The power of social media influencers continues to grow…
But despite its potential ROI and rising interest, 67.6% of marketers still find it hard to discover relevant influencers for their brands.
So what gives? How can you tap into the undeniable power of social media influencers to generate a return for your business?
You see, influencer marketing is a maturing space. When this trend started to take shape things were relatively simple. Find someone with a big social following, send them some free products, and watch the sales roll in.
But as with any digital marketing technique, things adapt and change at a rapid pace. Something that works today may not work tomorrow, so you need to be flexible.
As we peer over the ledge into 2019, influencer marketing is more popular than ever, and continues to trend upwards. This means that more brands are doing it, and the market is slowly but surely getting diluted.
Results from influencer marketing will become harder and harder to attain. Especially, if you fallback on an old school “hit and hope” approach.
The only way to stay ahead of the curve with influencer marketing is to leverage data and technology to make informed choices. By running a keen eye over every influencer campaign you embark on and analyze the metrics; pre, during, and post-campaign.
Today I’d like to share a process for running influencer campaigns using a tool called Lefty. Lefty is an influencer marketing platform, that big brands such as Sephora, Louis Vuitton, and Guerlain have been using to get significant exposure and results. It is bleeding edge technology that helps you make decisions backed by data. That makes it your competitive advantage.
With Lefty you can:
- Identify the most relevant influencers by filtering through over 2.5 million profiles.
- Create lists of influencers, reach out to them and pay them directly from the platform.
- Make data-driven decisions by analyzing insights on your influencers’ audience.
- Track and measure your campaign results with analytics reporting.
It’s by far the most robust platform I have seen on the market and well worth a look.
Sound interesting? Let’s see how other big brands are making the most of this platform.
How to run an influencer campaign in 5 steps
I had a chat with the team at Lefty and we put together a simple 5-step process you can follow for running an influencer campaign. Here it is.
Step 1. Define a strategy
Too many brands use a “hit and hope” approach to influencer campaigns.
They jump on social media, find someone with a large following, some engagement, and what appears to be an active feed. Then they throw a few thousand dollars at them for a sponsored post.
This approach is destined to fail. You’re essentially swinging for the fences. There are no goals set, no accountability for the influencer, no proof that you are even targeting the right audience… it’s a good way to burn through your influencer budget without much of an ROI.
Instead of diving head first into a haphazard influencer campaign with the first account you see, you need to define a strategy.
- Set clear objectives for your campaign. Do you want impressions, likes, followers, conversions, or sales?
- Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that you can hold your influencer accountable to.
- Determine the concept for the campaign. Is it an event? A flash sale? The distribution of a unique coupon code? Or something else?
- Map out key milestones, deliverables, and accountabilities on a campaign calendar.
Once you have a strategy in place, then you can start to identify the influencers you want to work with.
Step 2. Find influencers
Now you are clear on your strategy for the influencer campaign, it’s time to find some relevant influencers. The Lefty platform has a robust influencer search that enables you to filter through a pool of over 2.5 million influencers by interests, location, language, engagement rate and much more. This makes it super-powerful for accelerating this part of the process.
Here are some tips for finding influencers that will meet your needs:
- Look for influencers who have previously engaged with your brand, or with brands in the same space.
- Assess each influencers’ engagement rate. For example, the average on Instagram is 1%, so ideally they would have engagement higher than that.
- Check the audience demographics of their followers to make sure it aligns with your ideal customer.
- Ask the influencer for data and results from their previous collaborations to see if it meets your desired outcomes.
The search engine on Lefty makes it much easier to filter through this information because you can narrow down your search by selecting from their pre-set filter options.
Below is an example of a search looking for Yoga influencers in the United States with an engagement rate of over 1%, a minimum of 10,000 followers, and a relationship to certain hashtags:
Once you hit “Search” Lefty finds 176 influencers who match these exact criteria:
Isn’t that a little easier than aimlessly scrolling through a search feed looking for influencers?!?
From the search area, you can easily add any influencer that stands out to a campaign by clicking through to their profile:
On their profile screen you can also more closely analyze each influencer’s engagement and audience to ensure they are a good fit:
Step 3. Directly manage the influencer relationships
After shortlisting influencers for your campaign, it’s time to connect with them and begin the negotiating process. Each influencer will have their own approach to pricing and running sponsored campaigns, so you need to communicate with them to figure that out.
You can reach out to these influencers directly on their chosen social networks, or you can manage all of your messages from within the Lefty platform:
When you reach out to your chosen influencers, keep these things in mind:
- Personalize your message for each influencer and inform them about the campaign you are looking to run.
- Be aware of the average price for influencer campaigns on social media. A good estimate is about US$15 per 1,000 followers or US$30 per 1,000 impressions.
- Always ask for results and impressions from previous sponsored campaigns the influencer has run.
Step 4: Collect all posts and stories
When you are running an influencer campaign it can become overwhelming finding all of the relevant sponsored content being shared to track and leverage it the best you can. Most marketers jump on social media and take screenshots of the influencer content they find and repurpose that content in a common feed! Old school.
Thankfully, Lefty allows you to quickly search for sponsored content on their platform and filter by stories, date, author, and hashtags. This is extremely useful for collating all of the content published by your influencers and making the most of it during your campaign.
Step 5. Measure and optimize your campaign
Even after you have found your influencers, your work is only just starting. Now you need to ensure you get every last drop of value from your influencer campaign.
To do so, manage the progress of your campaign, track key metrics and results, and optimize your approach where possible.
If you don’t have a way of monitoring the metrics of the influencer campaigns you are forced to make decisions based on assumptions, or a gut feeling. Inevitably, this will result in wasted money, time, and other resources. By measuring your results you can determine what works, what doesn’t work and apply these learnings to future campaigns.
The cool thing is you can do all of this from the Lefty platform, as well as identifying your best performing influencers so you can build long-term relationships with them!
The power of influencer marketing is undeniable. But as more and more brands jump on the bandwagon it becomes harder to cut through the noise.
Unfortunately, there is also an unlimited supply of less-than-helpful information available online that may lead you down the wrong path.
The best way to achieve results from any form of marketing is to dive deep into the data, track relevant metrics, test approaches, and optimize your performance over time. Influencer marketing is no different. All marketing decisions you make should be backed by data and information.
However, when it comes to influencer marketing metrics it’s easy to get lost in spreadsheets and end up with information overload. But thankfully technology platforms like Lefty can help you find relevant influencers, easily communicate with them, hold them accountable to agreed outcomes, and track and improve your results.
It’s the smart choice for staying ahead of the influencer curve.