Influencer marketing is one of the fastest-growing marketing tools for brands. With the gradual decline in traditional marketing forms, most brands these days turn to influencers to increase their brand awareness among the target audience online.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing promotes a product/service or its brand by collaborating with influential personalities with many targeted followers on various social media platforms. For example, celebrity endorsements are the oldest form of influencer marketing.
Unlike celebrities, social media influencers are regular people with a large number of niche followers. They regularly engage with followers and hold the power to influence their buying decisions. Hence, companies collaborate with influencers to:
- Promote their brands
- Engage with potential customers
- Maximise return of investment (ROI)
Before I dive into the tips for making your influencer marketing successful, let’s look at some stats to understand its significance in the current marketing scenario.
- While two-thirds of retailers in America use influencer marketing, more than 51% of marketers believe their brands acquired more customers with influencer marketing campaigns.
- 60% of fashion and beauty brands use an influencer marketing strategy, while 21% are planning to invest in the next couple of months.
- Over 47% of customers use ad blockers, making the purpose of advertisement futile.
- 70% of teenagers relate to influencers on YouTube.
- 59% of influencers find Instagram the most effective platform for reaching the target audience, as 34% of Instagram users buy something based on an influencer’s recommendations.
- Most digital marketers in the UK and US spend 10% or more of their marketing budget on influencer marketing.
5 Effective Influencer Marketing Tips To Improve Engagement & ROI
Looking at the stats, you can understand why influencer marketing has become so popular over the last couple of years. Marketers now consider it a significant part of their marketing communication campaigns to get ahead of their competitors.
If you plan to incorporate influencer marketing for a campaign, you must keep the following tips in mind to maximise your marketing efforts.
- Determine your brand objectives:
Don’t jump on the bandwagon without analysing what you are getting yourself into. You need to set clear goals to create a proper plan for running a campaign successfully. Irrespective of your target – be it increasing brand awareness, generating more revenue, or getting leads, ask yourself a few questions to define a suitable approach.
- Why do you need an influencer?
- How would you identify the right influencer for your brand?
- What value can you offer to the influencer?
- Where can you find the right influencers?
- What are your expectations from the collaboration?
- Do their niches match your brand?
- What type of followers does the potential influencer have?
After answering these questions, create a rough plan for finding the right influencer to meet your brand objectives.
- Identify the best influencers:
Today, every other individual with a large number of followers calls him/herself an influencer. So, if you own a small or growing business, it’s highly imperative to do diligent research to find the right influencer who can improve your brand value.
Be aware of fake influencers who buy followers, likes, and comments to boost engagement and attract brands for sponsored posts.
Even though it’s challenging to find the right influencers for your brand, it’s not impossible. Thoroughly investigate the influencer’s previous activities, campaigns, and collaborations. Focus on how they promoted those products/services to determine if it aligns with your campaign goal. Remember to calculate their engagement rate, which should be 2.7% or higher.
- Create a mutually beneficial partnership:
Once you have identified influencers, engage with them and make an offer for collaboration. Before approaching them, decide what you have in store for them. What would benefit them if they agree to collaborate for a campaign?
Look at it as a temporary partnership for mutual benefits. So, research and identify their interests. Make sure you demonstrate what value you can offer in exchange for the collaboration.
For instance, if you are an owner of a restaurant, invite them for a meal and offer coupons and free goodies for a couple of sponsored content. While they promote your brand on their social media handles, you too can share their posts on your official social media accounts. Such an approach will attract influencers and can be a stepping stone to building a solid relationship.
- Don’t be a micromanager:
Each influencer adopts a unique approach to promote a brand or its product/service. If you consistently try to interfere with their ideas and micromanage them, it will negatively impact the campaign’s overall success.
Understand that you have chosen these influencers for a purpose – to reach their followers. They already have a way to engage with their followers. If you try to impose unnecessary rules and obligations and don’t give them flexibility, your collaboration is doom to fail.
Don’t hesitate to give them some creative freedom to develop unique ideas which work with their followers and boost engagement. Just communicate your goals clearly and check in periodically to evaluate the statistics and how the audience is responding to the influencer’s content.
- Keep an eye for the metrics:
The only way to determine if your collaboration is a success is to track your metrics from time to time. Gather data from Google Analytics and check if your current tactics are generating expected results or not. Check where you are getting the maximum engagement, what posts bring you more conversions, and calculate the ROI.
Based on the results, determine the influencer’s efforts, what worked well, and what didn’t. Optimise the initial plan and work on the drawbacks for generating maximum outcome from the current and future campaigns.
Influencer marketing can give your brand great exposure and take it to a new height. But it’s essential to find the right influencers and work together for mutual benefits. Make sure you give the influencers sufficient space to create unique content and build high engagement. Lastly, always keep track of metrics and optimise regularly to make your campaign a success.