Your friendly, neighborhood content strategist.

The most effective influencer marketing campaigns may differ in many ways, but they also share many similarities. In this post, let’s take a look at 12 influencer marketing best practices that will help your 2022 campaigns get the most visibility, drum up clicks, and protect both your brand and your influencer partners in the process.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

First, let’s give this post some context. Influencer marketing is a form of word-of-mouth marketing in which brands hire influencers (social media content creators) to promote the brand and/or its products to the influencer’s followers.

Unfortunately, we also need to clarify what “hire” means as well because there are a lot of fake brand ambassador programs that claim to work with influencers. In reality, a lot of those programs are run by shady internet companies trying to get kids to buy expensive leggings then offering a 15% off coupon code for so-called ambassadors.

Hiring an influencer means a brand pays the influencer to provide a service. Sometimes that payment is in the form of free products, but most brands are paying in some form of currency.

A successful campaign has lots of moving parts, but the process is pretty much the same: structure your campaign to achieve a specific set of goals, bring the right group of diverse influencers to create compelling branded content around those goals, and run that campaign on the social channels your target audience is using.

Influencer Marketing Is Growing in Popularity

Influencer marketing is a rapidly-growing industry that’s expected to surpass $15 billion within the next 12 months. To put this in perspective in 2016, the influencer marketing industry was worth $1.7 billion, according to Statista.

Influencer Marketing Hub reports that 75 percent of brands that have a standalone content marketing budget are allocating marketing spend to influencer marketing as well. Upwards of 35 percent of brands that say they’ll run influencer campaigns are planning to spend $100,000 or more in the next year. That’s pretty significant.

The Challenges Marketers Face with Their Campaigns

Influencer marketing presents a unique set of challenges for marketers. On the one hand, 90 percent of the marketers polled say influencer marketing is an effective means of reaching buyers. On the other hand, 67 percent of brands say influencer fraud is still a major concern for them, 61 percent say finding the right influencers for their campaigns is hard, and many brands still find it challenging to predict and even measure influencer marketing ROI.

With so much to gain and so much to lose, how do you ensure your influencer marketing campaign delivers results beyond sponsored posts? How do you structure campaigns to get engagement? Or use it to build your catalog of marketing assets? Or get people to click over to your online store or become new customers? (Real question: how many Likes do we have to get to increase sales??)

Lots to think about, right?

Hang on… before you set out to learn all the things about influencer marketing, I want to establish that influencer marketing is a great deal more science than art (or they’re 50/50, at the very least). Despite its reputation for being the “wild west” of digital marketing, the best ways to run an influencer campaign are data-driven, fact-backed, logical processes to achieve predictable outcomes.

So, here are some influencer marketing best practices you can leverage to ensure that everything about your campaign, from the selection process to the content creation to the campaign hashtags, helps your customers move through your sales funnels. Read up on The Shelf blog.

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