Here we are. Week two of our educational series around The Definitive Practical Guide to Influencer Relationship Management.
Last week we covered the what and why and this week we’re going to help you get started and lay out your objectives.
We come across lots of brands that want to do influencer marketing, but they have no idea on exactly what they want to get out of it, both long term and short term. Without outlining your objectives, you cannot really progress.
Everyone loves an analogy, don’t they? Let’s imagine that it’s January. December and all of its alcoholic and sugary delights are well behind you, leaving your clothes feeling a little tighter than usual. All you’re seeing on your social media news feeds are friends’ posts documenting them embarking on their health kicks, with their juice cleanses, detox teas and gruesome workouts. You start to question if you should do the same, given the rise in popularity. But, you’re not sure what you want to achieve or how you’re going to get there. You’re not sure if you want to get fitter, train for a marathon, lose weight or gain muscle- let’s face it, that’s a recipe for wasted time and money. Influencer marketing is the same. You can’t just do it because it’s the hot topic right now and expect to see return on your investment. A successful influencer marketing strategy requires some serious thinking, research and strategic planning, so that you can understand exactly what you want to achieve, and exactly how to get there.
Before engaging with influencers there is an essential research stage both externally and internally to gauge the potential outcomes you can achieve and prepare your organization to maximize the opportunity and lay the foundations for success.
” Understanding the landscape goes a long way to mitigating potential wasted energy on influencer marketing. Mindlessly jumping in head first means mistakes are likely to be made before setting down the right path.”
Owain Williams, Influencer Marketing Blogger
It is first imperative to analyse whether influencers are driving behavioural outcomes (such as making a purchase) with your target audience in the areas you would like to increase your influence in. Another integral part of this audit is an internal assessment of your capabilities, to determine whether you can successfully carry out an influencer program. A thorough sequential audit such as the below should answer a series of questions:
” Running a successful influencer marketing campaign for a brand requires serious logistical skills and a fair amount of charm. If you don’t involve whoever ‘owns’ the company social channels – and therefore controls what goes out, and when – in the early planning stages, you’re likely to come unstuck.”
Luke Brynley-Jones, CEO, OST Marketing
Setting your objectives
This next stage is absolutely crucial in shaping your program focus and investment into achieving your desired outcomes. Creating an influencer program without setting targets and adhering to a robust measurement framework risks having siloed campaigns without tracking overall business impact.
Too often marketers engage with influencers without defining what the end goal is. Building relationships is a means to an end and you have to understand what your long term objectives are to ensure your influencer partnerships are delivering value to your business. What we mean by value added to your business, is that influencer marketing should contribute to achieving wider overarching business objectives. This also helps when selling in the concept to senior managers.
With the above said, you cannot outline your influencer marketing objectives, if you’re not clear on what your wider marketing objectives are; are you looking to improve your brand equity or increase your market share? Specific examples of each are:
● Brand Awareness
● Thought Leadership
● Brand Advocacy
● Brand Consideration
● Brand Reputation
● Lead Generation
● Lead Conversion
● Increase Sales
Of course, many of these work together in harmony, and some are by-products of others. However, it does help if you can identify your primary objective so that you can set lay out your key performance indicators (KPIs). Setting out KPIs helps your team members have something tangible to work with and give them a means to measure success.
” Before you embark on the influencer marketing journey, you need to be aware that influencer marketing is not a stand-alone, fixes-everything solution. It should integrate within your existing marketing strategy – and when it does – it has the potential to contribute positively to short-term metrics such as brand awareness as well as long term metrics such as brand advocacy and reputation.”
Philip Brown, Influencer Marketing & Brand Advocacy, Come Round
Influencer Marketing Objectives
We understand that we can shout about KPIs and their importance till the cows come home, but most do not have a clue where to start in setting them when it comes to influencer marketing. We’ve created a framework outlining influencer marketing objectives, and the actions and their KPIs that you can measure against them.
The 6 main areas are:
1) Outbound Engagement
2) Inbound Engagement
3) Event Activation
4) Build Relationships
5) Demonstrate Advocacy
6) Outcome Measurement
Here is an example KPI framework by objective with suggested metrics to take you through the relevant stages of your program.
If you’re interested in learning more about influencer marketing, then we’ve created a step by step guide with best practice and frameworks to help you really nail your influencer marketing strategy.
To download our definitive practical guide to influencer relationship management, click the button below.