Influencer marketing campaigns can be highly lucrative for the lifestyle business, but it’s also really easy to lose money in this industry too. Influencer marketing is all about creating awareness for your brand, building trust in your products and services, and getting your brand name out there in front of your target audience. Get this right, and you could see an impressive return on your investment.
With so many brands in your industry working with influencers, it can be easy to want to dive in head first and join in. Taking a strategic approach will pay off in the long run, and by taking careful measures you can ensure you create an influencer marketing campaign that will take your business to the next level…
Getting to grips with influencer marketing
The average person consumes hundreds of pieces of content online every single day, but how much of that content do we actually trust? When it comes to your content marketing strategy, it’s all about building trust and value for your audience.
Recent surveys found that users of social media put higher value on the opinions of their friends and family, but that they also trust the recommendations of influencers. Put simply, an ‘influencer’ is someone that has a strong online presence, and the potential to influence the opinions and behaviors of a set target audience. Generally an influencer is relatable to their target audience. Due to creating, publishing and promoting quality content, influencers have been able to build power and trust over time, which means that they have influence over their audience.
How influencer marketing works
Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are all great platforms to run influencer marketing campaigns. Influencers are generally bloggers and social media personalities, so you might also want to arrange a collaboration where your brand or products are promoted on the influencers blog also.
Working with influencers enables you to reach an extended audience. In choosing the right influencers for your brand, you can reach out to a highly targeted audience. This can help increase brand awareness, sales and build loyal customers.
In order to generate brand awareness and sales, an influencer might publish a blog post about your brand or products, and promote that content via their social channels. This is usually done by gifting products, or paying a fee. It’s important to ensure that you’re going to get back what you’ve put in and more, so there are a few steps you want to take to ensure that your spend on influencers pays off…
Before you even start to look for potential influencers to collaborate with, it’s important to have a firm understanding of who your target market is. In some cases, you may have multiple target markets – write this down as the starting point to building your influencer campaign.
Next it’s time to outline what you actually want to get out of working with influencers. Do you want to increase your sales, or create urgency around a specific product, or maybe you want to increase your followers, or your brand awareness? Before you start to reach out to potential influencers, get your goal clear in your mind. Having a set target will help you ensure that your campaign is successful.
Once you have outlined your target market, you can start to look for influencers that have a similar audience. While there might be several influencers that fit this, it is also important to look for those that align with your brand.
There are several ways to find influencers in your industry. One of the easiest ways is to look at hashtags. Instagram has helpfully split up the hashtag results into most popular and most recent, so you can simply search for hashtags that are highly relevant to your industry, and hit the most popular tab to see the best performing posts.
Facebook also recently launched their ‘Brand Collabs Manager’ platform, a great tool to help you outline influencers that are relevant to your industry. Read more about Brand Collabs Manager here.
You can also look into using other platforms or hiring an agency to help you outline the best possible influencers for your brand. Alternatively, check out these free influencer marketing tools to find influencers.
When you’re creating your shortlist of influencers, make sure that you take a closer look at their engagement levels and quality of followers. If a blogger has 30k followers, but only gets 100 likes and the odd comment on their posts, somethings not quite right. Look at their followers and check they haven’t paid for fake followers, or built a high volume of low quality followers, before you get in touch.
Now that you’ve got your shortlist in place, it’s time to reach out to your potential influencers. If you haven’t been able to access each influencers rate card via their website, request this to gain a better understanding of how much working with each influencer might cost you.
In addition, you need to request proof of the results each influencer has achieved previously. When first reaching out, introduce your brand and the idea that you are looking to collaborate, and suggest at this stage you’re just looking to gather more information about their work and fees.
Once you’ve got an idea of costs and the potential results, one or two influencers on your short list should stand out to you.
Arranging your campaign
Now that you know what the aim of your campaign will be, how much it’s going to cost you, and the potential results your campaign will deliver, it’s time to arrange the details.
There are various ways in which you can collaborate with influencers, such as gifting them products or services, sponsored posts, product reviews and competitions.
Gifting products is the best option if you don’t have a big marketing budget, but gifting a blogger products or services does not mean that they will feature your brand. Some of the bigger influencers will receive freebies every single day, and will generally only promote those that they feel like their audience will really gain value from, or those that they feel they can build a longterm working relationship with.
If you are paying an influencer to publish sponsored posts, it’s important to outline exactly what you are getting for the cost before you agree or hand over any money. Be aware that any paid posts will need to be published with the ‘ad’ tag on Instagram, so that users know that this is a paid collaboration.
Product reviews are usually done via gifting, but of course the same as above applies – just because you gift a product doesn’t mean you will get a review published. Competitions can also be run in collaboration with/sponsored by influencers, and generally are arranged based on a set fee.
Influencer marketing can be extremely powerful when you get it right. Whether you’re looking to arrange one-off campaigns, or create regular ongoing campaigns, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure you get the best return on investment possible.
Have you had success with an influencer campaign already? Or maybe you’re an influencer yourself and have some extra tips and advice? Comment and share your experiences, or submit any questions you might have below…