Influencer marketing strategies to improve engagement

Yugal Pandey

Karishma Borkakoty

August 16, 202310 min read

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Remember Under Armour’s epic collab in 2020 with none other than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?  

A couple of promo images from Under Armour’s “Project Rock Collection” influencer marketing campaign

The company launched a new activewear line through a powerful influencer marketing campaign — Project Rock Collection — leveraging the professional wrestler-turned-actor's massive fanbase.  

So, did it pay off?  

Big time, with sales going through the roof. It wasn’t just a win for the brand — it was a stupendous success that made the marketing world sit up and take notice. "How do we ensure we’re squeezing every drop of value from our influencer marketing investments?” was the number one question on every marketing community and forum after this campaign. 

A quote by The Rock on who the collection is for, used in promotions.
Table of Contents

What is an influencer marketing strategy? 

Influencer marketing strategy involves collaborating with influential people (we’re talking people with a strong following here) on social media platforms to help promote a product, service or the brand itself.   

The reason why this strategy works is because these influencers have dedicated fans who believe in them. And when these influencers give your brand a shout-out on their social handles, it’s like shining a light on your brand.   

Influencer marketing strategy doesn’t just mean getting a famous face to promote your brand. It’s about getting a person who’s respected in their industry and has a loyal following. One thing to note is that these influencers could come from any profession. There are photographers, chefs, food vloggers, tech experts, beauty experts, artists, models, comedians and people with unheard of jobs doing a great job as influencers.   

Because of this widespread awareness and penetration, influencer marketing strategy has made its way to the forefront and brands aren’t shying away from spending on this strategy. 

4 types of influencers and their benefits 

So, how do you pick the right influencer for your brand?  

Well, it’s all about moving slowly but tactfully, and clearly understanding your chosen influencer’s USPs and what they can bring to the table. Basically, it's all about syncing their strengths with what your brand is trying to achieve to create high-converting campaigns.  

 Here are the four categories of influencers to consider for your influencer marketing campaign.   

  • Celebrity or Mega-influencer: benefits brands that aim for a massive reach and significant impact  

  • Macro-influencer: ideal for brands seeking substantial follower numbers but at a slightly more manageable cost than mega-influencers  

  • Micro-influencer: despite their modest follower count, they have a high level of engagement and a loyal following  

  • Nano-influencer: perfect for brands seeking highly authentic, personalized engagements; they are cost-effective too 

Celebrity or Mega-influencer 

A figure of considerable influence, usually possessing more than a million followers. Their reach extends to a wide range of audiences and their name alone is sufficient to pull audience interest.  

Their reputation isn't merely derived from their endorsements with big brands but from the fame they've garnered over time through their work. Their charisma, achievements and high-profile persona automatically lure the public toward them.  

Think figures like Richard Branson, Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner. With their entrepreneurial prowess, they have become celebrities who've transcended their respective industries to become icons in the public domain. Their very existence becomes a source of inspiration, attracting the masses towards them without having any direct outreach.

Mega-influencers or celebrities with more than 1M followers on their social media platforms

Macro-influencer 

Macro-influencers have followers typically ranging between 500,000 to 1 million. They could come from any background — famous actors, reality TV stars, athletes on top of their game, or even popular thought leaders. With their well-earned fame and following, these influencers know how to play the social media game to their advantage.   

One such example is Jay Shetty, a former monk turned motivational speaker and thought leader. He's used his unique life experiences to attract a massive following of 14.3M followers.  

Here's the kicker — these macro-influencers might have a sizable following, but they might not always bring in the level of engagement brands are after.  

A study by Markerly in 2020 revealed that influencers with less than 1,000 followers had an engagement rate of about 8%, while the engagement rate of those with a following between 1 and 10 million was hovering around 1.6%. So, make sure you discuss the strategies you need to adopt to curb low engagement rates before collaboration.   

Macro-influencers with over 500K followers on their social media platforms

Micro-influencer 

Let's shift our focus to another segment of influencers — the micro-influencers. They might not boast millions of followers like their mega counterparts, but they have a tight-knit relationship with their followers. They've found their own special area of interest, and they keep their followers engaged with their unique content, whether that's product reviews or opinions on brands. 

 Interestingly, a recent study found that 82% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a micro-influencer. Their content is often more authentic and relatable than that of larger influencers and that's what draws people in. 

A perfect example of a micro-influencer is James Hoffman, a coffee expert with a following of 423k on Instagram, who hangs onto his every word about brews and beans. His genuine passion and in-depth knowledge make his content incredibly highly relatable and authentic.  

Micro-influencers with follower counts ranging from 10K to100K on their social media platforms

Nano-influencer  

Nano influencers typically have a smaller follower base, usually under 5,000 followers. Now, you might think a smaller audience means minimal impact, but that's not necessarily the case. The smaller follower count often signifies that they have a closer and more personal connection with their audience, which can lead to higher engagement rates.  

A real-world example is Emily Chan, a lifestyle influencer and the Senior Sustainability & Features editor at British Vogue. Despite having just a few thousand followers, her posts receive high engagement. Why? Because her content is authentic and tailored to her audience who believe in sustainability.  

So, if your brand's budget is tight, starting with nano influencers is a smart move. In fact, some of these influencers might even agree to partner up with brands for free to boost their following and expand their portfolio.

Nano-influencers with follower counts ranging from 100 to 15K on their social media platforms

How to find your brand’s ideal influencer 

Finding the ideal influencer isn't just about chasing those with HUGE follower counts. Think of it more like a strategic expedition. You need to have clear goals, understand the alignment of values and know exactly what you aim to achieve from each partnership. Remember, it's not just about finding an influencer, but discovering a storyteller, a brand advocate and a reliable partner who can communicate your brand values and USPs well. 

Here’s what you need to do before you formulate your influencer marketing strategy. 

Step 1: Define your goals 

It all starts with defining what you want out of the collaboration. Craving for massive exposure? Celebrity influencers might be the answer.  

Are you aiming to nurture a deeper connection with the audience? Call in the micro-influencers. Having clear goals will always point you in the right direction. 

Step 2: Check for alignment

The influencer must match the brand's voice, values and image. So make sure you check their profile along with their endorsements before you decide to collaborate with them. In addition, you can start by following them on social handles and sending them direct messages (DMs). Following an influencer on social channels will also give you an idea about: 

  • Type of content they post and promote 

  • The kind engagement they receive on every post 

  • Competitor brands they’ve partnered with 

Step 3: Don't forget about engagement 

In influencer marketing, it's not just about how many followers an influencer has. It's about how much those followers engage with the influencer's posts. An influencer who engages their followers is far more valuable than one with lots of followers but little interaction.

Step 4: Do a thorough background check 

Before signing up an influencer, do some sleuthing. Check out the influencer's past collaborations and their interaction with other brands. Look out for any red flags that might spell trouble for your brand's reputation. This is important because the influencer will be the face of the brand, so it's essential to choose wisely. 

Common mistakes to avoid in your influencer marketing strategy 

In the fast-paced world of influencer marketing, even a minor mistake could turn your triumph into a failure and lesson for others. To help you navigate, we've compiled a list of 4 common pitfalls to watch out for when crafting your influencer marketing strategy.  

  • Choosing the wrong influencer: If you collaborate with an influencer whose values and style don't align with your brand, your outreach message may not connect with your audience as you intend. Plus, selecting an influencer who doesn't relate to your brand's ethos can result in ineffective campaigns.  

  • Underestimating the power of authenticity: If an influencer's content feels overly scripted or doesn’t ring true, they will lose followers by the dozen. This can also dent your influencer marketing strategy and push your audience away from your brand. In fact, according to a Stackla survey, a whopping 90% of consumers say authenticity is crucial when deciding which brands they like and support.  

  • Neglecting to set clear objectives: A common pitfall is failing to establish well-defined influencer campaign goals. Clear objectives provide a roadmap for your influencer, ensuring your brand and its content comply with the brand tone and voice.  

  • Assuming one size fits all: One-size-fits-all is not a mantra that holds true in influencer marketing. An influencer who is popular on Instagram might not have the same impact on LinkedIn. So always take the platform into consideration when planning your influencer marketing strategy. 

Top 3 metrics to track your influencer marketing goals 

It’s important to consider data as your north star. Measuring how well a marketing campaign is doing is critical, and finding the most relevant metrics to look at can help you build a successful influencer marketing strategy. 

The first step to measuring the success of your influencer marketing strategy is carving out clear goals and objectives every quarter. The right goals will ensure that your resources and efforts are spent wisely.  

 There are two key elements each goal should carry:   

  • A numerical value  

  • A deadline  

Instead of setting a broad goal like "I want to attract more visitors to my website," try being more specific. For instance, your specific goal could be to increase traffic from social media platforms by 30% within the next six months. This provides a clear, measurable target, enhancing your influencer marketing strategy's effectiveness. 

Next, make sure your goals are attainable. Plus, set clear deadlines to achieve your objectives. Overly challenging goals without defined timelines can drain your resources and push your team towards burnout. 

Once you've set your goals, you need to keep track of how your campaign is doing. To measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns, you must zero in on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter the most to you.   

Here are some top influencer marketing measurement metrics you need to start tracking from day one of your campaign.  

Brand awareness 

If the goal of your campaign is to increase brand awareness, then you need to track the reach, engagement and impressions your marketing content garners on social media. Additionally, you should also pay attention to the brand mentions generated from influencer posts. Keep in mind that the context of these mentions and comments is critical. If you notice an unexpected surge of negative comments, you need to figure out what went wrong and address the issue promptly. 

Conversions 

Depending on your campaign, a conversion can encompass a variety of actions, including direct purchases, trial sign-ups, subscriptions and so on. Trackable links are one of the easiest and most straightforward ways to determine the number of conversions your campaign has generated. Each link is designated a unique URL that can be read through an analytics tool. These links can then be used while sharing a blog post, an email link or other assets intended to drive conversions. 

Engagement 

Not all engagements are equally valuable, so it’s important to track the engagement that each piece of content generates. Monitor the following closely to ensure success.  

  • Likes: Likes don’t always translate into serious engagement from a follower, but they serve as a signpost for impressions/views   

  • Comments: They offer a valuable opportunity to gauge your audience’s reaction to your post (positive or negative) and understand the level of interest for your upcoming promotion   

  • Shares: Shares represent the organic growth of your influencer content and broadening reach among your audience  

  • Clicks (CTRs): Clicks and tags help you to see how often your followers click on an embedded link, regardless of whether they liked, commented on or shared it from their influencer’s profile 

How essential are the right tools for your influencer marketing campaign success? 

Imagine a robust influencer marketing tool so efficient that it brings down the workload of an entire team and makes influencer marketing a one man’s job. 

No more headaches from sifting through various platforms for data to squeeze into your spreadsheets. Instead, you have access to all the important stuff — your key influencer marketing performance metrics — right at your fingertips. Isn’t that something? 

 A capable influencer marketing platform can:  

  • Evaluate and monitor your campaigns within a single, unified platform 

  • Target the right influencers for your most critical social platforms 

  • Analyze data and report on influencer content performance 

    A dashboard representation of the performance report of an influencer marketing campaign

With Sprinklr, you can keep track of influencer campaigns running across social channels in real-time, all in one place. Our platform harnesses the power of multi-layered AI technology to scan diverse demographics including industries, content themes and social channels, directing you to the right influencers. 

Plus, Sprinklr’s reporting and analytics capabilities allow you to gain data-driven insights and customize metrics associated with the ROI, EAV goals and KPIs for each of your influencer campaigns.

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