You know what, influencers are highly overrated. They are easy to find, easier to convince and easiest way to screw up your social media marketing.
Wait! Let me rephrase:
“Bad influencers are easy to find, easier to convince and the easiest way to screw up your
social media marketing BRAND”
Depending on what you search on Google, you can find plenty of examples of good, bad and ugly Influencer Marketing Campaigns, Literally:
Here are some common brands earning PR for their Good and Bad Influencer Marketing:
Good – Mercedes, Microsoft, Fiji Water
Bad – Volvo, Snickers, Bootea
This is how influencer marketing is. Your choice of influencer will make or break your campaign. Hence, it’s important to choose the right audience. In this blog, we will understand the influencer marketing process from finding the right influencers to reaching out to them and finally measuring their performance. Let’s dive in, our first stop – influencer research.
Step 1: How to Find the Right Influencers?
Influencer hunt is about choosing an influencer who:
- Caters to your target audience
- Is within budget
- Shares your brand’s essence
There are plenty of ways to find influencers but ultimately you will be shortlisting them on the above 3 parameters. Let’s see the sources at your disposal:
1. Influencer marketplace:
Influencer marketplaces are the easiest way to find influencers. They create a database of influencers and all you need to do is input the desired filters i.e. industry, the number of followers, geography and engagement rate. Some popular examples include AspireIQ, Upfluence etc.
Pro – It easy and fast plus, you can communicate with influencers using the same interface. Some platforms even come with bidding and reporting capabilities.
Con – Many capable influencers are missed; the campaign can look inauthentic and few influencers get too may proposals hence, cost of campaign escalates cause of limited negotiation.
2. Scraping and Data Analysis:
This type requires you to get a bit techy. There are tools in the market that help you scrape content from Instagram from different hashtags. Rarcega ( a coder on Github) has created a script to scrape information like user’s content, bio, hashtags etc. and store them in a .csv file. later we can analyze this info to find the right influencers.
We have also done similar research using our own script and the results were fantastic. Below is a screenshot of the kind of data we were able to fetch.
We took an account (Adidas, for this example) and analyzed all its followers (public accounts only). Then we filtered them based on the number of followers, posts, and engagement rate. This gave us a concise list of authentic followers who we can reach out to for our influencer marketing campaign.
Pro – This method gives only authentic brand followers. Since they are already engaged with your brand the work of convincing and negotiations also becomes easy.
Con – Scrapping data requires growth hacking and coding skills as Instagram regularly updates its algorithm.
3. Manual Research:
Manual research involves going through popular hashtags and content to find people who are regularly posting good content. Marketers often make a list of popular hashtags and competitors than manually find accounts.
Pro – Algorithms are not intelligent enough to match the gut sense of experienced marketers. If done properly, this method can help find golden opportunities.
Con – Manual research involves time and money investment. If not done properly, it will lead to sub-par results at a very high cost.
Step 2: Contacting Influencers:
Most of the influencer marketplaces offer a go-to setup to drop a message to an influencer. For instance, AspireIQ offers a relationship management system. From there you can order content and make the payments directly to influencers. Similarly, Upfluence comes with a “Upfluencer Manager” module that manages communication, orders, and payment to influencers. These pre-built setups make it easy to manage communication and campaigns.
2. Direct Messages:
Under direct outreach, brands reach out to influencers using the direct message feature of Instagram or by sending emails using the contact information offered in their Instagram profiles. This method seems more personal and gets the immediate attention of the influencer. You may end up paying more or less than the market rates based on your negotiation skills, brand value, and influencer’s repo.
3. Organic Outreach:
Organic outreach refers to attracting influencers to promote your brand. Companies often use competitions, coupons, and high-quality content to gather organic outreach. The advantages of this strategy are first that the cost is less as you don’t directly pay anyone and second that it brings authentic engagement. The downside is that it is often not scalable and quality influencers don’t engage with such posts.
Step 3: Measuring and Evaluating Campaigns:
1. UTM + Bitly:
The most reliable way to measure the influencer marketing campaign performance is to embed a third party tracker in the URL and then shorten it. This ensures that all your results are verified by a non-bias service. In our example, we use UTM parameters and shorten the URL using Bitly. For using UTMs you need to have Google Analytics properly integrated with your website. In case you use some other analytics tool then you’ll need to embed the tracking system as per your choice of analytics software. For example, Hubspot is UTM compatible but Adobe Marketing Suits we use CID tags and not UTMs.
As much as I would love to cover the details of this approach, going into too many details would lead us to deviate from the topic. You can refer to this guide on how to use UTM trackers.
Many influencer marketplaces come with an analytics tool included. They track clicks, impressions, CTR etc. for each of the influencers and offer a consolidated view of the marketing campaign. If you not good with analyzing and recording data from scratch I would recommend using these. Although, it is recommended to have some third party tracking enabled to cross-verify the metrics showed by marketplace analytics.
If you would like to get a customized influencer report or a full-blown influencer marketing management reach out to us. Happy to help. 🙂