A Guide to Influencer Marketing on Social Media

While no more than ten years ago the entire idea of influencer marketing was confined to a few distinguished bloggers and celebrities, fast forward to today and it seems as though influencer marketing has become oversaturated due to social media.

With that being said, you may have even heard that influencer marketing on social media is overrated and doesn’t work.  At the same time, however, you may have also heard that it is an essential if you plan on growing your business and your brand.

It is for this reason that trying to figure out a strategy to maximize your efforts using influencer marketing on social media is harder now than ever before.

But to make your life easier, here is a quick guide outlining exactly what you need to do in order to take advantage of everything that influencer marketing on social media has to offer you.

What Exactly is Influencer Marketing?

In case you were not 100% sure what influencer marketing really is, it is a type of marketing done on social media platforms (such as Instagram Facebook, etc.) that endorse or promote a service or product. The catch here is that the people doing the actual marketing for you (the influencers) are those who have built up a loyal and dedicated following on their social media accounts.

Essentially, these influencers are considered to be the expert in whatever their niche may be.  What makes influencer marketing so popular, is that there is a large amount of trust that the influencer has been able to build within their following.

It is this high-level of trust between the influencer and their following that you are using to market your product or service.

So now you’re thinking that you will simply reach out to one of these ‘influencers’ and have them promote your product, right?

Wrong.  It is actually a little more complicated than that.

Here is exactly how to create the perfect influencer marketing strategy.

Creating an Influencer Marketing Strategy for Social Media

Similar to any other type of marketing methods, a successful influencer marketing campaign is going to take some very deliberate planning and targeting.  So if you think that you can simply send some free products out to anybody who asks, it is ultimately not going to end well.

Instead, you need to come up with a specific strategy that follows a specific formula if you are planning on being any kind of successful with influencer marketing.  Here is that strategy.

  1. Finding Influencers and How Much You Should Pay

Similar to any other type of marketing strategy you would use, influencer marketing on social media requires a bit of research.  For starters, you must decide on the social media platform you are going to focus on first.

Ideally, your company or brand will already have some type of presence on the social media platform you are planning on marketing with.  If not, you should choose one that you are planning on expanding into.

Now keep in mind that depending upon the niche you are planning to promote, the social media platform you use will vary.

For example:

  • Fashion and beauty brands tend to do much better on YouTube and Instagram
  • The video game niche simply dominates the Twitch platform
  • Local promotions normally do much better on Facebook

So you may be wondering what type of research you should be doing?

The Research Phase

When it comes to the initial research phase, you want to spend most of your time looking for the particular influencers you are most interested in partnering with.  Do you think you will have the best results with celebrities who have a giant following? What about the micro influencer that has less than 2,000 followers but they are all extremely loyal? Most of these influencers buy Instagram likes, making it harder for you to stand out.

Depending upon the type of influencer you plan on targeting is going to determine what the budget you need will be.

Speaking of influencer compensation, you must know and understand that the cost to you will vary wildly.  With that being said, you will want to make sure that you look for the common rates that most influencers in your niche are charging.

2.       Set Your Influencer Marketing Budget and Management Style

Once you have done your research and have some type of idea of what you will need to pay your influencer, you need to create some type of budget.  This must include planning time, the amount of time it takes to execute, and even reviewing the program that your influencer is planning on rolling out for you.

While there are many who think that influencer marketing only involves getting a social media influencer to post about your product, that is not how the successful do it.  Instead, you will need to very carefully monitor everything that is happening and follow up with all of it.

Keep in mind that you are paying them to provide you a service, so if you are not happy with what is provided, you must follow up about it.

Following Up with Your Influencer

Unlike the more traditional marketing strategies that are considered to be ‘automated’, you must remember that every influencer is a human being just like you.  This means that there is always chance they may post late, make an error in the requested tags and call to action, or even be overwhelmed with the number of partnerships they are trying to juggle all at once.

This means that you will need to be a little bit more hands-on initially, at least until you have figured out the relationship with the influencer and what works best with your particular niche.

3.       Decide What Your Goals

Before you even think about using influencer marketing on social media, you must be sure to define what the ultimate goal you want to achieve is, as well as the message you want to send out about your company.

Most people use influencer marketing for two reasons.  Those are:

  • Elevate the amount of brand awareness there is
  • To increase the number of sales that are taking place

Instead of setting two generic goals like the ones mentioned above, your campaign will be much more effective if you decide what the needs of your brand really are.  Some of example of this include:

  • Increasing the number of customers in a specific demographic
  • Introducing a new product to a new group of users
  • Getting your brands value out to the masses

These are all much more specific goals that social influencers are able to achieve for you, as they have some very specific audiences.  Essentially, the more targeted your message and goals are, the better a potential influencer will be able to get that across to their followers.

4.       Contacting Influencers

Once you have a plan to use with your potential social media influencer, it is time to find the actual influencer that you will be partnering with.  This means that you will need to do a little bit more research, but this is also the part that will pay off big time!

Some questions to ask yourself about the influencer include:

  • Do they post about similar types of products or services already?

For example, if you have a restaurant looking to promote a new dish, you are going to want an influencer who is constantly posting about food they eat and dining out.

  • Do they have a good following?

This means that you will need to look at their past posts and see whether or not they actually have a good engagement or not.  Is the engagement to follower count good?  Are there a lot of spam types of comments?  If so, this may be a fraudulent account.

  • Do they work with similar brands?

Depending upon the influencer you are dealing with, they may even have some type of press kit that you can look at showcasing their portfolio.

Once you have settled on the right influencer, it is time to reach out to them.  This can be as easy as a private message on that same social media platform or having to search for their contact info and inquiring that way.  It all depends upon that particular influencer.

5.       Review and Then Refine Your Marketing Strategy

Even if you are in the middle of your influencer marketing campaign, you should always set certain dates to measure how much progress has been made.  This is the only way to stay on top of what is really happening with your influencer campaign.

When it comes to influencer marketing on social media, it is not necessarily as easy as you may think.  Without having the proper plan in place, you will be wasting your money and not doing your business any good.

It is for this reason that you must follow the simple steps that have been outlined above.  When you do, you will be able to supercharge the results that you get form your influencer marketing on social media.  This means you will maximize your return on your investment, grow your following, get more sales, and boost your brand awareness.