Gaining and retaining loyal customers in today’s competitive era is a grind. Implementing SEO strategies can take months to generate quality leads. Running paid ads costs a hefty amount of money and is beyond the reach of SMBs on a tight budget.
That’s where influencer marketing stands out.
Onboarding the right niche-focused influencers for product endorsements can help drive conversions fast. No wonder 17 percent of firms spend half of their marketing budget on influencers.
What’s more, influencer marketing helps brands improve their reputation, building long-lasting connections with customers. Notice the following screenshot depicting the goals for which brands trust influencers.
But there’s a vast pool of influencers operating in the digital ecosystem in their own ways. If you are a brand aiming to gain conversions, it’s crucial to find the best fit for your niche. The right influencer, coupled with effective marketing strategies, can skyrocket your ROI.
In this post, we have shared the top five tips to help you make the most of influencer marketing to help make your campaigns a massive success.
#1: Outline the Goals of Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Influencer marketing involves leveraging the content creator’s platform for brand promotions.
The most vital elements for building a high-performing influencer marketing strategy include the content creator or influencer and the content itself.
But outlining the campaign’s goals is crucial before hiring influencers and creating content. Why? It’s simple: Goals help define the decision-making process.
If the goals are clear, brands can determine the best platform and influencer and create engaging content. So, let’s understand how to outline the goals of influencer marketing campaigns.
Here are a few steps to consider:
- Understand the realistic goals that can be achieved with influencer marketing. For instance, a brand can’t gain millions of followers with one campaign. Being practical about the scenario can improve clarity.
- Brand awareness, website traffic, lead generation, sales – focus on what you want to achieve.
- Determine the budget for your campaign.
- Define the deadline by which you expect to achieve goals.
Once you decide on the goals, shortlist a few influencers of your niche that can help you achieve the goals.
For instance, notice the following screenshot of Ashley Manila’s Instagram account, @bakerbynature.
Ashley is a famous food influencer with over 730,000 followers. Collaborating with her can be the best bet for food brands.
But if a shoe brand approaches her, the collaboration will likely fail, as that’s not her niche.
So, how can brands find the best fit?
Here’s a template that brands can refer to.
|Name and niche of influencer: [The niche should match your industry]
Age range: [It should match your target audience’s age category]
Popular on platforms: [Is your target audience active on those platforms]
The number of posts and engagement: [These are important success KPIs to consider]
These elements can help determine whether the influencer has the potential to meet the campaign’s end goal.
Further, brands can count on social media monitoring tools like Brans24 and Mention. These SaaS tools can help identify influencers in your niche and gain insights into their work.
#2: Create Authentic Content That Resonates with Target Audiences
Authentic content can take the influencer marketing campaign to the next level. It can help generate high engagement, showcasing the brand’s vision and the content creator’s distinctive input.
When creating content, marketers tend to get bogged down with trending strategies. All too often, their primary focus is bringing traffic, likes, shares, and coverage to the campaign. But what they miss is building relationships with the audiences.
Remember, a campaign doesn’t last forever. What remains is the impact it creates.
Audiences are likelier to trust influencers who engage with them and provide value. So what’s the best way to create content that helps build a strong relationship with audiences?
Here’s an example that will help you understand. If your brand sells mobile phones, create content that focuses on its utility. Pay attention to the pain points of target audiences when conceiving the content.
These considerations will add the element of authenticity, which is essential to gaining customers’ trust.
Here are a few more tips for creating impactful content:
- Learn as much as possible about the target audience and their interests.
- No one appreciates salesy captions. Focus on creating meaningful captions to add value to the audience.
- Add compelling imagery to grab the eyeballs of the target audiences.
- Create a unique hashtag for the campaign to give it an identity. It pays dividends in the long run by helping build a community.
The below influencer marketing campaign from Hello Fresh is a perfect example of stellar content.
Observe how Hello Fresh managed to create a winning campaign by collaborating with Emilie Hebert. The post has appropriate hashtags, eye-catching imagery, and a great caption. It’s no wonder that the campaign garnered strong engagement.
#3: Keep FTC Rules in Mind
Influencers have commercialized “word of mouth” marketing. They share reviews about products and services, convincing audiences to buy them.
While this is a great money-making strategy for influencers, it impacts the audience. It’s common for influencers to promote products they would never try in real life. But this gives a false impression to audiences. They may buy the products thinking their favorite influencer uses them.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rolled out specific guidelines to ensure consumers don’t get misled by promotional content.
Here are the FTC guidelines to consider:
- Influencers need to reveal their relationships with brands within the content.
- Influencers need to use hashtags such as #paid, #ad, or #sponsored to let audiences know it’s an endorsement.
For instance, check out the following post by Michelle Berdan, an influencer with 432,000 followers.
Observe how she has used the hashtag #sponsored in the caption to state that it’s an endorsement.
- Violating the FTC rules can lead to legal fines and penalties.
Thus, brands and influencers should maintain transparency to build credibility in the market.
#4: Use Advanced Tools to Drive Traffic to Your Website
Okay, now that you know the influencer marketing fundamentals, it’s time to take action. To pull off great influencer marketing strategies, you need advanced tools. Tools can help revolutionize the entire campaign, driving high traffic and ROI.
One of the most effective tools to drive traffic to a website is Lightricks’s Link in Bio. Many social platforms – including Instagram, the most popular one for influencer campaigns – don’t allow users to link out to other websites from post captions and comments, so using a tool like this allows influencers and marketers to simply write “See link in bio,” and audiences know what to do if they want to learn more about a given campaign.
Lightricks’s free tool offers an array of custom themes, colors, and templates to design appealing pages, which audiences can reach by clicking on your personalized URL.
When influencers use this URL in their social profiles’ “website” field, they can then make updates on the fly to their landing pages, updating the content they promote there to reflect the specifics of your campaign. If you use a tracking link as the destination on the call-to-action buttons, you’ll be in a great position to measure the performance of the collaboration – and to pixel the people who click through for later retargeting.
In this sense, Link in Bio is an essential tool to help brands drive quality traffic and conversions.
For instance, consider the following profile of Raven Navera, a popular content creator.
Notice how the Raven has placed a customized clickable URL in her profile, generated by the Link in Bio tool. The URL takes social media users to her tailored Link in Bio page, which she can then use to drive traffic to whatever campaign landing page she likes.
Next up is Insense. This SaaS tool helps brands create high-quality content and collaborate with world-class influencers.
Here’s how it works:
- Brands need to share their campaign goals in detail.
- Insense identifies the most suitable influencers of their niche and types of content that can give the campaign a good boost.
- It creates and shares a detailed influencer marketing strategy based on the company’s inputs.
Thus, Insense helps brands optimize their influencer marketing strategy without any hassles.
#5: Track the ROI of Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns
The dynamics of influencer marketing are ever-evolving. A successful influencer marketing strategy today may not work tomorrow. So, brands need to keep a tab on strategies and the ROI of the campaigns.
Here are the top KPIs to consider while evaluating the success of campaigns.
- Traffic, Likes, Comments, and Shares: These metrics are the most important for SMBs trying to create brand awareness.
- Genuine Leads: The total number of quality leads generated from the campaign.
- Conversions: The total number of leads that got converted during the campaign.
Here are the best practices to help brands track these KPIs.
- Read Direct Comments: Influencers can buy fake followers to get endorsements. So, read comments to know the actual level of the campaign’s engagement.
- Use Specialized Codes: Use discount coupon codes to get insights on every sale. For instance, notice the following post by Laura Kasperzak.
Observe how she has added a discount code in the caption. Brands can create such unique promo codes to track the influencers’ performances.
- Implement Analytics Platforms: Tools like Hootsuite or Social Sprout can help you track KPIs. So, implement them to get a 360-degree view of your campaign.
Every eight out of ten consumers trust recommendations from influencers.
From helping brands improve credibility to ensuring high engagement, influencer marketing boosts growth in no time.
Implement the shared tips to tap into the potential of influencer marketing, which is vital for any brand’s long-term success. Start your influencer marketing journey by outlining goals. Once you decide the goals, create authentic content keeping the FTC rules in mind.
Besides, using advanced tools and tracking ROI can help ensure maximum impact from influencer collaborations.
So, go ahead and craft a winning influencer marketing strategy!
Written by our guest writer Gaurav Belani, a senior SEO and content marketing analyst at Growfusely, a SaaS content marketing agency specializing in content and data-driven SEO.
He has more than seven years of experience in digital marketing. He likes sharing his knowledge in a wide range of domains ranging from IT, eCommerce, startups, social media to human capital management and much more. His work is featured in several authoritative business publications.