How to work with your top market influencer

Influencer marketing is all the hype right now, producing exceptional ROI almost unlike anything before it. Nothing can go wrong, right? Influencer marketing has been proven to deliver 11 times higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.

This type of marketing is extremely effective – if done right.

Below are 4 guidelines that will help prepare you for a foray into influencer marketing

According to Talkwalker’s influencer marketing survey, 69% of respondents ranked influencer marketing as a strategic priority for 2019. That is no surprise, given that influencer marketing has been proven to deliver 11 times higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.

If it is done right, so here are some key guidelines to help you work with influencer.

  1. Define your own KPIs before you define them for your influencer

What are you looking for from this influencer partnership? Consider the below options:

  • Brand awareness
  • Shift in brand perception
  • Content creation – to be leveraged on your own social media channels

Direct boost in sales (If so, do you have a plan in place to track conversions from the influencer’s pages? And are your expectations in line with the average engagement rates of the influencer?)

An influencer could have millions of followers without having a lot of influence over them. They could have bought likes and comments – i.e. fake engagement. They could also have a limited but highly targeted and engaged niche follower base that is ideal for your brand.

If you want to deliver on your influencer marketing campaign, you need to start by measuring your own needs and ensuring they align with your influencers and social media platforms of choice.

  1. Find the right influencer for your campaign

Do not be blinded by reach. There is no such thing as a great influencer. One brand’s great influencer is not necessarily going to be a great one for your brand. In fact, an influencer who achieved great results for one of your campaigns, is not necessarily going to be a great fit for all of your campaigns.

Think about your campaign objectives strategically. Think about your target audience. Think about the kind of content the influencer creates. Do you see a connection? If you do not, repeat this process with another influencer profile until you find the right one.

One more thing – you need to vet your influencer. Deep dive into their statistics to identify any key patterns. You can use this short checklist to guide your vetting process:

Are their followers consistently engaged?

Do they have suspicious (bot-like) comments that are spiking the engagement rates?

Do their posts come across as being authentic and credible?

Have they been involved in any controversies before?

Are they or have they ever been associated with any of your competitors?

Is the content of their posts entirely aligned with your brand values?

  1. Be crystal clear about all aspects of the partnership… without infringing on your influencer’s creative license

While the connection you want to build is personal and human, don’t forget that this is ultimately a business transaction. For the partnership to achieve its maximum potential, you should ensure that you are on the same page as your influencer.

A formal agreement or contract is the best practice as it allows you to clearly outline expectations or deliverables and gives your influencer a clear action plan that allows them to map out their content ideas and activities as best suits them without interfering with their creative autonomy.

Your agreement should cover:

Duration of the partnership/campaign

Expected compensation, if any (consider the format of payment – barter deal, fixed amount, or percentage of direct conversions?)

Exclusivity (of brand affiliations, influencer content usage, etc.)

Quantity and type of influencer content (photos, carousels, videos, blog posts. etc.)

Approval rights and process (indicate whether the content needs to pass through the brand manager for certain approvals before posting)

  1. Closely monitor the analytics – pre, during, and post campaign

Do not fall into the trap of using analytics only at the start of your influencer campaign. The role of analytics does not end with vetting the influencer’s social performance and history before partnering up with them.

After both you and your influencer put a lot of hard work into the partnership, you need to be able to assess what worked and what did not and report on results. It is very important to have a powerful analytics tool that empowers you to analyze and optimize your influencer marketing performance.