5 Steps to Develop an Influencer Marketing Strategy
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A Step-by-Step Guide To Build Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
Influencer marketing strategies are no longer a trend; they're an essential part of your digital marketing efforts! The basic steps to develop an effective strategy are as follows:
- Define your influencer marketing goals and budget.
- Find and shortlist influencers.
- Reach out to the influencers on your shortlist.
- Pay influencers securely and manage your campaigns.
- Review and refine your influencer marketing strategy.
In the sections below, I'll cover each step in more detail so you're more than prepared to develop your own strategy and skyrocket your business.
Why Ecommerce Should Use Influencer Campaign
Let the data do the talking:
Step One: Define Influencer Marketing Goals and Budget
Like any strategy, your influencer marketing plan should begin with the why. Why are you running the campaign? What do you want to achieve?
In my experience, most businesses have one or more of these goals in mind when deciding to develop an influencer marketing strategy:
- Increase brand awareness and identity
- Grow social media following
- Get more likes, comments, and shares on their posts
- Increase sales
- Enhance the sales pipeline or marketing funnel by providing a promotion
- Improve SEO tactics with backlinks
- Increase store visits
Once you've decided on your main goal(s), it's time to think about your budget.
About 19% of businesses spend between $1,000 and $10,000 per year on influencer marketing. You'll pay influencers a fixed rate depending on their follower count and the number of posts you're asking for.
However, the specific costs depend on your industry and the type of influencer you plan to involve.
The Types of Influencers
There are five types of influencers, each more expensive than the last as their follower count increases. Here are the basics:
- Nano Influencers — They have at least one social platform with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers. I suggest looking at the likes and comments section on their posts to get a sense of their engagement rate (it's usually pretty high). They tend to be great for start-ups and small-to-medium businesses since they're relatively low-cost and are open to various collaboration types.
- Micro Influencers — They boast between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. At this stage, they're still deemed relatable and have a reasonable engagement rate with a more niche audience. They'll work with brands from a specific industry, perfect for generating super-focused leads.
- Macro Influencers — They have 100,000 to one million followers. In other words, they're "social media celebrities." They may have built up a following or be an overnight sensation. Oddly, they may have lower engagement levels since they're appealing to a broader audience instead of a niche. They work wonders for improving brand awareness, but they charge much more per post.
- Mega Influencers — Typically reserved for more prominent brands with stretchable budgets, mega influencers have over one million followers. Their rates are high, but they have a reasonable engagement rate for their follower count.
What Is Engagement Rate?
I mentioned engagement rate frequently when discussing the types of influencers, and it's a key metric in influencer fees, so it's essential to understand.
Put simply, engagement rate is the formula that determines the amount of interaction (e.g., reactions, likes, comments, saves, shares, mentions, etc.) a social media influencer experiences. A higher rate means their posts resonate with their audience.
Desired engagement rates are different across platforms and businesses, but the generally accepted baseline is as follows:
- Below 1% — low
- From 1% to 3.5% — average/good
- From 3.5% to 6% — high
- Above 6% — very high
To get a broad idea of an influencer's engagement rate, divide the number of interactions on a post by their follower count, and multiply it by 100.
Average Influencer Pay Grades
Aside from the type of influencer they are and their engagement rate, influencers can set their own per-post fees based on:
- Follower growth
- Content quality
- Demonstrable niche expertise
- Type of post
Sponsored Instagram posts tend to cost $50 per 5,000 followers. However, there's usually a minimum price of $150 per post, even for influencers with under 50,000 followers.
Snapchat campaigns are priced based on the number of views the influencer receives in a 24-hour period. Normally, rates begin at $500 for 5000 views but can run up to $10,000 for over 50,000 views.
I'd suggest most business target nano or micro influencers for their first campaign. It's a surefire way to keep costs down. Not to mention they tend to have higher engagement rates, increasing their value for money.
Step Two: Find and Shortlist Influencers
With your goals and budget nailed, it's time to find influencers that meet your targets and create a shortlist.
Make sure only the most qualifiable creators land a place on your shortlist by asking yourself (and your team) questions like:
- Does the influencer post brand- or industry-relevant content?
- Has the influencer worked with similar companies before?
- Does their style/personality fit with the brand?
- Do they have a good engagement ratio?
- How many posts are included in the quote? In what format?
- What's their creative pitch
- Will the influencer share permanent advertising and usage right?
Below is selection criteria I made for one of the influencer campaigns of Remarkable Outdoor Living:
Australia's Top 3 Influencer Platforms
I've done my fair share of trying to find influencers on my own. So, let me save you the hassle — it's incredibly time-consuming. Therefore, I always recommend utilizing one of the country's best influencer platforms. They consider your budget and goals before scouring their database and quickly highlighting the right creators for your brand.
The three best platforms are:
- Tribe — Suitable for brands and agencies of all sizes, they connect you to Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok influencers.
- Grin — It has a database of over 38 million influencers, ensuring they find multiple creators perfect for your business.
- Roster — It boasts incredible brand ambassador management software that helps forge beneficial connections between companies and influencers.
Step Three: Reach Out to Influencers
Now, you need to contact the influencers on your shortlist.
If you've used one of the platforms I've suggested, you might not have to worry too much about this step because it will be taken care of for you.
For those who've tackled it alone, you can often reach out to nano and micro influencers through direct messages. But for more established influencers, you may have to contact them through a business email or other contact information attached to their profile.
Here is the influencer outreach template you can use:
Subject: Invitation to Collaborate with [Business Name]
Hello [Influencer Name],
My name is [Your Name] and I am reaching out from [Business Name], a [business description]. We are currently looking for influencers to collaborate with for our upcoming [campaign/promotion] and we came across your account on Instagram and were impressed by your [audience/content/style].
We believe that your audience aligns with our target market and that your content would be a great fit for our brand. We would love to have you as a part of our influencer campaign, and would be honored if you would consider collaborating with us.
As part of the collaboration, we would like to offer you [product/service] to use and review, and also feature your content on our social media platforms. Additionally, we would also like to offer you [compensation/discount] for your participation in the campaign.
We understand that you receive many collaboration requests, so please let us know if this is something that interests you and if you are currently accepting collaborations. We would be happy to provide more information about our campaign and answer any questions you may have.
Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
[Your Name] [Business Name] [Contact Information]
Step Four: Pay Influencers Swiftly and Manage Your Campaigns
Again, using an influencer marketing platform makes this stage breeze. They provide easy-to-use management tools and payment solutions for fast, safe, and secure transactions.
Managing your campaigns is critical to their success. Try not to micromanage the process and give your influencers creative control to ensure their audience deems their posts authentic.
That said, give enough of a brief, so your brand's message isn't lost.
If you are tight on budget, take the influencer management in-house using excel or a free-charge task management tool.
I would recommend tracking the following influencer metrics based on different stages:
Step Five: Review and Refine Your Influencer Marketing Strategy
Monitoring your campaign's performance is essential for evaluating whether you need to change some elements of your strategy.
To help measure success, I suggest looking at a few goal-dependent KPIs, such as:
- Brand awareness — Social mentions, backlink quality, and website traffic
- Sales — Leads, new sales, and general ROI
- Engagement — Comments, likes, and shares
- Building audience — Opt-ins and follower growth
Track all variables to learn how to drive increased results during your next campaign.
You have everything you need to develop an A-star influencer marketing strategy! From defining your goals to setting budgets to finding the perfect influencers to managing your campaign to tracking results, your brand is on the perfect path to success.