If you manage a business or brand, then you have definitely heard of influencer marketing before.
But what, exactly, is it? And what is the best influencer marketing strategy that you can use to build your brand and increase sales?
Here is a quick breakdown of influencer marketing and how to develop your own marketing campaign to increase brand awareness, drive organic traffic up, and boost conversions.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is like a modern-day word-of-mouth marketing strategy that occurs on various social media platforms.
A social media influencer is a person who has a high follower count, an engaged audience and direct access to your target audience.
An Instagram influencer is a person with all of these attributes, but specific to Instagram.
Brands and businesses will often collaborate with a social influencer to raise brand awareness and ultimately increase sales (as opposed to waiting for organic growth from their campaigns or using an Instagram growth service to get more followers fast).
Often times, these influential people are celebrities who share a similar interest with your target audience. However, as celebrities come with out-of-reach prices for these types of collaborations, brands are turning to people with social influencer status and an affordable price tag.
If you are looking for a way to boost your digital marketing strategy and meet your target market where they are hanging out online, then an influencer marketing campaign may be the best option for you.
Before you begin your influencer marketing campaign, you first need to get clear about who your target audience is.
1. Define Target Audience
By understanding who your target audience is, you can more easily find key influencers who will help make your campaign a success.
Try to understand what their interests are, which Instagram stories they are watching, what types of content they are engaging with on their Instagram feed, and which brands they are currently engaging with,
Consider the demographics of your target, such as age, gender, location, education level, or income level.
This will help you understand where they spend their money and why. It will also help you understand what kinds of Instagram posts they might find most appealing.
Then, take it a step further and try to understand their psychological characteristics of your target audience, such as their values, beliefs, attitudes, hobbies, and engagement behavior.
A younger audience, for instance, will be far more engaged with Instagram stories late at night than, say, a slightly older audience who may not have the luxury of perusing social media late at night.
Once you have created an ideal persona of your target audience, you can compare your audience characteristics with the characteristics of the followers of your potential influencer.
2. Set Objectives for Instagram Influencer Marketing
Before you start blowing through your marketing budgets on social media influencers based on their follower count, you need to determine what your objectives are for the campaign.
Some possible objectives could be:
- increase brand awareness (top of the marketing funnel)
- increase sales (bottom of the marketing funnel)
- collect emails
- increase your own followers on Instagram
Your entire campaign should be well coordinated with paid ads, email subscription landing pages, blog posts, and product releases. By coordinating your entire marketing strategy, you can rest assured that you are using your marketing budgets in the most efficient and effective way possible.
3. Find the Right Influencer
As you begin research on what influential people to connect with, consider the above points about your target audience and your objectives.
The best influencers are not necessarily the people with the most followers on Instagram. In fact, these influencers tend to have a lower engagement rate than those with lower follower counts and will not provide you with as impactful a reach as you might hope for.
Instead, look for micro influencers, or people with medium-level follower counts and authentic relationships with their audience.
Next, search for an influencer who has followers who match your target audience as closely as possible. As you begin your influencer outreach, you can ask for data on their followers to ensure that they are indeed your target audience.
Once you’ve determined who the key influencers are in your niche, it is time to begin your influencer outreach.
4. Connect With Social Media Influencers
You can begin by searching for an Instagram influencer on an influencer marketing platform, which connects people like you with an influential Instagram account.
Utilizing an influencer marketing platform, such as TRIBE, will help you manage your influencer relations more easily than with cold outreach. It will also help you build long-term relationships that are extremely valuable for marketers and small business owners alike.
From there, you can design your marketing strategy so that your campaign has the greatest reward.
And if this sounds like a big project for you, then reach out to an influencer marketing agency to get started. They will help you build an effective influencer marketing strategy and connect you with the right people.
5. Create Content Plan
Once you have found an influencer to work with, it is time to create an effective content plan. Determine what is expected of the influencer, how it will relate to your overall content marketing strategy, and when each of the Instagram posts will be published.
Expect the entire process to take several months and don’t agree to work with the first influencer that you find. Be sure that you are making the most of your campaign by following through these steps in a careful and methodical way.
Pretty soon, you’ll be building your brand and increasing sales of your product in no time.
Top Influencer Marketing Platforms
Not sure where to begin? Here are a few tried and true influencer marketing platforms that can help you begin your campaign: