Using influencers to market your business’s products and services is a very lucrative step in marketing. In simpler words, it is your step in the right direction to achieve business growth and reach new heights.
Thousands of brands try to get in touch with influencers and invite/request them to participate in marketing their offerings for hefty amounts of money.
Because of its amazing results, influencer marketing has gained a lot of popularity and the demand for influencers is increasing every day.
A survey conducted by Blogmint concluded that 90% of marketers aim to take-off at least one marketing drive that involves influencers amid the next 12 months.
However, a lot of business owners still don’t have a clear idea as to how they can create influential influencer marketing programs.
If your company is also struggling to develop a good influencer marketing plan or if doing it for the first time, this tutorial will provide you a clear path to follow.
Below are the six important and effective steps to carry out a good influential marketing program.
Like every other thing in management and marketing, the first step to a successful influencer marketing program is to define your goals. You have to set your goals and plainly describe what is to be achieved. In addition, you also have to decide which metrics will be used to measure the success rates. This is important because it gives an idea of the effectiveness on your plan and helps you improve.
The next important step is to get a hold of your target audience. Know your target audience and decide how you will target them. Choose an influencer accordingly depending on the kind of product or service you are marketing.
While the objectives and goals are different for different companies, you should be majorly focused on the following generic ones when working with influencers:
- Strong customer relationships
- Increased sales and revenues
- Quality leads
- Upturned brand awareness
2. Find Appropriate Influencers
Not all influencers work for everything. You have to be very specific when choosing an influencer and find one who suits best to your offerings. In fact, choosing and collaborating with a suitable influencer is the ingredient that distinguishes your recipe (plan) from the rest.
Next, you need to research the influencers and their followers before you can reach out to them. Not to forget, influencers are mostly informed of brand promotions and keep an eye on who is interested in hiring them.
When selecting an influencer, consider checking the kind of content they produce. This will tell you a lot about the relevancy between them and your products or services. For example, if it appears that the influencer is more into skincare, they will not be able to get you good results if the products you have are cookies and chips.
Likewise, if you need to promote travel essentials, you will need travel influencers.
3. Content Creation
When we talk about content creation for influencer marketing, there are two options. Either you co-create it with the influencer or trust the influencer to do it on their own. The latter is better though.
In any case, make sure that the content created is able to draw in the right kind of audience and deliver the message it is meant to. This will only happen when you accurately know your audience and goals and tell the influencers about both of these. Whichever of the two ways you choose for content creation, you can also add things or suggest changes to the content created.
If you are leaving it up to the influencer completely, you need to trust them fully. They have been in the field for long and know what type of content should be created to attract different types of audiences for different offerings. Influencers know their followers more than you do and so they know what type of matter will precisely attract them.
Put complete trust in the influencers you choose knowing they can frame the message nicely and in a way that resonates with their audience.
4. Prepping for the Execution
When the content is done and everything has been decided, the next important thing you need to focus on is the execution. Communication plays a very important role in the implementation of your plan and you have to make sure that you are regularly in touch with the influencers you have chosen. Make sure you are available for any urgent issues and questions or comments from the audience or the influencers.
It is also very important to track the results. Track the views on the blog posts and the number of likes, shares, and comments and be prepared to make changes if needed. Check whether or not the influencer’s content is rolling out the results that were expected and ask for changes if need be.
5. Reward the Influencer
Influencers will not work with you just for the sake of a few product samples or free services given once or twice. They need proper compensation or rewards to run influencer marketing campaigns for you.
According to a survey conducted by Crowdtap, one of the biggest misconceptions that brands make is thinking that a few free samples or services are enough to pay off the efforts made by their influencers. In fact, 68% of the total influencers who participated in this survey also affirmed that if the brands fairly compensate them, they would like to collaborate with them again in future too.
6. Quantify the Results
Your job doesn’t end when the program is successfully rolled down; in fact, the real challenge only begins then. Now is the time you take measures to quantify the outcomes you have achieved from your influencer marketing campaign. In this final step, you need to see is the results are what you expected and if you were able to achieve the goals that were earlier defined.
Gather the required data, put it next to the present measure of success, and analyze if the campaign was a success. Alex from VM Interactive says that this is the most crucial step that most people don’t do properly and just go straight away onto the next influencer marketing campaign. Prepare reports comparing the benchmarks set and the actual performance of the program. Some basic figures in analyzing this will be the number of leads generated and the reduction in your marketing costs as compared to the traditional advertising costs.
The results of your influencer marketing campaign will not only affect your brand but also the influencer regarding their popularity and brand image.
If the above-given steps are effectively completed, the results of your influencer marketing campaign will meet the benchmark. The key is to define the goals accurately and not forgetting to measure the outcomes once the plan is implemented. You should know what works and what doesn’t when it comes to marketing your own products and services.
Alex runs his own digital marketing agency called VM Interactive based in London. He has a passion for creating and sharing content that others may find helpful.