Influencer Marketing: How to Create an Influencer Strategy and Launch your campaign?

Influencer marketing is becoming a big part of many brands' social media strategy. In this article, we'll cover what influencer marketing is and how it can help your business, including how to identify and choose partners based on your brand goals.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a way of promoting a brand and its products and services using opinion leaders. Anyone can be an influencer — a sports or entertainment star, or a popular mom with a big audience of active social media subscribers. The main attribute of an influencer is the attention of your potential customers. They are listening to and trusting this person or group.

The high efficiency of this type of promotion lies in the fact that it does not look like direct advertising. The information is for guidance only. According to statistics, 92% of people tend to trust the recommendations of others, even if they are not personally familiar with the individual.
statistics showing which source of information users trust most when choosing products or services
Many marketers claim that influencer marketing is a new promotion channel, but it's not! Back in 1920, the Coca-Cola brand created an advertising campaign with the participation of an influential opinion leader — Santa Claus. Yes, that's promotion using an influencer.
How can influencer marketing help your business?
Influencers in marketing are the advocates of your brand. An authoritative personality in certain circles can convince consumers to change their purchasing behavior. These connections can expand your audience and increase brand awareness. More, they also increase your audience's loyalty and trust in your company.
3 reasons to include social media influencer marketing in your promotion strategy:
Influencers create authoritative, useful and interesting content for users.
Influencer messages are tailored to your target audience.
In the case of high-end goods, famous personalities may want to collaborate with you for free for testing and promotion.
Here's just one example of influencer marketing:
ASOS was founded in 2000. Today, the brand sells more than 80 thousand of its products worldwide and has more than 20 million subscribers with the help of a social media advertising campaign called "ASOS Insiders."
How to choose the right influencer for your business niche
Opinion leaders are divided into 5 categories:
  • Celebrity: entertainment representatives, famous actors, athletes, and other public figures

  • Opinion Leader: experts in specific fields; for example, beauty topics or parenting

  • Discoverer: trendsetters and people who open new niches to the general public. Discoverers are aware of emerging trends and willingly review new products.

  • Sharer: people who spread information through various channels (social networks, instant messengers and so on)

  • User: "layman", everyday people working in regular companies
Influencers are also divided by the number of subscribers:
  • Micro: 5 to 100 thousand subscribers;

  • Macro: more than a million subscribers.

The next step is locating these influencers. There are three ways to do this:
  • Searching Google or social media networks. In social networks, you can enter thematic hashtags and browse suggested accounts

  • Special services and tools. For example, Influence.co or Iconosquare

  • Specialized agencies are the simplest and most effective option. You pay for the services of professional experts, and they analyze the needs of your business and select a team of influencers.

Formats of collaboration with influencers
Here are influencer marketing examples in four types:
Competitions and giveaways
Competitions and giveaways increase brand awareness. You can collaborate with one person to conduct a contest or with a group using giveaways. This will build brand recognition and increase the number of subscribers on your social media accounts, expanding your base for future mailings or promotions.
competitions and giveaways on the example of the brand Benefit Cosmetics
Blog post advertising
Placing text about and photos of your product in the post of an opinion leader in your niche increases consumer interest. Additionally, search bots indexing these keywords helps your site rank better in search engine results.
Puma brand advertisement featuring Indian cricketer Virat Kohli on Twitter
Advertising campaign on social networks
The influencer does a review on your products. They may record a video with a presentation of the product or write a detailed post describing benefits and instructing their subscribers on how to use the product. When planning a campaign, you need to think about which channels you want to use, the time period for the campaign, the number and sequence of posts, specific keywords, and content format.
Influencer marketing is considered the most popular.
example of influencer marketing on Instagram from Olivia Culpo
Affiliate Marketing
In affiliate marketing, the influencer receives a commission from each sale that their content generates. Special metrics or personal promotional codes help you track the effectiveness of the campaign.
How to start a campaign with influencers: step-by-step instructions
  • 1
    Define campaign goals
    Build an influencer marketing strategy. Determine the most important factor for the development of your brand:

    • Brand recognition

    • Sales growth

    • Increasing audience loyalty

    • Engagement and retention of consumers

    • Increasing subscribers

    The priorities you identify will guide which influencers you will attract to launch the campaign.

    After identifying campaign goals and criteria for assessing the campaigns effectiveness, upload reports on your current statistics in these areas to compare with future metrics.
  • 2
    Select a social network
    Decide on the platform to launch the campaign. Different social networks have their own content format and audience. Some advice for making a choice:

    • Focus on your audience. Use the network that your consumers use most often.
    • Use your content format as guidance. If you want to focus on photos or short videos. For video reviews, choose YouTube. Remember that video content is now the most popular.
    • For attracting more traffic from social networks to your site, VK are the best choices.
  • 3
    Map influencers
    You need to find opinion leaders in your industry. For example, if you advertise hair care products, you may choose professional hairdressers, beauty bloggers, or ordinary women with a large audience of active subscribers. Make a list of bloggers with notes about their subscribers and position and choose the best combination.
  • 4
    Coordinate the details
    Present the main goal of your campaign to the influencer you choose. Give them tips and tricks and explain how you'd like the product to be presented. The goal is for this content not to appear as direct advertising. Instead, content should be as natural as possible, sticking with the style of a blogger's account so it can attract consumer confidence. Most often, a blogger comes up with material in their own style, making the advertising more effective.
influencer card example
Influencer Card Example
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Key performance metrics
  • ROI (Return on Investment)
    tracks income received from an advertising campaign
  • Increase of subscriptions or registrations
    essential when promoting events and info products
  • Cost per click
    helps to estimate the total cost of cooperation when working with several influencers
  • Engagement
    tracks the number of likes, comments, reposts, and brand mentions
  • Referral traffic
    how many people went to your site from the campaign
  • Reach
    tracks how many potential customers have learned about your brand or product
The future of influencer marketing
Influence marketing avoids issues such as banner blindness or ad blocking. Neglecting this promotion method means missing out on the opportunity to outperform your competitors and attract more customers.

In recent years, there have been some changes in how we work with opinion leaders. Instead of focusing exclusively on subscriber numbers, brands are beginning to prefer micro-influencers with focused, active audiences. Some companies, such as Prada, use modern technology to create virtual influencers. Although these characters do not prompt the same degree of trust as living people, they do attract the attention of customers.

A professional agency can help you find suitable opinion leaders and implement an effective campaign from start to finish.
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