Influencer marketing does the groundwork for brands to establish connections, build social proof, and play up their value proposition through strategic collaborations with skilled influencers within their industry.
However, in order to make their influencer marketing successful, brands need to align their strategies, resources, and priorities. One might get the idea that it’s all about finding some famous personalities on social media, making a partnership proposal, sending them your products, and then simply seeing the sales flood in. Honestly, influencer marketing is nothing like that; it’s not how it works!
In this blog, we will discuss the ten elements that will help you make sure that your influencer marketing strategy and campaigns are unfailing so that you can bag the ROI that your business is expecting from your collaborations.
- Have Clear KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
If you are thinking about running marketing campaigns, you will most likely have marketing goals set for your business. Are your influencer marketing goals in line with those goals?
First things first, you need to ascertain what you are seeking to accomplish with influencer marketing. Do you want to increase your followers on social media? Boost engagement? Get more email signups? Increase sales?
Finding answers to these questions will help you determine your KPIs that you will have to measure to track your return on investment. Moreover, if your goals are clearly defined, you will be able to make sure that you are collaborating with the ideal influencers for the job.
- Synergy Between Your Business and Your Influencer Partners
Narrowing your list of influencer options down might seem to be a strenuous task. Or you might even have a content creator’s list that you love, but you are not sure whether they are ideal for reaching your target audience, falls within your marketing budget, or posting content that suits your brand.
However, the first and foremost question that you must ask yourself while you weigh up influencers is: “Does this influencer reach my target market?” If you get a ‘yes’ as an answer, then proceed to determine other zones of synergy to make this partnership as smooth and reliable as possible. If the answer is no, then look for another influencer.
Effective brand-influencer collaborations will feel like a natural fit. You should see a likeness in how you communicate and the values you embrace to make sure that the messages you are crafting together resonate with the right audience.
- The Credibility of the Influencer
You don’t need to collaborate with the top influencer in your niche or industry necessarily. Indeed it would be great to have a famous person with millions of followers promoting your brand and sharing your products, but it will also be very costly.
It’s not their follower count that matters the most; it’s their credibility.
Your ideal influencer should fulfill the following criteria:
- Receive substantial engagement
- Considered as an expert in their niche
- Their niche should match up firmly with your business goals
- Committed to establishing a strategy that works out for both of you
Therefore, when assessing the credibility of the influencer, contemplate the following factors:
- Are they viewed as an authority within your industry?
- Does their messaging resonate with your target audience?
- Are their followers engaged with their content constantly and positively?
- Focus on Nurturing a Relationship and Offer Value Upfront
What makes an influencer collaboration successful is a solid strategy and the intent of building a long-term relationship.
For example, working with an influencer to promote your product launch can be fruitful; you will be able to earn the most ROI by building a long-term relationship with them where they will serve as an “add-on” of your brand so that their followers start seeing you as a trustworthy brand in the long run.
Therefore, when you partner up with an influencer, take some time to establish a relationship with them. Become acquainted with their audience and how they interact and communicate. Observe their feed and see the kind of content they post there and what’s working for them.
Then you can approach them with a well-informed proposal that recognizes what both parties bring to the table. Dig up ways to settle accounts with your influencer partners fairly to build a give-and-take relationship. Needless to say, but most influencers want to be compensated fairly for their work, efforts, and interactions with their followers.
If you are not able to pay the influencers decently for their work, you might not be having access to their caliber that you require in order to make your influencer marketing campaign successful.
- Strike a Balance Between Guidance and Creative Freedom
If you have a lot at stake on your campaign’s success, it can be a bit enticing to set out and micromanage. But doing so can lead to the end of some of the significant benefits that come in a company with influencer collaborations.
The main reason businesses go for influencer marketing is to leverage the platform of an influencer your target audience relates with already. If you are taking away their freedom to interact with their audiences using their own proven methods, then you are actually putting your campaign’s effectiveness in jeopardy.
Allow the influencers the privilege to add their own style to the content to make sure it maintains the original flavor. You can lead the discussion by providing the crucial points and your desired CTA but let them have the liberty to use their understanding of their audience and platform.
At the end of the day, that is the reason why you have partnered up with them because they have invested a good deal of time in grasping things that work for their brand and building relationships with their followers on social media. So let their experience and skills work for you.
- Verify That the Followers Are Real
After putting in so much money, efforts, and resources, if you create a campaign that only ‘bots’ are viewing, then you are actually just throwing away all of it.
According to studies, there are millions of bots and fake accounts across all social media platforms.
You might need to spend some time and do a little research before you can finally sort out the wheat from the chaff and ensure that “real people” are seeing your campaigns.
Now, this is where the influencer marketing platforms pay off. These platforms have automated systems and technology set up to recognize dubious activities and content creators who are distributing content to fake accounts for the most part.
Some of the signs of fake followers to look out for are:
- Duplicate or blank profile pictures
- Incomplete or same profile descriptions across different profiles or platforms
- No content has been posted on the account
- The account has posted spammy messages as comments on others’ posts
- Pick the Correct Platform for Your Marketing Campaign
You may have an excellent product and solid idea for your campaign, but you will still need to have it aligned with the right channel to see the best results. When picking your platform, think about the audience that you are currently focusing on and on which platforms they tend to spend most of their time.
For instance, Gen Z spends most of its time on platforms such as Snapchat and YouTube, while Gen Y is most probably connected on platforms like Instagram, and you can spot the older audiences on Facebook.
However, determining the right channel is not about considering the generational division only. The type of content you want the influencer partners to share on their platform also matters.
For instance, if you are building content that is effective, has a personal touch, and features a verbal CTA, Instagram and Snapchat Stories will be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if you are creating longer-form content such as product tutorials and reviews, you might want to consider YouTube for it.
Similarly, content that needs to have a URL in the CTA is suitable for specific platforms such as the Instagram and Snapchat Stories feature a “Swipe Up” option making it easier for users to visit the linked website or e-commerce platform from there itself. It is also great for brands as the viewers will be able to take quick action, which means better chances of conversions.
- Gauge Engagement Rate
The best way to find out how much interest their audience is taking in their content and how responsive they are to it is by evaluating the engagement rate of the influencer. If you know the average engagement a typical influencer earns (which you can find out by doing a little research), you will have a basic standard about what to expect with regard to the interaction with your marketing campaign.
You must give more priority to engagement over follower count because if the audience is detached and unresponsive, their size is of no use. In fact, from an ROI (return on investment) point of view, it seems more sensible and practical to partner up with a micro-influencer in your niche as there you can expect a far better engagement rate and overall influence.
Therefore, it is crucial to take time to measure and examine the engagement rates of the influencers before you make a final decision about your influencer partner. It is also vital to see if there is an abrupt variation in the engagement rates of their sponsored content vs. their original posts. This disparity might be an indication about which products are a bad fit for their audience and help you understand if you will see the same or higher success rates.
- Find the Right Timing
If you are building content, you are building it for your audiences to see it; it’s but obvious. When you create an influencer marketing campaign, you need to keep tabs on time periods and when your target audience is most probably online and ready to engage with your content. In the influencer world, brands often fail to notice this point, but it is vital to make your campaign successful.
Keep these timing-related points in mind in order to make the most out of your influencer collaborations:
- Research the ideal times for particular channels, for your industry, and for your ideal buyers’ demographics.
- Think about whether consistent scheduling is working for your collaboration or not, as few audiences tend to engage more often if they know when to expect a post, story, or other content on a particular platform on a particular day or at a fixed time.
- What other things do you have on your marketing schedule? Think about whether your marketing campaigns will work well together or belittle each other and how you are going to monitor return on investment for each of them?
- What is happening in the world around you? Will the audience be able to hear your message, or is it going to get lost in the noise of other trending topics?
- What are the decision-making patterns of your target audience?
- Effective Measurement
After everything else has been taken care of, and your marketing campaign has been running for a few weeks, you would want to know if it worked or not. There is only one way to do that effectively – know what you want to track in advance and stay steady during the course of your campaign.
This means you need to take out some time to build an ecosystem for evaluation, which includes:
- A basic measure of your reach, audience, and typical engagement rate
- UTM parameters to monitor referrals to your site
- A dashboard or tracking system to measure analytics
Taking care of the data and ensuring that you measure the things that are actually important will be a time-consuming task. You can assign this type of analysis work to an influencer marketing agency if you are working with one, as they will most probably have a good hold of things that matter and need to be tracked and the resources to automate it.
When executing a marketing strategy, you need to ensure that you receive a good ROI for your endeavor. This stands true whether you are working with influencer partners via digital or non-digital platforms. With influencer marketing, there are multiple ways you can use to monitor and evaluate your campaign’s impact. So you can go through them again, keep improving your ways, build better relationships, and develop stronger strategies.
Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for Tireless IT Services. Tireless IT Services is a digital marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, and web development company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing, web designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.