4 Steps to Creating an Influencer Marketing Strategy
When it comes to influencer marketing, have you ever been tempted to skip right over the planning and start brainstorming your next sure-to-go-viral campaign? If you have, then you are not alone. Talking tactics is a much sexier albeit distracting first step than, say, waiting around to come to consensus on goals and budget.
What sets apart one brand from the next when it comes to influencer marketing is its ability to develop quality content (e.g., articles, social media posts, videos, etc.) that drives measurable results. And that requires planning. So, not skipping the critical first step and, instead, creating a solid influencer marketing strategy is the key to developing campaigns that have the best chance of moving the needle for your business. A viral video AND ROI? Now, that’s a win-win!
Tip! Don’t know your company goals? Haven’t set campaign benchmarks? Don’t have a clear understanding of your resources and processes? No worries! These 6 steps address what to do BEFORE you develop an influencer marketing strategy.
This post, designed to help you get all the pieces and parts in place to create your influencer marketing strategy, is the second in our “Comprehensive Guide to Influencer Marketing” 6-part series in which we discuss the 6 Things You Must Do Before Developing an Influencer Marketing Plan, How to Create Results-Driven Influencer Marketing Campaigns, 6 Influencer Marketing Campaign Management Best Practices, How to Successfully Manage Influencers, and 11 Influencer Marketing Tactics to Rock Your Campaigns.
4 Steps to Creating an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Whether you are about to start planning for the upcoming fiscal year or just want to ensure your current plan stands the best chance of meeting measurable goals, these 4 steps will help you create an influencer marketing strategy that will drive real results.
1. Set influencer marketing strategy goals and key results.
Identify three broad influencer marketing focused goals that will help move the needle on the core goals of your business. Here are a few examples:
Next, determine measurable results for each goal. Popular influencer marketing results include:
Ad clicks and/or impressions
Awareness (e.g., impressions, views)
Creative assets (e.g. professional photographs, blog posts, videos, etc.)
eNewsletter click-through and/or open rates
Engagement (e.g., comments, likes, shares, and regrams/repins/retweets)
Increased social media following
Loyalty program or other service sign ups
SEO (e.g., ranking high on search engines, getting backlinks, etc.)
Third-party site reviews (e.g., Amazon, Walmart, etc.)
Finally, create actionable, time-sensitive, and measurable goals. For example:
Increase awareness of pet-friendly travel content on blogs and YouTube from 1.2MM to 3MM impressions and views by December 31, 2017.
Increase eNewsletter subscriptions from 2,000 to 10,000 subscribers per monthly by December 31, 2017.
Drive 20% more user-generated content on blogs, YouTube, and across social media, including on third-party review sites like TripAdvisor by December 31, 2017.
Tip! Setting campaign benchmarks is key in helping you establish measurable goals. Knowing where you are at (e.g., that you are currently getting 2,000 subscribers per month to your eNewsletter), helps you set realistic goals and measure against them.
2. Determine your budget.
Determining an influencer marketing budget varies from company to company. The Small Business Administration recommends that companies spend, on average, 7-8% of its gross revenue on advertising if they are doing less than $5MM in sales. Influencer marketing would likely be a smaller percentage than that.
Click here to learn what The Small Business Administration recommends for start-ups, small, and larger business advertising and marketing budgets.
Tip! The more you tie your goals to measurable results that improve your company’s bottom line (creating campaigns that pay for themselves and then some), the more you can justify dedicating a bigger budget to your influencer marketing efforts.
3. Develop a timeline.
Create a high-level timeline for your year-long strategy, highlighting:
Key promotional times of the year (e.g., spring break, holiday)
Potential campaign(s) that will support each season
The format can be more visual in nature, allowing viewers an at-a-glance look at the plans.
4. Create a reporting structure.
Successful influencer marketing strategies include regular accountability. Weekly meetings to report out on goals ensure you leave yourself and your team time to celebrate wins and/or to identify red flags early in the campaign or year and modify as necessary to get back on course.
Reporting meetings vary based on the location of your team, whether you are a small or a large group, how short or spread out the timeline is, and more. Create a format that works for your group (e.g., in-person meeting, video conferencing, phone conference call, etc.). Keep your meetings short and report out on your goals.
Now that you have set goals and results, developed a budget and high-level timeline, and have created the format for and planned weekly reporting meeting, you are ready for the fun stuff—creating and managing campaigns. Check out these posts in our series to learn more:
Not sure where to start? Let’s talk! Partnering with a professional influencer network, such as Mom It Forward Media, yields many benefits. We’ll meet with you to discuss your ideas, goals, and objectives. From there, we’ll develop a campaign that will meet (and hopefully surpass) your objectives.
Does that sound like a plan? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.