Ranieri’s introductory guide to influencer marketing

Guide to influencer marketing

So. Influencer marketing. You might have seen some brands at it recently, from Nike to Apple, and wondered what all the fuss was about.

Well, let’s cut to the chase; influencer marketing, if done right, can be extremely effective. Around 92% of consumers trust an influencer more than a traditional advertisement or celebrity endorsement, so it’s no surprise that there’s a continual rise in brands working with influencers.

Unfortunately, influencer marketing is anything but simple. Finding influencers, measuring their success, deciding what kind of content works best; it isn’t as easy as it sounds.

To help get you started and make the whole process seem just a little bit simpler, we’ve put together an easy guide to influencer marketing, focussing on two key topics, to get you on your way to social success.

 

How to find influencers and measure the ROI of your campaigns

You’ve got the perfect product or service for influencer marketing and you know exactly what you want the campaign to look like. Now you just need to get the influencers on board. Sound easy right?

Well, no. Firstly, how do you find the influencers right for your brand? How do you know they are the right partner to work with? How effective will the collaboration be? For our take on how to find influencers and measure campaigns, read on for a few top tips.

Finding the right fit

The first step to influencer marketing success is fairly simple; immerse yourself in the world of influencers. Spend time following some of them and look at what they talk about, how their followers engage with them, how they work with other brands. It’s also important to talk to influencers and their agents to determine their follower demographic. Just because an influencer is ideal for your brand, it does not mean their followers will be.

Knowing where to begin your search can be tricky and time-consuming. Start by searching relevant hashtags, looking at competitors and who they work with, brands with a similar audience but a different focus sector and talk to influencer talent managers.

Alternatively, there are a whole host of databases that will help you find influencers that fit your brief. We have developed our own database at Ranieri, though to get yourself started, three influencer marketing databases we would recommend checking out are: InfluencerDB, Influential and Klear.

Additionally, you need to be wary of fake accounts. Spotting these isn’t always easy, though by looking at their previous posts for consistency and checking their engagement rates (more on that below) is a good start. If you’re still struggling, then it’s worth getting an agency experience in influencer marketing involved, as fake accounts will only waste your time and money.

Evaluate your influencers

Key to this stage is to also evaluate each influencer and their individual channels, informing your decisions when choosing who to collaborate with. To help ourselves in this respect, we have developed an influencer marketing tool, alongside our database, which measures influencers on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Saving us both time and effort, it’s enabled our influencer marketing team to notably improve the quality of work for clients.

Industry standard engagement rates will help brands decide which influencers have an engaged audience and who to work with. Currently, Instagram is the only channel with the most accepted industry standards. Influencer Marketing Hub is a great influencer marketing tool that provides a breakdown of ideal engagement rates based on follower numbers. For YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, we will have to wait a bit longer for industry standard engagement rates to be revealed.

Influencer marketing hub

Source: Influencer Marketing Hub

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Establish your goals 

Any influencer marketing campaign needs to start with your goals and objectives. What are you trying to achieve here? Do you want to increase sales of a particular product? Is it all about brand awareness? Who are you targeting – are you reaching out to niche consumer groups that may previously have slipped through the cracks? It’s important to nail down at the beginning exactly what you want your campaign to achieve so you can find influencers that match.

Once your goals are established, it’s much easier to find influencers that fit with your brand and then measure the ROI.

But how exactly do you measure a campaign?

There are a number of different metrics to consider. For example, reach and engagement levels. Have the posts been retweeted, shared, liked etc? Message delivery is also key. Did the influencer get across all of your key messages? Have you seen an increase in website traffic or new subscribers, followers, fans to your social networks? With tools such as Google Analytics you can easily analyse any spikes in website traffic or increases in social engagement.

It’s also useful to create a designated landing page on your website for each campaign. By driving followers to one place, you can easily measure results and capture data that can be used for future partnerships.

For a more money-focussed method of influencer marketing measurement, calculating the Cost Per Engagement (CPE) will show you how much each engagement individually cost and will help brands make informed decisions around the future of their campaign.

Ultimately, you want your influencer marketing campaigns to drive plenty of engagement with your target audience. The more followers interacting with the content means more awareness of your brand.

Having that personal relationship and visibility with influencers will help brands measure ROI both during and at the end of the campaign. By asking the influencer to send over statistics such as the number of post views, story views, click throughs and swipe ups, and measuring those results, brands will be able to see the ROI and evaluate how successful the partnership was.

Take that first step

Working with influencers can be a leap for some brands, but with the right research and approach, it can be a truly effective addition to your marketing activities. Whether it be our own consumer technology sphere or otherwise, influencers can demonstrate how your product or service works in creative ways and provide consumers with a fresh, new insight into your brand.

 

Top tips for brands looking to work with influencers

So now you know how to find your influencers and measure your campaigns. Tick. Next step: actually getting stuck in and start working with your chosen influencers.

Again, this isn’t nearly as simple as it sounds, and there are certain tricks to making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. With help from a number of leading influencers and agents from the consumer tech, parenting and fitness fields, we’ve put together a handful of tips so you aren’t going in blind and get the most from your campaigns.

Do your research

Sounds obvious, but taking the time to pick the right influencer is the first step to a successful campaign. As mentioned above, at Ranieri we have our own tools for selection to provide the best engagement and ROI. It’s not just about potential reach; you should also take into account relevancy, activity, quality of content and engagement with other brands and topics. Is this influencer the perfect all-round fit?

‘’Brands need to be very aware of the people they work with and how much influence they have. Does their following fit your target market? Is their following genuine? Is their engagement genuine?’’ says Sinead Crowe, owner of Love Style Mindfulness.

How to be a Dad influencer, Christian Hughes, supports this point: ‘’Brands must understand a particular influencer’s style, and don’t ask them to do something that jars with what their audience would expect – this would be a fail for both parties’’.

Sinead Crowe influencer

Sinead Crowe

Nail the brief  

Coming up with a tight brief is essential. The more thorough you can be at the start, the more you can mitigate any issues and the more successful the campaign.

Think about outlining KPIs, timings, relevant hashtags, do’s and don’ts and direction on tone of voice. Brands looking to work with influencers should provide them with as much information as possible, so they can really get under the skin.

The brief also provides clarity for the influencer, making it much easier for them to ensure they are producing the right content for the brand. No one can hit targets they aren’t aware of.

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Invest in an honest and creative collaboration

Any partnership between an influencer and a brand needs to be exactly that; a partnership. Just as brands are experienced and knowledgeable in their own field, the right influencer will be able to advise and consult on the best creative ideas for their audience.

Charlie Watson, owner of the health and fitness account, The Runner Beans, advises: ‘’Listen to us and work together. It’s best when we come up with ideas together, as the brand knows their product and the influencers know their audience’’. Remember, you are working with a particular influencer for a reason. Treat them as a partner and you will all get more from it.

Understanding that each influencer is unique and able to offer a different voice is what makes them such a useful form of direct marketing. Helen Anderson, a popular fashion and lifestyle influencer, explains: ‘’Brands need to trust that the influencer knows their audience and will know how to approach a campaign or a creative in a way that they will see as genuine and organic. To gain the audience’s trust, it has to seem like a natural fit’’.

‘’There is also value in offering something different, standing out from the crowd, having a distinct and memorable personality,’’ adds Sarah Fallarino, Project Manager at Red Hare. ‘’All of these things contribute to their success and how they perform for a brand’’.

The Runner Beans influencer marketing

The Runner Beans

Be adaptable

Even with every detail covered, there is always the possibility things might not go as planned or new opportunities may arise. Both brands and influencers must be adaptable. This is reliant on all of the points mentioned in this article being secured, though there needs to be a willingness to mix things up if they aren’t working.

Adopting this approach also helps to develop the sense of trust between influencer and brand. At Ranieri, we’ve found that showing a willingness to adapt helps not only to mitigate against issues during the campaign but also gives influencers the confidence to feel they can change things up and make improvements.

Be in it for the long-term

You shouldn’t be looking for a one-night stand here. With a long-term partnership, the audience will become increasingly accustomed to the association while the influencer gains a greater understanding of the brand; a mix that breeds better results.

Back to Charlie Watson at The Runner Beans: “I recommend longer term partnerships rather than just individual campaigns to build trust and authenticity with the influencer’s audience for the best gains all round’’.

When the aim of the game is to win the trust of a specific audience through the use of an influencer, there’s no better way than investing in that collaboration over time and integrating them as an extension of the team. As is the case with any relationship, the more you put in, the more you get out.

 

Final thoughts

The rise of influencer marketing is no fad, and the impact it can have on your business is tangible. You just need to get it right.

That’s where we come in.

Whether you’re looking for a long-term campaign, product reviews, event attendance or more, we’ve got you covered. Our specialist influencer marketing team can advise, help you choose the right influencers for your brand, and report in a manner that works for you. We’ve worked with challenger and hero brands alike, and have the expertise within the agency to really make a difference to your business.

Get in touch here to discuss how we can work together to make your influencer marketing campaigns a success.

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