Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key influential people who influence over potential buyers rather than the target market itself. It identifies these individuals and orients marketing activities around them. The influencer is used as a bridge to connect brands with their followers instead of direct advertising to consumers. In Singapore, almost half of the population aged 16-24 display more trust in what they access online about products, with the Instagram being the most used platform, 63% of connected consumers use Instagram in Singapore.
Brands looking to use influencer marketing should keep up with the trends in the industry in order to strategically plan on their campaign. Below are the strategies for influencer marketing that can assist a company to reap maximum benefit from its marketing campaigns:
Defining the Target Audience
Influencer marketing campaigns need to be aligned to the needs and expectations of the people you are trying to influence as this will help in being extremely specific. The better you define the target market, the simpler it will be to find the right influencers for the marketing campaign. This is also aided by a business plan that clearly defines the target market. This will be important, especially for the brands dealing in everyday consumer goods as they will know how to qualitatively differentiate their marketing in order to reach the specific group.
Setting the Objectives
Objectives are the goals that one specifically wants to fulfill at the end of a specific period. Any influencer marketing strategy should not be drawn without first determining the objectives. Some of the common objectives that are to be put in mind are creating visibility for brands that have been recently launched in the market, building a brand image or certain characteristic, positioning of a brand in order to be on top in a particular sector, generating traffic for a company’s website, conversion of consumers and finally creating brand loyalty with consumers. This will help a campaign to be coherent and will have the highest possibility of potential returns.
Discovering and Choosing the Right Influencers
The main reason for influencer marketing is to create a wider reach of the content relating to a product. Consumers mainly rely on this type of marketing for the recommendations as influencers create trust and authenticity that are needed by the potential consumers. When discovering the right influencers, a company will need to select those that reach the desired target market demographically and can help in achieving the set goals and objectives of the brand.
Method of Approaching Influencers
Influencers are individuals who may be hard to approach or access as mostly their schedules are overfilled. It is, therefore, key for a company to choose the method that will have maximum results when approaching a potential influencer. A company can either go through the manual process of identifying influencers, sign up to a database that has potential influencers or work with a specialist influencer agency to assist in the stages of the campaign.
Build a Relationship
Once a company has approached a potential influencer with whom they can work to campaign for their product, it is important to foster a relationship that meets both their needs and expectations. Every relationship takes time and effort and both parties should be in a position to work together. Reciprocity, the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, can be a very important tool when building a relationship with an influencer.
Working to Find Opportunities
The right influencer can be of great help to a company as they can assist in shaping the content strategy of the campaign by offering advice on what engages the potential target market. Influencers are in a better position to do this as they know their followers and the type of conversations they hold. This will be crucial when creating content where there is demand.
Content and Opportunity Audit
Carrying out this audit at the beginning of the campaign process can give a better understanding of the needs and concerns of the target market/audience. This will give information on the feeling that a brand elicits in consumers, competitor strategies, influencer motivation, audience perception, and measures to make a brand more relevant to the target audience.
Preparation of a Content Plan
Once the general topic areas of concern have been decided upon, it’s necessary for the company to create a content plan. This plan should have a coordinated series of content that closely meets the needs and expectations of the target audience. Specific influencers should be used for more specific topics. Keeping a content schedule helps in planning and coordinating shareable content to the audience.
Adjusting to Current Issues
Influencers are selected on the basis of the niche a company wants to bridge. Influencers, while sharing your content also share other stuff with their followers. How do the two fit in the bigger picture in order to create maximum returns from the campaign? This can greatly help to find new opportunities that keep up with current trends and remain relevant to the audience.
Producing Quality Content
The success of an influencer depends on the quality of the content that the influencers share with the audience. An influencer should offer content that is either informative, entertaining, educational, or inspiring to the audience in relation to the company’s niche. Influencers also need to be on the lookout for newer compelling content and can also work with the company to co-create content items.
Set Up the Distribution Campaign
Once the content is ready, it’s time for the company to collaborate with the influencer to launch the distribution campaign. The type and formality of the campaign will also depend on the relationship fostered between the two parties. Any content that is distributed and the method of distribution are some of the things agreed upon. The campaign can be for-free-informal or for payment-formal.
Measure the Success
The objective of the campaign will ultimately influence the success of the campaign. Once the campaign is over, it is important to track the ROI that each contributes to each of the goals earlier set. It is only through this that a company can make timely and well-thought decisions to modify the influencer marketing strategy to optimise results.
Establish a Solid Foundation
To succeed in influencer marketing in the Singapore market, you need to focus solely on the target audience. Find out what motivates and encourages them to purchase your product or subscribe to your service. Look at whom they engage with most when making these critical decisions and the platform that they use.
The most successful brands have a multi-phase influencer marketing strategy. This strategy is developed in conjunction with the selected influencers and designed to facilitate a smooth transition of customers from one stage of the sales funnel to the next one. That is, it facilities a seamless movement of customers from the awareness stage to the consideration stage and finally to the decision-making stage where they decide to place an order.
A good understanding of the customer journey will help you set the goals, focus on them, and establish a solid foundation for your entire influencer marketing strategy in the country.
Finding the Right Influencer for your Brand
At the start of the article, we discussed the importance of choosing the right influencer. We did not go into details of how to find the right influencer. The first thing that you need to note is that the social influencer landscape is very fragmented. Industry, channel, business acumen are the primary factors that you should put into consideration during the selection process.
According to Marcy Massura, the CEO of MM+CC, it is recommended to consider the engagement level of each influencer in your list over the perceived online popularity. For example, an influencer who has a million followers but only 1% of the followers engage with the content he/she shares is not suitable for your brand. You are much safer hiring an influencer with 15,000 followers who have a 15% engagement level with them.
Such influencers are more accessible to their audience and best poised to market your products and services. Concisely, their audience will be more receptive to your content. The worst thing that you can do during the selection process is taking shortcuts. During the evaluation process, make sure that you audit their content and the subsequent conversations that are sparked by it.
More importantly, in the current competitive digital marketing space here in Singapore, micro-influencers who are in line with your brand needs and committed to helping you thrive deliver the highest ROI. As noted by the Founder of Digitalux, higher cohesion between the influencer and brand (strong follower engagement) results in better brand recall, ad recall, and higher conversion rate.
Strive to Establish Authentic Relationships with Influencers
Earlier on, we discussed the importance of fostering a relationship with the influencers and pointed out that every relationship takes effort and time. Now, we will look at the importance of making sure that the relationship that you have with the influencers is authentic. Otherwise, you might end up spending thousands of dollars on an influencer marketing service that will not meet your expectations in the long run.
Before you even request an influencer to start promoting your brand, you need to be willing to invest in them. For example, you can offer the newly hired influencer anything from attention and time to tangible things such as a special invitation to exclusive events and samples of your upcoming products. The primary goal of doing this is to make them feel special and at the same time increase brand recognition.
That said, it is essential to monitor the scope of your effort. The wider your pool of influencers, the more difficult it will be to track individual influencer performance and your multiple outreach projects. Luckily, there are advanced tools such as Nimble that you can use for this purpose. This tool creates 3-dimensional profiles of people thereby making it easy to interpret the data presented and make the right decisions.
Amplify What is Working
Continuously monitoring the performance of your Singapore influencer marketing campaigns will help you to know if you are headed in the right direction. However, you need to go the extra mile and amplify or put more effort and allocate more resources to what is working. This move will help you to get high results from every dollar that you spend on this form of marketing in Singapore.
For instance, you can decide to create and implement a content marketing plan or social media plan that repackages and repurposes the content distributed by the influencers. This will keep your campaign fresh and enable you to reach new audiences faster and more conveniently.
Mentioning and tagging individuals and specific audiences in your niche who are likely to be interested in your content can also increase awareness of your Singapore influencer marketing efforts. This will also add more value to the greater community.
Make Sure the Deal is Mutually Beneficial
In business, it is essential to make sure that the deals you sign up for are beneficial to your business. The same case applies to hire and working with influencer marketers. One of the best ways of compensating them for their work and effort is by creating a custom affiliate program for them. This program will motivate them to use the affiliate links to drive traffic to your website to get more commissions.
Such a program will also make it possible for you to keep track of clicks, impressions, conversions, and other performance metrics especially if a graphics pixel is involved. Cost-Per-Action agreement (CPA) works best with most influencers as it entails paying them a particular percentage for every conversion. That way, every sale that they make through the affiliate link will encourage them to invest more time and effort to promote your brand.
Make sure that the terms that you agree to are documented from the start of the contract to the end of the campaign to avoid any tussles. The contract documents could help resolve issues amicably if they arise along the way.
Even though there is no definite formula or one-size-fits-all approach to Singapore influencer marketing, the above tips will help you establish successful collaborations with the right influencers and achieve the expected results.