Influencer Marketing Strategy: Essentials Tips And Tools For 2020

Building a Strategy for Influencer Marketing: 6 Essential Things to Keep In Mind

Published Under: Content Marketing | Influencer Marketing
Last Updated: January 23, 2020
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Influencer marketing is becoming more popular than ever. In this tell-all guide, we are going to show you how to build a successful influencer marketing strategy by observing six essential things. Bonus Point: We will share some of the best influencer marketing tools that can help you find the right influencers and implement successful marketing campaigns.

Alice Jones

Influencer marketing is becoming more popular than ever these days with more brands collaborating with influencers to execute successful marketing campaigns.

There are no signs that influencer marketing will die any time soon given that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they have a connection with.

Influencer marketing can be a complicated and confusing strategy to launch, execute, and manage. It takes time before one can see better results and the difficulties of getting started makes a lot of marketers to stop before they even start.

Well, even though influencer marketing is a complicated and time-consuming endeavor, its long-term benefits are worth it.

A properly executed and managed influencer marketing strategy can build brand authority, increase awareness, connect you with your target and new audiences, and drive more traffic to your site, direct new customers to your products and services and ultimately drive more sales.

But before we get there, let’s take at what influencer marketing has in numbers.

Top Influencer Marketing Statistics You Should Know This Year

  1. Influencer marketing is expected to be a $10 billion industry by 2022.
  2. 9 out of 10 marketers include influencer marketing as their key strategy in their product marketing and promotion.
  3. 92% of all marketers say influencer marketing is a powerful marketing strategy.
  4. 86% of marketers use influencer marketing as a key strategy for building brand awareness.
  5. Instagram is currently the most popular influencer marketing platform boasting more than 1 billion monthly active users. In fact, 9 out of 10 marketers use Instagram to run influencer marketing campaigns.
  6. More tha 70% of influencer marketing budgets will increase in 2020.
  7. Instagram ranks #1 as the most important and impactful channel for influencer marketing. Influencer marketing increase from 2014-2019 directly correlated with the decrease in print advertising during the same period.
  8. 4 out of 5 fashion micro-influencers prefer Instagram.
  9. 2 out of 5 Twitter users made a purchase as a result of a Tweet from an influencer they follow.
  10. 9 out of 10 people acknowledge that ROI from influencer marketing is better than other marketing channels.

From the numbers above, it’s evident that influencer marketing isn’t stopping anytime soon and if you are not doing it, then your competitor is doing it.

But how do you do it? What things should you keep in mind when building an influencer marketing strategy?

Keep reading as we expound on this topic more.

What is Influencer Marketing?

A few years ago, influencer marketing was seen as a thing for celebrities and only a few dedicated bloggers showed their interests in it.

Currently, almost every serious marketer is doing influencer marketing.

So what’s influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is the practice of brands collaborating with individuals with a dedicated following who are also perceived to be experts in their industry for them to endorse your products or promote your brand to their followers.

Influencers can be celebrities who have a high amount of trust they have built with their fans, and endorsements from them show social proof to your target customers.

Influencer marketing encompasses the practices of social media marketing and content marketing.

On the side of social media marketing, influencers promote your brand to their followers through their social channels. On the side of content marketing, brands either create content for their selected influencers or the influencers create content themselves.

The two practices (social media marketing and content marketing), even though they often fit inside influencer campaigns, they aren’t identical with influencer marketing.

Why is Influencer Marketing Important?

Why do brands use influencer marketing? Or why should you do influencer marketing, in the first place?

Consumers are always looking to friends and trusted sources for endorsements and advice on purchases.

A study suggests that 71% of marketers are likely to buy based on social media recommendations.

When brands collaborate with influencers, they are looking for social proof. They want to show customers that they are trusted.

Apart from driving online sales, influencer marketing helps brands to:

  • Drive consistent traffic to their sites.
  • Build brand awareness
  • Generate quality backlinks for their published content.
  • Increase social media engagement
  • Nature a connection with target customers.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to build a successful influencer marketing strategy - six important things to consider.

1. Understand Why You Are Doing Influencer Marketing

First things first: As with any marketing plan, you need to define your goals.

Understand the reasons why you want to run an influencer marketing campaign so that you can work on making sure you achieve your goals. Of course, every marketing campaign must accomplish something. What are your intentions?

Understanding your intentions beforehand will help you develop and execute a consistent strategy. This will also make it easy for you to track and measure results after accomplishing your campaign.

Here are key goals every influencer marketer must consider in their strategy:

  • Drive sales: Attracting, engaging, and convincing people to buy your products or services.
  • Building brand awareness: Publicizing your brand so that people can know you exist.
  • Building audience: Increasing your followers and subscribers.
  • Engagement: Attracting more likes, comments, and shares for your online content.
  • Lead generation: Convincing more people to subscribe to your offers.
  • Customer loyalty: Getting repeat customers.
  • Building backlinks: Using influencer marketing for link building to get people to link to your site.

2. Choose Your Preferred Influencer Marketing Tactic

Now that you’ve defined your influencer marketing goals determine the type of influencer marketing that will help you achieve those goals.

The different types of influencer marketing campaigns include:

  • Gifting – Asking influencers to review or mention your products in exchange for free products or services.
  • Guest posting – Creating content and publishing it on an influencer’s blog.
  • Sponsored content – Getting your brand’s content to be featured on influencer’s blog in exchange for money. You may create the content or the influencer may do it themselves.
  • Social media mentions – Getting influencers to mention your brand on their social channels.
  • Influencer takeover – Getting an influencer to manage and control your social media channels within a specified time.
  • Affiliates – Offering influencers a unique link or code they can use to promote your products then pay them a percentage of each successful sale.

All these influencer marketing tactics and many others not featured above are flexible in that they can help you achieve more than one goal in your influencer marketing strategy.

3. Define Your Target Customers

Up to this far, congratulations, you’ve made huge steps. But wait, you aren’t done. Once you have defined your goals and your marketing tactics, you need to identify your target customers.

Who do you want to promote your brand to? Who do you want to connect with through your campaign?

Here, you need to formulate a buyer persona. Once you know your target customers, it will be easier for you to find out influencers they follow or social media channels they spend most of their time in.

4. Find and Research the Right influencers

Now that you know your target customers, you can move to the next step and find the right influencers who can help you connect with your potential customers.

There are more than 500,000 influencers on Instagram. 81% of these influencers are followed by between 15k to 100k followers, 15% have around 100k and 1 million followers.

Don’t be deceived by the number of followers though because the majority does not always translate to engagement rates. In fact, most marketers prefer to collaborate with influencers with fewer followers also known as micro-influencers.

The types of influencers you should consider looking at include:

  • Customers
  • Celebrities
  • Bloggers
  • Industry experts
  • Social media stars
  • Thought leaders
  • Non Competing brands

The influencer marketing world is full of influencers but not all are genuine. You need to be cautious when finding partners to work with, in your influencer marketing campaign.

Several tools can help you find and research the right influencers.

Here is a list of a few powerful tools you could consider taking advantage of to research the right influencers.

5. Create Irresistible Content

If your influencer marketing involves guest posting or creating content for their website, you need to create content they can reject.

Research the type of content already published on their site then find ways how you can repurpose it or come up with new content based on ideas that target great keywords that address ideas they haven’t covered on their site.

Take advantage of keyword research tools to come up with terms related to their industry. Here, you need to mix both competitive and less competitive keywords.

Once you research and find out the content that influencers can’t reject, it will be easier for you to get your content published on guest posting sites. Once you get sites to publish your content make sure your content addresses what people are looking for on the internet.

6. Track and Measure Results

Up to this far, you may think that it’s time to celebrate your victory.

But wait, are you done with your influencer marketing strategy campaign?

Well, you may be happy to see that influencers have made people realize and mention your brand on their social channels.

But does that show success? Have you accomplished your goals?

After achieving the goals you set in step #1 about is when you can say you’ve successfully executed an influencer marketing strategy.

Here, you need to track and analyze results based on the initial goals you set when starting your campaign strategy.

Track and analyze the results of each influencer marketing tactic so you can know what worked and what didn’t. The information you get can inform your next strategy.

Influencer Marketing Tools to Find the Right Influencer

BuzzSumo

68% of marketers find it hard to find the right influencers for their brand and marketing needs.

BuzzSumo, being a powerful content research platform is also a great tool to find influencers in your industry. The tool is designed with a great “influencer search” bar so you can find top influencers in different niches, location or on social media.

This tool allows you to locate influencers based on the content they create or their bios. You can also specify the results based on the type of influencers you want- influencers, bloggers, customers, or regular people.

The tool will also help you find influencers based on their authority, engagement, and influence.

BuzzStream

With BuzzStream, you can look for influencers and execute real outreach campaigns.

Here, you will start your research by entering simple keywords that can then retrieve a list of influencers based on the keywords you entered. The good thing about BuzzStream is that it allows you to filter results by type of content, language, and country.

The tool will provide you with complete information about the influencer you want to collaborate with including their site metrics and social media accounts.

The tool is also designed with remarkable outreach features so you can create email templates and distribute them to the influencers you have chosen.

GroupHigh

GroupHigh is also another amazing influencer marketing tool for influencer research and outreach campaigns.

The tool has a huge number of active bloggers up to 15 million.

You can search for bloggers based on content, social following, MozRank, location, reach, etc.

You can also find out the promotional techniques different influencers use.

Upfluence

Upfluence is an all-in-one influencer marketing tool. With this tool, you can discover relevant influencers; manage your influencer marketing campaigns, and also track influencers’ performance. With Upfluence, you can find more than 1 million influencers.

You can also filter your search using advanced keywords to find top influencers.

The tool will also provide you full access to the contact details of each influencer.

FameBit

Use FameBit if you are looking to connect with YouTube content creators. The tool connects you with influencers who engage audiences on YouTube.

Over to You!

Influencer marketing has huge potential to provide great returns. That’s why it’s the most popular method brands use to promote their products or services.

As mentioned above, influencer marketing is a time-consuming, complicated, and challenging process that has seen many marketers quit even before trying.

We don’t want you to quit and that’s why we have prepared this guide that will help you get started on the right leg and follow-through your influencer marketing strategy to the end without experiencing any challenges.

Have you ever executed a successful influencer marketing strategy? We would like to hear the results you got and the tools you used in the comment section.

Good Luck!

Alice Jones

Alice Jones is a professional influencer marketer and writer from San Francisco who offers resume writing services. Alice writes about business, freelance, and marketing. She is also a content marketing specialist and most of her work can be found on multiple publications on the internet. Follow Alice on Twitter.

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