[As influencer marketing is ever-evolving, it’s important to stay on top of the tools and trends to ensure the efficacy of your strategies. That’s why it brings me great pleasure to introduce our guest author Kevin T. Payne who put together a comprehensive overview detailing what you need to know to start and execute an influence marketing strategy. He’s a wizard when it comes to digital marketing and pleasure to work with. Please look for more of our collaborations in the near future and do visit him directly here—especially if you like what he has to say below. – Ed. Note]

With promotions and ads being ignored thanks to AdBlocks, alternative solutions are on the rise. Perhaps the most viable, is influencer marketing, which according this study by Tomoson, shows that business are making $6.5 for every $1 spent on an influencer. Moreover, influencer marketing (IM) delivers up to 11 times the ROI you earn via traditional marketing methods! All of this is provided you do it right, of course.

So if you’re one of the many businesses out there looking to get in on this hot new marketing trend–you’re in luck. Here’s a comprehensive list of a ton of resources on influencer marketing covering everything from the basics to strategizing, finding the perfect hire, and more:

  1. Influencer Marketing is not New – Influencer marketing has become the smartest viral marketing option today. Jeff Bullas shows how companies have been doing IM using celebrities from day one. Read more here.
  2. What is Influencer Marketing? – An influencer can be a person, company or brand. Also referred to as testimonial advertising, influencer marketing or IM does not ignore the customer, but highlights that which impresses the target audience.
  3. What are the stages of influencer marketing? Mojo Media Labs describes it as a combination of 4 M’s: Make, Manage, Monitor, and Measure.

  1. Strategies of Influencer Marketing – You must create and execute strategies to market your brand when employing the help of influencers. IM without proper planning can drain your budget, so use this blog to outline the key strategies you must use in Influencer Marketing.
  2. Specify and Structure Your Goals – According to Paul May, the Co-Founder of BuzzStream, documenting the goals and Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are vital for creating a successful influencer marketing Strategy. For the BuzzStream ebook, Paul set the goal to “drive marketing qualified leads” for the product BuzzStream and chose KPIs such as 100+ downloads, 100+ shares before beginning IM.
  3. Inbound Marketing with Influencer Marketing – By hiring an influencer to vouch for the functionality of your products and services, you can uplift your inbound marketing. For example, if you hire influencers to write guest posts on your content-generating website, it can be used in the future for converting the customers at every stage of the purchase. This post from Georgi Todorov explains how to use guest posts from influencers for cost-free influencer marketing as well as inbound references.
  4. How to Optimize The Distribution of Your IM – Tap Influence recommends using influencer content in quotes and as testimonials across a variety of ads and banners on your website or services for maximum exposure. You can find all you need to optimize the distribution of IM in this post!
  5. Analyze and Assess Your ResultsThis post from Photoslurp explains how monitoring helps you understand the effect of influence on your audience. Using algorithms and other technical data to assess the total reach, clicks, votes, views, shares, likes and conversions in the IM campaign is key.
  6. Ten Tips for Developing Your Influencer Marketing StrategyHere’s a great post that provides a ten step overview when creating a strategy. One of the first tips is to build a relationship beforehand. As Scott Ludwig writes, “The deeper the connection you have with influencers before you invite them to your program, the more they’ll be able to envision the positives in working with you on content creation.” We couldn’t agree more.

  1. Hiring an Influencer – Choosing the right influencer for a marketing campaign is not easy. Many influencer marketing requests are pro bono and/or viewed as spam, and are therefore actively rejected by influencers. This post from IZEA explains how you can cut through the chaos and create a message that gets your influencer’s attention.
  2. How to Select Your Influencer – This blog post from Kissmetrics’ Mark Trueman shows how to use options such as Realtime, a bitly product, for IM campaigns. You can also explore social media hashtags or even just a simple Google search to find industry experts …or you can use platforms (read on).
  3. Influencer Marketing Platforms for Hiring an Influencer – Additionally, you can also use a platform to help narrow the search and select the right influencer for your campaign, product or brand. IM platforms are a medium that connects influencers with brands, companies, and agencies. We encourage you to visit this post from Dan Ripoll to check out some of REP’s competitors–and then, of course, come take REP for a spin. After all, access to the platform, its users, and all the analytics is free.
  4. How To Reach an Influencer – Once you’ve found the right influencer for your business, the next step is to contact them without getting rejected, ignored, or blocked. It is important to remember getting accepted by an influencer also takes time. Hence, send your IM proposal to as many influencers as you can before calling it a day.
  5. 5 Ways To Pay An Influencer – After proposing your contract details, you can work with an influencer as a freelancer or a payroll employee. Although bidding system works for most influencers, you cannot always pay an influencer in cash. For digital influencers such as bloggers, exchanging posts or backlinks works excellently. Take a look at this blog post from Geno Prussakov for 5 ways you can pay an influencer.

  1. Example of Effective IM from GoPro – One of the best examples that proves the effectiveness of working with micro influencers is the success story of Loki the dog for GoPro. The most interesting fact is GoPro did not even hire Loki and his parent Lund, but created a network of opportunities that sponsored their fun trips in return for the IM.
  2. Working With a Limited Budget – Jeff Bullas explains how to execute an IM campaign when you have no budget here! Of course, exchanging products for posts or reviews can work well, but Jeff speaks of affiliate marketing, which is becoming of great interest to many influencers because it provides yet another avenue for revenue.
  3. Attracting Organic Influencers: Canva Case Study – Canva is a Sydney-based design platform that attracted a big-time influencer like Guy Kawasaki with word of mouth marketing. The story goes that Guy stumbled on Canva and began using it regularly. Within sometime, Guy reached out seeking opportunities to collaborate ..and the rest is history.
  4. The Benefits of Micro Influencers over Macro Influencers – With 86% of influencers having at least one personal blog, micro influencers can definitely drive sizable traffic, if you choose the right one(s). An in-depth study of Instagram influencers by Markerly found shocking facts on how micro-influencers drive more traffic than standard influencers with a massive fanbase.
  5. The Easy Way to Get Influencers Advocating Your BrandThis article is another brief overview that recaps in five specific steps how to successfully onboard influencers to your strategy.

  1. Blogger Outreach Tools – There are so many and, more often than not, they’re complimentary to one another. Neil Patel explains how to use tools such as NinjaOutreach, Buzzsumo, GroupHigh and QUUU Promote to gauge the success of your IM in this post.
  2. Outreach Templates – Creating email and blog outreach templates for different types of campaigns helps streamline the process. Furthermore, with automated testing, you can determine the best template that works for your selection of influential bloggers. Brittany Berger recommends half a dozen winning templates on blog outreach in this post.

The truth of the matter is that influencer marketing isn’t just effective–it’s killer. So if you’re one of the many businesses out there looking to benefit from this new trend in digital marketing, use the aforementioned resources to get yourself one step closer to your highest marketing ROI yet.

Kevin T. Payne