image ofGuide to growing your business with influencer marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Growing Your Business with Influencer Marketing

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Influencer marketing has been a game-changer for many businesses. With people mostly relying on the Internet for information, it's undoubtedly one of the most effective tools to promote products and services. Now, you ask "How can a business grow on influencer marketing?" There are several ways to use influencer marketing to develop your brand. In this guide, we'll show you how to create a successful campaign, get the best creators, and use the appropriate influencer tools.
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Marketers must treat influencer marketing as an experimental strategy, and discover what works best for their business.
We all know that influencer marketing works by having influencers promote your brand. How do businesses use influencers? It can be through product reviews, giveaways, content creation, and other influencer marketing strategies. However, a common mistake that companies make when engaging in influencer marketing is to look for celebrity partnerships right off the bat. If such worked before, well it doesn't work now. Celebrities are becoming less influential, and their lifestyles don't mostly fit other people's shoes. In this new social paradigm, content creators with a loyal following on social media are the new influencers. Hence, when you decide to grow your brand with influencers, look for those who match your business niche and marketing goals. As with any marketing endeavor, what matters is content quality, authenticity, genuine relationships, and profitable gains.

Creating a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign

A campaign is the backbone of influencer marketing. When outlined correctly, it can boost sales and help you achieve higher revenues. Here's a quick guide to creating a successful influencer marketing campaign.

Set Your Campaign Goals

Like any business campaign, goal setting can provide direction and focus, help maintain motivation, and set a realistic timeline for accomplishments. In outlining your objectives, you need to:
  • Identify your target market. Create audience demographics based on location, interests, age, gender, and behavior.
  • Set your budget. Your budget distribution may include the cost of supplies and products, influencer compensation, and advertising budget. If your industry falls into Travel and Entertainment, you might need to include complimentary hostings.
  • Create a timeline. Determine if your campaign will only run for six months or all-year-round. You might also want to create seasonal campaigns based on customer demands and needs.
  • Establish Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These may include audience reach, engagement, follower growth, website traffic, click-through rates, sales, and revenue.

Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

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Instagram is the most popular influencer marketing social platform. But some creators are influential on Facebook and YouTube as well.
The social media channels you choose will depend on your campaign goals. Determine which social platforms are your customers most active and curate a content style for each channel. For example, you can focus on posting beautiful photos on Instagram, eye-catching videos on Facebook and YouTube, and infographics on Pinterest. You may also want to explore marketing on Snapchat and TikTok. Again, it depends on where you think you can gain favorable results.

Identify the Best Influencers

Carefully choose who will be representing your brand. An influencer must have a good online reputation, great following, high engagement, and must relate to your company goals and values. Consider including micro-influencers on your list. They're more cost-effective and can give you bigger profits, especially if you're running a startup or small business. Make sure your campaign is effective by staying visible in different influencer marketing fields. Apart from having your creators post and mention your brand on social media, you can also do product reviews and blog testimonials. Furthermore, you can host events, submit press releases, or participate in online conferences. When you run a campaign, try not to focus on one influencer. Consider hiring as many influencers as you can so you can reap bigger rewards.

Track your Campaign's Success

As with any marketing efforts, you must ensure that your influencer campaign is performing at its best and delivering the right ROI. Look back at the metrics you outlined in setting your goals and determine if you've made progress. Review which posts are performing well and which ones are underperforming. Evaluate what went wrong and what are the factors that contributed to the success of your influencer marketing campaign. From this, enhance your marketing strategy for your next campaigns.

Getting the Best Creators for Your Brand

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Spotting the most suitable influencer for your brand can take you to greater heights and limitless possibilities.
The most critical step in using influencer marketing for business growth is influencer hunting. It can make or break your campaign's success. How do brands grow with influencers? Here are the things to consider when getting online influencers for your brand.

Develop Your Social Accounts First

Like any new relationship, you need to attract your influencers to get them to work for you. Before you start looking for online creators, make sure your social media accounts are complete and authentic. Upload a business profile or logo, fill out necessary details in the About section, write an interesting bio, and put your website link on your social accounts. Ensure that your posts are interactive, parallel to your brand image, and incorporated with hashtags relevant to your niche.

Find and Follow Influencers in your Industry

After developing your social accounts, you're now ready to look for influencers. The widely-used influencer marketing platform is Instagram. So, you may want to start hunting there. Enter relevant hashtags on the Search button, then scroll through posts. You can also do keyword research, use an influencer marketing tool, or ask others for recommendations. Before you start interacting with your prospects, review their accounts, then follow your chosen influencers. When identifying influencers for your brand, consider their:
  • Relevance. See how aligned an influencer's content is with your messaging.
  • Engagement. Look at how interactive an influencer's audience is with the content.
  • Reach. Influencers who are active on other social networks could leverage the number of potential customers.
  • Frequency. Make sure the influencer is posting often. With frequency comes consistency. And when an influencer is consistent on social media, they're more likely to have stronger connections with their audience.
  • Authenticity. Connect with influencers who genuinely use and mention a product or service. Sometimes, a creator with a smaller ratio of sponsored content appears to be more trusted and authentic.

Build and Maintain a Relevant Connection

By this, we don't mean forcing the influencer to follow you back. Build and maintain relevant connections with influencers in your industry and be an active follower. Interact with their content by liking, sharing, or commenting, but don't overdo it. Be authentic and leave meaningful comments—you'll never catch someone's attention if you're acting like a bot follower. You can also mention them in your posts in a positive context.

Reach Out to Influencers Directly

Consistently interacting with your prospects will build a sense of familiarity. Some will also follow you back, like a few posts, and leave comments. This way, it would be easier to send a direct message to your chosen influencers. Do it naturally by reacting to their stories. Converse with them and compliment their content. Then, ask if you could collaborate. If they agree, you may want to document the rest of the conversations and agreements through email. Make sure to ask for their portfolio and collaboration rate. If they disagree, don't be discouraged. Focus on other influencers who may be more interested in your brand and not hard to attract.

Use Influencer Tools and Platforms

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Investing in influencer software tools can lessen the hassle of your in-house marketing team.
Influencer marketing tools can help brands make better campaigns and find creators easily. With just a few clicks, you can already discover relevant influencers in your industry. When you click on their profile, you can see their followers, reach, and engagement all at a glance. You can also view the type of content they create, and sometimes, the influencer's rate is indicated in their profile. If you're exerting in-house marketing efforts, influencer platforms would be extremely useful for your one-off or small campaigns. There are tons of influencer marketing software in the market that you can choose from.

Direct Collaborations vs. Influencer Marketing Agencies

Influencer marketing can grow your business through in-house efforts or with the help of an agency. What's the best option? Let's quickly look at each method's scope.

Direct Influencer Collaborations

If you want to do it manually, it's best to hire a social media manager for your influencer campaigns. Keeping track of everything—from campaign creation to influencer hunting and sales analytics—can be time-consuming, and need a lot of attention. You can maximize your campaigns and strategies by using influencer marketing platforms. However, take note that influencer platforms don't ensure deeper levels of brand collaboration, cross-media campaigns, and a high level of engagement. They also tend to be unaffordable for many companies, especially for micro-businesses.

Working with an Influencer Marketing Agency

Influencer agencies provide various services, including identifying content creators for your brand, negotiating with influencers, and developing an influencer marketing campaign. In short, they do all the work from start to finish. All you have to do is ensure that every action is aligned with your objectives and your target revenue is achieved. The top benefit of hiring an influencer agency is the reduction of the workload of your in-house marketing team. It also leads to continuity in marketing campaigns and saves you a lot of time. Plus, the luxury of working with influencer marketing experts is incomparable and less stressful. If you're running a large company and multiple chains, it's best to trust experts in the influencer marketing field. On the other hand, startups and micro-businesses are more likely to get higher gains from in-house marketing efforts. While the two methods are equally effective for influencer marketing, direct collaborations may take more time while working with influencer agencies are more convenient for huge businesses. As to the query of which is cheaper or more expensive, it merely depends on your marketing goals, budget, and preference. Several factors may affect your company costs, such as human resources and influencer and agency rates.

The Final Take

So, how do you use influencer marketing for your brand? Influencer marketing is a great way to grow your business. It can help increase brand awareness, reach a more targeted audience, and boost your marketing ROI. When using influencer marketing campaigns as the core strategy of your business, it's essential to learn how to create engaging and compelling campaigns and reach out to the right influencers. If you have a larger marketing budget, you may want to invest in a number of influencer tools. Or if you run multiple chains, you can seek help from influencer marketing agencies. When using influencers to leverage your business, remember to focus not only on the creator's reach and engagement but also on their values and online reputation. Make sure you contribute to each other's growth and build lasting and genuine relationships. Read our influencer marketing guide on "How to Work With Social Media Influencers" to get a comprehensive idea of collaborating with creators and industry leaders on social channels.
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