You've Found a Brand Influencer, Now What? 3-Steps to an Influential Influencer Strategy.
Ok, so you followed the 5-Steps to Finding a Brand Influencer and by now, you're looking to make the best use of your new found, perfectly curated influencer relationship.
We mentioned that social media brand influencers have become the most powerful way to build influence and grow a business. Usually an internet icon, brand influencers command the attention of upwards of 5 million - 30 million followers. They have extraordinary reach through their social media accounts, and they are cherished and trusted among their followers.
But once you've secured your influencer relationship, it's critical to not move forward until you've outlined a strong strategy to ensure results and a positive ROI - for both parties! A truely savvy stratgey should include success driving criteria that guides your campaign objectives, specifc to the involvement of the influencer.
Step 1: Set a Plan
Setting a plan with your new influencer partner is the first and most crucial step in the strategy planning process. You need to know details like will the influencer be siging an NDA, or a contract to solidify an exchange of money, goods or services? In that contract, how many posts are being promised by the influencer and at what dates and times. Remember, the influencer likely is also contracted by other businesses and you want to be sure you have tangible evidence of what was promised and what gets executed. Who will create the content? You or the influencer? It's always smart to allow the influencer creative control over posts, since, it is thier job and what attracts the millions of followers they have! Be sure to provide your own brand guidelines if this is the route you will take.
Speaking of guidelines - a content calendar is a great way to design your campaign around what ads, promos and events you may have going on. This will keep you and the influencer accountable by keeping posts on topic and making sure the influencer knows what to expect, since these are usually planned weeks or even months in advance.
Step 2: Capitalize from the Influencer Relationship
Though the influencer relationship should ultimately be beneficial for both parties(and trust us, partnering with your business will give them something to gain besides monetary exchange - think extended audiences, product and service affiliation). It's also attractive for you to have a trackable plan in place to ensure your business is benefitting from your influencer partnerships.
You can do this by generating on trend hashtags that not only tie into your brand but also attract audiences with an interest to what you're providing. Ensure your influencer is active on their channels, engaging in online conversation with their followers and that you're also keeping tabs and jumping in where necessary to boost brand presence.
In fact, influencers smartly paired with brands that best reflect their lifestyle usually generate the most success. Look at one of the fastest growing beauty brands of 2017, Glossier. With a business model that stands behind their mantras of "beauty in real life - inspired by real life" it only made sense for them to promote thier minimal skincare and makeup by relying on micro-influencers and overall "regular women". These people have a lower audience but high influence, and it's worked wonders in creating a cult-like following that reflects thier business model without spending a ton of money on high dollar celebrities.
Step 3: Set Goals and track KPI's
There's no sense in investing in a brand influencer if you don't plan on tracking campaign performance and benchmark reports. Influencers are absolutely an extention of your marketing plan, and that of your ad budget. Get the most out of your investment by tracking and adjusting your campaign to maximize desired results.
Some campaign objectives to consider would be deciding what social platforms to use. Think about the the goals you have in mind and correlate them with the best possible outlet. For example, in choosing Instagram and Facebook, your content obviously needs to have eye-catching images and video. Content needs to be digestable and concise. Compare this to Twitter which is perfect for posting about deals, attention grabbing announcements and breaking news. Sponsored blog content will allow the influencer flexibility over longer and more detailed posts.
No matter which outlets you choose, it's important to track daily traffic, views, comments, etc. Use this information to determine the success of the campaings along with benchmark reports. Work with your influencer to ensure brand awareness, perception, topic association, voice and industry related information stays on topic and relevant.
There are no pre-fab tactics or cookie-cutter answers for producing an influencer marketing campaign, but having pre-determined, trackable goals in mind is the first step to having success! By setting a plan, executing result driven action plans and tracking goals and KPI's you'll be on the right path to a strong campaign.
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