The Full Guide to Influencer Marketing

Here’s the thing: we already know that influencer marketing is a powerhouse strategy. We know that it’s a quick way to boost sales, drive growth, and take advantage of new and existing audiences with an influencer who is already an expert in speaking their language. In fact, studies show that influencers can generate up to 11 times higher ROI* than traditional forms of marketing. But how do you actually do it? That’s what this page is all about—we’re going to tell you exactly what to do in order to get your influencer marketing campaigns off the ground so you can avoid stumbling around for months before gaining any traction for your brand. 

Instagram Influencer Marketing

As a social media platform, it’s safe to say that Instagram remains one of the most popular apps in existence (with TikTok nipping closely at its heels). As such, it makes sense to start out by setting your influencer marketing sights on Instagram first. Instagram appeals to a wide age range, has a huge amount of versatility as a platform, and already has a massive, dedicated user base with a guilty tendency to scroll endlessly through whatever the algorithm puts in front of them—and it’s kind of the place where the idea of an “influencer” was born.  But wait, there’s more! When it comes to types of content, Instagram has it laid out like a buffet. Single photo posts, carousel posts, videos, reels, stories, live videos, guides…you name it, someone’s going to watch it and love it. All that to say: if you only have a choice of one platform to start on, the smart choice is Instagram. After all, that’s what we did, and we’re going to tell you exactly how in just a second. 

Influencer Marketing Tools and Platforms: Using Upfluence

At last, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Everything you need to know about how to actually do influencer marketing is right here.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

Before you start running around asking influencers to do things for you, you have to establish what your ask is to begin with. You should also nail down terms, conditions, and compensation expectations so that an interested influencer knows exactly what they’re in for. It can be super simple like it was for us: a free book in return for a video review of said book.  Also equally important: asking yourself why you’re doing this. What are you hoping to gain from the partnership? Is it sales? Traffic to the website? New subscriptions? A news piece written about your company in a top outlet? Whatever it is, make sure you frame your initial message to potential influencers in a way that will get you the content you want to see. It doesn’t have to be a hidden message or anything complicated. You can just ask for what you want, like this: “Our ultimate goal is to get 100 new subscribers this month, and we’d love to partner with you to reach your audience. [Add incentive here].”

Step 2: Find Your Influencers

With your goals set, it’s time to source your influencers. The influencer marketing tool we use, Upfluence, has a database full of influencers that you can filter with keywords, hashtags, follower count, and other profile-defining traits. Set your filters to align with your goals, and you’ll get to the people you need quicker. For the book example, we looked at hashtags like #bookstagram #booklover and #bookblogger.  A cool part of Upfluence: it gives you a price estimate for the individual influencer, and tells you how many of their followers are fake. If you’re working with a platform that doesn’t have that feature, look at their follower count and compare it to their engagement rate. Lots of followers and virtually no engagement = they probably bought their followers…thank you, next. 

Step 3: Reach Out

Goals, check. List of influencers to contact, check. Go ahead and start sending those emails! With Upfluence, you can automate the entire communication process. Once you type up your drafts, and assign action triggers, you can send the initial email, send a shipment notification, a draft review notification, and an approval notification. Low maintenance for the win!

Step 4: Review the Content

Everyone has their own pet peeves and preferences, which is completely valid. Reviewing the content is an important step you don’t want to miss, because, for example,  what if there’s some confidential info that was accidentally mentioned? (Things like this are usually laid out in the initial contract, but everyone can make mistakes.) Better safe than sorry.

Step 5: Measuring Engagement With Influencer Marketing KPIs

The main goal of getting an influencer to post content about your company or product is to get the same amount of engagement as the influencer usually gets on their other posts. That’s anywhere between 1 and 5 percent engagement. Here’s where micro- and nano-influencers really shine. They have a lower follower count, yes. But they tend to have really loyal audiences who are super engaged with their content and more likely to take the action you want them to take. Don’t be so quick to pass over an influencer with under 10K followers!

Step 6: Look Ahead to Future Campaigns

Once the campaign is complete—all content posted, all metrics monitored and analyzed—you can take home those insights for the next round. Like most things in life, each campaign is going to teach you something. Maybe you’ll realize you need to adjust the terms and conditions, or that you want to try targeting a parallel niche to get wider exposure. Better yet, make note of the people that were the best to work with, and who have the most versatile audiences. Forming long-lasting relationships with those types of influencers can only benefit your brand.  And that’s pretty much it! Influencer marketing, when done correctly, really is a useful tool to have in your strategy box. You’re getting access to different audiences without the headache of having to do content customization yourself. You’re getting an expert consultant on your side, and at a lower cost, too. The only thing you need to remember is that you’re ceding some control in the outsourcing. But as long as you keep your communication and expectations clear, you’re giving yourself and your company the best shot at making the whole endeavor a wild success. 

So…that’s kind of a lot, right? Don’t worry, you don’t have to go it alone! This is where we can help. Part of our services includes running influencer marketing campaigns for our clients, so we have plenty of experience getting businesses real momentum on social media. Just tap on our shoulder and we can set up a time to talk about how your company can take advantage of influencer marketing! Want to learn more about the finer points of influencer marketing? See what the experts at Make Your Mark have to say here in our blog. *Per this article.

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