By now, we all know that we need to implement influencer marketing - after all, some 84% of brands are utilizing influencer marketing in some form.
Over the years, influencer marketing pain points have morphed from “what is influencer marketing?” to “how to do influencer marketing” to today’s current focus issue: “how can I improve my influencer marketing efforts?”
This post is for brands already running influencer marketing strategies who want to make their campaigns even better. The lessons here are gleaned from my time as an influencer marketing consulting, and in overseeing various campaigns for a range of brands.
To help you on your path, here are five influencer marketing tactics are strategies that will help boost your process.
1. Create Influencer Personas
Working with the right influencers, and creating a campaign utilizing the most effective influencers for your brand, is key.
Many brands do A/B testing with verticals of influencers to see what works for their brand. For example, I conducted an influencer marketing program for an activewear company, and we discovered that travel influencers bring in the most ROI, when we had expected fashion influencers would be the most effective.
It’s helpful to create influencer personas based on your target buyer. To put it simply, think about your target consumer and contemplate which types of influencers they probably follow, and what post topics would peak their interest.
It takes some time and analysis, but accurate personas are key to maximizing your influencer campaign performance.
2. Implement “Trackable” Goals
The biggest pain point I hear when it comes to influencer marketing is measuring ROI.
To measure the success of an influencer campaign, you need to decide before you go live which metrics are important to you. Based on these metrics, you can seed the influencers with the right information, and implement strategies that you can track.
Some examples include:
- Direct sales: for companies that sell products online, direct sales is a key metric. My favorite way to track sales is to give influencers a unique code that they can give their readers. This is a great way to track a campaign as a whole, and monitor the efforts of each individual influencer to see who you want to keep working with, based on a proven brand fit.
- Signups: If you're a company that doesn’t sell a product online, having something that people sign up for is a good metric to track brand awareness. For example, I ran a campaign for a food brand, and since this particular food wasn’t sold online, we tracked signups to their newsletter.
- Registrations: B2B companies tend to track registrations for a product demo, a piece of content or a newsletter. This demonstrates brand interest, and works best to provide brand awareness for the very beginning of a buyer’s journey. From there, the brands can drip content and information to the registrants.
- Potential impressions: I consider impressions a “softer” metric, and prefer to put more weight into sales, signups or registrations. Potential impressions is calculated based on the number of followers the influencer has, and is an estimate of the amount of people who saw a given post.
- Social engagement: Social engagement is similar to impressions but is a more direct metric. It's calculated by measuring the number of people who like, comment or share the influencer’s post. This shows that the audience liked the post enough to put their reputation on the line when sharing it.
It’s important to determine these trackable goals at the beginning of your campaign planning, because they'll dictate what you will seed the influencers with, and ask of them for your partnership.
For example, if you're tracking sales, then you need to generate unique codes for the influencers to give their audience. If you're tracking registrations, you need to have the gated content in place, and make sure the influencers know to link to it in their posts.
3. Allow for Creative Freedom
While I’m all about having a campaign theme and giving influencers instructions on how they link to your brand, I also encourage marketers to have a delicate balance of direction and creative freedom.
Influencers know their audience better than you do, so you need to to make sure you give them room to make a post their own. And not to mention, influencer marketing is all about earning authentic media - so you want your influencers to naturally find a way to incorporate your brand into their content.
For example, I recently ran a campaign with Noosa for Earth Day and challenged the influencers involved to talk about how "Earth friendly" these brands are, but gave them creative freedom on how exactly these brands were incorporated into the content.
Happiest of Earth days to all who share this wonderful tiny planet!! Stoked to work with brands who also ???? the Earth and create environmentally minded products, like La Sportiva’s PFC Free Hail Jacket! Sportiva also makes apparel featuring Bluesign approved fabrics & organic cottons, to the Eco Series of climbing shoes (featuring 98% recycled materials). And as for @noosayoghurt - there are no GMO’s in their yoghurt and they reclaim all the water they use at their farm/factory in Bellvue, CO. They are also mega fans of supporting honey bees! Hoooorrray!! ???? PS: the spoon I’m using is a reusable spoon I keep in my car for travel. ????: @injuryrecoverycoaching . . . #noosaSportiva #EarthDay18 @noosayoghurt @lasportivana #grandtetonnationalpark #getoutside #earthday
4. Open the Gates for Opt-In Influencers
Often, influencers will now reach out to a brand they want to work with. This is a great way to form influencer partnerships because they are self-identifying as being enthusiastic about your brand and wanting to work with you.
However, if you don’t have an easy way for influencers to get in touch with you, you may miss out on some prime opportunities.
Many brands now include a CTA in the footer of their website where influencers can apply to work with the brand.
5. Create Competition
I recently ran a campaign for TUNG Brush where we challenged our influencers to publish the most creative Instagram post, and the best post was given an extra $250. This earned the best round of Instagram photos for a campaign that I had ever seen.
#ad Do you brush your tongue? ???? I’ve recently fallen in LOVE with the @tungbrush ???? . No one wants bad breath right? 90% of the odor-causing bacteria responsible for bad breath is found on the biofilms of your tongue! With #TUNGBrush, you never have to worry about that again! . Head to the blog now to read all about it PLUS how you can vote for your favorite color and have a chance to win a $250 Amazon Gift Card! ???????? Link in bio! ???? #CleanTUNG
Whether you run an Instagram contest, or reward influencers on whoever brings in the most sales, a little competition is healthy, and I find it makes the influencers promote the brand a little harder than average, making it well-worth the budget spent on prizes.