5 Effortless Ways to Create an Influencer Program on Social Media
There's no end if we talk about social media marketing. Platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram make it easier for every marketer to boost online presence and get maximum exposure for their brands.
Here comes the harsh truth: building an engaged, relevant social media audience is never smooth sailing, especially when social media users become pickier about the content they want to consume every day.
Don't fret. The good news is that there's always a way to attract their attention. One of them is using the power of influencers.
This type of marketing has been gaining more attention lately, as more and more users are attached to social media.
In this post, we'll walk you through some of the handy ways to create a winning influencer program on social media platforms.
Influencer Marketing: Why You Should Care?
First of all, before we get into the nitty-gritty, let's talk about what influencer marketing actually is. Just to make sure we're on the same page.
Influencer marketing is a type of product promotion using endorsement and product mentions of users who have a massive social following or considered experts; we call them influencers.
With usually massive followings on social media, influencers can be authoritative sources of information by their followers.
That's why savvy marketers endorse them with their products so they can influence others.
An endorsement from an influencer increases your brand awareness, drives traffic to your site, gets your message across social media platforms, and increases your sales.
It's no wonder that over 50% of social media users prefer getting product information from their favorite influencers rather than the brand itself.
Here are the numbers of satisfied marketers (80%) to convince you that influencer marketing might be a way that you've been looking for to grow your business:
How to Select the Right Influencer For Your Program
Now that you know a bit more about influencer marketing, we’ll walk you through the handy tips to select the right influencer for your program.
As you might’ve noticed, your influencer is the critical element of the program. For your campaign to get the maximum results, it’s incredibly crucial to pick the right influencers.
So, how do you know who to look for?
Here are at least four things you should really consider doing when choosing influencers:
1. Understand The Influencer’s Niche
First thing first, you need to make sure that the influencer you’re going to work with is in the same niche as you. Learn more about their profiles and find out whether they already work with brands like yours or not.
Professional, savvy influencers mostly accept the endorsement that they think their audience can relate.
A survey from Crowdtap found that more than 44% of influencers want to work with a brand because the opportunity is relevant to their audience.
So, if you choose an influencer with the same target audience as yours, it’ll be much easier for you to convince their social followings to get interested in your products or brand.
For example, if you are planning an influencer program for your cosmetic products, beauty influencers are such an ideal option to go for.
2. Find The Influencers With The Same Values As Your Brand
Since you have to work with them to achieve your goals, your priority is to find an influencer with a personality in keeping with your values.
After all, influencer marketing is a two-way street with a mutual benefit at its core. That’s why you need to avoid a mismatched partnership.
However, at least 61% of brands find it hard to find a relevant influence. In that case, you can start by finding an influencer that produces and shares quality content with a look and feels that complements your brand image.
You can also look through their influencer’s historical activity to make sure that their ideas are aligned with your brand and program.
3. Pay Attention to the Important Metrics
Bigger isn’t always better. Don’t easily believe in massive numbers of followings that an influencer has. Millions of social following mean nothing if the engagement rate is low.
There is at least one metric that should be more crucial than the number of social followings: engagement rate.
The alarm bell should be ringing if you find an influencer account with 1 million subscribers but have 1,000 likes on an average post. Those such profiles can consist of fake followings that will bring no results for your program.
According to Later, you should at least see an engagement rate of 2-3% on influencers’ posts. A ratio of 4-6% is much more excellent. Meanwhile, influencers with 10% or more can be considered as viral.
Here's the formula to measure the engagement rate on Instagram:
4. Look Into Their Previous Influencer Marketing Campaigns
Here are some keys to choosing the right influencer: research, research, and more research.
Therefore, you need to do in-depth research about another influencer campaign that they’ve done in the past. Did it go well? Did it get a lot of engagement? You can ask about the generated results before you decide to work with them.
Or, as an alternative, you can also use some tools like Fohr, Klear, Upfluence, and many more to take a look at their social media analytics and performance.
Here’s a screenshot of how the analytic tool like Klear looks like:
Not to mention, spending more time checking an influencer’s entire back-catalog of their previous influencer programs can boost your confidence in choosing them.
How to do an Influencer Outreach for Your Program in 5 Steps
You’ve already got some influencer names that you want to work with. But how do you start your program in the first place?
Stick with me. I have the quick, critical steps for an effective influencer outreach strategy:
1. Set Clear, Measurable Goals
Before you start the program, make sure you fully understand what you are trying to achieve from the influencer marketing.
Try to set realistic and achievable goals, so you know what to expect from your efforts you give for the program.
Mediakix says that raising brand awareness is the most common goal (85%) of influencer programs. Followed by reach new audiences (71%) and generating sales or conversions (64%)
The more you set the goals to be more specific, the easier it’ll be to determine what metrics you should pay attention to.
For example, if you want to spread more brand awareness, then engagement rate, number of impressions, clicks, brand mentions, or follower growth should be your priority.
2. Contact the Influencer
Next, you can now appeal to the influencer you decided to work with. You don’t send a broadcast-like message here. Tailor a personal and friendly message so that they can feel special.
You can convince them of why you choose them and how their profiles best-suit for your brand.
Also, it’s always important to communicate your goals with them so they can understand what they should pay attention to promoting your brand.Check out our guide on how to write the perfect outreach to your ideal influencer.
Plus here’s a template from Shane Barker you can use to effortlessly contact the influencer you want to work with:
3. Create Engaging Content
After the deal, you go for the next step: creating a stunning, engaging content for the influencers to share.
Remember, influencers, and social media users are getting pickier each day.
No influencers are willing to post such cheap, mediocre content on their profiles because they care about their reputation too. Make sure you design– whether it’s images, videos, or only text for captions.
Or, you can also simply give the influencer the brand guidelines and let them create those content themselves. More than 57% of influencers tend to work with brands on a project that can give them a space for creative freedom.
4. Nurture the Relationship
It never hurt to maintain the relationship with your influencer after the program ended. Always thank them and show your appreciation for working with you and your brand. It’ll make them feel valued and respected.
Maintaining the relationship with your influencers also will higher our chances to get to work with them again in the future. The stats show that at least 54% of influencers are willing to work more than once with a brand that can respect them and their influence.
5. Keep an Eye of the Progress
Don’t miss a day to monitor the ROI of your program and see how well the influencer program is going. It helps you get more insights on what’s working and what’s not, what needs to improve, and what needs to cut down a little bit.
That way, you’ll be able to create a better strategy for your next program.
However, keeping an eye on the progress isn't all smooth sailing. Surveyed marketers reported that one of the most challenges of influencer programs is determining the ROI (take a look at that chart below).
Therefore, in the end of this article, we also include some best practices to help you keep an eye of the program’s progress and measure the ROI seamlessly.
Effective Ways to Work With an Influencer on Social Media
It’s time for the last topic we discuss in this post: effective ways to work with an influencer for your program.
There are a bunch of ways to work with your influencer for a successful influencer marketing strategy. But, choosing the right ones can be backbreaking.
Therefore, we've hand-picked some handy and powerful ways to create effective influencer marketing:
1. Sponsored Social Media Post
This is probably the most common and simple one: asking influencers to post and talk about your products on social media.
This sponsored social media post is extremely common on Instagram, both on Stories feature and video.
What you need to do here is to send them a few items and ask them to try out or take a photo promoting it.
The captions are the key. So, you better pick the influencer that can convince their social followings with promising capture and quality photos.
As an alternative, you can only send them pictures of the products and ready-to-post captions so they can simply post it.
Here's an example of sponsored social media post by Kylie Jenner to promote FitTea:
2. Gift and Review
Another way to make use of influencer marketing is by giving influencers free products or items so that they can review it.
After you find an influencer you like, you can send them the product as gifts and honestly say what they think about your products, what they like most, and how it benefits them.
Put it simply; you send free products (and maybe even compensated) to the influencers in exchange for promotion.
There are not so many differences with the previous one– sponsored social media post. Only it's more flexible for the influencer to deliver their thoughts and what they want to post about your products on their social media.
Here's an example of gifting that @readingbringsjoy got from @williammorrowbooks:
3. Giveaways or Contests
Giveaway and contests are popular ways to help you to create buzz and grow your social audience. And when you use influencers marketing here, you can take them to the next level and get the maximum results.
You can use giveaways or contests as your influencer program by involving influencers to participate in the promotion.
Unlike the gifting where you send the influencers "presents" for promotion, giveaways or contests offer their audience gifts.
Therefore, the influencer you've picked needs to be aligned with your target market. So their social followings can feel relevant with the giveaways you offer and tempt to join in.
Below is an example of a giveaway from Credo Beauty that featured Briana Dai for the promotion.
4. Filming the Promotional Products
Some of the influencers marketing use photos or images as the medium of promotion. Some others use videos.
Social videos are such a powerful way to promote products as video marketing stats are only getting more staggering each year. From Instagram Stories, Instagram videos, Facebook videos to YouTube, more and more internet users are attached to this highly-engaging medium.
In essence, you can also create a winning influencer program by asking the influencers to make a video about your products. Whether it's a vlog, review, or product demo videos, this method seems more convincing as their followings can see the demonstration.
If your product is in industries like tech, tourism, cosmetics, or fashion, you may want to consider this method for your influencer program.
Below is a vlog by the famous influencer Casey Neistat enjoying a free fancy, luxurious seat from Etihad Airways. And in return, the company can get a promotion from one of the most well-known American YouTubers with more than 12 million subscribers.
5. Collaborate in a Production
The last thing we have on the list is collaborating in a project or production. In this influencer program, you can work together with an influencer to create a new product.
The influencer usually assists and takes part in every process in the production, from concept to promotion. In other words, they're your new production team that can make decisions too.
In this collaboration, you can appeal to more audiences since the influencer you work with already has a community and fan base.
One of the most well-known collaborations between a brand and influencer is the beauty brand Morphe with beauty-influencer James Charles. They worked together to create a brand new makeup palette product.
3 Handy Ways to Track Your Influencer Program ROI
We’ve talked briefly about monitoring your influence program in the previous paragraph. In this section, we’re going to get more in-depth about it.
So, without further ado, here are some handy, actionable ways to track your influencer program ROI based on different goals or objectives:
Social Data: You can use social data to understand brand recall, reputation, and engagement rate. There are a bunch of social media tools that provide quick analytics features such as Analisa, Popular Chips, and more. This way is a powerful way of tracking the program ROI when you aim for higher engagement.
Promo Codes: If you launch your influencer program to get better sales and revenue, you can try to track the results by providing the influencers with promo codes. These promo codes help you track store visits and immediate purchases spurred by your influencer program. E-commerces like Shopify or WooCommerce can help you generate promo codes for your influencers to share.
Google Analytics: This one is a handy way to track your program if you give your new product to influencers for more exposure. Google Analytics provides you with the full report of how many users visited your site while the influencers were promoting your brand, complete with their behaviour.
Wrapping Up: Find Your Influencers Today
As a conclusion from the topic we’ve discussed, finding a worthy vendor that can bring you high-quality advertising has never been easier with influencer programs.
There are tons of influencers out there that can help promote your business. So, you don't have to spend thousands of bucks just to appeal to popular, well-known influencers. Even the micro-influencers can work just fine for your brand exposure as long as they have a promising engagement rate and share the same values with your brand.
About the Author
Andre Oentoro is one of the co-founders of BreadnBeyond, an internationally acknowledged infographic production agency. He helps businesses increase visibility on the internet with visual data and well-placed outreach campaigns.