In our previous blog, we outlined what influencer marketing is all about. An Influencer is a person who will promote our product as a third party, making our message more believable.
On paper, this sounds too good to be true. But for many small store owners, the budget that we have to set aside for influencers could have been better invested elsewhere, which begs the question – How can we get the Best out of Influencer Marketing?
In order to succeed, the benefits of our influencer marketing campaign have to offset our costs. To do that, we need a concrete strategy, and every good strategy begins with research. The first question we must ask ourselves is – “What do I want to achieve?”
Depending on whether our goal is to spread our word or increase sales, our campaign, deliverables and even influencer choice will vary. So, the first step is to set some SMART goals to guide the process of influencer selection and evaluation of influencer performance.
Selecting the right influencer
It is easy to get lost in the sea of influencer choices. Even though influencers are categorized according to the amount and location of people who follow them, platforms they are active on, average engagement, and many other advanced metrics, it may seem daunting at first. Worry not, for we have detailed your step-by-step guide to influencer selection.
Step 1: Follower Size Preference
If you are looking to reach a larger pool of audience, you may think that macro-influencers would be your obvious choice, simply because of the higher number of people they reach. But more is not always merrier. In fact, micro-influencers have some inherent advantages that match the priorities of a smaller store, which macro-influencers lack. “Because of their small audience size, micro-influencers are closer to their target and have more power in recommending or creating valuable engagement”
Step 2: Target Market Determination
Once you have narrowed down your influencer choice by follower number, you now have to look deeper into the type of content each influencer creates and the platforms they are most relevant on. Usually, each influencer has a type of audience that they cater to, such as tech or travel enthusiasts and a platform (such as YouTube or Instagram) that majority of their reach is on. Influencers are your media to reach your target audience more organically, but their engagement will only be relevant if their audience matches the one you are looking to attract.
Step 3: Thorough Background Check
Among the myriad of influencers you find, there will be some who have faked their follower number or average engagement rate. Outwardly, their records may be so good that you are tempted to hire them for your brand. But stop and look closer, for things that look too good to be true, usually are. The final step before hiring an influencer is to check for signs that vouch their authenticity. For starters, you can look at:
- Their Follower Growth Rate: It takes a genuine influencer a lot of effort to organically gather followers, which is why their follower growth rate will be low (around 1%). So if the influencer of your choice has a much higher than average engagement rate, it may be a red flag, not a good sign.
- The Quality of their Content: Influencers who buy fake followers are not motivated to produce quality content, because their content is not driving their reach. So if you think their content quality is mediocre, think twice before interacting with them, regardless of their fan base.
- Profiles of their Followers: The easiest way to check if your selected influencer has faked the follower base? Look at their profiles! It is pretty easy to identify whether the follower is a real person or just another bot on the net. And while you are at it, you may even gain some key insights into the current trends that your target customers are looking for.
What should your course of action be, now that you have hired your perfect influencer? We can tell you what NOT to do – constantly breathe down their neck. Their authentic content is what sets them apart from brand ambassadors and other paid promoters and makes them much more reliable and effective. Many people make the heave mistake of monitoring an influencer’s content too closely, causing more harm than good. Instead, you can aid their engagement by adding value to the conversation they create – share and retweet their posts, leave a comment and grow along with them.
“Partnership with an Influencer means giving some leeway and actively engaging with their content”
Tracking their Outcome:
Any marketing effort is incomplete without a way to measure its results and an influencer’s campaign is no different. Here’s how:
Step 1: Match your goals to your results
This is where you go back to the SMART goals you created at the beginning of the campaign and match your goal to the results the influencer brings. Suppose your goal is to spread the word about your product, so that more people are familiar with your name. Then, your desired result could be the number of views the post has received. But if your goal is to increase sales, the Click Through Rate (CTR) to your website becomes much more valuable.
Step 2: Drive your customers to your page
Normally, you would track the reach of an influencer by looking at their number of followers across every platform. But reach only tells you how many people could have seen your post. A more valuable data is how many people have liked or commented on your post – which is why it is a good idea to add a Call To Action (CTA) button to each post, directing them to your website or Facebook page.
Step 3: Monitor both Quality and Quantity of Engagement
Comments on the influencer’s posts are the rawest form of feedback that you can gain from your audience. So, do not be content with only the number of comments as a measure of engagement, but also take a closer look at the quality of those comments to gain first-hand insight on how your end-users really feel.
Now that you are armed with the what and how of Influencer Marketing, you are ready for the final step – using it to turn your marketing around and staying on top of competition.