Startups: How to Develop a Stellar Influencer Marketing Campaign

Jun 28, 2016
Tina Courtney
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Influencer Marketing StrategiestOver the past several years, influencer marketing has evolved from a new and groundbreaking modality into one of the most successful and prominently used tactics in the digital space. While the premise of influencer marketing is simple, the execution is anything but.

This year, marketers from all over the globe will substantially increase their influencer marketing budgets, yet as everyone who’s ever heard of influence marketing is gung-ho to throw cash at it, how many are really well versed in the understanding of what it takes to develop a smashing strategy?

When it comes to startup companies, influencer marketing could be one of the quickest and most effective ways of launching your brand into mass awareness. And we all know startups value speed, value, and efficiency above all else.

To help startup companies break into the world of influencers, here is your guide to building an influencer campaign that drives serious results.

Set Your Goals

This is by far the most critical element. The first step in any journey is to determine which goals you want to reach. Why is your company embarking on this endeavor? What are you looking to achieve? Influencer marketing can help to reach a variety of outcomes such as:

  • Augmented traffic
  • Higher conversion rates
  • Expanded email lists
  • Increased company awareness
  • Boosted sales
  • And a range of other goals

Make your company’s intentions clear and select a goal or two to focus on; you don’t want to be spread too thin, nor do you want to jump in blindly.

Really, Really, Really Know Your Audience

You must understand the audience you are marketing to. In order for you to hit whatever metrics you are after, you need to pin-point the individuals you know will resonate — their attributes, shopping habits, interests, wants, and virtually anything else you can discover. The more you know about your target audience, the more effective your marketing message will be, and the influencers you choose to work with.

How does one obtain this information? One of the best ways is to send out surveys to your current email subscribers, social media followings, and anyone else you currently have access to. Additionally, you should draw from the plethora of data that has been harvested from other companies within your niche. This information will allow you to carry forth into the next step of the process.

Building a Campaign and Allocating Funds

As a startup company, it is likely that there is a very limited pool of funds to draw from. ROI is critical for your company to continue its growth and expansion, so setting and strictly adhering to a budget is vital. Elements that you must consider and monitor are the cost of producing any materials like articles, infographics, and so forth as well as the expenses necessary for technologies that will help track campaign successes and the cost of acquiring influencers.

Once the budget has been mapped out, it is time to enter into ideation for developing a newsworthy campaign. When building your campaign, it is vital to remember that it must be compelling, unique, and provide equal value for the company and influencers alike. If it doesn’t achieve these things, no one will want to participate. A great place to start is by looking at various influencer campaigns that have hit a homerun in the past. Study the tactics and elements found in these promotions to provide some guidance for your ideas.

Acquiring the Right Voices

Now that you know your audience and have a foundation for your campaign it is time to identify and engage influencers who are best suited for this criteria. This will be quite time consuming but it will pay off in the end.

To find the right people to promote your message, it will require hours upon hours of combing social media. This is your best resource so the work will be well worth the reward. Additionally, leveraging identification tools like Klear, Buzzsumo, Klout, LinkedIn, and others can be quite helpful.

Once you have located the folks you wish to use, begin to engage them on social media. Engage in current discussions, like and react to various posts, and share or retweet anything that is relevant to your audience. Do everything in your power to demonstrate that you want to help their followings grow and that you are interested in the influencer’s work.

Once you find that you have gained their attention, send them your campaign pitch. Keep things short, sweet, and to the point; these people are busy. Start by showing how the campaign will benefit their career and what you have to offer them. This is your best bet to reel in an influencer.

Running the Campaign Effectively

Now that you have built a solid lineup of influencers and are about ready to launch, start by notifying the influencers of the imminent kickoff. Include information such as goals, parameters, any legal information, asks, and anything else that is relevant to them. Be sure to mention the benefits they will receive from participating as well.

As the campaign moves into full-swing, actively participate in your own campaign; don’t just be a bystander. Contribute by interacting with the influencer’s audience, share and retweet posts, and ensure that your own social media channels are pumping out plenty of relevant content and messages. This increased visibility on social will only help to drive more individuals to become privy to, and possibly engage with, your campaign.

Lastly, as with any business effort, it is vital to constantly monitor your campaign. Track conversions, social engagement, conduct keyword searches, and closely monitor the contributing factors to the goals you set earlier. If adjustments need to be made along the way, this is the information that will help you to understand what elements are falling flat.

Once the campaign is all said and done, evaluate the results. This will help you to refine your strategy for the next go-around. Also be sure to send a recap email to the influencers and ask them for their feedback as well. They have been a pivotal resource and their input can provide perspectives that would otherwise go unseen.

Influencer marketing is a beast for prosperity when leveraged correctly. If you still need help with establishing and launching a compelling influencer campaign drop us a line and we can help build a campaign make headlines.

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