A successful influencer marketing strategy is a delicate balance to strike. Many marketers are under the misconception that there’s a linear process to follow:

Step 1: Pick someone with a lot of following
Step 2: Interview that person or maybe quote him or her
Step 3: Expect that forces of the universe will spark content shares
Step 4: Sales

But in reality, influencer marketing is much more convoluted because you’re working with human beings. That’s why it’s so challenging to follow the test, measure, iterate routines that otherwise drive your integrated marketing campaign strategies. You’re not just launching keyword campaigns that reach audiences at scale.

Whether you’re writing a blog post, hosting podcasts, or creating a video series, you need to guide your influencer along the way. Remember that the person who you’re involving in your idea doesn’t necessarily think like a marketer—as a result, you’ll need to put in if you want to see significant legwork at scale.

Follow this formula to build your influencer marketing strategy with precision:

1. Expand your definition of influencer—dig deeper than Twitter

When choosing to partner with influencers, don’t just follow the herd. It’s not the person with the biggest twitter following or the celebrity with far reach who will drive the most impact for your organization. Choosing influencers is about respect. Take, for instance, this blog post that was originally published on Clarity.fm, about a professional volcano explorer and scientist Jess Pelaez. She may not have millions of followers on social media, but she’s well-connected in the scientific community and has an extensive media presence. By leveraging this network, Clarity.fm was able to generate thousands of views and hundreds of shares with this post.

2. Be selective and thoughtful about the influencers you choose

There’s no way around it. Vanity marketing—when businesses chase quick wins to inflate numbers rather than build sustainable growth practices—never works. Influencer marketing is no different. If you’re partnering with an influencer and looking to gain coverage for something that you’re promoting, whether it be a cause or product, make sure that the alignment runs deep. For a guide to building solid relationships with influencers, to craft marketing campaigns that scale, check out this guide here. You’ll learn how to agree to a single set of priorities and make those priorities highly visible.

3. Embrace your influencers’ wishes and objectives

Why should an influencer take the time to support your company? How can these high-visibility individuals rest assured that your marketing team will respect their privacy, confidentiality, and values? Influencers don’t want their names just thrown around.

Before even approaching a potential influencer candidate, even for something as simple as an interview for a blog post, you should have your etiquette down. For a guide to developing strong influencer outreach manners, check out this guide here.

Final Thoughts

Deeper relationships yield strong relationships. Remember that influencer strategies are grounded in the art of long-term strategic thinking and planning. You never know what your influencer strategies might become 2, 5, and even 10 years down the line.

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