Choosing the wrong strategy is a mistake all marketers want to avoid. Figuring out exactly what needs to happen to make a campaign successful doesn't need to be stressful. To help with that, we wrote down our advice for creating a winning strategy for maximum engagement through influencer marketing.
Why should I care about engagement?
Let's get this out of the way first. Engagement is just as important, if not more important, than reach when it comes to influencer marketing. Having 1 million followers doesn't mean much if only 50 of those followers care enough to like or comment on content.
It is also worth noting that in this world of algorithms, engagement affects how visible content is on social media. If you care about building a strong audience on any social network, engagement plays a huge role in making that happen.
Legitimate influencers have audiences that care about their content enough to interact and engage. This interaction is the core of what makes influencer marketing so effective. In other words, engagement is what makes the digital space function.
Now you know why you should care. Here's how you get started.
Step 1: Choose the right influencer platform
Instagram is the easiest platform for creating engagement between a brand and potential customers. Why? Because Instagram is built for engagement. That is even more true now with recent algorithm changes that prioritize engaging content.
For influencer campaigns that have increased engagement as their main objective, Instagram is the right platform.
Step 2: Understand available Instagram formats
Traditionally, people tend to think Instagram is just a feed of perfectly curated images. That is both true and false. Images are still at the core of Instagram's model but the platform has been innovating new ways of producing content. In some cases, Instagram's team have taken existing ideas and incorporated them in a more appealing way.
The full range of content options on Instagram are:
- Instagram pictures
- Instagram carousels (multiple pictures in one post)
- Instagram Video
- Instagram Stories and Stories Highlights
Standard Instagram posts still work but keep in mind Instagram videos have proven to be very effective marketing tools. Work with influencers to create content that incorporates more than one of these content options. Doing so gives audiences multiple opportunities to see and interact with the content.
Step 3: Encourage User-Generated Content
User generated content (UGC)is a great. It's great because it gives audiences the opportunity to directly participate in the brand's story. UGC is an outlet for creativity that, when paired with a well-executed campaign, creates a more positive experience of a brand for social media users.
Encourage influencer audiences to join the conversation by incorporating hashtags in your influencer strategy. Come up with a hashtag that is specific to your campaign to get people talking and sharing. Giving your audience a way to create and share their own content extends a brand's reach, and increases the odds of the right people finding their way to you.
Added bonus: Campaign-specific hashtags can help you measure public response to influencer marketing efforts.
Step 4: Expand to other platforms
This one isn't necessary but it is still something to think about. As we said above, Instagram is the main platform for generating engagement. That doesn't mean that other platforms must be ignored. Working on multiple social media platforms opens up branded content to as wide a network as possible, meaning more of your target audience is likely to see it.
One example of incorporating multiple platforms is using Snapchat stories to drive traffic to the influencer's Instagram content featuring your brand.
This approach depends on the campaign budget and the influencers you decide to work with. Sometimes it makes sense to stick to one platform so we'll leave that one up to you.