From Expedia to Pepsi, companies across almost every industry are partnering with influencers to deepen their consumer base.
A 2015 study showed eight out of 10 marketers who have used influencer marketing campaigns found it effective, according to eMarketer.
Leveraging this collaboration with online thought leaders, when done right, can boost your relationships with active consumers and enhance brand engagement. Take a look at these eight crucial steps to partner with social media influencers.
- Pick the Platform
The first step is to pick the social media platform — YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. — where you wish to activate influencers. To get an idea of the general demographic breakdown across different platforms, check out this Pew Research study. This selection, of course, will dictate how you approach your target market.
- Set a Follower Threshold
Next, you’ll want to vet the pull of the influencer and choose a follower threshold. Do you want an influencer with 5,000 followers or 1,000,000 followers? Something in between? And don’t stop at the numbers; learn about the influencers’ community. A good rule of thumb is to gauge consumers’ level of engagement. This can be done several ways, depending on the platform.
On Facebook, for instance, marketers can discover how many people are “Talking About This?,” a feature that can be viewed by:
- posts on a wall
- likes on a page
- mentions of the page outside the post
YouTube has similar statistics:
- comments on a video
- video likes
- shares of a video
- Find Common Ground
Try to find an influencer who shares similar values. While critics of influencer marketing argue influencers may have their own agenda and aren’t interested in the intricacies of company product strategy, ineffective partnerships can be avoided by honing in on an influencer whose values align with your own. Effective partnerships, like friendships, are often born out of a common interest (beyond money).
- Create Campaign Guidelines
Once you reach out and establish a rapport with your influencers, it’s essential to create simple campaign guidelines and key messaging for them to follow. Co-creation is the name of the game here, meaning you’ll want to collaborate to develop content that relates to an audience on a personal level.
Consider not only what you desire to get out of this new relationship with the consumers, but also what you’d like the audience to get from your message. Is your primary goal to raise awareness for your brand or a new product? Ensure your messaging reflects that. Or perhaps you’re looking to drive seasonal sales for a specific product category? You must then ensure you’ve crafted a compelling “Call-to-Action” which encourages an influencer’s audience to click through to your page. The more thought and consideration you put into the key guidelines, the more successful the campaign.
- Negotiate a Fee
After discussing the terms of the relationship, negotiate a fee for campaign participation. Most top-tier influencers will require compensation as a partnership component, so ensure the full campaign “ask” is sufficiently compelling.
- Set a Timetable for Campaign Activation
Many influencers have a very full production calendar so it’s ideal to begin the campaign planning process as soon as possible (1-2 months ahead is optimal). Once you’ve negotiated with an influencer to participate in your campaign, provide them with a clear timeline of dates. Important milestones include: “Submit video/post concept for approval,” “Deliver preview of content,” “Post go-live date.”
- Review the Post
This should go without saying but once the influencer has developed a video or post, always make sure to review it before it goes live. Misstatements, typos, or other misleading details look sloppy, and can reflect poorly upon your brand. Keep in mind your influencer is an extension of your company. Often times you can negotiate into the initial agreement at least one revision if changes are necessary before the post goes live.
Finally, quantify the results. Did the videos/posts perform to your expectations? Did some influencers execute better than others? After every activation, it’s important to reflect on these details in order to improve on the next influencer campaign.
Want to learn more about working with social media influencers? Contact Trending Family for help designing your brand’s influencer marketing strategy!