How To Get Started With Influencer Marketing
We entered the era of digitization more than a decade ago. And yet we have not settled in it because the exploration continues. And on that very path, came social media, and with it came influencer marketing. First, the question for most was how to start influencer marketing. But now the question is how to keep going with it.
Digital media in itself is so diverse and hence are the opportunities. The concept of influencer marketing may be new but we are familiar with influencers. At some or the other point, we all have influenced as well as being influenced by someone.
But who are influencers?
Influencers are individuals who hold the power to impact somebody else’s decisions. Growing up the closest example of what we can think of is our parents. Everybody has influencers from different walks of life. Our friends, our favorite speaker, musician, artist, actor, sometimes even random unknown people or situations are our influencers.
The advent of social media gave rise to social media influencers. They are popularly known as internet sensations but they are also experts of their niche and have the power to influence people’s decisions and purchasing behaviors. They impact a lot of people in different ways.
There are influencers of different niches, demographics, and geography. People follow them because they provide value to their time but giving them any knowledge, information, opportunities, or entertainment. The fact that influencers have invested years of time and content to first understand their audience and then build a whole community out of it, is a primary reason why brands should collaborate with social media influencers.
A brand already has a lot on its plates and social media adds to it. But it also adds to the sales. Social media is an investment for businesses. And the more time, effort, and money is invested in influencer marketing, the better it can be for businesses.
What are the benefits of influencer marketing?
- Brand awareness
Brand awareness refers to the state of recognition that the customers have towards your brand. How fast an individual can recall your brand under any condition defines the level of brand awareness. Influencer marketing gives you a big platform to talk about your brand. Share your stories. Introduce your brand to new customers, new markets. Once they see your brand often being promoted by big influencers, they will remember your brand when they see it next as a brand supported, promoted, suggested by their favorite influencer that they trust.
Influencers have a connection with their followers. Primarily because they keep engaging with them in different ways. Every influencer has their way around to talk to their followers and stay in touch with them. They use multiple channels, multiple features of those channels to do so. By using those same channels, features, and influencers, you can drive that engagement towards your brand and platform. Your social media platform needs engagement to be known by people, and be visible. Influencer marketing helps you gain it over time.
- More followers
When people see your brand being mentioned by their favorite influencers, the first thing that they will do is visit your profile and check out your page. They will skim through your posts, captions, check your story, hit the link in bio and if they are still on your page after doing all that, they might even hit the follow button. They will spend a good 10 minutes at least trying to know you. If you are successful to add value to their time, you add a new follower to your page. The influencer can bring their followers to your page, it’s your content that will turn them into your followers.
When an influencer promotes your brand, gives positive feedback, a review, and detailed information about their experience with you, their followers are more likely to make the purchase. To bring those conversions in, you can aim for long-term collaborations with the influencers. Because it is difficult to introduce, review, and recommend a product in just one post. A long-running campaign with a different series of introductions and sharing experiences about the product can bring an even more positive response. The continued collaboration with the influencer will increase your visibility and people will be more curious to try your product.
How to get started with influencer marketing?
- Set your goals
Your goals can be as diverse as you want them to be. It can be about raising awareness, gaining new followers, reaching a certain number of people, it can be gender, demographic, and location-specific. Identifying them is the first step to getting started with influencer marketing. Setting goals can take some time because they can’t be just a list of things you wish to achieve. It needs to be planned and systematic. You have to be specific with it and consider a lot of other conditions associated with it like budget, bandwidth, your brand image, niche, product, etc. With goals come the metrics that help you analyze your performance at the end of your campaign. And it is better to analyze them as long as your goals are specific.
- Find your audience
There are various research methods to find your audience. Apart from the vast data available on the internet, you can use different features of your desired platforms to find your audience. For instance, Facebook gives very detailed and diverse options when you wish to target your audience. It helps you find them and use them for your promotions. Similarly, Instagram too gives some insight into the kind of audience you have on your page, their age group, and the time of their activity. When it comes to influencer marketing, you can even begin by finding influencers and make their audience your target audience. To make sure that this is a success, you have to ensure that the influencers’ niche is the same as yours.
- Prepare your campaign
Your campaign comprises a lot of things. You can start by defining your big idea which will help you decide the core message of your campaign. Depending on your goals, the audience, and the influencer research you did, you can decide which platform is best suited for your campaign. It is very important to keep your goals in perspective at all times. Following that, you will decide the content and communication for your campaign. This is when you decide the script or production for your campaign that will be the brief for your influencers. Building a campaign can be very time-consuming depending on the size of your time and the level of expertise. So, it is best to keep everything ready well in advance.
- Find the influencers
The easiest way to find influencers is to use influencer marketing platforms and influencer marketing agencies. Or you can prefer to find them manually using the right hashtags and researching some data. It is not difficult to find influencers because we are so active on social media that every now and then we come across various influencers. However, to know which influencer is right for you, it is important to understand their work, their communication, and their audience group.
- Contact the influencers
After you have picked your influencers it’s time to get in touch with them and have them on board. You can contact them through emails or approach the talent management companies that they are associated with. To have them on board you have to share your plan with them and try your best to explain your perspective to them.
Or you can skip all of this and join WORD Marketplace which is an influencer marketing platform. To find influencers all you have to do is post your campaign brief and just wait for the relevant candidates to approach you with their content. You can directly get in touch with the influencer on the platform and discuss your campaign, content, as well as, modes/amount of reimbursement. Depending on the category of influencers you work with, your ways of settlement can vary and it does not always have to be monetary. After all these prospects can be discussed between you and the influencer without any third-party involvement.
- Analyze the results
Once the campaign is live, you will have the urge to know it’s performing. While stable results can be achieved once the span of the campaign is over. But keeping an eye on the performance of the campaign since the beginning gives you a better prediction and judgment. You can choose to make changes if any is required. The campaign might take a few while to reflect results from the day it commences. So it is very important to be patient and hope for the best.
There are multiple approaches to how you want to build your influencer marketing campaign. But these right here are the fundamentals to get you started and create a successful campaign. No matter what kind of business you run, how big or small it is, what niche you follow, influencer marketing works for all. It takes time for some while it might show quick results to others. Several reasons can impact the duration of the success of your strategy. But to be consistent is the key. For your business to flourish on social media, influencer marketing can be your stepping stone.