Social media has had growing importance in our personal and professional lives: in 2020 3.6 billion of us were members of the so-called social network. As a result, it is no surprise that social media has become a powerful marketing tool with 'influencer marketing' ever expanding. By collaborating with influences like Selena Gomez, Adidas were able to increase their sales by 24.2% whilst simultaneously dropping Nike sales by 9.1% (Statista).
The incorporation of influencers in businesses' digital marketing strategy to build brand awareness and affect purchasing decisions is one of the biggest marketing trends we have seen this decade. In this article we will explain how you can work with influencers to elevate your brand in 6 simple steps.
1. Work out how influencers will fit into your social media and marketing strategy
Before diving into the deep end and running after successful influencers you have seen online, you need need to work out how these influencers will form part of your broader marketing strategy and what you hope to achieve with this endorsement.
Influencers can help your company expand into new audiences, improve your engagement rate, increase your follower count, boost sales or improve your company's SEO. To make the most out of your influencers it is important to first identify which goal you are trying to achieve so that you can develop a coherent strategy and also obtain useful metrics on the impact of influencers on your business so that you can scale.
2. Finding the right platform
Once you have identified how influencers might fit into your social media marketing plan and defined their purpose, you will now need to decide what platform is most appropriate to achieve the goals you intend. You should think about different marketing channels and consider which personas are likely to engage with those channels to ensure that you are accessing your target market. For example, social media platforms like TikTok and Snapchat have a broad user base amongst the younger generations and businesses like Gymshark and Nandos have capitalised on this base to boost sales and brand awareness. Similarly, Thursday- a dating app that only operates on, you guessed it, Thursday- has demonstrated the power of LinkedIn through its creative campaigns.
3. Finding the right influencer and building an influencer marketing strategy
Once you have found the most appropriate platform for your target audience by considering the demographics they typically attract, you will now need to consider which influencer fits the mould.
The first stop is to consider your marketing budget as this will dictate the types of influencers you approach. Amazon bestseller, Andrew Macarthy, has identified that the cost of a mega-influencer (1m+ followers) starts at $10k+ whilst a macro-influencer (500k-1m followers) ranges between $500-10k. Those influencers with smaller followings, such as nano-influencers who have a social media following below 10k, should cost between $10-100 whilst micro-influencers (10-100k followers) cost between $100-500.
Of course your ideal influencer will be above your budget but identifying nano-influencers that is followed by the correct demographics for your product is a great way for startups and small businesses to test the influencer angle whilst they grow.
When looking for social media influencers you will want to look at any previous work they have done and crucially whether their branding suits yours. Looking at hashtags is a good way to start narrowing your search. Finding influencers that have a specific niche might be challenging but will enhance the success of the campaign.
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4. Reaching out
When reaching out to influencers it is important to sell your product as you would to any customer. Ultimately, influencers also have a brand to protect and endorsement of a product that doesn't fit their content might not only be unsuccessful for your business but also damage the influencer's page. It is therefore crucial that both business and influencer see a fit and value in the product. Elsewise, it won't work well for either party. Ultimately, you should trust influencers with your brand to ensure success. If either of you are having doubts, you probably aren't the right match.
When reaching out to influencers, you will want to outline:
- What your product is
- What problems you are trying to solve or why you brand is different
- What you want to collaborate on
What you want to collaborate on will have been outlined in the marketing strategy you developed in step 1. For example, if you were hoping to get a brand ambassador, you would want to consider sending your influencer a free product for them to display. Equally you might want to utilise an influencer's creativity to enhance your brand by engaging with content creators who can produce content for you to repost. To boost sales you might want to consider providing the influencer with a discount code. Content marketing is a valuable asset and therefore you should consider also reaching out to influencer bloggers who might describe your product in a new or novel way.
5. Formalise the relationship
When you have identified an influencer it is sensible to ensure that you have outlined the arrangements and the objective of the hire. Using a Legislate consultancy agreement is a quick, cost-effective and easy way to put your arrangements in place and to ensure that both you and your influencer are on the same page.
6. Evaluating your influencer marketing campaign
After engaging with your first influencer, you will want to evaluate the success of your influencer posts and influencer content. The success of these posts should be measured by reference to the goal you set when fitting influencers into your marketing strategy. For example, if you were hoping for conversions, evidence showing an increase sales would demonstrate the success of your campaign. Similarly, if you were hoping to gain brand awareness to attract potential customers in the future, you would want to see an increase in your following or engagement with the shared content. These metrics are easy to obtain via social media sites. For example, you can see the engagement rate and reach on your instagram posts via the app.
Ultimately, you want to develop an influencer strategy that has returns and once you have done so you want to scale that strategy across more platforms (where brand appropriate), with more influencers and with different types of influencers as your company grows.
The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.