What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a $21.1 billion market that involves working with well-regarded individuals or entities within a given industry to promote your brand’s products or services online. Often, influencers are paid a commission for each sale, or a set fee for a campaign. Influencer marketing is a digital-first marketing approach for both B2C and B2C companies that leverages the credibility, reach, and persuasive power of influencers to expand your brand’s presence and drive new sales.
For instance, if you were in the tech manufacturing space, you might partner with a respected Industry 4.0 expert who has a strong social media following. Together, you could create co-branded whitepapers and social media posts that educate your shared audiences on the changing technology needs for businesses. They may also co-present on conference panels or webinars with your company. This, in turn, would build your brand awareness and credibility in the industry.
Influencer marketing typically involves a number of steps, including:
- Develop your strategy: Define your goals, target audience, and messaging. Determine how influencer marketing fits into your overall marketing strategy.
- Identify your influencers: Research and identify influencers whose audience aligns with your brand. Consider factors like niche, reach, engagement, and authenticity.
- Build relationships: Establish genuine relationships with influencers. Reach out, engage, and communicate your brand’s values and expectations.
- Draft strong contracts: Negotiate terms with influencers, outlining compensation, deliverables, and usage rights in a clear contract. Also have a plan in place to handle any potential negative situations, such as influencer-related controversies.
- Plan campaigns: Collaborate with influencers to create campaigns that resonate with both your brand and their audience. Discuss content format, posting schedule, and key messages.
- Content creation: Provide guidelines or creative briefs for content, so you can ensure that the content maintains a balance between your brand’s identity and the influencer’s authentic style.
- Review and approval: Review influencer-created content to ensure it aligns with your brand’s guidelines and messaging. Provide feedback and request revisions if necessary. At this stage, you should also ensure compliance with any relevant regulations to disclose influencers’ paid partnerships with your brand.
- Publish content: Coordinate with influencers to schedule and publish the agreed-upon content across their social media platforms or other channels, like website or email.
- Monitor and measure: Track the performance of influencer posts in terms of engagement, reach, and conversions. Engage with comments and monitor overall sentiment. Also, analyze the impact of the campaign on key metrics like ROI, website traffic, sales, and social media growth.
- Learn and grow over time: Continuously refine your influencer marketing approach based on insights you gain from each campaign, and then apply those lessons to future campaigns.
Influencer marketing is a dynamic, ever-changing field, and it’s important to stay flexible, adaptive, and open to evolving trends and strategies.
However, influencer marketing can significantly bolster your brand’s credibility, extend its reach, and generate a healthy ROI by tapping into the audience trust that influencers have cultivated. At the end of the day, it’s all about building relationships and creating win-win scenarios for your brand, the influencer, and your customers.