The 150% Rule Of Influencer Marketing Budgets

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By Courtney Moser

 

“Will you accept this rose?”

This catchphrase is undeniably recognizable after more than twenty seasons of The Bachelor. But how does it relate to influencer marketing?

It all starts with matchmakers – of the love and business variety. The producers on The Bachelor choose 25 interested women who meet certain criteria to vie for the attention of the infamous bachelor. The Find Your Influence (FYI) team, on the other hand, chooses a number of influencers in their network who match brand-specific criteria (this varies depending on strategy and goals). From there, the brand has to decide which influencers they want to send offers to for campaign participation.

Just as the bachelor on TV hands out roses to the women he likes best, these brands send out invitations to influencers who match their criteria and reach their target audience. Because it’s a two-sided relationship (no thank you, unrequited love!), an invitation doesn’t automatically mean it’s a match. Some influencers may not be interested in the campaign topic, or may not respond in time for the start date, etc. To make up for this – and ensure that brands partner with influencers who truly care – the FYI team recommends sending out invitations to 150% of your campaign budget.

The 150% rule for influencer marketing budgets empowers brands with partnership choices. The influencers who accept quickly are more likely committed, engaged and easier to work with. If enough relevant influencers respond to your brand invite right away, you can shut off your campaign when you hit 100% of your budget goals in the FYI platform. Or, you can decide to up your budget as positive responses continue to roll in.

“The 150% rule offers brands more flexibility,” FYI CEO Jamie Reardon says. “It can open your campaign up to more success and increased influencer relationships in the future.”

Along with the above benefits, the rule also ensures you aren’t waiting on a few influencers and delaying the campaign. In business – and in love – you want to be with (work with) people who want to be with you. This mutual respect results in enthusiasm and authenticity.

As this Forbes articles says: “Influencer marketing works best when the influencer matches the brand, is in tune with the message, has control of the format, loves the content and knows whom he or she is working with.”

So, how many roses will you be doling out for your next campaign? Make sure your budget accounts for all of the possibilities!

To learn more about influencer marketing campaign strategies, read our blog.

 

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The Value Of Brand Ambassadors Vs. “One And Done” Customers

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By Courtney Moser

 

“True influence drives action, not just awareness.”

This quote from marketer Jay Baer illustrates a major difference between long-term brand ambassadors or advocates and one-time customers. Are you driving action or just awareness? What about your influencers? The key lies in your brand objectives and campaign strategy. Determining your intentions for an influencer marketing campaign will set the stage for everything that follows.

If you’re focused on pushing a specific product through a short-term campaign, for example, you’re likely to end up increasing awareness with one-time customers. But if you enter into a campaign with the idea that you’re building a relationship with influencers and connecting with future customers, you’re more likely to gain brand ambassadors and see long-term results down the road.

In fact, a recent study found that building brand ambassadors is the most effective influencer marketing strategy. Why? It takes us back to the basics of influencer marketing: the reason that its thriving over more traditional ads and methods. Effective influencers have an ongoing relationship with brands they admire and purchase from personally – increasing authenticity and trust with consumers (and ideally, future brand ambassadors!).

Influencer marketing isn’t just about selling products or services right now, it’s about increasing brand awareness, brand affinity and intent to purchase in the future. And this is done by way of meaningful connections with influencers and consumers (with mutually beneficial value) through quality content and genuine engagement.

“At its core, influencer marketing is the latest iteration of word-of-mouth marketing. You like something, you tell two people, they tell two people and so on,” said Find Your Influence founder Jamie Reardon.

The best influencers drive action – they spur their readers and followers to do something, rather than just listen. These actions vary, from following the brand online to clicking to their website to making a purchase to recommending the brand to more people. That wealth of possibilities illustrates the power of influencer marketing: Ultimately, the influencers you work with will become brand advocates or ambassadors, and inspire consumers to become them as well.

How can you help your influencers drive action? It goes back to your brand objectives and campaign strategy – make sure you’re giving them value and content worth sharing. And of course, choose the right influencers to represent your brand. Partnering with influencers you admire and trust – who bring something fresh to your brand – will make a long-term relationship easier.

“Businesses turn influencers into ‘brand advocates’ by providing them with personalized experiences that motivate them to share positive brand impressions with others,” as said in this MediaPost article.

By now, it should be clear why we recommend working with influencers who can deliver long-term results and inspire consumers to become brand advocates – instead of just “one and done” customers. After all, who doesn’t want long-lasting success?

If you have more questions about influencer marketing campaigns and strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Find Your Influence team here.

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Does Your Campaign Length Meet Your Needs?

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By Courtney Moser

 

This campaign is too short… but that campaign is too long. How do you know which length is right for you?

Just as Goldilocks had to try several bowls of hot (and cold) porridge to find the one that was just right for her, marketers often have to use trial-and-error to determine the best campaign strategy and fit. And unlike Goldilocks, we don’t usually have three ready-to-eat campaigns lined up for us

So, where do we begin? First, ask what you’re trying to accomplish here. Before you can hone in on campaign length, you have to choose the influencer marketing campaign type that will best meet your brand needs and goals. These range from brand awareness campaigns to product launches and seasonal campaigns.

Once you’ve decided which campaign type will deliver the best results for your brand, you can start planning details such as number of influencers, content topics and campaign length. The length will vary depending on your strategy. This is where it may help to work with an influencer marketing group with experience to guide your brand.

The Find Your Influence team, for instance, has overseen the development and deployment of more than 10,000 influencer marketing campaigns – and they’ve come up with a recommended general nine-week plan for brands who don’t know where to start. This includes: two weeks to select and invite influencers, two weeks for influencers to develop content, four weeks for the campaign to be active and one week for reporting and analysis.

Brands who have specific campaign ideas in mind, however, will want to customize this plan to better fit company needs and timelines. For example, if you are going to run a blog campaign with several post parts and social promotion points, you may want to extend the active campaign time to allow for increased awareness and engagement. Or, if you are going for a front-loaded campaign that increases brand buzz the week before an event, you can shorten active campaign time for a more concentrated onslaught of content and social posts.

There are different benefits for each type of campaign and campaign length. Longer campaigns mean that you have more time to build relationships with your influencers and connect with consumers for increased authenticity. But, shorter campaigns can be just as effective in achieving those goals – and fast turnaround times can make a bang and help content trend on social media.

For more information about planning your influencer marketing campaign, read the FYI blog or contact our team today.

 

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How to Choose the Best Influencer Marketing Campaign for You

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By Courtney Moser

It’s estimated that we make 35,000 decisions every day.

Seriously, 35,000? We’re going to skip counting and just take their word for it! Regardless, at FYI we agree that we’re faced with constant options and divergent paths. Along with deciding what to eat, what to wear, and so on, we also have to make many business decisions.

Just within marketing, for example, there are countless choices that will impact your business. Where you should start when it comes to a marketing strategy? What channels you should use to achieve the best results? Influencer marketing can be an extremely valuable addition to your comprehensive marketing plan. Working with blogging or social media influencers can help you align with company goals, strategize creative campaigns and reach new audiences.

There are 150 million blog readers in the U.S alone, and 31.1 percent of consumers say that blogs influence their purchase decisions. Similarly, 57 percent of marketers say that they’ve acquired customers via their blog.

By increasing awareness of your brand or launching a new product through influencer marketing, you can drive traffic to your website and create buzz in the market. But which type of influencer marketing campaign is right for you? Following is a breakdown of four main campaign concepts we use at Find Your Influence (FYI) to help you decide.

  1. Brand Awareness – What is the meaning behind your company’s name, logo and slogan? Thanks to the evolution of the internet, brand awareness has become increasingly significant. The public is more equipped than ever, with mobile and social tools, to communicate quickly about your brand. This type of influencer marketing campaign focuses on increasing overall brand awareness. This strategy can help your brand reach exposure not only in your own backyard, but across the (digital) globe.
  1. Product Awareness – Influencer marketing can be a creative way to get your product in front of new and larger audiences. When a blogger vouches for your product and tells their readers how much they enjoy it, they are increasing your product’s visibility. A strong online presence, with positive reviews, can also enhance the company’s credibility.
  1. Product or Service Launch – Increase exposure and up the credibility of your brand with this influencer marketing strategy. If you’re launching a new product or service, influencers can help you create buzz, demonstrate best uses and get user feedback. A new flavor of tomato sauce, for example, can be cooked with and photographed in many different ways by various food bloggers.
  1. Seasonal Campaign – The holidays are the busiest times of the year, and influencer marketing offers an effective way to market and increase the success of your seasonal campaign. Some of the most popular posts for influencers are during the holiday season, as their readers are looking to them for guidance – whether it’s costume ideas, Thanksgiving recipes, gift guides and more.

Ultimately, choosing the right influencer campaign for you and your brand is crucial: The success of your campaign depends on it. Here at FYI, we’re experts in this space and we’re happy to help you pick the perfect campaign for your needs.

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Your 101 Guide to Influencer Marketing Campaigns

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By Courtney Moser

 

What’s influencer marketing?

Welcome to word-of-mouth marketing, on steroids. Any solid 101 guide starts with the absolute basics, just to ensure everyone’s on the same page.

Let’s ignore the illegal aspects of steroids for a minute, and appreciate the benefits. They inflate, or pump up, what was to be what is. It’s like giving that one old-school brand ambassador (“Sally, I’ve been using their shampoo for thirty years!”) a microphone and YouTube channel. All of a sudden – bam! – what was one person telling another is now one person reaching hundreds or thousands with the same message.

It’s clear, then, how great the potential impact of influencer marketing is for brands looking to increase awareness and drive sales.  The question changes from why to how – you understand the purpose and benefits, and would like to know how you can utilize this marketing strategy to spread your brand message. The following basic outline will help you launch your influencer marketing campaign.

 

Step 1: Identify your goals, budget + measurements

First things first, figure out what you’re trying to do. There are a variety of ways influencer marketing can help your brand, but it’s smart to focus on one or two to begin with. This will help you target the right influencers and craft campaign requirements that are concise and align with your brand strategy.

Here are a few examples of common influencer marketing goals:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • Launch and promote a new product

Once you’ve landed on a goal, it’s time to think about measurements. Make sure you choose goals and metrics you can accurately track. Most campaigns will have a corresponding hashtag to track brand awareness on social networks. You can also provide your influencers with trackable links so that you can easily see how many people are clicking to your site or signing up for your mailing list. Another great way to track your campaign is with a promo code for a discount on your product.

With those measurements in mind, the same list of goals from above would look like this:

  • Increase brand awareness by expanding social reach by 30% using a branded hashtag
  • Bring 3,000 new clicks to a product-focused landing page
  • Launch new product with the goal of reaching 500,000 consumers

For a more detailed look at measurement, check out this blog post written by a Find Your Influence (FYI) co-founder.

Finally, figure out your budget. Influencer marketing can be a really affordable marketing option with a great ROI. But, you do have to pay your influencers. So set a budget before you reach out to them. Successful influencers have a brand of their own that they’re working to grow and maintain – they’re business people too. Make an offer and negotiate a rate. It will likely vary depending on expertise, followership and engagement rates. If setting a rate without proof of efficacy makes you uncomfortable, ask for the numbers. Influencers should be able to provide data points like traffic per day, social engagement rate and average reach.

 

Step 2:  Create your campaign

Once you’ve set your goals, budget and measurements, it’s time to choose a campaign concept. The type of campaign will stem from your strategy and goals, as addressed above.  What kind of campaign do you want to launch? How will it help you reach your goals? Following are a few common ideas:

  • Launch a series of sponsored blog posts with a streamlined topic or focus
  • Have a variety of influencers take over your Instagram for a short time
  • Throw a Twitter party

Part of your campaign concept should include the creation of a campaign brief outlining the details to give to your influencers. If your company requires contracts, legal approval and/or paperwork, this is also the time to get that worked out.

When you’re creating the campaign brief, you should include deadlines, hashtags, messaging requirements and suggestions, and anything else you can think of that might be helpful to your influencers. After you’ve picked influencers, you’ll send them the creative brief to begin your partnership. And that leads us to… choosing your influencers.

 

Step 3: Find + contact influencers

How do you find the right influencers for your campaign? Start searching, clicking and reading. You’re looking for engaging bloggers, social media superstars, video hosts, subject experts, and so on. This can take some time because you’re going to want to identify more influencers you need, as it’s likely that not all of them will agree to the campaign.

There are a few things to consider when you start contacting influencers. First of all, you want influencers who are already writing about topics that relate to your brand or industry. For instance, if you’re selling high heels, you probably shouldn’t be partnering with a blogger who writes primarily about sports — even if that blogger has a massive following. Partnering with influencers who don’t make sense for your brand can have a substantially negative impact on the success of your campaign.

While you’re looking for the right influencers, consider your goals. If you’re measuring reach, look for influencers who have an impressive (relevant!) social following. If you’re hoping to drive engagement, look for influencers who have a lot of comments on their blog and profiles. Surprisingly, these two don’t necessarily go hand in hand. An influencer with a smaller following might have better engagement than an influencer with a massive following. Both have their value.

 

Step 4: Track results + distribute payments

By this time, you’ve either launched your campaign or you’re ready to launch. Great work! But you’re not done yet. Now it’s time for tracking. Based on the detailed goals you’ve put together and the metrics discussed in this post, you know exactly how you’re going to be tracking the campaign.

Ensure your campaign has fully run its course before you start reporting on the data. Combine data points and try to gather key insights. Once you have it all together, provide feedback to your influencers. Let them know that they made an impact and are appreciated! This is also a good time to decide what you think worked well and what could have been done better so that you can improve your next campaign.

 

Does this seem like a lot of work? It is! That’s why we created a platform that helps you efficiently manage all of these steps and more. By using the Find Your Influence platform, you can search for influencers with keywords and other filters, draft campaign briefs, launch campaigns, track results and make one-click payments—all in one. We’ll save you time and money, and you’ll be working with industry experts who can help you launch a successful campaign.

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How to Leverage Multiple Platforms in an Influencer Marketing Campaign

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By Courtney Moser

The average digital consumer has seven social media accounts.

Yes, seven… on average. Let that sink in for a minute. That number has risen quickly from just three social accounts in 2012, according to Global Web Index, and is reason enough to leverage multi-platform marketing.

So what’s your social number? Seven accounts seem shockingly high at first, until you start counting. Between Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat and everything else, there’s an overwhelming number of platforms and ways in which to connect online.

This can be daunting enough for consumers, but what about brands? The increasing amount of social networks and types of influencers can determine how you handle your marketing strategy and efforts. Below we outline a few of the ways you can make the most of marketing on multiple platforms.

Multi-platform social campaigns

Marketing on several social platforms is now necessary in order to effectively reach more users spanning many networks. In fact, 81% of consumers say that friend’s social media posts have directly influenced purchase decisions. And, 78% say that a company’s social media posts have impacted their decisions. Increased visibility across networks means more opportunities to get your content in front of consumers.

The specific platforms you choose will depend on your target audience and your influencer’s audience demographics. It’s important to understand the difference between the users on social platforms – for instance, Facebook users span a wide variety of age groups, but more than half of Instagram’s users are between the ages of 18-29. A social retail campaign targeting females in their twenties, then, might be shared across Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Blog campaigns

When working with blogging influencers, brands often let them choose which of their social platforms are most popular. Obviously, the main platform in this case is their blog, but most utilize other social networks to drive page views and engagement. Tylenol’s #WhatMattersMost campaign offers an excellent example of a multi-platform blog campaign. The brand asked blogging influencers to write about how they celebrate what matters most during the holidays, and then link to that content using the branded hashtag across social networks. The result was 36 blog posts that generated 112,251 unique views – plus 559 tweets, 206 Facebook likes and 334 Instagram posts.

Platform-specific campaigns

These campaigns are typically chosen to capitalize on a specific feature or demographic on a platform. Twitter parties, for instance, allow brands to connect quickly with consumers and follow conversations or host Q&A’s through branded hashtags. Or Facebook Live videos now offer a unique way for brands to “speak” with consumers in real time. Even if you’re running a platform-specific campaign, however, you can still promote it or link to it on other social platforms. You can spread the word about your Twitter party on other platforms to encourage followers to head over to your Twitter page on a certain day and time – increasing awareness and the number of participants tweeting.

To learn more about influencer marketing best practices and utilizing social platforms, check out all of the content on our blog. Plus, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Find the Right Influencers

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By Courtney Moser

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

Or is it? At FYI, we’d modify this piece of professional wisdom to read “It’s what you know and who you know,” but that wouldn’t be nearly as catchy. So instead, we’ll have to settle for explaining why both knowledge and connections matter in the world of influencer marketing.

Did you know, for example, that 92% of consumers turn to people they know for product or service referrals? And when it comes to retail research, 60% of consumers said they’ve consulted blogs or social media before shopping or making a purchase. This knowledge is critical in order to understand the importance of influencer marketing. You have to connect with the right influencers to be in front of the right eyes at the right time; to increase reach, awareness and engagement.

Ultimately, the goal of influencer marketing is to turn your influencers into brand advocates. To do this, you have to have a solid grasp on your own audience and know as much as you can about them: how old are they, what kind of blogs do they read, what are they interested in, and of course, why would they want your product or service? Then, you can connect with influencers who have similar interests, goals and high-reaching blogs or social platforms.

An influencer’s audience demographics should align with your target audience. Having this commonality provides a great starting point for cultivating an authentic relationship. Of course, relevance is just as important when it comes to content.Once you’ve found influencers who seem to fit with your brand, you should research their content and social networks. High-quality content is key when individuals are aligning themselves with your brand publicly. You want them to not only be creative and engaging, but professional and relevant as well.

So, how do you find the right influencers?

  1. Know your own audience
  2. Research their audience and content
  3. Add value and cultivate relationships

Don’t forget – this is all about relationships. It’s not just about brand sales or numbers, but adding value for influencers and consumers. As Forbes says: “When you select an influencer to work with, start by making an investment in them. Give them something worthy of sharing with their followers beyond samples and a product shot.”

Ready to learn more? Check out our best practices series here.

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How to Win Fans and Influence Consumers: Pick the Right Social Platform

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By: Courtney Moser

Quick, how many influencers are on Instagram?

Trick question! It’s not that simple: it depends on your brand, products, campaign goals, audience and overall mission. So while the answer for one company may be “all the influencers!” for others, it may be very few.

Before choosing which social media platforms you’ll utilize for your influencer marketing campaign, it’s important to understand the demographics and purpose of each one. Who is your target audience and what social networks are they on? Where does it make the most sense to reach them? Examples are shown below from Sprout Social statistics:

Facebook: This social platform has evolved throughout the years from a college friends network to include almost everyone. 87% of adults between the ages of 18-29, 73% of adults 30-49, 63% of adults 50-64 and 63% of adults 65+ use Facebook.

Instagram: More than half of Instagram’s main users are 18-29, and the platform is increasing in popularity as visual elements become more important: The average engagement per Instagram post has grown by 416% over two years (2015).

Twitter: Similar to Instagram, the largest demographic using Twitter is adults ages 18-29. Their users skew female and mostly urban dwellers. On-the-go, localized tweeting can be valuable for marketers: 80% of Twitter active users are on mobile.

Of course there’s also YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Periscope, and many more – but the highly popular networks above illustrate the span of demographics and users. If your brand wants to make an impact with consumers between the ages of 50-64, for example, your best bet for a successful promotion is Facebook. Or, if you want to market a new product to a younger female who lives in an urban area, make Twitter part of your strategy.

There will definitely be network overlaps, but more often than not, it makes sense to focus on a select few for campaigns – even if your brand has a presence on all of them. A video campaign on YouTube and Facebook Live, for instance, will require a different strategy than an image caption content on Instagram. And a trending hashtag may be more meaningful on Twitter or Instagram than other networks.

If you’re working with influencers in your campaign who are bloggers first, then you can ask them to share their blog content on the social platforms that make the most sense for their medium and audience. One influencer may be more photo-focused and have the most followers on Instagram, while another may have the strongest following on Facebook. This is something you’ll have to discuss upfront with your blogging influencers and factor into your campaign goals and analysis.

Now that you’re ready to pick your social platforms, what’s the next step in your influencer marketing campaign? Learn more in our best practices series here.

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Planning Your Holiday Influencer Marketing Campaign

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By: Courtney Gibb

 

Jingle bells, jingle bells, marketing season is on it’s way

Are you singing along yet? There are only 145 days until Christmas. And far less days until Halloween, Thanksgiving, you name it. Basically, it’s crunch time for marketers.

When it comes to business, holidays have long been invading our sun-soaked, pool-filled season of relaxation. After all, how can you sit back with a pina colada at the office when campaign deadlines loom? Over at Find Your Influence (FYI), we recommend a nine-week influencer marketing campaign plan. And if you count out nine weeks from today… well, we aren’t going to say it’s too late, but you better get moving!

November and December drive 30% more e-commerce revenue than non-holiday months. And according to Think with Google insights, 78% of consumers use the internet for holiday shopping research. So what are you waiting for? Setting a plan is the first step in your holiday influencer marketing campaign. This means deciding on a campaign goal that aligns with your overall company or brand mission and objectives. It can be anything from raising brand awareness to increasing website traffic to promoting a specific seasonal product or service.

After setting your goals, you have to figure out how you’re going to meet them. This is where the creative side of influencer marketing comes into play! Take these two very different campaign directions from FYI customers:

To highlight their family-focused brand, Tylenol asked nearly 40 lifestyle bloggers to answer the question: “How do you celebrate what matters most during the holidays?” Each influencer included Tylenol’s family video in their post, then promoted it using the hashtag #WhatMattersMost and tagged Tylenol on social media.

Zappos Couture wanted to differentiate themselves in the crowded high-end retail marketplace, so they decided to feature a sole celebrity fashion blogger instead of multiple influencers. They partnered with Lauren Conrad to increase buzz – and sales – and her blogging team chose ten items to highlight and link to on Zappos’ site.

Both brands succeeded in making an impact in their own way and boosting holiday brand awareness. So what will work for you?  Once you’ve decided on a campaign direction, you should set up a system of measurement – social engagement, blog views, etc. – and finalize a budget. Then, you can start honing in on finding the right influencers, and inviting them to participate.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with starting an influencer marketing campaign for this holiday season, we can help! Reach out to us with any questions here, or learn more about influencer marketing on our blog.

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