So at last, after hearing all about influencer strategies, you have decided to implement your own. You will have heard from us that they are one of the five top trends in digital marketing and social media for 2016. According to a study by Nielsen, 66% of online consumers say that they take other people’s opinions about products and services into account, even if they don’t know the person.
Marketing professionals are already ahead of the game, as demonstrated in an Augure report “The State of Influencer Engagement in 2015”, in which 81% of marketers polled believed that relationships with influencers were effective or very effective in helping them achieve their objectives.
According to Tomoson, these campaigns, which shift word of mouth into the digital age, turn every one dollar invested by the company into 6.5 dollars profit. And the sectors getting the best results are health, fashion, cosmetics, energy, tourism, education and the voluntary sector, says Augure.
But, where should you start? Follow these steps and you will be ready to roll.
Identify your objectives
What do you want to get out of your campaigns? Yes, we’re back to our favourite topic: objectives! Objectives are the starting point for every new campaign undertaken. This applies to your influencer strategy as much as to any other campaign.
These questions may help you to identify what your objectives are:
Are your products and brand well-known? If the answer is no, maybe your objective should be branding.
How many visits are you getting? Another objective might be to increase traffic to your website.
Your website is visited by thousands of users, but why aren’t they converting? Here your objective might be sales or lead generation.
And if you already selling your products and services, why not increase the size of your community on social networks or the number of subscribers to your blog? Doing so can improve client engagement.
Establish your target user
There are many influencers who achieve thousands of likes on their posts and views of their videos. But take care; it’s no use selecting influencers based only on the size of their community. First you have to analyse the profiles and tastes of the users you are targeting.
Men and women? Just women? Men and women have different patterns of behaviour.
How old are they? The motivations and tastes of an adolescent are not the same as those of someone at college or a person starting a family.
What values would your target identify with? Selecting particular values will help you to get closer to people with a certain way of life. For example, are they committed to the environment? Do they love sport? Do they eat organic food?
Start looking for influencers
Before anything else, make sure that the style and values of the influencer are the same as your target’s. Would you hire anyone whose behaviour was completely opposed to the behaviour promoted by your brand? Of course not! The same goes for influencers.
There are a number of tools on the market, such as Traackr and Klout, which can help you to identify and manage influencers automatically and save you time. In the world of public relations, however, there is nothing like a phone call or an email to create a close and lasting relationship. Remember you may need them more than once.
Find out as much as you can about the influencers followed by your target, get in touch with them tactfully, and tell them what you are looking for with your strategy and what kind of collaboration you would hope to achieve and for how long. Also ask them for advice, as they know their community better than anyone else and know what works and what doesn’t. And most importantly, don’t get in the way of their creativity. You want them to talk about you, but you can’t get them to change their style. The more natural it all sounds the better.
Define the type of strategy to adopt with each influencer.
You may want:
- Reviews of your products and services in their blogs.
- A special mention in a report on your sector which might include a link to your website.
- A guest post in your own brand blog.
- Posts on social networks, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
- Involvement in events organized by your brand and posts about these.
- Competitions on their blog and on their social network profiles.
After agreeing on a specific action plan with them, it will be necessary to monitor all the campaigns to find out whether they are working or not.
Establish KPIs to help you to measure your strategy’s return on investment.
You should fix your KPIs according to the objectives you have set. They will help you to determine if your investment is having the positive impact on your business you were hoping for.
The most common KPIs with this type of strategy are reputation, impact, engagement, web traffic, number of registrations, coupons downloaded, and of course, sales.
Have you followed all the steps? Your influencer campaign is ready to roll!
Written by María Gallego