Imagine you’re watching television, and an infomercial comes on about a fancy new exercise ball that can be used in 20 different ways for a full body workout.
But wait! If you order now you’ll get a second exercise ball free, just pay separate shipping and handling.
*Click*. On to the next channel.
All traces of that infomercial would have permanently been erased from your mind had it not been for a friend you saw the following week. They mentioned ordering that very same multi-purpose exercise tool and were now in the greatest shape of their lives.
The exercise ball that was relegated to the wastelands of your subconscious, is all of a sudden a must have in your life!
The infomercial had people who said and showed they were in the best shape they’d ever been. Didn’t your friend do the same?
The difference between the two is trust.
You trust what your friend says much more than the claims of a big corporation or strangers with phony smiles.
And that’s what influencer marketing is. It’s using real people who love your products or services to market to a community they’re a part of and that trusts them. Forget celebrities and paid actors.
A frozen food company in Iceland ditched their celebrity advertising in favor of partnering with real moms as micro-influencers to talk about their products.
The results? An increase from 10 percent to 80 percent in approval ratings, and a 72 percent increase over the agreed digital KPIs.
How do you launch an influencer marketing campaign for your business?
Here are the steps to get you started.
#1 Get Clear on Your Campaign Goals
Only after you’re clear on the bigger picture of your campaign and what you hope to achieve through your marketing efforts can you choose a micro-influencer that fits with your vision.
Spend time detailing metrics that would make your marketing campaign a success. Then, plan out how a relevant influencer fits in.
Ask yourself questions such as:
- How much will the influencer increase sales and by what date?
- What do I expect to make by the end of the campaign?
- How long will the campaign last?
When you know your direction, pick a micro-influencer who is in sync with your target niche and audience. The aim is to have their voice resonate with members of the same group.
And that’s key! No one wants to listen to a sleazy salesman anymore.
Marketing has shifted toward authenticity. People want to hear from real voices that genuinely relate to the audience’s concerns, shows how your product made a difference and links to why it can make the community’s life better.
#2 Choose Your Platform
What social media platform is the most popular with your audience, and where is the ideal place for your message to be heard?
If you’re selling products for new moms, Facebook and Pinterest might be the best medium to use. Don’t dilute your effort by being everywhere. Stick to the one or two platforms potentially yielding the most results.
#3 Find the Perfect Influencer
If you’re trying to bootstrap it, you can find influencers on your own by searching good ol’ Google or seeing who’s trending on LinkedIn.
You’ll be trading money for time here as it can be time-consuming to comb through multiple pages and profiles to find the right person for the job.
If you have more spare money than time, paid options can be an excellent investment. Here are some companies to consider:
- Databases – Mavcrk; Traackr
- Influencer agencies – Speaker; Influences
- Marketplaces – Tribegroup
#4 Build a Relationship
To find out if your chosen influencer is a true fit for your brand, you need to develop a professional relationship with them. You can start by following them online see and seeing if you like where it leads.
It helps to make your company known to them to avoid being branded as a creepy stalker. You can do that by:
- Taking a moment to introduce yourself and what your business is about.
- Adding the influencer to your social media networks.
- Sharing their content to show your goodwill and interest in what they have to say.
- Letting them get more familiar with your brands and services.
Notice the last one comes after you’ve invested time in showing the micro-influencer you appreciate their thoughts and opinions.
Once the foundation is set, you can send your products or services for them to get excited about your company’s offerings.
#5 Create a Compensation Plan
Once they love your brand as much as you do, reach out to them to negotiate rates and contract specifics.
Both you and your influencer should be crystal clear on things like publishing schedules, deliverables, responsibilities, and compensation.
Keep in mind while negotiating contract details that micro-influencers are ordinary people whose value lies in their truthfulness and authenticity when speaking to their community.
Instead of simply pushing your business agenda or placing demands on what they must say, give them creative license. The public wants real reviews, not scripted statements. Let your influencer use their unique voice to express themselves.
If you’re wondering how to fairly pay for their services, compensation can be merely the free merchandise they receive, or it can involve commissions, cash payments, or promotion from you to boost their website traffic. What you give will depend on how much work they’ll need to complete.
Once everyone is on the same page and approves, the fun begins!
Launching a campaign isn’t difficult, but it takes time to find someone who can be a genuine voice to your brand and connect with your target audience.
People don’t need to have a million followers on social media platforms to be an influencer in their community. Micro-influencers like product enthusiasts, bloggers, and industry experts, can convert their devoted audience into maniacal fans of your brand.
Once you do find the right individual, be confident in their abilities to present your products or services in their unique way. Stifling their creative voice, micro-managing content production, or demanding scripted phrases, go against everything an influencer stands for. If that’s what you want, do everyone a favor and get a paid actor instead.
What are your goals for your influencer campaign? Let us know below.
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