The influencer marketing space is predicted to experience a growth of up to $13.8 billion in 2021 globally.
This is not surprising, especially as brands, marketing agencies, and professionals are beginning to recognize influencer marketing as an effective form of marketing rather than an experimental strategy.
While this is good news, brands can only fully benefit from influencer marketing if the flow of a campaign from conception, execution and analysis is thorough.
So here are a few things to consider when putting together your campaign to increase your chances of generating a good ROI.
Your budget influences a range of factors, from the influencers you onboard to your strategy. Having a budget allocated to influencer marketing should not be undermined if you plan on running successful campaigns.
It also makes it easier to make a business case to Management and the Board regarding their Return On Investment, (ROI) with a detailed budget placed in front of them. Factor your influencer marketing budget into your marketing budget.
- Clear Goals
Is the campaign to increase brand awareness? A celebration of a milestone? A new product? To share a message? or drive community engagement? Whichever way, your goals need to be clearly defined.
The clarity of your goals would influence the type and number of influencers you may end up collaborating with on the campaign.
Once we start talking about goals, you know we have entered the strategic zone, where creativity is critical. So what is the creative approach you would be adopting for this campaign? This would depend on the audience you are trying to target and their needs or pain points.
The social media space continues to grow with so many channels to pick from, for your campaign. However, a good understanding of your audience together with clear goals will help you better determine channel(s) that would be better suited for your campaign. For instance, your goal is to increase awareness around a new product. Here is what we know;
- The target audience is female professionals living in Accra between 24 and 34.
- A large percentage of Instagram users are females under 34.
- Visual (pictures & video) content performs best on this platform.
- Backed with a good hashtag strategy this platform is best for raising awareness.
- Growth of content creator accounts on this platform.
If nothing at all convinces you to run your campaign through this channel, Instagram, at least remember your target audience lives here and bottom line, you want to be where they live so they can see you. The worst mistake you can make is choosing to run with a channel your target audience does not care about only because it seemed popular at the time.
Now that the main elements are out of the way, you can begin your search for influencers based on your budget, goals, creative approach, and channel(s).
Influencer search can take time because there are many, negotiating rates can take a while and there is still the issue of influencer fraud. So, it is necessary to give yourself time to find your ideal influencer.
Filter influencers through their engagement rates (the higher the better), content style and existing brand affinity. You may want to work with either micro-influencers, nano- influencers, macro or celebrity influencers, or a combination of either depending on the aforementioned.
- Monitoring & Evaluation
Once you have onboarded your influencers, signed contracts, and launched the campaign, be sure to monitor the progress of the campaign. Give your influencers enough creative freedom because they best understand their audience.
Have a posting calendar in place, especially if you are working with several influencers. This is so you can track your campaign. It can be daunting for brands to relinquish full control while working with influencers so the posting calendar is a good middle-ground for both influencers and brands.
Remember to start collating analytics from content generated by the influencers at least 2-3 months after the campaign has ended, analysing key metrics such as views, impressions, Engagement, and many more depending on the channel you worked with, will help you determine your ROI.
It is also a good idea to do a before and after a check of your follower and engagement rate, for your business social pages, while the campaign is ongoing to see how it’s working.
If this sounds like a lot of work, because it is, don’t fret. It may be a good idea to hire the services of an influencer marketing agency or consultant for your campaigns. They understand the space, you can leverage their connections with reputable influencers who may suit your campaign. Oftentimes, what may take you forever to accomplish may take them half the time or less.
If you forget everything else, remember 2 things; number 1 successful influencer marketing campaigns do not happen without a strategy, and number 2, you want to be where your audience is.
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