INFLUENCER MARKETING

How to Create a Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy

Daniel Cruz

By Daniel Cruz
12 min READ | Jan 16 2022

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular and lucrative by the year. As a result, many companies are taking this approach to attract more customers and increase sales.

And that’s why you’re here, too.

Designing an influencer marketing strategy that drives results requires knowledge and dedication. It can be challenging at first, but you can do it after reading this guide.

We’ll tell you how to leverage influencer marketing to your advantage, how to pick the right content creators, and how to build a successful campaign.

Keep reading below!

How to Leverage Influencer Marketing

You can leverage influencer marketing in numerous ways. Let’s see a few of them below:

1. Promoting Your Brand and Products

Influencers will talk about your company and what you’re selling to their audience. The point of the issue is who’s listening. Thus:

  • Ensure your chosen influencers don’t have fake followers by using a practical fake follower checker.
  • Choose influencers that know your brand intimately and have a unique perspective on it.
  • Give influencers links/QR codes to specific sell pages that they can include within their posts. That way, you’ll get more conversions than if influencers would encourage people to search for your brand online.

Pro tip: This link/QR code will also help you quickly track your results and measure ROI.

2. User-Generated Content

Some influencer marketing campaigns rely on user-generated content. The reason behind this effective strategy is that customers seem to trust regular people more than companies’ messages.

The problem is that sometimes, finding that UGC sucks.

The internet is filled with a gazillion of posts, and a smaller gazillion is about your company. Now imagine sifting through all of these to find the content you can use.

You can also organize a UGC marketing campaign for your customers, but that strategy can be time-consuming as some of that content won’t be up to par.

The solution is finding relevant influencers who have relevant things to say about your brand creatively. If you sign a contract with them, which we strongly advise, you can reuse that exclusive content over the years however you want to.

As a result, you can reach more potential customers in the long run.

Two young women showcasing self-tanning products.
An inBeat influencer UGC campaign for self-tanning products. (Sources: left and right)

Pro tip: save some precious time with a ready-to-use influencer contract or creative brief template.

3. Product Reviews and Testimonials

Who isn’t reading product reviews before purchasing something off the internet nowadays?

Imagine how powerful social influencers are if these testimonials from regular people have such high convincing power. Their messages are creative, concerted, and specifically crafted to convince the right audience.

Your ideal audience, that is.

That’s because social media influencers know how to compose compelling content that increases engagement rates.

These content creators feel how they should represent their customer journey to connect to more like-minded people.

And, ultimately, convince those people to buy your products/services.

4. Promotions

Your influencer strategy can include several promotions that will increase your sales. You can negotiate a base rate or a percentage based on the sales they’re making via a certain QR code/link with your social media influencers.

Therefore, this will motivate your influencers to create more social posts using that link.

And that’s how you’ll target more people to boost your ROI.


5. Micro - Influencers

Micro - influencers have a smaller follower count, usually in a certain niche. So, because they interact with fewer people, they can create stronger bonds with their followers via:

  • Replies to comments or Instagram Stories
  • Shares
  • Direct messages

As such, they’re more likely to convince those people that your products are worthwhile.

Pro tip: We’ll discuss this below, but remember to double-check your influencers’ engagement levels on their social media posts. You can use a simple engagement rate calculator for this.

Why Brands Rely on Influencer Marketing

Brands rely on influencer marketing for many reasons that marketers and theoreticians worldwide still scrutinize, test, and reinterpret.

It’s pretty fascinating stuff.

But the bottom line is that brands rely on influencer marketing because of successful campaigns that sell.

People trust influencers because they are authentic. Most of these people have built a reputation talking about specific products that work, making them credible.

These content creators showcase their experiences every day and prove results.

Besides, they’re loveable and charismatic.

That’s how they keep their followers loyal and interested in what they have to say. That’s also how they convince these people to convert from potential customers into real ones.

Take this example. Angela McCrae, from the Greater Washington D.C. area, has little followers compared to other celebrities. However, she empowers her audience through heartfelt stories and initiatives.

On the other hand, marketers trust influencers because they help them reach their marketing goals.

Studies show that using influencers gets companies 11 times the ROI they’d otherwise get using other forms of advertising.

Of course, you’ll have to choose relevant influencers for the job. We’ll discuss that below. First, we’ll start with the most crucial step of any influencer campaign:

Determine Your Goals

Setting your goals correctly is the first step of every influencer marketing campaign. If you don’t know what you’re trying to achieve, you won’t be able to set the other stages of your strategy, either.

Pro tip: Try to be a little more specific than simply saying you want to increase your sales or get more product reviews.

Your intentions are the backbone of your entire strategy. Besides, these goals define your campaign’s metrics; you know the variables that help you monitor your campaign and measure its success.

Possible goals include:

  • Brand awareness: Having more people know about your brand and products. It’s what inBeat did for Phone Loops, as you can see from the plethora of Instagram Posts popularizing these loops. We based our influencer content strategy on having more people discover these functional straps and associate them with awesome selfies.
  • Brand identity: Getting people to understand what your brand stands for.
  • Audience building: Influencers can help you reach more people to increase your audience size. That was inBeat’s strategy for Deux Par Deux, a brand selling children’s clothes.
  • Sales: Influencer marketing can boost your sales in the short term by popularizing various discounts and rewards. However, do it correctly, and this campaign will increase your ROI steadily in the long run.
An Instagram screenshot showing a kid playing outside as a part of a product gifting strategy.
inBeat’s Deux par Deux campaign featured product seeding to momfluencers in order to reach a broader audience.

Of course, you shouldn’t limit yourself to these goals. You can focus on creating more engagement, product launches, link building, etc. Practically, the world is your oyster.

Remember: Regardless of the goals you’re setting, you should always break them into smaller, attainable objectives. If you want to talk strategy, you can always schedule a free call with our influencer marketing agency, and we’ll assist you happily.

Click here for an online meeting.

Identify Your Audience

You should be very clear about who you’re speaking to. You can’t hook your potential customers without understanding your audience’s interests and needs.

Once you do your research and grasp those things, you’ll have to speak their language.

That means you’ll know which types of content will motivate them best to meet your campaign’s marketing goals.

Take what Carter Sullivan did for Mogo. This young woman speaks articulately about her financial problems and how this app helped her solve them. She not only addresses an entire generation (Gen-Z) but also represents it.

A screenshot of an inBeat YouTube campaign with Mogo.ca
An example of inBeat influencer content: a YouTube campaign with Mogo.ca

That’s another thing you’ll want to consider:

Don’t just throw your messages into the vast black hole of social media. Instead, create a buyer persona based on demographic and psychographic factors.

As a result, you’ll reach these people’s hearts and minds to:

  • Guarantee more user engagement
  • Build a loyal brand community
  • Boost your sales

Choose the Right Influencer Marketing Campaign

You’ve probably seen this coming; there are several types of influencer marketing campaigns based on:

  • The social media platform you’re using
  • The type of influencer you’re working with
  • Your marketing goals

Based on these factors, you can choose the correct influencer marketing strategies for your future campaigns:

  • Product seeding: You give specific influencers free products to test, and they write about them. Gifting products is one of the most common strategies.
  • Sponsored content: Pay an influencer to feature your brand on the social media platforms they’re using.
  • Co-creating content: You and that influencer create specific content together. This strategy works well on TikTok, but you can also try it on other social media.
  • Challenges and contests: These contests are highly motivating and can produce extra user-generated content.
  • Discount codes: Mobilize your influencer’s audience to buy more of your products.

Choose the Right Influencers

Sifting through hundreds of influencers can seem daunting. We get it. That’s why we’ve created a free influencer database so that more marketers can find the right content creators.

But that’s not the point.

The point is understanding what makes someone a potential influencer. That’s how you’ll be able to choose the right content creators for your future campaign.

Here’s an industry secret:

You shouldn’t just choose people that push your messages to people blindingly, having no original point of view. Remember: regular folks will sniff out this lack of personality immediately.

It’s like high school; you can’t just pretend you’re cool by copying cool people.

In much the same way, influencers are trendsetters because they:

  • Shape and define the conversation
  • Advocate for the matters they care about with passion
  • Ask the right questions that nobody else dares to put forth or thinks about
  • Challenge the status quo

The biggest mistakes you can make at this point is to:

  • Choose compliant influencers with large follower counts without looking at other engagement metrics
  • Impose specific messages and perspectives to these influencers instead of asking them to challenge your perspective

Apart from that, the right influencers:

  • Own a particular niche, such as travel, wellness, or fin-tech.
  • Can persuade other influencers, not just a larger audience. From that perspective, the best target audience is the one that can convince different, smaller groups.

Choose the Right Type of Influencer

Now that you know how an influencer should be from an ideal standpoint, let’s look at your content marketing campaign from a down-to-earth perspective.

So, choose the right type of influencer for your target audience:

  • Bloggers
  • Celebrities
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Industry experts
  • Thought leaders

To choose correctly, you’ll have to take other steps before this point, such as:

  • Understand all about your company, competition, and target customers
  • Set clear goals (we’ll discuss this issue below) that you can measure correctly

How do you find these influencers in the real world, though?

We already mentioned our free inBeat platform above, but you can also try some strategies for yourself. Check out how to find TikTok influencers for free or how to find Instagram influencers by location.

It all boils down to scouring the internet and social media for relevant hashtags and keywords. However, you can also try specific tools and social platforms we’ve discussed in our guide.

After using these methods, you’ll end up with a mile-long list of influencers. That brings us to the next point:

Qualify Your Influencers

Ensure those content creators you’ve found are suitable for your target audience. Also, you want to make sure they fit your brand and goals.

That’s why, first, you have to qualify your content creators.

Like we said above, you don’t need to choose someone with a large audience. A high follower count usually comes with a lower engagement rate and fake followers.

Instead, you want content creators with a high level of engagement. This is why micro - influencers are a great choice, as they are a cost-effective way to reach your audience. Their average engagement rates are higher, they create quality content, and they have credibility.

A triangular shape showing that the more followers an influencer has, the less engagement they get.
This visual from Later shows how engagement rates drop when follower count increases.

Here are free tools to verify the quality of your influencers:

Qualify Reach and Authority

You want your influencers to produce original content that matches your brand. At the same time, you want influencers to have a significant reach both in terms of width and connection.

Here are the variables that you should consider:

  • Follower number
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • On-site metrics:

- Pageviews

- Time spent on the website

- Bounce rate

- Number of visitors

- Number of websites linking in

Qualify the Content

If you want your influencer marketing campaign to rock, you want a solid content strategy. So, make sure your influencers’ past social media marketing posts align with your views.

Ensure the content is relevant for your niche and audience and representative of your brand’s core values.

Track Your Outreach

Outreach is something you don’t want your marketing team to forget about. We know that sometimes you can focus too much on the big things and lose track of the little things.

But organizing your correspondence is essential.

You have to:

  • Compose compelling messages to reach those content creators.
  • Follow up with them.
  • Avoid different members of your team contacting the same influencer separately.

Measure Your Results

Tracking your campaign and measuring its results is paramount.

If you haven’t done an influencer marketing campaign before, know there’s a hidden trap you have to be wary of:

Fame.

When you see your brand’s name on Instagram Stories or sung by famous TikTok influencers, it can feel dizzying. Still, you shouldn’t lose track of what truly matters:

The numbers.

Despite the initial hype, these numbers tell the real story. That’s why we’ve urged you to set attainable goals and create a thorough strategy to reach them.

You’ll want to compare the results you’ve achieved on these metrics below:

  • Brand Awareness:

- Website traffic

- Page views

- Social mentions

- Time on site

- Website users

  • Building Brand Identity: social mentions, PR coverage (number of articles or links)
  • Audience Building: opt-ins, follows
  • Engagement: shares, following, comments, and likes
  • Lead Generation: opt-ins
  • Sales: new sales, revenue changes
  • Customer Loyalty: customer retention rates, renewal rates
  • Link Building: number and quality of links

As you can see, these numbers are exact and easy to monitor. You should track this data for all of your influencer marketing campaigns, and you should never omit them from your strategy.

This data tells you:

  • What worked
  • What didn’t
  • Who your loyal customers are
  • Who relevant influencers are for your brand
  • What messages and rewards are successful
  • How you can improve certain aspects regarding communication or even your products

Pro tip: a tracking software is a powerful tool for easy reporting.

A screenshot of inBeat's Pulse tracking software.
Tracking the right metrics is key to measuring the results of your influencer campaign.

In Conclusion - How to Craft a Powerful Influencer Marketing Strategy

Building an influencer marketing strategy that drives results isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible either. You’ll have to be very careful about particular things, such as setting your goals, defining a relevant audience, and selecting the best influencers.

That’s half your job done.

Next, don’t forget that the devil’s in the details. That means you’ll want to craft specific messages for your audience using their language while giving your influencers enough creative freedom.

Don’t forget to track your results and always strive to improve things that didn’t work out.

Also, as we said before in this article, we at inBeat are here for you. Use our free influencer database anytime you need to find influencers and book an online meeting with us to talk strategy.

We’re a click away.

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