Brands, big and small have gravitated to Digital Marketing as their primary strategy for growing their presence. Its dynamic and cost-effectiveness have made it easy for everyone to tailor their marketing steps to achieve relevant goals.
Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok now, have their entire framework designed around optimizing content engagement for the best results. There is the traditional format of creating a messaging release from the brand, and utilizing an Influencer to assist in delivering your messaging. Either way, it is the next best-targetted way to reach your audience.
There are different approaches your brand can choose as their preferred message vehicle. Ultimately, what your goal should be is how authentic and reliable your message is, and with that, the majority of brands have instinctively chosen to employ nano and micro-influencers to stretch their advertising dollars. The reasons are simple. They charge on the lower spectrum than the high-profile influencers and are a persona of your target audience. They achieve better engagement because of their relatability and ability to connect more intimately with their followers.
It can be challenging if you are embarking on your own influencer marketing campaign, so here’s a checklist to get you started!
Goes without saying, every marketing campaign is driven by clear goals. These are your defined checkpoints to monitor your campaign’s progression. They will then contribute towards determining what are some of the key performance indicators that you will be looking out for. This may come as simple as a campaign statement.
Eg. Brand X would like to increase their brand awareness of its lifestyle product in the Generation Z-dominated market by 20%.
With a simple goal statement laid out, all you will need to do is to identify what are the tangible results to demonstrate an achieved goal. It could be:
- An increase in the newsletter signup
- An increase in the social media following
- An increase in searches of your brand’s offerings
- An increase in sales from dealers carrying your product
The above will provide you with an insight as to whether you have taken the right steps to meet your goal.
Next up will be HOW to achieve it.
Knowing where your target market thrives is half the battle won. Every social media channel caters to a unique set of people that naturally responds better when the messages are received there. They come with specific characteristics that Marketers can use to support decisions as well as strategies.
Using the campaign statement from above:
Brand X would like to increase their brand awareness of its lifestyle product in the Generation Z-dominated market by 20%.
Likely social platforms to release campaign messages will be TikTok and Instagram. Using Facebook will generate less-than-ideal feedback and YouTube could mean spending a lot for little result due to how general the platform is, especially if you are working with a tight budget.
The good news is that both TikTok and Instagram have evolved to provide content in the manner today’s generation would consume - in bite-sized quantity. Both platforms allow for static and dynamic (video), so the possibilities are only limited by how creative your plan of action will be.
The good news is that there is an influencer for every type of market no matter how niche it may be. The bad news is that are also too many choices.
Targeted messaging requires appropriate influencers to ensure your reach’s potential. Hence, the need to thoroughly vet every shortlisted influencer - their background, what they prefer, who their followers are, their content strategy, the alignment in aesthetics, their engagement value quality, and the list goes on. It is a tedious filtration process that can take up to weeks in order to pick the right one (or ones) that fit right into your campaign. However, it is worth the effort because it pays for itself when your messaging is imprinted effectively in the minds of your target audience.
Another thing you should look out for is if they have worked with your competitor’s brand. This could raise some eyebrows in the reliability field from their following because their allegiance has suddenly shifted. It could potentially work against your favour in terms of how genuine your messaging can be.
The rule of thumb is to look towards the engagement quality selected influencers can bring because it contributes to brand image. High-profile influencers often have a substantial following that will ensure some level of reach, but how much the message sticks … is often a question mark. Nano and micro-influencers, while having a significantly lower following, benefits a brand from a more personable approach, thus, ensuring a better possibility of having your message stick.
As with your campaign’s fundamental goal - Communicating to your target audience, your brand will need to also communicate effectively with your selected influencer to ensure a happy partnership. Before reaching out to your selected pool, bear in mind the following questions:
- What is the campaign’s goal
- How does it align and benefit the Influencer’s profile
- What are the deliverables (Eg. X amount of static images on Instagram + Y amount of 10s TikTok clips)
- Necessary brand guidelines that they need to follow
- Timeline you are looking at for each deliverable
- What are some of the KPIs that you are looking to achieve
- Are there any call-to-action (list down every call-to-action, even if it is stating the obvious)
- What are some of the branded hashtags that need to be used?
- What is the compensation
Bombarding the above question in your first reach-out could come off potentially as overly demanding. Therefore, it is more strategic to pace them out in different stages as you receive the influencer’s response. This leaves you more time to understand how they work and negotiate a deal that benefits both parties for an enduring and happy collaboration.
Since the digital realm never sleeps, embarking on digital terrains has challenges and unpredictability. The ultimate goal should always be clear from start to end and clearly communicated to everyone involved. This will ensure that the full potential of the brand’s plan of action is duly met. Collaborating with influencers of every kind requires trust and flexibility because they know what will work best with the following. Thus, it is important to enter with an open, receptive and focused mind.