Long gone are the days of TV stardom, of celebrities bred in the golden spotlight. The age of social media has exchanged the inaccessibility of upscale stars with the more grounded, trendier and coolish appeal of everyday heroes. The 10 minutes of fame on TV have transformed into an undetermined amount of time, as long as one can keep their online viewers entertained. And with them, advertising has shifted too. Behold, it’s the era of influencers!
And what an era indeed! Today, Instagram nurtures a $1 billion dollar industry for influencer marketing. And since it’s proving to be one of the most efficient promotional strategies for social media, the numbers have nowhere to go but up.
So, how can you make the most out of influencer marketing on Instagram? How can you make sure the money you invest is well spent? How easy is it to find the right influencers and have them produce the right content? We’re here to answer all these questions and more, guiding you towards a successful influencer marketing strategy and teaching you everything about how to overcome the potential challenges.
Help! I can’t find the right influencer!
We know, finding the ONE is as hard in the influencer marketing sphere as it is in real life. And, don’t worry, you’re not the only one who has this issue. Maybe you’ll be more at ease knowing that almost 70% of social media marketers say that finding the right influencers is one of their biggest challenges. And it becomes even harder since a wrong pick can do massive damage to a brand.
But how can you pinpoint the best influencer for your business? One that has all the right things going on: values, tone of voice, followers, reach, engagement and, of course, openness to collaborate? It all starts with your followers actually, and who they follow.
Know your objectives
To kick off the selection process, go to the drawing board and sketch your objectives for the influencer marketing campaign. To get the results right, you must know what you’re aiming for. Is it more followers, loads of sales or a boost to your website traffic? Whatever it is, it’s the foundation of everything. With that in mind, let’s proceed!
Follow your followers
We’ve always stressed the importance of knowing your audience inside out, and here’s why: by following your followers’ accounts you’ll see what influencers they find interesting. This can be a key-point for identifying other influencers who resemble the ones they already know. You can start to follow specific hashtags to fish for influencers. As you stumble across new ones, note their names down.
Research your leads
What follows is a thorough research phase. Yes, yet another! Now, it’s all about the influencers you shortlisted. You need to make sure they’re a fit. Look at their profiles and analyze their stats. Everything from their number of followers to their engagement rates, quality of their posts, the ingenuity of their stories and tone of voice matter! Be sure to also check their history of collaborating with other brands and find out how well they performed in those campaigns.
And, if all of the above are amazing, there’s still one more test they need to pass: are they a fit for YOUR brand?
Uhmm. So, how do I manage the relationship with my influencer?
It’s one thing to identify the best influencers for your brand and another different thing to actually convince them to get on board your campaign. Especially if you’re planning to target a major influencer. These are hard to sign as they’re usually very sought after. So you might also want to consider micro-influencers. Why? We’ve discussed all the pros here.
Pitch your campaign
Macro or micro, you must carefully plan your approach. Don’t go boosting with confidence. Instead, think about a thoughtful pitch that will convince influencers that it’s an unmissable opportunity. Do your homework and treat your pitch seriously, just like you would when trying to convince any other partner.
Just as you have to be sure that the influencer is a match for your brand, they have to make sure that an association with you won’t damage their image. To give them extra reasons for working with you, double your financial offer with juicy perks that can also help your campaign. This will help you build a long-term partnership.
Establish a process
Also, once you’ve got the partnership going, fight the urge to over-control your influencer. Remember! The reason you chose this specific influencer and not another is because you found the way she/he communicates to be in line with your audience. And you want different content than the one you’re now producing. So, instead of coming up as difficult and be labeled as an OCD client, establish a process that will give influencers creative freedom.
Start by thoroughly briefing them about your brand. Make sure to inspire your influencers with your brand values and its mission. Once they’ve got the overview, walk them through the specific campaign they’ll work on and don’t forget to include the objectives. If you cover all these aspects, you’ll be good to go!
And, whenever you feel the urge to go on a control streak, relax! You have nothing to worry about! Influencers are professionals who gain their money by writing messages, so they’ll know exactly what to do.
Did it work? How do I measure the results of an influencer marketing campaign?
Now, this is the most important part. Many social media marketers focus all their efforts on planning and implementing a campaign, neglecting the aftermath. This is definitely a mistake, but we get it! You might think that doing things is more important than measuring them. We say it’s JUST as important. You need to audit every action you take in order to know what to keep for future use and what to change.
Thus, even if measuring the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign might be the most challenging part (almost 65% of marketers say it is), you should make an effort and do it! Here are some strategies that can help.
Use specific links and codes to track success
The easiest way to see how much your campaign converts is to add links or codes. This way, you’ll have a more accurate number of conversions available. However, keep in mind that there might be conversions that happen due to your influencer’s content but are not necessarily using the code or link. But you’ll at least have a starting point.
Read the metrics available on Instagram insights or analytics
The second way of measuring the success of your influencer campaign is by actually evaluating the metrics associated with their posts, stories, and sponsored ads. You can actually state this as part of your contract, and ask the influencer to make the metrics available to you. Carefully analyze your campaign objectives to know exactly just what metrics are important to you. If you don’t know yet, this piece might help you discover how Instagram Insights can help you boost your marketing strategy.m
Using influencers (or micro-influencers) is one of the most important strategies to include in your social media mix. Whether it’s for B2C purposes or for B2B benefits, you can definitely make it work for you. Just know the challenges you might encounter and prepare to overcome them. You can do it.