Influencer marketing has become a prime choice for brands that want to increase exposure and get connected with a larger pool of potential customers. In fact, 94% of people who use influencer marketing believe it to be effective.

There’s no question that influencer marketing is a worthwhile pursuit for growing brands. But, what comes into question is the way brands tackle their campaigns. It’s not uncommon for brands to adapt a non-focused, one-size-fits-all strategy to their influencer marketing, but this brings varied, and often less-than-ideal results because there is no focus on KPIs.

You can’t expect to handle your influencer marketing campaigns with a “throw everything against the wall and see what sticks” approach and also expect lasting, repeatable results. You need a clear strategy to get the most out of your campaigns. Furthermore, focus is essential. If you execute a strategy that focuses on too many goals at once, the tactics will under-perform. People do not normally perform two actions per engagement so rarely will they like or comment while also clicking to buy a product.

Each influencer marketing effort will produce different results so you need to formulate clear strategies for each campaign and laser focus them on one objective each. And to create focused strategies, you need to first define your campaign goals since your goals will ultimately define your strategy.

Let’s take a look at some influencer marketing goals and which strategies work best for each.

Goal: Brand Awareness

If you want to generate some buzz and increase brand awareness, avoid focusing strictly on sales (though that may be a welcomed byproduct.) Focus on strategies that will get your brand name mentioned and shared.

This also isn’t the time to force heavy promotions on new influencers as you may be reaching out to them for the first time and they may not be comfortable with this type of aggressive strategy.

If your goal is brand awareness, here are some influencer marketing strategies that will work:

  • Brand mentions – Influencers can introduce your brand casually and not force products
  • Product reviews – Influencers can show images of your products and give their reviews
  • Encourage sharing – Influencers can encourage sharing to their followers and use brand-specific hashtags.
  • Contests – These contests will not be product-focused but more targeted to rewards for sharing. Use brand-specific hashtags here as well.

In an effort to generate brand awareness, Black Box Wines worked with various bloggers to create original experiences with its product. Bloggers created recipes, videos, photos and compelling reviews. In six weeks, the brand received 5,000 clicks (engagements) and 73,000+ views.

Goal: Increase followers/engagement on social media

Influencer marketing

By implementing strategies to increase brand awareness, you will automatically increase followers and engagement and vice-versa. So these two strategies can be used interchangeably.

An influencer’s followers are like gold and the more you can engage them, the more awareness and word-of-mouth recommendations you will generate.

To execute these campaigns successfully, first, focus on the social site you would like to target. Then, find and work with influencers who are a perfect match for your brand and who will result in the highest ROI.

Next, implement specific strategies that will get you to your goal such as:

  • Influencer account takeovers – Let an influencer take over your account for a short period of time
  • Focused shoutouts – Mention your profile on the social site you are targeting
  • Invitations – If you run a location-based establishment, invite local influencers to see your place of business and have them chronicle the day via social media. The Singapore-based restaurant, Zafferano, sought to boost audience engagement by inviting influencers to its restaurant and treating them to a special meal. The campaign resulted in a reach of more than 65,000 and more than 8,500 likes.
  • Work with bloggers to create unique ways to use your products – Mezzetta, a company specializing in sauces and spreads, worked with food bloggers who created unique recipes using its products. The campaign reached more than 13 million people and generated an above-expected rate of engagement.

Goal: Generate Leads/Sales

Simply giving an influencer some product shoutouts will not be enough to increase your sales and drive ROI. Focus on sales-driven strategies if you want to maximize the profitability of your campaigns and generate excitement around your products and offerings.

Here are some influencer marketing strategies for increasing sales:

  • Custom coupon codes – Create exclusive offers for an influencer’s following
  • Product-focused contests – Create exclusive contests for an influencer’s following
  • Special promotions and discounts – Launch seasonal or pre-launch promotions
  • Promotional videos – Lynda.com reached more than 46 million people with its video influencer marketing campaign. The learning center had influencers create unique and funny sponsored videos that showcased Lynda.com’s services and included a call to action to sign up for a free trial at Lynda.com.

Final tip:

When creating your goals and strategies, share them with your influencers. Doing this will not only build trust in your relationship, but it will also allow the influencer to give you unique ideas for your campaigns. The more trust you build with your influencers, the more authentically they will champion your brand and your cause.

If you would like more information on what types of goals and strategies brands are using to expand and increase sales, we can help. Learn the exact strategies we used with a Fortune 500 food brand to help them earn an 11x ROI with their influencer marketing campaign. Download the case study here.