You may or may not be new to influencer marketing, but if you’ve stumbled across this article, then I’m sure you are trying to establish how to meet your business goals this year. We all know that social media usage is rapidly on the rise, and has been for a while. But, did you know that 81% of Instagram users use the platform to research products and services? Jot only that, but 50% of users have made a website purchase after seeing a product on Instagram.
With the help of influencers, brands are managing to get their products in front of consumers more easily than ever before. Keep reading to understand how influencer marketing will aid in reaching your business goals.
The first step of an influencer marketing campaign is to plan. Of course, careful planning is crucial for any new marketing strategy. But with influencer marketing, where a lot of the control is handed over to someone else, you’ll want to ensure that a clearly defined strategy has been outlined to prevent confusion.
When we talk about the planning process, there’s three key elements to consider:
- What are your goals?
A fundamental element of the initial process is to understand your objectives. What is it that you wish to achieve from an influencer campaign? Every business will have different goals, but consider some of the main ones that influencers tend to help best with. These could be building brand awareness, increasing content creation, driving website traffic, or growing your social media following.
Whether you are considering a one-off campaign, or a long-term partnership, influencers can aid in reaching your goals. More so, brands are moving towards building trusted partnerships where influencers can continually add value to an organisation. Check out our blog post on how a long-term influencer collaboration can help your brand for more detail about this.
- Who is your target audience?
The second thing to consider in your planning process is your target audience. You may be aiming to continue reaching a similar consumer type to your current audience, Or instead, you may like to try accessing a new group of consumers within a different demographic. Maybe you are a female clothing brand that has just recently introduced a male clothing line?
Determining who your target audience is will impact the rest of your planning process, so get this step in the bag early. For example, later on you will be assessing which social media channel is best, and this will depend on the demographic of who you want to reach. Think about their age, location, gender, and interests.
Before going any further with your campaign, you will need to have a budget in mind. Your budget will determine the type of influencers that you are able to work with, how many you will work with, and the incentive that you can offer them.
There’s a few things that you will need to keep in mind that affect costs. For example, each social media platform will cost a different amount, content and media types will alter the cost, and shipping and handling can often be forgotten about. Our influencer marketing guide can help you to understand influencer incentive better and begin to create a clearer budget plan.
Your timeline is something else that will hugely impact other aspects. Realistically, influencers are not available at the click of a finger. You will need to plan ahead, remembering that their schedules can be busy, and you may have to contact a lot of influencers before finding one that is available.
In addition to this, you should consider your campaign timeline with respect to significant dates, events, seasons, or sales, that could determine when it will need to take place. For example, if you are releasing a festive line, you will need to ensure an influencer’s availability in line with that season.
Social media channels
No matter what your business goals are, every social media channel has its great benefits. However, some may be more advantageous than others. In the bigger picture, Instagram is generally recognised as the hub for influencer marketing. Recent data suggests that 89% of marketers find Instagram to be the most effective channel for influencer marketing. Platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter are also popular, depending on your target audience. We have also seen rapidly increasing demand on TikTok and other emerging platforms, too.
If you are unfamiliar with Instagram, then this is definitely the one to begin learning about first. It is highly visual, with majorly static content that grabs your attention quickly. Because of this, content needs to be of high-quality, and be particularly visually appealing. Think about colour schemes, design aspects, photography skills, etc.
There are several media types on Instagram that influencers make use of. Both photo and video content can be posted as a post or as a story. And, video content can also be posted on IGTV, Reels, and Live.
- · YouTube
With YouTube functioning solely around video content, you’ll want to assess whether this is suitable for your target audience. Videos are a great way to engage consumers through the opportunity for Youtube influencers to be fully descriptive about your brand or product.
Video content will most likely be pricier, but can be worth every penny when you are working with an influencer that has a highly engaged audience. By creating a partnership, where you regularly sponsor an influencer’s videos, their viewers will be exposed to your brand frequently, which in turn can create loyalty from consumers. They will feel as if they are getting to know your brand better, trusting the recommendations of their favourite influencer.
- · TikTok
This short-video sharing platform has really taken off within the last year. Brands have quickly dived into advertising here, and TikTok influencers are quickly becoming the next big names in the industry. When thinking back to your planning process and identifying your target audience, if a younger generation is your aim then TikTok could be perfect for you. However, you may struggle to reach an older group of consumers here.
One of the biggest selling points of influencer marketing is the authenticity that it holds compared to that of traditional advertising methods. This is enhanced on TikTok, with creative video content that seems natural and engaging to the consumer.
When you’re ready to find influencers that are suitable for your campaign, you may be wondering what the most effective way is to do this. Your search can be conducted directly on social media, or instead you could work with an influencer marketing platform.
If you are searching directly through social media, for example for Instagram influencers, then I would consider starting off on your own account. Look out for:
· influencers in your comments and likes
· influencers in your brand tags
· influencers that may have mentioned you in content.
This way, you can know that these people are already fans of your brand. Realistically, you want to work with influencers that love your brand, right?
Alternatively, you could work with an influencer marketing platform, such as Heepsy. By doing so, you can be more effective with your time and resources, being able to search for influencers through dedicated filters. After determining the type of influencer that you wish to work with, all you need to do is input this and the platform will do the rest! For example, you can search by size, location, engagement, language, and more.
What’s better, is that you can follow this up through a detailed analysis of influencer profiles. Data will be provided to allow you to better understand whether this influencer is the perfect fit or not. You’ll want to find influencers with high engagement rates, good audience authenticity metrics, and most importantly, demographics and interests that match those of your target consumer group.
There is no doubt a substantial amount to learn about influencer marketing. Remember the guide mentioned earlier? This is a great place to start. By understanding the industry a little better, and carefully planning your campaign from start to finish, you can begin to gain value from the many amazing benefits of influencer marketing. If there’s one thing to take away from this article, it’s to plan like your career depends on it! (Well, maybe it does…!)
Author: Olivia Adie
Bio: Olivia works as a Content Writer on the Marketing team at Heepsy, an influencer marketing platform that helps brands to find influencers that would be suitable for their influencer campaigns.