Word-of-mouth recommendations have often been viewed as an effective, trustworthy, and credible form of marketing. In fact, according to a study by McKinsey, word-of-mouth marketing generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising, and it has taken a modern form in influencer marketing.1 To take advantage of this effective form of marketing, brands have been shifting gears and implementing influencer marketing into their marketing strategies.
To ensure your brand builds a successful influencer marketing strategy, we’re sharing several key learnings that you should keep in mind to maximize your results.
1. Incorporate an “always-on” strategy
Influencer marketing should be utilized as an “always-on” strategy, where you identify and work with new influencers on an ongoing basis. Perceiving influencer marketing in this manner, rather than taking an ad-hoc approach to influencer marketing, has several benefits:
- You can constantly feed your other marketing activities with new quality content.
- You’ll have a constant flow of activity and engagement created around your brand.
- You can be opportunistic and work with new influencers who reach out to you immediately.
- It’ll be easier to build long-term relationships with influencers who have performed well, which will help increase the authenticity of your collaborations.
- When other influencers encounter your collaborations with influencers, they may send you collaboration requests, ensuring that you receive a steady flow of new influencers who want to work with you.
- If you want to utilize influencers to give yourself a boost during a specific campaign in your marketing plan, for example, Black Friday, you’ll already have a tested pool of influencers to work with, and you will have developed relationships with them from previous collaborations.
2. Define the goals and objectives of your strategy
The first step to creating a successful influencer marketing strategy is to define the right objectives you want to achieve when working with influencers. There are many goals you may set out to achieve, some of which include: (1) building brand awareness, (2) generating sales or app downloads, (3) increasing newsletter subscribers or followers on social media, or (4) creating content of your product or service.
By setting clear goals and objectives, you can measure the success of your campaign strategy in relation to the goals you’ve set out to achieve and ultimately assess how effective your campaign was.
3. Determine the audience you want to target
To select the right influencers, it’s important to first understand who you’re trying to target. You should narrow down your audience based on factors like their location, interests, and lifestyles, which can be based on the characteristics of your current consumer base.
With a more specific audience, you can select relevant influencers who can help you target a relevant audience, making your campaign more effective.
4. Identify the type of influencers you want to collaborate with
A vital component of successful influencer marketing strategy is finding the right influencers to collaborate with. Finding influencers that are compatible with your brand can be tricky, but there are several factors to consider that will aid you in your search for influencers, some of which include: (1) influencers’ engagement rates and reach, which will indicate how engaged the influencers’ audience is with the content the influencers post, (2) influencers’ content quality, as the quality of content will reflect on your brand image and voice, and (3) influencers’ relevancy and compatibility, as influencers who are compatible and relevant to your brand will likely have an audience that is too.
However, you may experience times when the influencers you perceive as being the best fit for your brand do not generate the results you’re looking for. So, while selecting the influencers, it’s important to stay open-minded to influencers from different categories, some of whom, at first glance, don’t seemingly suit your brand. Instead, try testing out those influencers to see what creative content and results may arise from a collaboration — you may be surprised!
5. Measure the results of your influencer marketing strategies
It’s imperative that you measure the results of your influencer collaborations on an ongoing basis to determine whether your collaborations should be considered a success. Keep in mind that the way you measure your results will vary depending on the goals you identified in your influencer marketing strategy. For example, consider the following objectives:
- If one of your goals is online sales, and you’ve provided influencers with unique discount codes or links, you can use the codes or links to track the number of sales the influencers generated in the collaborations.
- If your goal is to build brand awareness, you can measure the reach and engagements you’ve achieved in your collaborations and map it against your other marketing activities. You can benchmark the engagement rates and reach in your campaign by using our benchmarks here, which are based on 1,000 sponsored posts on inzpire.me.
- If your goal is content creation, you can calculate the amount you spent for every piece of quality content generated in your collaborations. You can then compare the cost against the fees you pay to a creative agency for content creation in addition to the time spent working out the logistics of doing so.
When measuring the results, identify the influencers who performed well. You can reuse them and develop long-term partnerships.
6. Reuse the influencer-generated content from your collaborations
To maximize the value of your influencer marketing strategy, you should repurpose the content generated by influencers by redistributing it on your social media channels, paid advertising channels, such as Facebook or Instagram, and in newsletters or websites. There are two major benefits from reusing influencer-generated content: (1) the content has been user tested, so you know it was successful in eliciting a response from the influencers’ audience and (2) it’s cost effective, as professional studios can charge exorbitant fees when creating content, and influencer-generated content can be the same quality for a more affordable price.
By repurposing influencer-generated content, you can share content that has performed well to reach and engage a new audience at a cost-effective price.
7. Handling incoming collaboration requests
If you succeed with your influencer marketing strategy, you might receive an influx of new influencers reaching out to you for collaborations. This may happen because other influencers see that you’re working with influencers. You should take advantage of this by screening the incoming collaboration requests to identify influencers who may be a good match for your brand.
When influencers reach out to you, you’re at an advantage in terms of negotiations; influencers who want to work with you may consider accepting lower compensation for collaborations, as opposed to the influencers you reach out to for collaborations. If you aren’t interested in working with some of the influencers that reach out to you, it’s important that you send them a Friendly Decline, so they’ll still have a good experience with your brand even though a collaboration didn’t work out.
8. Figuring out compensation
There are 5 variables influencers consider when deciding whether they want to collaborate with you or not:
- How well do they perceive your brand?
- How well do they perceive your products?
- How much effort would they need to put into the collaborations?
- How much will they be paid for the collaborations?
- Are there opportunities for long-term collaborations?
If your brand is well-perceived, you may be able to get away with providing less monetary compensation for the collaborations. Additionally, influencers may be more willing to give you a discount for their first collaborations with your brand if they’re presented with the opportunity for long-term partnerships if their first collaborations were successful.
You can also use our Instagram pricing calculator to get an idea on how much to pay for collaborations.