In advertising, appearances and testimonials given by big-name celebrities can act as powerful draws for a wide audience. The success of these testimonials has birthed an entirely new industry: influencer marketing, and today we’re talking about influencer campaigns.
Everyone knows famous superstars, and everyone loves them. So, having one or more of them appear alongside your brand can often lead to boosted sales for your products.
Here, let’s take a look at how that happens.
The Power of Influencer Campaigns
Influencer campaigns on social media work much the same as celebrity ad campaigns on television do.
Influencers are in essence the Internet’s version of celebrities. They’re the big names on social media outlets such as YouTube, Instagram, and the like. They’ve garnered hundreds of thousands–sometimes even millions–of followers, subscribers, and viewers.
A big difference between influencers and traditional celebrities, though, is that their niche is very specific.
Whereas George Clooney or Jennifer Lopez could fit in in just about any ad campaign, influencers only truly fit into campaigns that revolve around their niche.
Even so, the numbers don’t lie. Companies who contract influencers to market their products enjoy a 37% better retention rate than companies who don’t. And believe it or not, there is an art to successfully executing influencer campaigns on social media. It spans a few simple but expansive steps.
Let’s take a look at them now.
Research Influencers For Your Influencer Campaigns
It goes without saying that thorough research will be involved.
Stay current with popular influencers whose niches fit your brand. Make a list of those influencers who overall fit your brand and your company’s image.
Next, thoroughly research their accounts. See what they post about. Make sure there isn’t anything on their accounts that you don’t want associated with your brand or company.
Things to check for specifically include:
How do they think? What kind of thoughts do they share with their fans?
How do they handle emotion? What do they post when they’re sad or angry?
How do they express their views? Do those views align with your brand and company?
Another tip is not to go with the most popular influencer available. Just because a particular influencer has a ton more followers or views than the next influencer, doesn’t mean they’re a great fit for your influencer campaigns.
The second influencer might be more suited and end up earning you a greater ROI.
Reach Out To Your Chosen Influencer
Now comes the time for you to contact the influencer whom you’ve deemed the best choice to represent your brand.
This is a crucial step — and how you ask them makes a big difference.
Reach out to them via their preferred method of contact, which you’ll know due to the vast amounts of research that you’ve done on them. Be friendly yet professional.
Be sure to leave your professional contact information in case they want to check you out to make sure your offer is legitimate.
Establish Goals For The Influencer Campaign
Sure, you might be working with non-celebrities through social media. However, you’re still going to invest time and money in whatever influencer campaigns you decide to pursue. So you need to be sure you get what you want out of it.
Determining goals for your influencer campaigns will determine the budget they will require.
During the campaigns, be sure to track all vital KPI metrics. These include things like audience reach, views, follower increase, engagement, and of course sales. Then you can analyze them as needed.
If your campaigns aren’t quite garnering the ROI that you were hoping for, you can review the metrics. That way, you can see where the problems lies.
Your chosen influencer has accepted your offer. So, now comes the time to create content for your campaign.
Here’s where the difference between celebrities and influencers will become apparent.
Whereas celebrities generally just get a script and go with it, influencers typically create their own content. After all, their content creations are the reason why they became influencers in the first place.
If you’ve worked with celebrities on campaigns before, you may be tempted to go ahead and create your influencer campaigns’ content.
You shouldn’t, though, for a few different reasons:
Influencers Know Their Niche And Control Their Own Content
Influencers are more than just famous Internet faces.
They’re subject matter experts who have taken it upon themselves to create content. That content is about a specific subject matter, and is for those who are interested in it.
Having them simply appear in a social media campaign will waste valuable input they will likely have. Plus, it will not appeal to their fans. Remember, they became fans in the first place because they liked the influencer’s content — not yours.
Influencers’ Niche Is Small But Powerful
Influencers often interact with their fans, which contrasts starkly with celebrities who rarely interact with their fans.
That makes them more approachable and more human. Many even end up becoming friends with their fans. Ultimately, their fans are the ones you want to reel in. However, they won’t bite if they feel their favorite influencers are simply selling something.
The great appeal of influencers is how genuine they are on camera. Pushing a product doesn’t come across as genuine.
The answer is to collaborate with your influencer. Influencer campaigns only work when both parties participate on the content created. There are many ways that you both can work together to create effective content:
Reviews are a popular choice for influencer campaigns.
Typically, a company will send an influencer a free demo of a product. Sometimes, it’s even a new product that hasn’t been released on market yet. The goal is to try to get the influencer to give them a review.
How the influencer reviews the product depends on their Internet presence style.
YouTube personalities will usually record a video of themselves trying the product and then talking about their experience with it. Bloggers will try the product, snap photos, and make a blog entry about how they found the product.
The resulting review ultimately acts as an ad for the product.
Fans will see the review. If they find it intriguing and entertaining, they may share it across other social media platforms. Frequently shared links (especially videos) go viral. If a review of your product goes viral, you’re all but guaranteed increased sales
Another popular choice for influencer campaigns is product features.
Again, having your influencer feature your product entails sending them a free demo or copy of the product you want featured.
From there, they’ll create content about your product in some way, shape, or form.
An artist may draw a beautiful, colorful sketch of your product. They may then post a photo of the sketch alongside the product to their Instagram account.
If your product is a clothing item, a model might take a photo of themselves wearing your product. Then, they will post it to Instagram, with a caption that states how much they love the product.
Exclusive Promotional Codes
Brands often post promotional codes on their websites to entice casual visitors and hardcore fans into buying their products.
However, doing this can lead to a loss of profit. After all, everyone has access to the promotional code.
Partnering with influencers can alleviate some of this loss. By providing influencers with an exclusive promotional code to share with their fans, you can introduce a new audience to your brand.
Social Media Takeovers
Since influencers reach their fans through social media.
So, they can increase your brand’s number of fans by letting influencers take over your social media account for a limited time.
An influencer who is about to take over a brand’s social media account will typically announce it on their own social media. This will entice their fans to check you out twice. Once upon announcement, and then again when the influencer has taken over.
Again, the appeal of influencers is how real and genuine they are in contrast to celebrities. Their fans will likely interact with your account in order to interact with the influencer. This will leave said fans with a great impression of your brand.
Contest and Giveaway Hosting
Hosting a contest and giveaway for your brand’s established fans is fine and dandy.
It will keep them interested in your products, if nothing else. But bear in mind that hosting a contest and giveaway for established fans likely won’t reel in new fans.
Having an influencer host a contest and giveaway will expose their fans who may not be familiar with your brand to your products.
Still Unsure? Contact Us!
Influencer campaigns aren’t something to mess around with. You want to make sure you get the ROI that you’ve planned for and are expecting.
At Grin, we specialize in leveraging influencers for influencer campaigns. Our tools make it easy to recruit, manage, and report on the effectiveness of influencer campaigns.
We’d love to share those tools as well as our influencer marketing know-how with you!
Reach out to us today, and a member of our team will be touch with you shortly!