Influencer Marketing Strategy Secrets Revealed: 8 Tips For Success
Social media influencers are modern-day storytellers. When utilized correctly, they can become powerful assets in a brand’s marketing approach. The kind of conversions a brand reaps really depends on the influencer marketing strategy adopted.
However, influencer partnerships might not always be as easy as they sound. Creating convincing campaigns featuring influencers and getting these campaigns to seamlessly align with the rest of your marketing can be challenging.
At the same time, knowing that about 50% of millennials go with product recommendations they get from influencers, it’s only natural for brands to want to explore this opportunity. If you are wondering how to make your influencer collaboration work and how to drive the intended results when working with influencers, you are in the right place.
In this blog, we’ll talk about influencer marketing strategies that brands can deploy in order to reach more new customers, engage the existing ones and build authenticity.
- What is the state of influencer marketing in 2023?
- 8 tips to build a strong influencer marketing strategy
- 1. Know if influencer marketing is relevant to your brand and campaign
- 2. Understand the types of influencers and their benefits
- 3. Explore various platforms for influencer marketing
- 4. Evaluate the influencer’s relevance to your brand
- 5. Spark conversations not just sales
- 6. Ensure there’s equal focus on the influencer
- 7. Continuously track and measure the performance of your strategy
- 8. Be open to new ideas
- Complement your influencer marketing strategy with stunning graphics from KIMP
What is the state of influencer marketing in 2023?
Understanding this is important because you need to be sure that you are assigning your marketing budget and effort to a strategy with good leverage. So, we’ll give you a few quick statistics to comprehend the need for influencer marketing as well as the evolving trends to stay prepared for.
- If you are wondering whether influencer marketing is still a relevant approach, then you should know that this industry was valued at U.S. $16.4 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $21.1 billion in 2023. This whopping rise is a straightforward indicator that the industry is growing and therefore definitely worth your time.
- Influencer-generated content is said to bring nearly 8 times the engagement of general branded content. So, if you have been struggling to drive engagement on your social media pages, working with influencers might be the answer.
- Among the many things that influencers help achieve, nearly 59% of brands believe that they improve purchase intent. Given that this is an area that several brands struggle with, influencer collaborations can be a worthy shot to change that.
- Data shows that about 56% of consumers have purchased something after seeing their favorite influencer use it.
- In addition to all these points, the effectiveness of a strategy can be gauged from the ROI, right? So, are the returns good with influencer marketing? Well, according to the Influencer Marketing Hub, brands make an average of about $5.78 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. If that’s not a good ROI, what is?!
Convinced that it’s time to invest in influencer marketing? Then let’s look at some tips to lay down a robust future-ready influencer marketing strategy for your brand.
8 tips to build a strong influencer marketing strategy
1. Know if influencer marketing is relevant to your brand and campaign
While influencer marketing has a huge set of benefits, sometimes some brands might find the approach irrelevant or impractical. On the other hand, others might find it beneficial to consistently invest in influencer marketing. Understanding the difference here is one of the first steps to take when you are working on your influencer marketing strategy.
A few industries where influencer marketing is very productive include:
- Fashion and beauty
- Travel and hospitality
- Food and beverage
- Fitness and wellness
All of these direct-to-consumer products and services are best introduced through credible influencers. However, for brands catering to specialized niches or small target audience groups, businesses delivering emergency services and some B2B companies might find influencer marketing irrelevant to their approach. And sometimes featuring an influencer feels irrelevant because of the nature of the campaign.
Take Rolex, for example. Except for an occasional feature of world-famous celebrities, the luxury watch brand does not create many influencer campaigns.
Evaluating the pros and cons, once you are sure that influencers make a difference to your brand, start with knowing what type of influencer to work with.
2. Understand the types of influencers and their benefits
While categorizing influencers based on their niche is one of the easiest and most evident practices, one other critical parameter is the size of their following.
Based on their following on social media influencers can be categorized into various types. And each type brings a different set of benefits to the table. You need to choose the type that feels the most relevant to your brand and also to the campaign objective.
So, what are the types of influencers you can work with based on their follower count?
- Macro influencers – with 100,000 to 1 million followers, they are social media celebrities. They aid in better reach and cater to diverse content formats and topics too.
- Micro influencers – with 1,000 to 100,000 followers, they have a clearly established niche. There is a signature authenticity to them that also comes with strong engagement rates.
- Nano influencers – with fewer than 1,000 followers, they make a great choice for hyper-local campaigns. There is also a better level of personalization in their engagement with their audience.
Recently there has been a sharp increase in the number of brands working with micro-influencers. In fact, about 56% of marketers continue to collaborate with micro-influencers. Because reportedly, they generate roughly 60% better engagement than macro-influencers and are known to be less expensive too.
The below Adidas campaign featuring a micro-influencer is a refreshing change from the usual celebrity-studded campaigns.
While micro-influencers have their advantages, some of your campaigns might work better with macro and nano influencers. So, you can always have a good mix of influencer types for your various campaigns. In fact, most brands work with multiple influencers. Nearly 39% of brands surveyed by Statista reportedly work with up to 10 influencers.
3. Explore various platforms for influencer marketing
When we talk about influencer marketing, perhaps Instagram and YouTube are perhaps the two main platforms that come to your mind. But the truth is, the influencer marketing landscape has changed a lot in recent years.
TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are the four most popular platforms now for influencer marketing with TikTok taking the lead (nearly 56% of brands use it). So, a good influencer marketing strategy is mindful of the platforms that work best for the brand. And even better will be the choice of working on more than one platform.
Chipotle, for example, is quite active on social media. And the brand recently has expanded its influencer campaigns on TikTok and is killing it on the platform.
If you are wondering which social media platforms to include in your influencer marketing strategy, ask yourself these questions:
- Who are the target audience for the campaign and which social media platform are they most active on?
- Which social media platform helps you achieve your campaign objective better?
Come up with a plan of action based on the answers to these questions.
KIMP Tip: Depending on the platform you choose for your influencer campaign, you should be ready to experiment with the most popular content type on that platform. For example, if you choose YouTube, you need long-form videos to stand out. While Shorts work and while static images in Community posts are available, long-form videos are the best choice considering the platform.
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4. Evaluate the influencer’s relevance to your brand
Influencer marketing can sometimes be a double-edged sword. When the collaboration works well, your brand’s reach improves, you build trust in your brand and amass a whole lot of new leads. However, remember that your brand’s reputation is at stake. If things go sideways, your brand’s current image is tarred as well.
This can happen either because of poorly planned campaign execution or because of irrelevance in the collaboration. For example, if yours is an eco-conscious company, you cannot afford to work with an influencer whose content often features non-eco-friendly products and practices. In this case, the failure is because the brand and the influencer do not share the same values.
The second type of failure is when a celebrity or influencer is featured for the sake of it. If there is no real purpose for the featured influencer, customers make no sense of the ad.
Think of the time when Christiano Ronaldo appeared in a Japanese TV program. The weirdest part of the campaign was that it was for the promotion of a strange facial fitness device. Not many found the featuring of the sports celebrity to be relevant here. Hence the campaign received a lot of backlash within a short time.
Sometimes, irrelevant influencer collaborations lead to dissatisfied influencers leaving a not-so-impactful or even a reputation-damaging review about the brand. That’s exactly what happened when EA Games tried to collaborate with musician Benjamin Burnley. The musician did not resonate with the product and therefore ended up posting a foul review.
So, to avoid tarnishing your brand reputation through irrelevant collaborations, look for influencers in your niche, specifically those who share the same values as your brand.
5. Spark conversations not just sales
Yes, you need to break free of the ad trap and focus on creating meaningful conversations, especially when working with influencers. Because once you get a hang of influencer marketing, you can easily convert passive viewers to active participants.
To make all this happen, you need to focus on engagement more than promotion with your influencer campaigns. To promote your brand and products you have ads. But with influencer campaigns, striking conversations is the best objective to focus on.
Take the below Bulgari influencer post for example. Instead of directly speaking highly of the featured fragrance, the video presents useful tips to apply cologne and subtly plugs the product into the content. This way, the idea engages the users more effectively and motivates them to try the featured product.
6. Ensure there’s equal focus on the influencer
If you work with an influencer and enforce your brand’s identity entirely, the chosen influencer’s unique style is lost. But that unique style, the influencer’s signature tone might be that one connecting link between them and their audiences. So, anything you create without this connecting link will struggle to achieve the results.
The below post shows an influencer campaign for Innisfree USA. Instead of making the video all about the brand and the product, the video puts the influencer and her lifestyle in the spotlight. Aimee Song’s content usually features raw lifestyle moments and features her baby in several places. The below brand campaign also stays consistent with this format. Therefore, the video connects well with her audience.
7. Continuously track and measure the performance of your strategy
Once the groundwork is done and the influencer marketing strategy is live you need to be vigil when it comes to evaluating the performance of the strategy.
You should continuously track the engagement on the post, the conversions, and the returns. Only then will you understand whether you are on the right track with respect to the chosen influencer and the platform.
Additionally, this continuous monitoring also helps you decide if a long-term partnership with the same influencer will be a good idea. Because long-term partnerships are quite productive in familiarizing your brand with the influencer’s audience and also help strengthen the brand’s credibility in the long run.
To effectively track and measure the performance of your influencer campaigns, your influencer marketing strategy should clearly lay down the campaign objectives.
- Are you trying to increase your reach?
- Or is it about increasing product/brand awareness?
- Is the campaign about telling your brand’s story and conveying your brand’s values to your customers?
And then you should also identify the best KPIs (key performance indicators) for your campaign. This can be in the form of likes, shares, comments, tags, brand mentions for your campaign, and so on. It gets even better when you have a custom landing page to track the conversions for a particular campaign.
8. Be open to new ideas
Instead of just dipping your toes in influencer marketing, go all in. As you can see from the examples we discussed, the possibilities are endless. So, be open to new ideas both for finding the right collaboration strategy and executing it.
One of the notable trends to know in this area is that several brands are now incorporating AI in influencer marketing. A survey by Influencer Marketing Hub found that about 63% of marketers surveyed have plans of incorporating AI in implementing their influencer marketing strategy with a majority of them using this approach to find the right influencer to work with.
Therefore, if you think you have been working with influencers for a long time now and wish to take things to the next step, perhaps AI is the nudge you need. Use the right AI tools to sift through the limitless reserve of influencers and find the right ones for your campaign.
There are also AI tools that can help you come up with campaign ideas based on the performance of your previous campaigns and the goals of the current ones.
Utilizing AI and other new ideas to upgrade your influencer marketing strategy is the only way to stay ahead in the game considering that nearly 1 in 4 marketers already use influencer marketing.
Complement your influencer marketing strategy with stunning graphics from KIMP
Irrespective of the product you try to promote and the social media channel where you wish to promote it, you need strong visuals to deliver the intended message. These can be static images or videos. These might be shared directly on the influencer’s page and some might be retouched with a subtle brand flavor and shared by the brand.
Either way, you need graphics that score high in terms of aesthetic appeal and also stay consistent with the rest of the brand content and influencer content.
In both these approaches, you can lay down a clear set of design rules so that you reach the sweet spot between the influencer’s brand identity as well as the brand’s own identity. With that in place, when you have a designated design team who can take care of the job for you, you can confidently get the ball rolling for your influencer campaign.
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