5 Things Businesses Should Do BEFORE Starting an Influencer Marketing Campaign
In past years, influencer marketing was seen by many as the ‘new kid on the block’. But as the industry has experienced massive growth in recent years, influencer marketing has established itself as a potent marketing tactic that can no longer be ignored or overlooked. While it may be true that influencer marketing is far from an afterthought within marketing circles nowadays, there are still plenty of marketing teams that remain unaware of all the information they need to know before going live with an influencer campaign.
Some brands may even find themselves hesitant to embark on an influencer campaign at the moment. We are living in a time where COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on the global economy, making it appear less secure than it looked at the beginning of this calendar year. Today, brands are keeping an even more watchful eye on their marketing spend and the return on their investment.
With these factors in mind, we want to run you through the five things businesses should do BEFORE starting an influencer marketing campaign. This article will run you through the most important matters you need to have planned and addressed if you wish to execute a successful campaign.
1. Establish Your Target Audience
This is a practice that is all too often overlooked by brands both big and small. Before you even start looking for influencers to partner with, you need to first determine who your target audience is. What age group is most likely to be interested in purchasing your product or service? What is the area of interest or niche that your audience belongs to? These are just a couple of the questions that you must have clear answers to before engaging in an influencer campaign.
During the process of defining your target audience, start by focusing on locations, demographics, and areas of interest. These factors will help you to gain a clear understanding of your target audience’s profiles. Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can also help you to gain a better understanding of your target audience.
Clearly understanding your target audience is crucial when it comes to selecting the right influencers. For instance, if your target audience is mainly comprised of millennials who follow fashion, you likely are not going to see results with an influencer from, say, the gaming industry. Instead, you should look up influencers in the fashion niche, ideally who fall within the other parameters of your target demographic.
2. Clearly Define Your Campaign Goals
Is your brand looking to strictly increase revenue? Or are you perhaps looking to gain followers and boost your brand’s engagement on social media? There is an abundance of brands looking to use influencer marketing to promote their businesses. However, before you launch your influencer marketing campaign, you need to have a clear and specific goal in mind that you are looking to accomplish.
No matter what your goal is, make sure you have a clear understanding of what exactly it is you are looking to achieve with your influencer campaign. Define the key performance indicators (KPIs) in accordance with the specific goals of your campaign. Each type of goal will have its own relevant KPI. For instance, if you are looking to increase brand awareness, you should look at metrics like engagement rate, social media followers, reach, and engagement. If your goal is simply to boost your revenue, consider just focusing on metrics like conversion rate and click-through rate.
Regardless of which goal you intend to focus on, defining that goal – and the performance metrics associated with them – will help you to accurately measure the success of your campaign.
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3. Find the Right Social Media Platform(s)
It can be argued that the platform in which you are looking to promote your content on is just as important as the influencer you choose to create it. Influencer content should be tailored to be organic and effective on the specific social media platform you are working with. Remember, each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, and your marketing results will likely vary depending on the channel you choose to promote on.
For example, Instagram is a platform that is all about the visuals and aesthetics. So the type of content that typically performs well for businesses it the type that is related to visually appealing products, such as fashion, art, and even home decor. On the flip side, a platform like YouTube is all about videos. In this case, creating video content like tutorials and product reviews would be most ideal to effectively reach your target demographic.
The primary thing to keep in mind is that each platform on social media attracts audiences that occupy different demographics. So your best choice is going to be the platform where your target audience is most concentrated. Tailor your content to align with the platform that you are utilizing, so choose the social media platform that is best suited for your product or service. This is also important to keep top of mind when choosing influencers for your campaign. Again, most influencers are present on different social media channels (sometimes even exclusive to a single platform), so in most cases, they usually have at least a preferred social platform. Keep this in mind when searching for and vetting potential influencers.
4. Find the Right Influencers For The Job
Finding the right platform leads us into our next need-to-know.
The most vital step in an influencer marketing campaign lies in selecting the influencers you want to partner with to promote your brand. In fact, a study conducted by Linqia showed that 45% of marketers face difficulty picking the right influencer for their brand. It’s just one of the many reasons that it’s imperative to conduct research before deciding on the influencer(s) you wish to partner with for your campaign.
Start by making a list of influencers who fit into your niche, as these popular creators are ideal for reaching your target audience. Look closely at the values and the lifestyles they portray in their content. Ideally, you want to select an influencer whose values and ‘brand image’ align with your own brand values.
This is an important element to take into consideration because it helps to establish more credibility with the audience; for both you and the influencer. Influencer marketing is no longer in its infancy, so now more than ever, influencers know the impact of being a sell-out. These days, influencers are keenly aware of the fact that they can lose credibility with their audience if they choose to partner with a brand and recommend a product that doesn’t align with their brand or values.
Therefore, if you are interested in partnering with a particular influencer, take the time to dive into their content. And don’t just look at the number of likes and comments they receive, look at how they present themselves, and consider how that image may align with your brand’s products or services. Look at the number of likes and comments on all promotional posts.
5. Utilize a Multi-Channel Strategy
One of the primary benefits that influencer marketing offers is the ability to create multiple touchpoints with potential consumers. This is done by creating a multi-channel strategy and approach to your influencer marketing efforts.
A multi-platform strategy requires a flexible and diverse approach across multiple social channels. And while we pointed out that most influencers have a ‘preferred’ platform that they are most prominent on, nearly all of them are on more than one channel – and so is their audience. While it’s good to build your campaign on the foundation of a primary platform that aligns with your brand’s product or service, you still must also focus your campaign on more than one social media platform. Limiting your promotions to a single platform only works to hinder your potential growth.
Remember to keep in mind that each platform caters to a slightly different style of content. You must craft your content specifically for each platform in order to maximize its impact.