How do I stand out amongst my peers? How do I get the attention of my target audience with minimal effort? How do I increase sales without spending much on marketing?
These are common questions every marketer has to answer. For any brand to survive in a hyper-competitive market, it has to do something that captures attention.
Using an influencer marketing campaign.
In the past couple of years, influencer marketing has become a multi-billion dollar industry with brands competing against each other to hire relevant influencers. If done well, an influencer marketing campaign can help brands reap rich dividends.
To start with, your influencer marketing campaign needs to have a clear goal to stick to. This could be to increase sales or brand awareness. With a goal, you can establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) along with the budget required for the campaign. Here are some examples of brands launching an influencer campaign with a set goal in mind.
Off the Beaten Track (OTBT), an American women’s shoe retailer, has shown how a sustained and goal-driven influencer marketing campaign can help reach a wide global audience in a short time.
Though this brand is only a couple of years old, it started its influencer campaign in 2017. They focused on micro-influencers with an engaged following of fewer than 5000 followers. By 2020, they had worked with more than 400 influencers.
To date, almost 44% of their e-commerce revenue comes from social media accounts, where their influencers have given them access to more than 750,000 potential customers.
When you choose an influencer to explain something that everyone is curious about, it can work wonders for you. Nike has proved this right by collaborating with an established YouTube channel ‘What’s Inside?’ which created a series of videos showing what was inside various objects. One of them was Nike’s Nike Air VaporMax sneakers. Here, they cut open the sneakers in half to show what these signature sneakers were made of. The campaign was a huge success, with the video garnering a whopping 7 million views.
Brands employ different ways to get the message across for their influencer marketing campaigns. Eventually, it boils down to three types of relationships- hire, inspire, or a combination of both- you could hire influencers to promote your brand, inspire them to create content that converts, or use a mix of both. Here are some of the types of influencer marketing strategies you can use-
Sponsored content- Here, you pay an influencer to feature you in their content on his social media channels. This may or may not contain content developed by you. The Nike case study we spoke about earlier is an example.
Gifting- Some brands gift their products to select influencers for them to review. Many electronics brands gift their newly-launched products to influencers to post an unbiased detailed review of the same.
Guest Posting- Here, brands invite reputed bloggers and influencers to create content for them on their social media handles or blogs. Here too, many influencers are invited to share their thoughts on how to use the products or solve similar pain points
Contests and Giveaways- Brands let influencers promote their contests and giveaways on their social media channels.
Influencer takeover- Some brands let their influencers take over their social media accounts for a set period.
Affiliate marketing- Here, brands offer a certain percentage of each sale to the influencer for the effort influencer puts in driving that sale. This is a common strategy used in the fashion and accessories business niche.
Co-creating content- Some brands jointly develop content with influencers that they post on both the influencer’s and the brand’s websites or social media handles.
Interviews, podcasts, and other interactive content fall in this category.
Discount codes- Brands offer a discount when an influencer’s followers purchase through a link on the post. Many brands employ this strategy when launching a new line of products or entering a new market.
Social Media mentions- Here, the influencer mentions the brand or product in his post or shares content that the brand has developed.
You have to go where your target audience is. To identify your target audience, you have to create buyer personas that resonate with your audience. For example, if you are selling sneakers, your buyer persona could be a teenage high school student or a young college student under 25. Also, find out who they follow and on which medium they are most active. Teenagers and young adults are generally more active on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok.
For a successful influencer marketing campaign, it makes sense to choose YouTubers, Instagrammers, and others who have an engaged fan following your target audience.
Once your team has chosen the right influencer, you then have to move to the next phase- content management. Define your guidelines and requirements with the influencer- let them know what is expected of them and how the collaboration will work. Get them to sign a contract with all the deliverables clearly mentioned in detail.
Periodically check the results of the influencer marketing campaign and see how much ROI it’s generating. Check if the KPIs are being fulfilled. Ask yourself these questions-
Is the campaign working as expected?
If not, where is it failing?
What have you learned from your audience?
Which posts are working the best?
Which posts are underperforming?
Based on this, you can tweak your campaign to generate the right outcomes that you expected in the first place.
Many times, marketers do not have the time needed to plan, design, implement and monitor their influencer marketing campaigns. If this is the case, it is best to work with Influencer Marketing Campaign Services which will help you with the campaign to give you your expected outcomes.