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Influencer marketing is the latest trend in Internet marketing and is now used by marketers, businesses and even blog owners. This marketing technique has a lot of potential and has helped millions of website owners expand their reach. Many companies have been able to experience a significant boost in authority; thus leading to more customers trusting in the company’s products, services and the information shared by it.

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Sideqik explains that influencer marketing allows a company to increase its brand awareness and expand its reach. It also reports that this marketing technique helps a company gain more credibility while saving it a lot of money and contributing to improving the SEO of a website. Another major benefit of influencer marketing is the fact that it does not require any maintenance from the company itself — the influencer handles most of the work.

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The Planning Phase

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The first step to creating a successful marketing campaign is to go through a planning phase. The planning phase will help you determine your budget, the type of content to use and other essential factors that will be important later on.

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1. How Much Can You Spend?

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Influencer marketing can cost a lot if you don’t decide on a budget before searching for potential influencers and executing your campaign. This is why determining how much you can spend on your campaign should be the very first step. Your budget will also help you decide what type of influencers to search for, contact and use. For example, if you are on a tight budget, then utilizing micro-influencers may be the best option. WERSM reports that most micro-influencers charge less than $250 for a branded Instagram post and less than $500 for a branded blog post.

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2. What Type Of Content Would You Like to Use?

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Choosing the type of content you would like to use in your campaign prior to searching for and contacting influencers is also helpful. Since there are many different types of content that you can use, you need to determine which works best for your particular business. Even though video is the preferred method of content marketing lately, some niches may work better with infographics or even informative blog posts.

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3. Do You Want To Utilize Blog Posts?

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Some campaigns work very well when combined with blogger outreach, but some companies prefer only to use social media as part of their influencer marketing campaign. It is important that you decide whether to include blog posts as part of your campaign before contacting influencers. This will also make searching for potential influencers in your industry easier.

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4. Which Social Platforms Do You Want To Target?

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Another important decision you’ll have to make is the specific social media platforms you want to target. The Next Web explains that Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ are among the most useful platforms for business, but each platform has pros and cons that should also be considered. For example, LinkedIn is perfect for businesses that provide professional services, whereas Instagram is the perfect option for campaigns that utilize content in visual formats.

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5. Learn More About Your Target Audience

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To finalize the planning phase, you need to find out more about the audience you would like to target in your campaign. This would include data from the audience you are already targeting, but should also customize for the specific content types and platforms you will be using as part of the influencer marketing campaign.

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Find & Filter Through Influencers In Your Niche

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After the initial planning phase, the next part should be to find potential influencers and to analyze their content, audience and other information that will help you filter through them and choose the most relevant influencer for your particular campaign.

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6. Search For Influencers In Your Niche

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Before you can contact any influencer or even consider which would work best for your campaign, you first need to find some influencers in your particular niche. While searching for influencers, you should keep the information you compiled during the planning phase in mind. Kiss Metrics recommends utilizing tools such as Bitly, GroupHigh, Topsy and Realtime to find potential influencers. As you discover potential influencers, make a list with their names, contact details, social profiles and links to their blogs.

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7. Analyze the Content of Potential Influencers

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You now have a list of potential influencers in your niche, but you cannot afford to pay every one of them and certainly don’t want to work with hundreds of different influencers for one single campaign. You need to filter through these influencers to find one (or a couple of influencers) that you want to work with. Start by analyzing the content that these potential influencers post on their blog and social profiles. Delete the details of any influencers whose content is low-quality or irrelevant to your business.

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8. Analyze the Audience of Potential Influencers

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Apart from analyzing influencers’ content, you also need to look at their audiences. Take a look at who follows them on their social profiles, who comments on their posts, who shares their blog posts, etc. Do their target audiences have anything in common with the audience you want to target? If not, delete the influencer from your list.

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9. Choose An Influencer With Authority

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You have a list of influencers that would be suitable for your campaign. Now the time has come to choose the most relevant influencer (or influencers). Your list should be much smaller than the original list now, so you can start to contact a few influencers to see if you can negotiate a good deal with any of them.

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Execution

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Finally, you’ve gone through a planning phase and decided on an influencer. Now it’s time to execute your influencer marketing campaign and to track the progress of your campaign to ensure you are not wasting your hard earned money.

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10. Execute Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

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The final step is to complete your influencer marketing campaign. Sendible Insights recommends setting up a publishing schedule, negotiating a good rate and signing a legal contract with the influencer of choice. They also recommend reviewing content thoroughly before approving the content for publishing. Before publishing, you should also implement some tracking mechanism so you can track the progress of your campaign.

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11. Track the Progress of Your Campaign

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While your campaign is being executed, you should be monitoring the results. Track the number of visitors landing on your page or the number of new followers the influencer is sending to you. Also monitor how many of these visitors are being turned into leads or making a purchase on your website, clicking on links, filling out forms, etc. If you find that the campaign boosted your results, then you can use the influencer again in the future. On the other hand, if the results you see while tracking the progress are not impressive, then you should opt for another influencer during your next campaign.

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Conclusion

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Thousands of brands are utilizing influencer marketing as part of their plan to expand their reach and attract more customers. The technique can be used by websites owners, small businesses, and even multi-billion dollar brands. The 11-step system we’ve shared here will help you create a successful Internet marketing campaign and will help you avoid the most common mistakes that brands and companies often make when they utilize such a marketing strategy.

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