Many marketers believe that in order to increase engagement you need to increase the budget. But that isn’t necessarily true when it comes to influencer marketing. Truth is, there are many things you can do to fully optimize your influencer campaign and to increase engagement without spending another dime. Here are some things to think about incorporating into your strategy prior to your campaign, during your campaign, and after your campaign to fully reach your influencer potential beyond just the basics.
1. Time your campaign correctly.
Timing is a huge thing for when your campaign is running. Besides the obvious, (that you want to make sure your campaign is running at a time when your product or service is relevant to the audience), there are also things you can do in-house to make sure your campaign connects with your target.
It is also important to leverage data that will help you schedule out your influencer posts. Posting on an influencer’s best day or week can bump engagement by 2-3x. Platforms, such as ours, can run data to know when is the best day and time for an influencer’s post to go live. You can Google search all day long when Instagram engagement is at its highest, but it truly depends on the influencer. Some influencers have strong engagement on Sunday nights, some on Wednesday afternoons. Focus on the particular influencer rather than on Instagram as a whole and that could be the difference between hundreds of likes on your content.
2. Create a strong call-to-action.
Your call-to-action is critical when it comes to influencer marketing. It is how you can measure if this campaign was truly connecting with your audience. Maybe they liked the influencer’s image, but did they follow up on what you had to offer? It helps significantly if you can run your campaign at the same time you are running a coupon or a big promotion–or if you are in a financial situation to host a giveaway through the influencers. Having a strong call to action increases engagement and strong incentives, like a giveaway, build a strong bond between you and the audience and will give your brand a good image. It helps the audience interact more with the post and take notice of you and your brand more than if they just skimmed through the caption.
3. Optimize the image and caption.
Before an influencer creates the actual content, you should decide what that content is going to look like. Really study the influencers you leverage before having them create content. What type of images do well on their page? What kind of content has strong engagement? Are they getting more traction on their stories than their in-feed posts? Each influencer is different, and you have the power to steer the creativity in the beginning before even having the discussions of content with the influencers.
4. Add some engaging words to the captions.
Once an influencer has created content, there are small things to do to increase their engagement. Maybe you have them create a carousel of their images instead of just one. Maybe you suggest they end their captions with a question to really get their audience engaged with what they are talking about. You’ve still given them creative control, but small tactics to increase engagement help you and them. Make sure that strong CTA is in their caption and audiences should be able to easily find any link to a coupon or promotion in the influencer’s bio and their stories.
5. Expand across social channels.
Many influencers want to take advantage of their other social platforms, even if they aren’t as large or getting as much engagement. You can also find influencers that will post across all of their channels, such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, at no extra cost. This may not be engagement you can count on, but it helps when it comes to awareness and getting additional eyes on your brand.
6. Repurpose the content!
If you aren’t repurposing content you’re doing it wrong. Repurposing on websites or emails may cost extra, but most influencers have no problem with you repurposing on social channels as long as they are tagged. If you think about it, influencers are a great way to not only create great content on their own pages, but also become almost a creative agency for your company. If you do choose to repurpose on something such as your website, you can negotiate with the influencers. Chances are, repurposing their content is going to cost you less than any outside creative team you could hire.
7. Consider brand ambassadors for the future.
Once your campaign is over, the studying has just began. Some posts reach their peak engagement for two weeks after the post is live. You should study what did well and what may have fallen short and use that to your advantage for your next campaign. Studying the results of the campaign can also say a lot about the influencers that were leveraged and may be a great opportunity to try and take on some brand ambassadors, which will save you time and money in future campaigns. Influencers want long term relationships just as much as you and having an influencer post multiple times about your brand over the course of a year shows authenticity that their followers will take notice of.
Influencer marketing is a trial and error industry and the more you dip your toes, the more you are going to learn what works and what you can do better. But here’s what’s great: we are still learning and more ways to optimize your campaigns without spending another penny arise with every campaign we run.
About MATTR: MATTR, leaders in influencer campaigns for highly regulated industries, is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.