Tips to a Successful Influencer Marketing Plan -

Tips to a Successful Influencer Marketing Plan

Are your marketing efforts starting to feel a little bland? Have you been executing the same strategies over and over again without a noticeable difference in ROI? Maybe it’s time to add a little spice to your marketing campaigns, and what better way by peppering in some influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is the use of influential people in marketing campaigns to promote a product or service. A few notable examples include:

But in today’s world, as social media turns more and more people into overnight celebrities, you may not need the likes of those who’ve walked the red carpet to see green in your bank account. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest users with large followings are increasingly being tapped by brands who are looking to reach millennials, the upcoming cash cows of today’s consumer market. With an rising percentage of Baby Boomer babies turning away from traditional cable and more towards social media platforms, it’s not too surprising that stars of our tiny, smartphone screens are starting to hold similar influence to the stars of the silver and big screens.

With this in mind, we’ll examine and apply each aspect of a marketing influencer campaign to your advertising efforts so you can best reach the audience you need to yield the profits you desire.

Know Your Product

The first step to constructing the perfect marketing influencer campaign is taking a close look at your product and determining how it’d be best promoted. Are you selling something physical, like clothing, tech gadgets, or home goods? Or are you promoting a service, like travel planning, photography classes, or even banking services? Or maybe you’re in the publishing field, looking to gain exposure for a news outlet, how-to guides, or a blogging site.

Knowing exactly what you’ll be advertising is crucial in deciding who to choose as your influencer and will ultimately determine how your celeb promotes your brand.

Know Your Influencers

Choosing an effective influencer is the most important aspect of this campaign type. You will need to find someone who speaks to your product and your target demographic. Above all, you want to find someone your target audience can trust.

So, if you’ll be advertising a physical product, choose someone who seems like they’d actually use your product. For example, if you’re selling basketball shoes, tapping a famous tennis player as your influencer would not be the best choice, even though they’re both athletes. Your audience likely won’t recognize the tennis player and, even if they do, won’t trust the racket-swinging athlete to know what’s best when it comes to basketball gear.

For a subtler hypothetical, if you want to promote discount home goods, choosing a notoriously lavish celebrity (whose coffee table probably costs more than most people’s entire living room furniture set) is too much of a stretch, and your audience will likely become wary of your brand. In this case, a home décor blogger (who can relate to your target demographic) with a large following would probably be the best choice.

On the other hand, if you’re advertising a luxury car (or want your cars to be perceived as luxury vehicles), choosing a high-profile celeb would be a viable option. When consumers see your ads, they want to see themselves—find an influencer who best conveys your product’s use, but more importantly, your company’s brand and purpose.

If you’re promoting a service, you might think a little more “blue sky” when it comes to deciding on an influencer. This is because the “hard work” is being done by you, the company, while your consumers get to indulge in the effortlessness of having a task done for/to them—you want to convey the feeling of easy luxury. Choose an influencer who can portray your brand as the ultimate service-provider, with amenities fit for a celeb like themselves, while also being worth the time and money your consumers will sacrafice to have something done for them—think Jeff Goldblum and You want to show your target audience you can make their lives easier (and better) through an amicable influencer they can trust.

Finally, if you’re in the business of publishing, you’ll want to err on the side of authoritative when it comes to choosing your influencer. This doesn’t mean your celeb can’t be fun, but they should be someone with a good public reputation. As a publisher, your content is your product and your lifeblood—choosing a controversial or lesser known influencer to promote your content could spell trouble. However, you might consider using someone from your company to represent your brand (e.g. the senior editor of your news publication), because it conveys transparency and ultimately trust, which is especially important for informational publications.

Know Your Audience

Identifying your target audience is key to running any type of marketing campaign—it will require some research and could vary from product to product. When it comes to influencer marketing, your target audience will ultimately determine who specifically is the best influencer is for your campaign.

To start narrowing down your audience options, you’ll need to ask questions like:

  • Which age and gender group will benefit the most from your product/service?
    • Men or women? Children, Millenials, Baby Boomers, or seniors?
  • Who’s financially best-suited for your product/service?
    • Is your product/service easily afforded? Or is it more of a splurge item?
  • Is your product/service location-specific? Are there certain regions, seasons, or climates that would lend themselves better to your product/service?
    • Can you only offer your services within a certain geographic area?
    • Are you selling cold-weather items? Hot-weather, tropical escapes? Holiday-specific products?
  • Which activities does your product/service lend itself to the most?
    • Are there specific hobbies or tasks that would benefit from your product/service?

Once you have answers to these questions, you can start deciding whether your influencer should:

  • Be a traditional celebrity (think red carpet) or a social media celeb (someone with 100,000+ Youtube subscribers, Instagram followers, or Facebook page likes).
    • Who will your target audience respond and/or relate to the most? Remember to choose someone who can show off your product/service while also positively progressing your brand image.
    • You will also need to consider budget when making this decision.
  • Promote your product/service on television, social media platforms, in print ads, and/or on the radio.
    • Where is your target audience most likely to see your ads? Consider their age, gender, and household income.
  • Have a certain background/reputation.
    • For example, should it be an athlete? Beauty blogger? Real estate guru? Fashion icon? News caster?

The better you know your target audience, the better you’ll be able to choose an influencer who can reach them, and really make them listen.

Know Your Goals

By defining specific goals within your influencer marketing campaign, you can not only measure the success of your efforts, but also decide where to make tweaks in terms of audience targeting, influencer choice, and pricing.

Some goals to set might include:

  • Reaching a specific click-through rate (CTR).
  • Choosing a specific profit range.
  • Increasing your brand’s social media following.
  • Increasing number of impressions.
  • Increase social media engagement.
  • Upping organic search volume.
  • Expanding or adding to your target audience.
  • Upping your return customer rate.

The Takeaway

Setting up your influencer marketing campaign will take a good amount of work, research, and thinking on your part. Make sure you really know your brand—to its core—and the rest will follow. There will be trials and errors when it comes to nailing down the correct audience, media channel, and influencer, but in the end, your campaign is sure to add the star quality and profit your brand deserves.

By Amanda Disilvestro on March 1, 2018

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