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An influencer marketing campaign isn’t as complex or as difficult to identify as it may sound. If you spend any amount of time online, especially on social media, you’ve probably seen an influencer marketing campaign or two. If you follow any influencers, then it’s even more likely that you’ve been exposed to this type of campaign. Perhaps you were even a member of the campaign’s target market.

Influencers aren’t limited to big names like the Kardashians who have followings just for living fabulous lives in the spotlight. They’re also the people — some famous, some not — who show their followers how to do everyday things on social media. They might build eco-friendly birdhouses or cook quick, healthy meals. They’re sometimes experts on particular subjects and have popular blogs for very niche markets.

An influencer marketing campaign involves a brand partnering with influencers to help spread the word about its products or services. One important characteristic of an influencer marketing campaign is that it shouldn’t come across like an ad or a hard sell. Followers trust influencers to be authentic in what they post about, and the trust and loyalty are transferred to the brand through the partnership.

If you decide to run an influencer marketing campaign, it’s essential to ensure your campaign strategy harnesses every opportunity to boost your numbers. Optimization means putting in place those opportunities for growth and achieving the best performances on as many fronts as possible.

Influencer campaign optimization is important because you want to get the biggest bang for your buck out of your campaign. That might mean getting the most reach, brand awareness, website traffic, engagement, leads and/or conversions possible. You don’t want to leave any money or opportunities for growth on the table.

You should include opportunities for optimization when you plan your campaign strategy. But you should also assess any new optimization opportunities that might spring up during the campaign. Consider incorporating them when they do come up — or for the next round.

How to Optimize Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

Launching a campaign is only the beginning. Elevating opportunities for growth — and taking advantage of them — to optimize are essential for building more value into the campaign and boosting ROI. These tips and techniques bring the general optimization process to life.

Use Research and Testing Tools

To optimize like a champ, become a data fiend. Research your target audience so that you really understand their needs, wants and values. Don’t make assumptions about them. Do your homework to find the right influencers who are posting the type of content that best reflects your brand image.

Research the platforms that perform best for the influencer, and run tests to find the best platforms for the campaign. You can also use tools like Google Analytics Demographics to make sure you’re reaching the right audience.

Work out the best types of campaigns for your influencer marketing. For instance, would a giveaway work well as an element of the campaign? Should you position your influencers as brand ambassadors? Should influencers do takeovers of your social media?

When the campaign is over, do an analysis of the influencers, platforms and posts that have performed the best for your campaign. Gauge how your brand is doing against the competition.

Vet Your Influencers

Working with influencers who have scores of fake followers, or who might alienate your audience with their behavior, can cause your campaign to take a nosedive. Look into tools that assess influencer numbers for fraud. Unfortunately, a number of unscrupulous vendors make healthy profits selling fake followers to influencers. This can cause brands to waste money on follower numbers that aren’t real.

Find the Right Keywords and Hashtags

Optimize search for your campaign by researching the best keywords and hashtags for your brand and your influencers to use. Make sure your influencers know them and use them regularly. Influencers should also include backlinks to your website in their content.

Establish and Follow a Content Schedule

Posting shouldn’t happen haphazardly during the campaign. Put a schedule in place that spells out when and how often influencers should post. Plan ahead for any special events that post timing, content and volume will revolve around.

Share and Repurpose the Campaign and Content

Say your influencer marketing campaign is delivering engagement and leads on Instagram. For influencer campaign optimization, think about repurposing that content by tweaking it for other platforms. Does it lend itself, for example, to a Q&A video that would do well on your website or on YouTube? Could an influencer’s YouTube videos that show followers how to bake dishes using your product also do well on your blog as simple recipe posts?

Think of successful content as the most important ingredient in a variety of different recipes, which in this case are the platforms. Repurposing content is the same concept as turning a bestselling book into a blockbuster movie. People like to consume content in different ways, so it’s a good idea to make it easy for them.

The Benefits of Optimizing Your Influencer Campaign

Influencer campaigns have the potential to become key components of your overall advertising strategy. Optimizing them can create a number of opportunities and provide a variety of benefits for your brand.

It Helps Your Brand Reach New Audiences

A successful influencer marketing campaign reaches its target audience but can also have the benefit of reaching new audiences you didn’t know about. Those new audiences can in turn become leads or conversions. They may also spread brand awareness and, ultimately, foster brand loyalty.

Because influencers have followers all over the world, you can uncover new niche markets halfway around the globe or even right next-door. For example, say your company makes gourmet jellybeans that sell well in the U.S. You’re partnering with a jet-setting influencer who loves to post about snacking in-flight. Demand for your gourmet jellybeans could skyrocket in markets you might have never considered, like Dubai and Hong Kong, where high-end specialty candies are trending.

New Data and Insights Present Brand Opportunities

Optimizing your campaign presents opportunities to learn from new data and insights. For example, greater engagement can tell you things like what changes customers might welcome. They can let you know more about how they use your product with other brands’ products, which could lead to successful brand partnerships.

Optimization Improves Your Brand’s SEO

Influencer marketing optimization done right means Google will find your brand more easily and rank your website higher. In addition to directly reaching influencers’ followers, social media platforms like Facebook tend to have great SEO metrics.

Engagement Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

Initially, an influencer’s followers might feel more comfortable engaging with the influencer than with your brand. Once the influencer has authentically introduced your brand into the relationship, followers will also feel more at ease interacting with your brand on various platforms. For the influencer’s followers, it can be like an introduction from a trusted friend.

These followers will ask questions and learn more about your brand’s products and services. They’ll follow your brand, and awareness of it will grow among their friends, relatives and associates. The process will repeat itself to your brand’s ongoing benefit, resulting in a healthy ROI.