How to Succeed at Influencer Marketing

Wed Sep 06 2017
Terilyn Walker
Best Practices

What is the key to influencer marketing success? The 84% of companies who say they will execute an influencer marketing campaign in the next 12 months all want to know after hearing about it’s effectiveness from companies like Scentbird, who increased monthly revenue by $750k as a result of influencer marketing.

While there is no “one size fits all” approach to any marketing initiative, after analyzing hundreds of influencer marketing campaigns, we’ve gathered five best practices that all marketers should keep in mind when building and managing a successful influencer program. 

Define Brand Objectives

While there are many ways to market through influencers, the first step in influencer marketing success is determining your brand objectives. Ask yourself, “what are we trying to accomplish with influencer marketing?” Do you want exposure, brand awareness, feedback, or direct sales?

Brands who begin with well-defined objectives and tailor a strategy to meet these goals are far more successful. Anything in your plan that doesn’t support these objectives probably doesn’t belong.

Find the Right Influencers

According to eMarketer, 75% of marketers agree that the most challenging step in rolling out an influencer marketing strategy is identifying the right group of influencers for each campaign. It is also one of the most important steps.

The right influencers can make all the difference both in quality of content and time invested. Influencers are professionals in their own right and those who are a good brand fit, have a targeted and engaged audience, and have a great work ethic will create more authentic content and are more likely to drive conversions for your brand.

We've outlined 4 tips to finding the right influencers for your brand.

Cultivate Long-Term Relationships

Social Media Manager of Greats, Kristin Sword, stresses that creating a successful influencer program depends on “building true relationships and understanding that influencers are a marketing channel, but they’re also people.”  This is true. Influencers require a relationship and like all relationships, they take time.

After you’ve executed a few campaigns and both parties have learned about each other, successive engagements will take incrementally less work. Long-term influencers will better understand your guidelines, what performs best, and know how to navigate success. Additionally, brands who take the effort to make long term-relationships with influencers generally pay less for sponsored posts.

Use Micro-Influencers

The data is incontrovertible: micro-influencers, or creators with under 150k followers, achieve higher engagement for a lower CPE. While celebrities and macro-influencers with over 1 million followers are more expensive to collaborate with, they do not necessarily produce higher engagement rates or drive more conversions than high quality micro-influencers.

In fact, engagement rate and follower count have a negative correlation. Based on data from thousands of influencer brand collaborations, influencers with 50k-150 followers tend to be the best value. If premium prices are not within your budget, or if you are targeting a niche audience, micro-influencers with high engagement may be a better fit for your brand because of their reliability, specialized content, and strong connection with their audience.

If you are considering working with 10-20 micro influencers versus 1 large celebrity, know that managing several relationships does take more work, however, which is why influencer platforms offer a great advantage.

Use a Platform

Influencer marketing platforms, like AspireIQ, are full-service solutions that allow brands and agencies to run influencer campaigns from A to Z. These platforms generally provide a database of influencers who have opted to work with brands, CRM and workflow tools that allow brands to connect with influencers and manage relationships, as well as analytics tools that allow brands to track ROI and campaign metrics.

Influencer platforms automate the difficult portions of discovery, vetting, negotiation, content creation, payments, and analytics, and free marketers up to treat influencer marketing as a standalone channel. Without the proper tools, brands may find that they have difficulty sourcing influencers, knowing how much to pay them, and managing multiple relationships.

In conclusion, the more you invest in your strategy, both in preparation and tools, the more output you’ll see in terms of content and ROI.

For more insight and data around influencer marketing, download the full State of Instagram Influencer Marketing report.

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