Influencers have become the go-to method for brands to connect with consumers. Whether this is for a physical product or service, or an app, an effective influencer strategy can be highly rewarding.
The global size of the influencer market has been estimated at around $13bn, and whether this is famous A-list celebs or micro-influencers, there are very few brands today that isn’t using influencers in some way.
In order to ensure that your influencers are actually influencing, there are some specific steps that you can take; before, during, and after your influencer campaigns.
Start and End With ROI
Like any other platform or channel, influencer marketing should provide a tangible return on investment. Too many marketers get caught up in “vanity” metrics when what’s really important is how this campaign is bringing you closer to your business goals.
Even for larger organizations such as multinational brands, metrics such as likes and followers should be seen as a means to an end, rather than a goal in and of themselves.
In one example, an app used a football star to post about its product. On the post itself, there was huge engagement, with comments, shares, and likes. Yet in terms of downloads, the needle hardly moved.
Choosing the Right Influencers
Getting things right from the beginning is of course the surest way to guarantee a successful, influential influencer campaign. There are multiple metrics to look at before engaging an influencer, from engagement rates to audience quality scores (AQS).
Choosing influencers is a delicate balance. You want someone who is aligned with your brand values, and who resonates with your target audience, yet also has a reach and influence beyond a narrow demographic.
Then of course there are financial considerations – will the results of the influencer campaign return multiples of the amount invest? This goes back to the critical ROI point above.
Look For Engagement
Influencers can post a lot, but are they getting traction? Look for the various engagement metrics around your influencer posts.
It also helps to work with your influencers; build them, generate excitement from within your own channel, and leverage cross-channel resources to amplify both your and their posts.
Constantly measure your key metrics. This can be done through the native tools provided by the various social media platforms, or by using 3rd-party apps.
Break Down the Demographics
Following this, it pays to take a deep dive into who your influencers are influencing. Breaking down followers and those interacting with influencers is an extremely enlightening and highly valuable activity.
For example, is most of this engagement from a demographic that you’re targeting?
Spot Fake Followers
Influencers are more likely to have fake followers. Sometimes this is intentional, but in most cases, it’s not the influencer’s design or intention.
In any event, robust research should be done into ascertaining what percentage of followers are fake and adjust expectations appropriately.
One of the easy metrics to look out for is the comment-to-like ratio. Likes can be bought relatively easily. Comments, on the other hand, are more difficult – and expensive – to purchase. In any event, check comments for repetition, or clearly bot-type of comment styles (often these are completely not connected to the original post).
Consistency and Momentum
One of the ways to ensure influencers are influencing is to see that they are posting consistently and keeping the momentum up. While the cadence of posts has likely been agreed upon beforehand, this quest for consistency also includes the engagement the influencer has after the post itself has gone out.
While it’s unlikely that Kim Kardashian is going to reply to all the comments on an influencer post she’s been brought in for, smaller influencers can and should provide some level of interaction and follow-up.
This also ensures that you don’t have massive spikes in engagement and then nothing in between – this can kill influencer campaigns.
Measure and Manage
Moburst highly recommends being involved during an influencer engagement, and not just looking at metrics afterward. Set your baseline expectations, according to your marketing strategy and goals, and closely follow the progress.
If things aren’t going to plan, put your head together with your influencer(s) to discuss how to optimize and improve performance.
If results are beyond expectations, press the accelerator!
One more thing to bear in mind: keep an eye out for the influencer’s other posts too. Specifically, look for any signs of collaboration with competitors, or with other brands/opinions that are not aligned with your own brand values.
The Key to a Great Influencer Campaign: You
An effective influencer campaign is a lot more than choosing an influencer, agreeing on a number of posts, and transferring money in the end.
Rather, the key to a successful influencer campaign is you.
By knowing what you want, keeping your finger on the pulse, and understanding which levers can be pulled to bring things back on track, you are in a powerful position to set up your influencers to really influence.