Over the past few weeks, we have discussed digital marketing strategies, including creating a social media plan and building an effective website home page. In addition to this journey, I wanted to write about influencer marketing.

When working with influencers you want to think about: choosing the right influencer, the execution, and the potential ROI.

Choosing the right influencer: Influencers vs micro-influencers

A high number of followers does not mean that it is the right influencer. As a brand, you want to create partnerships with influencers that your customers like and that align with your brand values. You also want an influencer inside your budget.

There are two types of digital influencers by size. Influencers and micro-influencers. The first is anyone over 100,000 followers, meanwhile the second is between 5,000-10,000 followers up to 100,000.

Which is better for your business? It depends! First, can you afford it? Micro-influencers are more affordable, and deals can be made to give out an exchange. For example, give them a free product for them to review.

For example, Banana Republic used micro-influencers to showcase different outfits.

A micro-influencer of almost 100K followers showcasing a Banana outfit
A micro-influencer of almost 100K followers showcasing a Banana outfit

They also tend to have a higher engagement rate, as their content is truly attacking a niche. If it’s the same target market as your business it’s a good idea to reach a deal.

For larger brands that need to reach larger audiences and have a larger budget, hiring an influencer is the right decision. However, they still need to be careful and research the influencer as he will be always associated with them.  

How to execute an influencer marketing campaign

Once you select the right influencer the next step is to contact him. There are several ways to contact an influencer. Some have a talent agency, you would need to reach out to their agency to secure a deal, others have a private manager, moreover, you can always send them a DM offering a collaboration.

Second, comes the content planning. My recommendation is to give the influencer brand guidelines but let them be creative and faithful to their style. If you are afraid that their style could hurt your brand then you have selected the wrong influencer.

Third, depending on your marketing goals you should strategize the function of your influencer. For example, in my experience, we have used influencer as a customer story, and ask them to share a link to our website that already includes a hero image with them on the landing page.

Other strategies could be branding and awareness content, with a link or mention to your channel; a native advertising piece or product review; additionally you could do a collaboration with a direct call to action to purchase your product.

LeBron James promoting Walmarts.

Calculating the return on your investment

Finally, like any marketing activity, you should evaluate your returns. The ROI is calculated by subtracting your sales in the campaign to the cost and then dividing it by the cost. A positive ROI is good, on the other hand, a negative one means you lost money.

If you are paying the influencer, that will be your cost. On the other hand, if you are giving them samples or a product your cost will be your cost of production.

The income in cases of direct sales by a code or a link can be easily measured. For branding activities, the exact ROI is hard to measure, however, large brands have developed different strategies to measure the impact of branding campaigns.

Final thoughts on influencers

Influencers are a new trend in today’s marketing. Social media has given many of them celebrity status and a strong following. In conclusion, remember to investigate who you are giving your business.

Once you make a public commitment your brand will be feed from the positive but also could suffer from any negative PR the influencer gets.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Next week we will continue to explore different marketing topics to help your business, meanwhile if you have any questions please leave a comment below!

Photo by Rachel Martin on Unsplash