What To Do Before Starting An Influencer Marketing Campaign
So, finally the day is here. Your product has been launched and it’s stunning, gorgeous and shiny. Everybody would love it, why wouldn’t they? You are excited to tell the world about it. Whether you are a trendy young entrepreneur who has launched a new product, or you own a small restaurant who has just opened up an outlet, you must have considered promoting your brand or product through influencers.
You can definitely give it a shot and contact numerous influencers around you. But before jumping into it directly, it is important to know that without proper preparation, you might be just wasting your time and money.
Every entrepreneur who wants to opt for influencer marketing should prepare for four key things, before contacting an influencer. In this article, we will talk about these four key things.
Developing Your User Persona
Why it’s important
What do we mean by customer personas, and what is its importance? Let’s go back to the basics of the subject by the help of insights from the report.
Let’s begin with the difference between customer personas and customer segments.
Usually, to help target and understand an audience, the brands use segmentation. It refers to considering general details about the customer. For example, their gender, home address, socio-economic status etc. By having the basic information, we know about the location of a particular group, their age group, and we can also know about their typical buying behavior.
On the other hand, customer persona helps you create empathy for your audience. It ensures to build a better understanding of the homogenous groups. In addition to this, it also helps them to recognize the key characteristics present within. In order to create a representative example of the audience, customer personas are based on the analysis and research of prospects. This not only help in building a clearer picture of the customer but also the sensitive information about them such as personal inspirations and motivations in terms of what’s been expected from a brand and the type of communication they’d prefer.
Then, brands can take this insight, using it for delivering a more relevant and less simplistic experience.
What are the necessary info to build them
Personas are said to be the purified essences of potential customers. With the help of personas, we can develop an understanding with our target audience, concentrate on their demands and requirements, share knowledge/insights with other shareholders in order to gain consensuses, make strong decisions as per the exact needs of persona’s/customer groups, and measure our brand’s marketing effectiveness through the eyes of customers.
Usually, we create personas based on the observations about potential customers, not faceless masses – all of that in order to map customer’s requirements for a specific product demands that clearly defines the requirements of the customers.
Here are the typical information we need in a order to build a “minimum” customer persona:
- Demographic information: Customer’s gender, location and the age group.
- Occupation and interests: Customer’s job, education, marital status, hobbies and online/offline behavior.
- Personal state: That’s when you will know about what’s going on a customer’s mind, what are their personal and professional problems that they are currently struggling with and about their likes and dislikes.
- Key influence groups: That’s when you know about an influencer the persona behavior, whether it is family or friends, famous personalities, colleague, advertisement, etc.
- Personal story: This segment gives a depth and perspective to the persona, it helps in knowing more about a customer.
How to build a user persona
The ideal way of understanding personas is to talk to your customers. Though, it is not the only way through which you can carry out persona information. There are 4 kinds of research that you can conduct for building your personas:
- Background research: It’s the initial steps to learn about your customer. Researching about your market and your competition. Analyzing your competition social media is one of the best ways of researching about your clients and an effective place to start from when looking for information.
- Qualitative research: This kind of research can be carried out by conducting client interviews, slide up reviews, in-person user testing, and online chatting. It is the contact with the subject that is being researched.
- Observational research: The fundamental part of observational research is to see the result of an interaction with a website with a user to know what users are able to do without guidance.
- Quantitative research: General web and data analytics, funnel reporting, event tracking, and other websites statistics that are important to put a metric to see how users usually interact on a website.
Example of user persona
Let’s take an example of user group represented as “Amy”– group of 18-year-old girls who are struggling to adapt to University life – for an application that help students to manage their expenses. By the help of Amy, we can see how our application helps a young student manage their budget in their daily life. For a background, Amy’s new to internet banking, lives with two other girls from Portugal and works as barista on weekends. Amy’s ultimately wants to save money; she is trying to stretch $150 per month to travel to Asia this summer. By using this goal directed persona, we can do the prior testing of our app design. Moreover, the role directed perspective might be another approach in order to address the needs of user group in a workplace- the engaging perspective, in which we apply our personal experiences to identify with the users.
Defining Your Social Niche
Why it’s important
Have you ever tried blogging? If yes, you must have heard of the word, “Niche”. For the bloggers, this five letter word is the bane of their blogging life.
A Niche blogger writes about a particular area. These bloggers are followed by a huge audience because they solve problems for their readers. Readership is strong, and readers often turn into customers.
Now you must be thinking that it has got nothing to do with you because you are not a blogger, but an entrepreneur.
But you want to use influencers, don’t you? Hence, these influencers need to be clear with your persona and should also talk about the subject that interest your persona, which is known as a niche.
How to define your niche
The good news is that you have already established an amazing customer’s persona, and you can start from there. You know your customers and you know what they are passionate about and you know what kind of influencer can influence your customers.
There are three elements necessary to properly define a niche that is relevant to your business. A niche is the conjunction of both what your customer wants, what you know about and what your competition is and isn’t doing.
First, as you defined your persona, you need to deep-dive on what your customer wants. Here are a few questions to ask yourself about your customers:
- What do they love reading about?
- What grabs their attention?
- What resonates with my customer?
After identifying the first set of niche, continue with your abilities (you need to produce your content as well). Ask yourself the following:
- What am I expert at?
- What interests me?
- What do my customers typically asks me advices on ?
Now the final thing is your competition. You need to know about their activities and work so that you are able to differentiate yourself. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- Who is my competition?
- What interests me?
- What are they missing/what can I do differently ?
Find a niche for yourself that is not too crowded already.
Once you identify all of that, you have defined your niche, successfully!
Creating a social media account
As discussed earlier, if you are planning on using influencers to promote your product, you must have a social media page on the platform you are using (Instagram page, Facebook page, Twitter).
But having just a page is not it. You must ensure to update it regularly. Content is king on social platforms.
The content, in its various forms: text, image, video, audio, among others, has become the main tool to attract people, convert them into customers and build loyalty. It is a key piece for your brand communication, but it requires great effort, dedication and a thorough research on the behavior of the public, in order to know how to present them well in front of the audience.
Make sure that you build a page for the influencer strategy. Your content will put you on the map. In that sense, your Instagram page is the reason for which users will visit you. This means that posting content on your social platforms is similar as doing SEO on your website.
Here are a few key tips to keep in mind while building your page:
- Don’t buy fake followers – Focus on taking organic likes onboard.
- Post content on a daily basis – Make sure that you update content regularly.
- Define a clear style – Ensure to define your brand with consistent theme.
- Interact with your followers – Try communicating with your audience.
Auditing the influencers you plan on using
Congratulations! You are almost there. You know your niche and you have defined your users. Moreover, you are create captivating Instagram content. Now, influencers are contacting you to do your promotion. Amazing right?
Be careful. Not all influencers are good for your brand. Of course, you can always try out stepping into new niche of users to test the water, however, if the followers of an influencer are not associated with your persona, it is more likely that they will not be useful.
So what to do? Here are a few basic things that you need to research and ask the influencers you plan on using:
- Ask detailed information about their demographics: You must confirm that the followers of your chosen influencer are coherent. You must know about their gender, age and location.
- Focus on the engagement rate: The ratio of the likes and comments vs. the follower counts is known as engagement rate. A typical engagement rate ranges between 5% and 10%. Anything above or below that is a red flag.
- Read the comments: It is weird if an influencer doesn’t have any comments on their posts. If you find comments, read them and see if they are genuine. Also, notice if these comments are written by genuine people or by other “influencers”. If the comments are non-genuine, it is a clear indicator that either they are buying these comments or participating in engagement pods.
- Audit their followers, if they are genuine: Just randomly pick a few followers and observe their profile. Do they seem like genuine Instagram users? Do their account seem suspicious (e.g., few activity, lot of followings and very few followers)?
Obviously, all of these activities are not easy and are time-consuming to do. One way to quickly perform some tasks is to take a look at profile of the influencer’s Snikpic profile, as it not only contains information about the influencer’s demographics, but there are also advanced machine learning algorithms that analyze the follower base, the usage pattern, the activity, and the comments to ensure authenticity of said influencers.
The bottom line
Congratulations, you now know all the basic element necessary to put in place before an influencer campaign. But beware, social media is a jungle, and competition is fierce. You will often find yourself trying to attract the same audience through the same influencers as some of your most skilled competitors. And while it is never a certainty that your product will be successful, we are sure that these four key elements we discussed will help level the playing field.