The habits and preferences of consumers have been changing continually over the years. With the emergence of social media, brands have learned to look beyond traditional advertising, and engage with their audiences differently.
To keep up with this shift, influencer marketing has also grown by leaps and bounds. However, much of its success depends on the effectiveness of your influencer engagement strategy.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to perfect your influencer engagement strategy for the best results.
#1. Look for the Right Influencers
The very first step towards perfecting your influencer engagement strategy is to find the right influencers. You need to find influencers in your niche who share the same values that your brand embodies.
Additionally, they must have a decent number of followers over whom they have genuine influence. They need to have a solid engagement rate which will give you the kind of visibility you are aiming for. Your campaign can easily misfire if you choose the wrong influencers.
Grin’s influencer marketing platform can help you find the right influencers for your brand. You can easily find out their follower counts, reach, and engagement rates to make an informed decision when you choose your influencers.
You can also use an engagement calculator to estimate the cost per post and cost per engagement of an influencer. This will help you plan your influencer marketing tactics according to your budget.
#2. Define your Goals
Gone are the days of posting an ad and praying for it to be seen by the right audiences. Given the amount of time, effort, and resources you spend on your marketing, you need a well-defined strategy. A strategy that helps you achieve the desired results. The first step towards this is to define your goals.
Before you embark on your campaign, think about what you want to achieve from it. Do you want to increase sales by a certain percentage? Increase traffic to your website? Or increase visibility and gain more social media followers?
Image via Instagram
For example, Microsoft wanted to raise awareness and encourage young women to work in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math disciplines. So, they launched a unique influencer marketing campaign on International Women’s Day in 2017. They partnered with National Geographic to feature the stories of well-known women adventurers or scientists.
The results were nothing short of extraordinary. It had a potential reach of 91 million, and got more than 3.5 million likes on Instagram.
#3. Be Aware of Algorithm and Policy Changes
Since your audience is on social media, your marketing team needs to be there too. This is to make sure that they understand the platforms well, and work out their strategy accordingly.
For example, Facebook has changed their algorithm to make their content more relevant to users. It is now more difficult for brand messages to appear on user feeds because preference is given to personal content. Content shared by the people you know. Friends, family, and influencers you follow.
This has made influencer marketing more crucial than ever. Brands need to engage with their audiences more meaningfully. So choose influencers who are authentic and share aesthetic content that resonates with their followers.
#4. Capture And Distribute Content Effectively
You need to be able to create and share your story effectively so that it connects with your audiences. Your photos, videos, or tweets need a professional and creative touch.
When you engage with influencers, you need to keep their personalities in mind. You must help enable them to create content that their followers will love. Smart marketers strike the right balance to ensure that influencers share the right kind of content. Something that doesn’t appear scripted or forced.
#5. Make Your Campaigns Locally Relevant
If you have a local business, you’ll be wasting your effort if you promote your business nationally. For example, if you need visibility in California, don’t spend on promoting your business in Dallas.
This needs to reflect in your influencer engagement strategy too. For a local business, you need to collaborate with influencers who are popular among your local audiences. Your target audience will connect very little with your campaign if the celebrity or influencer you choose is not local.
Any influencer you choose to collaborate with should be chosen with a definite objective in mind. You need to have a good understanding of your business before embarking on an influencer campaign.
#6. Negotiate Efficiently and Communicate Effectively
In order to perfect your influencer engagement strategy, you must communicate effectively with your influencers. First and foremost, articulate your expectations clearly. Let them know what you wish to achieve with this campaign, and what they need to deliver.
As part of these dialogues, you also need to work out a compensation model that’s agreeable to both parties. Have legal contracts in place. The agreement must contain details of the compensation, deliverables, republishing and other usage rights.
You also need to set up a publishing schedule. Find out the best time to publish your posts. For Facebook, Saturdays and Sundays are considered to be the best days for launching a campaign. Mornings are better.
For Twitter, Wednesdays are considered to be the best day. The idea is to ensure that your posts get the intended visibility. Decide on your posting schedule according to your time zone.
Once all the details are thrashed out and penned into an agreement, there is very little chance of error.
#7. Track and Measure
Once your influencer campaign is live, have systems in place to track and measure progress. You need to be on top of your campaign to ensure that it’s going in the right direction. If not, you should be in a position to make the necessary adjustments.
On social media, people take offense pretty easily. If you feel that the campaign is hitting the wrong notes – maybe because of the words, images, or the personality used – you need to stop the campaign. And get ready for damage control. The longer it continues unchecked, the more difficult it gets to manage the after-effects.
Getting your influencer engagement strategy right is both an art and a science. There are several factors to be considered. Most marketers have already drawn up their digital marketing plans for 2018. However, if you’ve left out influencer marketing, you’re making a grave mistake.
Adopting influencer engagement strategies used by other brands may seem like a good idea. However, remember that every business is unique. What works for someone, might not work for you. But, if you get the basics right, you definitely have greater control over the outcomes.
Can you think of any other ways of perfecting an influencer engagement strategy? Let us know in the comments below.