Promoting your brand is getting increasingly difficult by the day. As consumers are more aware of the promotional content that they are exposed to, they easily see through it. Which means following traditional methods of advertising is futile. With increasing competition, it is easy to get lost among the competition out there as well.
One thing is clear. You need to innovate your approach to promote your brand. Influencer marketing is one of the best ways to reach your target audience and gain more exposure. By collaborating with social leaders, you can gain tremendous public exposure. And posts by influencers seem more legitimate because someone else is vouching for your brand.
It is perhaps for this reason that influencer marketing has started gaining steam in the past few years. More marketers are incorporating it into their marketing plans. If you’re going to jump on this bandwagon, you can’t afford to fail and let your competitors get ahead of you.
Don’t start an influencer marketing campaign without having set some goals of what you want to achieve. You need to have a clear idea of your goals in order to plan your campaign more effectively.
You may have various goals for your brand like increasing reach, getting more revenue, or even generating leads.
Based on your goals, you’ll be able to plan which metrics you’ll use to assess your performance. You can set target goals for each of these metrics/KPIs by giving them a numerical figure. After your campaign, you can analyze the success of your campaign by comparing your statistics to your KPIs.
In case your goal is to increase your brand’s reach, you should measure your campaign’s likes, shares, impressions, and comments. This can give you an idea of the number of people who’ve engaged with and seen your content.
For instance, Chiara Ferragni promoted BMW in a recent post, which you can see in the screenshot below. It generated more than 330k likes.
If your goal is to generate leads, you can have influencers share the link to your landing page. Based on the number of leads generated, you can find out the cost per lead and calculate your ROI.
Similarly, if your goal is to generate revenue, you can collaborate with multiple influencers. You can then create custom affiliate links for each of them so that you can easily keep track of purchases made using each links. This can help you find the cost per acquisition and calculate the ROI of your campaign.
For instance, Loot Crate collaborated with influencers such as PewDiePie to get more subscriptions. They gave him a promo code, "Pewds," which gave his audience 10% off on the subscription. This promo code allowed the brand to track the number of people who subscribed to their service after seeing his video.
You should also define your target audience along with your goals. This is one of the most basic yet vital influencer marketing tips. Based on whom you’re targeting, you will have a clearer idea of how to strategize your campaign.
You need to take several factors into account when developing your target audience. This may include their age, demographics, interests, locations, and more. Defining your target audience will help you make sure that your campaign reaches the right people.
It will make your job of finding the right influencer for your brand easier too. You can directly search for influencers whose followers have similar interests as your target audience.
3. Turn to Smaller Communities
Popular and well-known influencers can help expand your reach. However, if you want to get short-term traffic or sales, you should consider turning to smaller communities.
Finding influencers in smaller communities can help you get highly targeted traffic. Here are some influencer marketing tips about the communities you can approach, and some places to looks for influencers include:
Websites that get you traffic
Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn which relate to your niche
Active users on social media who interact with others in your niche
Platforms such as Reddit and Quora, where questions are asked about similar products
4. Do Thorough Research on Your Influencers
Influencer marketing’s popularity has increased the number of influencers in the market. A lot of fake influencers have taken to social media, trying to trick brands into paying them for ineffective sponsored content.
Brands flock to influencers to reach out to their massive audiences. These influencers, in turn, charge high fees due to the increased demand. The fees usually depend on the number of followers that the influencer has.
Fake influencers usually buy followers and likes to inflate their overall follower count and engagement. Some influencers even have followers that are bots. Partnering with such influencers can cause a huge loss for your brand because there’s no real engagement from a real audience.
When you roll out your influencer marketing campaigns, you should keep this fact in mind. So when you’re selecting your influencers, you should perform thorough background research about them and their social media profiles. Check the number of followers they have and the average engagements per post. And see if they’ve worked with any reputable or recognizable brands in the past.
Using this data, you can find out their engagement rate by dividing the total engagements by the total followers and multiplying by 100. According to Scrunch, an engagement rate of more than 2.7% is good.
Influencer marketing tips such as this one can help you minimize your losses. They can even help you find the right influencers for your brand. You can also use Grin to easily find reliable and verified influencers across various locations, platforms, and niches.
One of the most important influencer marketing tips is to not think about your exposure alone. You must first think about the audience of the influencer. Your campaigns should be created for their audience and not for you.
You should look at the audience’s interest level and their engagement on the content. A broad audience may get you more impressions. However, an interested and engaged audience has more probability of converting, according to Dan Scalco from Brain Wiz in an influencer marketing expert roundup.
In order to do this, you should approach micro-influencers. They are the ones who have a highly engaged audience and can help you drive more conversions. As they have fewer number of followers, they may even collaborate with you for a cheaper rate.
6. Give Up Some Control
Unlike traditional marketing, in which you take total control over all aspects of the campaign, influencer marketing is different. You can give up some amount of control over the campaign to the influencers themselves.
This can be highly beneficial to you. According to Crowdtap, 77% of influencers said that creative freedom is the #1 factor for motivation to collaborate.
You should recognize that influencers like to work with brands that give them some flexibility. Additionally, they know their audiences the best. They know what works for them and what doesn’t, so it is better to let them exercise their creative freedom. But giving up some control doesn’t mean that you don’t exercise any control over it. It only means that you should not try to micromanage the influencers.
7. Engage on Social Media
A great way of developing your relationships with influencers is through social media. It is also a great way of identifying influencers with whom you want to engage. You can engage with them on their social media content and build a rapport with them.
Here are a few influencer marketing tips on how to engage with them:
Share the influencer’s posts
Comment regularly on their posts that catch your interest
You can mention them in your blog posts and tag them while sharing their content on social media
Compliment them on the quality content that they share
Tag them in posts about your blog posts in which you’ve mentioned them
For instance, Jasper’s Market shares their influencer’s posts frequently on social media.
When you engage with them on a regular basis, they’ll start to notice your brand. This can help you stand apart from the rest. You’ll be able to leverage their social influence better by building such relationships.
If things go well, you may even be able to do cross-promotions on social media. This can be a cost-effective way of incorporating influencer marketing.
Yet another advantage of engaging on social media is that their audience may notice you too. This can get your brand even more attention.
8. Put Together a Roundup
Other influencer marketing tips include putting together a roundup of influencers. You can create a roundup of the best influencers in your niche. After that, you can reach out to them to tell them that you’ve featured them.
For instance, Grin featured the top Instagram influencers in the fitness niche in a recent blog post.
When you do this, it strokes the ego of the influencers. They may even share your article with their audiences on social media. This can give you a tremendous inflow of traffic for no cost at all. It will also help give your brand name more exposure.
9. Choose Your Influencers Carefully
As mentioned before, you need to stray away from fake influencers. However, even among real influencers, you need to filter out the least relevant ones.
There will be people who will proclaim themselves as experts in their fields. You must be careful when dealing with them because they may only be in it for the money. So their voices may not be as authentic and trustworthy as those of other influencers.
A true influencer ideally keeps doing what they genuinely have a passion for. They know their value and don’t need to show it off or overly market themselves to brands. These are the influencers you should go after. Influencer marketing tips such as this one can help you find the right influencers for your brand.
10. Compensate Your Influencers Well
While some influencers may be willing to promote your brand in exchange for free products or experiences, it is good practice to compensate them well. In fact, if you compensate them handsomely, they may even be more committed to your campaign.
According to a study of micro-influencers by Bloglovin’, influencers charge their fees based on each platforms. For instance, 97% of influencers stated that they charged less than $500 for a sponsored post on Instagram. Similarly, on Twitter, 96% of them stated that they charged less than $200 per tweet.
Image via Bloglovin’
According to Chad Pollitt in the previously-cited expert roundup, sometimes, having paid a big influencer can help you reach other smaller influencers. And you won’t have to put in much effort to convince these influencers to work with you since a bigger influencer has already vouched for you.
Such influencer marketing tips can help you collaborate with multiple relevant influencers by focusing your initial efforts on recruiting a big one.
You can compensate your influencers easily with the help of Grin. It helps you pay their fees directly from the influencer marketing campaign management platform.
11. Create Highly Targeted Campaigns
Another effective tactic is to do highly targeted campaigns. This doesn’t mean just partnering with micro-influencers. In this case, you should target a very small audience segment. You can then conduct highly-concentrated campaigns in short bursts.
This should be done so that your target customer sees your brand and content everywhere. Such influencer marketing tips can help you increase your exposure tremendously among a few targeted people.
12. Don’t Expect Sudden Results
While influencer marketing may seem like a quick success marketing strategy, it isn’t so. A popular influencer may easily be able to showcase your brand extremely quickly to a large audience. However, converting those people into lasting customers can take a lot of time and persistence.
Such influencer marketing tips are important for your brand and it will be especially important during the budgeting phase.
13. Understand Your Value
When you start negotiations with influencers, it is always good to know what value you bring to the table. This is important when you pitch them for collaboration. You need to compensate them for their collaboration, but you should also be able to establish your value for them.
Your influencer partnerships should be mutually beneficial. For this, you need to know what you have to offer that they may need. For instance, if you have a blog that has loads of followers, they may be interested in guest posting for backlinks and exposure. This can give them the opportunity to tap into your audience.
Such influencer marketing tips can help you manage a campaign with minimal monetary exchange. It can even help solidify your relationships with influencers.
Yet another way to go about it is to interview them and present it to your audience as a podcast. During their interview, they will have a platform to discuss what they like and a place to promote themselves. For them, it works as free advertising. And for you, it works as a free influencer marketing campaign.
14. Gift Your Influencers
You don’t always need to provide monetary compensation to influencers for sponsored posts. You can still get your job done with influencer marketing tips such as gifting. But do not expect anything in return from your influencers when you gift them.
However, you can ask them to try the products out and share their reviews in blog posts or on social media. This strategy can work for a lot of brands in the food niche, beauty niche, fashion niche, and more.
For example, Story of This Life sent a gift to Elle Walker. She featured them on Instagram with a shoutout.
Just remember that, as you’re gifting them, they’re not obligated to promote your products. In fact, if they don’t like the product, they may even end up posting negative reviews about it. To reduce the chances of negative reviews, you should build relationships with influencers first. This could make them feel more compelled to write positive reviews about your brand and products.
You can use Grin to send products to your influencers too. The platform lets you manage your shipments to ensure that every influencer gets the intended products.
15. Go Beyond Sponsored Content
Many brands think of influencer marketing as sponsored content. However, there is a lot more to influencer marketing than just that. You can go beyond sponsored posts and collaborate with influencers on various projects.
Some brands are moving towards creating true partnerships with their influencers. They collaborate with them to create content together.
For instance, Mercedes-Benz collaborated with the dog and human duo, Kelly and Loki for a recent campaign. They came up with a creative campaign where Loki ran beside Kelly driving a Mercedes in the snow.
Influencers can not only provide a great variety of content but can even bring their vast audience along. This distribution network can help your brand get more visibility with ease. It even helps in building more meaningful relationships with influencers.
16. Quality > Quantity
Many brands want to approach influencers who have large fan followings. They are the influencers that the masses recognize. However, you should always pay more attention to the quality of their following, rather than the quantity.
The true power of influencer marketing lies in micro-influencers. Gini Dietrich from Spin Sucks, sais in an expert roundup, that she’d prefer a person who has 100% activation and engagement even if he has just 100 followers.
You should partner with influencers who can truly have an impact on the audience you’re targeting. And you should listen to them and build your relationships with them over time.
17. Build Lasting Relationships
Some influencers may be looking for a quick deal and will do a one-off promotional post for you. They take the compensation and move on. However, while these may work for the short term, you should focus on building long-term relationships with your influencers.
Long-term relationships with influencers are extremely beneficial to both parties. For your brand, it means that the influencer can be trusted with the quality and authenticity of the content.
For the influencers, it means that the brand they are collaborating with trusts them completely, which can be further motivation. Long-term collaborations open up new avenues such as account takeovers, to boost your influencer marketing campaigns further.
The true power of influencer marketing tips such as this one lies in building a rapport with them. You should continue to collaborate with them on a long-term basis. A platform such as Grin can help you manage and build relationships with multiple influencers. You can easily communicate with them via the platform and can even run influencer marketing campaigns with ease.
A key aspect of building relationships is to respect the influencer’s time. You should not impose stringent deadlines on them. You should also help them build their personal brands and introduce them to your network. If you help them build their brand, they will be more motivated to help you build yours too.
18. Spread the Word
Whenever you’re collaborating with an influencer, it is a great thing to broadcast to the masses. You should be willing to spread the word about the collaboration in every way possible. You could do a guest post on their blog or perhaps share the news on social media platforms and tagging the influencer. Every collaboration should be promoted.
Even after they have created the sponsored post, you shouldn’t stop right away. You should license the content and share it on your own social media profiles. You can even include the news your partnership with the influencer in your newsletter.
If your collaboration is not about sponsored content but is related to co-creation, you should publicize it. A great way to do so is by drafting a press release that is newsworthy. However, make sure that you keep your influencer informed on how you’re publicizing your partnership with them.
19. Optimize Continuously
The final step of every influencer marketing campaign is to measure the outcome. Based on the goals that you had decided in the very beginning, you can measure the outcome of your campaign. You can measure the results against your KPIs and see where your campaign has succeeded and where it hasn’t.
You can then find the ROI of your campaign based on these outcomes. However, it can be difficult to calculate the ROI, especially if your goal was to increase your reach. Sometimes, you can only get a rough idea through your performance statistics.
A great way to solve this problem is by using Grin. It shows you all of the statistics of your influencer marketing campaigns right on the platform. This can help you calculate the ROI of your influencer marketing campaign with ease.
However, you shouldn’t stop there. Based on the analysis, you should determine what worked well for you and where you lagged behind. You should then try to optimize your campaign and fix the areas that didn’t work. This will help you get the most out of your campaigns and manage your future campaigns more effectively.
Influencer marketing tips can help you plan and execute strategic influencer marketing campaigns. It is important to select the right influencers and collaborate with them in a mutually beneficial way.
You should give influencers enough freedom to work on their content and consider building long-term relationships with them. Finally, continuously analyzing and optimizing your campaigns can help you get the most out of them.
Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.