Creating a Results-Driven Influencer Marketing Strategy

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Creating a Results-Driven Influencer Marketing Strategy

What do you mean by Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing refers to a type of social media marketing that is based on brand/influencer partnerships and also involves endorsements. They are basically subject experts who have a dedicated social media follower that turns to them for more information and advice on those topics. 

How did Influencer Marketing come about?

Influencer marketing came into existence 15 years ago. Pay Per Post was the first marketplace that paid bloggers for their branded content. Its launch was highly anticipated. Blogs were viewed mainly as online diaries; hence, many experts were skeptical about whether adding advertisements or sponsorships to such content would actually feel authentic.

How did Influencer Marketing come about?

Influencers who get endorsed are the ones with a large, highly engaged community of social media followers. Developing a digital marketing strategy is becoming more challenging day by day with the increased number of users and boom in the digital space, despite the industry not changing much. The rise of influencers and influencer marketing has had a boost in the past three years. 

Influencers are finding new and innovative ways to engage with their followers. From traditional posts to the ever-popular Instagram Reels to long videos, every creator leaves no stone unturned to cope with the ever-growing market demands.

It has become a full-fledged career and there are many who solely earn their income via paid partnerships and brand sponsorships. With a plethora of platforms to choose from, an influencer needs to choose his platform wisely. 

One must not consider influencer marketing as a fad.  Statistics have proved that 51% of marketers say influencers help obtain more quality customers. The percentage of businesses that have planned to increase their influencer budget within the next year is 71%  About 42% of people have begun to use ad-blocking technology to remove interruptive digital ads from the online experience, making sponsored content and other native ads more effective.  Around 89% of companies believe influencer marketing ROI is comparable to or better than other channels

Why has Influencer Marketing boomed in recent years?

The reason why Influencer marketing has seen such a massive boost in the past few years is because: 

  1. More and more people are becoming influencers.
  2. Growing popularity of influencer marketing agencies.
  3. Wider the market, the wider is content options 
  4. Influencers are creating more raw content like vlogs and podcasts, which tend to connect with the followers.

E-commerce as a sector is expanding. Brands are combining traditional marketing strategies with digital marketing strategies to promote themselves. About 9 out of 10 brands are said to use some form of influencer marketing to boost their sales. It doesn’t matter what industry the brand comes from. One will surely find at least one influencer who fits the brand’s needs.

With ample content opportunities and the availability of a vast amount of technology, influencer marketing allows brands to extend their reach and drive results through curated content that speaks directly to their target audience.

Why do you need a good influencer marketing strategy?

A good influencer marketing strategy leverages creators who create content for digital media platforms to lure audiences into making purchase decisions. 

Some of the benefits brands get from developing a good influencer marketing strategy include:

  • It builds trust and credibility with the followers of the influencer
  • It Boosts the awareness of the brands through shared stories and valuable content
  • It also fills the gaps in content strategy
  • It allows the brand to reach audience members that are already interested in the product or services.

There are 5 key steps to adhere to when it comes to building a solid influencer marketing strategy:

  • You need to grow brand awareness and brand identity
  • You need to increase your brand’s social media following
  • You should earn more shares, comments, and likes on your content
  • Enhancing your marketing funnel by offering a promotion or lead magnet
  • To increase purchases made by consumers
  • To optimize your search engine tactics by increasing backlinks

Choosing the correct strategy for your Influencer Marketing Campaign

One must know how to choose the type of campaign and its key messaging. Having the knowledge of your target audience, and buyer persona can help you determine the types of campaigns you want to run. Accordingly, your influencer campaigns should help in user engagement. For that, your content should be interesting enough to want the Influencer to want to collaborate with you. eg. guest posting, sponsored content, mentions, etc.

The messaging in these campaigns should be conversational, authentic, and aligned with the brand’s voice and values. Depending on the campaign requirement, brands must work with each influencer to develop landing pages, post graphics, etc. using appropriate target keywords and terminology to attract the audience and engage them with the brand.

Brands must use qualified influencers to begin their outreach process.  No matter the industry, one will find influencers and bloggers who have built their credibility and have influenced large followers with their purchasing decisions.  Brands can use influencer marketing tools like Influence or hire an Influencing marketing agency to help them identify potential collaborators. Post which they should start reaching out to potential influencers. 

Influencer marketing strategy

Brands need to manage their influencer campaigns. Depending on their budget, they can either be hands-on or hire agencies to execute the campaigns for them. For this one must develop a smooth onboarding process and provide guidelines to the concerned people to help them understand the brand expectations. Influencers need to be asked how they work alongside brands.  Brands should give their Influencers maximum creative control so that the content comes out seamlessly and authentically.

Brands need to track their results and refine their strategies so that they can evaluate their success. The key performance indicator or the KPI to measure success are: 

  • Brand awareness via website traffic, quality of links, and social or PR mentions
  • Audience building via opt-ins and social followers
  • Increase in engagements via likes, shares, and comments.
  • Increase in sales via overall ROI, leads, and new purchases made.

Through influencer marketing, brands can grow their business. well-developed strategical campaigns give results. It can also help the brands to develop meaningful relationships with their audience on preferred platforms, with their most trusted influencers or personalities.

Brands have to build concrete strategies to capture their audience’s attention, as well as scale for growth in the future as the industry expands and shifts.

The current state of the Influencer Marketing Industry

It is estimated that the value of the Influencer Marketing industry is said to grow at a compound rate of 25% in the coming 3 years. By 2025 it will reach approx. Rs. 2200 crores. This massive growth is attributed to the steep rise in the number of influencers and creators across social media. The increased collaborations between content creators and brands, and the delivery of compelling and relatable story-telling content formats also engage more and more audiences, contributing to the growth. 

The Influencer Marketing Report 2022 provided valuable insights as to how influencer marketing has become an important tool, big brands are leveraging as a part of their digital marketing campaigns. It also mentioned that around 61.2%   of brands who have understood the impact of influencer marketing and are tapping into a new audience market are seeing growth in their sales as they are getting recognized due to product mentions by these influencers.  

As we know Influencer marketing is here to stay. The strategies involving it too will see a hike in the coming years.

  1. Growth in Livestream shopping: E-commerce is said to pick up. Live stream shopping offers its customers unedited views by the influencers whose audience trusts them rather than product videos showcasing the feature.
  2. Continuous rise in video-based content:  With the concept of reels trending, there has been a massive rise in video-based content. These are short, have catchy music, and have quirky concepts that instantly engage the viewer.
  3. Cross-channel campaigns are on the rise: On average, the number of users who engage in social media is 6-7 per platform. Hence on a daily basis users use multiple platforms. Thus, cross-channel campaigns are increasing.
  4. New revenue streams for Influencers: due to the constant demand, influencers are becoming entrepreneurs. Most of these Influencers have fully shifted their profession and are investing their time in creating content for their audience, thus generating a steady income source. 
Influencer Marketing Trends To Watch In 2023

Rise in influencer-generated content

One of the most important reasons for the rise in influencers is that they have an entertaining and unique way of creating and presenting content. Thus, more and more brands are collaborating with them to get interesting visuals for their social media channels. The pioneering companies have already hired in-house creators to create content for their digital channels. 

Focus on data and measuring ROI

While choosing influencers, brands must make sure that Influencer’s audience matches their target group. This is one of the reasons why influencer marketing platforms are becoming more popular each year. These platforms provide real-time audience demographics directly from the social media platform, helping the brands to understand the reach.

As the digital space expands, one has got to see the rise in Influencer Marketing. This has now emerged as an expanding industry. Thus, new laws, rules, and regulations are getting passed to ensure that brands and influencers do not incur any losses due to fraudulence by the party involved. 

Brands co-creating products with influencers

Many brands have signed up influencers as their face due to their ever-growing popularity online. This has led to many brands co-creating products along with them for better reach and sales. E.g: Shreya Jain and M.A.C collaboration, Aashna Shroff and Lakme.

Focusing on building influencer relationships

Brands are collaborating with Influencers on a regular basis, not just for festivals and other important seasons. The growth in influencer marketing has led to more brands competing for high-quality influencers, who can help boost their regular sales as well.  

Development in Influencer Marketing technology:

Brands that want to build a strong influencer relationship with their consumers run long-term influencer collaborations. This can’t go on for long without proper influencer management software. Hence, there is something called CRMs. Influencer management tools allow brands to manage all their (potential) influencers, negotiations, collaborations, chats, and content in one place. It not only helps brands and agencies save time and be organized but also helps them build stronger relationships by remembering all the details about influencers.

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