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SMMW Preview: Lessons From The Trenches

What Is Influencer Marketing And How Can It Work For Your Business?

If you haven’t dipped your toes into the influencer marketing world yet but are intrigued, you’ve come to the right place. While influencer marketing is indeed still rising, the nature of these partnerships has evolved over time. We’re here to bring you some lessons from the trenches, so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel as you build your own program.

Securing Resources and Executive Buy-in

As with any sound marketing strategy, you need a plan with clear KPIs, a timeline and measurable data points. When establishing business priorities, objectives and anticipated resources, consider how implementing influencer marketing could be an asset to certain areas of the company’s overarching plan. Develop and present a programatic approach to how you see influencer marketing fitting in to the business’ existing objectives and, ideally, budget. If you’re able to come to your executives with some of these basic questions already solved, obtaining buy-in may be a more fluid process.

Develop and present a programatic approach to how you see influencer marketing fitting in to the business’ existing objectives and, ideally, budget. Click To Tweet

Especially if you’re new to influencer marketing, collaborating with an experienced agency is always a good idea. They will already have have their finger on the pulse of the targeting and onboarding of influencers appropriate for your brand and can help ensure a smoother transition. Humble brag: we can help with that.

Vetting an Influencer Pre-partnership

Influencer marketing is an investment and should be treated as such. Just because an influencer appears to have a large following doesn’t mean that they’re automatically the best fit for your business. While some early programs brought in influencers for one-off style jobs, research has shown that the most effective programs comes from the curation of longer-standing relationships with brands.

When you’re evaluating a potential influencer to work with, consider how their apparent brand values align with yours. Your audience can sniff inauthenticity and won’t respond as well if the partnership isn’t actual a good fit on the basis of core values. Don’t be afraid to get granular and look at how their values fit with the specific opportunity or campaign that you’re targeting.

When you’re evaluating a potential influencer to work with, consider how their apparent brand values align with yours. Your audience can sniff inauthenticity and won’t respond as well if the partnership isn’t actual a good fit on the… Click To Tweet

Then, set up interviews and screen your candidates. Be sure to engage with them one-on-one and ask a plethora of questions, from process to creative sights. However, also be sure to do an online review to make sure you’re on the pulse of their overarching public reputation.

Building a Strong Foundation

One word: communicate. Be sure to lay out all of your expectations clearly on the collaboration. Set deadlines. Establish appropriate communication pathways. Field questions that they may have in getting the relationship underway.

This includes dialing in your compensation piece. Be crystal-clear on payment opportunities, if you’re offering a monetary exchange. Or, if you’re taking a more organic, brand ambassador approach in exchange for product or service, outline the extent of this agreement as well.

How to Measure ROI

When you look to measure and evaluate your influencer marketing program, you’ll want to think back to those handy KPIs that you set early on. How did each influencer impact your real business objectives? Were you able to move the needle on these goals in conjunction with this new partnership? Dig into your specific objectives and look at the metrics that impacted them for an accurate read on ROI.

Make sure that you also have the right tools and technology in place for measuring these programs. There are a lot of great programs that are ready-made for tracking these kind of programs. Our advice? Use them!