With how saturated the internet space has become over the years, brands are looking to do whatever they can to get their message in front of their intended audience(s). Given the high volume of competition, choices have become limited. It’s tough to rank on Google (especially in larger industries); social media spaces are filled, paid advertising involves constant effort… so what does that leave us with? Influencer Marketing – here’s everything you’ll need to get started.
Determine Your Goals
Dipping your toe into Influencer Marketing can feel a bit intimidating, especially at first. Your best chance of avoiding any confusion or being completely overwhelmed is to break down your efforts into attainable goals that you can work towards.
It’s best to start with a revenue-oriented goal, preferably on a quarterly basis. This means the sales from your Influencer Marketing efforts yield x amount in a 4-month span. This will largely be determined by your determination and the budget you have to work with, but most of all it provides you with a benchmark.
Research Your Audience
As with any other Digital Marketing practice, you have to know your audience. Only in the case of Influencer Marketing, you don’t have the luxury of being able to accept many losses in the early stages of promotion, unless you decide to work exclusively with micro-influencers.
You’ll want to start by outlining a buyer persona, which outlines the fictitious personality of your ‘ideal customer’. Now, this won’t be a perfect representation of each customer you have, that would be impossible, but this does help define who your customers are and how you can help them.
Before researching your ideal influencers, you’ll want a good grasp of your audiences’ key:
Interests: their hobbies, passions, and most common sources of entertainment
Demographics: their geographics, income, education, and social affiliations.
Knowing the ins and outs of your customers is a huge first step in knowing who they may deem to be influential.
Determine Your Platform(s) of Choice
Once you can nail down who your ideal customer is, you’ll have an idea of where they’re spending their time online. Generally speaking, people tend to choose a social media platform that best tends to their needs, which is based on their interests. We outlined a social media guide for you to reference when determining where your customers are likely to be spending their time online.
Allocate a Budget
With our sites set on your ideal platform(s), it’s time to talk money.
I’ll be the first one to admit that outlining an Influencer Marketing budget is tough… but it usually comes down to two potential outcomes.
#1: You Know Who You Want To Work With
#2: You Don’t Yet Know Who To Work With
If you have your sights on specific influencers, you contact them and/or their managers to see what they charge and determine whether or not it’s worth it for you.
If you don’t know who to contact (yet), you’ll probably want to set your goals by sales. This means having a set revenue goal. Just as you would set an appropriate PPC Advertising budget for a sales goal, you’d do the same here.
With your goal in mind, you’d then research your options and try to get the most bang for your buck. This could mean working with 1-2 large influencers, or a multitude of micro-influencers – whatever you think might work best.
Also set a testing budget in advance, which would act as a small-scale effort, so you can project sales estimates without wasting much time or money.
Spend Time Researching Influencers In Your Desired Niche
With your money in order, you can start outlining who you may want to work with.
With the space and budget in mind, you can browse from the many influencer search tools/directories that are out there.
But in our experience – it’s best to just Google “(Insert Industry) (Insert Platform) Influencers. So an example would be something like, “Fashion Instagram Influencers”. You’ll get a huge list of influencers, most of which you won’t want to work with; your job will be to narrow down those that best fit your audience, based on the buyer personas we mentioned above.
Everything from their tone and demeanor should give you hints on how worthy they are. Also, look at what other companies have worked with them – that can give you some major clues!
But be careful… because just as Influencer Marketing can have its upsides, it can be damaging as well. Erratic, unpredictable influencers, such as those that pull pranks or rely on shock value for punch lines are extra risky because if they do or say something that is frowned upon, your brand will be roped into it.
Consider the risks!
Establish Where Influencer Marketing Will Be In Your Strategy
Marketing is and always has been about the long-game. That’s what makes strategy so important.
Now, with that said where you have Influencer Marketing as part of your strategy will determine where you invest most of your budget and how you look to convert sales. While there are virtually infinite ways to incorporate Influencer Marketing as part of a strong Digital Marketing strategy, we’ll give you a couple of examples of how it can work.
Let’s say you’re either a new company looking to get your name out there. Or maybe you’re just trying to expand your market share. You can invest most of your budget on getting influencers to ‘shout out’ your product on their videos, podcasts, etc. This will reach the collection of their average viewer base.
Once this is done, you can run PPC ads, targeting followers of said influencers with a special offer. This way, they’ve heard of you (from someone they like) and therefore, will be more likely to trust and entertain your offer.
Or you can invest your awareness budget in a multitude of ways, such as with running press releases, low-commitment ads, content-oriented initiatives, etc. Then have influencers promote your offers, with the hopes that you’ve made your brand well-known enough.
But just as so many say – it’s easier said than done.
This is why most brands choose to go with professionals who have been there and done that.
Thinking about getting your brands’ name out there but don’t know where to start? Active Web Group has been helping brands grow for over 20 years, so we can certainly help you. Contact us today for a free consultation and we’ll get you on the track to success.
Can’t wait? Give us a call now at (800) 978-3417