In a previous article, we have looked at what Influencer Marketing is all about, and the benefits they provide to marketers and business owners. If you are convinced by the facts and statistics from that article, you are probably wondering how to kick off an Influencer campaign and enjoy the benefits of Influencer Marketing. In this article, we look at how to get started with an Influencer campaign.
Have a clearly defined audience
The first and most important thing in all marketing campaigns is a clearly defined target audience.
If you are selling one line of product, you may already have a target audience which will serve as the audience for your influencer campaign.
But in some cases, you might want to target a specific segment of your audience that will be better reached with influencer marketing and ignore the segments better targeted with some other forms of marketing.
Also, if you have many product lines, you might want to focus on a particular product (or service) with influencer marketing.
Defining your target audience is essential to choosing the right influencers.
Set your goals
Before you create an influencer marketing goal, there must be a general marketing goal. Your influencer marketing goals must align with your overall marketing goals.
If your digital marketing goal is to increase traffic to your website significantly, that must be the priority of your influencer campaign. If the digital marketing goal is to improve brand awareness, influencer marketing should follow that direction.
In cases where there are multiple goals, you can decide to use Influencer Marketing to focus on one of the goals or use different influencers for each of the marketing goals.
So if you want to improve traffic and create brand awareness at the same time, you can use two groups of influencers, A and B. Put influencers better suited for traffic generation in one group and influencers better suited for brand awareness to the other group.
However, you can focus on one single goal for your influencer marketing and direct all your efforts towards that one goal.
- Brand awareness
- Traffic Generation
- Sales and Lead Generation
- Followers and engagement (Social Media)
It is also important to transform those goals into objectives that are specific and measurable.
Identify, research and evaluate influencers
When your goals are clear and your target audience well defined, it is easier to identify influencers.
There are three ways to go about this step. First, you can identify influencers independently. Second, you can use Influencers marketplaces. Third, you can hire an agency experienced in Influencers Marketing. We will be looking at the second and third option in future articles.
So how can you identify influencers yourself?
By just typing “Niche + Influencers”; you will come up with some relevant search results. You will discover websites and blogs that are researching top influencers in your niche and publishing lists.
Here is an example from the travel niche:
A simple Google Search will give you some gems you can use.
- Social Media:
LinkedIn has a “top voices” feature that will help you identify who are the influencers in your niche.
With Twitter, you can search for hashtags most relevant to your niche, and you will see leading voices related to your niche. For the search term “sports gears,” here are the top people and pages to follow.
The result gives some clues on pages where you can find potential influencers and people who could be potential influencers.
On Facebook, you can do a similar search and look out for pages and groups with high page likes and followers that are relevant to your influencer marketing goals. A search for “sports gears” gives these results:
Marketers must not neglect the power of Quora Marketing. To find potential Influencers on Quora, search for your most important keywords using the search function.
Type your niche and in the dropdown, choose the topic that best aligns with your business. In this case, I typed “Fashion,” and there is a topic named “Women fashion and style.”
Go on and Click on the “Most Viewed Writers” tab. There you will find the most popular writers in your niche and the audience they command.
You can use Buzzsumo to keep track of the people that are posting the most popular content in your niche. The producers of these contents are potential influencers in your niche.
For the search term, “content writing,” these are some of the most popular content (in terms of engagements):
Watch out for the most popular podcasts (by views, subscribers) that are targeting your target audience and offers the best potentials for your influencer marketing goals. The owners of those podcasts are potential influencers.
Use a Google Search or use one of the podcast aggregators like Podcast Addict.
- Special Events
There may be some important events in your niche where the industry leaders converge. Research such events (if possible attend), look out for the list of speakers. Take a more in -depth look into the speakers to see which one is a potential influencer.
Events are promoted on popular magazines, LinkedIn, Facebook or even offline.
Research and Analyze Influencers
The process above will produce an ample number of potential influencers. It is now time to research and analyze every name on the list.
The focus here is to determine which of them will be best for your brand voice, your product, and your specific goals.
For example, if your goal is followers and engagement, you might want to drop off an influencer who derives his or her audience from the blog and focus on an influencer on Facebook or Instagram.
Also, check out the style and tone of voice of the influencers in their relationship with their audience. Which of these influencers use a tone of voice that aligns most with your brand and product?
What means do they use to influencer their brand? Is that the means that will work best for you? Do they give product reviews or announce contest and giveaways? Which one of these is perfect for my Influencer campaign?
Which of the influencers post content regularly? What is the level of audience engagement? Are there just large followers with little to no engagement?
It is important here to have a checklist (a list of metrics) that you would use to determine which of the influencers to explore and the ones to drop off going forward.
Create a detailed plan
But you don’t just go off and start approaching the influencers. You need a plan. In fact, you need a two-fold plan. The first plan is how to reach the influencer. The second plan is how to reach the influenced.
The first plan will include how to contact the influencer. Should you send an email or make a phone call? Should you send a Facebook message or a private LinkedIn message? Maybe you should start promoting their brand and let them notice you.
Have a clear and detailed course of action to open the conversation, follow through the conversation and “land the influencer.”
The second plan is how to reach the influencer audience? From the research and evaluation phase, you should know the methods your influencers prefer to use. All you need is to create a plan to maximize that method. It might be product reviews and recommendations, featured videos, inviting you to the podcast, sharing your posts, promoting your contest and giveaways or using your product as a prize for his or her contests.
You don’t want to clueless when approaching the influencer. Present a detailed plan but be flexible enough to be open-minded (the influencer might have a better idea based on the uniqueness of your brand or product)
Approach the influencers
It is time to start following through with your plan.
You can approach the influencer by sending emails, making a phone call,
Another approach (if you are patient) is to put yourself in the path of the influencer by promoting the influencers, sharing their content, following them on their platforms, creating a kind of rapport and communication before introducing your brand and your objectives.
Here are some additional tips on how to perfect this reaching out process.
If you choose to use emails, Kick off Labs has an email template for the outreach.
Reward the influencers
Influencer Marketing comes at an expense.
An Influencer will not promote your brand if he or she does not get something in return. Most of the times, the reward is money.
But you can make your brand more popular with the influencer by doing something more than giving money.
You can promote the influencers on your pages, like and follow them on social media, subscribe to their email list, attend and promote their live event, among many others. Alternatively, send them a free copy of your product or offer them your services for free.
Measure the results of your Influencer Campaign
Live every other marketing campaign; measuring actual performance with the goals is crucial.
Revisit your goals and compare them with what you have. You wanted increased traffic, did you get it? What percentage of the increase in traffic is traceable to the influencer(s)? If you wanted sales, did sales increase? If it did, what percentage came from influencers? Is the return worth all the expenses?
If your goal is more followers and engagement, was there a significant increase worth the cost of the influencer campaign?
Measure results from Google Analytics or from the social media platforms. Check the acquisition and audience report from Google Analytics, do your influencer marketing campaign make any significant difference?
You can also use Buzzsumo to see the level of engagements around the post you are promoting.
There are more simple ways to measure the success or otherwise of an influencer marketing campaign.
Do it again
If the campaign was successful, you can decide to even expand your budget. Spend more money on influencer marketing and reach out to new influencers. If the campaign fails, you may need to re-evaluate the whole process from the beginning and look for loopholes. If you feel the same influencer can still deliver good results, still invest in him or her.
Create a positive ongoing relationship with every influencer you work with, so they can keep you in the loop in case of specific opportunities.
Influencer Marketing is growing in leaps and bounds for good reasons. Every smart marketer must start creating an influencer marketing strategy. An Influencer campaign must be an essential part of your digital marketing strategy.
Create goals for your campaign, identify, research, and evaluate influencers. Create a plan to reach the influencer and the influenced, reach out and reward the influencers, and measure the results.
An Influencer campaign can transform your business in many ways. It is time to get started.
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