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7 Steps to Expand Your Reach Through Influencer Marketing



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You can only tout your brand’s products and benefits so often. Imagine how much more powerful that messaging can be if it comes from independent experts and voices that your audience trusts.

That’s the gist of influencer marketing. Done right, it’s a powerful way to expand and maximize not only your brand’s reach but also your credibility and customer interest.

Of course, you do have to do it right. Join us for an in-depth exploration of influencer marketing, from the power it has to supercharge your strategy and execution to the steps you can take to build an influencer marketing strategy designed to succeed.

The Potential Power of Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing has the potential to be immensely effective. How effective? Just look at these trends and statistics from recent surveys and studies:

  • 70% of teenagers, and 4 out of 10 millennials, trust influencers more than traditional celebrities or brands
  • 53% of all women have made a purchase specifically influenced by an influencer
  • The average influencer campaign returns $5.78 on every dollar invested initially
  • 51% of marketers say that influencer marketing results in not just more, but better customers
  • 63% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing spending in the coming year

All of those stats combine to a single but crucial point: influencer marketing is here to stay, and its effectiveness won’t slow down anytime soon.

By tapping into authentic third parties that your audience trusts, you can supercharge your earned media strategy for the social media age. That means spreading your message through more channels, more voices, and more touchpoints to increase your reach and conversions.

To get there, of course, you need a comprehensive and consistent influencer marketing strategy. These 7 steps can help you get there.

1. Identify Your Influencer Marketing Goal(s)

Naturally, and as is the case with any type of marketing strategy, the first step is to identify the exact goals you’re looking to achieve by working with influencers. Defining your goals early means that each of the following steps can be adjusted to focus on exactly what you’re looking to achieve.

Among the most common goals for influencer marketing are:

  • Brand Awareness: Increasing your reach and unlocking new audiences
  • Identity and Credibility Building: Associating your brand with voices your audience trusts and has defined by distinct personalities
  • Engagement: Pointing influencers towards your existing content to share with their audience
  • Sales: Building promotional product campaigns with your influencers
  • Customer Loyalty: Especially when engaging with current customers as micro-influencers

Don’t limit yourself to a single goal. More than one of the above might apply to your efforts and be relevant to your overall marketing strategy.

However, it pays to be specific. For example, the more you can define what, exactly, brand awareness means for you in numerical and time-based terms, the better you’ll be able to track the results of your campaigns.

2. Define Your Audience for Influencer Marketing

The next step should feel natural if you’ve built other types of marketing campaigns: defining the target audience for your influencer marketing.

This might be as simple as reviewing your brand’s overall target audience. But often, the audience for this type of campaign is a bit more defined, focused specifically on segments of your prospect base who tend to listen to and trust influencers.

During this step, it also helps to identify what channels your influencer-focused audience prefers, along with some common influencers and accounts they follow. Take a look at resources like Influencer Marketing Hub, whose reviews of tools in this marketing niche can be invaluable if you’re just starting your research.

3. Clarify Your Brand Voice and Personality

Part of the reason influencer marketing can be so successful is that you’re amplifying not just your content or product, but also your brand personality. That voice and personality is likely a key differentiator between you and your competitors, and influencer marketing can help you focus on that uniqueness.

To get there, of course, you have to make sure you know exactly what your brand voice and personality look like in the eyes of your audience.

If you don’t already have a brand messaging architecture set up, now is the time. If you do, make sure you know exactly what you stand for, and how your content expresses that architecture. It’s the foundation for finding influencers who speak within the same tone and cadence, maximizing overlap and brand congruence when your audience pays attention.

4. Find Influencers Who Match Your Audience, Channels, and Brand Voice

Now comes what is, in many ways, the crux of your influencer marketing success: finding the people you can partner with for maximum credibility, reach, and audience attention. All the steps you’ve taken to this point, from your goals to your audience and brand definition, can help you find that overlap you need for a consistent, coherent strategy and execution.

Finding influencers, of course, is its own complex process, the nuances of which go beyond the scope of this article. This guide can help you with some core steps to take to maximize your chances of success.

The best way, of course, is to use some of the online databases available to brands. As influencer marketing grows, the availability of those tools increases as well. From GroupHigh to TapInfluence, research the platforms available to you to find the individuals your audience is most likely to listen to.

5.  Reach Out to Potential Influencers for Partnerships

Once you’ve found a group of influencers that make sense for your audience and brand, it’s time to develop your outreach strategy. Standardizing this step can help all parties involved.

It all starts with a specific outline of exactly what you expect from your influencers, which can include:

  • The types of content you will share with them for promotion and amplification
  • Your brand voice and guidelines for reference, including any relevant logo and graphic files
  • Any legal compliance requirements in your industry when it comes to third-party promotion of content and product
  • Specific product promotions, like affiliate links or influencer-specific promotional codes to share with their audience

Compile this information into an influencer package, but let your contact with influencers shape the information you share over time. If you keep receiving the same questions, you can expand the content you share proactively for a more productive relationship.

With an initial package in place, reach out to potential influencers for help in promoting your brand. Gauge their willingness to work with you, and their expectations from you. Some may expect to be paid, while others are happy with affiliate links. And of course, it’s all about building those relationships over time, continually sharing new products and content for them to engage with and promote.

6. Turn Loyal Customers Into Micro-Influencers

Traditionally, most brands think of influencers as accounts with massive followings and the potential to influence thousands of potential customers. But while this more “glossy” part of influencer marketing is undoubtedly crucial, it isn’t your only opportunity to leverage third-party content for brand reach and promotion.

The other half of the equation is your current customers.

If they’re happy, they have the potential to become hugely influential to their own micro-communities of families and friends. You just have to know how to engage and encourage them.

A few steps can help you get there:

  1. Identify customers who are happy with and loyal to your brand
  2. Reach out proactively, thanking them for their loyalty
  3. Provide early access to new content and products
  4. Offer referral and affiliate opportunities to prompt promotions to their own networks

In this strategic approach, attention to detail is vital. It’s only effective if you truly work with happy customers and remove them from your efforts at any sign of oversaturation or annoyance. That way, you keep your efforts focused specifically on those customers you know are likely to promote your brand and products.

7. Standardize and Track Your Influencer Marketing Efforts

Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of treating influencer marketing not as a one-off lucky chance, but a systematic approach designed to continue succeeding over time.

That means standardizing your planning efforts, especially if multiple people are involved in the process. A marketing project management tool designed to optimize your campaign planning and execution can go a long way towards systematically taking all necessary steps and iterating over time.

These steps also include tracking your success. According to Welcome research in collaboration with Sirkin, marketers’ second most common bottleneck is reporting marketing performance as it pertains to overall goals.

Tracking influencer marketing is most effective through UTM codes or custom product promotional codes but does require some significant setup. Of course, that doesn’t make tracking your influencer marketing ROI less important.

Over time, as you continue to standardize your campaigns and track your ROI, you can integrate influencer marketing into your larger promotional efforts. That way, it becomes a part of a larger whole, designed to drive reach and marketing success not in isolation but as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Welcome can help you standardize those efforts through more effective campaign planning and project management. Ready to give it a try? Get started with a free Welcome account today.

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Native video tops social media in brand awareness study



Native video tops social media in brand awareness study

Native video ads have a greater impact than video ads on social and video platforms, a new study from Kantar reported. The Multichannel Brand Impact study measured video ad effectiveness for brand goals in native environments against other environments.

Favorability. Participants in the study gave a favorable rating 59% of the time when exposed to a native video ad. That number dropped to 50% on social platforms and 51% in a video platform environment.

Source: Kantar Context Lab/Taboola.

Awareness. 33% of participants displayed top-of-mind awareness about a brand when shown a native video ad. This displayed a marked improvement over the control group, which only had 14% top-of-mind awareness.

When native video was combined with social video ads, the awareness climbed to 49%.

Impact of native ads. Taboola, which sells content discovery and native advertising products, sponsored the study.

“With industry estimates indicating that video advertising in the U.S. will reach nearly $50B this year, brands have a lot of opportunities to influence customers, as long as they’re choosing the right platforms and mix of platforms to relay their messages,” said Taboola CEO and founder Adam Singolda, in a company release.

Read next: Taboola acquires Connexity

Why we care. Social media is where consumers receive word-of-mouth recommendations from family and friends. Still a potent source of brand impact for marketers. But social is also a highly contentious space for politics and other turnoffs. It’s not the ace in the hole it once was, and should be complemented with other native environments in a digital video campaign.

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About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country’s first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on “innovation theater” at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.

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Worsening economy has more shoppers getting online info before making in-store purchases



Worsening economy has more shoppers getting online info before making in-store purchases

Summer’s here and the shoppers are wary. Consumer spending increased in May, but only by 0.2%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. This explains why 76% of U.S. shoppers are searching online for reviews and better prices before buying in store, according to a new Adobe Commerce study of sentiment among over 1,000 U.S. consumers. Also, when they’re in a store 60% are using their phone to look for better prices elsewhere.

Another sign of the slowing economy: 24% say they won’t be able to take advantage of big summer holiday sales because they have less discretionary money to spend due to inflation and the higher cost of goods. 

Read next: Adobe: Online prices were up only 2% in May

On the good news side: 76% of those planning to participate in summer sales say they’ll spend more or the same amount as last year. And the motivation varies — more than half (56%) of consumers say they save money by shopping on Prime Day and other sales events, while others want to get ahead of their seasonal holiday (32%) and back-to-school shopping (23%).

However, most of those who intend to buy don’t believe big retailers’ promises of deeper discounts because of overstocking. Almost 65% expect discounts to be smaller than last year. 

Other findings:

  • 61% said receiving personalized promotions or recommendations will make them more likely to make a purchase.
  • 43% said they are more likely to purchase from a retailer that offers buy now, pay later.
  • 72% want the online purchases delivered the same day or via two-day shipping.
  • 50% are now more likely to make retail purchases on their phones, 26% prefer in-store shopping and 24% prefer shopping via their computer
  • 57% search for and buy products online if they can’t find them in stores.
Categories for which consumers report using buy now, purchase later.

Why we care. Inflation and higher interest rates are, as expected, taking an increased toll on consumer spending. That makes marketing more important than ever, via activities like personalization and customer experience. That should also include offering payment options like buy now, pay later. People are used to putting everything on a credit card, but interest rates are making that less attractive to them.

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About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.

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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a Marketing Backlog



Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots

We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop.

Now we’re going to dive into the next stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components — Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. If you’re familiar with the Scrum framework, there are a lot of similarities here — with a few different nuances to make it more applicable to marketers.

Building and managing an effective Marketing Backlog

Now, let’s dive into the Marketing Backlog and some tips and tricks for marketers to be most effective. 

The Marketing Backlog is an ordered list of prioritized work that the agile team will pull from to work on in their Launch Cycle. The backlog is emergent, not static, and changes as new information is learned. 

This part of the framework is incredibly important and can have a major impact on how marketers work. First of all, there’s one shared place where all work lives. This avoids work happening “behind the scenes” that no one knows about.

In fact, one client that I worked with took all of the work that was already assigned to stakeholders, put it in a single backlog and realized that it would take five years to deliver! It’s with this level of transparency that teams and leaders can begin to visualize everything the team is doing and start to really understand what’s important and what may just be someone’s pet project.

There are many tools for managing your marketing backlog and they all have their pros and cons. The main thing to watch out for is ensuring that everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders have access. We want to build a transparent system.

If you’ve started with the Collaborative Planning Workshop, you’ve already begun to build out the Marketing Backlog. The items in your Minimally Viable Launch will go near the top, and other items will fall below. Work is never guaranteed until the team starts working on it, and even then sound business reasons could cause them to pivot, although that shouldn’t be the norm.

Prioritizing the backlog is one of the key responsibilities of the Marketing Owner. While they don’t do this in a vacuum and conversations with stakeholders are imperative, this role has the ultimate authority to decide what order the team will work on and which items won’t be considered (there are always way more good ideas than time).

The role of the Marketing Owner

The Marketing Owner needs to really understand the business value that each idea brings. Each marketing backlog should be thought of in terms of:

  • Level of effort it will take the team to complete (let’s face it — all things aren’t created equal. Building a Tesla may take longer than a base model Honda, so think through marketing ideas as well).
  • What value does it bring to customers? Joy? Satisfaction? Solves a problem? Addresses a cause?
  • What will the business gain from this idea, and how does it tie to business goals, KPIs and revenue?

Stakeholders, customers and team members should all be thinking about new ideas all of the time and everyone is invited to submit ideas to the backlog. However, it’s at the Marketing Owner’s discretion to decide which ideas will be worked on by the team and when.

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Work should never be directly assigned to a team member in agile marketing. It should be submitted to the backlog or discussed with the marketing owner as it needs to be visible and prioritized among everything else.

In agile marketing, backlog items should be used to test and learn and are thought of as micro-experiments, rather than large campaign blasts. 

While a backlog item may be for a post on Facebook, the team should be thinking in terms of testing elements, such as content. If the content is successful, similar content pieces would be on the backlog. However, if the content doesn’t perform well, the team would want to think of new backlog items with different content.

agile marketing workflow

Catch up on the Agile Marketing Navigator series!

The backlog may contain some business as usual items to keep the lights on, but the majority of items should be small, testable experiments that can quickly get to customers for real-time feedback.

If you haven’t started a marketing backlog yet, what are you waiting for?

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”

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