Influencer marketing is one way to bypass the fact that about one-third of us are now blocking online ads. Third-party endorsements by trusted bloggers are more powerful and believable than native ads or content. In fact, about 90 percent of consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are leveraging an influencer marketing element in their strategies. Here are some quick tips for developing an influencer marketing plan.
1. What is your goal?
Do you want to increase awareness of your product or service? Do you wish to drive more engagement on your website or social channels or drive sales? Each of these strategies requires different tactics. Brand awareness is easiest, but all will require that you provide your selected bloggers with a solid creative brief that outlines your desired messaging, target demo, and unique background information on products or company history.
Provide desired outcomes from their efforts, including hotlinks for additional engagements with your website or special landing page. If your goal is to drive sales, arm them with a hotlink to a downloadable or printable coupon or rebate offer. Determine your desired outcome before you begin recruiting your bloggers.
2. Selecting the Right Blogger
There are three levels of bloggers. At the top are celebrity or top-tier bloggers with at least 250,000 followers. These folks can be expensive in commenting on your product in a post. Check out their websites to determine the level of engagement. It may be more worthwhile to bypass these bloggers in favor of those with more engagement and focus on topics important to your goal.
We like the middle influencers without a celebrity status and with 2,500 to a quarter-million followers. They typically are more focused on topics that are relevant to your target audience and have better ROI.
Then, there are the “fan” or “advocate” bloggers who have less than 2,500 followers. These may be swayed to post about your product without payment, but with a coupon to try your product for free.
Connecting with these bloggers is made easier with tools like Tomoson, Circloscope, and BuzzSumo.
When communicating with individual bloggers, do it one at a time and be sure to set your expectations of performance in their post before you pay.
3. Make Your Connections 3-6 Months Out
You can’t expect bloggers to immediately build their posts overnight. Thus, get from them an idea when their post will appear and plan your program three to six months ahead.
4. Build Your Plan to Repurpose Their Content
The best content needs to be repurposed on your own social channels. Thus, be sure to secure relicensing rights to repurpose their content on your channels. You may wish to boost the best blogger posts or even use paid ads to drive more engagement to your social sites. Also, think about using the best posts or endorsements in e-mail marketing.
Leveraging these insights will make your influencer marketing more effective in driving awareness, engagement, or sales. Remember, nearly 70 percent of consumers are willing to learn more about a product or service online, so influencer marketing truly can be an affordable way to meet your marketing plan objectives.
By: Tony Treadway