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A series of shapes moving along the ground in what looks to be a race. Behind each shape is a white trail, giving the appearance of movement. This image is being used as the header image for a blog on How to Build a Successful Influencer Strategy because, like a race, many companies are competing with one another for the most likes, traffic, and engagement on social media.

How to Build a Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy

Steph Parker

Jan 23, 2024

In 2024, the influencer marketing industry is estimated to be worth an impressive $22.3B. There’s no doubt about influencer marketing’s role in today’s digital marketing ecosystem. To grab a slice of this market, brands need to think and act strategically. That’s where our free influencer strategy template can come in handy.

Understanding the intricacies of what makes influencer marketing work will become more important as the market grows. To do this, it’s helpful to examine all of the moving parts of influencer marketing and how they connect to each other to form a complete strategy. 

If you’re thinking of getting in on this unique and powerful marketing channel, you’re not alone. But before you can begin you need a strong influencer marketing strategy

While the notoriety of internet personalities is appealing, you can’t simply chase after campaign success by partnering with someone who happens to have a large audience. Understand how to find the right influencers to partner with and stay aligned on your business goals with a comprehensive influencer strategy.

Are you ready for a deep, deep dive into influencer marketing strategy? We recommend making yourself a cup of coffee, because there's a lot to take on-board here:

Table of Contents

Influencer marketing should be an important component of your marketing strategy. It involves partnering with individuals who have a strong following on social media and arranging promotions of your products from their platform. These promotions can come in a wide variety of styles - they may be sponsored posts, paid promotions, or other types of arrangements. Influencers cover a wide range of topics and can be found on a number of social networks, from YouTube to TikTok to Instagram. Successful influencer marketing relies on the influencer’s voice and their relationship with their audience. 

Tip: Don’t make the mistake of thinking an influencer marketing strategy isn’t for you if you’re not in one of the sexier spaces that are rampant on Instagram like fashion and food! Influencers run the gamut from health care to astronomy.

Maintaining their authenticity and trust from followers is going to strengthen how your brand is perceived, so as tempting as it might be, marketers need to resist micro-managing the style and delivery of an influencer's message. You can and should have control over the talking points of course, and make sure a final approval process is in place. 

Answer Big Questions Early in the Process

You can better target your efforts once you answer bigger questions, such as budgets and goals. 

For example, your goals will determine the following:

  • The types of influencers you will work with
  • The type of content they will create
  • How you will track their success
  • Where your brand will be promoted

Budget is also a big part of an influencer strategy. It could be the difference between choosing an influencer with 10K followers (nano-influencer or micro-influencer) or 100K followers (macro-influencer). Or it could mean the difference between working with 10 influencers or just one. 

Deciding on budget early in the process will help to guide these and other key decisions.

Why You Need an Influencer Marketing Strategy

Dart board with several darts, one in the bullseye. An influencer marketing strategy is essential for the success of your influencer program

A well-thought-out influencer strategy will help keep all your internal stakeholders aligned, as well as keep the partnerships running smoothly. The stronger your strategy, the stronger your relationship will be with the influencers and may lead to multiple collaborations.

56% of brands use the same influencers across different campaigns, For more stats, check out our blog on influencer marketing statistics.

Influencers help brands gain exposure to audiences they may not have otherwise. In return, brands pay influencers or compensate them with free products and perks. However, brands have to make sure to find influencers who have the best fit for their campaign or strategy.

But what makes audiences connect with these influencers in the first place?


What really sets social influencers apart from other types of endorsers, like celebrities, is their relatability. Despite their impressive followings, influencers still seem like ordinary people who their followers can easily relate to. 

They post about everyday life, are easy to get a hold of — some reply to every single comment and direct message they receive — and often share the same interests and demographics as their followers.

Credibility and Social Proof

It’s human nature to be swayed by our close friends and family. That's part of why consumers are 92% more likely to trust their peers over traditional advertising when it comes to purchasing decisions. 

Influencers offer a more human kind of recommendation. Their follower count, likes, comments, and shares add social proof to the equation.

If you like working with an influencer and their numbers are strong, it is highly advisable to work with them more than once. This way their followers learn to trust what’s being advertised, so while they may not have converted to a customer the first time, seeing your brand name associated with an influencer several times will keep you top of mind.

Their followers will also be able to acknowledge that you are helping keep the influencers lights on - allowing them to continue creating the content they love. 

How to Create an Influencer Marketing Strategy

We've laid out all the important facets your influencer strategy needs to include to be successful.

TIP: Map out your influencer marketing strategy as far in advance as possible in order to build relationships with potential partners. 

You can get more specific closer to the actual campaign date but have a rough outline based on product releases and marketing initiatives that you have planned for the year.

This gives you time to develop a natural rapport with potential influencers in your space by liking their posts and leaving comments. For example, if you know you’re releasing a new lipstick line in the spring, you can start interacting with fashion and makeup influencers in January.

Then when it’s time for the “ask” they’ll already know who you are, and know that you’ve enjoyed their content. This process also gives you time to keep tabs on their style, flag any inconsistencies, as well as get a sense of how engaged their followers are.

Define Your Goals & KPIs

Typewriter with paper listing Goals. Knowing your goals and KPIs are crucial for an influencer strategy

When crafting your influencer marketing strategy, first and foremost you need to understand what you’re trying to achieve. Many companies use influencers for brand awareness, growing their subscriber base, or if it’s a product-specific campaign, your goals will probably be tied to the number of purchases.

What Will Your Campaign Achieve?

Strategizing and careful planning is one of the most important stages of a campaign. It is when you determine the Why and What of your campaign. Why are you running a campaign, and what do you hope to accomplish? The first step of this is to identify your campaign goal(s). A campaign can have a single goal, or it can have multiple goals. Here are common outcomes brands hope to achieve when running an influencer marketing campaign:

  • Brand Awareness - a campaign with a brand awareness goal is aimed at familiarizing potential customers with your product. It will help you establish your brand as a clear player in your industry, and put you on the radar of an extended network. While there are no clear KPIs for quantifying brand awareness, making your brand synonymous with your industry is a true indicator of brand success.
  • Have you ever heard someone say, “Wow, I could use a Coke?” But, they don’t necessarily mean a Coca Cola, they just want a soda. This is because Coca Cola has such strong brand awareness that for many people it represents all soda.
  • Site Traffic - many influencer campaigns are targeted to bring more website traffic. This is a very realistic goal, as influencer audiences are highly engaged. Generating traffic from this network is relatively easy. But, it is important to determine how traffic will be measured. For example, this would require having a bitly link that all influencers will use, that can be easily tracked.
  • Conversions - if you’re running an eCommerce campaign and you would like to boost sales through your influencers, then your goals should be conversions. Many influencer campaigns are used to generate sales and customers. Similar to a campaign targeting Site Traffic, it is important to have a method for tracking influencer conversions as well as incentivizing sales. One great way to boost sales and track conversions is through Coupon Codes.

Think about how you will measure the success of those goals. You need solid KPIs clearly laid out for both you and the influencer partner so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to how the success of the partnership will be measured. This is important not only for the internal reporting of the brand but will also give you a clear indication of whether or not you should work with the influencer again in the future.

Examples of influencer marketing KPIs:

  • Engagement - a lot of influencer marketing campaign reporting relies on qualitative results. Even though an engagement doesn’t necessarily correlate to a website visit, a new email subscriber, or a purchase, it is an important measure of brand awareness. These KPIs will include things such as post likes, impressions, shares, comments, and brand mentions.
  • Web traffic - if your campaign agreement with the influencer includes link sharing, you’ll definitely want to track traffic to your website through those link(s). Once the campaign goes live and you see a bump in traffic, you could surmise that the influencer helped create the spike, but it’s impossible to know for sure. Some good ways to increase the accuracy for this KPI include asking visitors how they heard about you, but the best way is with a UTM code. This helps you not only see the volume of traffic from the influencer's link but can also show you more information about their user journey.   
  • Purchases - promo codes are a nice perk for buyers headed to your site to make a purchase. But they serve another purpose as well. They make it easy to attribute a purchase to a particular influencer and campaign.

Identify Your Target Audience

As with most marketing campaigns, you’ll need to decide who you’re talking to with your influencer marketing. Influencers tend to have very niche audiences; that’s part of what makes them so effective in marketing. They’re speaking to a large group of people who share a particular interest. The influencer is seen as someone who is credible and authoritative on that topic.

What demographic are you reaching

One of the key benefits of influencer marketing is the ability to target niche audiences. When planning your influencer marketing campaign it is important to understand who you would like to connect with. Here are some questions to ask that can help you determine your audience:

  • Audience Age
  • Audience Gender
  • Audience Language
  • Audience Interests
  • Audience Values

Is your campaign for a specific region

Another critical element of identifying your influencer audience is the location. It is important to understand that the location of an influencer does not necessarily indicate the location of an influencer’s audience. If you’re aiming to target users in a specific region, check an influencer’s demographics to ensure they align with your goals.

Once you have determined the audience you would like to target, these parameters can be used to identify influencers with a matching audience.

Your job is to figure out what type of audience you want to speak to in your campaign. Once you know your audience, you can start searching for influencers whose audience aligns with your needs.

Decide on a Budget

Another big decision, budgeting will help to set the tone for the rest of your influencer marketing campaign. Budget will determine who you partner with, how many influencers you use in a campaign, and how you compensate your influencers (e.g., cash payment, commissions, free product).

Keep in mind that all influencers are different, which means influencer pricing will vary. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to payment. Some are perfectly fine receiving free products and services in exchange for a piece of content. Others work strictly on a cash payment basis. 

You may want to add some flexibility in your budget in case you find an influencer you’d love to work with who won’t accept a trade for services.

Identify the types of influencers most relevant to the campaign

Once you’ve nailed down the campaign parameters like the target audience and messaging, create a map of the influencer landscape most likely to deliver on your KPIs. Frame a big question around the written asset or product like “who influences the target audience of this campaign?” Use these to determine your outreach approach, and if you’re also planning to incorporate inbound marketing as well, this can help direct your landing page copy. 

Part of successful influencer marketing is being able to qualify influencers before working with them. You’ll want to choose partners who align with your brand values and voice. You want your influencers to appear credible so they can help you reach your goals.

Brands should be sure to look at not just numbers when selecting an influencer. There are other factors that also determine the right influencer for your brand.

Why brand values are important

Brand values are the beliefs your company stands for. They could be beliefs that are incorporated into your product. For example, TOMS shoes donate a pair of shoes to a child in need with every purchase. Or, they are social values that are reflective of your community. Customers have become more aware and sensitive to brand ethics, having strong brand values helps drive decision making and compassion from potential customers.

How to identify influencer values

An influencer is also a brand. As such they too have values that identify them amongst their competitors. Influencers are often explicit with their values, so reviewing past content is a great way to get to know them better. Or, perhaps review past collaborations to ensure that an influencer has not collaborated with a brand that contradicts your brand values.

There are also methods to check an influencer’s values using AI. Meltwater Influencer Marketing lets you set safety keywords to ensure your influencer has not used explicit language that would contradict your values.

Identifying influencer values is extremely important. First, it is a testament to the importance of your brand values. And, it avoids any online controversies that can result in a lack of faith from your audience.

Why consumers care about values

We are currently in the age of Conscious consumerism. A conscious consumer is someone whose buying practices and decision making is driven by environmental, economic, and social impact.

Here are some values consumers tend to look for when making a purchase:

  • Fair Trade: Brand that supports a fair-trade cycle over profit
  • Give-Backs: Brands that donate to a charity or a marginalized group with every purchase
  • Inclusivity: Brand that is inclusive and empowering in their advertising
  • Activism: Brands that support important social issues
  • Diversity: Brands that are diverse in marketing and employment

An influencer with a massive following on Facebook may not be the right person if the majority of your audience is on Twitter. Similarly, an influencer who pursues an active lifestyle and is known for his passion for outdoor adventures and tech may not be the right person for promoting a male moisturizing product. Such an influencer may very well use a moisturizer in his daily life, yet his brand (lifestyle) and the content he creates may not be the right fit for your product.

Tip: Take a look at the top Facebook influencers.

So, to continue with our springtime lipstick campaign idea, the example below gives you an idea of what your map could look like. Say your new line is aimed at girls ages 15 - 25 and is sustainable, vegan, and cruelty-free. 

Example of how to map the influencer landscape for a specific campaign

So you might want to try and connect with some well-known environmentalists or animal rights groups on the political spectrum who can inspire young people and encourage purchases with a deeper message. You might also consider trying to tap into the “Mommy Blogger” arena with an emphasis on gift-giving and girl power. 

As you walk through this exercise, you’ll really be able to hone in on and solidify aspects of what you want to achieve through this influencer marketing campaign.

Content promotion overview

During step number 2 of crafting your influencer strategy, your marketing team's brains will likely start buzzing with content ideas. Depending on the breadth of your campaign, structuring this content promotion should be organized with a communication plan so you can keep track of all your owned, earned, shared, and paid marketing efforts in support of the campaign. Influencers fall under the Earned media umbrella and can bleed into Paid and Shared depending on the agreement you have with the influencer partner.

Demonstrate the value to the influencer

Image of a man holding lit up lightbulb.

Most influencers today, whether they be nano, micro, or macro, are a pretty savvy bunch. They’re going to want to know what’s in it for them, and they’ll want to be certain that working with you provides enough value to them and their loyal following. 

Some examples of value could include: 

  • Exposure for their personal brand - this is a strong value, but be very careful how you position it in your initial pitch. Exposure is a bit of a dirty word for influencers nowadays, and it can come off like the brand saying “we’re doing you a favor” insinuating that they’re expected to work for free, or extremely low pay. Even if the type of partnership you’re considering isn’t a direct monetary compensation model, make sure it’s clear you value their time more than “we have a larger audience and will give you a retweet.”
  • Increased legitimacy - the influencer will gain clout as an authority, which in turn can open doors to more brand partnership opportunities. 
  • Grow their following - one of the best things about influencer relationships is the mutual follower growth. The brand gains brand recognition in front of a relevant audience, and the influencer may gain followers as well, through the brand liking and sharing their posts.

Anticipate potential roadblocks

While you can’t predict the future, it’s always a good exercise to brainstorm potential issues or roadblocks that could arise and have a plan in place to respond to them. While we definitely hope you don’t encounter one, make sure you have a crisis communication plan as well.

Have a contract template

Blank paper with pen, paper clips, and calculator. Having a clear contract template is important for an influencer strategy.

Arguably the most important step when executing your influencer strategy is the contract agreement portion. An influencer agreement should be thorough so there are no surprises on either end when it comes to expectations, timelines, deliverables, and KPIs. 

In drafting the agreement template, give yourself enough time for it to be seen by multiple eyes.

Download your free social influencer contract template here.

Your legal team should make sure there’s nothing incriminating in the language, your marketing team needs a detailed section where they can clearly outline messaging, campaign parameters, and understand the promotion channels (is the influencer committing to three Instagram Stories or two? One YouTube video and one sponsored TikTok video? How many links to your site have they promised from a blog post?).

These are just some of the questions you need to ask and have ironed out before you sign on the dotted line.


Meltwater's influencer platform for finding, vetting, and working with influencers.

Now it’s time for the fun part: finding, vetting, and reaching out to your short-list of influencers! There are many fake influencers out there so in this step, while you can start with a quick Google search, it’s more advisable to use a tool such as Meltwater's social influencer tool, Meltwater Influencer Marketing. These sorts of all-in-one software solutions can help you find the right influencers, manage your campaign from start to finish, and make it easy to report on KPIs.

Tip: Learn more about influencer marketing hubs, check out the best social influencer marketing software and take a look at the best influencer management tools and platforms.

Optimize Your Influencer Strategy

With a strategy in place and campaigns running, what’s next? From here, it’s time to start digging into your results and tracking your success. These results will illuminate what is and isn’t working in your current strategy, giving you the opportunity to adjust to produce bigger and better results. 

Accurately Track & Measure 

After your content creators launch their end of the campaign, you’ll want to track your influencer campaign every step of the way. From the approval process to monitoring engagement, you’ll want to be part of the content journey to see the impact on your brand (and your influencer program as a whole).

One way to do this is to use Meltwater Influencer Marketing for measuring campaign success. Influencer Marketing tracks the entire campaign journey to measure the ROI of influencer marketing and aggregates all related content, such as mentions, comments, likes, hashtags, and keywords. You’ll also be able to generate reports on each influencer and each campaign to demonstrate its short-term and long-term value to your organization.

Choosing the right metrics and KPIs is of the utmost importance when defining influencer success. These metrics should tie back to your original objectives. You’ll also need a way to set up attribution so that your influencers will get credit for sending new customers your way.

Tracking results doesn’t have to mean spending hours compiling never-ending screenshots and manually tallying metrics in scattered spreadsheets. Luckily there are end-to-end influencer platforms, like Meltwater Influencer Marketing, that not only help you find and manage your collaborations but also report on them. So, if you haven’t invested in a tool yet, now is the time. Without help, you’ll burn yourself out compiling your results, will be behind on real-time updates, and will miss the opportunity to optimize. With Meltwater Influencer Marketing's measurement module, you can easily report key metrics like reach, engagement rate, clicks, and conversions in real time to understand the true ROI behind your efforts. Without having to manually compile all results, this will leave you with plenty of time and brain power to dedicate to analyzing and focusing on your strategy!  

Meltwater Influencer Marketing measurement dashboard

Uncover What’s Performing The Best 

So now that you are set up to track your results, it’s time to find the insights in your metrics. This will help you figure out what’s working for your brand. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you have to get lost in an abyss of data or go cross-eyed figuring out how to create a pivot table. The answer again lies in your trusted influencer tool. While most end-to-end influencer platforms provide measurement dashboards of varying degrees, Meltwater Influencer Marketing's measurement dashboard pulls out all the stops. With a full tab dedicated to your campaign analytics, you’ll be served up interactive charts and graphs auto-populated with your campaign data. Including:

  • Performance over time
  • Comparisons across social networks and media types
  • Leaderboards for your top influencers, pieces of content, and top products sold 
  • Audience Demographics 

With these charts and visualizations at the ready, you can get right to business. You can investigate things like:

  • Seeing spikes in engagement, or sales to figure out what’s driving the most success
  • Take a closer look at which social channels and types of content resonate best with your audience
  • Figure out if videos or images generate better traction
  • Discover your most engaging posts to drive your creative direction moving forward 
Influencer Marketing metrics dashboard

And if you’re hungry for more data once you get a taste, don’t worry there’s more. You can take it a step further to customize your data and look at things through another lens. We know many campaigns include cross-platform initiatives with different types of influencers. With Meltwater Influencer Marketing analytics, you can customize your dashboard to add filters so you can review results from subsets of influencers, on specific channels, during different timeframes.  

So, dig in and uncover what’s working best for your brand. With this knowledge, you’ll then have the opportunity to adjust your strategy to focus on what will keep your results trending upward.

Refine Your Strategy 

After you understand what’s driving your success (and have the data to back it up!), you are ready to refine your strategy. Now that you have a better grasp of the impact of your influencers, the types of content, and the best social channels, spend time adjusting your approach. This could be small changes or an overhaul of your original approach based on the results you are seeing. 

This could look like:  

  • Shifting your social platform priority to focus on more Instagram or TikTok content
  • Dedicating more budget to video creation rather than static imagery
  • Re-engaging your top performers for longer-term collaborations (more on this later!) 
  • Recruiting more influencers like your top performers 
  • Adjusting your creative brief to generate content aligned with your top engaging posts 
  • Focusing your editorial calendar on key timeframes that drive the most impact for your brand 

These are just a few examples, but the list could go on. There are endless opportunities to use the insights learned and apply them to make your strategy smarter. Keeping your strategy fluid and adjusting to focus on what’s working well, can have a big payoff down the line. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Test

Now, just because you’ve learned what’s working well for your brand doesn’t mean you have to stick to just that forever. Influencer Marketing is an evolving industry with new platforms, creators, and trends on the move daily. So keep an open mind, be innovative, and don’t be afraid to test new things! Your strategy of today could start to get stale next week, so stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the space and be open to adapting. 

If you’ve only tested a few channels and types of content, it might be time to branch out. You won’t truly know what works best until you experiment and see the data for your brand. With the rise of influencers and creators across all channels, there are more close-knit communities to tap into than ever before. So, for example, if you are a travel brand and have only invested in Instagram so far, it could be time to explore reaching new audiences on TikTok or YouTube. You may be surprised to discover the impact your brand can have on other channels you weren’t expecting. And if you do test and see the results aren’t where you want them to be, that’s the beauty of an evolving strategy. You can continue to adjust and iterate as you go! 

Think Long-Term 

Last (but very much not least!) is thinking long-term. We’re talking specifically about long-term relationships and extending the success of your campaigns. We went over how you can uncover your top-performing influencers, so it’s time to focus on building lasting relationships. At Meltwater, we believe in the power of long-term influencer and creator partnerships to propel you forward. While it’s great to activate influencers at scale, don’t get caught up only in the number of influencers you activate. Instead, focus on the impact each influencer is driving. Once you uncover your top influencers, building relationships and activating them again can build continued trust and loyalty from their growing audience. This will end up saving you time and money down the line as you spend less time onboarding and more time generating results!

Tip: Learn how to run an influencer loyalty program

Plus, as your relationships grow stronger with your influencers, they will become another great resource to propel your strategy forward. The closer you get, the more open your influencers will be in providing thoughtful feedback. Sharing what they like/don’t like about the partnership, and first-hand commentary on what they thought resonated best with their audience can provide insights that you simply couldn’t get from data alone. Creating this open dialogue will not only help drive your strategy for long-term success but will also strengthen your relationships. Your creators feel heard, and they will be encouraged to continue sharing invaluable first-hand qualitative information you may not get without a foundation of trust. 

Examples of Successful Influencer Campaigns

Here are some excellent examples of brands working with influencers through 3 of the major influencer marketing channels available to inspire your influencer marketing strategy.

Using YouTube for Show and Tell

Did you know, 6 in 10 YouTube subscribers would follow advice on what to buy from their favorite creator over their favorite TV or movie personality?

YouTube is second only to its parent company, Google as the web’s largest search engine. Billions of hours of video are viewed around the globe every month by audiences looking for content that is entertaining, inspiring, or educational.

Rachel Maksy is a YouTuber with a dedicated following of 905,000+ subscribers who love her focus on costume construction, vintage fashion, and makeup transformations. She is a prime example of how finding niche influencers can create long-standing returning customers

Regularly working with brands like thredUP (an online consignment store), Maksy stays true to her core channel subject matter, communicating to a large audience also interested in thrifting and creating the kinds of looks that she does with her thredUP finds. 

She also finds unique ways to incorporate her brand partnerships into her style, such as this collaboration with GlassesUSA - a prime example of how brands need to let go of the reins and let their products shine through the influencer's lens, not the other way around. 

When sourcing influencers on YouTube, brands need to look beyond subscribers and views, studying sentiment in comments to find YouTube stars whose influence translates to impact. A media intelligence platform can come in handy to research how certain keywords and trends are evolving over the course of a few months. Someone who’s able to generate sustained dialogue (and positive sentiment) is more valuable to a brand than someone who can simply garner views.

Inspiring with Instagram

67% of brands use Instagram for influencer marketing. (Influencer Marketing Hub)

With more than 1 Billion active users as of a recent 2021 report, Instagram remains the most popular platform for social media influencers.

Dave Burt is the founder behind the @london account on Instagram, which provides followers with a daily dose of wanderlust through sights, sounds, and happenings in the city. That’s why Eurostar, the train service that connects London to Paris, chose to work with Burt for branded content. 

The sponsored content shows the ease with which Brits can hop on a train to live out their French getaway fantasies. And Instagrammers are offered an opportunity to plan their own trips in a similar fashion while perusing the @london Instagram feed. The aspirational becomes immediately accessible enough to lead to action.

Keep in mind that the evolution of IG has created many new ways for influencers to reach audiences through Stories, Reels, and video (up to 60 minutes in length!).

Convincing and Educating with Editorial Content

Bloggers desk with computer, coffee mug, notepad, and phone. Working with bloggers is a great way to use your influencer strategy

Blog editorial content, the original influencer marketing, still remains strong today, among all the new-fangled influencer marketing tactics. Kelly Mindell, known as Studio DIY, first built her brand by sharing colorful and fun projects on her blog. While the brand has grown into an empire over the last few years, blog content still sits at the center of her bright universe. Brands like HERSHEY’S tap her to educate readers on the products like Cupcake Kisses, which Mindell baked into an on-trend, sweet Valentine’s treat.

💡While channels like YouTube and Instagram provide quick hits that capture attention, blog editorial content allows in-depth examination of products, services, and experiences.

Usually, the longer someone spends considering, reading, thinking about a piece of (branded) content, the more likely they’ll consider buying a product or trying a service.

A blogger’s content speaks for itself, so when sourcing editorial influencers, make sure you read up and do your homework. An influencer database will come in handy here, since you’ll be able to research the topics they cover, as well as drill down into keyword searches, and get information about their social profiles (and what type of audience engagement they inspire).

Look at Other Social Channels

Channels like Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook play a role in influencer marketing but often function as secondary avenues for distribution. Links to blog posts are shared, tutorials are pinned, and discussions are retweeted. However, creative activations that are linked to specific platform functionality (like a Facebook Live event or well-placed Tweet thread) can go a long way, if your influencer strategy is able to accommodate them.

In fact, “nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer” (Influencer Marketing Hub) so it’s important not to discount these channels.

No matter what channels you decide to source for influencer content, you should browse social media channels the same way your audience will. In this way, you’ll understand where discovery, consideration, and decision all happen for your brand.

Key Takeaways

The best influencer marketing strategies give a clear path to leveraging a creator’s unique point of view, audience, and style to do something a brand can’t do on its own.

Here are a few things to remember:

Look beyond follower count

One of the biggest misnomers about influencer marketing is that the larger the follower count the better the opportunity. In reality, follower count is actually not the most important aspect when vetting influencers and you should take care to look at their follower engagement instead.

Tip: micro-influencers tend to have the most engaged followings.

Collaborate instead of dictate

Influencers are their own creative directors. While it may feel uncomfortable relinquishing complete control over an idea, especially as a brand, it’s important to remember that influencers have worked hard to cultivate their audiences and personal brands.

Tip: kick-off each campaign by asking the influencer to brainstorm and share their own ideas for how to reach their audience with your brand’s goals in mind.

Disclose the relationship

The FTC has updated its guidelines surrounding sponsored content, requiring most influencer promotions to be labeled. Brands that fail to do this risk costly fines and other legal consequences.

Ask for exclusivity

Negotiate contracts so that an influencer can’t work with a competitor right after working with you. Periods of 6 months to a year are the most common.

Track the ROI

You will most likely be relying on an influencer’s owned channels to host content and the resulting engagement. Make sure you have data access or a reporting cadence established so you can attribute every new follower, hashtag click, site visit, or purchase to your influencer marketing campaign.

Now you should be feel ready to set up a winning influencer marketing strategy by identifying the platform where your audience engages, researching the influencers making the most impact, and partnering with influencers that match your campaign goals!

Fill out the form below to get a demo of our social influencer hub.