Today, influencer marketing is the most successful and lucrative of all marketing strategies. Last year, nearly 90% of brands reported that their ROI from influencer marketing beat all other marketing channels, and nearly two-thirds of companies pledge to increase their influencer marketing budgets this year. But despite the uncontested success of influencer marketing, many companies are making simple errors that diminish their effectiveness. “Most brands will approach an influencer with a high following, have them post, and hope they’ll gain sales. But there’s a right and wrong way to do it,” says Brett Knutson, founder of multi-million dollar marketing company Monopolize. As an expert in the field with access to one of the most powerful influencer networks, he offers five simple steps to establish a successful influencer marketing campaign.
Step 1: Ensure the Influencer’s Followers Are Your Targeted Demographic
A mistake that brands often make is choosing influencers who fall into their targeted demographic but failing to examine whether the influencer’s followers also fall into that same demographic. “You might be trying to sell to young women, so you find a female model, but her following is primarily old men. So just be aware of the fact that the person promoting the product and the person seeing the product being promoted can oftentimes be different people,” explains Knutson.
Step 2: Investigate Whether the Influencer’s Engagement Is High and Real
Today, followers don’t matter as much as engagement does. “Go through their comments, make sure that it’s not just the same comments over and over again,” he says. “Look for diversity and consistency in their engagement.”
Step 3: Make Sure Your Legal Agreement Gives You Control and Ownership Over the Content You Create Together
You need to ensure that you own the rights to the content that influencers create for you. “If a manager wants you to sign a deal that says the influencer owns the rights to their likeness, it means you can’t repurpose that content ever again,” says Knutson. “That will ruin the effectiveness of the campaign because less than 10% of any influencer’s audience is going to see that content organically.”
Step 4: Create a Targeted Advertising Campaign
Once you’re able to collect data from who has seen the post organically, you can utilize that to create an advertising campaign that targets the rest of the influencer’s audience who hasn’t seen the content organically.
Step 5: Create a Lookalike Audience and an Evergreen Campaign
Creating a lookalike audience allows you to reach potential new customers because they’re similar to your existing customers. “It’s a great way to find a bunch of new people that you can advertise to, and then you can build an evergreen campaign that way,” he says, referring to search-optimized content that will stay relevant over a long period of time.
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