What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that is done by publicizing the endorsements obtained from the influencers, who may be people or organizations possessing an expert level of knowledge and great social influence in the area of that business.
How to create an influencer marketing strategy?
Follow the following steps to create an effective influencer marketing strategy:
- Define your goals – Improve your brand identity, if required. Think who would be your right audience, how to enhance your brand awareness among them, and how to engage them with the publicity campaigns in the form of likes, comments, and shares. Prepare your team to handle the generated leads, present the concepts of their products and/or services properly, close deals and be ready for after-sales support.
- Choose your type of influencer marketing campaign – Once your goals are fixed, you have to identify the type of influencer marketing you need which can be based on inspiration, payment or a mixture of the two. In the inspiration-based type, you can inspire the influencer to share some content with the audience. In the payment-based type, you literally pay the influencer to share your content. And in the mixed-type, you can create a situation where goodwill and money both matter.
Here are a few types of methods that you may consider for carrying out your ad campaign:
- Gifting: Giving free products and services to an influencer in exchange for a positive review or mention of the brand.
- Guest Posting: Creating and contributing engaging content to be posted on an influencer’s blog.
- Sponsored Content: Paying the influencer for posting articles about your brand on his/her blog or social channel. The influencer may even create the content for the post.
- Co-Creating Content: You can collaborate with the influencer to prepare the content that will be published on your website, his/her website or a separate third-party website.
- Social Media Mentions: You can get into an agreement with the influencer to mention your brand, or share your content in his/her social channels.
- Contests and Prizes: You may run a contest and ask an influencer to give away the prizes to the winners.
- Influencer Takeover: You may allow an influencer to take a free hand on your social channels for a definite amount of time suggesting what to post and you are acting likewise.
- Affiliate Marketing: You may go for an agreement with the influencer whereby you may give him/her a percentage of every sale that is done due to him/her.
- Discount Codes: You can give an influencer a unique discount code for your product or service that he/she can promote and offer to his/her audience.
- Brand Ambassadors: You can form relationships with your fans so that they get free products, exclusive offers and featured by your brand in exchange for promoting your brand.
- Create a list of qualified influencers – After deciding on the type of the campaign, you need to make a list of influencers who will be able to help you reach out to new people, improve your brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, and increase your sales.
An influencer is an online authority who has a following of people listening to what he/she has to say. His/her followers are loyal and frequently shape their interests based on what the influencer says. An influencer can be a:
- Social Media Personality
- Industry Expert
- Thought Leader
- Lifestyle Brand
Find influencers who are related to your industry: For searching influencers in your trade, you can start with the well-known figures of your industry. They will help you spread your message and build brand awareness in your target market. To support this type of searching, set up a Google alert for industry-related terms to see who is regularly writing content about important topics in your industry, and browse forums to see who is regularly answering questions relating to your industry.
Find influencers who promote your competitors: To see which influencers are interested to work with your brand, search for influencers who are working with your competitors. They will be more likely to share content about your brand than those who haven’t publicized for other brands in your industry. Navigate through the industry-related hashtags on social media to find out who are regularly sharing contents and promoting your competitors. These influencers would be good to reach out to.
Understand the authority of the influencer: Influencer analysis is an important part of learning how to find the right influencers. While deciding on the influencers, consider their authority to identify whether that will be helpful for your campaign to accomplish the goals. The factors that are taken into account for judging the authority of the influencers are:
- Their number of followers
- Engagement rate of followers
- Alexa Rank of website
- Quality of content
- The depth of niche coverage
Influencer Database Providers: If you don’t want to manually search for the qualified influencers, you can use the services offered by the influencer database providers GroupHigh, Cision, TapInfluence, Influencity, etc. to manage your campaigns:
Find influencers who share your audience: Influencers don’t need to be from your own industry. Those who share your audience can provide as much value for the purpose. Actually, influencers from an auxiliary industry may help even further to reach more target audience.
- Brainstorm content ideas – Next you have to imagine and table the probable ideas for creating the content of influencer marketing which will create a positive impression on the audience. Do an analysis of the audience to fully understand their needs and interests. This will enable you to identify those influencers who are not from your trade but are followed by your audience. This strategy will help you to connect with that part of your audience which is not crowded with messages from your competitors.
- Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool: Find the type of marketing contents shared by the websites that are also visited by your type of audience using Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool.
- Alexa’s Audience Interest Tool: Look for the topics and sites that are preferred by your audience using Alexa’s Audience Interest Tool.
- Alexa’s Site Overview: To check if a website is worthy to be connected with an influencer marketing campaign, use Alexa’s Site Overview Tool.
- BuzzSumo: Use BuzzSumo’s Influencer Marketing Tool to search for the influencers related to your industry and the topics they are campaigning about.
- Keyhole: Use Keyhole to go through the topics relevant to your industry and find the brands regularly covering your industry.
- Followerwonk: You can use Followerwonk to find out the influencers on Twitter and follow their audience to see if they are right for your campaigns. You can enter any topic and find the users who have those term in their bio.
- Plan and track your influencer outreach – You can find which sites are linked to your competitors’ websites by Alexa’s Competitor Backlink Checker and share your content with those sites. As your campaign moves on, you can track the marketing metrics to determine the number of leads. After the campaign, you can review the results to conclude if the outreach of the influencer marketing campaign is a success.
Gaurav Agarwal is the founder of ImaPRO – Digital marketing Agency Bahrain, providing 360° Digital Marketing solutions across the globe from last 16 years. With his years of experience and expertise in Digital Marketing, he serves businesses from a wide range of industries, including Retail, Fashion, E-commerce.