For some marketers, influencer marketing seems like a gamble that may or may not generate ROI and shift the needle for your business. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
A couple of weeks ago we spoke about the importance of defining your influencer marketing goals and shaping your strategy around them after, rather than strategizing and hoping the activation hits the intended KPIs. The Klick Konnect Conference in Honolulu started our thinking on this topic, after our CEO and Co-Founder Danielle Lewis spoke on a panel about the business of influence alongside panel members Travis Watanabe, Red Bull Field Marketing Manager, Zak Noyle, Hawaii’s big wave surf photographer, Kamea Hadar, Co-Founder of POW! WOW!, and Margarita Peker, Head of Innovation and Insights at Klick Communications.
So, why is it important to define your influencer marketing campaign goals way before you start strategizing, planning and engaging influencers?
Why is it important to define your goals first?
Defining the goals of your influencer marketing campaign and understanding the KPIs that measure success is crucial to creating an influencer marketing campaign that works for you and your business. While there are a large number of ways you can work with influencers (you can read some of them here), not all will have the same results. If you want to get specific results that make an impact, a one size fits all approach will see your influencer marketing strategy crash and burn.
Here are 7 influencer marketing campaign goals and some ideas on what your strategy should look like if you want to achieve them.
Goal 1: Brand Awareness
Whether you are entering the market for the first time, or introducing a new product/service extension to your business, you need to generate exposure and awareness of the new offering. To do this, focus on reach, views, impressions and engagement, as the goal is to get your product in front of your target market, and via multiple touch points if possible.
If brand awareness and exposure is your primary goal, your influencer marketing campaign should drive market saturation, and you need to be prepared to give away a lot of your product for free, or provide a free service for influencers who can promote your business. To achieve brand awareness, go big and build a network of influencers who align with your target market and are expert content creators. Your target market will see your brand through influencer content, so ensure you put your brand in the right hands.
Another way to achieve awareness and exposure with influencer marketing for a new brand or product/service offering, is to develop a PR activation and get influencers involved, whether that is by inviting them to an event, sending them a media pack or inviting them in for an exclusive experience. When hosting and influencer event, be sure not to make one of these common mistakes.
Brand awareness is important, and which it doesn’t always generate sales and ROI, it’s important for the long-term stability of the business and results will show over time. As with anything, the more effort you put in, the more you get out of the experience in the long run.
Goal 2: Generate sales
This is one of the most common goals of an influencer marketing campaign, however it is only achieved if you have the right strategy in place. Many brands and marketers think that because they are “doing influencer marketing,” their sales will dramatically start to increase. Or they deam the campaign unsuccessful and shut it down if sales have not generated seemingly overnight.
So, how can your influencer marketing campaigns specifically drive sales through your eCommerce platform? Here are some strategies to consider if generating sales is your core goal:
- Affiliate marketing, as it encourages influencers to support a brand, and receive a benefit from doing so. You can can read more about affiliate marketing here.
- Generate a discount code that influencers can share with their community of followers to give them an incentive to make a purchase.
- Consider long-term relationships with an influencer who has a highly engaged audience that hangs on their every word and recommendation. These influencers will typically charge (a lot) for collaborations, but there is definitely potential for ROI in sales generated as a result of the engagement.
- Host a flash sale, promote it via an influencer engagement and create undeniable FOMO (fear of missing out).
- Special promotions, discounts, complimentary vouchers and free shipping are other offers that give consumers an incentive to purchase, especially if they are only available for a limited time. The more irresistible the offer, the better!
- Optimize content that is getting traction and make it work. This could be by adding an ad budget to a Facebook post after it receives a high volume of organic reach, or investing more resources into the influencer relationship if they are driving sales.
- Get creative! Any influencer engagement that can include a trackable link is perfect, because it not only makes it easy for your team to report and optimize, but it also makes the purchase flow so much easier for consumer to.
When your goal is to generate sales, it’s important to choose the right platform for your strategy and ensure it is a platform that converts impressions into sales instantly.
Goal 3: Attract new target market
Attracting a new target market is much like building awareness from scratch, expect you already have an established brand name and perhaps more experience and budget behind you (this might not always be the case though). Influencer marketing is the key to attracting a new target market, and you can completely shift the perception of a brand, or build authority in a new space, with the help of carefully selected influencers that align with your new target market and have great engagement with the audience you want to reach.
To achieve your goal, you want people in your new market to try your product and become a paying customer, so you need buzz builders who can drive qualified, targeted website traffic and make noise about your brand in the space you want to be in. You need influencers, and you need good ones.
To achieve this goal, it has to start with the big players, so you need to go straight to the top of the food chain and skip the lower tier influencers this time around. Invest time, money and effort into your influencer relationships and build the digital conversation with them at the forefront.
Goal 4: Increase social media followers
Social media followers are the holy grail because they provide real-time feedback and insight, and they are a direct line of communication directly to your consumers. If the goal of your influencer marketing campaign is to increase social media followers and build your digital fan base, there are a number of things you can do to ensure your influencer marketing campaign supports your social media strategy and drives follower growth.
First and foremost, you need to select the one, maybe two, key platforms that you receive the most traction from because you need to focus your efforts. Then, adopt a campaign approach to your social media strategy and leverage it with a complementary influencer marketing campaign that supports it. It could look something like this:
Step 1: Announce competition on Instagram calling for followers to participate and contribute to the community by using a specific hashtag. Everyone who uses the hashtag has a chance to win a prize.
Step 2: Leverage influencers to promote the competition by entering themselves and then encouraging their followers to do the same.
As a result, you will strategically grow your social following and also build a community around the brand and hashtag.
Another influencer campaign that will increase your social media followers is a social media takeover, where a prominent influencer contributes to your social media account (whether that be SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook or another platform) and/or runs it for a period of time, driving their followers to the brand's account and engaging with new followers organically. You can check out an example of this strategy in action with Australian travel blogger Phoebe from Little Grey Box and her Instagram takeover of the Haka Tours Instagram account.
An influencer marketing campaign that drives social media growth is also great if you are establishing your presence on a new platform (because there is always a new platform!).
Goal 5: Customer retention
Customer retention is an important part of the sales funnel and is one that shouldn’t be ignored. Once you have done the hard yards of attracting a new customer and pushing them through the sales funnel, you want to make your efforts worthwhile and make them a loyal, valued customer for life.
There are a couple of ways that an influencer marketing strategy can support this, with the most popular being the almighty brand ambassador and long-term partnership. Having a brand ambassador, or a handful of key ambassadors, aligns your brand with a key personality in your space and they act as the ongoing face of the brand who promotes new collections, recommends products, announces new initiatives and speaks on behalf of the brand. When you have an ongoing relationship with an influencer, you have an ongoing relationship with their followers too, which leads to customer retention and repeat purchases over time.
When you start strategizing your next big influencer marketing campaign, ensure you have clearly defined your goals and how you will measure the KPIs. There is no point in launching a campaign creates brand awareness if you want to see a dramatic increase in sales, nor is it worthwhile to implement a social media campaign if you don’t want to see growth on social media. If you understand the goals and intended outcomes first, you can create a campaign that works hard to achieve them