Influencer marketing has been in the limelight for the last few years. And rightly so, because of the results that brands are achieving through influencer marketing.

In fact, 89% of businesses agree that the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to, or even better than other marketing channels!

No wonder, numerous businesses today, be it small or big ones, are giving a shot at and succeeding at influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is not just for bigger companies with big budgets. Businesses of any size can rope in influencers and then scale their efforts as their ROI grows.

If you have been skeptical about trying influencer marketing, then this is the time to start. Marketing gurus have predicted a steady growth of influencer marketing in the coming years and it is time for you to hop onto the boat.

In this brief guide, you’ll learn how to create a super-effective and scalable influencer marketing plan for 2021.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencers are people who have created a loyal follower base by creating content and adding value through the years. Their followers trust them, and thus when influencers promote your products to their followers, you’ll generate numerous leads.

Influencer marketing is when businesses partner with influencers to promote their products, increase brand awareness, and generate more leads for their campaigns.

Steps to Create a Scalable Influencer Marketing Plan in 2021

1. Set goals and budgets

The first and most important step is to set goals and budgets for your influencer marketing campaign. Based on these factors, you’ll start your search for the perfect influencers that fit your budget as well as resonate with your goals.

Your campaign goals and objectives completely depend on your requirements. Are you launching a new product or product feature in the market? Are you trying to boost your existing products? Are you trying to find the right audience and convert them into loyal customers?

Depending on answers to such questions, your influencer marketing campaign goals can be:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Promote a new product or product feature
  • Generate more high-quality leads
  • Increase conversion rates
  • Drive website traffic
  • Increase social media engagement
  • Expand your target market and get a deeper understanding of what resonates with them the most

Your goals can be one or more than one of these.

You’ll also have to determine the budget that you are willing to set aside for your influencer marketing campaign. Based on your budget you can either rope in micro-influencers (1000 to 100,000 followers) or macro-influencers (100,000 to 1 million followers).

2. Find Influencers

Once you have met your influencer marketing goals and budget, the next step is to find influencers that are the best fit for your requirements. This step is crucial because, without the right influencers, your campaign won’t be as effective.

The key is to find influencers whose audience resonates with your brand’s messaging. For this to happen, the influencers you pick must have followers who fit your ideal target persona.

Of course, you can experiment with new target audiences, but ensure that your offerings fit their needs. Here are a few ways to find influencers for your campaigns:

  • Create an ideal influencer persona. Influencers with a larger audience may not necessarily be the best fit for your campaign. You will get increased engagement only if their audience relates to your messaging.
  • Look for influencers who produce consistent, high-quality content. You should also look at their engagement metrics such as comments, shares, likes, etc.
  • For finding influencers on social media, either look for influencers who are already engaging with your brand or positively talking about your products.
  • You can also look for your competitors’ followers. Chances are that they will be interested in your products as well.
  • Another way to find influencers is by looking at relevant hashtags and see which influencers post content using these hashtags and what kind of engagement they generate.
  • You can also consider using social listening tools to look for influencers.

3. Conduct Influencer Outreach

The next step is to reach out to these influencers. You can do this using email sequences.

First, find influencers’ email addresses using tools such as Hunter.io. Next, create your influencer outreach email sequence. You can create personalized, effective emails with creative subject lines.

Ensure that you clearly mention your expectations and the benefits of such a partnership in the email. You must also personalize the emails based on the primary platform used by the influencer and the types of content they produce.

You can use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to better manage your influencer outreach. Such a tool will help you consolidate all the data at a central place, track responses, and automate processes.

4. Create Promotional Content

Once you have partnered with a set of influencers, you can start your campaigns by creating promotional content.

There are various ways to create influencer content. Either you can create the content and ask the influencers to promote it. Or, you can create content together with the influencers. Another way is to entirely leave it to the influencers to create the content for you, and you can then approve it.

A user-generated content strategy works great with influencer marketing campaigns. In this strategy, influencers can encourage users to create social media content around your brand or products. This can be super-helpful for increasing brand awareness.

You should focus on more visual types of content that work best with social media platforms. You can create infographics, promotional videos, or case studies. These types of content receive a lot of engagement.

Storytelling also works great for influencer campaigns. Remember to use the right hashtags and call to actions while creating content.

If you are collaborating with influencers for creating content, ensure that you clearly explain your campaign goals and equip them with the right resources.

Also, leave room for the creativity and personalization of the influencer, only then will your content receive the maximum amount of traction from their audience. Your content should not look too orchestrated.

5. Track your Influencer Marketing Metrics

Tracking the metrics of your influencer campaigns is super important. Without understanding the metrics, you won’t be able to scale your campaigns.

You can track influencers’ metrics by assigning tracking links or affiliate codes. You can track metrics such as:

  • Increase in the number of visitors to your website
  • Increase in the number of followers
  • Number of product sales per influencer
  • Social media engagement metrics such as likes, comments, and shares
  • Increase in the number of leads generated
  • Increase in the number of conversions

6. Refine and Scale

Based on your campaign performance, you can start scaling your influencer marketing campaign. Contact even more influencers, produce more high-quality content, and track the success metrics.

Promote your influencer marketing opportunities on your social media platforms and website. Make it easier for influencers to reach out to you. Over time you’ll start noticing more and more influencers showing interest in your affiliate programs and influencer partnerships.

You can also experiment with different types of influencers and partnerships. With experimentation, you might discover the one which works best for you. You can also experiment with the type of content that you produce in partnership with the influencers.

Wrapping it up

Influencer marketing is becoming increasingly popular and the trend is set to grow in the coming years. Many top influencers are already taken. Hence, start identifying and reaching out to influencers now.

Use the tips in this article to create, scale, and optimize your influencer marketing campaigns. Over time you’ll definitely see a significant boost in your ROI.

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