Influencer marketing sounds easy, right? You know it might be expensive, but all you need to do is pay someone with a sizable social media following, they mention your brand, and then you benefit from the exposure—right? Not exactly. You need to put a significant amount of thought into who you partner with, how much you will pay them, what your campaign with look like, how you will define success, and more. If you plan on marketing your brand through influencers, here are a few things to remember:
You need to define your goals
Many entrepreneurs and marketers mention that one of the toughest parts of influencer marketing is measuring ROI. How are their campaigns benefiting them in proportion to how much they spend? This is especially difficult because you might not be measuring direct financial return.
Before you begin your campaign—and taking a look at influencers—define what you are aiming for. You might hope to increase customer conversion rates and raise general revenue. You might also hope for something less monetary, such as spreading overall brand awareness, gaining more followers, increasing click-through rates to your store, expanding your reach, or something else that you decide is worth the investment. When it comes to influencer marketing, you determine what success means to you—so even if you only augment your revenue by a small percentage but gain thousands of followers, you might be satisfied.
Not every influencer is right for you
Not every influencer is advantageous for a partnership. Obviously, you want to select an internet personality that has an appropriate or common audience, but each individual has different skills and patterns. Some influencers, for example, have track records of sending lots of followers their partners’ way, while others are better at encouraging engagement. Take a look at what kind of content the influencers you are considering create and imagine how they align with your goals.
There are also different kinds of influencers: “micro” influencers have around 1,000 – 100,000 followers, “macro” influencers have between 100,000 and one million, and celebrities have even more. Celebrities are probably beyond your reach if you have a modest budget, but that’s okay: while you may think that celebrities are better for expanding your reach, influencers with smaller audiences but more engaged followers are more practical for driving interaction.
According to a survey from Collective Bias, 30 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product that non-celebrity bloggers recommend, while only three percent say that celebrity endorsements influence their decisions. Micro-influencers are often more tightly knit with their audiences, so they have a bit more sway than you realize.
Influencers value freedom
Here’s a tip for when you are partnering with an influencer: many of them prioritize creative freedom. They understand their craft better than you do, so they grow frustrated when brands ask things of them that are not feasible or require bending their usual processes. Crowdtap reports:
“In line with other findings from our survey, a majority of creators cited ‘creative freedom’ as the high note of their favorite sponsored post to date. At the end of the day, influencers want to create something that offers something relevant and valuable to their audience and adheres to their own editorial vision.”
Influencers have built their own brands and are reluctant to stray from them, so they seek partnerships that do not require them to do so. Crowdtap also notes that 77 percent of respondents claimed that creative freedom was a significant reason for partnering with a brand more than once, which is more than the 68 percent that cited competitive compensation. If you are going to ally yourself with influencers, it’s important to accept that you will need to relinquish some creative control.
Use management tools
Just like using the best Instagram tools for Instagram marketing (such as hashtagsforlikes.co, which helps you stay on top of the latest trends and monitor online communities), there are resources available that can help you manage influencer marketing campaigns. The more your business grows, the more likely it becomes that you enter alliances with multiple influencers at a time. Tools like NinjaOutreach, OutreachPlus, and GroupHigh can help you compare influencers and decide on which ones to partner with as well as monitor how well your combined campaigns are performing.
Influencer marketing is an effective way to tap into a previously existing audience, but you need to make sure it is the right audience—and one that will engage with you. Partnering with influencers is also not a cold transaction; it requires relationship building so that you can achieve your goals together. What do you make a point to remember when marketing through influencers?