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Influencer marketing has become a buzzword in the world of digital marketing, and for good reason. With the rise of social media platforms, influencers have gained massive followings and the ability to sway the purchasing decisions of their audiences.

Brands have taken notice and are leveraging the power of influencer marketing to reach new audiences, increase brand awareness, and drive sales.

However, if you're new to the world of influencer marketing, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this blog post, we'll cover the basics of what influencer marketing is, how it works, and some tips on how to do it effectively.

Whether you're a brand looking to partner with influencers or an influencer looking to collaborate with brands, this post will provide you with a solid foundation to get started.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a recent development in marketing strategies, where businesses collaborate with individuals who have a fan following on social media platforms. These individuals are called influencers.

Influencer marketing has been creating a great buzz in recent times. Individuals who have been able to generate a following in their niche are a wonderful channel to build brand awareness.

Importance of influencer marketing

This relatively new form of marketing has gained immense popularity. The following are some pointers that stress its importance:

  • Influencer marketing helps improve brand awareness. Influencers provide more exposure to brands and help them achieve the desired reach.
  • Since influencers concentrate on a niche, it is easy to precisely target prospective customers through this form of marketing.
  • Influencers who have gained a lot of followers can forge better engagement. This helps the brand scale more.
  • Collaborating with an influencer can help boost conversion rates. Through their unique style of marketing, they help generate more customers.
  • Audiences trust influencers more than an advertisement in conventional media. The trust can be converted easily to make them your customers.
  • Brands can explore new landscapes and reach newer audiences through influencer marketing.

How to build an influencer marketing strategy?

You should have a strong strategy in place to create brand awareness and reach your target audiences through influencers. Here are some tips to build an influencer marketing strategy:

1. Define your goals

What do you want to achieve by roping in influencers for marketing? Do you want to generate a customer base in new demography, increase sales, generate brand awareness, or promote a new product?

Defining goals will help you formulate ways to reach them. Your goals also act as benchmarks to follow up on your performance.

Proper goal definition also enables the influencers to strategically focus on attracting more prospects.

2. Define your audience

Your target audience plays a great role in framing marketing strategies. Identify and segment your audience to structure your campaigns.

Target audiences can be segmented based on geography, demography, stage in the customer lifecycle, etc.

Defining your audience helps the marketing teams greatly. It is also easy to identify the influencer who can suit your campaigns.

3. Choose the kind of campaign

The types of campaigns can vary depending on the buyer segment and also the products/services. Each kind of campaign has its advantages.

You could opt for premium guest posts, giveaways/contests, coupon codes, promotions, affiliates, etc. When you have a clear understanding of your buyer persona, it is easy to decide the type of campaign.

You should also consider the influencer’s forte while deciding the type of campaign.

4. Consider the 3 Rs of influencer marketing

It is imperative to consider the 3Rs while choosing an influencer for your marketing programs. The 3 Rs are:

  • Relevance: The influencer should be relevant to your target audience. You should choose an influencer who can cater to your niche. This is highly crucial to get the desired reach.
  • Reach: Reach determines the number of people the influencer should reach out to. It depends on the number of followers and how many of them are likely to engage with the content created by the influencer.
  • Resonance: Can the influencer help increase your customer count? Many followers just visit the page and enjoy the content but do not show any progress beyond that. This is not the result you expect from influencer marketing. The influencers should be able to pass on your brand’s value and help them move down the funnel.

5. Selection of influencers

The influencer you choose should be the perfect voice for your brand. Since the increase in the popularity of social media marketing, there has been considerable growth in the number of influencers.

But to choose the right influencers for your brand, you should consider the following:

  • Have the influencers worked with similar brands earlier?
  • Are the influencers endorsing your competitor brands?
  • Do they have knowledge about your industry?
  • Do they fit your brand values?
  • How about their engagement with the audience?
  • Will they fit your budget?

Qualify your influencers and reach out to them with your requirements. You can plan the way you want your campaigns to be executed.

6. Use rewards and incentives

Rewards are a great way to attract potential leads. It is a win-win for both the brand and the customers. While it acts as a brand promotional strategy, the customers also get free goodies.

Incentive programs are highly essential where marketing has taken a virtual stage. Since there is no face-to-face interaction with potential customers, it is necessary to keep them engaged with e-gifts.

Incentivizing the influencer marketing campaigns can be planned with your brand’s influencer.

7. Manage the campaigns

Selection of an influencer for your brand can be done through direct interaction, agencies, or influencer marketing tools. This depends on your budget and requirements.

You have to plan and manage your campaigns with the influencers. You should convey your brand guidelines so that influencers can plan a strategy accordingly.

Similarly, you should also acquaint yourself with how the influencer works with other brands, what kind of reciprocation they expect, etc.

You should also decide upon the terms of the contract, whether you need to put it in writing, etc. It is always good to have things in black and white so that expectations are clear, and enforcing the same becomes easier as well.

If you have hired a micro-influencer, you can interact with them directly to know how they have planned the content to execute the campaign. You may communicate your views on the same and finalize the campaign based on healthy discussions.

8. Decide the platform

While there are several platforms available, the choice of one for your brand will depend on your requirements and budget. It may be YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, personal blogs, Snapchat, TikTok, etc.

Choose a platform that is popular and where your influencer has a good reach. The kind of products/services you want to promote also has a bearing in deciding on the platform.

For example, household products can be easily marketed through Instagram influencers.

9. Define your budget

Among other factors, budget is an important one. It is the main constraint in deciding the influencer, type of content, campaign, platform, etc.

If you are a small-sized business, you will not be able to spend much on marketing. So, an influencer agency that needs higher compensation will be an expensive choice.

Arrive at your budget first, depending on your industry and campaign, and then proceed to look for influencers.

10. Measure your results

You should track the performance of your influencer marketing campaign to analyze its effectiveness. The most important factor that will determine the success of your campaign is the revenue that you have generated after the campaign.

Compare your results with the goals you had set. This will help understand where you stand in relation to your goals. If there has been a satisfactory increase in revenues, it means that the choice of the influencer and the campaign has worked well.

These are some things that you should examine when you measure your results:

  • Was the influencer able to generate more engagement? It may be in the form of likes, shares, mentions, reposts, retweets, etc.
  • Was the influencer able to attain more reach for your brand?
  • Has your campaign been successful in generating more conversions?
  • Was there an increase or decrease in your followers post the campaign?
  • Were you able to achieve ROI based on your spending for influencers?

You also have several automated tools that help in measuring the success of your campaigns. It is very important that you do not follow a redundant strategy and this is the reason you should review your campaign strategy periodically.

If you notice any inefficiencies, discuss them with your influencer to correct the same.

How have brands leveraged influencer marketing?

The following are some examples of brands that used influencer marketing successfully:

1. Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts used TikTok for brand promotion. It roped in Charli D’ Amelio, who was extremely popular, with 144.5 million followers on TikTok.

Dunkin’s campaign was to launch a new beverage named “The Charli” under the hashtag #CharliXDunkinContest.

The brand saw a whopping 57% increase in app downloads on the day of the campaign launch by D’Amelio. This collaboration has been a successful venture for Dunkin’ Donuts with the hashtag witnessing 240.6M views, making them the #1 food brand on TikTok.

2. Samsung Note 7

Samsung used a professional Snapchat artist, CyreneQ, to promote its launch of the Note 7. She used her Snapchat account to give the audience a look at the new device. The 10-second video format showed the best features of the mobile attractively.

3. Calvin Klein

Justin Bieber, the pop star with 150+ million followers on Instagram, proved to be a great choice for Calvin Klein’s influencer marketing.

The brand launched #MyCalvins campaign through a video on YouTube. The campaign was a huge success that it helped increase the brand’s Facebook followers by 2.2 million, Instagram by 1.8 million, and Twitter by 1 million.

4. GAP

GAP launched a campaign where it collaborated with several prominent influencers. Popular bloggers Refinery29 and WhoWhatWhere promoted the brand by showing how they styled their looks with GAP in their wardrobes.

The option to shop the look displayed by the influencers gave more impetus to the campaign.

5. Allen Solly

The #ShootforSolly campaign was used by Allen Solly to promote their chinos collection. They collaborated with 11 famous personalities from different fields and also brought in 11 amateur photographers.

The brand planned to launch chinos as an alternative to jeans to attract the younger generation. The brand witnessed more than 32 lakh impressions on Facebook post the campaign.

6. PlayStation

PlayStation used Instagram and YouTube to leverage influencer marketing. They collaborated with five gaming influencers to promote virtual reality headsets in the Canadian market.

These influencers were micro- and nano-influencers with a following of less than a lakh. They posted images and videos with the headset. The engagement rate for the campaign on Instagram and YouTube was 3.64% and 3.19%, respectively.

7. H&M

H&M is a popular clothing brand that joined hands with fashion bloggers, like Julie Sarinana and Ela Velden.

The influencers posted pictures of themselves wearing the brand and promoted it on their Instagram profiles.

As a result of influencer marketing, H&M is rated as the clothing brand that has the largest number of Instagram followers.

Final words

With a proper strategy, the right selection of influencers, and the proper execution of the campaign, influencer marketing can bring considerable benefits to your brand.

Get started and grow your business with influencer marketing and make your customers rave about your brand!

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