Top 10 Influencer marketing best practices

Technology use habits are changing, and so does the consumer. Along with thirty-second TV spots and full-page magazine ads, other channels are also becoming important for some of the audiences desired by advertisers. Many brands have followed their target markets to their preferred channels, however, simply having a presence on these channels may not be enough to reach them.

So what could be done to reach more people and engage with them in relevant ways?

One most influential way today is paying users or influencers with high followings to post about brands or products. These influencers have niche audiences, which makes them an ideal partner for certain types of products that may appeal to a specific group of people.

Each of above category lies in the number of followers, with celebrity influencers having 1m+ followers (Rich & Famous), mega influencers having attained over one million followers, macro-influencers between 100,000-1,000,000, micro-influencers between 10,000 and 100,000, and nano influencers with follower counts smaller than 10,000. Three crucial characteristics can help finalizing the influencer: expertise, authenticity, and intimacy. These characteristics may be of great importance in generating higher numbers of followers base.

According to Sprout Social, over 75% of users have reported purchasing something they saw advertised by their favorite influencer.

To strengthen a highly responsive influencer marketing strategy, it is essential to adhere to these best practices, else the relationships with influencers and customers are at stake.

Influencer Marketing Best Practices

  1. Set Influencer Marketing Goals:

When you decide to go for Influencer marketing, it is essential to start with defining your SMART goals. Be it brand awareness, web traffic, engagement, or any other goal, identify your priorities and set the goals, so that you can measure them against various KPIs successfully. Also, it will help the brand operationalize the strategic direction that the influencer marketing campaign should take, and it should align with the brand’s own key business strategy.

Once the goal is set, the objectives can be determined by using the marketing funnel. A marketing funnel can entail some marketing objectives based on which stage of the funnel (i.e awareness, consideration, or conversion) the brand or their product is in.

2. Identify Customer Conversation

Unless you know what your customers talk about & think about your brand, you would not be able to assess the size of the campaign to be launched. This will also help in identifying the influencer, discover the segments to be targeted and allocate the influencer marketing budget, Followed by deciding how many influencers will be utilized and whether the collaboration is long-term or short-term.

3. Strategize the Campaign

Strategize the campaign based on objectives and goals as this may impact the length of collaboration. For example, if the goal is to create loyalty among customers then a long-term influencer marketing strategy can be more beneficial as it can support the marketing funnel by creating sustainable long-term growth for brands. The marketing strategy varies with the brand and a one-fits-all cannot be deduced.

4. Identify Right Influencer

Based on your definition of success, there are some characteristics of influencers one can focus on. For example, if you define success with sales or conversion, then you should focus on utilizing influencers who are perceived credible by having knowledge and skills in regard to a product and if the success is creating awareness, you should focus on influencers who are e.g. perceived as likable, friends and engage in self-disclosure.

5. Perform Competitor Analysis

For some brands, the influencer identifying process can be time-consuming, and therefore if they have enough economical capital, then they can use influencer marketing agencies as mediators or look out what type of influencers their competitors are utilizing.

6. Align with Brand Strategy

Once the potential influencer is identified, the next step is to further investigate how influencers match the brand voice or strategy. One has to evaluate whether the past promoted brands and promoted content by the influencer can be aligned with the values of their own brand.

7. Focus on Value

Establishing expectations before the production of the content is essential as that can support the brand and influencers in how the campaign will be executed. Focusing on value and clear conversation about the expectations to the content can avoid cancellations of contract and bad reputation of your brand. If your brand wants to be perceived in a specific way, it is important to advise the influencer during the process, as they can also unlock unique insight into the target audience which brands can tap into.

8. Believe in Expertise

You know your target audience based on numbers and stats, however, influencers truly know their audience better than you. They are influencers and there are particular reasons you hired them, so trusting their expertise is a good choice. One can monitor whether the content is released as agreed upon.

9. Analyze the campaign

Analyze what went well or/and bad and how can they do it differently next time. This will help in making adjustments to the campaign or reconsidering the right influencers that can be utilized in the future and make a decision related to contract terms and timeframe.

10. Evaluate ROI

ROI can either be tangible, which focuses on the explicit profitable financial outcome or it can be intangible, which investigates customer satisfaction. It is essential to evaluate the success of the influencer marketing campaign by assessing whether the goals and objectives set in the beginning have been met. In either scenario, new objectives can be formulated.

We often hear about bloggers, vloggers, celebrities, Instagrammers, etc; however, someone who had worked with your brand for a decade can also become a social advocate of your brand and generate leads for you through their personal social networks. The latest fad in the influencer marketing landscape is the use of live streaming videos (Twitch Influencers) in which the influencers stream live video content to their followers and in which the sponsored content can be promoted. Also, nano influencers are helping the brands to reach their target audience.

Influencer marketing is a sustainable strategic communication instrument, these best practices can stand out to be a guide in designing a holistic influencer marketing strategy.

It might be overwhelming to conduct and navigate influencer marketing campaigns, reach out to our experts on how to utilize influencer marketing in this highly saturated market.

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Ashwini works as a content strategist at Manal Agency. Armed with her intensive research and analysis, she crafts cohesive content that aligns with the brand. She crafts & strategizes the content on diverse topics that aim to educate, entertain, inspire, and engage the readers.
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