Guest post by Pankaj Narang
Leveraging the power of social media to attain target audience for your brand has become the latest norm in the marketing world. Probably, one of the key marketing techniques doing the rounds currently is Influencer Marketing.
Much more than just a buzzword, Influencer marketing opens up the door of opportunities for marketers to gain potential customers and expand their brand presence. With a recent HubSpot research stating more than 94% of the marketers believing this form of campaigning strategy to be effective, it is enough of an indication for you to launch an Influencer marketing campaign that echoes success. But, wait! It’s easier said than done.
It is true that such campaigns bring-in more followers and noticing eyes to your brand but it can go drastically wrong if done wrong. Marketers realize the potential of joining hands with established industry veterans, who boast a large number of followers. But many are confused or rather unsure on how to use the influence of such industry veterans to expand their brand value and turn their influencer marketing campaigns into success.
Here, I have compiled a definitive list that would enable you to run an influencer marketing campaign, effectively.
Defining up your Target Audience
Identifying and finding the right influencer is in no ways easy. The influencer you pick as the voice of your brand will lead to potential clients, a slight hiccup and you’re down the pipeline of failure.
In order to find the right influencer, you need to define your target audience at first. Understand where and what your target audience is and only then move forward with the campaign. You can use demographics like sex, age, and location to narrow down your ideal audience. Once you know where your customers lie, it’s time to move forward.
Finding Influencers with the same Target Audience
Now that you have a clear sight about your target audience, find influencers with the same audience as you. Applying your demographics and scrolling through profiles could be time-consuming and strenuous, instead use social analytical tools to find the most relevant influencers in accordance to the keywords you provide. Before finalizing on an influencer, thoroughly research. Some ideas that might help:
Scroll through each of their social networking profiles.
Double-check whether the individual has a bad or negative reputation or influence online or in the Press.
Use relevant keywords to view their activity based on the same.
Ensure that the individual is articulate, informative and posts content that is thoroughly researched.
Avoid the pitfalls of choosing an influencer based on their number of followers. Targeting small scale influencers not only incur less cost but they also allow you to run campaigns for long-term.
Selecting the Influencer
Arrange your shortlisted influencers in respect to their relevancy to your brand and products. Follow the below points to have a clear-cut vision of which influencer you want to select from your shortlist:
Use Influencer Marketing Tools like klout, kred, crowdfire, etc.
Conduct a keyword-based research.
Check out their hashtags and its relevancy to your brand.
Ask for recommendations from people in their network.
Sort the influencers according to rankings, from the most relevant up top to the least down below. Tada! You now have the perfect list of influencers for your brand. If one deal falls apart, you know where to find more.
Persuade the Influencer
Once you start connecting with your influencer, the time comes when you have to persuade them to be part of your influencer campaign. Influencers are conscious of what goes and what doesn’t in their social timeline and it is upto you to make them realize why your product is worth the endorsement. Offer them with free services or products from your brand to pull them into your side; after all, who doesn’t love free products!
One notable recent example was when Asus India released its Zenfone Max smartphone in the market and collaborated with various influencers. Asus sent over the mobile sets to each influencer’s house and in return asked them to tweet the image of the phone with a certain #hashtag. The influencers did not ask for any other monetary perks.
Determine the Goal of your Campaign
Before moving forward, it is imperative for you to decide the goals which you want to accomplish through your influencer campaign. Whether it is to drive sales, traffic, engagement, or more users, specify your goal to the influencer. In order to drive more sales for your product it would be wise to ask your influencer to talk about the advertised product and its benefits to his/her followers, including a purchase link to boost sales. If driving traffic is your primarily goal, then it would be wise to create a campaign centered around your website URL. Determining your goal in such a manner can help achieve your desired goal and ensure the overall success of your campaign.
Best Buy, for example, joined hands with various social media influencers to promote their all new Samsung S8 campaign. The campaign aimed to attract the masses by offering them with different discounts and coupon codes. They used different coupon code for each of the influencer but used the same picture of the mobile to imprint the image in the users mind. Genious indeed!
Create a Distinctive Hashtag and Track its Performance
Having a unique hashtag specifically for your brand can significantly impact your influencer marketing campaign, in a positive manner. Hashtags enable you to easily track the campaign performance and how the followers of the influencer are responding to the same. Whether it is impressions or engagement, you have would have a wide-angled view of the hashtag’s performance. This is of great help especially when you are in collaboration with more than one influencer, at the same time. Make sure that the hashtag is relevant to your brand and your services, and highlights the message which you want to showcase. Many top-class brands use hashtags as a way to achieve their influencer marketing goals and this is your time to succeed.
One of the most famous hashtag campaigns in recent memory was Coca-Coal’s #ShareACoke campaign, which through its brilliant concept generated massive social engagement and drove sales in huge number of sales. People snapped coke bottles with their names imprinted on them and posted on social media sites, making the unique hashtag an overnight success.
Another notable example would be Calvin Klien’s #MyCalvins campaign, which had no incentive or anything in return for the users but boomed in popularity. The campaign revolved around people sharing pictures of them wearing Calvin Kleins undergarments.
Review the Content before it goes Live
Probably one of the most ignored points of marketers is the lack of review they conduct on posts before it gets published. Most marketers allow their influencers with the creative flexibility to write down the entire content, while this is important one needs to review all the posts, images and videos before it gets published live.
On the other hand, it would also be absolutely wrong if the marketer provides the entirety of the content to publish to the influencer. You need to find a middle ground in this, and provide the influencer with the basic outline of the content, basic instructions concerning the hashtags and links, and the message you want to bring-forward. This way, both you and the influencer will have their voice conveyed through the post.
Monitor Marketing Efforts
In order to understand whether your campaign is performing at its best, you need to look back at the goals set previously. Compare the results of the campaign with your pre-set goals to assess its impact. Once you do that you will be able to answer the following questions.
Did you make any progress with the campaign?
What understanding did your grasp from your audience response?
Which posts performed the best and which posts failed?
Use hashtag tracking tool and other social analytic tools like socialert,mention,ritekit to gain insights regarding the campaign. Once you know the answers of the above questions, you would be more than prepared with your next campaign, thereby achieving targets beyond your pre-set goals.
The internet will continue to grow with each passing day and more and more influencers will emerge out of different verticals, the secret lies in choosing the right one. The above points will not only help you run an influencer marketing campaign with efficiency but also help you achieve your end-goal and bring-forward unmatched success towards your brand.
Along with social media marketing Pankaj is determined to shape his ideas into perfect products. CoFounder of Socialert – Twitter Analytics Tool For Keywords, he believes in coming up with engaging tools to redefine the face of social media marketing. You can check his blog here.