Partnering with Influencers for Marketing Success
Gaining a following organically on social media is more difficult now than ever, so it’s crucial to find a strategy to help you get noticed. Unfortunately, consumers no longer follow brands as often as they once did. And, even if you have followers, it’s unlikely they’ll see all of your posts. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram cater to their users, who prefer to see posts from family and friends instead of companies. As a result, it’s harder to get noticed, but influencer marketing can help.
So why are brands choosing to work with influencers? Influencers are seen as thought leaders in their industries, and their followers trust them. Consumers are more likely to listen to and trust real people than brands. You can leverage this information to your advantage by working with influencers who are experts in their field. Here’s how you can start partnering with influencers to increase your marketing success:
Influencer marketing is effective for both B2C and B2B marketing, allowing businesses in all industries to work with people who can help them reach their goals. However, you must first have marketing goals. You can use influencer marketing for the same goals as other types of digital marketing. For example, you can use influencer marketing to increase website traffic, sales, and conversions or to build brand awareness.
Consider how your influencer marketing strategy will align with other initiatives and find ways to measure those goals so you can report on and track them. For example, if you want to increase website traffic, you can track visits to your website from referral sources. Meanwhile, if you want to track sales, you can create a coupon code for your influencer campaign and track visits and conversions to a particular web page.
Know Your Target Audience
Before reaching out to influencers, you must know your target audience. An effective influencer marketing strategy means reaching the right people through the right influencer, so you should define your audience. Most companies have several audiences, so you should segment them based on common interests. For example, if you sell apparel, you might want to reach out to female and male influencers to reach both audiences.
Know How It Works
There are several rules to influencer marketing. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sets rules about disclosure, which tells consumers that influencers are paid to create posts. Depending on your preferences, you can rely on your influencer’s disclosure guidelines or create your own. In general, influencers must identify posts that companies sponsor. Influencers that don’t do so can get your brand into trouble with the FTC.
This disclosure must be visible to all consumers, so hiding it within a post is forbidden. For example, videos must include verbal and written disclosure of the partnership. Therefore, influencers must state that the video is sponsored by a company and include more information in the description.
Finding influencers is one of the most time-consuming aspects of influencer marketing. First, you must ensure you find relevant influencers whose followers are your target audience. Luckily, most influencers are part of a niche and focus on a specific industry. For example, you can find beauty, pet, fashion, and diet influencers. More general influencers also allow you to target a wide range of consumers.
You can start finding influencers by making a short list of individuals you think would be a good fit for your campaign. Then, look at various insights, such as engagement rates and the number of followers. Keep in mind that the number of followers isn’t always the best indicator for determining whether you should work with an influencer. Micro-influencers typically have more engaged followers, and they’re cheaper to work with. Many brands work exclusively with micro-influencers because they’re the most cost-effective and get them better results.
After you’ve created a list of influencers you want to work with, you can start researching them by going through their profiles and posts. First, determine whether or not they’re sharing sponsored content. If an influencer isn’t sharing sponsored content, it might mean they’re not experienced in working with brands. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it means you’ll have to do more work to help them understand your branding guidelines and how you want to run the campaign.
You should find lots of organic content alongside paid content to keep followers interested and engaged. Additionally, you should watch their videos and look at their photos to determine whether their style matches your brand tone. While an influencer might be successful, they might not be the right option for your brand.
Once you’ve found influencers you want to work with, you can begin privately reaching out to them. Start communicating with them in a personal way that allows them to learn about your company without trying to force them into a commitment. You can message them to let them know you think they’d be a good fit for your brand and suggest setting up a call to discuss it further.
Try to provide them with enough information to learn about your brand, including links to your website. You can also tell them about the campaign you’re putting together and why you think they’d be a good fit.
Knowing what type of content you’re looking for is a good idea. However, you should always collaborate with the influencer to develop effective content. Many influencers have their own style, so it’s best to give them as much freedom as possible. You can provide them with branding elements like messaging, images, and logos, but let them use their own creativity to create the content.
Of course, you should have the final say in any content before it gets published, so always ensure your influencers know that you must approve posts beforehand.
Measure Campaign Results
Always measure the results of each campaign. You should have set goals; this first campaign can provide you with a baseline and help you brainstorm ideas for improvement. You can measure several vanity metrics, such as likes and comments, but keep in mind that engagement and conversions are the most important. Ultimately, you want to see a return on your investment.
Influencer marketing is an effective strategy for increasing brand awareness and sales. However, it can be time-consuming without the right software. It’s also important to keep in mind the total cost. Working with influencers costs money. You might be able to find some content creators willing to work for free samples, but the most successful influencers work full-time and want to be compensated fairly.