6 steps to creating an effective Influencer Marketing Strategy
Last month we asked Are influencers worth the money? (If you haven’t read it yet, do so now for the complete rundown on influencer marketing). The answer is, influencers can be worth the money, with big gains. BUT, like all marketing, your success hinges on being strategic.
Developing and executing a strategy can be daunting at first. But it doesn’t have to be.
We asked Natalie Giddings Managing Director of The Remarkables Group which specialises in connecting influencers and brands, to share how it is done. Founder of Q-83 Anthony Richardson, also reveals how to measure success.
Whether you decide to hire an agency, or do your own influencer marketing, follow our 6 steps to prepare for success!
Where an influencer strategy sits in your marketing
Your Influencer Marketing Strategy sits under your broader marketing strategy, like your social media and your internal communication.
This sets you up for success because:
- all efforts support the same goals
- key messages are clear and delivered
- monitoring and measuring outcomes is easy
Step #1 – Know what you want
Everyone is talking about influencers but that doesn’t mean you have to dive in. Like any part of your marketing, consider your reasons and tactics. Ask “What are we trying to achieve”? Natalie from the The Remarkables Group suggests ensuring you have one solid objective for your strategy.
“Businesses often make the mistake of trying to achieve too much with the one strategy. This leads to no clarity and less success. Once you have a clear focus of what you want to achieve, decision making will be easier, and you will be able to measure your success.”
Step #2 – Have a budget
Influencers are professionals.
They have put in years of hard work to build an audience and engaged community. Honour their work by respecting we should all be paid for the services we provide.
Your budget will let you know what influencers you can afford. Rates usually start at $300 per sponsored Instagram post or story. Rates can go up to thousands of dollars (or millions if you are Kylie Jenner).
You also need to consider if you want to spend on paid media to promote the influencers’ post. This is common practice to get content out to more people. This is especially important in Reach campaigns.
“We first trialled amplifying our influencer’s brand partnership posts with paid media a number of years back, with phenomenal results. Influencers know good content and paid media helps that reach a greater number of the brand’s target audience with steady engagement rates. It is now a key part of every strategy we do,” said Natalie.
Step #3 – Pick the right influencers to work with
There are many influencers – all unique and with their own style.
When picking one to work with, ask two questions:
- Do they fit our brand values? Your reputation could take a hit if you pick an influencer your audience disapproves of or, is caught up in a scandal.
- Is their audience our target market? This can be anything from mum’s talking about the most absorbent nappies, to bush adventurers finding the best fishing spots. The more specific you can be, the better. You can use our free User Persona template to nail this.
Figuring out which influencers share your target audience can be a time consuming task. It might be worth leaning on influencer experts like The Remarkables Group, who have an in-depth knowledge of who-is-who in Australian influencers for what kind of demographics.
“Influencers are not a one size fits all solution” said Natalie. “They have such strong followings and engagement with their content because they talk directly to a specific audience. Each brief requires specific mapping to audience demographics.
For example, 25 – 34 year-old foodie influencers can have quite a different audience base to 25 – 34 year-old influencers who talk to health, wellness and sustainability. We work with partners like Q-83 to help us identify who’s out there for what audience, and map the potential talent who could be the right fit for your brand.”
When selecting influencers, remember to look beyond their follower numbers. With the rise of bots and fake accounts, the best thing to do is look at engagement, average reach and audience breakdown. Using software like Q-83 makes this easy, as Founder Anthony Richardson explains.
“Building out KPI’s and expectations based off the influencers follower size is a guaranteed way to failure, especially if you are paying the influencer on this number too.
You can ask any influencer for their Q-83, a digital media kit containing current and complete information on their account performance and data sourced directly from the platforms API (youtube/instagrams) allowing you to match them accurately to the campaign based on their True Reach and audience demographics”.
Step #4 – Share a creative brief
Influencers are creators at heart and should be able to come up with new and creative ways to talk about things, however it helps to brief them. Share with them your key messages and better yet, how you are using this promotion as part of an overall marketing strategy.This will help define their role.
There’s a variety of activities influencers can engage in, so it’s important to look at different options as part of your strategy and brief.
Activities include sponsored content, co-creating content, social media mentions, contests and giveaways, influencer takeovers, affiliates and discount codes.
Woolworths engaging influencer, Not so Mumsy, to promote, Little One’s Nappies is one example. Marcia Leone, the influencer behind Not So Mumsy, has a massive following of stylish mums. These women are always looking for the best products and services for their kids and themselves. The Remarkables Group facilitated a relationship between the brand and Marcia. Activities undertaken included sponsored content and giveaways to build brand awareness and saw a positive double digit uplift of sales in store.
Baxter’s dog food partnering with well-known vet Dr Rob Zammit is another example. Vlogs and blogs full of tips on caring for your dog have been co-created, getting Baxter’s dog food right in front of dog owners.
Step #5 – Watch, monitor, but don’t interfere
Like any type of social media, the process doesn’t end when the post goes live. It only begins, with the target audience responding to the content.
Observe and watch:
- any conversation sparked
- any good insights and ideas on how to communicate your product or service
- any likes, comments or actions taken
Don’t be tempted to step into the conversation! A brand joining in on the conversation makes it feel weird for everyone, as working with influencers is such a personal channel.
Instead, observe and give any advice to the influencer if there are any conversations you want them to pick up on.
Step #6 – Know what success looks like and measure it.
It can feel like a victory just to see the brand mentioned or shouted out on social media. But just getting an influencer to promote your content or messaging, isn’t a sign of success.
The real success is determined by whether you’ve reached your goals.
To find out if you’ve reached your goals, track and measure your results. Anthony suggests to use metrics to measure your success depending on the initial marketing objectives you set for the campaign.
“To measure the success of the campaign you first need to be very clear in what you want to achieve and why you are engaging with influencers in the first place. If it’s for the awareness of a new product or service then obviously mass reach to a relevant audience is key. But to first build out realistic targets such as 1M reach or 10k reach, you need to know what the average reach of the influencer is, also known as True Reach.
Understanding your goal first allows you to choose influencers who’ll help you achieve this goal regardless of follower size. Some of the influencers who use Q-83 to share their metrics are reaching over 250,000 unique accounts on a single post and only have 8k followers. Others have over 400,000 followers and are only reaching 35k, it’s pretty clear who is going to charge you more.
A general rule of thumb is that the media posted within the campaign ceases to grow and perform after 10 days, being generous, some say 5, some say 72 hours. However, in a recent Luxury watch brand campaign run using Q-83’s unique tracking, the agency was able to revisit the media 3 months past the end of the campaign and resend the campaign report to show that since their last report the media had gown another 50% in unique reach; and a 27% increase in engagement. Needless to say the brand was happy to run another campaign with a larger budget.”
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Also, we’d love to hear from you! Let us know how you track using our 6 steps to creating an effective influencer marketing strategy. Do you use influencers as part of your marketing? What has been your experience? Perhaps you have an idea for a training blog or questions? Get in touch!