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What is Influencer Strategy in Marketing? How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy?

what is influencer marketing strategy

Businesses can use influencer marketing strategy in many ways to gain leads, improve brand image, and boost credibility. You can create influencer marketing campaigns that attract your target audience and enhance your reach in your industry through different channels like social media marketing

However, it would help if you have a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy to increase your brand’s visibility in the market and encourage people to learn about it. 

What is Influencer Marketing Strategy?

An influencer marketing strategy effectively leverages an individual’s fame to boost your company’s standing and profile. Many types of influencers use their reach and status to reach the audience. Often, influencers use this reputation to build their own business.

The Chief Technology Officer and founder of WordStream, Larry Kim, is a good example. He’s a social media, content marketing, and paid search influencer. He frequently speaks on podcasts and conferences, and his thought leadership and knowledge in search have improved his profile and WordStream image.

It’s worth noting that influencer campaigns aren’t just about capitalizing on an individual’s image to boost sales. It is also about establishing that person as a trusted authority in the particular area of expertise to define the conversation that centers on a topic.

Why Your Business Needs Influencer Marketing?

So, what are the benefits of Influencer Marketing?

Did you know influencer marketing is expected to become a $10 billion industry by 2023?

Regardless of your influencer strategy, it’s an excellent way to build a business online and improve brand awareness in the target audience.

Forbes, in its recent article, states that the growth of influencer marketing is faster than digital ads. The article emphasizes leveraging the power of industry leaders and influencers to foster business development.

“Influencer marketing is typically a part of social media or digital marketing. The beauty of influencer marketing strategy is that your brand promoters are already there. All you need is to establish or maintain a win-win partnership with them. This partnership allows both parties to gain more followers and viewership using each other’s audience.”

As said above, a growing business using influencer marketing is an easy and effective way to get exposure and grow business.  When a celebrity or industry leader shares its content, it impacts the audience and helps them build trust in your products and services.

Before we plunge into the discussion to learn how you can build an effective influencer marketing strategy, let’s understand its benefits for your business.

How Influencer Marketing Strategy Grows Your Business?

Builds Brand's Trust And Credibility

Building trust is crucial whether you’re an established business or a startup. Your brand’s credibility is vital for people to make informed buying decisions. This is when small enterprises and brands can benefit from influencer marketing strategies.

As influencers already have a strong relationship with people, trust, and credibility, people respect their opinions, recommendations, and content.

When you share their content or endorse your products, your business gains instant attention from their followers. Influencers share the content by putting their messages in front of an engaged audience.

Targets Potential Audience

This is one of the most significant benefits enterprises, or businesses gain from an influencer strategy. Influencers help businesses place their content in front of relevant social media users interested in their niche.

Businesses don’t need to invest time and money to find and test the target audience. Influencers foster an audience on the social media platform.

Improves Brand Awareness

It is worth mentioning that influencer marketing can do wonders to improve your brand’s online presence. Using an influencer marketing strategy for brand promotion is an excellent way to let people find your brand’s story, products, and services it offers. 

To maximize the benefits of your influencer marketing strategy, your content must be valuable enough for social media users.

Enriches Content Strategy Of Business

Businesses often run out of exciting content ideas to attract website traffic. Influencer marketing can help brands fill these gaps when they need high-quality content to drive leads on social media platforms.

Increases ROI

A bulk of evidence shows that the advantages of influencer marketing reduce advertising costs, which increases the return on investment [ROI].

Burst Media, for example, reported that brands who used well-designed influencer marketing programs received a media value of $6.85 for $1 paid media. That means it pays off when businesses use influencer outreach in their marketing strategies.  

Connects With Audience

People spend most of their time on online platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. The surveys show how influencer marketing helps brands connect with their audience by mentioning them on these platforms. The audience differs according to the celebrities as well. An entertainment and sports celebrity gets the audience with interest in similar field. 

Hence, it’s also necessary to choose your celebrity wisely.

Boosts Engagement With The Audience

Getting the audience to stop and notice your post or share on social media platforms is challenging unless your product is something unbelievable. Most brands do it through advertisements.

Today, brands don’t need to come up with different stories to engage the audience. Influencers on social media platforms are living out these stories. And, if you know how to play it right, you can tie your products or services into that.

What Are The Current Influencer Marketing Trends?

If your brand wants to embrace influencer marketing, it must be aware of the current influencer marketing trends. Here are some trends that will make waves in the coming years.

Video Marketing

Consumers today prefer watching highly engaging visual content. According to experts, podcast and video content helps attract more audiences than written posts.

CGI Influencers

CGI is a computer-generated imagery influencer gaining popularity due to its speedy results. For instance, Lil Miquela is a widely known CGI influencer with more than 3 million followers on Instagram and has partnered with Diesel and Prada.

YouTube Influencer Marketing

Though YouTube gives a passive experience, it is the second most visited site in the world. Video marketing through YouTube can reach a high number of Generation Z and millennial users. It’s an effective way to build trust and connection with the audience.

Instagram Influencer Marketing

Did you know that Instagram has over $1.3 billion users? 

It is one of the social media platforms with the most engaged audience. That’s why over 29 percent of marketers and businesses spend their advertising budget on Instagram. You may find many influencers who prefer using Instagram over Facebook for marketing campaigns.

Influencer Marketing Tools

Brands like to hire the services of a marketing agency to find and connect with influencers relevant to their niche. Seeking professional help to create and implement an influencer strategy is perhaps the best way to ensure you get the desired outcomes.

However, if you want to do it yourself, platforms such as Upfluence can help reduce the time you need to seek the best influencer fit for the brand.

TikTok Influencer Marketing

With over 70 percent engagement rate and one billion users, businesses can boost their brand promotion with a comprehensive TikTok influencer marketing strategy. Many brands partner with content creators or TikTokers to tap into their niche communities, generate campaigns, and drive sales.

How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy?

Building a successful influencer marketing campaign is not a set-it-go type of strategy. There are some continuous important steps that you need to carry out.

To build an influencer marketing strategy;

Determine Your Marketing Goals

The first goal for marketers to incorporate an influencer marketing strategy is to attract new target customers. It makes sense as a well-planned influencer marketing campaign can extend your reach to the followers of the influencer you work with.

Note that your goal is to reach a new audience or customers in the first phase, not necessarily generate sales immediately. Driving sales is typically the third common goal of influencer marketing campaigns. Also, you need to determine how your influencer strategy fits into the broader digital marketing campaign. You must create practical and measurable goals to track performance.

Know The Audience You Want To Influence

To make an effective and result-oriented influencer marketing strategy, you need to connect to the right people using the right influencers. The very first step to achieving this is to know or define the audience you want to target in the campaign. 

Creating an audience persona is an excellent way to ensure you know who you want to reach. Maybe your target audience is your current audience or new audience. Once you determine that, make matching sets of your influencer personas. It can help you find and understand the qualities you seek in your influencers. You should also know the audience and their relationships with influencers.

Understand Some Basic Rules

Before planning your influencer marketing strategy, you must understand some basic rules. The Federal Trade Commission has made some rules for social media marketing campaigns. For instance, marketers must take disclosures seriously, according to the FTC. Building disclosure guidelines into the influencers’ agreement are imperative.

In addition, influencers need to identify different sponsored posts. Not all influencers do that. Sometimes, influencers do it in a subtle way that makes disclosure incomprehensible or hidden.

In other countries, the Competition and Market Authority investigates hidden advertising on Facebook and Instagram to commit changes that can make disclosures easy to understand.

The particular rules related to disclosure may vary by country. Therefore, you need to check the current requirements in your city or jurisdiction. As a marketer, you must be upfront and clear in your ads and campaigns so viewers know when your posts are sponsored.

Here are the critical points of FTC’s guidelines.

  • Marketers must include verbal and written partnership disclosures with an influencer in the video reviews. They should be within the video and in the description.
  • Using built-in social media tools isn’t enough to specify the branded content. However, marketers still need to use them. Instagram specifies that branded content or influencer marketing on platforms must use a tag for branded content to show the relationship. This may add text like “paid partnership with the brand name” in the post.
  • #sponsored and #ad hashtags work great for disclosure. They should be highly visible or separated from the long list of tags. Always put #sponsored and #ad hashtags up front as it is the right place to make them visible.

Use The 3 R's To Influence Marketing

Note that influencer marketing comprises three key components.

  •         Reach
  •         Relevance
  •         Resonance

Relevance is significant when targeting the audience. You need a relevant influencer who can share content about your industry and business that increases the level of engagement. They should have followers whose interests align with your target audience.

For instance, the famous brand Adore Me partnered with Remi Bader (a body-positive content creator) to showcase their swimsuit sizing.

As the title suggests, reach refers to the number of people your brand can get via your influencer’s follower base. Note that a small audience can build brand loyalty, but it should be enough to meet marketing goals.

Resonance is the potential engagement level influencers create with the relevant audience of the brand. Here is what you need to understand: bigger doesn’t mean better. Even if an influencer has a huge following, it doesn’t make sense to hire them if their followers aren’t interested in your content or products. On the other hand, niche influencers can offer you very engaged and dedicated followers. 

Do Some Research

Developing marketing strategies requires considerable research, and influencer strategy is no exception. You must look at influencers’ online activities, such as what they post and how often they share sponsored content.

If they use paid posts to engage followers, the engagement rate may likely drop or won’t last long. Instead, look for influencers with plenty of non-paid and organic content that keeps followers enthusiastic, interested, and engaged.

Also, think about what you’ll ask influencers to post. If you want them to share too many posts in a short timeframe, it can make your offer hard to accept. Keep in mind that in-demand and popular influencers receive many requests.

So, when first reaching out to the influencers, you need to demonstrate your interest in working with them and that you have spent time learning who they are and what they do. Essentially, you must know about their audience and channel.

Work Through Business Accounts

Many people don’t consider a business account essential to get the audience’s attention, but it plays a crucial role, especially if you want to use influencer marketing. Influencers can work better with business accounts when it comes to sharing content.

Be sure to create a business account and connect it to different social media platforms to broaden your user spectrum.

You and your influencer can also see the crucial analytics that helps you get vital insight into the impact of your posts if you have a business account. Plus, it updates you on how individuals on social media engage with the content your influencer shares.

Through a business account, it is easier to determine the number of followers and the kind of impression a particular post from the influencer gains. In addition, the potential custom-build features of social media platforms will lead users to your website.

Schedule Content

For impactful influencer marketing via Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube, or Facebook, understanding the specific variety of content your audience likes and how you post it is essential. 

For that, you can create a strategy with your influencer to schedule posts with the help of tools. It will help your feed consistently appear on your business account. Besides this, deliver a specific proportion of content frequently to invite additional followers and interact with them.

Make A List Of Influencers

Trust is essential when choosing the influencers you want to work with. You need to partner with the person your audience likes, respects, and, most importantly, trusts. You will get superficial results if there is no trust between the audience and the influencer. You might struggle to see the instant and tangible impact of your efforts.

So, how can you find if your audience trusts your potential influencer?

Engagement!

You need plenty of likes, views, shares, and comments. They should be from the targeted segments you want to reach. You need someone with a reasonable engagement rate as it shows a loyal following. Watch out for fraud accounts and bots that create inflated follower counts.

Choose an influencer who produces original content with a feel and look that complements your brand. Also, the influencer’s tone should be appropriate for the brand’s voice and potential customers. It ensures posts and contents don’t feel disconnected and disjointed on social media platforms of either party.

Choose An Influencer Who Knows The Current Marketing Trends

The digital world is dynamic as it keeps on changing. So if you want to maintain your online presence through influencer marketing, you must follow current marketing trends and stay updated.

Choose an influencer who’s vigilant about the recent recommendations, tools, and trends related to social media marketing. In addition to that, make sure the influencer uses updated apps not to miss the current options various platforms provide.

Work With An Influencer With A Proper Profile

According to social media marketing experts, adding exclusivity to your brand’s online presence is paramount for building trust.

The professional profile of the influencer you work with serves an excellent purpose for your brand image. That makes giving a pleasant look to it vital. A well-maintained influencer’s profile helps you attract potential customers that will ultimately reflect your profits. Make sure you choose an influence with a superior-quality profile to add to your brand image.

Don't Let Your Influencer Overpost The Content

Overposting content can prevent you from making the most of your marketing strategy. That means posting plenty of pictures on a business account isn’t the key to getting customers’ attention. To understand this, it’s essential to consider these factors. 

Firstly, if users follow your business accounts, they won’t always like to see your posts on the newsfeed. Secondly, if your influencer only focuses on posting an excessive amount of pictures, you will not have time to promote them optimally.

That is to say, to keep it relevant and focused, you need to limit the number of posts and pictures on your account, whether your influencer marketing strategy is for Instagram or Facebook.

Reach Out Personally

If you don’t want to work through a professional marketing agency,  you need to reach out to influencers personally. Make sure you start communicating with influencers slowly. You can interact with them organically through posts they share on various social media platforms.

Like or comment on their post when appropriate. Remember not to sound too salesy. You can directly ask them via a text message when suggesting a partnership. If you get their email address, you can send an email for the collaboration.

Contacting them via DM and emails will show your seriousness about the partnership and improve your chances of striking a deal.

Collaborate With Influencers To Create Effective Content

A social media influencer with a reasonable engagement rate and organic following never compromises the quality of content. They don’t accept a deal that affects their image. They are content creation experts and have the skills to showcase your brand’s positive image. 

Trusting their content creation efforts and allowing them to display skills is better. Of course, you need to collaborate with them and provide guidelines about what you want.

It’s a good idea to provide some guidelines about what you’re looking for, of course. However, don’t try to stage-manage the campaigns.

Summing Up

Influencer marketing strategy offers many benefits and is one of the convenient ways for businesses to promote and grow their brands. If you think finding the right influencers for your brand is challenging, consider hiring an expert marketing agency to help you connect with celebrities and professional social media influencers.

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