Influencer marketing is a relationship built between a brand and an influencer, where the influencer promotes that brand throughout social media outlets.
Influencer marketing allows businesses to advertise directly to their target audience through an influencer that consumers follow and already trust.
Influencer marketing has become a very popular social media strategy in the past few years. With the rise and advancement of technology, it’s important for businesses to learn and master this tactic to drive traffic and increase sales.
Here are the four steps an entrepreneur can take to successfully execute the influencer marketing strategy.
The first step to achieve success with any tactic in marketing is to define and set goals throughout the campaign. This preliminary step makes it easier to measure success and generate returns on any investments made.
Identify and make your product appeal to your target audience. Take time to research your target audience and identify what your ideal influencer would look like. Then, you will be able to target your product towards that specific audience.
“For a small business there’s one simple goal for influencer marketing: sales,” said Dhar Mann, an experienced entrepreneur and founder and CEO of LiveGlam, a cosmetics company that he took from $600 in starting capital to 8-figures in annual revenue in less than two years.
According to Mann, it is important to consider your company’s current stage when choosing where to focus your time and effort. In the beginning stage of your business, always place the focus on sales. After some cash is put away, you can focus on building up the brand.
A business starting with a small budget can get the most return on their investments working with influencers by creating a performance-based affiliate program. Using this approach can help a business generate sales without spending any money.
“My company, LiveGlam, a beauty subscription box, will generate $20 million in sales in our third year of business and we will spend a whopping $0 on advertising. All of our sales come through commission-based influencers that love our products and make a great living selling them,” Mann added.
However, you must create personal relationships with key influencers in order for the performance-based affiliate program to be put into effect.
Building trust and a personal relationship with an influencer is key to holding a mutually-beneficial relationship. People feel more of a connection with a person than they do to a brand.
“My advice is to take time to build personal relationships and don’t blow your whole marketing budget on a few pay-to-post activations.
“First, make sure the influencer loves your product and consistently uses it so their audiences know the love is real. Once that history is developed and the influencer’s audience is warmed up to your brand, then paid activations can start to work,” Mann said.
It’s also important to focus on developing a really good relationship with a smaller number of influencers then it is to depend on thousands of micro-influencers to drive sales.
“We constantly send them thoughtful gifts, fly them to our studio in Los Angeles, interact with them on all their social channels, take them on trips and do whatever it takes to build personal relationships.
“We pay attention to the small details and it’s paid off in a big way,” Dhar Mann added.
Also, creating a strong relationship can lead to many different, exciting opportunities to promote your product including giveaways, exclusive product bundles, and collaborations. These opportunities will also help expand your company’s social media followings.
Using the right platform for influencer marketing makes a huge impact, depending on your brand. It’s also more efficient to become an expert one platform at a time.
“I suggest start with one platform, master that, and naturally it will start spilling over onto others especially since most Influencers are multi-platform. If they love your product and your brand, they’ll start talking about you everywhere,” Mann advises.
Facebook Live is a great platform to use for the start of your influencer marketing strategy.
According to a study held by Statista, Facebook is the most widely used social network.
“Not only do influencers on Facebook Live have the deepest engagement with their audiences, they’re also not being flooded with offers by big brands because live content is so new. So, you can get a lot of bang for your buck.
“Established YouTubers and Instagrammers have so many deals coming at them that you’ll have a tough time getting on their radar and will have to pay an expensive price to get in the door,” added Mann.
Keep your social media influencer relationships strong and continually monitor the success of your business. Reviewing your influencer strategy helps you to adjust any problems and replicate success. It also helps you find out what works best for your business.
“When LiveGlam first started we looked at everything like this: if we spend $X then we expect a $Y return. And we defined a successful activation as one that generated a positive return on our investment.
“As our business grew we started to look at the brand lift potential from an influencer activation. How many followers did we gain? How many impressions did we generate? How many people now know about our brand that had never heard of us, including other influencers?” said Mann.
Monitor your sales, leads, traffic, followers and engagement consistently. Make changes according to your business growth and keep your influencers happy for future demands. Influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to improve your brand’s awareness. Using these strategies can help take your business to the next level.