So you’ve decided that you want to incorporate influencers into your marketing strategy, and you want to get started. Before you make any decisions, though, you have to ask a few questions first. Below, we give you five questions you should ask yourself that will help define what you need within your influencer strategy:
What are your brand objectives?
What are you looking to achieve with an influencer strategy? There are a variety of objectives that influencers can drive for your brand, such as brand awareness, customer feedback, user-generated content, customer acquisition, and product purchases.
2. Who are your customers?
Do you know who your core personas are for a customer base? Are they Millennials? Parents? Executives? A Millennial parent who’s also an executive? Whatever your customer base is, it’s important to know who they are, what they like, and how they use social media before you choose an influencer strategy. If you’re a CPG brand with a core base of devoted parents who want good products for their family, you might want to choose an army of micro-influencers who can tout genuine love for your brand and give thousands of product reviews and recommendations. If you’re a luxury car company and you want to advertise to wealthy Millennials, you might want to work with a mega-influencer who can add a level of exclusivity to your product.
3. What is your brand’s current social media strategy?
Does your brand have a presence and identity on social media networks? What current outreach or program do you have in place for each network? Influencer marketing is inherently tied to social media, so the more involved your brand is on social, the better. If your brand doesn’t have a strong presence, this will affect what influencer types you choose and how you carry out your strategy. For example, an up-and-coming brand with little to no social media following might choose a mega-influencer who could then direct traffic towards a Facebook page that needs love, or directly to your brand’s website.
4. What is your budget for your influencer strategy?
How much money do you have for your influencer strategy? Unless you have a few million, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to snag a mega-influencer. Macro-influencers are generally more affordable, but can still run you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Micro-influencer platforms are often the least expensive, but you have to take into consideration whether you want to run a one-off campaign or to own your micro-influencers for an always-on strategy. Make sure you have a clear idea of your overall budget and the subsequent portion of that budget that you want to set aside for an influencer strategy, so that you don’t waste any time pursuing an influencer you can’t afford.
5. Where is your current marketing strategy lacking?
Where is your current strategy falling short for your objectives? Take a look at the current tactics you’re implementing within every part of your strategy, and take note of the areas in which your tactics are achieving their objectives, and more importantly, the areas in which they aren’t. Where in the decision journey are you losing your customers? Do you need to improve your pre-evaluation tactics, such as brand awareness, or do you need to optimize for final conversion on objectives? By seeing where the holes in your current strategy are, you will be able to ensure that your influencer strategy is providing added benefit to your brand.