The first step in an influencer marketing plan similar to any marketing program – is to set goals for the campaign. We need to keep in mind that Influencer program is a PR activity and not a Sales activity. Goals for influencer marketing should be less about increasing sales and more about increasing buzz and public awareness. Before any influencer is contacted, we must define their goals in measurable terms, spelling out exactly what they hope to accomplish.

After establishing goals, we need to identify the influencers we want to contact by researching demographics and target markets. Sometimes simple searches on Google and various social media platforms can reveal who has influence over consumers. For example, a search on beauty products would return results for beauty/ fashion blogs, product reviews, and enthusiast websites. We then should decide how many influencers we want to hire or target and then select those that best meet the objectives of the campaign.

The goal should be to form an organic relationship that is not based entirely on endorsing and selling. We should always keep in mind that influencers who are treated with respect become genuine advocates for the companies they write about, never push them as you would do to your Sales staff

Who should employ Influencer Marketing?
Small businesses might use inexpensive online strategies to connect with influencers. A new restaurant can encourage patrons to write reviews online. A landscaping company could set up a helpful gardening blog. Influence is just as powerful at the local level as it is on the national level.

Larger companies develop comprehensive influencer marketing strategies that stretch across platforms. They could form expensive partnerships with celebrities or other brands to help position their products. For larger companies, influencer marketing should be an exhaustive and ongoing effort as they maintain existing influencer relationships.

Effective Strategies of Influencer Marketing

Identify the Relevant Influencers – Digital tools like SocMetrics and Appinions make it easy to analyze the social media landscape for the most influential profiles based on geography, category, or other demographic data

Form a Relationship – We should always develop a relationship with the influencer before asking them to advocate our product or company. Don’t hire them off the internet only, meet & discuss details. This way we will be able to better identify if the influencer fits our requirements

Influencers Preferences – Deliver content and advertising material to influencers in the format that is more convenient for them whether that be print, video, audio, or some other format.

Make it Easy to Access Content – Influencers are more likely to share content with their followers if it is easy for them to integrate into their blogs or social platforms. Online tools like SocialChorus make it easy for companies to distribute content

Don’t Neglect upcoming Social platforms – There is the tendency to think only of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter when thinking about social media. Upcoming social networking and new trending platforms can deliver significant influence as well

About Earned vs Paid Influencers in my next post!!

Author: Ganesh Iyer