Influencers. We’ve heard of them, we’ve seen their posts, we follow them, sometimes we even want to be them. That’s normal, it’s human, but for brands, that’s business. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine that a marketing strategy is behind an influencer, and you don’t have to be a bags company to have one. Every company should check if it would be a good idea, it does bring business, and it does work if you plan it out.
To create a good influencer marketing strategy is not enough to contact your favorite travel influencer and send them a million DM’s. You need a good plan that aligns with your company’s goals, and research to find the influencer that is right for you. Having 10M followers on Instagram doesn’t make them the ideal influencer for your brand, and you will learn why on this blog post.
The Key to Influencer Marketing Strategy is Asking the Right Questions
At Colibri Digital Marketing, we’re not afraid of questions. We know that asking them to the client will help us create the perfect strategy that will solve their problems and needs. And influencer marketing is just like SEO, a great tactic if appropriately used.
Here are the basic questions you should know the answer to if you want your influencer marketing strategy to work:
#1. What is Your Goal?
Do you want to increase your brand’s social media audience? Do you want to generate new content? Or do you want to generate sales?
Knowing your goal is the most critical step towards finding the right match with an influencer. Your goals are non-negotiable, they’re part of your business plan, and it should be on your introduction letter.
Your goals will define the influencer that works, the campaign that works, the graphic that works, even the copy that works. Do you know what your goal is? If not, get back to your team and strategize about it.
#2. Do You Have a Customer Persona?
You can’t do any marketing strategy without your customer persona. Your customer persona is a fictional person that perfectly represents your ideal client, the one client that generates more income or that buys more products, or that lives by your brand.
To create your persona, you need to determine the demographics of your ideal client and discover their pain points, motivations, favorite brands, hobbies, and goals. Getting real information is the most important thing you can do to make sure all your marketing tactics work. You need to do your research, check out who your most engaging followers are, try to get interviews with your top clients, and ask them directly (on a focus group if you have the resources or even via social media).
Having this information will help you find the correct influencers for your brand. People your ideal clients are already following, people with values your brand and your customers share with, it’s the people that will complement your brand, not a liability.
#3. What Are You Looking to Promote?
Once you know your goal, you know what you want to promote. Maybe it’s your brand culture; perhaps it’s your top-selling skirt, maybe your AI tech that creates amazing filters, or perhaps the product you’ve been having a hard time selling.
Knowing what you are looking to promote will also help you determine your ideal influencer and reach out with a concise proposal.
#4. What Is Your Budget?
How much money are you willing to spend for an influencer promotion is something you should know from the start. Having a budget will help you see whom you can afford to promote your brand.
Some influencers have a fee for every promo, some influencers accept product exchanges, and some influencers are willing to negotiate with your brand.
#5. Are Your Products Local?
If your products are only sold in the US, having a Spanish influencer will do nothing (or almost nothing) for your goals. You need to be clear of who the influencer is and where the majority of fans they have are from if your product is local.
Maybe your products are not local, but you generate more sales in Europe than the rest of the world. It would make sense to reach out to influencers that have fans in European countries because they’re more likely to buy your products and services.
Remember, your goals are the most important thing when it comes to your influencer marketing strategy. And the more specific you are with them, the best your results!
Creating Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
Now that you have the answers to our five questions, and you’ve discussed them with your team, the strategy creation starts. Here are the steps you should follow to create the best influencer marketing strategy for your brand:
#1. Identify potential influencers that could work with your objectives.
The top tip here is to research, research, and then research some more. Think of the specifics when it comes to your goals. We want to have as many as possible, but only if they work towards your goals. You do nothing if some of them are just a filling. Insta-stalk them to make sure they would attract your ideal audience.
#2. Do influencer outreach.
Reach out to all of the influencers that fill your box. But don’t be generic! They’re probably getting lots of outreach emails besides yours. Be creative; let them know why you think they’re perfect for your brand. Don’t make it about your benefits, but find a way to make it about them. Mention what you’re willing to pay, ask if they accept product exchange. Be direct; don’t beat around the bush.
#3. Create a campaign brief.
A campaign brief is like your contract. It will explain all the conditions you both agreed to, and it will say how many posts they will make, how much you’ll pay, what they will need, what the posts will be about, it should have everything. One recommendation we always make to our clients is to ask them about what they think will work. You may want to have the creative decision, but they know their audience and engage with them every day. In this case, they might know a little more than you do about what will help you achieve your goals.
#4. Design creatives.
Only if it makes sense. You don’t need to have creatives; maybe the influencers will create the content themselves.
#5. Manage the campaigns.
You need to be the one monitoring everything. Did they make the post? How many comments did they get? Answer the comments; the influencer is talking about your brand, that’s the best invite you have to go along and answer the questions.
#6. Results report.
Track everything! All the engagement, how many link-clicks the influencer got (you can create a UTM link to do this), how many products you sold the days following the influencer’s post. Make sure to track everything you can and create a report with all the information you got. Tracking will help you determine how the strategy performed and convince the executives if it should be repeated.
With the steps on this guide, you will be able to create an influencer marketing strategy that works and will sell (if that’s your goal!). Let us know if you have any questions about creating your plan, we’d love to help you out!