1. Identify your Audience and Influencer: The first and foremost thing is to identify your brand’s target audience. Consider your demographics and niche first.

Delve into questions like who they are, what they care about, where are they most active? You can do audience research using data analytics and audience-research tools to build your audience persona. This will give you a clear picture of your target audience.

With your target group in mind, define an influencer profile that is aligned with demographics you are looking at. You have to keep in mind, the following questions while choosing an influencer:

  • Does your campaign content fit with the influencer ideology?
  • Does this influencer embody and speak to the demographic you are looking at?
  • Will they be able to reach your audience on channels/platforms your audience spends their time on?
  • Do they appear to be authentic?

Nowadays, micro-influencers have a more intimate relationship with their communities as they are more passionate, tightly bound to close-knit communities and are more relatable.

2. Establish Relationships: It is important to understand your influencer(s) first and build a relationship with them. Get to know them online or offline, comment on their content, share their work, add value to it if you can ask them to sample your products, mention them in your posts, provide back-links to their pages, etc.Both their audience, as well as yours will be able to notice your relationship with an influencer, which will lend more credibility and greater authority to your brand.

Authenticity is also crucial if you want your influencer relationships to be respected by fans. To create an effective influencer marketing strategy, brands need to ensure they remain relevant by consistently connecting with customers in a more meaningful and personal way and many businesses are turning to experiential stunts to satisfy this need. Pop up shops, freebie experiences and ‘surprise and delight’ stunts are becoming commonplace. But the stakes are high and brands are aware of their limitations.

Savvy consumers don’t want to be marketed to, they want to make brand connections on their own terms. They’re also becoming increasingly concerned with authenticity. In their 2017 Consumer Content Report, Satkla found an overwhelming 90% of Millennials say that brand authenticity is important – and authenticity cannot be faked.” 

3. Set Specific Goals: For your influencer marketing strategy to work you have to associate clear, measurable goals. Goals could be related to increase brand awareness, customer retention, attracting new targets, etc. Some common metrics include Website views, referral visitors, reach/impressions (branding), likes, comments and shares, sign-ups, downloads, etc.Once you have identified KPI(s), eg. increasing brand awareness through website-views or social mentions, etc., it will be easy for the influencer to curate content accordingly. Also, it would be easier to track how well a particular influencer’s strategy is working.

4. Resonate: According to Think with Google, 70% of teenage YouTube subscribers relate more to YouTube creators as compared to celebrities and 40% of them feel their favorite creators understand them better than their friends.This is an indication that influencers are more relatable to the audience. etc.

Create content that resonates well with your customer and reaches out to influencers who can re-purpose this content to attract your audience. While involving an influencer, ensure your message and influencer’s character and interests are always aligned.

5. Collaborate: Yes, you have to clearly define goals for your influencer campaign, but it is also important to give influencers the creative freedom to be able to do justice to the message they send across. Create skilled content for them and let them present it in their style to their audience. Make them a part of the conversation when you plan the campaign.

As they share a common language with their community and understand their subscribers well, they can inspire their followers to take action.