Even though one can argue that influencer marketing, as a whole, is at a crossroads – where developments and new policies in tech will be altering the foundation of influencer marketing – influencer marketing is still on the rise.
In fact, according to Forbes, 39% of marketers plan to increase their budgets for influencer marketing in 2020. It is also estimated that by 2020, the whole influencer marketing space will be a $10 billion business.
With influencer marketing staying, what does a brand need to do to take full advantage? The answer lies in equal parts planning, execution, and analysis.
Here are a few tips you can follow.
Be clear with your objectives
Influencers are not billboards—instill that in your brand. Many organizations, particularly those that still focus on traditional marketing, still see influencers as mere endorsers. Thus, just like a billboard, they think using influencer is just about eyeballs: get some famous influencer to endorse, hope fans pick it up, and get conversions.
This is an unfocused approach. Many influencer marketing campaigns fail because of a lack of clarity. Keep in mind that different campaigns fit different business goals.
Are you looking for greater reach and brand awareness? If that's the goal, you need an influencer that speaks your “voice” and is more or less thematically alike to your brand, so you get to extend awareness towards followers who are already interested in similar content.
If it’s engaging and keeping existing customers, then you can tap influencers who have built an engaged and loyal following. If your main goal is conversion (e.g., hard sales, driving site traffic, sign-ups), then you have to map out a more detailed process or flow when it comes to your influencer approach.
The idea here is you don’t just use influencers on a whim. Be focused when it comes to why you need to use influencers. When you do, make sure you know what you need to ask of them.
If you’re lucky, doing a social media scan may lead you to a creator who already supports your brand. This is a huge boost when it comes to authenticity. If that’s not the case, you have to manually search for influencers that are thematically aligned to your brand. You need to dedicate resources for this because it can be time-consuming.
There are ways to make finding the talent you're looking for based on your parameters easier, no matter how specific they are. They also provide analytics to see how effective your campaigns are performing.
The GetCraft Marketplace, for example, is an excellent place to start. Through it, you can connect with more than 5,000 influencers across different categories and interests.
Treat influencers as partners in content creation
The best influencers are masters in creating engaging content. When tapping influencers, take a collaborative stance when it comes to the output you’re looking for.
Collaborate, but be clear and concise. Set the ground rules. What kind of content are you looking to do? Product reviews or tutorials? Mere brand mentions? Or are you making things more interactive by doing quizzes and giving out discount codes?
Decide on your process of approval. Do the influencers have free rein? Will there be several rounds of revisions? Both parties decide. But make sure both ends are flexible are communications and feedback are open and transparent.
Review, review, review
The objectives you set must have corresponding KPIs so you may measure the success of your campaign. Was your goal awareness, engagement, or conversion? How did you fare?
At times, there are no precise quantitative tools to measure your goals (e.g., awareness). However, there is still a lot to gather from metrics such as the number of views; likes, comments, and shares; and actual page visits.
As a rule of thumb, whatever you do when it comes to your influencer marketing campaign, keep three primary considerations in mind: objectives, influencer and content strategy, and analytics. These are all essential in forming a fully-fleshed out campaign.
Don’t forget that working with influencers is also a learning process. With every step you take, be agile enough to pivot and apply what you discover along the way.