40% of Online Shoppers Base Their Purchases On Social Media Recommendations. Here's How to Make Influencer Marketing Work for Your Business. Ninety-three percent of marketers use influencer marketing within their overall marketing strategy. Here's how to use it effectively in your next campaign.

By Stephanie Garcia

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Scroll through Instagram or TikTok today, and there's a good chance you'll see an influencer promoting a brand. And if you don't recognize the person talking, just ask a nearby Gen Z who they are.

Influencer marketing is only getting bigger

Influencer marketing works because of the big shift to online shopping. Ninety percent of consumers buy from brands they follow on social media channels — and 40% actively seek out recommendations for products and services through social media platforms.

But if you're a company new to the influencer video marketing game, this article will clear any worries and head scratches about how to get it right.

Let's cover five essential things you must do (and the crucial things you need to avoid) to crush your next influencer video campaign, regardless of whether you're a big brand like Burger King or a small business collaborating with a micro-influencer.

1. Define Your Campaign Idea and Goals

Before diving into an influencer video campaign, having a clear vision and strategy is crucial. You don't magically "go viral" because you're working with an influencer. You need to develop a strategy that allows you to maximize exposure, optimize your campaign performance, and track progress every step of the way.

Three important goals you'll want to consider:

  1. Increasing brand awareness
  2. Driving traffic to your website/specific product
  3. Generating leads or sales

For example, Chipotle partnered with TikTok influencer Joey Klaasen to promote their new lifestyle bowls, resulting in a video with 104.6K likes and 553 shares. Klaasen has over 18 million followers on TikTok. This was a great chance to bring more brand awareness to a younger demographic while promoting their new lifestyle bowls and fast delivery when you're hungry and running low on options. There was no discount code or link to a site, just simple and effective brand awareness.

Avoid forgetting your campaign goals: Having clear goals for your campaign and ensuring your strategy aligns with those goals is important. If the main message of your campaign is for your audience to know about a specific product feature, be clear about showing that with the influencer and how it works.

2. Research the right influencers for your campaign.

It always pays to research influencers to ensure the right fit. Confirm that influencers have previously worked on similar campaigns and have a look and feel that complements your brand. Observe how they engage with their followers to assess their reach.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do they post a lot of organic content or paid posts?
  • Is their audience enthusiastic and responsive, or do posts get few likes and comments?

You also need to consider the relevance of the influencer's content to your product and target audience. For big brands, collaborating with macro-influencers with a large following can generate widespread brand awareness, as we saw with Chipotle or how Dunkin Donuts partnered with Charli D'Amelio for the 'Charli Cold Brew.'

On the other hand, small businesses can benefit from working with micro-influencers with a highly engaged niche audience. Platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok provide valuable resources for finding influencers in your industry.

Avoid poor content matching: Choosing influencers who are a good match for your brand and who can create content that resonates with your target audience is essential. You don't want to force a relationship. If your target audience is men over 50 selling sex performance pills, you may not want to hire a 28-year-old male. And remember, it's not just about the number of followers but also about the authenticity and engagement of their audience.

3. Setting a Realistic Budget

Budgeting plays a crucial role in influencer video campaigns. While big brands may have substantial resources, small businesses must allocate their budgets wisely. Consider the fees charged by influencers based on their reach, engagement, and content quality. Negotiating fair compensation that aligns with the influencer's value and your campaign goals is essential.

Reading Recommendation: Did you know there are five different levels of influencers? Read how much influencers typically charge and about the rise of Nano influencers for those with leaner budgets.

4. Choosing the Right Social Channel

You may have a great idea you can see doing well on multiple channels, but I recommend choosing one platform you want to focus on first. You can always expand to other platforms later, but if you're just starting, stick with one.

Ideally, your brand should already have a presence on this network or want to expand. Look for influencers who align with your brand values and have an engaged following on that platform.

Each platform offers unique features and caters to different audiences. YouTube is ideal for longer-form content and in-depth product reviews, while Instagram is perfect for visually appealing and short-form videos. TikTok's viral nature and Gen Z audience make it suitable for creating engaging and shareable content. Research the demographics and user behavior of different social platforms to understand where your target audience spends their time. Focus your efforts on platforms where you can effectively engage with your audience.

Avoid running the same campaign across multiple channels: A longer video is great for YouTube but may get skipped on TikTok.

5. Tracking and Analyzing Campaign Performance

To ensure the success of your influencer video campaign, it's vital to track and analyze its performance. Utilize tracking links and unique discount codes to monitor the traffic and conversions generated by each influencer.

HelloFresh is a great example of this. Take a look at influencer Linda Yu Qian promote using HelloFresh to help control their weekly food budget — and offer a discount code.

Final words about crushing your influencer video marketing.

Influencer video campaigns have become an indispensable marketing strategy and smart investment for brands and companies of all sizes.

This stat should be an eye-opener: Globally, marketers are expected to spend more than $32 billion on influencer marketing in 2023.

They spend because it works (when done correctly).

By understanding the importance of finding the right influencers, defining your campaign idea and values, setting a realistic budget, choosing the right social channels, and tracking campaign performance, you're steps ahead of competitors still stuck on traditional marketing.

There are many platforms and third parties that help track ROI on influencer campaigns. I recommend using Mavrck. It's like a cheat code to manage everything in one place. Their analytics tools help you measure engagement, reach, and more.

Don't forget: Influencer video campaigns are not just about promoting products; they're about building meaningful connections with your audience. Focus on creating valuable content and establishing long-term relationships with influencers who align with your brand.

By following these essential tips and examples, you'll be well on your way to crushing your next influencer video campaign and driving meaningful results for your business.

Plus, it's an excellent opportunity to get creative and build new relationships with an audience you didn't know existed.

Stephanie Garcia

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® VIP

CEO of Lights, Camera, Live

Stephanie Garcia is a digital marketing expert and live video strategist. Named as one of the Top 50 Digital Marketing Thought Leaders by the University of Missouri St. Louis, she hosts the video podcast 'Lights, Camera, Live' and is the co-author of 'Ultimate Guide to Social Media Marketing.'

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