A Definite Guide to Influencer Marketing Strategy For Brands

Gen Z (and a section of Millennials) changed consumer behaviour forever. Even buying a hair tie needed social proof. They wanted to read and see others’ experience of it before handing over their moolah.

Who were these ‘others’? Bloggers, vloggers and YouTubers. Basically, geniuses populating the obscure corners of the internet before Instagram became Instagram.

Then real social media came into being. The underlying mechanics of advertising and promoting a brand remained the same, but who was genuinely influential took a 360 turn.

What is influencer marketing?

Our founder has written about the history of influencer marketing here and explained it in detail here.

All of it points to one thing:

Influencers or creators are a brand’s biggest asset in the current era. Without them, you cannot survive. It’s a virtuous cycle:

Capture a good creator, and the audience will follow. Capture enough of the audience, and creators will follow.

So, influencer marketing is collaborating with people who know your target audience’s pulse and can influence them. By working with creators, you build connections with consumers who are likely to buy your brand.

But for it to work, you need a strategy.

How to build an influencer marketing strategy?

Creating an influencer marketing strategy takes 5 steps:

  1. Define your goals.

Outline your goals

The first step to creating an influencer marketing strategy is finding what you would like to accomplish with the campaign.

Why?

Defined goals help shape the entire strategy consistently. More importantly, they give you a clear picture of what to track after the campaign ends (step 5).

Types of campaign goals:

  1. Generate awareness: Let more people know and recognize your brand.

Picking the influencer marketing campaign

Your campaign goals inform the type of campaign you should pick. Broadly, there are three types.

You can inspire the creator to share content about your brand (read: organic campaign). You can collaborate with them (not merely hire) to create branded-content (read: sponsored campaign). Or you can use a blend of both.

Types of influencer marketing campaigns:

  1. Gifting involves a review or mention by the creator in exchange for a free product/service.

Defining your target audience

The 3rd step of creating an influencer marketing strategy is determining your target audience.

Why?

Even the best strategy will fail if it is not tailored to your audience. That’s possible only when you know your buyer. So, use demographic segmentation and psychographics to find the right buyer persona.

For instance, a sustainable clothing brand’s target would be people who are eco-conscious, not those who prefer furs and animal prints.

Discovering the right influencer

There are categories of influencers. They differ by niche — travel, fitness, lifestyle, etc. They vary by follower size — celebrities, mega-influencer, micro-influencer, and nano-influencer.

The right creator falls in the intersection of niche, size and your brand. Spotting one takes effort. You have to sift through the brand’s social account, search through hashtags, and send countless emails.

You will also need to track your influencer outreach to avoid contacting the same creator recurrently. It also helps organise the entire process of collaborating with a creator.

Rules to finding a creator:

  1. Don’t reach out to an influencer because they have the maximum followers. It is not about size. You are better off working with a creator with a modest following that matches your audience rather than collaborating with a mega-influencer whose followers will never be interested in your brand.
  • Looking at metrics like engagement rate, impressions, etc. to gauge reach and authority.

3. The creator’s content should be relevant to your product. It should be high-quality.

An easier way to find and collaborate with the correct influencer for a campaign is to use an influencer marketing platform. Their tools ensure that all rules are followed without any effort on your part.

Measuring the campaign results

Most brands stop at step 4. Once the creator is hired, deliverables are decided and, well, delivered; they think it’s done and dusted.

It is not. Tracking and analysing the results of the campaign is a no brainer. When you measure them, you find out if the campaign succeeded.

Assume the goal of your influencer marketing campaign was to reach 10K followers in 2 months. Without actually checking the increase in follower number, you can’t assess the true impact and take corrective actions, if needed.

Types of metric to measure campaign success:

  • For awareness campaigns, track social mentions, impressions, reach, site traffic, page view, etc.

Influencer marketing strategy has no set formula

The rules on how to create an effective influencer marketing strategy are not set in stone. Yes, the path remains the same for all brands, but the nuances differ. So, use this guide to set the stage but make your own judgement calls.

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