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What Is a Social Media Influencer Strategy?

Influencer Marketing
What Is a Social Media Influencer Strategy?

Influencer marketing is no longer an emerging trend, but rather a sound strategy that plays a huge role in many teams’ marketing toolkit. 

There won’t be a shortage of influencers to work with any time soon. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub’s State of Influencer Marketing 2022 Benchmark Report, over 50 million people around the world now consider themselves to be influencers or content creators. 

While some argue that influencer marketing is best utilized in specific industries, with the right research, planning, and strategic tactics, it can work for just about any brand. Read on to learn how to establish a social media influencer marketing strategy and make it work for you.

What Is Social Media Influencer Marketing?

Social influencer marketing involves companies partnering with social media influencers to promote their brand on popular social media platforms. Since social media platforms have billions of active users worldwide, this is a great way to reach consumers in any industry. 

Social media influencer marketing is often more effective than other forms of social media marketing, due to the personal feel of branded promotions when they come from an influencer compared to the company itself. Research has found that 61% of consumers find influencer ads to be trustworthy compared to only 38% of consumers who trust content from the brand itself. 

How Does Social Media Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing is a tool that brands can use to promote their products through content creator endorsements on social media. 

By partnering with someone who feels more like a person than a brand, you can establish more trust with your audience. You can also grow your brand’s reach, awareness, and sales. 

Ready to grow with influencer marketing? Let’s go through the steps to create an influencer marketing strategy template for your next campaign.

Determine your goals and target audience.

The first step in creating a social media influencer marketing strategy is to decide who you’re trying to influence. You’ll need to understand how your brand is currently perceived and have a goal in place for why working with an influencer makes sense. 

With budget in mind, you should also consider which of the four types of influencers you will work with: nanoinfluencers, microinfluencers, macroinfluencers, or celebrities. Nanoinfluencers, with the lowest following and reach, will be the cheapest to work with, and celebrities will obviously be the most expensive but have the largest reach. 

Create a plan. 

Depending on how many influencers you’re wanting to work with, which type, and for how long, you’ll then need to establish a plan for how to use them. Set up a campaign timeline, influencer management strategy, and budget. 

You should also come up with an agreement template that includes information about the campaign, the number of posts expected, your brand guidelines for posting standards, and any other information an influencer would need to start creating. 

Compile a list of potential influencers. 

You can find influencers in a myriad of ways. Conducting simple keyword research on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok is an effective way to see the biggest influencers in the game that are affiliated with your designated niche. You can also look into people in the network of this original list of influencers to make an even longer list.

Another way to find influencers is through marketing technology (martech) platforms dedicated to influencer research. Most of these platforms will include important influencer statistics such as following and engagement stats.

Finally, you’ll want to do some vetting to see if the influencers you’re interested in are the right choice for your brand. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • Does this influencer effectively engage the audience group that we are targeting?
  • Are their quantitative aspects acceptable (e.g., following, reach, percentage of fake followers)?
  • Are their qualitative aspects a fit for us (e.g., what is their content like, are their values like ours, how relevant are they to our target audience)?

Conduct influencer outreach. 

When you know who you want to work with, it’s time to reach out. Start your communication with your new potential partner by joining them on their preferred platform – in other words, interact with their content. 

A direct message (or email if you can find it) is a great way to make first contact. Be sure to take a targeted, personal approach with each message, to show that you’re serious about creating a partnership. Many influencers know to avoid generic, mass-send messages.

Once you’ve come to a deal with an influencer, send over your agreement and get it in writing. 

Work with your influencer(s) to develop effective content.

Influencer partnerships are just that – partnerships. Continuous check-ins, monitoring, and follow-up is important to these relationships. 

Each content creator is different and will have their own process for crafting social media content. While you shouldn’t over-manage influencers, you can work with them on the front-end to be sure that they understand the agreement, the values and tone of your brand, etc. 

Track, refine, and repeat.

Before you begin your campaign, set out some dates where you’ll measure its progress. You can also ask in your initial agreement that the influencer provide detailed reports on their posts by a certain date.

Influencer marketing campaigns can be assessed by a few KPIs (key performance indicators), including the following:

  • Engagement, likes, and following. These are popular social media marketing metrics that you’ll want to monitor on your brand’s end and your influencer’s. Note them before you begin the campaign, as well as during and after to compare. 
  • Purchases through affiliate links. If your goal is to generate more sales, links like these are effective and easy to track. 
  • Uses of branded hashtag. It’s very common for brands, especially when working with multiple influencers at once, to create a branded hashtag to track the whole campaign.

With these metrics, you can effectively monitor your campaign’s progress and compare the data with previous campaigns. Use this information to learn from the campaign’s execution and make the next one even better.

How Do Social Media Influencers Work with Brands?

Brands and influencers collaborating involves planning and creating content to help the company achieve the goals of its marketing campaign. When influencers post content, they will usually be given a link or discount code that their audience can follow to purchase products, visit the company website, sign up for a subscription, or follow other calls to action from the marketing campaign. 

Influencers have acquired their social media following for a reason, and they know how to speak effectively to consumers on social media. Influencers can often provide a different perspective and insights that a brand’s marketing team might not have thought about. This makes them a valuable resource for brands to partner with for their marketing campaigns. 

How Lionize Helps Brands Work With Influencers

Influencers are here to stay, but the social media marketing landscape is constantly changing. 

Stay ahead of the curve with Lionize. Our artificial intelligence software helps you streamline the entire process of working with influencers. It finds influencers in your niche, helps you contact them, and helps you track stats as you progress with campaigns. Book a Discovery Call with us today to learn more about how Lionize can help your company succeed at influencer marketing.