Influencer marketing has been a hot topic in 2016. As it becomes harder and harder for brands to cut through the online noise they are turning to top bloggers, YouTubers and social rockstars to carry their brand message to the right audience for them. Google Trends shows us what marketers are searching for, and more than likely where the budgets being shifted to Influencer Marketing are coming from.
The graph above shows search interest in both ‘Influencer marketing’ and ‘Twitter marketing’ over the last year. Influencer Marketing is on the rise, and with it comes the need for marketers to have a toolkit to run end-to-end campaigns.
There are four stages to every influencer marketing campaign. Each stage requires careful consideration and planning, and by using the right online tools you should be able to execute a world class influencer campaign in just a few days. The best part about the list below is that you can get started with all these tools for free.
Step one: Define your strategy
You don’t have to be the world’s top marketer to understand the importance of strategy. Earlier this year I wrote an entire eBook dedicated to helping marketers write their first Influencer Marketing strategy, if you’re new to this i’d suggest you give it a read – it’s free. The next tool you’ll need is a template to create your own strategy, I discovered this free excel template while browsing the Hootsuite blog.
You can download this template here.
Step two: Do your research
Now that you have defined your strategy, it’s time to kick it into gear. You’ll need to do your homework on each influencer you’ve selected to represent your brand, not just from a follower point of view, but also from a tone point of view. It’s essential that you connect with influencers that can reach the right audience with the right message.
You might already be using a social listening tool, if you are that is a good place to start. If you aren’t you could try one of these free basic listening tools.
Step three: Connect and collaborate
Now that you have defined your strategy, researched your influencers and you’re ready to connect you’ll need a tool to manage all your influencer communication, collaboration, payments and content in one place. This is where Webfluential comes in. Collaborate with influencers through a slack style environment, and get quotes in seconds. Webfluential has become the industry standard in terms of rates suggested to influencers, so as a marketer you no longer have to debate whether an influencer is charging too much (or too little).
The platform is free to register and use, you’ll only pay when you book an influencer. Much like the AirBNB model. You can register here and either search for influencers to get started, or invite them.
Step four: Tracking and measurement
It’s essential to track the performance of each influencer, and each campaign down to the tee. As marketers we live in a constant state of improvement – the more we learn the smarter our marketing tactics become. Because our messages are now being carried by influencers and consumers, and not always by us, it’s important to track and measure each piece of content.
There are a few PR tools in the industry that measure ‘value’ of conversation online, I’m not going to mention those as personally I see them as vanity metrics. What you should be tracking is reach, clicks, and conversation – hopefully one day in the future we’ll be able to track more than this, but it’s a start. Both the tools below are free to use.
If you’d like to understand how many clicks your campaign generates, and also what the audience looks like, you can request that each influencer uses a Google shortlink.
The other measurement tool you could use is Hootsuite, if you set up a free account you can track hashtags and keywords across platforms. This should help you get an understanding of conversation volumes.
All the tools mentioned above won’t cost your brand anything to register. What will cost your is brand is sticking to the same old marketing techniques and never trying something new – but you can read more about my theory on that here.