How to Get Started with Influencer Marketing
Saturday April 14, 2018
If you haven't started your influencer marketing campaign by now, you should go ahead and jump on the bandwagon. The stats and numbers are undeniable: 90% of customers trust peer recommendations as compared to 33% who trust brand advertisements. And 49% of Twitter users buy based on social media influencers' recommendations.
Even more impressive is the numbers on influencer marketing ROI. Content posted by influencers drive 11 times higher ROI than traditional marketing.
Instagram is the best place to start with influencer marketing because it has a high volume of influencers (especially microinfluencers) who are willing to work with brands of any size. Content on Instagram can have exponential reach. And influencer marketing is still a largely untapped resource, so it's still effective and relatively inexpensive.
With numbers like this, you're probably wanting a piece of the pie. But before you get started, you need a strategy. Here are 3 steps to getting started with influencer marketing.
Step 1: Create a Strategy
You'll need to:
- Decide what you want to accomplish
- Choose what kind of campaign you'll use
- Prepare your pitch
When you start out with influencer marketing, you need to decide whether your goal is increased brand awareness, higher sales, or showcasing a new product. A post letting people know about a new product will look different than one talking about your brand. Write down exactly what you want out of the campaign and what your expectations of the influencer are.
You'll also need to choose whether you're going to do a one-off campaign with the influencer or contract with them for ongoing brand representation. A one-off campaign consists of just one post an influencer makes about your brand, and usually works best with advertising a product launch or an event. It's also good for simple brand awareness. An ongoing deal sets a number of posts per week or month an influencer makes about your brand. This type of campaign is useful for driving sales for a particular service or line of product.
Next, you'll need to get your pitch ready for your influencer. You'll want to put together your contract or proposal detailing your goals and expectations from the influencer and what you'll pay them. Include something that briefly but thoroughly explains your business so the influencer can get a good idea of who they're promoting. This will be like a kit for them to understand what your business is all about and draw from in their posts. In the kit, it's a good idea to include images, video, and text so your influencer will get a complete idea of all aspects of your business.
Step 2: Find Potential Influencers
So how do you find influencers who would benefit your brand? You can use a tool to help you, or you can simply search right in the Instagram app. But here's the catch: follower count isn't the only thing you need to look at when finding influencers. Khloe Kardashian may have millions of followers, but that doesn't automatically make her a good fit for your brand.
When you're choosing an influencer, make sure their followers fit your target audience. The best way to do this is to search hashtags related to your business. For example, if our company was searching for influencers, we could search #entrepeneurs or #businessowner.
Instagram shows you the posts with the most engagement at the top, so look for a post that catches your eye and check out the account. Pay attention to the type of content, frequency of posting, and style of the profile.
Step 3: Determine the Right Influencer
Once you have a handful of potential influencers, you'll want to narrow them down based on how effective they are. To determine how much influence they actually have, it's best to look at engagement rate rather than follower count.
You can find the average engagement rate manually by adding the number of likes and comments on each post and writing them down in a spreadsheet. Then average those numbers to get the engagement rate.
You can also find the engagement rate as the percentage of followers. To do this, take the total number of engagements on all the posts and divide it by the number of followers. Both these methods are tedious and time consuming. So you can use third-party paid tools like Iconosquare, TapInfluence, or Sprout Social to find engagement rate for you.
However you find it, engagement rate will tell you the quality of the followers your influencer has. Also, pay attention to the kinds of comments the influencer is getting. Generic comments like, "awesome content" or gibberish are obviously not quality engagement. What you want is real engagement that looks like this:
If the influencer's engagement rate is high, their content is high-quality, and their style fits yours, the next step is reaching out. These 3 steps, though, should've given you a great foundation for getting started in influencer marketing.
We hope you've learned a lot from this post. Stay tuned for our next blog, which will deal with reaching out to influencers, negotiating with them, and analyzing the results of your campaign. If you'd like to connect with us, send us a message. We hope to hear from you soon!