While influencer marketing has become a more mainstream tactic in recent times, many influencer campaigns still fall flat, with businesses failing to generate significant benefit, and turning away from the option as a result.
One of the biggest reasons why influencer marketing campaigns fail, however, is a basic lack of clarity on objectives, which can lead to an unfocused approach
In this post, we'll look at how having a clear objective in mind can help you to form a winning influencer marketing strategy. We'll also look at how to select the right objectives, and implement aligned strategies to achieve optimal results from your efforts.
1. Define Your Influencer Marketing Objectives
The first step in any a successful influencer marketing campaign is to define your campaign objectives, as they will determine your overall strategy.
All aspects of planning your influencer and content strategy depend on what you want to achieve, so having a clear set of goals is crucial for success.
There are a lot of marketing goals that can be achieved with influencer marketing. According to a Mavrck report, these are some of the popular influencer marketing objectives.
Most of these, however, can be combined under the following broad objectives:
Enhance Reach and Brand Awareness
This is one of the most common influencer marketing objectives - brands collaborate with influencers in their niche to reach an audience that's already interested in similar content.
This is why brands prefer working with influencers who have a substantial following, so that they can enhance their reach and awareness - though follower counts, it should be noted, are not always the best indicators in this respect.
Engage and Retain Customers
A major reason why brands utilize social media is to engage with their audience on the platform/s that they already frequent. Influencers can be extremely useful in helping you do this, as they've built engaged and loyal followers who you can target with your messaging.
Generate Leads and Drive Conversions
This is another common influencer marketing goal - a lot of marketers leverage influencers to drive traffic to their websites, or maximize app installs, newsletter sign-ups, sales conversions, etc. Driving referral links is obviously the ideal, broader goal of all digital marketing efforts, but if this is the specific focus of your influencer campaign, you can better angle your focus towards it by choosing the right processes.
Establishing a key, overarching goal is the first step to mapping out a more effective, accountable influencer approach, then you can move onto the next phase of the process.
2. Leverage Influencers to Achieve Your Goals
Once you've finalized the objective your aiming for, the next step is to find relevant influencers to collaborate with.
You can find influencers in your niche using search tools like BuzzSumo or influence.co - here's an example of BuzzSumo's influencer search tool, using 'marathon' as the focus term.
Once you have a list of selected influencers, you can reach out to them and start the conversation. From there, you can establish the necessary arrangements with those open to collaboration, then move onto the content creation and posting process.
To help with the specifics, here's a look at the types of content which most commonly align with the three influencer marketing objectives noted above.
Key Objectives: Brand awareness, brand image, lead generation, sales conversion
Product reviews are a great way to leverage influencers in order to introduce your products to their audience. And if they write a positive review about your product/s, that can also go a long way in building your brand image.
Key Objectives: Brand awareness
This entails an influencer simply mentioning your brand in their social media posts. The caption could be anything from talking about a specific product to the brand in general.
This is where influencers can get creative and promote your brand in a way that their audience will like - however influencers do need to disclose that the branded post is sponsored if they’re receiving any benefit for it, monetary or non-monetary.
Contests, Quizzes, and Polls
Key Objectives: Consumer engagement and lead generation
Running a contest, and/or posting quizzes and polls, can be a great way to engage your audience on social media. By their very nature, these post types are engaging, and prompt response from people to participate.
This strategy works best for companies that have an established brand name and followers on social media. And while the main goal of posting such content is to engage your audience, it can also be used to drive traffic to your website and increase your follower count.
You can run social media contests that require people to tag their friends and follow your brand to participate (be sure to maintain awareness of platform rules for such). You can also post a preview of a quiz on social media, and then drive people to your website to take it.
Below is an example of how an influencer partnered contest can be used to not only drive engagement, but to also increase your audience.
Tutorials and How-to Content
Key Objectives: Lead generation, sales conversion
Another way to utilize influencers is to have them create content which explains how to use your products, utilizing their own presentation style to maximize appeal to their audience.
There are some industries where this type of content works better than others - for example, the electronics industry is a dynamic one where new and innovative products are launched regularly. For an electronics brand, it makes sense to post product-specific videos explaining a product’s various features.
Promotions and Discount Codes
Key Objectives: Lead generation and sales conversion
Running promotions and providing discounts is a surefire way to get people to your website. Providing influencers with unique discount codes can also be a great way to track individual results, while also boosting awareness and appeal to their audiences.
But instead of providing discounts to anyone and everyone who visits your website, you can make your promotional campaigns more targeted using influencers. If you leverage the right influencers, whose target audience is similar to yours, you can focus your promotions specifically - and as influencers tend to have loyal and engaged followers, their audience is more likely to buy using the discount code.
3. Use KPIs to Measure Performance Against Your Set Goals
The final step in running a successful influencer marketing campaign that will meet your business objectives is to measure how well it did on your preset objectives.
For this, you need measurable KPIs that will help you assess how the campaign performed, and whether it met the desired objectives or not.
Here’s a list of key influencer marketing objectives, and the respective KPIs that you can use to measure performance on each:
Reach and Brand Awareness
While there is no 100% accurate, quantitative way to measure brand awareness, you can measure the reach of your content. This, in turn, is an indirect way to measure brand awareness.
The reach of each individual post or piece of content can be measured by the number of views/impressions.
When leveraging an influencer to post content for you, the reach is often measured as the number of followers an influencer has.
Consumer engagement is comparatively easy to measure by checking the likes, comments, and shares that each piece of influencer content gets.
For more interactive posts, like contests, quizzes, etc., engagement can be measured by the number of participants.
Leads and Conversions
Leads can be directly measured by analyzing the amount and sources of traffic on your website. Conversions can be measured by an increase in sales in the duration of your influencer campaign. Another metric that can be used to measure conversions is the number of sign-ups.
The key to running a successful influencer marketing campaign is to be clear about your objectives and how you want to achieve them. Your entire influencer marketing strategy should be fueled by what you want to achieve - otherwise you'll waste time and effort aimlessly.