Influencer marketing helps brands boost awareness, drive traffic to their websites, get new followers on social media, and even increase sales. The strategy works so well that influencer marketing has grown to be a $13.8 billion industry in just a few years.
But if you’re not sure exactly how to go about influencer marketing, you’re in the right place. Here are 10 tips to help your influencer marketing campaigns.
1. Define a clear, actionable goal
Your campaign can’t start if it doesn’t have a clear goal. This goal should be actionable, meaning there are certain steps you can take towards reaching it.
Plan out your goal and strategy roadmap now, as it should impact the choices you make throughout the campaign. Once you have your goal, decide on a few KPIs (key performance indicators) to help you track your progress.
For example, if you’re doing a branding campaign, a few of your KPIs could be impressions, clicks on links to your site, mentions, or social media shares.
2. Choose the social network your target audience spends time on
Knowing your target audience is a lynchpin in the marketing industry in general. For influencer marketing, it’s no different. You have to know who you want to reach, and how and where those people spend their time.
If you’ve never done market research on your buyer personas, now’s the time. With the data you have about your target audience, think about which social network best helps you reach them. This is the social network where you should look for influencers and launch your campaign.
If you want to reach teenagers, for example, TikTok influencers will be best-positioned to help you do that. With so many Gen-Zers on TikTok, they can help you connect with that demographic.
3. Get to know the different tiers of influencers
Not all influencers are equal. We can break them down into different tiers, based on how many followers they have. An influencer’s tier affects how much they’ll charge for their services.
The five tiers are:
- Nano influencers, 1-5K followers
- Micro influencers, 5-50K followers
- Medium influencers, 50-100K followers
- Macro influencers, 100K-1M followers
- Mega influencers, 1M+ followers
There are pros and cons of working with each tier. For example, mega influencers have the best reach, but generally have low engagement rates. On the flip side, nano and micro influencers have relatively tiny audiences but the highest engagement rates in the industry.
Outside of these tiers is another type of influencer: the KOL, or key opinion leader. Key opinion leaders are people who are generally reputed as experts in their chosen industry. They also have education or years of professional experience to back up their reputation. Think of Oprah. KOLs’ influence extends beyond social media, and therefore they’re not confined to any specific follower range.
4. Understand influencer incentive
Put simply, there are two ways to pay influencers: product or fees. Products are free gifts from your brand, and fees are money charged by influencers for their content creation services.
Fees can be flat, as in a one-time charge for influencer services. Or they can be commission-based, with influencers getting a certain percentage or amount for the acquisition that you define.
Nano and micro influencers will often agree to collaborations in which you give them only free products. But once you get into the medium range and beyond, expect to gift products and pay fees. KOLs might have different ways of charging you for their collaboration. For example, Oprah regularly mentions a brand/product and then gives one away to everyone in her audience.
5. Analyze influencer content and performance
When you start to find influencers, it’s not enough to just choose the ones whose profiles look the best. You have to dig deeper, and analyze their content and performance.
Think about if the influencer’s content aligns with your brand. Do they uphold the same values as you? Does their style complement yours? Make sure their voice is capable of sharing the message your brand wants to transmit.
Furthermore, analyze their profile performance. Look into their follower growth throughout time, their engagement rate, their audience’s demographics and authenticity. Be on the lookout for anything that looks strange and which could be a sign that the influencer bought fake followers or fake interactions.
6. Be creative with content
With social media and technology how it is today, there are very few limits on the type of content you can create in your influencer collaborations. Photos, video, podcasts, webinars…whatever you want to do, there’s a way to do it.
Again, go back to your target audience and see what type of content best resonates with them. Come up with some ideas yourself, but also see what influencers have to say. They’re the content creation experts after all, and they may have a great idea you didn’t think of. So be open-minded and receptive to their recommendations.
7. Contact twice as many influencers
When you do influencer outreach, not everyone will reply to you. Some people won’t even open your email. Therefore, it’s better to reach out to at least double the amount of influencers you actually want to hire for your campaign.
Email is the most common way of getting in touch for collaborations, but if you can’t find an influencer’s email, don’t worry. You could always reach out to them directly via social media. Send them a DM and let them know you want to connect.
8. Decide if you need a contract (or not)
Contracts aren’t necessary in all influencer collaborations. Basically, whether you need a contract or not comes down to how you’re paying influencers. If you’re giving them free products without any cash payments, you don’t need a contract. Although if the product is very valuable (like a new car), you may want to use one.
When paying fees, you should put the collaboration terms down in a contract. If you’ve never created this type of document before, you can use an influencer contract template that is free to download. Simply edit the details to fit your collaboration. If you have any doubts, review the contract with a legal expert who knows the details of your agreement.
9. Give influencers creative freedom when creating
It’s okay to lay out publication guidelines. Talk with influencers about:
- Hashtags, mentions, or discount codes you want them to share with their content
- Aspects of your brand or product you want to emphasize
- General aesthetic requirements that maintain your branding
- Disclosure requirements that your campaign content must meet
That said, give influencers creative freedom when they’re creating their content. They grew their audience, and they best know their followers. This makes them the most qualified to decide how to communicate your brand’s message to their audience. So let them do just that!
10. Measure your success remembering that it’s relative
At the end of your campaign, you have to collect all the results and analyze your success. Some people get stuck up on comparing their results to competitors or other campaigns. But success is relative, and you should only compete with yourself.
One way to gauge success is if your benefits outweigh the costs of investment in the campaign. If you paid an influencer $200 to promote sales of your product, and the total revenues generated were $300, that’s a clear success.
Another way to think of success is if you exceeded your initial expectations. Let’s take an example. You paid an influencer $100 to post content about your brand, expecting them to get about 20,000 impressions. If we take the CPM (cost per mille, or cost per thousand impressions) on this, you can see that it would be $5 per 1,000 impressions.
But, let’s say the influencer gets 30,000 impressions instead. Your CPM is now $3.33, which is lower than what you originally projected. This too is a success!
Influencer marketing campaigns have a lot of moving parts. They require a lot of planning and organization on your end, as well as constant monitoring and analysis. But hopefully, these 10 tips have helped make that process a little bit easier for you.