Influencer marketing seemed like a new kid on the block a year ago, but with every passing day, its relevance is only building. The total size of the influencer market in 2019 is projected at 6.5 billion dollars globally, which would be a sharp hike of almost 2 billion since 2018.
According to Zefmo’s India Influence Report 2019, the popularity of influencer marketing in India has increased in 2019 with 94% marketers finding it effective and 76% of them increasing their budget allocation compared to 62% last year.
Consumers continue to trust word-of-mouth over other forms of marketing. Fellow consumers' choice is an important factor in one's purchase decisions. So, in a time where strong social media presence is valued more than expensive advertising spaces - the scope for Influencer marketing is only set to grow stronger by the day. However, it is crucial for brands to partner with the right kind of influencers, to ensure positive brand recognition and avoid any negative attention.
So how should a brand plan an Influencer outreach campaign?
- Set objectives: Before devising an influencer marketing strategy, you need to determine the outcome you are trying to achieve from the exercise. It can be anything from building brand awareness, getting a few extra visitors to your website, creation of good content right upto collection of leads. Defining the initial objectives play an important role in choosing the right influencer as well. It’s almost impossible to measure the performance of a campaign if the initial objectives aren’t set.
- Influencer Criteria: One of the most common mistakes made while choosing an influencer is looking at his/her reach as an indicator of their popularity or success. While ‘reach’ can add to the success of a campaign, it definitely is not the single most significant factor. Influencers have lot more than just ‘reach’ to offer to a brand – They are great content creators who with their creative streak know how exactly to tell your brand story to reach the right kind of audience. Hence, it is important for you as a brand to include qualitative measurements along with the tradition digital KPIs. Having said that, it’s also important to delve deeper and find out about the influencer’s past collaborations (coz, it's best to avoid collaborating with someone who has already endorsed your competitor!), tone of their writing and how aligned is their content with your brand messaging.
Some of the criteria that should be looked into include –
- Influence in a niche that is relevant to your brand
- Audience demographics
- Engagement rate
- Quality of content
- And lastly, the personality of the influencer himself
- Content Plan: Once you have finalised the influencer/s, the next step in the process would be to decide the topics of interest for content creation. The most crucial part here is to find the right story that best describes your brand. Most brands usually tell the influencers what to say, but sharing your story and giving them the freedom to narrate it in their own way will allow them to express their creativity.
Having a content calendar to plan and co-ordinate with the influencers can be a great deal of help. Always try planning the activities at least a month ahead and give the influencers a good lead time as they can get busy with other promotions.
Ultimately, the success or failure of a campaign goes back to the initial objectives that were set – if you have achieved all of them, plan the next campaign with higher objectives. If you haven’t, re-evaluate the process and re-structure the strategy.
Deepthi is proficient in end to end digital media communication for brands across industries - both B2B and B2C. She has gained experience and expertise in client servicing and internal communications in her years here. Deepthi handles all aspects of digital marketing including blogging, community management, influencer outreach, social media marketing, google ads and more.