Guest Post: Defining the Perfect Influencer for your Social Media Marketing Campaign
Influencer marketing is a collaboration between a company and an influential person promoting it. Celebrities have been replaced by content creators known as “thought leaders” with more expansive audiences and a greater sense of rapport through which to promote the brand. Around 86% of companies used influencer marketing in 2018, indicating that thought leadership is crucial to maximizing your social media campaign.
To maximize potential for your influencer marketing campaign, here are some ideas to keep in mind:
1. Define your goals.
Your goals must be defined and communicated so that the influencer you work with can help you achieve them. Objectives might include:
- Creating brand awareness
- Increasing sales
- Building brand identity
- Increasing customer loyalty
- Grow your audience
- Lead generation
If you want to increase loyalty, then audience engagement is paramount, while a large number of followers may be more important if your goal is brand awareness. Once you’ve defined your objectives, it’s important to communicate them clearly and confirm with the influencer that they are able to support you in achieving them.
2. Determine the level of impact you are seeking.
The world of social media marketing divided influencers into different categories: mega, macro, micro, nanos, and advocates, each providing their own advantages. It’s important to consider the reach you’re looking for when choosing a thought leader for a collaboration.
- Nano - Think smaller, niche audiences. Typically fewer than 5,000 followers.
- Mega - These are big names from the sports or entertainment industries that are paid, sometimes millions of dollars, to post for a brand.
- Macro - Think big audiences, but not quite movie star status.
- Micro - Typically more than 5,000 followers and often is a full-time blogger/vlogger
- Advocates - Genuine, loyal customers who speak positively about your brand
3. Seek out similar values.
Determining if someone’s ideas and their style of communication are a match for your brand can be tricky, so it’s important to cover off on some basics before collaborating to make sure there is a natural connection to your brand’s mission. You may want to review the content they’ve created and shared on their channels and scan for potentially harmful content that you wouldn’t want associated with your brand. Remember that a thought leader can only be as effective as the alignment with the brand, regardless of the power in their message.
It’s important to collaborate with someone whose audience will resonate with your brand, and by determining what your target audience is most likely to respond to, you can identify the thought leader who matches those key elements.
4. Do your market research.
Pay attention to the industries represented by a thought leader’s work, and ensure that fits in with your brand’s sector. You can perform a target analysis to understand your audience and find out what sites they are frequenting, including those outside your own industry. In deepening your understanding of your target audience, you’re able to facilitate a deeper connection with an influencer.
5. Scope out the competition.
Scoping out which thought leaders are creating the most impact for your competitors is key. You can try browsing relevant hashtags to see examples of successful, and unsuccessful, social media marketing. Taking note of those with a look and feel like the one that you want to portray can help you identify which direction to point your chosen influencer in so that your content is presented alongside the brands you wish to compete with.
Cultivate the connection between brand and influencer
In the end, the idea is to find someone with a large enough following to support your goals through curated, quality content. However, you must remember that followers are only as valuable as the level of engagement an influencer is willing to provide. Once you’ve found the right match, you’ll be able to delegate some of the most challenging aspects of a campaign and focus on the bigger picture.