Influencer marketing can be overwhelming to navigate but is proving to be incredibly impactful for brands. It adds a human element to otherwise “promotional” content, builds credibility and inspires trust between brands and consumers. Gone are the days of only relying on celebrity endorsements to pitch your products or services. Now, you can reach your target customer with the same person you potentially share a cul-de-sac or apartment complex with.
Not convinced in the power of influencer marketing? According to the 2021 Influencer Marketing Hub State of Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report where they surveyed 5000 agencies and brands, “Influencer marketing is expected to grow to be worth $13.8 billion this year, with 90% of survey respondents believing influencer marketing to be an effective form of marketing”.
Are you sold yet? If so, you’re probably asking yourself where to begin. Here, we’ve outlined everything you need to know to build Scalable Influencer Marketing Strategies for High ROIs in 2022.
Table of Contents
- Building an Influencer Strategy
- Micro-Influencer vs Macro-Influencers
- Influencer Marketing Technology
Building an Influencer Marketing Strategy
define your goal
When it comes to building an influencer marketing strategy, you should start at the same place you would with any other marketing strategy, by answering the following question: What are my goals? Whether you’re seeking overall brand awareness, looking for audience growth on a specific platform, collecting user-generated content to utilize in other marketing materials or aiming for good old fashion conversions, start your influencer marketing strategy by clearly defining your purpose. Setting your KPI’s and having a clear objective for your influencer marketing will help optimize your decisions moving forward.
narrow down target social media channels
After you know what your goals are, decide next on which channels you’ll be focusing on. Did you know there are influencers specifically for each social media channel? From YouTubers to Twitter influencers to Instagram content creators, and more recently, TikTok creators, each channel holds its own roster of potential influencers for you to work with. Many influencers have managed to grow a substantial following on multiple platforms which is great for cross-promotion, others choose to focus on one channel specifically. As a brand, decide which channels most serve your goal and that will help you when you’re ready to start your search.
set a budget
Now, before we move on to how to select the right influencers, it’s important to set a budget for your influencer strategy. Here’s a few quick tips on how to create an appropriate budget for an influencer campaign:
- Decide how many influencers you’d like to work with.
- Review the average “hard cost” per influencer. This is a flat fee you’ll need to be prepared to cover. Some influencers will work for commission, but these days, most will ask for a guaranteed payment as a baseline for their services. Hard costs are usually based on how many followers they have. Here’s some industry averages to help guide you:
- Nano (1,000–10,000 followers): $100 per post
- Micro (10,000–50,000 followers): $100 – $500
- Mild (50,000–500,000 followers): $500 – $5,000
- Macro (500,000–1,000,000 followers): $5,000 – $10,000
- Mega (1,000,000+ followers): $10,000 +
- We recommend having a nice variety in the levels of influencers you work with because sometimes nano and micro influencers can be just as impactful, if not more, then the larger accounts (more on that next).
- Now that you know how many influencers you’d like to include in your campaign and the average costs of each, you can use these numbers to finalize an estimated budget. Here’s an example:
- You have 20 PR boxes you’d like to ship influencers for an “Unboxing Video”
- You’d like to work with 5 nano-influencers, 15 micro-influencers and 5 mild-influencers.
- If you take the middle range of each of their average costs that would be a total of $18,750
develop a creative brief
Now that you have your goal, channels and budget set, the fun part begins: Coming up with your creative concepts! This is when your target channels come into play because your creative strategy for influencers will vary by platform, plus, content that is made with a specific channel in mind is likely to perform well. For example, if you’re running a TikTok influencer campaign for brand awareness, a platform where trending audio specifically performs well, your creative guidelines for influencers might include using a custom branded audio in their videos. If you’re creating a YouTube campaign, perhaps your creative concepts are more focused around incorporating your products into a creators vlog or request an unboxing or tutorial.
Once you finalize the details, we’d recommend putting a creative brief together for your influencers that includes:
- High-level details on the brand and product
- Explanation of the creative concept
- Outline of the deliverables you’re requesting from the influencers
- Any necessary tracking requirements such as a specific URL, promo code, hashtag, etc.
- A mood board for general content aesthetic inspiration and “dos and don’ts” (IE: don’t wear clothing with other brand names, etc.)
Micro-Influencers vs Macro-Influencers
As we mentioned earlier, having a combination of influencers with diverse audience sizes is a great tactic to increase your engagement, boost your exposure to various niches and ultimately, optimize your influencer marketing budget. Your gut thought might be to pour your budget into the influencers with the highest amount of followers…but that isn’t necessarily going to get you the most engagement or the highest ROI.
In fact, in a recent study done by the Digital Marketing Institute, they reported that “71% of marketers plan to increase their budgets in the next 12 months with the majority preferring to work with micro-influencers”. Here’s a few pros of working with nano or micro-influencers to consider.
pro’s of working with micro-influencers
- They often have niche-audiences. Meaning, they specifically focus on one core subject so their audiences are likely to share a similar demographic. Consider a micro-influencer who specifically focuses on Sustainable Fashion. Naturally, her audience consists of people who care about the environment. This allows brands to reach their target demographic better.
- The engagement rate is better. Because nano and micro-influencers have a smaller audience, there is a greater sense of community and their audiences tend to be more engaged (likes/comments/shares/saves) on their posts. Engagement rate is essentially: Total Followers / Total Engagements. On Instagram, the average engagement rate for a nano-influencer is 4% vs 2% for micro-influencers and 1.3% for macro-influencers (Mochee.com).
- In general, they’re more affordable when compared to what the average macro or mega-influencer would charge.
influencer marketing technology
With influencer marketing becoming a pivotal channel for brands, it’s no surprise that influencer marketing technologies are on the rise. You know what they say, “Work Smarter, Not Harder” and here’s a few tools that will help you do just that when it comes to your influencer marketing strategies.
find and validate influencers
Looking for the RIGHT influencers for your target audience is going to be KEY. Doing so manually, however, is time-consuming and does not allow you to manage your communication or confirm the validity of an influencer. IE: Are their followers real people vs bots, what’s their engagement rate, what is their cross-channel social footprint like, etc. There are dozens of tools out there that will allow you to search by specific keywords and demographics data to narrow down a list of influencers you can reach out to. Say you’re running a campaign on athletic wear and you’d like to target men in their 30s based in the United States. Tools like Upfluence and AspireIQ are here to help with databases of millions of influencers for you to filter through. Check out this post for more influencer search and validation tools.
Like any good marketing campaign, it ends with tracking your ROI. This will allow you to know which influencers to work with again, make a case to increase your influencer marketing budget, and more. Tools like Grin will allow you to link your Shopify, create custom affiliate links or promo codes to track conversions and build custom reports. You can also process payments to influencers through here to better stay on top of your influencer relationships.
influencer marketing that engages your audience
We hope you found this article helpful and you’re feeling more confident than ever to start growing your brand through influencer marketing. L7 Advertising would be thrilled to work with you on building and implementing scalable influencer marketing strategies for high ROIs in 2022. Contact us today to get started!