future dealings with the influencers.
Once the activity goes live, the brand plays a supportive role to the influencers. It does so by helping them create high-quality content, the lifeline of a successful influencer campaign.
Share the influencer's content on the identified social media platform to increase their reach and ultimately promote your brand.
Always keep track of the campaign when it goes live, to tweak and make necessary adjustments if required in real time.
Step 6: Measurement
Hang on! It’s not over yet. A crucial part is still left, that of checking the performance of the campaign.
How did the influencers perform? How much value did they add to the campaign?
The KPIs are dependent on the effectiveness of the influencer marketing strategy and measured against:
- The increase in the number of followers on the brand’s social media platforms is an essential measure of the campaign’s performance. How many of the influencers' followers also started following the brand is critical.
- The number of stories, articles, postings done for the brand is another important measure of success.
- The target audience’s engagement with the content. This could be in terms of likes, comments, shares, reposts and is another significant indicator for measuring performance.
- Quality and interactivity of the comments reflect on how successful the influencer was in inspiring and creating an interest in the brand.
- The post-campaign buzz, if there is one, establishes the effectiveness of the influencer in building hype around your brand.
- Another measure is the mentions and tags that follow the campaign and the performance of the influencer’s postings.
Influencer marketing generates 11 times higher ROI than the traditional forms of digital marketing.
Increased traffic to your website, sales data, increased social media following, new and repeat visitors to your site, post the influencer campaign, all are other important factors when measuring the performance of the campaign.
Want to incorporate influencer marketing in your digital strategy, but are short on time and expertise to do it yourself? We, at ANTS Digital, an influencer marketing agency, have a seasoned team all geared up to help you.