Note: The information presented on the post are credited to the #XYZinfluencer webinar co-hosted by TwitterCounter and DrumUp and presented by growth marketing consultant and social media influencer Ron Sela.
The influencer marketing footprint is exploding. According to Google Search Trends, the interest in influencer marketing has grown by 100X in the last four years alone. That is a phenomenal increase in search volume.
In 2017, we are best position to execute effective influencer marketing strategies, given that companies world over have developed tools that can help us identify and reach influencers and work with them to build out compelling marketing campaigns.
What is influencer marketing?
It is a type of marketing that focuses on key individuals in a niche rather than a large market, and aims at enlisting their help in reaching specific target markets or expanding reach and influence of any company’s marketing communication.
If you haven’t built out an influencer marketing plan yet, you have nothing to worry about. If you are worried that you are late to the party and other brands have already tied up with all possible influencers and there’s no one left to partner with, that isn’t necessarily true.
You can still identify and connect with niche or micro-influencers and build out equally successful influencer marketing plans.
If you’re thinking that Instagram is the only platform for this type of marketing. Giants in the tech space partner with tech reviewers like Marques Brownlee (micro-influencers in the tech space) all the time, for reviews and product advocacy.
How to identify influencers to work with
You can either find influencers by looking for high authority social media profiles associated with keywords or hashtags connected to your niche, or get the attention of influencers with your content strategy. There are tools that can help you do both.
- You could use TwitterCounter to monitor hashtags and keywords important to you, or look at high influence members of your community and engage with them.
- You could use DrumUp to manage social accounts and consistently share top content in your niche (adding hashtags and @mentions recommended on the app) to catch the attention of the right people.
- You could use analytical tools like Little Bird to analyze and identify the right influencers
- You could use an influencer marketplace like Tapinfluence
- You could also use an influencer outreach tool like InkyBee
Note that your selection of influencers needs to take into account the social platform that is important for your business. If most of your audience makes decisions based on what they see on LinkedIn, you need to find an influencer who has clout on LinkedIn.
Once you have identified the right influencers, next need to catch their attention, build a relationship with them, set the right goals, decide on how you will measure your efforts and then set a campaign rolling.
How to set goals for influencer marketing
You need to have a definite why to run a successful influencer marketing campaign, or you won’t see results in any specific direction. You can’t run a campaign without clear goals, just because, or because everyone else is doing it.
- Do you want to reach certain new markets?
- Do you want to speak to a specific niche?
- Do you want an existing or planned campaign amplified?
- Do you want to establish more trust with your audience?
- Do you want expert content created?
Once you have your intent, you can outline a better plan to reach and work with influencers.
How to work with influencers
When you first connect with influencers, you need to realize that they have no real reason or motive to work with you. You have to give them reason. That is why building relationships with them before you need to work with them becomes important.
- Follow influencers and understand what matters to them
I’ve personally noticed that when you genuinely follow anybody, make real conversations with them and share content/ideas that interests them, they naturally reciprocate.
- Understand that their time is valuable
Don’t approach an influencer unless you have a solid plan down to the last detail in hand. If your approach is premature, the influencer may not understand what you expect of them and your conversations may lead nowhere.
- Arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement
You need to identify and offer something that is very likely to motivate an influencer to participate in your program. Many influencers need to be paid for their services, but they also care about quality and the spirit of the brand that you want them to represent.
- Be honest and transparent
It is best to be upfront about intentions and expectations if you wish to work with an influencer over an extended period of time. It is also a good idea to be honest with your audience and use disclaimers where needed.
How to measure your influencer marketing campaign
There are several metrics that you can use to measure the effect of your campaign. You should ideally choose which metrics to measure based on what your goals are. Regardless of the metric you choose to use, be sure to monitor it before and after your campaign, so you can establish a definite result.
If you are focused on promotion of a specific product or service, you choose sales as your metric. To trace your sales back to the influencer, you can use UTM codes, referral codes, affiliate tools or even good old questionnaires.
Engagement is a good metric to measure no matter what your goal is. Any influencer activity online should realize an increase in engagement and possible from new markets.
There are two types of reach you should ideally measure – perceived reach and actual reach. Perceived reach is something you measure before you contact an influencer, based on how large their following is. Actual reach is what you measure on the content that gets shared during your campaign.
- Website traffic
You can also track the shifts in website traffic during the course of your campaign.
- Access to niche markets
If your social accounts increase their following as a result of an influencer marketing campaign, you will be able to see the new demographics that you have access to via your social media analytics dashboards.
That’s a wrap! Influencer marketing has enormous potential for any brand belonging to any industry. What matters is your strategy and the tools you choose to use.
If you’ve missed “The XYZ of Influencer Marketing” live webinar, we’ve got you covered: click here to view the recording and step up your Influencer Marketing game.