A survey conducted by Nielsen found that 56 percent of buyers depended on recommendations from friends and family members in buying a particular product, thus proving word-of-mouth marketing as the most effective strategy. It was also found that 26 percent of participants acknowledged sharing information about a new product with friends and families via social media. However, there are still many marketers who don’t know what makes a successful influencer or how to launch their own program.
This is where influencer marketing come in. Being able to effectively work with those who are already loyal customers allows you not only identify what is truly the key selling points of your product but also develop some truly stellar personal relations with those customers as well. These influential leaders will go a long way towards boosting engagement and brand awareness in their own social networks and you will over time be able to see your own audience experience a major boost in size.
Below are some important strategies to keep in mind when launching an influencer program.
#1 Make your goals clear and simple
Never lose sight of your actual goal when creating your influencer program, they should always remain realistic. These goals can include the number of influencers you want to recruit or the number of cities you wish to launch in. Compared with other forms of marketing, it is sometimes difficult to measure the ROI of your influencer program. One way of ensuring the success of it is to keep it simple. A well-executed program is one that knows it’s goals and is able to follow those goals well. If you try to have your influencers do too much then your program will be confusing and no one will know what they are supposed to be doing and you will see a steep decline in your engagement.
#2 Ensure your selection process is well defined
What is your strategy for recruitment? While some marketers prefer to go for “open recruitment,” allowing anyone who applies to be a part of their program, many larger brands prefer to work only with their most loyal customers. The reasons for this vary, but for many, the simple answer is reliability, personal connections, and streamlined metrics. If you are wanting to effectively measure the ROI of specific campaigns it is much easier to do with a small group before ramping up to larger numbers. If you opt for an open route program, you will increase your reach, but reduce the overall control over your influencers’ messaging.
#3 Take swag seriously
One way of ensuring your influencer program succeeds is by rewarding influencers with swag. Swag is one of the most effective ways that you as a brand can not only reward loyalty but also boost brand awareness. These can be an assortment of items including T-shirts, pens, bags, etc. If you are sending out swag to your influencers — encourage them to use brand specific hashtags when they post about your amazing gifts so that you are able to measure how much their network is talking about it. The entire point about swag is to create buzz around your brand so the more that you invest in making it amazing the better results you will see.
#4 An influencer program is not a referral program
Don’t mistake influencers for affiliate or referral programs. Don’t offer incentives to your customers through lead generation, as it will make them lose credibility. It is important to remember that your influencers are an extension of your marketing team — not your sales team. If you pick the right influencers and your product is great, then the rest will take care of itself and your influencer marketing campaigns will be amazing.
#5 Reward your influencers
Your influencers will only promote your brand if they know that you truly care about them. There aren’t that many ways you can show them that you have their interest at heart without spending money. Simple things, such as allowing them to write guest posts, highlighting them on social media, meeting them at events, or just letting them interview your executives, are great ways to give back to your influencers.
It is important to realize that any influencer program will not be an overnight success. As your program grows, you will need other marketing tools like email, social media, ebooks, etc. to help spread the word. Once you get your influencer, you’ll be well on your way to see real results and passionate people helping to promote your product.
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