It is no longer news that social media is currently one of the fastest online customer-acquisition methods. An online content creator on social networks can carry legitimate power as an influencer meaning their golden touch could lead to success for brands. Yet, many brands are struggling to leverage influencer collaborations for business growth.

Several marketers have attempted to tap into the benefits of this form of online marketing only to end up with very poor ROIs. Such outcomes are not because influential collaborations don’t yield tangible results, but because many campaigns were launched with an ineffective strategy or without one at all.

So how exactly can you break the ice to make the most out of working with an influencer?

You need an effective strategy to put the right foot forward to make your partnerships with social media influencers a successful one.

Let’s dive in!

Effective influencer marketing strategy to maximize your campaign

Not quite long ago, Crowdtap conducted a study to figure out how early influencers approach their partnerships with brands. They found that 76% of mega influencers value brands that provide them with creative freedom. Also, 67% of macro-influencers are keen to work with brands that provide them with competitive compensation.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Here’s how to design an effective strategy to make the most out of your campaign on social media channels:

Define your target audience

Who exactly do you want to influence?

If you want your influencer marketing campaign to be effective, you have to define who exactly you’re targeting and be very specific. In fact, the better you can streamline your target audience, the easier it is to find relevant micro-influencers who can truly influence your audience. The worst mistake you can make at this point is to assume you can target everyone.

If you have a bigger audience on Facebook, then find Facebook influencers who can spread the word about your brand. If you think perhaps your Instagram audience is more conservative and consume traditional media, then maybe you can target traditional celebrities who are also Instagram influencers, and so on. Companies and businesses must take note of the consumers’ behaviour and build their message, content, and posts around it.

Outline your goals and KPIs

What exactly do you want to achieve?

All of your efforts, research, planning, strategies etc. should reflect your goals and how you intend to achieve them.

Without a clear-cut goal and KPI, it wouldn’t take long for your influencer marketing efforts to go off course. Also, if you haven’t set any objectives or goals it will be impossible to measure the ROI of your campaign to determine if it is successful or not.

Find the most relevant influencers

An influencer is an individual who many people see as an expert or a thought leader in a niche or a topic. As such, if you intend to launch a successful influencer marketing campaign, you’ll have to find people who your target audience consider to be experts or thought leaders.

At this point, you should already have your target audience defined. Now you have to map out your influencer landscape to figure out who genuinely influences your target audience. To achieve this, here are key questions you should answer about your niche: 

  • How social is your niche and where do shares and conversations about that niche takes place online?
  • What prompts people in your market to share and promote content about your niche?
  • Is your market a fragmented one or is activity clustered among a few publishers?
  • What’s the professional background of key influencers in your niche?
  • What’s the author model for most content? Guest bloggers, in-house writers, regular contributors or a combination of different models?

The more specific your answers to these questions are, the easier it is for you to find the best possible influencers.

Post a detailed brief

On you can post a detailed brief that outlines what your brand is, who you are looking to work with, and the type of influencer campaign you are looking to run.

Here are the next steps you should follow:

  1. We will alert key influencers that match your brief that there is a work opportunity for them
  2. These influencers can then apply directly to your brief, detailing their rates, audience and information on what they can do for you
  3. You can then chat with the influencer directly on the platform, shortlist, and book them
  4. Conduct a content and opportunity audit

It is absolutely crucial that you conduct a content and opportunity audit to better understand the needs of your target audience before launching your campaign. It is also very important that you include the right influencers or content creators in this process.

Here are key things you should aim at with your content and opportunity audit:

  • The overall feeling of your target audience to the type of content you intend to create (video content, blogs, photos) on social platforms
  • What your competitors are doing with their content marketing
  • What motivates your influencers to share your content
  • Your target audience’s perception of you
  • What your brand can do to make your target audience to start talking about it

As soon as you figure out the general topic areas that appeal to your audience, you should create a content plan. This is the point where you need a content calendar to plan and coordinate the content you create. It also aligns your content plan with your influencers and anyone you intend to work with for content creation and editing.  

Collaborate with influencers to create quality content

A successful social media influencer campaign is built on quality content. Without quality content for your influencers to share, your target audience will have nothing to respond to. While many influencers may have tons of followers who trust their judgment, none of them will be willing to spend money once they observe your content doesn’t hold any value.

Most influencers create content to educate, inform, entertain or inspire their audience. As such, for your partnership with them to be effective, collaborate with your influencers to create content that is entertaining, inspiring, informative or educational.

Likewise, successful online experts shouldn’t let good influencers fall into the trap of insincere engagement with the general public especially now that people have the ability to see through the fake ones.

Work with influencers meaning to identify opportunities

Your influencers know the type of content that appeals to your target audience in order to trigger the response you want. That’s why they are experts and thought leaders in their respective niches. So work with your key person to create content that engages your target audience.

When your influencer starts sharing your content, you can easily spot trends and opportunities. Influencers can also guide you about how to respond to your target audience and tap into opportunities easily. 

Measure the outcome of your social media influencer campaigns

One of the easiest methods of measuring the outcome of your success with social media influencers is to compare your eventual ROI to the objectives you set at the start of the campaign.

If you’ve achieved all of your objectives successfully, then you should consider launching a new campaign with a higher set of objectives.

However, if you have not been able to achieve any of your objectives or failed to achieve most of them, evaluate your entire strategy and its implementation right from the beginning to the end. Take stock and launch a new campaign to enhance your result.