4 Tips For Creating A Successful Influencer Marketing Strategy
CEO, Innovation and Growth at Trinity Consulting - Founder, InfluencerActive, the World's First B2B Influencer Marketplace
Former US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, once said, "If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude."
Powell knew that to be truly successful, you have to develop a history of demonstrating value in what you do. Excellence in a series of “little matters” leads to a reputation for quality in the longer term. And that reputation has a kind of aura around it. Whatever is touched by someone with a record of excellence, will seem valuable to their audience.
This is what influencers do. Over time and with a lot of care, they build up a history of excellence in specific subjects, spending thousands of hours building up credibility in that niche.
So when you decide you want to start working with an influencer, and putting them to work as part of a marketing strategy, you really need to be strategic in your approach. You need to know who to target, and you should think about what kind of audiences you want to access. Because those influencers have an attitude for excellence. And they will only be able to help you if you put the time and effort into thinking about how your needs and your influencer’s needs match.
Here’s a few things you should think about when developing your influencer marketing strategy.
 How many people do you really want as customers? Where are they from?
Some influencers work with big audiences. They are called mega-influencers, and they are commentators that might have some media and marketing experience. They could have some specific expertise, but they make content that’s going to appeal to a very large audience base, so that expertise doesn’t have to be totally aligned with your product. It just needs to tick the box for being interesting or particularly commendable. However, while mega-influencers have larger audiences, there may be less actual influence on purchasing habits when compared with a macro or micro-influencer.
Micro-influencers are really targeted. Their audiences are committed supporters, and audience members will regularly advocate back to the influencer, about their experiences of products the micro-influencer has recommended. And micro-influencers might even have macro-influencers in their audience. So even though the size of a micro-influencer’s audience might be small, its reach and conversion rate might be powerful.
But whether you end up with a mega-influencer or a micro-influencer, it’s also important to understand the geographical footprint of their audiences, and think about what would happen if you suddenly get bombarded by orders for your product from India or China or the US. If you only want to serve a geographically localised market, then you probably should find an influencer whose audience is mostly located in that part of the world.
 Who do people in your existing base actually listen to?
Not sure which influencer you should talk to first? Ask your own client base. Not only will you find out who they listen to for advice around your product area, but you might be able to use the characteristics of these influencers to identify new influencers in segments you want to target.
You can also ask micro-influencers their views on who you should be using as an influencer. What’s really useful about influencer marketing is that most influencers will actually tell you if they don’t think they are a good fit for your product. It comes back to the attitude for excellence - they don’t want to compromise their own reputation with their audiences, and so they won’t take you on if they feel it’s not a good fit for them.
But that’s an opportunity for you to ask them who they think would be better suited to your product or service. Most micro-influencers will have a good idea about who is talking about specific niche subjects and they can steer you in the right direction.
 Do you really know who you should be targeting as an audience?
This is key. You may have made some assumptions about audiences you want to target. You may even have validated those assumptions with the people around you. But are you sure you’re right?
Again this is where both macro-influencers and micro-influencers are going to have a good idea about market fit for your products. Influencers are adaptive thinkers and will often consider new uses for your product that you’ve not considered before. Ask them what audiences they feel will be interested in your product. They may even be able to introduce you to a relevant influencer.
 How do you want to pay your influencer for their advocacy?
This is more tactical but still matters. Once you’ve found your influencer(s) and you’ve discussed what the influencer can do for your business, think about whether you want to pay them a flat fee, or some kind of retainer, and whether the influencer also gets a complimentary product. And if the influencer is really enthusiastic about your product, maybe consider some kind of ongoing investment.
Remember, integrating an influencer into your marketing strategy is not just about getting a good review. It’s a formal transaction which leverages the audience of an influencer to drive leads for your business. Being clear about what you can afford and how you want to pay is important for building trust between you and your influencer.
So does this all sound like hard work? It isn’t really. But Powell was right. It’s these “little matters” that lead to something bigger and better for you and your business.