Influencer Marketing Strategy: How to Create One in 9 Simple Steps

With an influencer marketing strategy, you can get your brand in front of the right audience and boost profits. But how do you create one? This guide explains.

A successful way to bypass the self-promotional and mediocre content featured on most social platforms is by collaborating with an influencer who is relevant to your niche. An influencer marketing strategy offers several lucrative advantages for today’s marketers and brands.

It can strengthen your brand’s reputation and connect you with a broad audience without being overly promotional.

Not convinced?

Well, most marketers have found success with influencer campaigns and plan to increase their influencer marketing strategy budgets this year.

Image via Linqia

However, before you can assign a budget for your influencer marketing strategy, you need to know that executing a successful campaign requires meticulous research and planning.

So, how can you successfully run influencer marketing strategies that drive awareness, sales, and revenue?

We list out powerful tactics you can implement below.

However, before we outline the steps to create a successful influencer marketing strategy, let’s take a closer look at what the whole strategy entails.

What is a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign?

Influencers are social media personalities with a huge number of engaged followers. These followers are extremely devoted to their favorite influencers and remain loyal to their recommendations.

Unlike mainstream celebrities, influencers don’t hide their personal lives under a veil of secrecy. Instead, they leverage social media platforms to forge connections with their followers.

This gives influencers the power to win their followers’ trust.

They are not meant to be put on a pedestal and worshipped. Instead, they are regarded as normal consumers but are treated as role models.

Best of all?

They often share a friendly rapport with their followers and are capable of shaping their opinions and purchase decisions.

They are also often perceived as experts or authority figures in their niches.

So, what do influencer marketing campaigns involve?

Influencer marketing involves collaborating or partnering with social media influencers to promote your brand. You can build your influencer marketing strategy to strengthen brand reputation, increase brand awareness, and drive conversions.

Depending on the influencer marketing strategy objectives, you can collaborate with these influencers to write high-quality content or announce giveaways and contests. You can also invite influencers to write on your blog or be a part of your weekly podcast series.

For instance, Ralph Lauren collaborated on a TikTok campaign with Diana Silvers, an influencer, model, and actress. They then tied their campaign to the US Open Tennis Championship and consolidated the #USOpen hashtag to their own hashtag #WinningRL.

This means they married Diana Silver’s interests and audience to tennis and US Open fans. Currently, the videos featuring Diana on the Ralph Lauren page have over 200k views.

Image via TikTok

But Ralph Lauren didn’t stop at that.

They also opened a Sponsored Hashtag Challenge page on TikTok where people would win a special gift if they showcased their pro-level moves and outfits.

Image via TikTok

According to Mediakix, 71% of marketers agree that the quality of customers and traffic received from running an influencer marketing strategy is far superior.

However, an influencer strategy is more than just getting your brand featured on an influencer’s social media profiles. Before developing your influencer marketing strategy, it is crucial to figure out why it is important for your brand.

Why You Need An Influencer Marketing Strategy

Due to their high reach, influencers can help start online conversations about your products and increase brand awareness. They help you get more visibility and enable you to reach a new audience that would have remained inaccessible otherwise.

A recent report revealed that 33.5% of those surveyed use influencer marketing for building brand awareness.

Image via Influencer Marketing Hub

Having an influencer marketing strategy can, therefore, help you bypass any ad blockers that might be used by your target audience.

What’s more?

Consumers perceive Influencers as trusted sources of valuable information. Thus, when influencers recommend your offers, their followers treat it as honest feedback from an actual consumer. This is often more effective than a brand tooting its own horn.

In fact, according to research, if a product recommended by an influencer is right, they purchase it directly from the influencer’s account. 80% of shoppers buy by clicking on a link or image influencers share.

Why is this?

A recommendation from an influencer is often treated as a vote of confidence in favor of your brand. Having it encourages their followers to give your products a try.

An effective influencer marketing strategy, therefore, helps you build a large number of loyal brand advocates.

It also adds a fresh perspective to your content strategy. They create high-quality content to engage their followers.

Running an influencer marketing strategy breathes new life into your content and helps make it more engaging. In addition, when an influencer lends their unique voice to your content, it makes it more authentic.

Best of all?

Incorporating influencers can have a positive impact on your website’s search engine rankings. When an influencer shares your content, it is likely to get shared even further, thus driving more traffic to your website.

In addition, it also helps you earn a number of genuine and high-quality backlinks. All of these factors tell search engines that your website is popular and deserves a prominent position in search engine results.

It is evident that a well-planned influencer marketing strategy offers a number of advantages. The strategy is also far more effective than conventional forms of marketing such as print ads, television commercials, etc.

And according to the report mentioned above, influencer marketing works. Its return on investment is better or comparable to other marketing strategies you may use.

Image via Mediakix

Now, let’s discuss the steps to create a workable influencer marketing strategy.

9 Steps to Develop an Effective Influencer Marketing Strategy

Influencer marketing entails more than just a simple shout-out from any random influencer. It is not just about getting featured on an influencer’s social media page.

If you want to increase brand exposure, generate leads, and increase sales, it is crucial to outline an influencer marketing strategy. It requires a deep understanding of your goals and target market to develop an actionable plan.

Here are nine steps to create an effective influencer marketing strategy:

1. Define Clear Goals

The ultimate objective of your influencer marketing strategy has a tremendous impact on the type of influencer you collaborate with.

In addition, it dictates the kind of content you are going to create with the influencers. A clear idea of your marketing goals also helps you assess the overall performance of your campaign.

Therefore, the first step of your influencer marketing strategy is to outline the specific goals that you want to achieve.

Do you want to start a conversation about your brand? Or do you want to attract more potential customers and generate leads?

Your answers to these questions will determine the final objective of your influencer marketing strategy.

Typically, you can define one or more of the following goals:

  • Increase social media presence
  • Build brand awareness
  • Improve audience engagement on social media
  • Achieve higher profits

2. Assign Suitable KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are measurable metrics that you use to evaluate the performance of your influencer marketing strategy.

And if you want to analyze whether your influencer marketing campaign helped you achieve the desired results, it is crucial to designate appropriate KPIs. This will also help you determine the ROI of your influencer campaigns and help you understand if they were successful.

Based on your final objective, you can assign KPIs such as:

  • A certain number of social media followers per month
  • A percentage increase in website traffic per month
  • Closing a specific number of sales in a given time period
  • A particular percentage of engagement on social media posts
  • A monthly, quarterly, or annual revenue target

This is a crucial step in your influencer marketing strategy.

Assigning proper KPIs helps you monitor the performance of your influencer campaign and track any deviations. It enables you to apply necessary corrective measures to help you achieve your desired influencer marketing strategy results.

3. Know Your Target Audience

Every marketing campaign is built on a solid understanding of the target audience.

But why?

If you fail to identify your ideal audience, you will not be able to connect with them through your campaign.

And guess what?

This unsaid rule also applies to your influencer marketing strategy.

To run an effective influencer marketing campaign, you must have a deep understanding of your potential customers.

But how do you define them?

Outline different parameters such as age group, gender, geographic location, profession, academic background, etc. In addition, you should have a clear idea about their preferences and pain points.

It also helps to delve deeper, study their online behavior, and identify the devices and social media platforms they are most likely to use.

Therefore, identifying your target audience is one of the critical stages of your influencer marketing strategy. It has an impact on the type of influencers and social media platforms you select.

In addition, it also helps you develop more user-centric content that will appeal to your potential customers.

4. Choose the Right Channel

According to the previously quoted report by Influencer Marketing Hub, Instagram is the most popular channel for influencer marketing.

But that doesn’t mean you should run your influencer marketing strategy on Instagram if your audience is more likely to use Twitter.

In addition, not all social media influencers are equally active on every platform.

Image via Influencer Marketing Hub

In order to build a successful influencer marketing strategy, it is crucial to identify your audience’s most preferred communication channel.

This will have an impact on the type of influencers you select and the content you publish in collaboration with them.

And guess what?

You can choose to run your influencer marketing strategy on different social media platforms, blogs, and video-sharing platforms.

For example, let’s say you want to promote a sophisticated keyword research tool for digital marketers. Working with a lifestyle blogger for an Instagram campaign is not likely to yield good results.

Your audience is more likely to read detailed and insightful blog posts related to digital marketing. Therefore, you should partner with marketing experts and get them to feature your tool in their blog posts.

5. Define Your Influencer

This is perhaps the most crucial part of your influencer marketing strategy. And it can decide the fate of your campaign.

However, finding the right influencer for your campaign can be extremely challenging.

According to the previously quoted study by Mediakix, 61% of marketers find it challenging to get influencers for their campaigns.

Image via Mediakix

Instagram influencers are around or little less than 37 million influencers. This leaves brands and marketers spoiled for choice when looking for influencers to collaborate with.

However, picking any random influencer can do more harm than good.

Therefore, it is crucial to identify the most suitable influencer for your influencer marketing strategy based on the following criteria:

  • Reach — The more followers an influencer has, the more exposure your brand is likely to get.
  • Relevance — Find influencers relevant to your niche. Their public persona and content style should resonate with your brand’s image.
  • Engagement — An influencer with a large number of followers may not be able to deliver campaign objectives if their audience doesn’t engage with their content. Therefore, it is crucial to analyze the social media posts of an influencer. Check the number of likes, comments, and shares their posts are receiving. In addition, you should also pay close attention to how the influencer interacts with their followers.
  • Experience — An influencer who has worked on similar campaigns or with similar brands might be able to give valuable insights.
  • Platform — You should work with an influencer who is active on those social media platforms that your audience is most likely to use.
  • Goals — Collaborate with an influencer who will help you achieve your marketing objectives. For instance, if you want to drive awareness for a social cause, you can collaborate with activists or journalists. On the other hand, if you want to drive sales in a local community, working with a micro-influencer may be your best bet.

6. Find the Right Influencer

Once you have defined your ideal influencer, it is time to search far and wide on the internet and find them.

But what’s the best way to find those who would drive results for your influencer marketing strategy?

Originally published at Attrock.com.

About The Author

Gaurav Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years.

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Gaurav Sharma

Gaurav Sharma is the Founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek..