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Starting Your First Influencer Marketing Campaign | WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW




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Are you thinking about starting your first influencer marketing campaign?


If yes, then you're at the right place.


In this article, we'll talk about influencers, influencer marketing, and benefits of influencer marketing.


Afterward, we'll progress to talk about the types of influencer marketing campaigns and the steps involved in creating an exceptional influencer marketing campaigns.


As a way of introduction, it's worth noting that influencer marketing has become a fundamental part of a social media strategy for many brands.


Think back to the last time when you bought something new. What did you check to ensure that you were buying a useful product? The chances are that you asked your friends, you read reviews or even bought something that was trending about.


In the words of Seth Godin (a marketing guru): "people don't buy goods and services, they buy stories, magic, and relations."


Everything about marketing used to be magic: from ideation and planning to creation and implementation.


Once upon a time, it was challenging to find a sincere vendor who could produce and implement high-quality advertising.


But now, it's never been simpler, cheaper, and more readily available.


In simple terms – our magic is shrinking.


Today, many customers are beginning to lose sight of who they trust: many thanks to the rising demand for attention and the overwhelming product options on the market.


In a bid to proofer solution, they're now turning to cord-cutting, ad blockers, and even media fasting.


Such extreme measures of preventing advertising make it increasingly more difficult for brands to remain abreast in the digital landscape.


So, what's the way forward?


The smart move would be influencer marketing: it's such an interesting, fun, and excellent tactic to drive sales.


Let's dive deep.


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WHO IS AN INFLUENCER?


In simple terms, an influencer is anyone who can affect someone or something.


In the real world, we all have some influence. Every day we tend to exercise our authority, sometimes unknowingly – whether it's at home, at work, online and in our personal lives.


But then, even though we might all be influential, we're not all prominent in the same area or topic.


For example, while an individual might be influential in the digital marketing niche, he/she might not be influential to a fashion company looking for a fashion blogger.


It's at this point that relevancy comes into place


When it comes to relevancy, not every influencer is your influencer.


Even in your target niche, there are different types of influencers.



  • Analysts

  • Opinion leaders

  • Predictors

  • Trendsetters

  • Experts

  • Celebrities

  • Decision-makers

  • Critics

  • And many more.


Having talked about who influencers are, let's take a look at what influencer marketing entails.


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WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?


Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that leverages the reach of an existing influencer who has built a strong brand reputation and a large following in a particular niche to endorse your product, co-create content or support your brand. All with the commitment to increase brand awareness, traffic and drive sales.


It's the process of identifying, researching, supporting, and engaging the people who create high-impact conversations with customers about your brand, products, and services.


Influencer marketing allows brands to unify their PR, sales, marketing, social media, product, and digital marketing through relevant and compelling relationship-based communication. Both the marketing potential and ROI of influencer marketing are huge.


Indeed, the significance of influence over customers isn't a new concept in marketing.


But then as online customer conversations continue to evolve significantly, influencers are now playing a vital role in creating relevant customer dialogue. They're also breaking online clutter and bringing trust to the table for marketers and brands alike.


 


BENEFITS OF INFLUENCER MARKETING


There's no denying the power and positive effects of Influencer marketing. It's one of the most popular marketing strategies in existence today.


When it comes to purchasing decisions, influencers are the major drivers. The beauty about influencer marketing is that the audience is already there, you just have to establish a win-win collaboration with influencers.


Afterward, you can be an innovative leader and enjoy turnkey results of increased sales.


Here are some of the benefits of influencer marketing:


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QUICKLY BUILD TRUSTS


Why do you think a lot of people follow social media influencers online? The reason is simple.


Influencers have built trust, credibility, and relationships with their fans. So, many people respect their recommendations and content.


Studies have shown that when tweets from influencers are coupled with those from brands, purchase intent will rise steeply. Aside from that, 40% of people have reported that they were persuaded to buy products because of an influencer's tweet.


By sharing an influencer's content, you'll soon gain the attention of their audience, and they'll also begin to share your content as well. That way, your message would reach out to an actively engaged audience.


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IMMENSE VISIBILITY AND REACH


A lot of social media influencers have a substantial fan base (in fact, the 50 most followed influencer accounts on Instagram has a total of more than 2.5 billion followers).


Influencer marketing isn't all about blindly following alluring numbers. But then marketers can build great and excellent campaigns that reach out to millions of consumers by appropriately selecting influencers based on both quantitative and qualitative factors.


Additionally, influencer marketing helps brands to bypass the obstacles faced by many online marketing mediums today. With users' general disdain for overt advertising and the mainstream adoption of ad blockers, influencer marketing offers an unobtrusive and viable way to interact with consumers.


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INFLUENCERS IMPACT PURCHASE DECISIONS


Studies have shown that influencers can impact customers' purchase decisions. In a joint survey conducted by Annalect and Twitter, it was discovered that 40% of respondents purchased an item online only after they've seen a social influencer use it.


In another analysis, 50% of shoppers claimed that online video had assisted them in deciding what product or brand to buy from. Over 90% see new products and brands on YouTube, specifically.


Also, 22% of marketer's mention influencer marketing as the fastest-growing customer purchase channel and over 50% say they purchase higher quality customers via influencer marketing.


These statistics indicate that influencer marketing is a very excellent tool for attracting consumers with high purchase intent. Indeed, it’s an effective method for driving sales.


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SUITABLE FOR BUSINESS REGARDLESS OF INDUSTRY OR SIZE


One of the fantastic benefits of influencer marketing is that it's appropriate for any business, regardless of its industry or size. As long as there's someone influential in your niche, then you can leverage them for your marketing.


Though, you need proper planning to be able to identify influencers who are most suited to your needs.


Fortunately, there are many influencer marketing platforms that you can use to quickly identify and collaborate with the right influencer based on engagement, category, reach, etc.


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TYPES OF INFLUENCER MARKETING CAMPAIGNS


Below are some examples of influencer marketing campaigns that exist today.


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LONG-TERM AMBASSADORS:


Just like the name suggests, a long-term ambassador is an influencer who partners with organizations for an extended period.


You can imagine them to be the face of your brand - more like how celebrity spokespeople work in old-fashioned ad campaigns.


In opposition to other influencer marketing examples, a brand ambassador might promote your business for several months and even years.


This type of influencer marketing can lead to excellent results because:



  • Recurrent promotion allows you to exhibit the versatility of your brand's offerings

  • The recurrence keeps your brand at the top of mind for the ambassador's followers

  • There's a reduced churn rate in your marketing strategy, which generally leads to more convenience and less uncertainty

  • A good relationship with the influencer means more credibility, authenticity, and trust in the eyes of their audience.


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SPONSORED CONTENT


Sponsored content is one of the most common influencer marketing examples in existence today.


This type of influencer marketing typically plays out with brands reaching out to social media influencers to ask if they're disposed to promote their products and services… some other influencers also do outreach as well.


Depending on the type of influencer's channel(s) that you've agreed on, the ultimate product is typically a video, photo, or blog post that features your brand's offering.


These marketing campaigns usually start with a brand sending a campaign brief that outlines specific instructions, guidelines, and requirements to an influencer.


But then, it's essential always to give your influencers some creative freedom.


After all, it's their audience, and they know how to engage them best. Also, their followers will surely become suspicious if a post is not in line with the influencer's style, voice, and personality.


In the example below, Calvin Young, a Deaf traveler who inspires and entertains through his blog (seek the world) partnered with Busbud (a travel and ticket booking company) to promote its services on Facebook.



REVIEWS


One of the well-known influencer marketing examples of reviews involves a brand offering their product/service to their influencer for free, and in exchange, the influencer would post a review about the product.


If you've ever seen any unboxing video, then this might have been the driving force. The premise of such videos is that the influencer has never seen or even used the product(s) before, and they're unboxing and testing it out for the first time on camera.


For instance, Jacques Slade, in his YouTube video unboxes and reviews a media that Jordan Brand sent to him.



Just as it’s with the sponsored content, this type of partnership can operate based on a set of flexible and broad guidelines sent by the brand.


But then, this partnership can quickly go wrong or run into an ethical issue. Particularly, if an influencer isn't afraid to tell the world straight-out that they hate your product or if your brand demands that influencer only say positive things about your product.


One way to overcome such issues is by being careful of what you wish during the partnership.


 


STEPS INVOLVED IN CREATING INFLUENCER MARKETING CAMPAIGN


Below are some essential steps involved in the creation of influencer marketing campaigns:


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DETERMINE YOUR GOAL


If you want to execute an excellent influencer marketing campaign, then you need to, first of all, determine the goals of your campaign.


Do you want to increase brand awareness, sales, engagement, leads, or followers? Each of these goals has different key performance indicators (KPIs) that you'd want to set up in the beginning so that you can track your success at the end of the campaign.


For example, if your goal is to increase sales, then you might need to set up a promo code so that you can know the number of sales that came from your influencer campaign.


If you're looking to increase engagement, then comments, shares, or likes may be your key performance metrics.


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FIND THE APPROPRIATE INFLUENCERS


Finding and collaborating with the right influencer might be the key factor that differentiates a successful campaign from a failed one.


Note that we said "right" – not to be confused with the biggest, most expensive or most popular.


As a matter of fact, the right influencer could even be someone with a small but very passionate following (depending on your brand).


When you become more specific about selecting the right influencer, the content created will be more genuine, and your message will resonate more with followers.


For instance, if you're looking to promote a restaurant, then you might want to look for food bloggers.


Also, if you're looking to promote travel baggage, then you'll need to look for travel influencers.


 


REACH OUT TO YOUR CHOSEN INFLUENCERS



Once you've found influencers who seem to be the right fit, then you can reach out to them and discuss the details of your campaigns.


Most influencers are driven by things like competitive compensation, creative freedom, and a brand that naturally aligns with their principles.


When you come to terms, give your influencer creative freedom and trust their instincts on creativity, language, and voice.


You can creatively review the materials to be sure that they reflect your brand in the correct light.


Influencer marketing is so popular because a lot of people have grown tired of traditional ads. Also, many people feel happier and satisfied when they get recommendations from people who they identify with.


People will definitely sense the authenticity, so leave your influencers to work their magic in a way that best resonates with their audience.


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VALIDATE YOUR PUBLISHING SCHEDULE AND PROMOTE YOUR CAMPAIGN


Once your content is all set, you can confirm the remaining details of timing with your influencer. Ensure that you're correctly aligned on how you're going to promote the content.


For instance, if they're posted on Facebook, then you can boost the post to get more engagement and views. On the other hand, if they're posted on twitter, you can retweet to get more leverage out of the content.


If you want to get the best from your content, then you can consider cross-promoting the content between your channels.


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MEASURE THE OUTCOME OF THE CAMPAIGN


Once you've successfully executed the campaign, it's now time to measure the outcome. Want to know how?


Look back on your KPIs to determine whether you hit your target. You can use tools like Julius, Onalytica, and NeoReach to measure the success of your influencer campaigns.


Additionally, you can reflect on questions like:



  1. Which posts are under-performing?

  2. Which posts are performing best?

  3. Would you like to work with this influencer again?

  4. What did you learn about your audience?

  5. What would you change about your platform, post frequency, or budget?

  6. If you used multiple platforms, which of the platform was most successful?


 


CONCLUSION


Regardless of the industry, size, and goal of your brand, influencer marketing campaigns can help you to connect more authentically with consumers and mitigate the costs of traditional ads.


It can also help you to find out new leads that you wouldn't otherwise reach without specific niche targeting.


Influencer marketing offers amazing benefits that'll leave your business better than it used to be.


Are you looking to start your first influencer marketing campaign? What type of campaign strategy do you prefer? We'd be delighted to hear from you; please share your thoughts in the comment below.



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