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How to Create a Winning Influencer Marketing Strategy in 2023

Ally Castillo
Written By
Ally Castillo
Published On
Mar 15, 2023
An influencer filming her lunch for her influencer marketing strategy

Whether you’re a new business owner or an established name within your industry, there’s no denying that a great influencer marketing strategy is the key to building brand awareness, increasing sales, and closing the gap with your target audience.

This kind of marketing strategy is nothing new; in fact, over 90% of digital marketers use it because influencers have the power to heavily impact your target audience’s purchasing decisions.

But how can you create a winning influencer marketing strategy for your business? What are the steps that you should take? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answers right here.

A booklet with the words “influencer marketing” written on it next to a cup of coffee, glasses, and, a pen

Why Influencer Marketing Can Benefit Your Brand

Social media is a very powerful tool for businesses to reach their target audience. However, since it is widely accessible, the competition to capture consumers’ attention is fierce. But don’t let that discourage you! A solid influencer marketing campaign can boost your brand’s name and attract more consumers by maximizing your business’s social media presence. More of the potential benefits you can enjoy include:

A Boost to Your Brand’s Credibility

Building your own social media presence will take time and effort, therefore a good influencer marketing strategy should take advantage of the resources already available to you.

Influencers already have a dedicated social media following because of their expertise in a certain niche. They’ve already acquired the trust of their followers, meaning the influencer’s recommendations will hold a lot of weight in your target audience’s purchasing decisions.

So, when the influencer you’ve partnered with endorses your product on their social media account/s, they pass on the trust they’ve acquired to your business. This should make it easier for you to tap into the social network where you want to boost your brand. 

Reaching the Right Target Market

Influencer marketing is different from celebrity endorsements. Advertising through a celebrity usually motivates consumers to embrace the product because they want to be just like their favourite stars. So, although they have a wider audience reach, they most likely won’t reach the right target market for you.

Influencers, on the other hand, are subject matter experts; they’ve built trust within a specific niche where they can expound why they support one brand over another. Influencer marketing helps you identify which market you want to tap into since they already have a good idea of the demographic profiles and statistics of their followers.

Engaging Content Strategy

Influencers, especially those who have a larger audience, are familiar with producing engaging and quality content for their followers. This will bring significant benefits to you if there’s a content co-creation clause in your partnership.

The way this works is the brand will provide information about the product, as well as photos, trial services, coupon codes, or anything else that can help people learn about what you’re selling. The content distribution will now depend on the influencer, who will then think of creative, targeted, and relevant ways of presenting this material to their audience.

Grow Sales By Driving Purchase Decisions

We’ve touched upon this topic above, but a more in-depth analysis of this factor involves authenticity. Specifically, an influencer can impact a consumer’s choices because they add a bit of relatability to their posts or videos. As opposed to celebrities, influencers add authenticity to their endorsements. The more passionate they are about their interests, the more people engage with them.

If you partner with an influencer who has considerable knowledge of the product they are recommending or the brand they are promoting, the likelihood of increasing traffic to your site and boosting sales becomes higher. 

In short, since their audience already trusts what they say, there’s a higher chance they’ll support the products the influencer is promoting.

A woman showing off her clothes.

6 Steps for Developing an Influencer Marketing Strategy

Before you can promote your brand with influencers on social media, you need to develop a strategy—one that optimizes your campaign to enable maximum brand exposure. 

Here are six essential steps to help you out:

Step 1: Define Your Goals and Budget

Having a clear definition of your marketing plans and annual budget lets you remain consistent throughout your influencer marketing campaign. Solidifying your brand’s identity helps you connect with your target audience easily, increases awareness for your brand, and helps your content creator plan and create engaging content for their viewers.

A significant increase in your business’s social media presence, enhancing your sales pipeline through lead generation, figuring out how to increase consumer purchases, and constantly improving SEO tactics are some of the goals you can include during this stage.

For budgeting goals, influencers are paid a fixed rate. This is usually based on their follower count and the number of sponsored posts you’re requesting. You should also consider whether you want to partner with a macro- or micro-influencer based on your budget.

Step 2: Decide on the Type of Campaign and Key Messages

Determining the type of campaign you want to run and how it should be delivered will help you frame your content strategy better. Your influencer campaign should make people want to engage with your content and learn about your brand. At the same time, the campaign should be interesting enough for an influencer to want to work with you.

Some examples of typical campaigns are:

  • Sponsored content;
  • Mentions;
  • Guest posting;
  • Contests or giveaways;
  • Discounted products; and
  • Affiliate links. 

The influencer should deliver your brand’s message with a conversational and genuine tone. To that end, you should also ensure that each content creator you partner with aligns with your business’s values and voice.

Step 3: Reach Out to Qualified Influencers

From bloggers to various social media influencers, there’s a content creator out there that can mesh well with your business goals. It boils down to where you plan to promote your product, specifically which social media platform you’d like to tap into. Pro-tip: it’s more beneficial for you to work with an influencer who has a presence on multiple platforms to maximize exposure.

Ask yourself if the influencer you’ve chosen posts content relevant to your industry, if they have worked with similar brands in the past, and if their personality fits your brand’s voice. Another factor you should also consider is if the influencer has a credible engagement ratio. You can do this by using influencer marketing tools to check if your chosen content creator is legitimate and relevant.

Once you’ve figured that out, you can directly message macro-influencers on their most popular social media platform. For more established influencers, you can typically message them on their website or send an email. Once you’ve contacted them, make sure to define the campaign requirements and deliverables.

Step 4: Manage Your Influencer Campaign

No matter how many content creators you work with, what’s important is how you manage your influencer marketing strategy. You can either directly interact with each influencer, hire an agency, or use an influencer marketing platform to facilitate and improve your strategy. It’s also important to treat influencers as your brand’s partners or ambassadors as they help you build a community of customers.

Some of the tips to help you cultivate influencer relationships might include:

  • An onboarding process that provides guidelines upfront. This saves time on both ends and helps each influencer understand your expectations.
  • Familiarize yourself with how your influencer works with other brands, whether they want monetary compensation or other perks, such as discounts or free products.
  • Giving your influencers creative control because this promotes authenticity in their content.

Be careful not to micromanage your campaign process, but also don’t lose sight of your brand messaging by giving away too much control. Try to find the right balance for a successful marketing plan.

Four digital marketers planning an influencer campaign

Step 5: Promote Influencer Content on Social Media

It’s important to regularly keep in touch with the influencer so you can keep track of when the content is live. Once you see that it is, promote the content everywhere. Post it on your website, attach it to your newsletters, and share it on your social media accounts.

Be proactive in boosting your influencer’s page too, since this is the key to enticing them to work with you again. If the influencer ends up getting more views on their accounts because of your efforts, you might just get a better deal on the next project you work on. 

Step 6: Track Your Results and Adjust Your Strategy

The last step is also one of the most important aspects of a solid influencer marketing strategy. Evaluating your campaign’s performance will help you decide whether you want to keep working with the same influencers, or maybe try to refine your campaign based on KPIs. You can measure the success of your strategy through:

  • Brand reach or the number of people who see your content;
  • Engagement or the number of likes, comments, and shares your content receives;
  • Traffic generated to your website or blog; and
  • The sales generated by your marketing campaign or the leads generated from the campaign.

Tracking the data can help you optimize future campaigns and understand how to drive better results next time.

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Influencers to Work With

The key ingredient to making an influencer marketing strategy work is collaborating with the right influencers who can help elevate your brand—and it’s vital to look beyond simply having a high follower count when choosing an influencer.  

Here are some factors to consider when selecting an influencer for your brand:

An influencer filming content for a campaign

Platform

This will depend on your goals and personality as a brand. The platform you select is an important factor in choosing the influencer you want to work with, since influencers across various platforms have their own brands with distinctive personalities and aesthetics. 

Also, remember to strategically choose a social media site that matches your target audience’s demographics.

Follower Size

There are two types of influencers:

  • Macro-influencers: These are accounts that have over 100,000 followers and have a wider reach in terms of audience and engagement.
  • Micro-influencers: These are accounts that are smaller in scale but still influential. They have anywhere between 1,000 to 100,000 followers.

However, it’s important to know that follower count alone is not enough to determine which influencer is right for your campaign. 

Engagement Rate

This refers to the interaction between the influencer and their followers and shows how well the content is perceived by your targeted demographic. Interaction comes in the form of views, comments, likes, and shares.

When checking the engagement rate of an influencer, look into whether they take the time to respond to their followers or not since this establishes a genuine relationship with the target market. 

Cost Per Post

Check the influencer’s estimated cost of promotional posts and remember that this depends on which industry and country they are from. The cost could also vary depending on the type of content (if it’s a photo or video) they post.

How to Set Influencer Marketing Campaign Goals

Creating an influencer marketing campaign requires meticulous preparation. To cut down on time in the initial planning stage, solidify the goals you want to achieve as early as possible. This gives you a clear direction of where you want your campaign to go. 

Here are three important aspects to keep in mind:

Brand Awareness

You can’t start a campaign without being aware of your brand’s identity. If you don’t know who you are, your audience won’t either. In digital marketing, building brand awareness shapes long-term partnerships with influencers and followers who purchase your product or service. This should be one of the main goals of the entire campaign. 

Follower Engagement

Many people assume that more followers mean more engagement, but that’s not the case at all. Your social media page could have thousands of followers but little-to-no comments, views, or likes. That’s because your follower count doesn’t reflect how your content is perceived by the target audience. Aligning with the right influencer can solve this problem, so make sure you select one whose brand is similar to yours.

Sales

Arguably the most important goal is driving sales and web traffic to your business. However, without the two factors above, this third one is trickier to achieve. Both brand awareness and follower engagement work together to drive sales to your business. 

Make sure to set key performance indicators to measure the success of your campaign, find out what works and what doesn’t, and then adjust accordingly.

Digital marketers monitoring the results of a campaign

2023 Influencer Marketing Trends You Need to Know

Being on top of trends helps you select which influencer to work with. After all, you’d want someone who’s updated on what’s going viral at the moment because it shows they understand how online marketing works.

That said, here are some of the top influencer trends of 2023:

TikTok Takes the Lead

TikTok influencers are giving Instagram influencers a run for their money. Marketing experts have seen how TikTok’s popular short-form video format is continuously attracting marketing spend, and that’s thanks to the platform’s algorithm. TikTok is designed to promote the discovery of new content regularly, and this has become essential for brands whose demographic is the younger generation. 

Long-Term Influencer Partnerships Will Be the Norm

Expect brands and influencers to collaborate on long-term projects instead of one-off partnerships. The primary reason is that it takes time to drive sales. Influencers who are commissioned for a sponsored video will have a hard time getting a brand’s name to stick in the minds of their followers, especially if it’s just a one-time partnership.

Influencers Will Become More Professional

This year, it’s projected that more influencers will develop expertise in their industry. As such, this will make them even more sought after by brands. Because of this, people in the industry will now view influencers as professionals instead of amateurs dabbling in niche topics. 

The Importance of Taking An Integrated Approach to Influencer Marketing

Tying into the last point above, taking an integrated approach to influencer marketing is one of the best ways to increase two things:

1.) The visibility of the influencer.

2.) The influencer’s affiliation with your brand.

This approach involves investing more in influencer content to boost online presence. You can capitalize on this growing trend of influencer marketing by creating multi-channel visibility across social media platforms. This is a win-win situation for both you and the influencer because it allows you to showcase your product or service, introduce your brand to your target demographic, and build a long-lasting connection with your influencer.  

The integrated approach to influencer marketing is a great way to deliver a unified message across the marketing platforms you use. The consistency that this method provides is the secret to a winning influencer marketing strategy.

Partner With the Right Influencer Marketing Agency

Now you know the hows and whys of a solid influencer marketing strategy. Are you ready to launch your own winning campaign? 

Here at The Influence Agency, a leading digital marketing agency in North America, we’ve designed countless influencer marketing campaigns that put our clients’ names at the forefront of their target audience’s minds. Will yours be next ?

Contact us here for more information.

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