Updated: Nov 24, 2020
What is Influencer Marketing?
Great question! Influencer Marketing is a partnership between a company and an influential person on social media with the goal to promote a product, service, or campaign.
Celebrity endorsements on Instagram were the first form of influencer marketing. Since then, “micro-influencers” have become more popular for reaching a niche audience on social platforms.
Instagram is no longer the only medium for influencer marketing, even though it remains to be the most popular. Facebook and Twitter campaigns have proven to be successful as well. The social media platform you choose for an influencer marketing campaign will rely heavily on the audience you are trying to reach. It’s important to do your research on potential influencers and what platforms they are most popular on in order to see the highest ROI for your company.
In order to execute a successful influencer marketing campaign, you must first decide on the company’s goals for the campaign, choose the right influencer for your brand, set a budget with pricing options, all while following the rules set by the FTC. Let’s get started!
Determine (Attainable) Goals
Lay out your goals for your campaign and everything you wish to accomplish. There are 4 main areas of growth you can aim for with influencer marketers:
Brand awareness – Influencer’s followers trust their recommendations, whether it’s through product reviews, giveaways, or just brand mentions on their platform. Brand awareness is the first step in increasing sales for your company.
Engagement & Followers – when you partner with an influencer, their followers will become familiarized with your brand. Ultimately, they will start engaging with your account and following you as well if you have a similar look and feel to the influencer you choose - (keep reading to see how to choose the best influencer for your brand).
Content – Most influencers are very good at what they do, part of that being creating fresh and fun new content that engages their followers. This content can also be repurposed and utilized on your own channel, win-win!
Conversions – creating custom discount codes and offers that are specific to an influencer is a great option if your main priority is to increase sales immediately. This is also a great way to measure your return on investment and see the impact influencer marketing has on your bottom line.
Choosing the Right Influencer for your Brand
This is one of the most important steps in the process of executing a successful influencer marketing campaign. Choosing the right influencer can make or break your campaign (and sometimes even your brand’s reputation if you don’t choose wisely).
Similar Audience/Target Market - You want to choose an influencer who has a similar audience to your target market. Do you already share some followers? Can you see your current customers and followers being interested in this person and what they have they have to say? Can you see the influencer’s followers being interested in your company/product/service?
Shares Brand Values - Go with someone who shares your brand’s values. They should have a similar look, feel, and voice to your brand.
Engaged Audience - This influencer should be active on their platform and have an engaged audience. You want to see their followers leaving relevant comments on their posts and being invested in what the influencer is saying and doing. Merely looking at the number of followers and likes an influencer has is not sufficient research.
Sponsorship Saturation - Is this influencer’s feed already overloaded with ads and sponsored posts? You want to avoid someone who only shares posts they get paid for, look for organic content in their feed as well. A balanced feed keeps followers interested – followers are more likely to trust the paid ads when they’re also invested in the influencer’s personal life and opinion.
Creative Control - Be open to the idea of giving up some creative control. Pick an influencer who will create content that will resonate with their followers as well as be beneficial to you and your brand.
Micro-Influencer – A micro-influencer can be defined as an influencer with a following of 2,000 to 50,000 on a social media platform. They tend to be preferred over celebrity influencers due to their affordability, trustworthiness, and niche markets or communities they have created online. Micro-influencers also tend to have a higher engagement rate than celebrity influencers.
Set a Budget
Create a budget strictly for influencer marketing with different package and pricing options.
When creating these, take into account how many posts you expect the influencer to publish, whether you’re asking them to create the content themselves or if you’re providing it for them, and if there’s a sponsored giveaway involved. These are just some parameters to include in your packages when getting ready to present to a potential influencer.
Stick to a budget that you know your company can afford, but at the same time, don’t discredit the influencer’s ability and skill by low-balling them with an offer. Have the conversation, discuss pricing, and come to a conclusion that works for both parties.
Chances are, if you’re looking to partner with an experienced influencer, they will have a pricing structure of their own, taking some of the pressure of you.
Play by the Rules
The Federal Trade Commission has set guidelines surrounding influencer marketing in the United States. FAQ’s are listed on their site here.
If your business is paying an influencer to advertise on their platform, the influencer must disclose this information in their post. This disclosure cannot be ambiguous – followers and consumers are protected by the FTC and have the right to know that an influencer’s post is an ad.
The most common way that influencers disclose this information is by using the #ad or #sponsored hashtags in their post. This is fine, as long as hashtags aren’t hidden in a long string of hashtags at the end of a post where followers cannot easily see them.
If you’re unsure or have specific questions regarding the rules put in place by the FTC, visit their site by using the link above. Better safe than sorry!
For a simplified overview, take a look at this nifty graphic ☺