Influencer marketing is on the rise and our prediction is that it will continue to grow in 2016 — for good reason. What better way is there to promote your brand than through trustworthy individuals who already love your product and have the ability to reach your target demographic?
Better yet, there’s a measurable return on investment. A 2015 study by Burst Media, now Rhythm One, found that on average, brands that implemented an influencer marketing campaign received $6.85 in earned media for every $1.00 spent in paid media. While influencer marketing can offer some big returns, it also has to be implemented strategically.
Because the number of influencers has grown significantly in the past couple of years, we can expect to see a few changes in how we work with these individuals.
For example, brands can no longer, and should no longer send mass emails to a list of influencers. There is a lot of competition to make it into someone’s inbox and even more so to receive a response. Thus, writing a personalized pitch with clearly defined expectations is more important than ever. The pitch should explain:
- Why you want to work with the influencer
- How you want to work together
- What do each of you get out of the relationship
Establishing how you want to work together and what each of you can expect in return are the most important elements. You get one email to help influencers understand the value of the product and the value they receive from the campaign (compensation, increased reach, free product, etc.). Be clear, concise, and personal.
So are you ready to get started? Here are a few things you should establish before starting an influencer campaign:
- Set a Goal – Before starting an influencer campaign, you have to decide why you want to initiate the program. What is it you are trying to accomplish? Do you want to increase sales of a new product? Do you want to collect new assets to be used in future marketing materials? Or are you hoping to increase brand awareness? The possibilities are endless.
- Determine Metrics of Success – Once your goal of the campaign is clearly defined, determine your measure of success: new website visitors, increased referral traffic, sales, new followers, etc.
- Decide How You Want to Work with the Bloggers/Influencers – How you work with an influencer or blogger will vary depending on your goal and measure of success. For example, if you want to increase sales, product reviews and affiliate programs may work best. If you want to increase brand awareness, hosting a giveaway or asking for a product review would be better. If you want to increase engagement with your current fan base, an influencer takeover is a fun route.
- Define your Method of Compensation – If you have a budget, decide how much you are willing to pay each influencer. If you don’t have a budget, determine how your product offers value to the influencer and what other benefits they can expect. (Will you share their post or images on your social channels thereby giving them more reach and potential views? Or will you utilize ad spend to drive more traffic to their post?)
- Create a List of Influencers – Find influencers that can be an extension of your brand voice. These people should have a highly engaged audience that fits your target demographic or the demographic you’re trying to reach. The number of followers is less important if those followers aren’t engaging with the content pieces. It’s more important to work with someone who can be the best possible representation of your brand and deliver the results you expect.
- Develop Your Pitch – Write your pitch using the tips above and start emailing influencers from your list.
- Measure Your Results – Did you achieve your goal? How many responses did you receive?
- Send a Thank You Email – Send an email to the influencers you worked with thanking them for their participation in the campaign and ask for their feedback. If it was a good experience, they’ll likely give referrals of other influencers or bloggers who may be willing to work with your brand. In addition, they may also be open to other opportunities in the future. Conversely, if it wasn’t a good experience, use their feedback to improve campaigns moving forward.
What tips do you have for working with bloggers?