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Estimated reading time: 11 minutes

Consider the feeling of discovering a new business through a trusted friend’s recommendation. 

That is precisely how customers perceive your brand when they are introduced to it through an influencer they trust. 

Influencer marketing refers to a marketing approach where brands utilize the established trust and audience of influencers to enhance their visibility among potential customers. 

This approach allows brands to tap into the social proof generated by these influencers, utilizing it as a persuasive tool to drive sales and achieve marketing goals. 

Here are some statistics that underscore the growing importance of influencer marketing and the effectiveness and value this strategy brings to the table: 

  • According to a Benchmark report in 2023, the return on investment (ROI) from influencer marketing is considered to be better than other marketing channels by 83%
  • Furthermore, another study highlights that 80% of marketers have allocated a substantial standalone budget specifically for influencer marketing. 
  • Finally, 55% of consumers learn about brands while on social sites.

In this article, we’ll explore how to create a comprehensive influencer marketing strategy with successful brand case studies.

How Does Influencer Marketing Work?

Influencer marketing is a relatively new spin on celebrity marketing. Businesses that partner with social influencers rely on the trust that social media stars have built with their followers. However, before aligning with a brand ambassador, companies have to do their research to ensure it’s a good fit. 

Once you’ve found an influencer who aligns with your budget and brand values, you have to draw up a contract. The contract you give to a brand ambassador is different from the one you’ll offer to employees, as influencers are freelance and not full-time salaried staff. At a minimum, your influencer contract should include:

  • Compensation details
  • A detailed scope of work
  • Confidentiality/exclusivity agreements
  • Details regarding ownership and FTC compliance

Hiring an influencer can be a little tricky at first. However, the process is well worth the effort as influencer marketing is a powerful tool for any budget-conscious start-up. 

Influencer marketing can boost your SEO, too. Influencer-generated content improves your brand awareness and increases website traffic. Maximize the impact of your influencer by giving them strategically designed, valuable backlinks to embed in their content. This will draw more highly qualified leads to your site, lead to more conversions, and improve your overall ROI. 

Steps For Creating An Influencer Marketing Strategy

1. Define Your Goals & Budget

To maintain consistency throughout your influencer marketing campaign, it is essential to establish clear goals and determine an annual budget. When defining your goals, consider the following objectives to guide your strategy:

  • Enhance brand awareness and establish a strong brand identity.
  • Expand your social media followers and cultivate an engaged online community.
  • Generate higher engagement levels with increased shares, comments, and likes on your content.
  • Boost your marketing funnel or sales pipeline by offering enticing promotions or lead magnets.
  • Drive more consumer purchases and increase conversion rates.
  • Strengthen your search engine optimization efforts through valuable backlinks to improve your online visibility.

When budgeting for influencer collaborations, it’s important to consider a fixed rate based on the influencer’s follower count and the number of sponsored posts required. 

For instance, data shows that 19% of businesses allocate an annual budget ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, while 18% invest between $100,000 to $500,000. 

A chart of company's influencer marketing budgets in 2019.

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These rates typically reflect the influencer’s reach and the scope of the collaboration.

The budget range for influencer collaborations varies depending on factors such as your industry and whether you choose to work with macro- or micro-influencers. On average, macro-influencers charge between $5,000 to $10,000 per post, whereas micro-influencers typically earn around $100 to $500 per engagement.

2. Understand Your Target Audience: Identify The Individuals You Aim To Influence

To create an impactful influencer engagement strategy, it is crucial to understand and connect with your intended audience. For the specific social media marketing campaign, take into account the products and services you are planning to promote. 

To effectively determine your target audience for an influencer marketing strategy, several factors need to be considered:

  • Start by conducting market research to understand the demographics, interests, and preferences of your potential customers.
  • Analyze your existing customer base and gather data on their age, gender, location, and other relevant characteristics. Additionally, consider psychographic factors such as values, lifestyle, and behaviors. 
  • Define your target audience’s needs and pain points to align your messaging with their aspirations. 
  • Utilize social media analytics tools to identify platforms where your audience is most active. 

Once these personas are established, you can easily collaborate with influencers whose audience aligns with your target market, ensuring their content resonates with your brand values and objectives.

3. Discover Industry-Relevant Influencers

Finding influencers who align with your brand is simply a matter of locating them. There are various categories of influencers that you can explore. While celebrities may be the first ones that come to your mind when thinking of influencers, they are not always the optimal or exclusive choice for finding the right influencers for your brand.

Here’s an overview of different types of influencers based on their follower size:

An infographic showing four types of influencers for an influencer marketing strategy: celebrities, macro influencers, micro influencers, and nano influencers.

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1. Celebrities or ce “web” sites (with a following of 1 million or more): It encompasses two distinct groups where Celebrities typically include actors, musicians, and artists who have gained fame through traditional means. On the other hand, “web” cities are a specific subset of celebrities who have achieved their fame primarily through online platforms.

2. Macro-Influencers (10K-1M Followers): Macro influencers often include well-known personalities, industry experts, or individuals who have gained a substantial following through their content creation efforts. These individuals have built their following through the power of social media. 

3. Micro-Influencers (<10K Followers): These influencers use their online presence to endorse products that align with their interests or expertise.

4. Nano-Influencers: Emerging as a distinct category of influencers, nano-influencers tend to curate a more casual feed, often including meme posts and pictures highlighting their relationships.

A successful influencer strategy relies on carefully selecting a diverse range of influencers who produce genuine content that resonates with and motivates their audience. 

Your influencers can encompass industry experts, bloggers, consumers, thought leaders, or even non-competing brands. However, regardless of whom you choose, they must align strategically with your brand’s objectives and requirements. Otherwise, there is a risk of investing resources unnecessarily.

How To Discover Influencers That Align With Your Brand?

When selecting influencers for your brand, it is crucial to consider these six key points:

1. Spectators: Are their followers aligned with your potential customers?

2. Originality: Do they have the ability to connect with and persuade their audience genuinely?

3. Engagement: Do they generate meaningful interactions and responses beyond superficial likes?

4. Location: Is their audience located in the areas where your brand operates and sells?

5. Class: Does the caliber of their creative work match the standards set by your brand?

6. Channel: Are they active and influential on platforms where your brand’s relevance is prominent?

Achieving success with your strategy hinges on collaborating with the appropriate influencers who produce highly impactful social media content on the channels frequented by your potential customers, compelling them to take action. It is crucial to thoroughly evaluate the prospective influencer’s positioning. 

While you may admire their work, if their audience primarily resides in a country where your brand does not sell its products, you may not attain the desired return on investment (ROI) you seek.

When contacting your selected influencers, it is important to approach them privately and personally. Remember that your goal is to establish a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. Annoying spam-like outreach is never appreciated, particularly by savvy influencers.

4. Employ Appropriate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) To Gauge Success

After successfully onboarding influencers for your brand, it is essential to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that can yield tangible outcomes for your business. When effectively managed and tracked, influencer marketing holds significant potential to deliver results. 

The Digital Marketing Institute highlights the following as the most prevalent KPIs:

1. Generating Leads

2. Traffic Generated Through referrals

3. Brand Exposure & Reach

4. Target Audience Growth

5. Levels Of Audience Engagement

By establishing well-defined key performance indicators (KPIs), you can implement a performance-based payment model. Whether you assess cost per click, cost per lead, cost per sale, or adopt a fixed rate, having a clear understanding of your metrics enables you to foster stronger partnerships built on transparency. This approach also allows you to provide clear payout structures to your influencer partners.

5. Measuring Your ROI

As a budget-conscious startup, you can’t afford to dump cash into projects that don’t directly bolster your bottom line. This means you need to establish some key performance indicators (KPIs) that can help you measure the efficacy of your influencer marketing initiatives. 

Start by tracking holistic marketing KPIs like sales volume, leads generated, and lifetime value of a customer. These marketing KPIs are the backbone of any good brand strategy and can give you a clear “before and after” snapshot of your influencer marketing campaign. 

However, if you really want to understand the ROI of your influencer marketing, you’ll need to blend social metrics with revenue data. Start tracking influencer KPIs by measuring your conversion rate. Conversion is a great indication of influencer marketing effectiveness, as influencers typically bring in highly-qualified leads. 

Keep a tab of referral traffic on your site, and note any fluctuations in activity that are generated from social sites. If you’re struggling to track referral traffic, consider giving influencers promotional codes that folks can use at checkout. This will naturally boost sales and help you track how many conversions your influencer has generated. 

6. Keep Expanding & Fine-Tune Your Influencer Program

After developing a strong influencer marketing strategy, it is important to maintain flexibility and avoid relying too heavily on a single approach. Expand your portfolio of influencer partners while consistently monitoring and evaluating their performance. 

Remain open to new and innovative talents across all influencer categories, ranging from nano to celebrity. Some niches may excel, while others may not meet your desired performance standards. By diversifying and adapting, you can optimize your influencer program for greater success.

However, it’s crucial to understand that these partnerships are dynamic and constantly evolving. Maintain regular communication with your influencers, establish a solid influencer contract, clearly outline key performance indicators (KPIs) and appropriately recognize and reward their success. 

Influencer Marketing Strategy Examples

Example#1: Mama Earth

mama earth

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Mamaearth is revolutionizing eCommerce through its impactful influencer marketing strategies. Leveraging a vast network of over 100 influencers across diverse social media platforms, Mamaearth effectively engages both micro and macro influencers. 

Remarkable campaigns like “#ShaadiWalaGlowEveryday” featuring the stunning Shilpa Shetty Kundra and the association with Sara Ali Khan in 2021 add a contemporary touch to the brand. 

Partnering with influential mom bloggers further enhances Mamaearth’s desirability, leading to a significant surge in brand value. Explore their captivating “Goodness is a Choice” campaign where Insta Moms share their enriching experiences with Mamaearth’s beauty products.

Example#2: Allen Solly

Allen Solly

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Allen Solly launched the “#ShootForSolly” campaign to target young consumers and promote their collection of chinos as a stylish alternative to jeans. The campaign involved collaborating with 22 influencers from diverse backgrounds who showcased their style by pairing Allen Solly chinos with a shirt of their choice from a local store in their respective cities. 

With remote support from the Allen Solly team, the influencers arranged a photo shoot at prominent city landmarks, capturing captivating images. These visuals were then compiled on a dedicated micro-website and shared across various social media platforms. 

The #ShootForSolly campaign successfully reached an estimated audience of 73,493 people and generated a notable 712,203 impressions. On Facebook, the campaign achieved engagement from 116,279 unique users, reaching a total of 2 million individuals and garnering 3.2 million impressions.

Example#3: GotMilk?

Got Milk?

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The “Got Milk?” campaign was a ubiquitous presence for those who grew up in the early 2000s. It was hard to miss the TV ads, billboards, and posters featuring popular celebrities sporting the iconic milk mustache. 

While the campaign had lost some momentum over time, it has recently made a comeback with a fresh wave of celebrities and influencers. In 2021, Got Milk? Collaborated with NFL star Derrick Henry, creating a playful Instagram video in which he bursts through grocery store shelves to indulge in a refreshing glass of milk. 

Additionally, the brand partnered with online creators on Twitter for National Milk Day, where they showcased their favorite milk-based snacks alongside a creatively designed shirt.

Wrapping Up!

The effectiveness of influencer marketing lies in its ability to expand your brand’s reach and amplify your brand’s voice. However, executing successful influencer campaigns requires a strategic approach.

According to Alex Milligan, Co-Founder & CMO of NuggMD, incorporating an influencer marketing strategy enables you to not only access specific platforms but also effectively engage your target audience. Implementing a well-defined influencer strategy facilitates the measurement of campaign success and provides valuable insights for enhancing future initiatives.

We firmly agree with his viewpoint, as a well-crafted influencer marketing strategy serves as a guiding map, allowing you to evaluate your campaign’s progress and foster valuable influencer partnerships, ultimately leading to impactful outcomes.

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