Planning An Influencer Marketing Strategy: A Step-by-Step Guide
Have you seen Emily in Paris? It’s a trending series on Netflix.
The Netflix series shows how Emily’s selfies, pictures and videos on social media helped generate brand awareness and increase conversions for brands. It’s so popular that Emily has become a meme sensation in Malaysia. We had:
- Emily in Perlis
- Emily in Selayang
- Emily in GSC Cinema
- Even Emily in Brand360!
With the right Influencer Marketing strategy, businesses can gain impactful awareness and conversions too, just like Emily in Paris.
If you’re planning an Influencer Marketing strategy, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide below to help you achieve a higher success rate for your campaign.
Interested to learn more? Read on.
What is An Influencer Marketing Strategy?
Influencer Marketing is about collaborating with online influencers to market and promote your products or services.
Unlike celebrities, an online influencer could be anyone ranging from: Instagram models, Facebook influencers, Youtubers, Twitter personalities, and bloggers.
Imagine the return of investments (ROI) you’ll receive if your Influencer Marketing strategy hits the jackpot. By collaborating with popular social media influencers in your niche, your business will achieve a higher brand awareness in the marketplace.
Have you already integrated Influencer Marketing into your Brand Strategy? If you haven’t, then you’re in the right place. Read on.
The Importance of Influencer Marketing
The rise of social media has significantly changed the way businesses promote their products over the years.
Today, your customers are turning to their favourite Instagram models, YouTubers, and Twitter personalities for advice and recommendations when making purchasing decisions.
An Influencer Marketing strategy is an effective tactic because it helps to increase your website traffic, brand awareness, and drives your brand message to your target audience.
Social media influencers and bloggers are advocates of your brand. They are important because they help to build trust and bridge the gap between you and your target audience.
How to Execute An Influencer Marketing Strategy?
Developing a rock-solid Influencer Marketing strategy is crucial to the success of your campaign. Here, we’ve listed some recommended steps to take your campaign to the next-level:
#Step 1: Define Your Campaign Objectives
Before researching and shortlisting for influencers, it’s very crucial to define your campaign objectives first. Why are you using Influencer Marketing as part of your strategy? What do you want to achieve out of this campaign?
Here are some common campaign objectives that most business strive to achieve when using Influencer Marketing in their business:
- Brand Awareness:
Make your brand more recognisable and familiar to your target audience. Striving for this objective is very helpful, especially if your brand is still very new in the marketplace.
- Brand Identity Building:
This refers to influencing what your customers feel about your brand when they think about it. It also refers to elements such as: your company’s logo, typography, packaging, and the distinct colours and designs used.
- Audience Building:
Grow your pool of existing audience who are following your social media pages. This is achieved by providing interesting, useful, and valuable content that attracts the attention of your audience.
- Social Media Engagement:
Increasing social media engagement refers to getting more Likes, Comments, Shares and Mentions about your social media pages. Facebook’s algorithm prioritises posts with higher engagement rates at the top of their user’s News Feed.
- Lead Generation:
Generating more leads refers to identifying and increasing the number of your prospects, and then converting them into customers who are interested to buy your products or services.
This refers to an increase in your business’ revenue as a result of higher sales and more number of products or services sold to your customers.
- Customer Loyalty:
Building loyalty to get your customers to choose you over your competitors. This is the next step you should make if your audience is already aware of your brand’s existence.
- Link Building:
Achieving more visibility and presence for your website on search engines such as Google and Bing to rank higher on search pages. You do this by building links from other websites and getting them to link to yours.
#Step 2: Research
The next step in your Influencer Marketing strategy is to do thorough research on some influencers.
Before reaching out to them, make it a practice to research their industry and niche. Essentially, you want a list of influencers who can relate to your target audience and demographics. So, take time to learn about their interests and audience first.
Make sure that your potential influencers are persons relevant to your niche, expertise, and industry. It is unprofessional to pitch to any random influencer online. In fact, the worst mistake you can make is pitching to an irrelevant influencer who is not within your niche or industry.
To speed up your research process, you can also use Influencer Marketing tools to shortlist a handful of online influencers related to your field. Some of our favourite tools are: Buzzsumo, Followerwonk, Awario, Klear, and Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker.
#Step 3: Shortlist Influencers
Once you’ve conducted your research, shortlist 10 – 20 influencers who are most capable of driving your marketing goals and objectives forward.
Consider these factors as you shortlist your potential influencers:
- Followers & Engagement
The number of followers which an influencer has garnered is an important metric. However, it should not be the only factor to help you select your influencers. This is because it’s very easy to fake a following, especially if the influencer has enough money to buy followers online.On the other hand, it’s much harder for an influencer to fake their audience’s engagement. As such, you should also observe how much engagement is generated from each of their social media posts.
An example of such engagements are the number of social shares and comments from their followers. These factors are really good indicators to determine how influential they truly are.
- Posting frequency
How often does the influencer post on social media? Avoid shortlisting influencers who post only once a fortnight or once a month.Social media is growing and evolving at lightning speed. There are hundreds of new aspiring influencers around the world competing for social media attention everyday. If your selected influencer is not posting regularly enough, their audience will move on to other influencers who post content more regularly.
An inactive influencer will not help you achieve your brand awareness goals as effectively as other influencers who are more active on social media.
Have an estimated timeframe. Determine how long you’ll need to conduct your research and allow for extra time to contact your shortlisted influencers.In addition to that, don’t forget to allocate some more time to follow-up with shortlisted influencers who haven’t responded to your emails or messages. Many online influencers receive several outreach messages a day from businesses to promote their products. As such, sending them one message might not be enough.
#Step 4: Build A Relationship with Your Shortlisted Influencers
Establish a good relationship with your selected influencers. You can do so by commenting and sharing their social media posts.
Taking the initiatives above will help you get recognised and noticed by them as it shows you are genuinely interested in their content. This puts you a step ahead of other businesses who are also in competition to hire the same influencer.
As you strengthen the relationship, make it your aim to nurture a long-term relationship with the influencer. Developing such a relationship is highly beneficial, especially when you need their help to promote your business or any new product launches in the future.
#Step 5: Send A Personalised Message
Once you’ve built a good relationship with your selected influencers, send them a personalised email or direct message to explain your business objectives. Avoid sending generic messages or emails.
If you haven’t already come up with a campaign name, you should do so in this email. Be sure to also include a link in your email regarding your sales promotion, especially if your marketing objective is to increase sales.
When writing the email, be mindful of your tone of voice. Make sure that it is in alignment with your Brand Personality. For instance, if your brand voice is more casual than serious, try to avoid sounding too serious when writing the email. Or if your brand voice is usually more respectful than sassy, then be sure that the same tone of voice is reflected in your email.
#Step 6: Follow-Up
The next step in your Influencer Marketing strategy is to follow-up with the influencers. You’ll need to decide when to call or message them again if they do not reply after a certain lapse of time.
Whilst you want to avoid pestering them, it is certainly worth your time to send one or two follow-up messages. Emails and messages can get lost, overlooked, or even deleted when their inbox is full.
Your follow-up message should remind the influencer of the contents in your previous email, the value you can offer them, and what exactly you would like them to promote about your business.
If the influencer still does not respond to your follow-up messages, move on to other influencers who are interested in your business. There is a sea of influencers on social media today, and it isn’t hard to find another one to replace those who ignored or rejected you.
#Step 7: Measure Your Campaign Results
After completing all the steps above, you should actively monitor and measure your campaign’s results to determine its effectiveness.
Here are some useful performance metrics you should pay attention to when tracking your results: the number of impressions, clicks, brand mentions, follower growth, and whether there was an increase in your brand’s engagement.
To be efficient, you could also use some of our favourite tools that will quickly measure and analyse your campaign’s performance: Sprout Social, Crowdfire, Hootsuite, Social Bakers and Instagram Insights.
The success of a campaign is determined based on whether or not you’ve achieved your goals and objectives set out in #Step 1 of this article. With that said, your Influencer Marketing campaign is completed once you’ve finished this final step.
Common Influencer Marketing Mistakes
Mistake #1: Avoid Rambling in Your Pitch
Be direct and concise when pitching to an influencer. Avoid rambling in your pitch. When crafting your emails or messages, pay attention to the tone of voice of your message. Do not come across as demanding, but write as if you are offering them an exclusive opportunity.
Mistake #2: Failing to Conduct Thorough Research
Like all campaigns, if you do not conduct thorough research, there will be flaws and loopholes in your Influencer Marketing strategy.
To avoid such mistakes, thoroughly scroll through the influencer’s posts and review the comments section. Avoid pitching to influencers whose posts are drowning in negative comments from their followers. Collaborating with such influencers will only tarnish your brand’s reputation.
Mistake #3: Failing to Measure Campaign Results
Like all campaigns, it is essential to measure your Influencer Marketing results. Failing to do so will leave you wondering whether the campaign has benefited your business or not.
Wrapping It Up…
To recap, here’s a summary of the steps when doing Influencer Outreach:
We hope this article has provided you with more knowledge and insights to help you improve your Influencer Marketing strategy.
If you’re still feeling uncertain about how to carry out an Influencer Marketing campaign, you can reach out to Brand360 for a chat, or send us a message to request for more case studies on Influencer Marketing.