If successfully implemented, influencer marketing can increase the attention you receive from your target audience and can be a fantastic way to create and share interesting and valuable content.  However, it can be a bit daunting to get started, so we've put together a list of questions to help you frame your thinking and how this can be built into your marketing mix:

Why do I want to engage influencers? 

The first stage of effective influencer marketing is deciding what your main objective is in line with desired business outcomes. So, for example you might want to increase brand awareness and perception with the main objective being to gain visibility with your target audience through influencers. The objective and desired outcomes will vary from company to company and more specifically even project to project.

What kind of influencers do I want to engage?

Once you know what your main objectives are then you need to think about and find an influencer who is a good fit for the brand and campaign. This may seem obvious, but this is perhaps the hardest part of the process. By researching topics that resonate with your market, influencers and target audience, it should become apparent who influencers are.

It is so important to engage with the right influencer. In order to do this, we need to consider whether the influencer is credible to the target audience, what their online behavior is saying and how accessible they are.

Role - is the influencer credible to the target audience?

There are several types of influencers. When anyone thinks of influencer marketing it is common for their thoughts to go straight to brand ambassadors or celebrities. However, there are many other forms of influencers out there: industry experts, business leaders, traditional influencers such as journalists and publications. With this in mind it is essential to think back to who your audience is and what you are trying to achieve. You may select a very credible industry expert, but if they are an expert in an area that is not directly related to what you are aiming for, the whole process will not work as effectively.

Persona- what is the online behavior saying?

The second consideration when deciding on what kind of influencers to engage with is what their persona is and how does it match with your purpose. Some influencers are:

  • Content creators who produce their own content
  • Industry experts who have been in industry who can influence key decision makers on a peer level
  • Conference speakers who speak at events and are influential offline
  • Social amplifiers who share content from influencers community
  • Online connectors who are well connected to your influencer community
  • Media influencers who drive the media agenda

It is really important at this stage to consider whether you want to reach a huge audience or a more specific audience and get high engagement.  Considering the persona of the influencer will really allow you to hone down on your specific objectives and find the right fit.

Engagement - how do you engage with them and how accessible are they?

In order to work with some influencers, they need to be paid. Whereas, other influencers are more interested in what money can't buy, access to data, information, and people and opportunities to meet other influencers. This is where the question of 'What is the budget? ' also comes into play.

How do I build influencer relationships?

In order to build relationships with influencers it is important to follow their social profiles and engage with their content - make them familiar with your brand. Ensure that the individual communicating with the influencer is the person who is the subject matter expert. Once the initial communication has started you need to build a formal agreement and outline the benefits and activities for both parties.

What can successful influencer marketing achieve?

By successfully implementing an influencer marketing strategy a business can create industry relevant content that can increase awareness. Not only can influencers help with your brand perception and evolve brand messages due to their influencing ability and trust, but they can also create demand which means brands do not need to rely on paid campaigns to generate leads.