Influencer marketing has the power to make (or break) brands’ fortunes. In an increasingly crowded business environment, strategic influencer marketing can help you stand out and become the kingmaker.
The premise of influencer marketing may seem simple- hire someone with a good following, ask them to endorse your stuff, and reach your marketing goals- but it isn’t. Everyone knows how important influencer marketing is to become a kingmaker. The competition for the biggest piece of the pie has moved from aggressive paid advertising to conceptualizing, developing, designing, and implementing an influencer marketing strategy that stands out from the rest.
Here are some factors that are critical to the success of your influencer marketing strategy.
Clear goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Your influencer marketing campaign has to align with your marketing goals. If you are a new brand seeking brand awareness, you should assign KPIs to your influencers with the goals you intend to accomplish. In this case, if you are seeking brand awareness, the goal could be engaging with the audience and understanding their demands.
Your influencer should be able to meet your KPIs. Of course, this depends on your budget and other resources, but it shouldn’t necessarily mean spending big. Brands find it more efficient to hire a host of micro and nano influencers (those with lower but more engaged followers) than to have expensive celebrity influencers endorse their brand with close to zero engagement.
The synergy between the brand and your influencers
Before you vet any influencer, ask yourself one question- do they have the right following that you want to target? For this, you will need to vet each influencer carefully-it doesn’t make sense to hire an influencer that doesn’t fit your requirements. To save resources, many brands now take the help of influencer marketing platforms to choose influencers that match their requirements.
Once you have found the right influencer for your brand, it is time to leverage his engagement to the best possible result.
Focus on building a long-term influencer relationship
It is the influencer that’ll help you reach your business goals. Brands have realized how important it is to have long-term relationships with their influencers. If you don’t, your competitor might approach them or you could lose a vital cog in your marketing efforts.
In fact, many brands now hire influencers for long-term contracts to promote various products within their brand.
Maintain the balance between creative freedom and guidance
Your influencers have worked hard to retain an engaged following. They have created content that interests their users; they engage with the audience to keep them interested.
As a brand, it is your responsibility to give them creative freedom. They should be allowed to leverage their creativity in the best way possible to attract attention in the form of likes, shares, and comments. On the other hand, you also have to ensure they do not post anything that harms your reputation or provides a confusing message. That is why each post should be vetted before it goes live. You have to maintain a fine balance between creative freedom and censorship.
Ensure your influencers are genuine
With so many people calling themselves ‘influencers’ on various social media platforms, it is crucial to vet each one for authenticity. People will go to any length to get a lucrative influencer marketing contract. Though this may take time, you have to cross-verify each influencer’s following and engagement before offering them a contract. Many do not have the time to do so, choosing a vetted influencer from an influencer marketplace is ideal for them.
Go where your target audience is
This is a golden rule for marketing- be where your potential customers would want you to be. This could mean different social media platforms for various niche brands. In sports, for example, professional and amateur teams are increasingly turning to sports social media platforms to engage their fans and followers. Though Instagram is arguably the most popular social media platform, Facebook, YouTube and TikTok too have a wide audience of various niches.
Evaluate your influencer’s engagement rate
Just the number of conversions isn’t enough when it comes to judging the influencer’s performance. What also matters is how well he has engaged with the audience. This helps promote brand awareness and interests the followers to choose the brand over others.
Usually, small-scale influencers have the highest engagement rates- they have followers within the specific niche that allows them to have an interpersonal relationship with their followers. For best results, constant engagement always comes ahead of the number of followers. You have to check how consistent their engagement rate is for all types of posts, though.
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Get the timing right
To get the most out of your content, it needs to be posted at the right time for maximum reach. You and your influencer have to research the best time to post your content for maximum likes, comments, and shares.
Your influencer marketing campaign requires a lot of planning, development, and precise implementation. This is an opportunity you cannot take lightly. Consider all these factors before you implement a kickass influencer marketing campaign.