Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

6 Steps to Create a Successful Influencer Marketing Program

In order to achieve your goals to promote your brand and products, using influencers is a step in the right direction. Influencers are busy people, with many requests pouring in from brands who wish to collaborate.

Influencer marketing is getting increasingly popular among brands and marketers. A Blogmint survey found that 90% of marketers intend to launch at least one marketing campaign with influencers within the next 12 months. But many people do not have a clear idea how to create an effective influencer marketing program.

This article contains all the information you need for building your very own influencer marketing campaign. Here are the six essential steps involved in a successful influential marketing program.

1.   Determine Your Goals

The first step to execute a successful influencer marketing program is to set your goals and clearly define what you wish to achieve. You need to work out which metrics you will use to measure success based on those goals. This helps you get a clear idea what you need to do in order to achieve your goals.

Another thing that needs to be defined well in advance is your target audience. Your target audience is based on the type of product or service you are looking to promote.

Which demographic is most likely to be interested in what you’re selling? What are the likes, dislikes, and preferences of your audience? How can you present your product or service in a way that would align with their preferences and interests?

The goals and intentions for launching influencer marketing campaigns may differ from brand to brand. But most marketers work with influencers to accomplish the following goals:

  • Develop a strong bond with the customer
  • Increase sales
  • Generate quality leads
  • Increase brand awareness

2.   Find Appropriate Influencers

Finding and partnering with right influencer may be the main ingredient that sets apart a successful campaign from a failed one. The best way to get noticed by an influencer is to research them and their followers. Influencers sometimes know more about brand promotions better than any professional agency.

Influencers tend to specialize in certain niches, and their followings are also made up of people who are interested in those niches. There are influencers who publish content in various fields like food, travel, parenting, pets, fashion and many others. It is important to find the right influencer within the relevant niche or the efforts of your program will be wasted.

To select the most suitable influencer, it is important to see how the product or service you need to promote coordinates with the content they create.

For example if you need to look for influencers for promotion of a restaurant, you may want to look for food bloggers.

If you need to promote travel baggage, you need to look for travel influencers.

Incluencer Marketing: Instagram

Before working with an influencer, it is also important to find out whether they are genuine or not. Look through the content they have created to see how well they’re able to align their sponsored content with their organic content.

It is also important to see how engaged the audience is with the content. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, engagement rates tend to be higher among influencers who have smaller audiences. So micro-influencers might be a better option if your goal is to drive engagement.

3.   Trust Influencers with Content Creation

In influencer marketing, you will either co-create content with influencers, or guide influencers to create the type of content you need. This content should be able to engage the right audience, and spread your message effectively.

You should be clear about what type of audience you wish to reach through the influencer content. So you can set up some basic guidelines on the kind of voice and messaging you need for the content.

It’s important that you trust the influencers to create the exact type of content that will engage their audiences while effectively promoting your brand. Influencers know their followers best, so they know exactly what type of content will appeal to their followers. Trust them to frame your message in a way that will resonate with their audience.

This is important because influencers love working with brands who give them the freedom to create content they like. A Crowdtap survey found that for most influencers, their favorite brand projects are usually those that give them creative freedom.

4.   Prepare for Effective Execution

After developing your content, it is now time to execute the marketing campaign that you have been preparing for. You need to communicate regularly with the influencers during the roll out of the campaign. Be available for any questions, issues, or comments from the audience or the influencers.

You also need to track the views on your posts along with the number of likes, comments, and shares. And then be ready to makes any changes if the need arises. Find out if any of the influencers aren’t driving the kind of results you expected. If so, you may need to exclude them from future campaigns.

5. Reward the Influencer

Do not expect influencers to work with your brand just because you provide them with free samples.

According to the Crowdtap survey, this is the biggest misconception brands make when working with influencers. 68% of influencers in the survey also said that they would work with a brand more than once if the brand provides them with fair compensation.

So it’s clear to see that monetary rewards are crucial when working with influencers. You can provide each influencer with suitable compensation based on their performance and the results they deliver.

6.   Measure the Outcome

Once you have successfully executed the program, it is now time to measure the outcome of the campaign. You need to check whether the results are in-line with the goals that were set by you at the beginning of the influencer marketing campaign. You also need to see how well your campaign has performed.

For this you need to gather the required data, and compare it with the preset measures of success. You need to prepare reports regarding the actual performance of the program, and compare it with the benchmarks that you have set. Some basic parameters that you can view are the number of leads that were generated, and the reduction of marketing costs compared to traditional advertising costs.

In order to see the actual outcome of your program, you need to have an ongoing campaign to promote your brand through influencers. The results of the campaign affects both the brand and the influencer in terms of popularity and brand image.

There are various tools for measuring the outcome of your influencer marketing campaigns such as NeoReach, Onalytica, Julius, etc.

Conclusion

The steps given above can guide you to create more effective influencer marketing campaigns that deliver impressive results. As you can see, it all starts with a goal, and it doesn’t end even after you execute the campaign. You should thoroughly measure the impact of the program to see what works, and what doesn’t.

Bonus: Want to learn more? Check out Ecommerce Nation’s and REECH’s Influencer Marketing Study – download the free PDF!

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Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, Influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.