How to Set Up a Basic Influencer Marketing Campaign for Your Small Business

Influencer marketing is all the talk in the marketing industry right now. A lot of brands (both big and small) are jumping on board the influencer train — a recent study found that 59% of marketers plan to increase their budget for influencer marketing over the next year.

So what is all the hype about? Well, the idea behind influencer marketing is you find bloggers, vloggers or some other Internet celebrity who is actively engaged with your customer base. Then you get the influencer to use their platform/social status to spread awareness for your brand. And it totally works.

The fact is, 92% of people trust personal recommendations over those from a brand, and this is true even if they don’t actually know the person. And on top of that, 81% of people say they’re influenced by their friends’ posts on social media.

If you want to cash in on that, it’s time to start crafting your influencer marketing strategy. To help get you started, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to go about planning one of these campaigns.

Step 1: Define your goals

First thing’s first — what do you want to get out of this campaign? Are you introducing a new product and you want to boost sales? Do you have an event coming up that you need to promote? Whatever the goal, identify it at the outset and stick to it. This will help guide you throughout the rest of the campaign planning process.

Step 2: Create buyer personas

For this to work, you need to have a very accurate image of who your ideal customer is. Creating buyer personas is the best way to do that. Some questions you’ll need to ask yourself during this exercise:

  • What demographic attributes apply? (Age? Income? Marital status?)
  • Where are they in their life?
  • What level of education do they have?
  • Are they currently employed and what type of job do they have?
  • What need do they have for your product/service? How does it apply to them?

Step 3: Identify and contact influencers

Once you know what your customers look like, you know what type of influencer to look for. Head online and look for bloggers and individuals with large social media followings who fall into your niche and embody your brand’s values. Make a list of three to five influencers and start contacting them to see if they would be interested in partnering with you.

Just to set realistic expectations, this step will likely take some time and effort. Many of these influencers have spent years building a loyal following, so most are going to be very particular about the type of content they will share and who they align themselves with. Don’t let this discourage you. Instead, focus on producing content that you believe will be HIGHLY valuable to their audience and then consider offering your influencer exclusive rights to share that content (with links back to your website, landing page, or free offer of course!)

Step 4: Craft your message

Your campaign needs to meet your goals and fall in line with your brand’s vision, but it can’t look forced on the influencer’s part. Collaborating with the influencer to create a campaign that feels authentic for them will score you big points. Plus, their followers will be more likely to respond to something that feels natural rather than a blogger just trying to make a quick buck with sponsored posts.

Step 5: Launch the campaign

Now that all the details are sorted out, you’re ready to launch the campaign! Don’t forget to incorporate a branded hashtag into the campaign so you can track its growth and success.

Step 6: Measure and optimize

You’ll want to keep an eye on your campaign as it runs. If you’re not seeing a good return, there might be some tweaks you can make to get things back on track. And of course, once the campaign wraps up, you’ll want to pull all the data to measure your overall success. That way you’ll have benchmarks for future campaigns you run!

Have you run an influencer campaign for your small business? We’d love to hear your thoughts! And remember, if you ever need help with your digital marketing needs, Higgins Marketing Group has you covered when it comes to creating a marketing strategy, web design, PPC, SEO and more.

Until next time!