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How to Build a Data-Driven Influencer Marketing Strategy

Influencer marketing remains an effective way to reach mass audiences and drive sales. Almost three out of four consumers said they would spend up to $629 on a purchase inspired by an influencer, and 57% of marketers plan to increase their influencer budgets in 2020.

But to win with influencer marketing in 2020, you need more than cute photos. You have to be data driven. Here are five steps to help you build a data-driven influencer marketing strategy.

Understand Your Target Audience

To build a data-driven influencer strategy, you need to have deep knowledge about your target audience. This will help you select the right influencers, platform, and content to use in your influencer marketing. Below are three tips to help you understand your target audience.

Define Your Audience. Map out your target demographic using social media analytics, focus groups, or surveys. This will help you to discover your target audience’s age, gender, education, income, location, and more. Also, find out your target audience’s interests and motives by creating personas or using social listening and monitoring tools.

Use the insights gathered to find out which influencers are trusted by your target audience. Dive into their social media activities to map out your creative.

Find Their Preferred Platforms. From TikTok to podcasts, today’s consumers hang out on a variety of different platforms. Knowing where to find your target audience is key to the success of your influencer marketing campaign. A straightforward way to determine this is by carrying out a survey or researching the demographics of social media users.

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Determine Your Goals

To avoid wasting time and resources, set clear goals for your influencer marketing strategy. Brand awareness, engagement, attracting a new audience, customer retention, and sales can be good general starting points for campaign milestones.

Whichever goals you decide on, make sure they are S.M.A.R.T. Let’s elaborate on that.

Specific: Be specific with what you hope to achieve through your influencer marketing campaign. For example, a specific goal might be to drive sales for your holiday line by 20%.

Measurable: Set benchmarks to measure the performance of your campaign. Ensure the goals you pick have one or two quantifiable metrics.

Attainable: Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable with the resources you have.

Relevant: Ensure your goals are relevant to your campaign and business objectives.

Time-based: Your goals need a deadline. This could be several months or a year, depending on what you’re looking to achieve.

Having too many goals will result in campaign underperformance. Better to keep it small and obtainable.

Influencer Selection

Once you’ve figured out your goals, find the right influencers to partner with. This can be challenging in a sea of influencers with large followings and cool social profiles. But with data, your search can be easier. Here are some ways you can use data to select the best influencer for your campaign.

Audience. One way to select influencers is by ensuring their audience matches your target market. Use influencer platforms that employ data and audience analytics to discover an influencer’s audience attributes, interests, demographics, location, and potential affinity for your brand. As some influencers have fake followers, these tools can also help you discern how authentic an influencer’s audience is by tracking engagement and highlighting audience size anomalies.

Review Content. Review past sponsored content posts and see how well they performed in relation to their organic content. Reviewing influencer content can be a time consuming process, so use tools that employ natural language processing and AI algorithms to help you to evaluate an influencer’s past work.  Also, look for frequently used hashtags and mentions influencers use in their content to see if they fit your niche.

Authenticity. Try to work with influencers that already love your brand to build authenticity into your campaign. Use sentiment analysis tools to find posts about your brand that receive positive engagement and are authored by influencers. Also, use social data analysis to identify influencers who match your brand identity, messaging, values, and passions. This will help ensure the influencers you select are compatible with your brand.

Measure Performance with KPIs

 Measure the success of your influencer marketing campaign with key performance indicators (KPIs). While the ones you select will depend on your campaign goals, below are some critical KPIs you can measure and how to track them.

 Brand Awareness: Tracked by 53% of marketers, this KPI measures volume increase. You can determine brand awareness by social engagement such as comments, follows, and mentions.

Engagement: This KPI shows you how much engagement a specific post has received. Track this KPI using brand mentions, shares, and comments.

Sales. Determine how much revenue you’ve generated from an influencer marketing campaign with sales KPIs. You can track these using Google analytics, dedicated landing pages, or custom codes.

Reach. The reach of your influencer marketing campaign shows how many people have potentially been made aware of your brand through an influencer’s post. You can track this KPI with metrics such as web traffic and impressions.

To keep things manageable and avoid complications, choose one or two KPIs to focus on, and base them on industry benchmarks.

Customer marketing challenges and opportunities

Use an Influencer Marketing Platform

Leverage influencer marketing platforms to save time and better capitalize on data. Some essential features to look out for when picking an influencer marketing platform include:

Search and Discovery. Select a platform that allows you to search for influencers using various criteria such as demographic and historical engagement. If you’re not comfortable with tools that use machine learning to vet influencer searches, consider picking a platform that offers a network of human-vetted influencers.

Post-Campaign Insight. To understand the real-world ROI of your influencer marketing campaign, pick a platform that offers post-campaign insights. This will enable you to analyze performance related to business-specific objectives, such as new customer visits and influencer-driven sales.

 Analytics. The platform you choose should offer analytical capabilities to measure your marketing efforts and influencer post performance. Make sure the platform measures the performance of your program and tracks campaign posts based on real-time stats. Also, look out for reporting capabilities such as ROI calculations, engagement, and URL tracking.

Campaign Management: If you run multiple campaigns, look for a tool that can run several simultaneously while overseeing your total budget and the duration of each campaign.

Influencer marketing is a smart way to authentically connect to today’s consumers. In addition to the tips outlined in this article, consider adding a strategist to your team to help set up your influencer marketing framework. You might also want to share your data-driven strategy with influencers to ensure campaign success.

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