December 21, 2015
/ by Katie Gaab
Which influencers are you looking to target in 2016?
If you haven’t included these tastemakers in next year’s marketing strategy, your brand will miss out. Influencers who share offers see a conversion rate that is three to 10 times higher than brands doing promotion on their own.
Not only can influencers expand your brand’s reach and effectively increase sales, but they can also impact your brand’s reputation along the way.
Keep your efforts organized and trackable with proper documentation. Here are three types of live documents any brand should keep for influencer marketing:
Influencer lists should not be exhaustive, but rather specific to your brand’s needs. To figure out who to include on your influencer list, focus on the three R’s: relevance, reach and resonance.
Use your media database to gather influencers’ contact information, preferred pitching mediums, topics they’re currently focusing on and degree of influence. Include dates to track when they first popped on your radar for measurement down the line.
Once you’ve started your list, research influencers’ messaging on a monthly, if not weekly basis, to ensure they’re still relevant to your brand.
Remember, there’s not one influencer who will meet all of your goals. Categorize your list by which influencers meet what needs, which influencers are currently on your back burner and which ones you’d like target down the line.
Whatever you do, don’t remove influencers completely from your document. If their behavior suddenly seems off kilter, don’t be afraid to move them to the back burner. They may make a comeback down the line, and you’ll want to be the first to tap their influential powers.
Next, you’ll want to create an outreach document and share it with all team members involved. If you have multiple employees involved, make a note of who is in charge of targeting efforts versus maintaining relationships.
Whether you like an influencer’s tweet or comment on their LinkedIn Pulse post, ask employees to track every outreach act they make and provide details as to what they did, when and why.
Once you get to the most exciting step (asking an influencer to work with your brand), document how you did it. What guidelines did you give the influencer? What expectations did you set for the relationship?
This information will be very helpful later when it comes time to measure what worked and how the ask could have been approached differently.
Just because you have an influencer on board doesn’t mean you should stop tracking and documenting the relationship. For example, if you sent holiday swag to influencers, jot down what was sent to whom and any resulting reactions to help decide what to do next year.
If you’ve included as much detail as possible in your outreach document, measuring success and reviewing metrics should be a fairly simple task.
A few key aspects to look at include influencers’ reactions to outreach, ask methods, preferred correspondence mediums and most importantly, public sentiment and brand reputation.
Use your social listening tools to track the number of followers on your platform to determine the correlation between your influencers’ efforts and your audience. Which platforms are your influencers making a difference on? How does their messaging differ from your brand’s?
Success stems from a combination of the right messenger sending a well-crafted message to the appropriate audience on the best platform.
How you measure and prove your success to executives is determinant on what level of detail you put into tracking your influencer marketing program and how carefully you sift through data to come to conclusions.
Images: Mark Crossfield, antony_mayfield (Creative Commons)
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