There’s no denying that influencer marketing is becoming a huge hit. So much so that a solid 48% of US marketers that have used influencers are planning to increase their budget for these campaigns next year.
The concept behind influencer marketing is not new by any stretch of the imagination. It relies on the fact that consumers accept advice and recommendations from people they trust. And today, that trusted circle includes YouTube celebrities, local athletes, and even regular people that have your target audience’s attention.
But, finding the right influencers and setting up a great campaign is not easy, especially if it’s your first time working with an influential figure.
Below, we’ll give you some tips on setting up a successful influencer marketing campaign.
Is Influencer Marketing Really Effective?
The short answer to this question is a resounding yes.
According to data from SocialMediaToday, influencer marketing campaigns can have up to 11 times higher return-on-investment than other digital formats. Other estimates suggest that using an influencer can yield $7.5 for each dollar invested, a huge profit margin unmatched by other advertising initiatives.
But, using an influencer can do much more than generate higher profits. Unlike affiliate marketing alone, working with an influencer is a great way to improve your branding. Besides increasing credibility, you’ll also create a real connection with your audience through a figure they already trust.
How to Launch a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Influencer marketing has a resemblance to traditional advertising. After all, big companies have been using celebrities and other iconic figures to advertise their products.
However, unlike traditional channels, you don’t have to hire a Hollywood star to endorse your particular product or brand.
Let’s take a look at some tips to help you launch a great influencer marketing campaign.
Set up objectives you can measure
Similarly to most business endeavors, the first step you have to take is to set up your goals.
Make sure you set up objectives you can measure. You can track your campaign’s performance by using different methods, which include promo codes, custom links for your influencer, or analytics tools.
Also, keep in mind that you need to ask the key question at this stage. Some examples include:
• What type of influencer do you want to work with?
• What channels are you going to target?
• What are your specific goals? (higher sales, more leads, increased traffic, etc.)
Examine your target audience
Many marketers and business owners still believe that celebrities are the way to go. That said, recent data suggests that one out of three people trusts a regular blogger more than a TV personality when it comes to making a purchase.
Always examine your target audience in order to find the influencer and channels that will be the most effective. In addition to running surveys, you can also look at Google search trends and other tools to find the most effective approach.
Find the right influencer(s)
Everyone wants to find the best influencers. But, all companies are different, so you’ll have to examine each candidate to identify the right influencer.
If you think your campaign can benefit from more than one figure, split your budget and compare the results after each campaign is over to prepare for the next cycle.
According to Tap Influence, there are four main ways to identify influencers to work on your campaigns – Google, Database, Networks and Marketplaces.
Google – the old and familiar method to find anything online is via Google search. It requires you to conduct individual searches, scan webpages for information and contact info and track everything on spreadsheets for further use. This method can be daunting and time-consuming and perhaps the reason why marketers and brands turned to simpler solutions.
Database – to extract the database from websites and save yourself a little searching time, you can use site-scraping tools to pull of any publicly available data. It’s a good place to start, however, consider that vetting each influencer’s info and communicating with them directly may still take a little time. On to option three.
Networks – a network is a perfect middleman between you and the influencer. So instead of searching and searching, you can turn straight to a network that can connect between you and the influencer directly.
Marketplaces – a marketplace is probably your best option to fish-out real-time information about influencers and connect directly with them without searching or using a middleman. They are also more affordable.
Tools like Tribe, HYPR, and Brand Snob. Much like dating sites, they provide a platform where marketers and influencers can communicate. You can browse profiles, see examples of the influencer’s work and their pricing. It’s a lot easier than sorting through thousands of search results on Google.
Micro-influencers are regular people that have gained the attention of a specific demographic for one reason or another. Some examples include fitness enthusiasts, health-oriented parents, travelers, and gadget lovers.
These personalities are often more passionate than professional influencers and tend to put less strain on your budget. If you’re in the right niche, you should consider working with one or more micro-influencers.
Develop a real relationship with your influencer
One of the keys to developing a successful influencer campaign is helping that person truly embrace your brand. You should try to build a relationship with your influencer and encourage them to start using your product to truly show its benefits to your audience.
According to The State of Influencer Marketing study by Crowdtap, 44% of influencers will consider working with a marketer or brand if the opportunity is relevant for their audience.
Another factor that will draw influencers to partner with you is creative freedom and competitive compensation. Once you create an agreement and determine on things, make sure to give your influencer(s) creative leverage. After all, they know their audience and they know how to approach their audience and recommend your product to their audience in a way that feels more authentic. Remember, people tend to steer away from traditional ads and follow almost exclusively an impactful individual. By all means, review their work and make sure it fits with your campaign and its goals, however, trust that your clients will respond better to your influencer.
Encourage the creation of authentic content
The best influencers tend to create rich content that engages their audience. This doesn’t mean they have to employ complex formats. Instead, they should focus on delivering a great experience to their followers through creativity and usability.
Keep in mind that some influencers work best when they are given creative freedom. You may also find others that will ask you to provide the content, so you need to negotiate the terms with the personality you choose.
Develop a good publishing schedule, launch and track
You’ve set your campaign goals and budget, developed a relationship with your influencer and created authentic content, it’s time to set a detailed publishing schedule for your posts. After you agree on the right timeline, it’s time to launch your campaign and track its performance.
Are you going to boost on of their posts? Or retweet one of their tweets? You’ll need to include these in your performance tracking and budgeting and do whatever you can to extend the reach of your posts.
Optimize your campaign
Once you’ve collected enough data, you need to analyze your campaign’s performance and make adjustments while you’re on the fly to drive the best results and increase your ROI. The online space keeps changing and evolving to optimization is crucial to scale fast.
There are several ways in which you can optimize your Influencer campaign:
• Repost and boost social media posts using a paid strategy to increase impressions and audience reach.
• Use tools such as OutBrain and Buffer to spread your content or your influencer’s content across multiple channels.
• Analyze keywords, phrases and links for better SEO efforts.
• Try and shift your KPI goals if your initial one failed, for example, if you didn’t end up getting any product sales, perhaps aim for product awareness and impressions.
• Make occasional alterations and tweaks to your campaign, landing pages, hashtags and call-to-actions.
• Repeat your campaign using the same influencer and customize it to various events and occasions.
Take your campaigns to the next level
Leveraging influencers is a great way to improve the performance of your affiliate marketing efforts. Not only can you increase traffic and conversions, but you’ll also take advantage of the emotional connection these personalities offer.
Want to learn more about monetizing your traffic and finding the best offers for affiliates? Check out our blog or get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.