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What is influencer marketing and how to create an effective influencer marketing strategy?

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What is influencer marketing and how to create an effective influencer marketing strategy? 1 - influencer marketing
Influencer Marketing

Your definitive guide to creating an influencer marketing strategy

Have you ever considered purchasing a product or service because a person you appreciate recommended the product or service? – Often you do, right? So am I. 

Many of us are guilty of this type of purchasing and this is exactly how influencer marketing works. I have written this guide to help you learn what influencer marketing is and how you can create an effective influencer marketing strategy

Before we get started with influencer marketing in detail, here is a short note for you, Influencer marketing is a paid marketing strategy and you’ll need a budget for managing an influencer marketing campaign. 

If you’re looking for free marketing strategies you can check out our topic: Instagram marketing guide.  

What is Influencer Marketing? 

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that hires authority leaders who have a robust influence on a large group of target audience to conduct the brand’s message instead of marketing directly. 

In influencer marketing strategies, brands create collaborations with influencers. Influencers have a large community in their specific genre, so brands get noticed while influencers share their information or brand messages. The exposure benefits the brand to come in front of a large group of the target audiences in a meaningful and positive way. 

Influencer marketing often comes under content marketing or social media marketing. An influencer doesn’t always mean a celebrity. An Influencer marketing campaign doesn’t always have to depend on celebrities. An influencer can be anyone such as an industry expert, a niche marketer, or anyone who has a community of the right audience. 

Related reading: Niche Marketing Strategies

Why You Should Consider Influencer Marketing 

The influence system has changed the way of marketing. People are ignoring ads and even started boycotting brands due to “add fatigue” syndrome. A huge percentage of customers are overwhelmed by repetitive marketing messages. 

You can combat this situation by leveraging influencer marketing. Somehow, your target audience is influenced by some people in different ways. If you recognize the influencers of your prospective customers, it will be very easy for you to have a conversation and engage with your target audience. 

You can achieve several business goals through influencer marketing, such as – 

The heart of influencer marketing is authenticity. Nowadays, people love authentic voices than any promotional tricks and tactics. If you are avoiding influencer marketing in this situation, most probably you are downgrading your business potential and losing huge opportunities. 

Hundreds of authentic voices make an immense impact in the market about your brand that you can never do alone and this is the power of influencer marketing. 

How to Create an Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy

Here’s a proven and popular method you can create an influencer marketing campaign by following only 10 steps. 

10 Steps to Create an Effective Influencer Marketing Campaign: 

  1. Define your campaign goals 
  2. Identify your campaign’s target audience
  3. Choose your influencer marketing campaign type 
  4. Set your budget 
  5. Find the right influencers for your brand 
  6. Qualify your influencers 
  7. Develop your campaign content for your influencer 
  8. Finalize marketing expectations with your influencer
  9. Reward your influencer for the campaign 
  10. Evaluate your campaign results  
  1. Define Your Campaign Goals 

The first step of creating an influencer marketing strategy is to define campaign goals. Creating SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals will help you evaluate the results of your campaign so that you can optimize your campaign strategy in the future. 

You may consider different types of goals in your influencer marketing campaign such as – 

  • Link buildinggetting more backlinks to improve website authority and popularity. 
  • Brand awareness – getting more people to notice, recognize, and aware of your brand and business. 
  • Community building – getting more people to be a part of your business community through following, subscription, etc. 
  • Engagement – getting more engagements such as comments, shares, likes, etc. 
  • Lead generationgenerating more leads through several types of lead magnets like free gifts, offers, etc. 
  • Driving trafficattracting new visitors to your website, social platforms, and more. 
  • Increasing conversion rategetting more people to take action and convert from one part to another in your marketing funnel. 
  • Increasing sales – getting more people to buy your product or service. 
  1. Identify Your Campaign’s Target Audience 

If you are targeting all, you won’t get anyone to buy your product or service. Create buyer personas for your brand to identify the exact type of prospective customers you’re targeting. Defining your target audience will help you understand what kind of influencer and content will be the most appealing for them. 

It doesn’t matter if you change your influencer type or content type to grow your business in different ways, but your target audience should remain the same. Different influencers with different content may connect your audience in different ways. But your target audience and business goals don’t change.

  1. Choose Your Influencer Marketing Campaign Type 

Now, it’s time to select the type of your influencer marketing campaign that can help you achieve your business goals. 

Here’re some types of influencer marketing campaigns you may consider, but not limited to: 

  • Sponsored content – you can pay an influencer to share content specially created about your brand on his or her online channels like website, blog, social media platform, and so on. 
  • Partnership content – you can make a partnership to co-create content with an influencer that will be featured on his/her online channels, your online channels, or any third-party’s online channels.  
  • Affiliate program – you can provide an affiliate code that gives your influencer a certain percentage of each sale he or she makes. Related reading: Affiliate marketing
  • Gifts – you can give a gift of your product or service to an influencer and ask him/her for a review. 
  • Guest post – you can contribute your own content to an influencer’s blog as a guest post
  • Influencer takeover – you can allow an influencer to take over your social media accounts for a certain period of time in exchange for remuneration or reward. 
  • Social media shares – you can contact a social media influencer to share your brand’s message or content in his or her social media post. 
  • Contests and giveaways – you can run a contest and giveaway event and ask an influencer to share your event with his or her followers. 

These are a few types of influencer marketing ideas, but you can create your own and experiment with your campaign as well.  

  1. Set Your Budget 

Setting a budget is an essential factor for any type of marketing campaign including an influencer marketing campaign. You have to consider your influencer marketing campaign budget according to your capacity and marketing goals. 

Setting a budget for your campaign will help you choose your influencer efficiently. For example, if you are a big company you might consider choosing an expensive celebrity influencer. But if you are managing a low-budget start-up, you might consider choosing a cost-effective micro-influencer. 

Here’re a few average costing ranges of influencers as per their type of work and influence capacity –  

  • Celebrity influencer – $ 2000 to $ 500,000 + per content
  • Blog influencer – $ 300 to $ 10000 per blog content 
  • Micro influencer – $ 50 to $ 500 per content 
  • Social media influencer – $ 100 to $ 500,000 + per social media content 

These numbers are only for creating an overall idea of costing and aren’t set in stone for any influencer. The costing may vary depending on the campaign’s requirements and influencer’s personal policy.  

  1. Find the Right Influencers for Your Brand 

With a clearly defined target audience and marketing budget, you can start searching for your influencer who will be the best fit for your influencer marketing campaign. 

You have to choose your influencer who can connect with your target audience efficiently and help you reach your marketing goals effortlessly. 

Types of Influencers 

Though there’s no rule to classify influencers, basically 5 major types of influencers are available for marketing campaigns. 

A. Social media influencers

Social media influencers are famous on different social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, etc., and have a large number of followers or subscribers. These influencers share posts on their social media platforms according to their genre like fashion, health, beauty, travel, and so on. 

B. Blog influencers 

A blog influencer is a blogger who writes for his or her blog website and has a huge number of readers. A blogger can create special content about your brand and help your brand to reach a large group of readers. 

C. Celebrity influencers

A celebrity influencer is a famous person who has millions of fans. A celebrity is widely recognized and may outstandingly influence your target audience. A celebrity influencer can cover different channels and reach a variety of types of audiences. You can also work with a celebrity influencer to create a powerful social proof and increase your brand image.    

D. Micro-influencers 

A micro-influencer is an influencer who has a small group of audience – typically around ten thousand followers. A micro-influencer can maintain a strong relationship with his or her audience. The best thing is, the audience of a micro-influencer is very loyal and engaged. 

E. Niche Experts 

A niche expert also known as a niche leader is a professional expert of a specific industry. A niche expert may have a large group of audience that’s very interested in that particular topic or niche. If your business needs a specific group of audience, then a niche expert could be the best fit for your influencer marketing campaign. 

  1. Qualify Your Influencer 

Finding the right influencers might be exciting for you. But before connecting to them, you need to confirm whether they’re really the best fit for your business and goals. 

You can weigh your influencers through 3 major factors – 

  • Community – you have to check the influencer’s community if it matches or not your target audience. Don’t see the size of the community, pay close attention whether the community has the right members you want to reach.   
  • Reach and engagement – check the metrics of the influencers and know about their reach and engagement rates.  
  • Messages – in influencer marketing, you need influencers who are aligned with your brand. Check out your influencers’ messages whether those are relevant to your brand and don’t deviate too from your brand’s core mission.  
  1. Develop Your Campaign Content for Your Influencer

After qualifying and finalizing your influencers, it’s time to develop your content your influencers can’t refuse. In this step, you can also consider whether your influencers will create content for you on their own or you will provide them with content to post. 

Do an in-depth research with your marketing team for developing a high-quality campaign messaging that includes – actionable headline, brand voice, proper hashtags, and power words, among other persuasive copywriting hacks.  

  1. Finalize Your Marketing Expectations With Your Influencer 

Finally, you should have an open discussion with your influencers on how they can help you boost your market and traffic. Ask them about the metrics you can expect from them. 

You should have a written contract to avoid any discrepancy during the campaign period. Your influencer-contract may include – 

  • How long you and your influencer will be working jointly. 
  • How you’ll pay your influencer. 
  • What are the campaign expectations? 
  • And other contract terms according to your business. 
  1. Reward Your Influencer for Your Campaign 

Influencers work for rewards. Influencers can take rewards through several ways – 

  • Money (your influencer can take money in advance or after the content is posted for their works)
  • Free products or services 
  • Coupons or discount codes 
  • Swag (clothing, accessories, etc.)
  • Promotion on your online channels such as blog, website, or/and social media platforms 
  1. Evaluate Your Campaign Results 

Lastly, you should evaluate your influencer marketing campaign results. You should check the SMART goals you set in the first step to see if you’ve achieved your desired goals or you have to optimize your campaign strategy further. 

There Are several ways as well as tools you can use for measuring your campaign results. Some analytics tools like Buzzsumo, BuzzStream are specially built for measuring influencer marketing ROI and metrics. Twitter analytics, Instagram insights, Facebook insights, YouTube analytics, and Google analytics are also great if you want to track overall activities. 

You can measure your influencer marketing campaign results as follows – 

  • Lead generation – total opt-ins or subscribers 
  • Link building – total links, quality of links 
  • Brand awareness – page views, website traffic, duration on-site, social media views
  • Community building – total followers, total members 
  • Sales – new sales, up sales, cross-sales 
  • Engagements – likes, shares, comments 

Related reading: Top 10 Instagram influencers to follow

 Final Words: 

These steps aren’t written in stone and you can always experiment with your own strategy. You can work with a single influencer as well as multiple influencers within a single campaign. 

Each influencer has a separate tone and style to impact his or her audience. Though you need to have a proven step-by-step blueprint, try to modify your influencer marketing campaign depending on your specific business goals, audience, and budget.  

Are you interested in influencer marketing to grow your business or career? Connect us to get in detailed guidelines.

Debajyoti Banerjee is the Founder, Director & CEO of Seven Boats - A leading digital marketing agency & digital marketing training institute in India since 2011. He is a Google & LinkedIn Certified Digital Marketer & Trainer, Brand Strategist, Consultant & Entrepreneur. Debajyoti has 17+ years of domain expertise & successful track records in Digital Marketing & emerging technologies. Learn more Schedule an appointment with Debajyoti Banerjee

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1 Comment

  1. Tanvi Gupta

    Influencer Marketing is a trending way to market products and services to last-mile audiences through the “Power of Influencing”. It can be considered as the Next Big Thing in the Digital Marketing Industry in upcoming years. from your blog I have understood this .

    Reply

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