It should hardly come as a surprise that nearly 50% of marketers say that they will be allocating 20% of their marketing budget to influencer content by 2022. In fact, some more prominent brands such as Estée Lauder report spending as much as 75% of their market budget on working with influencers.
Influencer marketing is big business and for good reason. Working with influencers can be a smart and cost-effective way to reach those who matter to your business in a way that resonates with them.
Yet many businesses' influencer marketing strategies are still in their infancy, with influencer activity happening independently from other key strategies used to drive growth.
In this guide, we are going to walk you through how to approach influencer marketing in a way that allows you to integrate it into your social strategy.
What is Influencer Content? Why is it Great?
Influencer content is much like it sounds, content that is created by influencers. However, not all influencers create content. For example, you may have some social accounts that are considered influential, without ever posting original content - such as a meme account.
When you work with those who do make their content, you open up options for further integrating that content throughout your social strategy.
Influencer generated content is so popular for many reasons, such as its ability to look native on various social media platforms and its ability to resonate with your audience in a way that is often difficult for a brand to achieve.
Integrating Influencer Content
We have already mentioned how working with influencers is often seen as separate from other marketing strategies such as social. However, simply paying influencers to post about your product can look a little inauthentic and also lead to you missing out on some of the major benefits of integrating them into larger strategies and campaigns.
Define Your Vision and Goals
Before you start looking for influencers, ask yourself what you are trying to achieve by marketing your business. This could be a whole range of goals from breaking into new markets, to increase sales or establishing yourself as a market leader.
Your marketing goals will often feed directly into your overarching business goals. Similarly, your influencer marketing goals should feed into your overarching marketing goals.
Business Goal: Increase awareness of our products amongst 25 to 35-year-olds
Marketing Goal: To run campaigns that target and appeal to 25 to 35-year-olds
Influencer Marketing Goal: To work with influencers who create content that appeals to 25 to 35-year-olds
Although this is a simplistic example, it shows well how your influencer marketing activity should always be focused on helping your company grow.
Identify your audience
Knowing your audience should be a key part of any marketing strategy. This will often take the form of buyer personas or just a simple list of demographics that help you understand exactly who it is you are trying to target.
Researching some typical customers will also help you identify the best influencers to work with. For example, you may research the type of content that your target audience seems most receptive to or see who they follow on various platforms. The easiest way to do this is to survey some of your current customers.
Find relevant influencers
When you are looking for influencers to integrate into your social strategy - relevancy is everything.
Finding influencers in your niche will rarely be hard work. However, finding those who truly align with your brand and overarching social media strategy can take a much bigger time investment.
Using your goals and having a detailed understanding of your audience will seriously help in your search for influencers who seamlessly fit into your current or planned marketing plans. When reaching out to influencers, you may even share your marketing goals and let them tell you a little bit about exactly how they might help you achieve them.
Create a detailed brief
Walking the fine line between creating a detailed brief that ensures brand compliance and allowing influencers the freedom to create content that resonates with their audience can be difficult.
If you have picked your influencers carefully, there should be little need to control the creative element of the collaboration, as it should match or complement your brand content naturally.
Instead, use your brief to outline the technical requirements of the content, as well as further communicate the goals of the campaign/brand. You should also use the brief to outline any requirements such as tagging your brand in the post.
Engage with influencer content
Once your influencers have created and posted the content - engage with it.
This could include liking, commenting on it and/or sharing it. Doing this shows that you are engaged with the content that surrounds your brand - whether you personally created it or not. It also increases your visibility with the influencer’s followers, boosts your association with the influencer and can help you build a better relationship.
On many social media platforms, engaging with influencer content can also help you increase its reach.
Consider options for integration
Once influencers post their content, many marketers will assume that the collaboration is over, or they will start working on the next brief. However, there can be lots of further opportunities to use that content throughout your social strategy.
Posting influencer content on your own social feeds
Paying to boost influencer content to a wider audience
Using content on other platforms such as your website
When reusing influencer content you must make sure that you have permission to do so. This can usually be written into any contracts you exchange with the influencer and will either highlight that the ownership of the content will pass to the brand after it has been created, or it will outline the given situations that the content may be reused.
Influencer Marketing: A Powerful Addition to Your Social Strategy
Influencer marketing is a powerful addition to any social media strategy. However, it can be easy not to get the most out of the tool. Use the tips we have highlighted in this guide to fully integrate influencer marketing into your social strategy.