Influencer campaigns are no longer the new kid on the block of digital marketing. Far from it--according to Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2021 Benchmark Report, the industry is expected to grow by close to $14 billion over the next year.
At the same time, though, today’s customer is both savvy and skeptical. Seeing a #sponsored hashtag on a post can set alarm bells ringing faster than a telemarketer hawking timeshares, and no brand wants to make that kind of first impression.
So how can you make sure your influencer marketing campaigns are actually yielding positive results? Here are three tips to avoid wasting money and ensure your influencer campaigns are a success.
1. Get Clear About Your Objective
Here’s the fundamental thing about influencer marketing that most brands misunderstand: they’re not purely about driving sales. In fact, we’d argue that their greater value lies in building brand awareness and affinity, both of which are essential to the longevity of your business.
So, before you spend a single dollar with an influencer, get clear about what you’re hoping to gain from the partnership. Don’t set your sets merely on dollars and cents. Reaching new audience segments, increasing your KLT (know, like, trust) factor and building social proof are all solid objectives for influencer campaigns.
2. Tie Your Objective To Measurable Business Outcomes
Would you believe that according to the benchmark report we mentioned earlier, 33% of brands don’t measure the ROI of their influencer campaigns? Your CFO would not be happy to hear this.
If your objective is what you’re hoping to achieve, the KPIs you set are how you’ll measure your success (and quantify that success to the people who sign the checks!).
When it comes to traditional PPC ads, we tend to focus more on clicks and conversions as the most important KPIs. For influencer marketing, though, impressions can be a great indicator of success because the people you’re getting in front of are squarely in your target market.
Some other business outcomes you might tie to your objectives include revenue growth, product page views, followers, social media mentions, referral program participation, and net promoter score. Whatever your most important KPIs are, measure them and track the results regularly to see if they move in a positive direction over time.
3. Aim For Long-Term Partnerships With the Right Influencers
Authenticity is a core factor in influencer marketing success. This has given way to the rise of what are known as micro-influencers. A micro-influencer has between 1,000 and 100,000 followers within a highly targeted audience group (soccer moms who buy organic, retirees who travel to Europe, etc.).
In many cases, it makes more sense to partner with a micro-influencer over the course of months or even years rather than to blow your entire budget on a one-off campaign with a mega influencer. To the audience who will see your campaign, it seems much more authentic when an influencer has a long-term relationship with a brand than if they just threw up one post about a product and never spoke of it again.
Because micro-influencers have a smaller, more niche audience, their followers often feel like a tight-knit community. As a result, their recommendation carries more weight than someone with a few million followers.
The bottom line of working with influencers: know what your goals are, measure your progress in getting there and focus on the long game.
Need a little guidance on where influencer marketing fits into your overall growth strategy? Parkfield can help. Browse our services or schedule your free marketing assessment with our friendly team by clicking here.
Image credit: Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash