If companies decide to integrate influencer marketing into the marketing mix, it is initially a sensible decision, because without it, an important part of the marketing strategy is now missing. However, many companies shy away from implementing it. It should be clear that there is a lot to be done in preparation. It is important to be clear in advance about what is to be achieved. Every campaign has to be carefully considered.
Which influencers are right for me?
Before you start choosing the right influencers, you should decide for your brand what you want to achieve. Clear objectives must be defined. Is the brand all about sales or branding? Should it be advertised regionally, nationally or even internationally? What exactly does the target group look like? Influencers can be specifically selected to match these wishes. It is also recommended to plan different influencer campaigns in order to address different target groups. This can be done very granularly, especially if you opt for smaller influencers.
Most important selection criteria
Before starting the search and selection, a company should think about various parameters: How many influencers do I need to achieve my goal? How many followers should you have? What should the followers look like, i.e. which age group, gender and demographics do I want to address? How intensive should the exchange with the community be (this is reflected in the engagement rate)? And most importantly, to find out whether someone is a good fit for the brand: What topics is the person interested in?
Based on this information, a clear profile can be created. Nevertheless, it is advisable to be open to other interesting ambassadors as well. Sometimes someone doesn’t fit exactly into the predefined scheme, but is still the right person. In the end, it’s also about gut feeling, because nobody knows your brand better than you do.
Where to look
When this profile has been created – or ideally several profiles to run different campaigns – the search begins. This can be done directly on social media, via a search platform or via an influencer agency.
If a brand searches on social media itself, it can directly assess who is a good fit for it. Unfortunately, such research is very time-consuming. Marketing or social media managers often get lost in Excel lists and haphazardly waste hours on social networks.
An agency can do this work for you. Unfortunately, the choice is very limited due to the agency’s contacts, and a lot of the original briefing is often lost. As a brand, you don’t want to be presented with the same influencers as your competition. Often you don’t feel well understood and it is difficult to find influencers for niche products or less classic influencer products. There are many agencies for fashion or lifestyle influencers. But when it comes to industries that are less well represented in social media, the choice quickly becomes very small. In addition, the earnings model often makes it impossible for agencies to provide objective advice, as they receive more commission for larger and correspondingly expensive influencers.
Search platforms are a tried and tested interim solution. Here the brand still has the search and selection in its own hands. But it saves a lot of time by being able to search for exact search criteria. So your own gut instinct continues to decide and the choice is huge – after all, there are millions of social media users who could be considered influencers. The search and handling is greatly simplified and you don’t get lost in the confusion of Instagram or other channels. Instead, you can search and select in a targeted manner.
Another difference is that there are search platforms on which influencers register via an opt-in option. This means that you state yourself that you are interested in cooperation and you present yourself as you would like. This is very useful, but it gives a less objective representation. If the influencers don’t register themselves, the search is much more authentic and companies can really search through all public profiles and find the right people.
The selected influencers must then be contacted and the conditions discussed. When the negotiations have been completed and a pool of influencers has been set up, the implementation begins. It is very important to give influencers a free hand; they have to be able to express their creativity. Many companies still make the mistake of already working out the concepts and telling the influencers exactly what to do. What is forgotten is that no one can better assess what appeals to the followers than the influencers themselves. They know their followers and know how to present a product or service. Letting go of complete control over marketing communications can be very difficult. It’s easier
It is very interesting for a brand to see what influencers could really achieve. How many people saw your posts and how much revenue did it generate? This is partly possible in the Insights and with the right tracking. An agency or platform can help here too. The more professional the influencers are, the more standardized these figures are recorded and provided.