So you’re a marketer thinking about creating your first influencer campaign. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Influencer campaigns continue to rise in popularity every year, as the age of ad blockers and skepticism marches on.

According to Marketing Land, as of 2019, “US ad-blocking usage is 40 percent on laptops [and] 22 percent on mobile devices.” The main reason for this, according to this recent survey, is that individuals did not want to be bombarded with irrelevant or annoying ads. So, how does a marketer handle this kind of information? By creating an influencer campaign and reaping the benefits of a more genuine marketing approach.

To do this, you must first know when and how an influencer campaign is ideal, as well as how to start and run one successfully. With this information, you will see results and avoid the skepticism and criticism that tacky marketing tactics cause.

When and How an Influencer Campaign Is Ideal

Influencer campaigns are built upon the belief that average brand marketing is not getting the desired results. This is the when an influencer campaign is most needed and most often found.

Whether you hope to use this as a solution for declining web traffic, or as a means to increase your online engagement and sales, an influencer campaign is often used as a means to kickstart a business goal.

It’s easy to see how an influencer campaign is ideal - In a world where people trust other consumers over companies, having a brand ambassador is a perfect way to gain trust and popularity with your demographic.

According to Influencers VS Advocates, “92% of consumers rely on referrals from people they know above all else.” Furthermore, 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts.

Influencer campaigns are successful because they provide this review in a seemingly genuine manner, by a trusted individual, and help brands to grow. Now, the only question that remains is “How do I run a successful influencer campaign without any previous experience doing so?” Fortunately, this is far less difficult than it may seem and is completely outlined below.

How to Successfully Start and Run an Influencer Campaign

Successfully running your first influencer campaign is not easy, but is definitely worth it. However, with these tips, it can soon be just as easy as it is useful.

Start by Outlining Your Goals

The first step to a successful influencer campaign is to outline your goals. When it comes to the inbound marketing format, the main goals are to attract, engage, and delight your viewers to continuously expand your reach and your potential sales.

This means you are hoping for people to find you, not the other way around. Since influencer campaigns work well with this idea, having these goals is a great way to begin an influencer campaign on the right foot. Next, you must find influencers that can help you attract and engage your audience to get them on your site and into your sales funnel faster.

Find Genuine and Personable Influencers

Once your goals have been outlined, you must find influencers that are willing to work with you, have a strong following, are not controversial, and fit within your industry and demographic viewership.

This is the most difficult part of the influencer campaign process, and is sure to come with a bit of trial and error. The best way to find influencers in your industry, or that cater to your demographic, is to analyze your current clients and what influencers they currently follow.

For example, if a frequent follower of your outdoor gear brand also follows multiple Instagram daredevils and adventure junkies, it may be best to look into these individuals and see if their content and personalities coincide with your brand and its overall intentions.

Once you have a list of potential influencers, come up with a message to send them about the offer and develop an agreement with them that is sure to help your brand grow. Then, all that’s left is to create content that appropriately fits this campaign.

Create Demographic-Centric and Engaging Content

Although you don’t want to try and read an influencer a script, you can absolutely give them information about your brand and encourage them to promote certain products or elements of your company in their content. This can be as simple as showing a product they actually use during their everyday life in a photo or short video, or as complex as them actually meeting with you and showing off your product in full detail for a vlog.

Either way, the goal is to create shareable content, similar to the content already present on your site and social media accounts, which resonates with your audience. You may also want to look into branded hashtags, as they may be a viable content addition for your influencer to utilize.

Track the Success of Your Campaign

With the campaign elements in place, the final step is to track your progress and tailor your future campaign around it. For example, going back to the outdoor gear analogy, if you see that your influencer’s audience loves your self-branded water bottles, but aren’t interested in your more expensive rock climbing gear, you should focus attention on the water bottles in the future and market your rock climbing gear in a different campaign.

To do this properly, you will want to ensure you are collecting the right website data and using it to create a basic outline of your campaign success each month to determine where to improve and what is currently working.

Influencer campaigns may be the future of marketing entirely, and should be taken seriously by marketers, companies, consumers, and influencers alike. With this information, you can make sense of this modern approach to marketing and create a highly successful influencer campaign.

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Written by Lynne Kingsley

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