Having a blog is necessary for most businesses. If you look at companies like Google, Starbucks, and Virgin, no matter how big they already are, they still care enough to have business blogs.
Blogging lets you build trust in your brand when you deliver quality content to your audience. You can respond to your customers’ concerns with a thoughtful blog post. It also gives you a platform to attract leads in a helpful and not salesy way.
But if you’re a smaller business on a budget, how can you get more traffic and conversions to your blog?
Enter influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways to build traffic for your blog. In fact, it’s fast becoming the go-to marketing strategy for both big and small brands. Stats show that 94% of the marketers who have employed an influencer marketing strategy believe the technique to be effective.
And that’s because tapping into the influence of authoritative online personalities can be a great way to boost your blog traffic. Of course, higher traffic means more leads, and more leads mean a higher potential for conversions. Especially for small businesses, influencer marketing helps with brand awareness, audience engagement, and sales.
Another great thing about influencer marketing is that, if you play your cards right, it won’t cost you much to achieve satisfying results. To start, you only need a small budget and wise, informed choices along the way.
Just follow the tips below as they teach you how to manage an effective influencer marketing campaign to boost your blog traffic and increase conversions for your business.
#1. Identify your influencer marketing KPIs
Before you get started with influencer marketing, you need KPIs or key performance indicators. KPIs let you measure your campaign results and set goals, which will give your influencer campaign a direction. This also ensures you stay the course throughout its duration. Some questions you may need to ask yourself when establishing your KPIs:
- What audience should I target?
- How much traffic am I expecting to get and within what time frame?
- Which criteria should I use to identify the right influencers for my brand, product, or campaign?
- Which platforms should I use for my campaigns?
Examples of specific influencer marketing goals you can implement for your blog include the following:
- Increase your social media following by 1,000 in three months
- At the end of a month-long campaign, get 50 tech bloggers to review your product
- Generate brand awareness through hashtag campaigns or social media sweepstakes and giveaways
- Increase your blog traffic 3x by getting an influential online personality to take over your Twitter account for a day
#2. Find out how much you’re willing to spend
As a disclaimer, we’ve never had to pay anyone in our history of practicing influencer marketing. Instead, we initiated collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships and the influencers we reached out to were cool with that.
I do know that some influencers require certain fees, and some businesses are okay with paying. This is a typical setup.
So just set a budget for your campaign. This gives you an idea how many influencers to use for your campaign and how much to spend on each one. Also take into account the free products, gifts, discounts, and commissions you will give to each influencer.
Especially if you’re working on a tight budget, you want to make sure that every cent you spend on the campaign is put to good use.
#3. Micro-influencers over macro-influencers
Now if a large part of your budget goes to paying influencers, you need to be smart about choosing which ones to partner with. Since you’re working on a small budget, your best bets are micro-influencers. They are not as popular as macro-influencers, nor their following as large, but they tend to enjoy higher engagement. They also charge less. This makes them ideal for startup bloggers working on a limited budget.
Take note that some micro-influencers require a small compensation fee, while others are happy to receive something in exchange for a mention of your brand, such as a freebie. Before starting any influencer campaign, always discuss compensation terms and set expectations ahead to avoid conflict.
Whatever your agreement, you can then choose to either have a micro-influencer write a review about your product/service, tweet your blog articles, or direct their followers to your signup page.
To cite an example, we recently wrote a case study about successful influencer marketing campaigns. EatsieBox, a monthly snacks box subscription service, only had to pay up to $50 for every influencer they partnered with. Most of their influencers got free EatsieBoxes and discounted subscriptions. The result: 600+ email subscribers through influencer contests and reviews.
Just imagine if you could leverage this same power to increase traffic and leads for your blog!
#4. Check the influencer’s reputation
The last thing you want is to spend more money cleaning up your reputation after hiring the wrong influencer – someone who undermines the value of the products or services you are promoting in your blog. Your influencer represents your brand so it helps to do a little background research.
Check to make sure they don’t have a bad reputation online. Watch out for those who badmouth the brands they’ve worked with in the past. Also be aware of those who promote one brand today and a directly competing brand the following day.
#5. Get to know the influencer’s audience
Make sure that your influencer has the audience you’re looking for. For example, if you’re blogging about your beauty sampling subscription service available in only specific locations, look for local micro-influencers whose followers are also just living near the area. Or if you’re blogging to spread awareness for your wellness product, it would make more sense to work with a micro-influencer whose focus is on health and wellness instead of tech and gadgets.
Your campaign will be much more effective if you identify your target audience and collaborate with an influencer whose audience matches your needs.
#6. Offer influencers something in return
If your budget is too low, you may want to consider using your products as compensation instead. Sometimes, smaller influencers are happy to receive a gift from brands. Bear in mind this only works if they like your product.
So, be sure to study the influencer and their audience’s likes and dislikes. Once you’ve identified the right influencers to approach, send them your product and explain why it could benefit them. If they like your product, they are more likely to talk about it on social media. You get free publicity for your blog and get authentic feedback about your product. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!
#7. Leverage fans with large followings
No need to look far for your next brand advocate. Your most loyal fans could become part of your influencer campaign. To start, go through your list of followers or search for branded hashtags to see if you can find people with substantial followings. These people are already fans of your brand so it’s easier to convince them to become part of your campaign.
You can reward their loyalty with free products, gifts, and discounts. In return, they can promote your product to their followers. You can even give them opportunities make money through commissions earned from coupon codes, discount codes, and referral URLs that track their conversions.
#8. Use relevant social media platforms
Have your influencer promote your blog across their various social platforms, preferably in ones where your key consumers are likely to hang out. You can get creative by doing social media takeovers, contests, coupon codes, and giveaways. Just make sure to let your influencer know what you expect so they know what they should do.
#9. Collaborate, don’t dictate
For your campaign to be successful, you need to give your influencers editorial freedom. It helps with their authenticity because they get to create content that resonates with their audience. You can provide your influencers a few talking points about your brand/product, but beyond that, it is entirely up to them.
#10. Foster relationships
Once the campaign is over, you should still maintain your relationship with the influencer. Think long term. If the turnout of your campaign was great, it is in your best interest to keep in touch with these people because they could later become advocates of your brand.
You’ll be surprised how generous influencers can get when it comes to mentioning a brand especially if you treat them right. And with their growing audience, you could quickly gain potential customers by working with them again.
#11. Set realistic expectations
Let’s be real here. An influencer campaign won’t always result in plenty of sales. While they do have the potential to generate sales for your brand, influencers are better used for raising brand awareness and spreading the word about your product/service.
If you’re going to run an influencer campaign, better set your eyes on building your brand’s image rather than making sales. You still get what you pay for because you are showcasing your brand to people who are already your potential customers – provided you do a good job researching your influencers and their audiences.
#12. Monitor your spending and the campaign’s performance
No matter the amount you’re willing to spend on an influencer campaign, tracking and monitoring how it’s performing is vital to understanding how effectively you’re spending your marketing dollars.
The insights you gain from the data you gather will also help you craft more impactful but affordable campaigns in the future.
Keep tabs on how each influencer is faring against the targets you laid out it in step #1. Be willing to make adjustments when needed. This includes terminating the partnership if you think the results they’re driving aren’t worth your time, money, and energy. Just make sure to put all this in writing and that the influencer knows what they’re getting into. Failing to make these terms clear can result in a damaged reputation in the long run. And that can be messy and costly.
Get started with your influencer campaign today
Influencer marketing campaigns can be quite sophisticated, but if you follow these tips, you can boost traffic to your blog and spread awareness for your brand even without a huge marketing budget.