Recent years have seen the progression of influencer marketing from a tactical element to an essential part of a comprehensive – and successful – strategy.
This establishment of influencer marketing as a necessity is the direct result of it proving its effectiveness time and time again in a variety of industries, meeting an array of objectives.
From improving brand awareness to reaching target audiences, building brand trust and driving conversions, the benefits of influencer marketing campaigns are seemingly endless.
While it’s no question these days that it’s the right thing to include influencer marketing as part of your strategy, it’s also no question that to truly succeed and achieve your desired objectives, you need to have the right elements on hand to help you coordinate your campaign efficiently.
These elements help to ensure that your return on investment meets (and hopefully exceeds) expectations; while empowering you to conduct an ongoing review of the activity during and after the campaign, so that valuable learning can be put to future use.
When it comes to the elements that ensure the successful execution of an influencer campaign, we’ve identified four key elements; technology, influencer stock, collaboration, and strategy.
When it comes to technology, there are a variety of tools that can make the preparation, implementation, management, and measurement, of an influencer campaign easier and more efficient.
Such tools are increasingly important because the regularity and complexity of such campaigns can make handling them manually a headache, leaving the business in a position where it must rely on the professionalism and transparency of the influencers for information, making it a bit tricky to gain a realistic review of the results, and ultimately, your return on investment.
It’s imperative to make use of a tool that enables you to search for, and connect with, the right influencers that suit your brand, and the campaign’s intended objectives.
It should also enable you to communicate directly with the influencers, educate them about the campaign, and clarify what’s expected of them, while also allowing you to put forward a contract that stipulates the terms of the agreement.
A benchmarking function, that gives you a line of sight on the influencer’s rates, will also help to save time – and money – by ensuring everyone goes into the agreement fully aware of what’s expected from everyone else.
Two final considerations on the technology front are that it should be able to make automated payments to the influencers at scale as the campaign progresses, and it should be able to monitor and measure the campaign’s results in a real-time “live” environment.
When it comes to technology systems, there is incredible value in its ability to assist your business in finding the right influencers, while finding the right influencers is dependent upon its influencer stock.
Gone are the days of agencies offering up suggestions based on a spreadsheet of influencers they most like to work with.
The reality is that the driving force behind the success of an influencer campaign is its authenticity.
That means that the influencers who are employed to represent your brand and advertise your products or services, need to be an authentic match based on actual valuable data.
To this end, the influencer stock that exists in the technology you use should be vetted from an audience and content engagement perspective.
The integrity of the data that is collected on each influencer goes towards ensuring that the pairing of the right influencers with the right brand is not just a stroke of luck, but a quantifiable objective.
The larger the stock of influencers registered to, and vetted by, the technology you use, the better the results you can expect when it comes to taking your influencer campaign from idea to activation.
Paul Solarz once wrote that: “Collaboration allows us to know more than we are capable of knowing by ourselves.”
When it comes to bringing a successful influencer marketing campaign to life, collaboration is a necessity.
The reality of such collaboration isn’t always pretty. It can take a lot of hard work, long hours, and late nights – but the effort is always worth it because it always pays off in the end.
The human involvement is what sets great work apart, because the more IP and skills you’re able to gather around the table when it comes to collaborating, the better the output will ultimately be.
The strategy behind an influencer campaign is a defining factor of its success. It’s not enough to simply send influencers free products and hope for the best.
Rather, the strategy needs to inform the who, how, where, when, what and why of the campaign, from the training of influencers to the consideration of which platforms the content will live on to the decisions on what the objectives of success are and how best to achieve them.
The more detailed and considered the strategy, the more likely it’ll achieve what it’s designed to.
It’s not enough to know that you need to include influencer marketing as part of your strategy.
If you want success – and we know that you do – you’ve got to equip yourself with the right elements and expertise to handle the campaigns effectively.
These elements may be all the difference between money well spent (and that’s money that makes some sort of a return on investment) and money wasted. So, let’s do it smartly.