You want to include influencers into your marketing activities but do not really know where to start and what to do? You are not alone! Influencer marketing will be everywhere this year, but being a relatively new part of marketing, a lot of marketers struggle with how to use it beneficially for their company or brand. Therefore, InfluencerDB teamed up with the experts of Social Match, the leading influencer marketing agency on the German market. In a series of articles, we will cover everything around the topic of influencer marketing strategies: Which steps should you take to guarantee a successful influencer marketing campaign? What do you need to know to execute these steps and how can you actually run a campaign? Who do you need to address and how do you measure the success of your efforts? All these questions will be answered by the articles of this series.
Influencer marketing methods
The graphic below shows different methods of influencer marketing strategies and their outcome.
In general, Social Match divides the methods of influencer marketing strategies according to their time frames into short-term, medium-term and long-term measures.
Short-term measures are influencer marketing campaigns which aim to raise brand awareness, increase sales and partly also to create content. The budget for such campaigns can range from 10K to 1 million, depending on the extent of the campaign. These campaigns are best executed by an agency. If you already have an expert on the topic on your existing team, that is great! But notice that planning and executing a campaign will be time consuming.
Medium-term measures include strategic testimonials that align with the brand’s values, are trustworthy and authentic examples for their target group and convey the brand’s message in a credible manner. These testimonials do not simply promote products or brands in the first place, but are firmly connected to the brand and include the brand’s products into their daily lifestyle. Medium-term measures require only a minor time exposure regarding the influencer elements. Keep in mind, though, that these methods require a holistic campaign strategy to be beneficial.
Long-term measures are permanent marketing strategies as well as influencer relations and ambassador programs. These methods are deployed as always-on measures. A permanent strategy aims at establishing an efficient reach and branding. Above that, the developed content can be used across all social media platforms. For measures like these, you will need a team of influencer marketing experts concerned with only this topic or a lead-agency that works with a monthly budget.
Ambassador-programs, on the other hand, aim at building relations towards niche influencers that establish brands or products in their niche community. These ambassadors are true devotees of a brand and, thus, transmit authenticity and serve as valuable opinion leaders for their audience. Ambassador-programs require only a small budget since this method rather aims at building organic relations towards influencers, for example by inviting them to exclusive events. Measures concerning ambassador-programs and influencer relations can be executed by a member of your existing team responsible for the project.
How Social Match works
All influencer marketing strategies executed by Social Match includes five steps: Onboarding, planning, matching, execution, and evaluation.
The onboarding process serves as an evaluation of the status quo of a company or brand. Social Match establishes the general framework of the brand: Where does the brand stand right now? What does it want do achieve? How does it want to change the way it is perceived by users and potential customers? What measures have to be taken to achieve these goals? What is the target group? The onboarding, thus, aims to take a look at the past and the present and helps to determine which measures are suitable for the particular company or brand at this point.
The planning phase is important for Social Match in order to decide on the kind of strategic measures more precisely. In this step, brand and agency decide which sort of action will be taken: Does the company want to raise its overall brand awareness? Or does the company launch a new product? The direction of the strategy will be decided upon depending on what the company wants to achieve.
During the matching phase, influencers will be identified according to the need of the brand. Social Match uses qualitative as well as quantitative aspects for this: On the one hand, the influencers have to have a good brand fit and have to be able to promote the brand and its products in a credible manner. On the other hand, Social Match uses the InfluencerDB software to determine whether the influencers that meet the mentioned criteria have suitable metrics. These metrics include the Audience Quality Score and the Like Follower Ratio. Furthermore, the influencers need to have an audience that fits the brand and the promoted product in terms of gender, age and location.
After analyzing the company’s status quo and identifying suitable influencers that support the company’s goals, the organizational part starts. The agency contacts influencers and negotiates contracts depending on the campaign’s budget. The influencers and Social Match decide on the number of postings, posting frequency and content with respect to the influencers’ artistic freedom.
When the undertaken measures come to an end, the campaign will be evaluated. Important metrics in this regard are engagement numbers such as likes, comments and follower growth during the course of the campaign. Social Match also looks at the quality of comments to determine whether the majority of the audience has developed a positive or negative attitude towards the brand or product. All these findings will be assembled in a reporting.
If you are excited to learn more about influencer marketing strategies and how to use the 5 steps for your company’s benefit, stay tuned and explore the upcoming articles of this series!
This series was developed in cooperation with Social Match, Germany’s leading influencer marketing agency.