If you've never done influencer marketing before, you might be at a loss in how you should do it. Hopefully this simple model will give you a starting point.
The biggest mistake is to assume that some popular and well-known person would be perfect to promote your brand, just for the sake of him/her being popular amongst certain crowd. The only thing you know about that person is his/her “fame”, but what’s more important is the person’s
identity, personality and personal achievements. Making a decision to use an influencer just for the sake of the influencer being “famous” will jeopardize the success of your entire marketing campaign.
Just like anything else, you need to PLAN.
Because this is an influencer marketing strategy model for dummies, we’ve made it really simple for anyone to remember.
Starting point of any plan or strategy is to set clear and concrete goals as well as KPIs. Do you want to raise awareness for your brand? Or simply increase sales revenue? Or increase the amount of your social media followers? Or something else?
Whatever your strategy and goal is, you also need to define KPIs and how you will eventually measure the success or failure of your influencer marketing campaign. (i.e. Number of views? Clicks? Shares? Mentions?)
Goals are quite similar to destinations. When sailors know exactly where they are aiming at, tools such as compass, maps, and telescope can help them reach their destinations. Similar to sailing, by having the right tools in place, you can monitor your KPIs and adjust your strategy to reach your pre-defined goal. But you can’t use a compass that is slightly off, because that would certainly set you off the track towards your destination. Similarly, accurate and high-quality analytics service should be in place to make sure that you can adjust your strategy and goals to the best of your knowledge and data.
The success of influencer marketing campaign partly depends on the quality and quantity of your audience. In order to attract them, you need to know who your audience is, where to find them, and how to match your products with their values. That is why you should find the right audience base before you begin searching for suitable influencers.
Even if you have found the right audience base, you cannot randomly target those people, rather make a clear segmentation within that audience so that you can create a personalized message for each segment.
3. The right influencer
Who is the right influencer for your brand? The question might sound simple but the process of coming up with the right answer can be quite complicated. Should your influencer have more than 10,000 followers or have a huge amount of knowledge about a specific topic? You need to take surrounding context into account when attempting to answer to these questions, such as external and internal factors related to your business field.
If you Google “how to find the right influencer”, you may find lots of related articles on this. The most important thing is to to look back at what your goal is, and try to find an influencer that would help you reach your goal; whether it’s raising brand awareness or conversion rate, and which type of influencer your audience is likely to favor.
After determining the type of influencer you need, you can find suitable candidates with the help of your communication agency or do some hands-on work yourself by doing manual search in social media platforms. High-quality analytics service can greatly help you here by providing you with social statistics of an influencer candidate to make the best decision.
4. Working with your influencers
The cooperation between you and your influencers requires continuous communication to keep all parties on the right track to avoid controversy, brand damage or waste of resources. You should guide your influencers as to how you want your brand image to be portrayed but at the same time, give enough space and freedom to them to express themselves on their own so that their posts are more original and authentic than not.
Compensation method should also be reviewed on constant basis. Micro-influencers may be satisfied with getting your product as their compensation but as they start to increase more followers, there is always a high chance that they would demand for more compensation. Mega-influencers can be much much more expensive.
The duration of your cooperation depends on how long a marketing campaign is but keeping in touch with the influencers even after the campaign is over is also important.
5. Performance measurement / KPI
This may be the most important step in influencer marketing. By having an accurate analytics service in place, you can measure how well your influencers are performing against your goals. Actually, this step should not only happen as the last step, but as a continuous step, so that you can adjust your influencer marketing strategy while the campaign is going on to achieve your set goals. An influencer marketing campaign is successful when the final outcome reach or even surpass the estimated KPI results determined at the beginning of this model when setting up the goal of the campaign.
With high-quality analytics service, you can follow how many posts your influencers are mentioning your brand, how many impressions it is receiving, and how many mentions your brand gets within and outside of influencers’ own channels. These statistics will provide you with an idea how active your influencers are - it is, in a way, a method to monitor the performance of your influencers, just like you would monitor and evaluate your own employee performance.
By the way, does your KPIs include sentiment measurement? The numbers of likes, comments or followers are just quantitative figures but what’s more important is the qualitative measurement - understanding the emotional experience of your influencers and their audience and how everyone perceives your brand. When influencers are posting something about your brand, is the audience reacting in positive or negative way? Sentiment analysis will provide you with accurate data as to whether the influencer is able to create a truly positive image about your brand.
Even though the strategy model above is quite simple, it requires many sub-steps in order to make influencer marketing successful. For example, defining suitable audience base and right influencers take time. Working with the influencers you choose will not only consume your time, effort, and patience but also money to invest into analytic services. There are many companies that can help you with the overall process and to provide you with unbiased measurement and consultation on how your influencer marketing should be adjusted. Using outsourced help may seem expensive at first, but will in the end save you lots of resources.