Creating a successful influencer marketing campaign requires a strategy. It might sound a bit boring but knowing what you're doing and moreover why, is as important as breathing when it comes to marketing and especially when it comes to influencer marketing. At least if you don't want to miss out on the potential of a successful influencer marketing campaign also known as the best way to reach those Gen Z-ers. So how do you create a successful influencer marketing campaign? It’s a question that has even the sharpest marketing minds scratching their heads at least if you’re not part of the influencer generation like for example Gen Z. But let's start from the beginning and we mean the real beginning. To know your history is to know your influencer as my mum always used to say... no she didn't but she could have, had she been a Gen Z-er.
For even in the beginning there were role models, those we now call influencers. In the old times they were kings and queens, from the iconic Cleopatra setting the latest makeup trends, the queen of gluttony Marie-Antoniette being admired for her latest wig to King Henry with his fanciful and elaborate costumes. It’s a setup that many of us recognize. As today these long ago influencers were defined by the impact they had on other people’s lives, from chopping their heads off to making them spend money on tulip onions and corsets. Things we don’t necessarily need but that we sure do want, all because of the right person wearing it. A want-feeling we all recognize, let’s be honest. At least it’s obvious when I look at those pink gloves I bought after seeing this amazing video of… I’m getting side tracked.
So, what is an influencer nowadays? Well, they might not have the power to chop someone's head off anymore but influencers of today do know how to expose, drag and cancel someone. Just ask Jeffree Star. In other words, they have an impressive ability to influence their surroundings. And what’s even better is the fact that you don't need a crown, a million dollars or even a pretty face to be or get an audience with these influencers. Nowadays we have social media, a possibility for anyone to reach millions of followers all over the world. The possibility to become an influencer be it via Instagram, Youtube or TikTok. Take a look at some of the breakout stars that began with a passion and a camera. And with that we had influencer marketing and where there is influence there is people willing to pay for it.
No, I’m not talking about an X-men although the impact that an influencer has sometimes seems supernatural. Influencer marketing is the art of identifying the right people, the ones with a strong influence on a brand’s industry or target audience, to reach other “right people”. Two peas in a pod and all that just that this pod happens to be enormous. In an influencer marketing strategy, a brand partners with an influencer who agrees to expose their audience to the brand’s messaging or content.
Influencers do not only have large audiences, nowadays they have more engaged audiences than ever. Something that brands benefit from when an influencer shares or mentions their content or messaging. Just imagine all those scrolling Tik Tok-loving teens seeing the latest makeup palette by James Charles, seeing them dollar bills yet? This exposure allows the brand to get in front of their target audience in a positive, natural, and meaningful way. A good example of this is Charli D’Amelios cooperation with Dunkin, the donut company, where she had her own beverage.
“Dunkin' started selling "The Charli" -- a cold brew with whole milk and three pumps of caramel swirl -- Sept. 2 and immediately saw a huge boost in sales and interest”, said Drayton Martin, vice president of brand stewardship at Dunkin', to TMZ.
Dunkin' reported a 20% sales boost for all cold brews the day her drink debuted, and a 45% surge the next day. They also set a record for daily users on its app the day "The Charli" launched, thanks to a 57% increase in app downloads, and within 5 days the coffee giant sold hundreds of thousands of Charli's signature drink. That’s a lot of caffeine induced hormones.
So how do we create that magic? That impacting influencer marketing that reaches millions? Well, start by defining your goals. A quite classic and logical approach. What do you want to accomplish with your campaign? Brand awareness? Increased sales? Or maybe Audience Building? The options are many, the choices are yours. Once you’ve outlined your goals your next challenge is to find the right influencers.
Involving an influencer doesn’t have to be a costly affair… for real. Usually you´re more than able to get engagement even from influencers, by inspiring them. Is it a cause they can get behind? A cause that even can benefit their brand? Many influencers are for example active supporters of NGO’s such as Amnesty International or causes such as women’s rights. If you don’t have that kind of social cause to rally people behind, then another option is paying for it. More than often you’ll see a combination between them both.
Get your key stats straight! Knowing your numbers is obviously a crucial part of any influencer marketing campaign, especially when it comes to choosing the platform for your activation. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or maybe LinkedIN? The buffet is served but as we all know everything comes with a price whether we’re talking ads, influencers or campaigns.
So, let’s take Youtube and TikTok as two competing examples. Two giants with a growing audience and the home of some of the world’s biggest influencers like James Charles, Amandla Stenberg and Zendaya to name a few. New idols for a new generation, among others Generation Z. According to Omnicore Agency Youtube is the second most visited website in the world with 37% of all mobile traffic making it the second biggest search engine worldwide. We’d say that that’s pretty impressive and a good start for an influencer marketing campaign.
On the other hand, TikTok is still the up and coming channel launched in September of 2016. It’s considered one if not the most popular platform for influencers with over 800 million users in over 155 countries. Just consider this, 90% of all TikTok users access the app on a daily basis. An enormous amount of traffic. Millions and millions of Gen Z-ers in one and the same place but still over the world.
So with that in mind your most relevant question should be “Who you’re trying to reach?”. Let’s say you’re marketing your brand towards Gen Z. To quote rapper T.I “Where they at doe?!”. According to a survey made by Business Insider the reasonable decision would be Instagram, Youtube or Snapchat being the three most popular channels among Gen Z’s. With that being said 41% of TikTok users are aged between 16 and 24 years. By now, you’re probably getting the jest. Research is everything and will get you to where your audience is… in this case influencers.
So you know the potential reach of a channel. You know the relevant target audience for your message and brand. Quality and quantity combined. So how does this translate into finding the new influencer? This is where we start looking at your own brand. What do you stand for? What’s your goal and how will you reach it? Imagine it like picking the right outfit for the right occasion. You wouldn't wear sweatpants to an elegant cocktail, trust me I’ve had and it wasn’t a success.
You can on the one hand find influencers that share your audience, as in the Gen Z-case mentioned. Who follows these influencers and are they relevant for your brand? Size might matter but we all know that quality determines the outcome in the long run. So, it’s better to reach the right kind of audience instead of a big one.
Another question (yes, we know, so many questions) is finding your influencers by topics. For example, if you’re selling eyeliners you should obviously turn to makeup-gurus such as TikTok-stars Avani Gregg and Victoria Lyn. Would definitely have a more favorable result than if I started painting my eyelids.
An important aspect to finding the right influencer for your influencer marketing campaign is to quality check your preferred digital star. Have they been involved in any scandals? What does their brand represent and what might be the potential risks of allying with a certain influencer? You do not want to get caught up in unnecessary drama when it comes to your brand.
Eager to get started? Don’t worry, we’re almost at the end. So, you’ve finally found that perfect match. That one influencer that will make your brand fly above all others and hopefully make money rain from the sky. A crucial point now is to decide what you want to say, what is your creative narrative? Do you want to organize a competition? Or maybe a long well researched blog post is best? Or why not a fun video?
Besides the channel specific factors, the only limitation is your own imagination. With that being said, creating your own creative narrative or at least guidelines for the influencer to follow, might be a good way to go to ensure quality. On the other hand the one who knows their audience best will probably be the influencer so asking them might be a good option.
Influencer marketing in all honor but what really counts are the results. A shoutout from a big influencer might feel grand but the real success depends on whether you’ve reached your goals or not. This makes it crucial to measure your results. No doubt
Your metrics are decided by the marketing objectives you’ve set for your campaign. If it’s brand awareness you’re after, then social media mentions or traffic to your web site are relevant. On the other hand, if you want sales you should keep an eye on revenue changes or new sales. Make sure to choose metrics that are measurable. For example, link building metrics where you easily can track the number of links as well as their quality.
Many metrics to keep in mind for sure but see this as a pile of building blocks for you to build a successful influencer marketing campaign.