Breakthrough Media’s guide to influencer marketing
Influencer Marketing has gained traction in just a few years, with marketers finding it to be 94% effective in terms of reaching their brand's goals. It helps brands boost their authenticity, which is necessary for building trust. But also helps with driving engagement, website traffic and conversions.
Decide on goals and message
The two most common reasons for using influencer marketing are to elevate brand awareness and increase sales. However, instead of setting these broad targets as your two goals, it will be more effective to kick off on your strategy by refining what your brand’s needs are. Perhaps you want to increase your customer base in a younger demographic. Or you want to expand into a new user group with a new product. Or you want to skip trends and utilise influencers to talk about your brand values.
Find your influencers and contact them
Back to step one: research. With a plan set around your network, goals and what types of influencers you want to target, we go back to researching to actually find the right influencers to work with.
During this research, keep in mind the below:
1) Does the influencer already post about similar things to your service? For example, if you’re a restaurant and you want to promote a new menu, you should be looking for influencers who regularly post about dining out and the food they eat.
2) Are they legit? This means scrolling through their feed and clicking through on posts. A poor engagement ratio to follower count and spam-like comments are signs of a fraudulent account.
3)Have they worked with similar brands before? Depending on what type of influencer you’re looking for, a seasoned one will be able to show you a press kit that contains a portfolio of their work. The more you invest in an influencer, the more you’ll want to vet them.
You can also use Sprout tools like the Twitter analytics report to identify potential influencers that will fit your campaigns.
Next, determine how you’ll be reaching out to them. For micro influencers, you could reach out directly in a private message on the same platform. For more established ones, click around their profile and they may list contact information for business inquiries in their bio. They may also link a website that denotes brand partnerships.
Review and change your strategy
Even if your influencer campaign is ongoing, you should still have pre-determined dates where you’ll measure its progress. The next part of this guide will go into how to track your results. Not all campaigns are successful but hopefully, you’ll learn with each one you create.
Much like any strategy, research is the first step. Choose the network you want to focus on first. You can always expand to other networks later but if you’re just starting out, stick with one. Ideally, your brand should already have a presence on this network or be looking to expand into it. Demographics vary on each network. If you’re unsure of where to begin, our article on social media demographics is a good starting point.
The industry you’re in also matters. Beauty and fashion brands shine on Instagram and YouTube. The video game industry dominates on Twitch.
During your research phase, look into the type of influencers you’re interested in. Are you going for celebrities with massive followings? Or micro-influencers with less than 2000 followers? Perhaps something in between in the 5–10k follower range is more your preference. Whatever you decide to focus on will determine your budget.
Compensation varies wildly, too, so be sure to look at common rates for those influencer types. Micro-influencers tend to be focused on a few topics and accept products. Some micro-influencers work independently while others may be represented by an agency or network. Whereas, larger accounts and celebrities will need compensation and might even go through a talent agency.
Research is key and you’ll find yourself returning to this step often in the process.
Understand the value you can provide them
Once you identify influencers and start to engage with them, you will start gearing up for “the ask” (i.e., pitching them the idea of collaboration). But before you can do so, you must understand what kind of value you can offer them in exchange for their collaboration.
Assuming you’re approaching someone who is not hustling, the idea of a mutually-beneficial exchange is feasible. You need to know what you have that they need. If you have a well-known blog, they might be interested in drafting a blog post so they can tap into your audience. This, in turn, will work both ways once the relationship is solidified.
Another great approach is offering to interview them and present it as a podcast. Influencers love to talk about what they do, and an interview gives them the floor to promote themselves and what they care about. It is free advertising for them, and a great tactic to engage influencers.
Get the word out
Any product of your collaboration should be shouted from the rooftops. Share anything and everything on social media. Tell your customers and prospects about your influencer relationships in your email newsletter. If you co-create something of exceptional value, you can even draft a press release about it—just be sure that it’s newsworthy and you have their permission to do so.
After all that arduous work identifying, researching, engaging, and collaborating with an influencer, you deserve to reap the rewards of all your efforts.
When you get into influencer marketing, follow the tips above, and you’ll be sure to realise success. Use a CRM as an influencer marketing platform to track everything you learn about the influencer. Be wary of those that are just in it to make a buck. Treat the influencer with the respect they deserve so they will take you seriously.
Find a way to offer them value in the form of something they need but don’t have. Nurture your relationship like it was a rare orchid that needs constant attention. And above all, once you have successfully produced something of value in collaboration with an influencer, tell the entire world about it. Do that, and you will benefit from exposure to their following, which, when done right, can more than double the exposure of your brand.
Do you have any influencer marketing tips that have worked exceptionally well for you? Tell us about it in the comments section below!