Influencers are persons who have the ability to sway the opinions of a target market. They are information brokers who share their knowledge and thoughts in order to aid others in making sound decisions. They are well-known and greatly respected public figures within their local communities and as such, are well able to win the trust of their targeted audiences.
Influencer marketing is hence the use of influencers to reach out to a target market. Unlike most other marketing techniques, it is indirect in the sense that there is no one-on-one interaction between the marketer and the potential customer.
The gist of the discussion that follows is centered on the steps that may be taken to utilize influencers in a marketing campaign.
HOW TO USE INFLUENCERS FOR MARKETING
Step I: Carry out a Marketing Feasibility
Marketing feasibility is simply a way of examining the marketing prospects. It entails ascertaining the profitability of a marketing venture. The main aim of the study is to assess the relevance of the influencer marketing to the organization’s overall goals. It also evaluates the costs involved and the expected returns.
Step II: Determine the Qualifications of your Preferred Influencers
Influencers are of various types, possess varying degrees of work experience, and are suited for various kinds of marketing related tasks. You will, therefore, have to determine the kind of qualifications your preferred influencer ought to possess. This is largely determined by the kind of task you may want them to undertake. The ideal influencer has to:
• Have access to a very large target audience• Be as relevant as possible to the target market• Be very genuine• Be very active on all the social media platforms• Possess the tone and communication style of the marketing campaign
Step III: Recruit the Influencers
Recruit the potential influencers on the basis of the criteria set out above. This could take several forms or approaches such as the use of newspapers, recruitment firms, posters, and the social media. Recommendations, testimonials, and referrals from past employers may also come in handy. Great care has to be taken throughout the recruitment exercise to ensure that only the very skilled and capable ones are recruited to join the team.
Step IV: Create Partnerships and Synergies
After recruiting the influencers, you will have to create partnerships and synergies with them. To do this, you will have to interact with all of them directly. You will also have to organize a bonding session for all of them. They will have to meet somewhere, introduce themselves to one another, and craft a common way forward. It is at this stage that each influencer is furnished with his unique job description, sales targets, and other aspects.
Step V: Institute a Reward Mechanism or Regime
Put in place a mechanism for rewarding each influencer for his labor. Each influencer is generally entitled to a retainer (standard amount of money regardless of any contribution made). A further commission is also awarded depending mainly on the contribution that each influencer makes to the overall organizational marketing campaign.
Step VI: Conduct Monitoring and Evaluation
Once the marketing campaign is up and running, you will need to carry out periodic monitoring and evaluation exercises to assess its success. You will have to ask yourself the following relevant questions:
• “Have I met and/or exceeded my sales goals?”• “Have my sales revenue soared, remained constant, or slumped?”• “Have I generated any significant impression(s) ever since I started the campaign?”• “Do I really need to keep the same number of influencers or should I downsize them?”• “What changes, if any, should I make?”
Influencer marketing is a very rewarding venture in the sense that it aids in the deepening of an organization’s market base inexpensively. Owing to its intricacy, the intervention of a competent marketing company may be necessary to leverage its benefits. All factors considered it is clearly a strategy that just about any serious company has no choice but to contemplate adopting as a standard managerial best practice.