With consumers becoming increasingly wary of ‘traditional’ advertising, social platforms and online conversation can now have substantial sway over how people spend their money.
This being the case, influencer marketing has become one of the most effective tools for marketers hoping to reach a large audience.
However, with the likes of Instagram now boasting over 1 billion monthly users, it’s hard to know which influencer is the right one.
When choosing an influencer, it can be difficult knowing where to start. But, it’s important to get this choice right.
After all, any influencer marketing campaign can only be effective if both the brand and influencer are on the same page.
Picking an influencer to work with doesn’t have to be a long, arduous process – simply being clear on your brand’s aims as well as what you want to achieve with the campaign can go a long way in helping you understand which influencer is the right one.
On that note, let’s take a look at some tips to help you choose the right influencer for your brand and your campaign.
Understand your aims
Launching and running an influencer campaign will be a lot easier if you’re clear from the start about what you hope to achieve.
Before you even begin searching the expanses of the internet for the perfect person (or people) to represent your brand, the first step is to come up with a comprehensive set of goals for the campaign.
Not only will this clarify which metrics should be focussed on when it comes to measuring the actual success of the campaign, but it will also simplify the process of choosing the best influencer for the job.
Starting out with clear objectives will make it easier to pick an influencer who can achieve these aims for you, and will also allow you to be more transparent with them.
Having pre-set goals in mind means you’re able to communicate your expectations to any prospective influencers at the selection stage, giving both parties an early indication as to whether the partnership will be a successful one.
Likewise, it’s important to bear in mind some longer-term goals in terms of your brand and brand image.
You should have a sound understanding of what your brand is by the time you’re ready to launch an influencer campaign, but you should also have an idea about what you want it to be in the future, and how any influencer might help you achieve this.
Compile a good short-list of options
Once you have outlined the objectives of the campaign, it’s the right time to start looking for a short-list of influencers that you can narrow down based on your requirements.
It can be daunting knowing where to find the right people, but a good influencer marketing agency will provide suggestions about potential influencers and advise on a marketing strategy to ensure you target the right people on the right platform.
A natural starting point is understanding which type of influencer will be the best fit for your brand, and then going on from there.
There are 3 main types of influencer:
- Micro-influencers – a person who produces niche content and tends to have a smaller following, but a highly engaged and devoted audience
- Maco-influencers have a larger fan-base and are regarded as experts or trendsetters in their particular industry
- Celebrity influencers – big names who have the largest, most diverse audience and will have content on a broader range of interests (but often come with a substantial fee!)
Your brands’ aims (and your budget) will dictate which type of influencer group you should target. The important thing to remember, however, is to make sure their content and audience match your brand and whatever it is you’re hoping to market.
Look at their portfolio of work
Having a familiarity with an influencer’s previous work allows you insights into their content and personality in order to see if working with them will be a good match.
Look at their portfolio of work and see who they’ve worked with previously – and, indeed, how successful the campaign turned out in the end.
This way, you can gather if they’re likely to agree to a brand partnership in the first place as well as whether they would agree to work with a brand similar to yours.
Working with an influencer who has the skills and knowledge to achieve your aims means nothing if their content isn’t a fit for your brand and they don’t share like-minded values.
Remember, any association you make with an influencer will reflect back on you and your brand so you want to make sure it’s a good one.
Go after influencers who are well-respected within their particular community so they can bring a good level of credibility to the product or service you’re offering.
Likewise, when the time comes to working with your chosen influencer, remember to allow them some creative influence – after all, that’s why you brought them on board in the first place.
Audience and Metrics
When you’ve narrowed down a short-list of options, it’s a good idea to start monitoring their audience and taking a look at some important metrics. In terms of audience, ensure that their follower base is in line with your target demographic, whatever that may be, just so you can be sure any content you produced will be relevant.
Once this has been established, look into their activities. For example, look for how often they interact with their followers and see how responsive are they in return. This kind of information will give a good indication of the sort of relationship an influencer will have with a consumer-base.
The number of followers is a factor, but it’s not the only one. Also pay attention to how many likes and impressions the influencer has, as well as how engaged their audience seems to be.
Bear in mind it’s not always about having a large fan-base – micro-influencers actually tend to have a more engaged following, often leading to more effective campaigns.
Secret Sauce for Creating the Perfect Facebook Ads Funnel
Is your Facebook ads funnel producing the conversions you’re looking for? Are you targeting your end-user audience at the right stages of their buying cycle?
If you can answer these questions in the affirmative, you’ll have a sales funnel that not only creates awareness at the top of the funnel and converts to a sale at the bottom; you’ll have repeat customers as you nurture existing relationships and build interest and engagement for the long haul.
That all sounds pretty tasty doesn’t it? Whether you’re trying to build a Facebook ad funnel for eCommerce or just trying to drive traffic to your storefront, this article will share the secret sauce that will make your social content on this platform much more appetizing, filling, and tasty.
Understanding the Facebook Funnel
If you’re using Facebook to help your sales team capitalize on today’s consumer buying journey, the first thing is to understand how your marketing and sales funnels work in light of today’s consumer buying trends. Facebook typically has four primary stages for the customer buying funnel:
- Awareness of your product
- Consideration of your product
- Purchase, when the conversion happens
- Upselling and maintaining awareness of your brand
If you’re using Facebook in the right way and you have the right mix of products or services, you’ll have a sales funnel that perpetually fills itself as you both grab new customers and nurture existing clients into purchasing more of your products. You can use free and paid content to reach these goals. However, if you’re only selling one product, then your funnel will really end after step three.
Organize Your Account by Funnel Stages
To keep your campaign channels organized, consider structuring your Facebook Ads account by funnel stages. Targeting, optimization, settings, bidding, and your budget should all be different for each campaign, of course. But if you’re following the Facebook funnel stages, your ad campaigns could be segmented like this:
- Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel
- Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel
- Campaign 3 – Purchase– Bottom of Funnel
- Campaign 4 – Upselling – Sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a.
Then you can set your Facebook objectives to fit each stage of the funnel.
Each of these campaigns represents a different type of audience and messaging. It will be important to select the right naming conventions to keep your account and KPIs organized. This next section will tell you what advertising techniques are important at all four steps.
Creating a Facebook Sales Funnel
Now we can get to the fun part; creating the copy that drives engagement at each of the funnel stages. Remember that Facebook ads are designed to create awareness and not just passively wait for the customer to find you. Here are some strategies to engage at each funnel stage.
Campaign 1 – Awareness – Top of funnel
This target audience has not made a purchase but has a potential interest in your brand. They are the Look-Alike Audiences that simply aren’t warm enough to buy from you yet.
You can use the Facebook Custom Audiences tool to help you reach people who have previously interacted with your brand but not converted.
You can use several strategies to target these end-users, but the goal of each should introduce your product and why it’s needed:
- One thing to keep in mind: You’re not trying to sell your products just yet. Your top-of-the-funnel audience will turn away from something that tries to get them to buy right out of the gate. At this stage, you should focus on providing content that they’ll find interesting or valuable, even if they never convert.
- You could also do the same thing with a video.
- You can use social proof to validate your expertise. For example, your copy could mention awards you’ve won or a client testimonial.
Remember your goal is awareness, not the conversion, so your CTA should be to “find out more” on your website or with a downloadable.
For example: Consider a problem your audience might have. During the COVID-19 crisis, people who were no longer commuting to work weren’t using their cars for extended periods of time, and they may not know how to care for long-term parked cars. An eCommerce company specializing in car covers put out an infographic / blog post explaining how to care for long-term parked cars.
There’s no hard sell there. Even people who never buy their car covers find value in this post, and might share it, or be primed for a later purchase down the line.
Campaign 2 – Consideration – Middle of Funnel
This target audience has engaged with your brand before. They may have liked a previous Facebook post. This ad should appeal to some sort of pain points and reinforce why the prospect needs your product to solve their problem. In the example we used above, the pain point is related to people who have to store their cars long-term without the benefit of a garage.
At this stage in the funnel, you should list the specific benefits and features of your product or service to tell people why they need to buy it.
Campaign 3 – Purchase – Bottom of Funnel
This is where the rubber meets the road, so go for the close. These customers know your product and its value. This is a good place to leverage Facebook’s dynamic ads to create content tied to the exact product the prospect viewed. To close the deal, offer an immediate incentive to purchase. That nudge toward the close could include:
- Running a discount or special offers such as 15% off or free shipping off your order.
- Create urgency with a countdown to the end of a sale, “Only 24hours left!”
- Target specific use cases for the products they’ve been viewing. Going back to the car cover company, a hypothetical ad could ask if the prospect is worried about street damage from long term quarantine parking and offer a first-timer discount—boom! Done.
Campaign 4 – Upselling
This sends existing clients back to the top for a repeat or new purchase. This could start a new campaign cycle called Campaign 1a. Or, call it what it is—remarketing.
The point here is that the journey shouldn’t be over once the first purchase is made. Everyone knows the acquisition cost of a new customer is greater than keeping old customers—so maintain the relationship at this point by kicking the current just-purchased customer back up into the funnel.
Your goals should be not just for the repeat purchase, but also to capture new customer referrals, and even to drive up the average spending amount per customer.
Even though technically, the customer goes back to the top of the funnel, it’s more like a slide straight to the middle; they already know your company, so from an ad perspective you can skip the awareness stage. (Unless you’re trying to make them aware of a different product in your service line.) Some Facebook ad strategies could include:
- Retargeting with a loyalty perk; thanks for your business, here’s $10 off your next purchase.
- Mention your referral program: “Invite a friend and get free shipping on your next order.”
- Ask them to review your product and offer a thank you bonus incentive.
- This is also a good place to run an ad campaign based on their unique purchase history. You can set up carousel ads to vary the versions of the products they may be interested in, interspersing the ads with products that are a slightly higher price point to drive up their purchasing averages.
If you take the time to create the perfect Facebook ads funnel you will be able to sit back and watch the conversions come in. If you build it, they really will come, but the trick is to match the prospect’s specific buying stage with the exact strategy to increase your conversion rates. When you’re done, the Facebook sales funnel will work like a machine, benefiting your bottom line with new and repeat business.
How Big Brands Use Digital Marketing for Building Customer Relationships
Consumers in the modern digital world have a perception of a brand based on the experiences they have with the brand. These moments are created across multiple channels enabled by the rise of the digital world.
Social media made it possible for brands to connect with their customers on an intimate level which was not possible before. According to Gartner, a decrease in engagement by up to 15% is observed for businesses that fail to respond to messages on social media.
That’s how powerful social media is for companies, especially for big brands.
Crafting meaningful relationships on social media
With the emergence of Facebook and Twitter, social media has boosted like never before. It has impacted the lives of people in more ways than one:
- 91% of people believe in social media’s power to connect communities
- 78% of consumers want brands to help people connect through social media.
- 76% of respondents were more likely to buy from a brand they felt connected to on social media than a competitor.
These numbers speak for themselves.
The times are changing and big brands aren’t ignorant. They understand the importance of engaging with their audience and thus are reaping the sweet results. The better the relationship is between a brand and a consumer, the higher the chances of him/her returning to the same brand.
Not just that, if the consumer feels there’s a connection between the brand and themselves, they’ll gloat about it endlessly – in front of friends, family, coworkers, neighbours and every person who might ask them about the brand.
Do you know what that means? Absolutely free advertising which happens to be genuine as well.
So, how do Big Brands do it?
There 7 ways Big Brands use Social Media for building customer relationships
- Being Responsive
Responding to customer queries or comments is the reason brands are on social media. It’s extremely important for brands to respond to their customers and big brands know that.
This is especially true about Twitter where things can get real messy real soon. It takes minutes for something to go viral on Twitter and big brands make sure that they respond to any tweet that might tarnish their image.
And not only critical comments, praises from consumers should be responded to in a way that the consumer feels valued. Brands like the fast-food outlet Wendy’s have understood Twitter far better and come up with creative tweets for their customers (or haters).
- Offering Promotions
If there’s one thing customers love more than a brand is that brand’s promotions and sales. They look forward to any kind of promotion that might save them some bucks which is why it’s important to share promotions on social media.
Giving the customers what they expect is a sure way to have a healthy following on social media and which sticks around. Big Brands promote their sales, promotions, contests, and other offers extensively on social media, even urging the customers to share them which further accentuates the engagement.
- Providing Educational Content
Educating customers about a brand is one of the most effective ways of building a strong customer relationship. The more a customer knows about a brand, the bigger the chances of them returning now and then.
Some brands take it a notch higher by educating their customers about a cause they stand for or support. It could be something they do as part of their CSR activities or educating customers about something important (the way Brands are regularly posting precautionary recommendations about COVID-19 is a good example.)
- Being Humorous
Make them smile and they like you, make them laugh and they’ll fall in love with you. Being funny or humorous in social situations acts as an ice-breaker and helps people connect which is why big brands use it to tell their customers that there are people behind those names too.
This makes the brand seem more humane and the perception in the customer’s mind softens a little, opening up ample opportunities for building relationships.
However, this takes wit and a great sense of humour which is why only some of the brands are able to pull this off. Frankly, if you aren’t funny, you aren’t – there’s no point in faking, it’ll make things worse.
- Exclusive Content
Sharing exclusive content with your followers on social media is another way a brand tells them how much they are valued. This is the reason those followers stay because the feeling of being part of an exclusive group of people who love the same brand makes them feel good about themselves.
It also tickles the primal desire of a human being – the desire to be accepted and to belong. This sense of belonging to an exclusive group or club makes the relationship with the brand a little intimate – so intimate that it almost feels like cheating when buying from a competitor.
- Behind the Scenes
People have always wondered and have been curious about how things happen. Whether it’s a movie or the construction of the world’s tallest building, people want to know how it’s made.
Big brands stimulate this curiosity by sharing behind the scenes images and videos on how they make the products that their customers love so much. This also helps build trust and connection between the brand and the customers as they realise the people behind the brand.
- Challenging Competitors
Like being funny, this is something not everyone can pull-off. The rivalry between big brands is not a new thing but social media has made it more visible with brands having one-off on Twitter about who’s better.
This is risky because when a brand tries to challenge a competitor on social media and the competitor responds in a much better way, the whole idea falls flat on its face. The brand itself becomes a victim of its mockery.
However, friendly banter between brands can benefit them both.
Why is it important for brands to be on social media
A brand-customer relationship is like any other relationship in the world and the key to all successful relationships is communication. The days of broadcasting advertisements might not be over yet but in the near future, it might.
People aren’t looking for one-way communication from brands anymore. They want a conversation, they want to know they are heard when they post a tweet, write a comment, or give a review. They want to be a part of the ideas that transform the brand from what it is to what it will become.
And this drive to hear has become public with social media where one tweet or post can become easily viral and not responding to it might become rude. It’s not like the victorian era where the sender of a letter was still worried if the letter reached the person it was intended for.
It’s the digital world and anyone anywhere would instantly find something on the internet that’s meant for them. You cannot just ignore what your customer has posted, you have to reply to them.
Moreover, it helps increase your business. As more and more people fall in love with your brand, they’ll not only keep returning but also talk about you to everyone they know and word-of-mouth is hands down the best form of advertisement and absolutely the most genuine which is why it is the most effective.
That’s why big businesses are so keen on making a mark in the social media circles and they are succeeding. But then, is social media only for the big brands? Should a small business use social media to garner attention, especially when they are starting from scratch?
Should small businesses be on social media too?
Big brands have been doing it pretty well but there’s no reason a small business shouldn’t. Even a regional store with a very local audience can have an amazing social media presence where the sense of belonging is even more intimate because of geographical proximity.
Even a startup can become an overnight sensation on social media if they could plan a campaign that resonates well with intended audiences. The story of @worldrecordegg stands as proof that you can instantly become a social media rockstar within days with an interesting idea.
More importantly, there’s not one but enough social media platforms to make space for all kinds of businesses. There’s Facebook for “friendly-stuff”, Instagram for pictorial or visual stuff, YouTube for videos, Twitter for sass and wit, and then LinkedIn for professionalism.
Based on the kind of business you have and the audience that you are targeting, you can choose the platform you want to be on. You could also have different posts on different platforms for showing a more 360-degree view of the brand.
The more engaging your content on social media is, the more likes, shares, and comments you’ll receive after which it’s a snowball rolling. It all boils down to how well you know your audience and how you make them tick with your words. If you manage to do it well, you’ll have an amazing following on social media.
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