Social media has caused a virtual explosion in the way people communicate with others, as well as how businesses interact with consumers. When you consider that over 3 billion people use social media, it makes sense. Why wouldn’t you create content for consumers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube if it means you can generate new leads and grow your business? Most business owners have a hard time keeping up with their social marketing campaign, so they use influencers to improve brand reach and increase their sales. Influencers are social media personalities that have a large following and regularly post engaging content. Today we are going to share 5 tips you need to know to start your first influencer marketing campaign. Let’s dive in! Understand Your Target Audience Before you can start looking for influencers, you must understand your target audience. If you don’t know what kind of content consumers that visit your website like, it can be challenging to find an influencer that fits your needs. Customer personas, also known as buyer personas, are profiles that define the people who visit your website. For example, if you own an online pet store, you would have to make individual buyer personas for cat and dog owners. Simply put, both groups have separate interests, pain points, and goals. You can learn about your target audience by tracking social media traffic as well as information from your on-site analytics. Aside from learning about their personality traits, you can learn about the demographics of your audience. If your customers are 50 or older, you wouldn’t want to look for an influencer that has an audience that consists of people aged 16-25. Once you gather enough information, you can create personalized sheets that sum up your customers. Knowing this information will help you when it’s time to research influencers. Establish Your Goals Now that you have learned about your audience, it’s time to start thinking about your influencer marketing goals. What do you hope to accomplish by working with famous social media personalities? Is your goal to spread brand awareness and drive more traffic to your website? Do you want to offer a limited-time promotion that will land you more sales? Knowing what you hope to accomplish before you start looking will help you narrow down the countless list of subscribers across all platforms. Depending on your objective, you’ll want to find someone that posts the kind of content you want to spread. Let’s say your goal is to get more sales; you might ask an influencer to do a video plug where they showcase something you’ve sent to them. Video content is notorious for helping business owners boost their sales, with 89 percent of people saying that video content provides a good return on investment. Research Influencer Reach and Relevancy Next, it’s time to start researching influencers. You can find these people prominently on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook, though they do appear across all platforms. You’ll want to consider both the reach and relevancy when looking for people to represent your brand. Again, you don’t want to reach out to someone who has a fanbase that probably won’t be interested in what you’re offering. Make sure that the influencer has a substantial number of followers. Micro-influencers have between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. These people are great to work with because their audience is typically niche-specific, meaning you’ll have a better chance of reaching consumers if your industry matches the niche the influencer is covering. People with over 100,000 have a much broader audience, which is excellent for spreading brand awareness. If your goal is to get more eyes on your website, working with an influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers will help you reach your goals. It’s also worth noting that you should watch some of the content from the influencer before you send them a message. You’ll want to make sure that their values and tone align with your own. Additionally, you should make sure that they are not posting multiple sponsored posts and videos a day. This could be a sign that the person bit off more than they can chew, and your post will quickly get lost in their feed. Decide on a Deal After sending out a couple of emails or private messages, you’re going to hear back from some of the influencers you contacted. At this point, it’s time to see if you guys can strike a deal. Your goals are going to come into play here. For instance, if you’re running a limited time offer, you should see if the influencer will be able to post for you through the duration of the deal. Pricing varies greatly depending on your audience, the influencer’s reach, and what kind of promotion you want them to share. Every deal here is a little different, but generally, micro-influencers make around $150 for a video post, while big-name influencers can charge upwards of $1,000 for their services. Use your best judgment and check your budget before you commit to one influencer, especially if their costs will eat up all of the money you have to spend towards your influencer campaign. Track Your Results Finally, you’ll want to track the results of each influencer using your Google Analytics account. When you come to an agreement with various social media personalities, you’ll want to give them each their own link by using a link shortener. There are two reasons you should take this step. The first reason is that the link will be more visually appealing to consumers interested in your company. Instead of a giant wall of text, they can click a small, convenient link. The second reason is you can use this information to get specific details on each influencer when you review your marketing report. Let’s say you notice that one person is bringing in 80 percent of your traffic from this campaign; you may want to consider working with this person in the future. Influencers can help you grow your business, but there are steps you have to take before you get started. When you combine all of these tips into your campaign and make your own tweaks over time, you’ll have no problem creating an influencer marketing campaign that yields massive results.