Starting Your Influencer Marketing Plan

Written by: Paige Lachman

Social media has evolved a great deal over the last decade to become a leading marketing channel, with major brands investing millions of dollars into promoting their own posts and content. But in the last few years, we’ve also seen brands invest in other people’s posts and content, as influencer marketing has become an increasingly valuable part of the digital marketing mix. 

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing which involves endorsements, partnerships, and product placements from influencers and organizations who hold a particular social influence. Big brands like McCormick, Microsoft and FabFitFun use this type of digital mix to have a connection with their target audience. In 2020, 63% of marketers will increase their marketing budgeting  going towards influencer marketing allowing budgets and the frequency of campaigns to increase. 

Building Your Influencer Marketing Plan

Here are the steps to create a influencer marketing component for your digital strategy: 

Setting Goals 

Before starting to look for influencers and strategizing, you will need to identify your influencer marketing needs. Do you want to generate brand awareness without  being “salesy,” or increase engagement on Instagram? Once goals are set, share them with your influencer so they understand your expectations.

Platform Choice and Identifying Influencers 

After picking the right influencer for your market, it is time to get strategic and choose the platform that works for your campaign. Be mindful: What might work on Instagram may not work on another platform like TikTok or Twitter. It is important to look at the platforms and the different factors that impact them, such as reach, format, demographics, features and budget. When choosing a platform, 97% of marketers are likely to pick Instagram influencers because it allows influencers to tell their stories easily and visually

To start picking an influencer, it is important to identify the types of influencers that you can partner with. In influencer marketing, the main types of influencers fall into three categories: Micro, Macro and Mega.  

  1. Micro influencers have a smaller platform but a dedicated following for a certain market. Their content is very authentic, which attracts high engagement and gives them credibility posting relatable content.   
  2. Macro influencers have a bigger following base of about 100K-500K and are likely to reach about a million people. Since their audience is so diverse, they are most likely to have a decrease in engagement until followers feel a genuine connection. This group of influencers are most likely to drive sales and bring brand awareness.
  3. Mega influencers have a following base of 500K-5 Million and are most likely to be A-List Celebrities. They have a huge audience which is great for brand awareness because they are able to set trends. 

Aside from these three, there are also Nano influencers. These influencers are followed by everyday people who have a friend-based following and are known for their word-of-mouth for sharing information. Overall, picking the right influencers sets the connection with the audience and will control the conversation. 

Planning the Campaign 

After identifying your influencers and choosing a platform, it’s time to start planning the campaign. There are multiple strategies that can be used, including “social media mentions,” which is when an influencer tags the brand in a story or shares your brand’s content. Alternatively, an influencer takeover allows an influencer to take control of  your social media account for a set amount of time, posting their content directly to your channels and interacting directly with your audience from your brand’s handle.  Another example that is widely used is hosting a contest, in which an influencer shares or runs a giveaway event for their followers. While sales are important, they are not the only indicator of a campaign performing well. One of the most important metrics of influencer marketing is engagement. Specifically, how many comments, likes, clicks, shares and retweets is this content earning?

Examples of Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns

#ChipotleLidFlip

The Chipotle LidFlip Hashtag Challenge which was a partnership between Chipotle Mexican Grill and Youtube personality David Dobrik to celebrate National Burrito Day. The  campaign was executed on the social media platform TikTok, which was inspired by one of their employees who performed a burrito bowl lid-flipping trick. David Dobrik posted the video and challenged his viewers to do the same using the hashtag #ChipotleLidFlip. The campaign lasted 6 days with over 110,000 submissions and 230 million views in a month. 

#HuluSellsOut

The streaming service, Hulu did a campaign called #HuluSellsOut which was to promote Hulu’s live sports offerings using star athletes such as De’Aaron Fox, Josh Okogie, Joel Embiid and Emily Sonnett. The campaign stretched across 19 athletes’s social media platforms focusing on the NBA and the Women’s National Soccer Team using hashtags such as #HuluHasLiveSports and #HuluSellouts. The campaign ended up with 17 million followers and an average engagement rate of 5.71%. The increase of engagement was increased since the average engagement is usually 4.7%. 

Influencer marketing has grown into an integral part of social media becoming meaningful and cost-effective. Marketers are able to deliver effective campaigns by choosing specific influencers that can connect with an audience, choosing a platform that portrays the right message for your campaign and tracking the importance of engagement.

Plan Your Next Influencer Marketing Campaign

Interested in learning more about how to integrate influencer marketing into your strategy? Contact our team to get started!

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