When you think of influencer marketing, what comes to mind? If it’s the Kardashians and PewdiePies of the world, you need to think more broadly. Influencers can be anyone from bloggers or celebrities to industry experts or reporters. In fact, it’s a common misnomer that you need a large following to be an influencer. You just need to have an audience you have influence over. It’s also important to note that influencers exist for anything and everything you can think of, and for every social group, no matter how niche.
So how can you utilize these influential people to effectively promote your brand, service, or product? Influencer marketing consultant Shane Barker shares his tips with us in this podcast episode.
Here are some of the biggest points he touched on.
The Role of Influencers in Business Success
When you begin developing an influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to remember that it’s a tactical piece of your marketing strategy, not your entire strategy. Influencer marketing is not a tactic that will work for every business, and it can’t be expected to start working right away. When done correctly, influencer marketing can be phenomenal for your business and revenue growth, but it takes time, hard work, research, and dedication.
If you’re looking to start an influencer marketing campaign, Shane recommends doing your research first. Success often comes down to posting frequency, understanding your perfect client, and finding an influencer who has that audience. If you choose to work with an influencer based on their number of followers and not on whether they’ll be a good fit for your target audience, you likely won’t see success.
Another factor that determines the success of your campaign is how often you’re able to get in front of your target audience. Think of it this way: not everyone will respond to an ad for Coca-Cola right away, but if they see a Coke ad enough times, chances are higher that they’ll purchase some the next time they go to the grocery store. The same goes for your audience. The more you’re able to get your ads in front of them, the more likely they’ll be to invest in your business when it becomes convenient.
To determine the number of posts you should do and how much you’re willing to pay for an influencer to promote your brand, analyze the monetary value of each customer, how long they’re likely to stay customers, and how much budget you currently have available.
How to Run a Successful Campaign
Now that we’ve gone over the role influencer marketing can play in business growth, let’s get into Shane’s specific tips for running a successful campaign.
A lot of influencer marketing campaigns fail because the companies running them don’t have internal goals or KPIs in place before they start working with an influencer. You should be able to tell the influencer from the get-go what your goals are and how much revenue you expect to be generated with your campaign. Doing this will help you establish a rapport with your chosen influencer and open the channels for communication and setting proper expectations.
Create loose creative guidelines
When you choose an influencer to work with, chances are it’s because you like their posting style and believe they’ll be beneficial to your campaign. Don’t strangle their creativity with too many guidelines for what the content should look like or consist of. As long as the messages they post are about your brand, keep your guidelines open.
Narrow down your influencer list
Before you decide on the influencer you want to work with, it’s good practice to send qualifying questions and actually interview your candidates. The person you choose needs to be a good fit for your brand, and you can’t fully determine whether they are with software. Human eyeballs and interactions are needed if you want to work with someone who has synergy with your brand and message.
When you’re developing your list of candidates, Shane also suggests starting off with influencers who are already passionate and knowledgeable about your brand. You’ll have a much easier time convincing them to promote your product than you will an influencer who’s never heard of you.
Common Mistakes in Influencer Marketing
Similar to the list of “do’s” we provided above, here are some mistakes to avoid making with your campaign.
- Not talking about KPIs or having a goal in mind when you begin.
- Not picking the right influencers. Your influencers are the medium through which you’re accessing your audience. If you don’t choose the right ones to work with, your campaign won’t have the results you’re hoping for.
- Having unrealistic expectations. It takes time and patience to see success with influencer marketing, so don’t expect your first campaign to bring in thousands of dollars. If it doesn’t work the first time, it just means you haven’t found the right influencer, platform, or messaging. Just like SEO, PPC, and other business growth tactics, success requires A/B testing and patience.