Ultimate Influencer Marketing Strategy

Ultimate Influencer Marketing Strategy

The practice of companies hiring celebrities to advertise them is nothing new. This is something that has been a popular approach to advertising for decades.

But until the Internet has become so present in our lives, only real celebrities have been hired by companies, to participate in their marketing campaigns. And in general, only big companies could afford that, because hiring a famous athlete or a Hollywood actor is so pricey.

With the rise of internet marketing and fame becoming more accessible to people, a new occupation rose as well – influencing.

Since 2015, there has been a noticeable explosive growth of influencer marketing.

The collaborations between brands and influencers are no doubt beneficial to both sides, but other issues also arise.

The biggest problem we encounter with influencer marketing strategies is that such marketing campaigns are much more complicated to run successfully.

We recommend you continue reading our ultimate influencer marketing guide and find out what is influencer marketing, why you should use it, how to come up with the right influencer marketing strategy, and many other useful things.

So let’s get started!

1. What is influencer marketing?

Although influencer marketing is a term we hear all the time, many are still not entirely sure what exactly it all refers to.

Broadly speaking, influencer marketing can be considered when Cristiano Ronaldo advertises Nike for example.

Still, we can see it more as classic brand advertising by their ambassadors in TV commercials, on billboards, and all the other places where we are used to seeing stars persuading us to buy something.

Influencer marketing in its primary meaning refers to people who are chosen as ambassadors because they have “influence” on social networks.

making influencer marketing strategy
Making influencer marketing strategy | Source: https://pixabay.com/

These are not as globally known individuals as real celebrities, but due to the huge popularity of social networks, they have an “army” of followers who blindly listen to their recommendations. They should connect the target audience with your brand by using social networks.

Influencers work on their profile daily to build and maintain the credibility that has brought them a large number of followers in the first place and therefore influence.

The reason why they must be engaged every day is that they are only useful to companies when followers view them as experts in a particular field. Also, that is a great way for creating customer engagement.

Then companies can place their products, services, and so on through them. If they publish content irregularly, they will quickly lose their popularity.

It is important to differentiate one more thing. Although Cristiano Ronaldo, Kim Kardashian, The Rock, and many other stars can also be considered influencers on social networks, they did not become influencers because of social networks, but because of their other activities.

In the digital world, the rule is that real influencers are people who were unknown before creating their profiles on social networks, and by creating their online personality they became influential on those social networks.

All of this is a very strange concept for all those accustomed to traditional marketing methods, but influencer marketing has become so necessary, that everyone has to include it in their campaigns to do business successfully.

The most popular social networks for influencer marketing

There are influencers on all social networks, although Instagram is absolutely in the lead when we consider a number of influencers as well as in their popularity.

Instagram stood out because of its format which is ideal for the vast majority of influencers. Photos, short videos, stories, and also the option to publish longer videos that are introduced by implementing IGTV, are generally what all influencers need.

Facebook and YouTube are also popular platforms, but influencers have to build their content differently. YouTube is the primary place for all vloggers and content at YouTube is dominated by videos that last at least tens of minutes.

Facebook is popular because it has the most users of all social networks, so most influencers from other social networks have a profile on Facebook as well, but rarely exclusively on Facebook.

Lately, Twitter and Snapchat have lost popularity, while we have a new star among social networks, and that is Tik Tok.

2. How to create an influencer marketing strategy? 

While there are many differences between this and some traditional marketing tactics, they have one thing in common. And that is that very detailed planning is needed for the campaign to be successful.

You will not achieve anything if you choose a few random influencers and send them your products to advertise you, and in return, you give them money and free products.

With such an approach, you can ask your friends to repost your stories, at least it will be free. Since you want to achieve much more, we will explain step by step what you need to do to create a quality influencer marketing strategy.

To create a successful influencer marketing strategy follow these steps:

Define your goals

To be successful in any business venture, you must have clearly defined goals.

Decide right at the beginning what you want to achieve with the campaign and focus on it.

This is the most important thing to do during the early stages of planning because you will do everything else accordingly.

Influencer marketing is primarily used to enhance brand awareness, increase sales, and for customer engagement. It is up to you to consider which of these is primary to you.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have multiple goals, but determine what your primary goal is, and also opt for a few secondary goals.

If you plan everything well, it is possible to meet several goals during one campaign.

Pick target audience

Once you have goals, it’s time to decide on a target audience. You need to know who you want to influence, because only then will you know how to organize your campaign and what kind of influencer to look for.

who your target audience is
Who is your target audience?

The tighter you can define your target audience, the easier it will be to find the right influencer to achieve your goal.

You should already know what your target audience is because it is necessary to create a business plan.

All companies that do not define a target audience are usually DOOMED because they are trying to target everybody which is a very bad approach.

This is the wrong approach even if you are producing something that everyone needs, such as hair shampoo or food, and it is especially devastating if your niche is specific.

Set a budget

It would be easiest to have an unlimited budget and be able to hire whoever you want. But since this is of course not the case, once you have set goals and a target audience, you need to determine how much money you are willing to spend on an influencer marketing campaign.

We’ll tell you later more about how much different types of influencers cost, and for now, include the average price of a few hundred dollars per post.

It’s not the only expense you’ll have. You can hire someone or you can oversee the whole campaign, which also requires additional costs.

This is not an automated marketing strategy because it involves people who need to complete their tasks. That’s why you need to monitor them constantly because it’s not uncommon for influencers to be late with posting content and honoring the agreements they have with you.

Now that you have set a budget, we can move on to choosing an influencer.

How to choose influencers?

It is quite clear to you that not all influencers are the same. As is the case with all the world’s stars, some are more popular than others.

Knowing different types of influencers will help you better determine exactly which type you need for your next campaign.

In this part of the article, you will read about:

  1. Types of influencers
  2. Where to find an influencer?
  3. How to ask an influencer to promote your product?

Types of influencers by the number of followers

Influencers can be divided into:

  • Mega-influencers
  • Macro-influencers
  • Micro-influencers
  • Nano-influencers
MEGA-INFLUENCERS

These are probably out of reach of you. They will have several million followers. Mega-influencers are celebrities like the ones we have already mentioned like Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and many others.

But also all those social media stars who have a huge number of followers.

For example, on TikTok, among the top 10 profiles with the most followers, there is not a single star that has not gained its popularity on TikTok.

Then it is crystal clear to you that among the mega-influencers you can find many names that are not familiar to you but don’t let that turn you away from working with them.

Their impact is huge and you will certainly fulfill your goal when you hire them. However, it comes with a very high price.

advertising - mega influencers
Mega-influencers have a mega price.| Source

If you opt for one of the mega-influencers you should have a great product you want to promote. Because that kind of influencer won’t accept working with anyone.

Even if you have enough money to pay them, they will refuse to work with you if your product or service doesn’t meet their standards. Along with a very high price, scheduling can be another problem because they are too busy.

When you work with them, look at it more as collaboration, because their name is a brand. That is why they choose very carefully who they work with. What used to be called “celebrity endorsement” is now actually a collaboration with mega-influencers.

MACRO-INFLUENCERS

Working with macro-influencers often proves to be the most cost-effective option.

These are the people who have between one hundred thousand and one million followers.

Among the influencers who have this number of followers, you can mostly find game streamers, travel vloggers, then actors we all know but do not have the main roles in blockbusters, athletes who do not play for the most famous teams, and the like.

Working with them is often recommended because you will achieve the ideal balance between price and reach that you can achieve.

They certainly have a large number of followers, but not so large that they will charge a few hundred thousand dollars for one post.

Macro-influencers usually pay more attention to creating and maintaining their profiles because they can’t just count to have few million followers because they are famous in the real world.

This means more creativity in creating posts and it is easier to get to them, although the closer they are to a million followers, the more often scheduling occurs as a problem.

MICRO-INFLUENCERS

This group includes those who have between five thousand and one hundred thousand followers.

You will admit that there is a very big difference whether someone has 6 thousand or 90 thousand followers, but still, they all belong to the micro-influencers.

What is very good when you work with them is that they all have their niche. Having niches means that people often trust them more for a certain niche, for example, cosmetics, than they trust a mega-influencer who certainly has no niche.

They are consistent in creating and publishing content, thus achieving authenticity and credibility. That is why it is better to work with someone who has 80 thousand followers and is dedicated exclusively to cosmetics than with an actress who has 500 thousand followers and works with various niches.

However, if you want quick growth, they are not the right choice. Work with them if you want a long-term collaboration that will steadily enhance your sales and brand in general.

NANO-INFLUENCERS

There is a debate as to whether nano-influencers exist at all. These are people who have less than 1000 followers, which is in the range of private profiles. This is exactly what all those who believe that a nano-influencer does not exist cite as an argument.

However, it has been shown that working with them can have certain benefits for your brand. This can be a good training ground for learning how to work with influencers.

You can also grow together, so one day if that person has a few hundred thousand followers, he or she will still be focused on working with you at a much lower cost. And you can be sure that the content will be authentic.

Of course, if you need quick growth, look elsewhere.

Markerly’s influencer analysis

Markerly conducted an analysis where they looked at 800.000 users on Instagram. The results were in favor of smaller influencers, rather than huge ones. Here’s what the study found: ‘’Those with less than 1.000 followers generally received likes on their posts 8% of the time. Users with 10 million+ followers only received likes 1.6% of the time.’’

This is because PEOPLE PREFER REAL INTERACTIONS. They don’t want to read insincere celebrity posts about products that don’t work, what they want is people being genuine and relatable and at least some marketing subtlety.

So, by working with an influencer whose audience feels connected to and loves interacting with them, you get the opportunity to obtain the same level of connection with their audience.

Also, by helping smaller influencers grow, you are forming a lasting relationship with them that can be very beneficial in the long run.

Make sure the influencer fits your brand

Firstly, make sure that the influencer fits your brand.

If your target audience is young women who like cool t-shirts, you will (obviously) want to go for a fashion influencer who posts their outfits daily.

fashion - influencer - white bag - white sunglasses - linen colorful shirt
Find an influencer that fits your brand. | Source

Also, someone who fits the voice of your brand. If your designs are silly and weird, an influencer who is quirky will be a better choice than a serious one.

Look at their post history and follower engagement

Secondly, look at their posting history. If they have posted an opinion you don’t agree with or think is in poor taste, you will want to ignore this influencer and look at another one.

Bad opinions can bring serious damage to your brand’s reputation and you want to avoid this as best as you can. If they haven’t posted anything bad, look at their previous partners, because getting associated with infamous people can bring damage, as well.

Additionally, pay attention to their follower count, as well as follower engagement. Just because they have thousands of hundreds of followers doesn’t mean a lot of people are interacting with their posts.

Someone with 10.000 followers may have a better and more engaging group of followers than someone with 200.000.

Look at how often and when they post, the comments and likes on their posts, and do keep in mind that people can buy followers on social media.

This is why thorough research is an important step for every influencer marketing strategy.

Where to find an influencer?

There are different ways where you can find influencers. It can be a search on the social network you want to focus on.

If your niche is cosmetics, and you want Instagram to be the primary place for your ads, search for cosmetic influencers on Instagram, very simply. There are also influencer marketing platforms where you can search for them even more easily.

How to ask an influencer to promote your product?

You can’t just contact an influencer and offer cooperation without first planning.

You need to think about what kind of cooperation you will offer, then send at least some parts of the content you have created.

That way that he or she can immediately understand your intentions and what your company is like.

Every influencer will ask to see the content because they are careful what they publish on their profile. Some will work with anyone, but you should avoid them. They have no credibility and you will not achieve anything by cooperating with them.

It can even be counterproductive because the audience can associate you with an influencer who does not have a good reputation, which automatically negatively affects your reputation.

Choose a type of campaign

There are many different types of influencer marketing campaign strategies, so you need to decide which of these strategies you will implement in your campaign.

For example, discount codes are a very effective strategy.

You create a discount code that is unique to that influencer and then he or she promotes your product or service. This is useful for you because it will attract customers, and it is also useful for the influencer whose profile will be visited more as a result of the discount code.

You can then give the products to the influencer for which he makes reviews on his story, post, or blog.

Giveaways are something you should also never miss to take advantage of. Organize a giveaway, and have an influencer repost it.

giveaway - big letters - blue sky
Don’t miss the benefits you can reap from having a giveaway.| Source

You can have that person organize a giveaway on his/her profile using your products.

The most comprehensive form of collaboration is for the influencer to become your brand ambassador, and this usually happens when both you and the influencer are satisfied with the collaboration after a certain amount of time.

Review your strategy

When you did all this, you created your influencer marketing strategy. But that doesn’t mean you’re done with the project.

You constantly have to review how everything works and change what you think is not good enough. It may have seemed to you that you had created the perfect strategy, but then it turns out that this is not the case once you launch it.

It is important to always track progress for a successful campaign.

Return on investment

Return on investment, also known as ROI, is one of the indicators of whether your campaign is successful. ROI is not difficult to understand.

According to Wikipedia, it is the “ratio between net income (over a period) and investment (costs resulting from an investment of some resources at a point in time).”

While there are certain limits to ROI, again it can tell you a lot about whether you are doing a good job when it comes to influencer marketing campaigns. ROI is expressed as a percentage and is calculated by dividing an investment’s net profit (or loss) by its initial cost or outlay.

What we want to emphasize is that over 80% of those who use influencer marketing campaigns say that the ROI of this type of marketing is better than most other types.

3. Why you should use influencer marketing?

benefits to influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has many benefits.

We told you how to create a strategy, and now is the time you understand why it’s important to use influencer marketing campaigns. It is important for the following reasons:

  • The audience listens to the advice of the influencer
  • Your message will reach the target audience
  • It has positive effect on the brand awareness
  • Organic traffic to your site will increase

The audience listens to the advice of the influencer

Influencers have literally that – influence.

Let’s explain it to you with an example. If a TV commercial says that you should use an anti-aging face cream, people will not rush to buy it because it is clear to them that it is an advertisement and that is not sincere.

But if the influencer says it’s a fantastic anti-aging cream, then it will significantly improve sales. Especially when it’s an influencer whose niche is cosmetics.

Followers even listen to the advice of influencers so much that they are more willing to accept their advice than any other.

You need to take advantage of this and market your products that way.

The message will surely reach the target audience

When you hire an influencer to advertise your products they will certainly be presented to your target audience.

This offers direct contact with customers, and then you will no longer be invisible.

Positive effect on brand awareness

The recognizability of your brand is the key to success.

You know how an apple reminds you of Apple company and the like. This is exactly brand awareness, which will not happen by accident but must be built.

Even if influencer marketing doesn’t bring a jump in sales right away, it will have a positive impact on brand awareness.

So when people see your product on the store shelf they will remember it because it was mentioned by their favorite influencer. And then automatically your product will have an advantage over all others.

Over time, your brand will become more powerful and people will choose a product only because of the brand recognition, without analyzing the product in more detail.

Increase in organic traffic

Organic traffic is all that traffic to your website that is not the result of paid advertising.

All visitors who come to a site by visiting it directly through a search engine or by clicking on a post on social networks that are not sponsored constitute organic traffic.

Even though you pay influencers in some way, there are still ways to bypass the limits that classic paid advertisements have.

When an influencer talks about you, it can be seen as “word of mouth” which will certainly have a positive effect on your organic traffic and the overall ranking of your website. It has a positive impact on SEO.

4. Examples

Examples are always necessary to fully understand everything we have told you so far.

We will give you examples from different niches, then some of the best and worst examples, as well as examples of brands that work with small influencers.

Best examples from different niches

Beauty Influencers

Nyane Lebajoa

As well as being an example of how it doesn’t matter where you were born, that you can always make a worldwide success, Nyane is also a great example of how a beauty influencer should work.

On Nyane’s Instagram profile you can find everything related to make-up, wigs, and fashion, and she works with some of the biggest companies in the world, such as NYX Cosmetics.

Why everyone chooses to include her in their influencer marketing campaigns? In addition to being very talented and creative, very high follower interaction is the key.

Fitness

Michelle Lewin

While The Rock is probably the best example of a fitness influencer, we said we won’t mention those who gained their fame primarily in other ways.

Michelle Lewin is from Venezuela and she has almost 14 million followers as she posts various workouts and other things that may be of interest to all fitness enthusiasts.

This was especially helpful during the pandemic, and due to the increased need for fitness home equipment, all fitness equipment manufacturers working with her benefited greatly because she mentioned them and used their products in her workout videos.

Travel and adventure

Louis Cole

The FunForLouis channel has been around for over 10 years and during that time has shown how a successful influencer should run a profile.

He is posting a daily video blog all the time and shows his adventures and travels there. He is very creative and takes good photos, and because his channel has been around for so long, he is one of the most important influencers in his niche.

Best influencer marketing campaigns

Subaru

Subaru is a well-known Japanese car manufacturer that has achieved the greatest success in rally racing.

However, they noticed a decline in popularity, especially among the younger generations. So they decided to hire many different influencers who were involved in their #MeetAnOwner campaign.

There, the influencers were supposed to show where they drove their new Subaru Impreza. It was an extremely successful marketing campaign because instead of the classic advertising of engine power and other features, the focus was on emotions.

McDonald’s and Travis Scott

This is a great example of what we told you about how you can collaborate with mega-influencers.

McDonald’s and Travis Scott launched the #cactusjack campaign where McDonald’s offered Travis Scott’s favorite meal for a limited time, and he launched a new line of merchandise, Cactus Jack, which was inspired by McDonald’s

Worst influencer marketing campaigns

Kim Kardashian and Duchesnay

The collaboration of Kim Kardashian and Duchesnay is proof that even working with one of the most influential people in the world does not guarantee success if you do not pay attention to details.

She posted a photo of herself holding a morning sickness drug, Diclegis, and wrote all the benefits. But the FDA reported the post very quickly and said it did not mention the risks and side effects anywhere, which led to Kim having to remove the post.

This has had a very negative impact on her popularity and that of Duchesnay, which shows that an influencer marketing campaign can be a double-edged sword.

Kylie Jenner and Pepsi

As popular as her half-sister Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner and Pepsi wanted to take advantage of the BLM protests and launched a campaign.

However, the whole campaign was met with very negative criticism because most people thought it was too trivial and that they should not have made a reference to the Baton Rouge protest in such way.

Although Pepsi and Kylie Jenner are too popular for one wrong marketing campaign to destroy them, they still felt the negative effects, especially after Bernice King, the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. posted a tweet mocking the ad.

Brands that work with small influencers

The company Tom’s of Maine makes products that use only natural ingredients reached out to several micro-influencers. They then made posts about the brand and came up with games where their followers could win these natural products. In the first three months, Tom’s of Maine reached 4.4 million potential customers.

Here’s another example of a clever influencer marketing strategy involving a micro-influencer. Audible, an Amazon company, reached out to Jesse Driftwood, who had less than 100.000 followers at the time.

He made an inspirational post about his love for learning and how Audible provides him with countless audiobooks about the subjects he likes. This post felt personal and genuine, and his followers had a good reaction.

Conclusion:

There you have it, everything that you need to know about influencer marketing strategy.

We hope we have managed to make an ultimate guide on influencer marketing strategies. If you have any questions or anything more to add, feel free to comment below.

Thank you for reading!

Marija Milosavljević
Marija Milosavljević

Graduated as first in her class. Incredibly quiet and shy until the lag in Warframe turns her into a raging death-bunny.

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