On average, the earned media value on every dollar spent on influencer marketing is about $5.20.
Clearly, social media influencers can play first fiddle in brands’ online marketing efforts. Due to their effectiveness, numerous companies are turning to these social media personalities to boost brand awareness, engagement, and sales.
However, carrying out an influencer marketing campaign is not a simple task.
Influencers are viewed as extensions of your brand. If you end up with the wrong influencers, it can affect your brand’s reputation.
Additionally, things could go south if you don’t know the ins and outs of the strategy or FTC guidelines. It could be as basic as not hearing back from influencers, or failing to achieve the desired results.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up six dos and don’ts of influencer marketing campaigns for you.
1. Do Identify the Right Influencers
The first and most important step is partnering with the right influencers.
So, which boxes of your checklist must the influencer satisfy?
Influencers should have:
- A following that aligns with your target audience – It’s essential that the influencer’s audience matches yours. Without that, you’ll be marketing your brand to consumers who may never buy from you.
- An active user – An influencer may have a large following, but it will be of no use if they’re not regular with their content. Thus, find an influencer who posts content consistently.
- An engaged audience – Does the influencer’s audience regularly engage with their posts? It’s essential to check this to get an idea of how connected the influencer is with their audience. You should also consider checking if the influencer responds to the comments of their audience regularly.
- A tone of voice that suits yours – You should have a clearly chalked out customer persona while sourcing influencers. This will help you figure out which influencers are ideal for your brand.
Searching through a sea of influencers to find the right one can be tricky.
Fortunately, a number of influencer marketing platforms and tools can guide you through the process.
For example, Fourstarzz Media helps you scan through approximately 750,000 influencers and filters your results using several parameters – all at a minimal cost.
Image via Fourstarzz Media
2. Do Allow Creativity
Influencers know their audiences well and are liked for their authenticity.
So, when you partner with them, remember why you reached out to the influencer in the first place – because you trust them and their content.
While it is paramount to give them some guidelines, make sure you don’t stifle their creativity.
Giving them a clean slate to work on paves the way for a successful influencer collaboration. Additionally, if any piece of content doesn’t align with the influencer’s regular style, followers will smell something fishy.
Example of an effective partnership:
Travel website, Busbud, collaborated with Calvin Young – a deaf traveler who engages individuals through his blog, Seek the World.
He helped promote the platform through a Facebook video that resembles his usual style of delivery and content.
Image via Facebook
They subtly promote the brand, unlike direct advertising. Additionally, people view them as a third-party, and thus their promotion seems more authentic than the brand tooting its own horn. The last thing contemporary audiences want is to think that they’re being sold a product.
3. Do Decide on Goals Beforehand
Before you even reach out to an influencer, ask yourself what you hope to achieve from the campaign. This can help improve your influencer search and streamline your efforts as well.
Some of the many marketing goals you could target include:
- Brand awareness: In order to increase sales, you’ll have to get people to recognize your brand or product. Influencers are great in this regard, for their followers trust their recommendations. This can be done by means of brand mentions, giveaways, product reviews, etc.
- Lead generation and conversions: If driving sales is your primary goal, you can consider introducing custom discount codes and offers. Influencers can be offered a fixed percentage of commission for every sale too.
- Social engagement and following: When you partner with an influencer, their audience will notice your brand. They may engage with your posts, and some of them might even start following you.
- Mobile-optimized content at scale: Influencers are active on their social channels every day. They are absolute pros when it comes to creating content that is engaging. Content created by influencers can be re-purposed on your own social channels, providing you with a stream of fresh content.
It is also possible that your influencer marketing campaign combines two or more goals. Whatever the case may be, be clear about your targets right at the outset.
Lastly, in addition to being clear about what you expect, have an idea about what you’ll offer in return. After all, it’s a two-way street.
4. Don’t Dismiss Micro-Influencers
While it might make sense to believe that big numbers have bigger impacts, it’s not always true.
It’s because micro-influencers tend to have higher engagement rates than macro-influencers.
In fact, micro-influencers on Instagram have an average engagement rate of 7.6%, while it’s only 5.3% for macro-influencers.
Some of the reasons for this are:
- A niche audience: As against social media celebrities and macro-influencers, micro-influencers tend to have a more focused audience. They are experts at nurturing close-knit tribes, which helps them generate greater engagement.
- Better availability: Micro-influencers are more open to projects from smaller brands. Furthermore, since they’re in the early stages of developing their presence, they are often more flexible.
- More affordable: Due to the smaller audience size, micro-influencers are more affordable. Sometimes, partnerships could also be built on freebies and goodies too.
- Higher authenticity: Since these individuals have relatively smaller followings, they are looked at as “ordinary people.” As a result, their followers can relate to them better.
All in all, be open to influencers of all sorts. While macro-influencers enable bigger reach, micro-influencers provide better engagement.
5. Don’t Forget to Cultivate Relationships
Instead of jumping from one influencer to another, focus on nurturing long-term relationships with a select few.
This will encourage the influencers to create content that’s more relevant, authentic, and effective. Furthermore, it can help you strike a deal that gives more bang for the buck.
To build strong bonds with influencers, make sure you engage with their content regularly.
It’s also essential that you share content related to the industry with them to build a rapport. You should also try to forge a relationship with them before you pitch your idea for a partnership.
Not only will this help you extract more benefits from the campaign, but also give the influencer a stable partnership.
6. Don’t Discard Platforms Other than Instagram
If you’ve been following recent influencer marketing trends, you’d know that Instagram is leading the pack of social media platforms by huge margins at the moment.
79% of marketers say that it’s the most important platform for influencer marketing. The application’s algorithm and its young user base create a favorable grounding for influencer marketing.
However, it is important for you to consider other social media platforms before making a choice.
One platform worth considering is Facebook. Although younger audiences are moving away from the platform, it continues to appeal to the older generations.
All in all, a fair deal of research is required before you narrow down on a social media platform for your influencer marketing campaign.
It would be foolish to write off other platforms in favor of Instagram without doing so.
You could also consider using two or more platforms for a greater ROI.
While influencer marketing campaigns are tricky to execute, they can be very beneficial for your brand if done right.
With these tips under your belt, you should be able to attract the right influencers and amplify your marketing efforts.
Are there other important things you do or avoid while running an influencer marketing campaign? Please share your tips and insights with us in the comments below.