How to Build a High-Growth Influencer Marketing Strategy
We’ve entered the era of efficient growth. Brands are looking for solutions that can help them improve ROI, optimize ad performance, and improve rates of new customer acquisitions — all while still reducing costs. The good news is that there are multiple ways to build a sustainable growth marketing strategy. Today, forward-thinking performance marketers are turning to influencer marketing to scale their digital strategies and achieve profitable results.
While it was historically an overlooked growth channel, influencer marketing has proven to be an effective channel that can impact your entire funnel. In addition to achieving top-of-funnel goals like brand awareness, brands today partner influencers to actively drive bottom-of-funnel actions. In fact, businesses generate an average of $5.78 in revenue for each $1 invested in influencer marketing, with some seeing as much as $18. Additionally, 51% of marketers say influencer marketing has helped them acquire better customers.
But influencer marketing is no cake walk. To turn your program into a powerful performance channel, you need to build a strategy based on your brand’s goals, industry, and other unique factors. So, let’s walk through the step-by-step process of building a high-growth influencer marketing strategy.
Step 1: Determine your goals
There are a wide array of influencer marketing goals, from boosting awareness to improving follower engagement. But in the era of efficient growth, your influencer marketing goal is likely focused around:
- Driving immediate sales
- Optimizing ad performance and improving ROAS
- Cutting down CAC
If this sounds like you, keep reading. If your goals are different, check out our article, How to Set and Achieve Your Influencer Marketing Goals.
Step 2: Set up an influencer-affiliate program
So, you want to drive sales and source authentic content for your ads. The most effective way to do so is by building an influencer-affiliate program.
Influencer affiliate campaigns are often more effective for ecommerce growth than traditional affiliate programs because they drive immediate revenue and increased exposure through partnerships with influencers who are invested in winning for your brand. Influencers are motivated to continue creating quality content and generating sales for you because they’re paid on a per-sale basis. And because of this compensation model, your brand is able to make a big impact without breaking the bank.
Many performance marketers are leaning into influencer-affiliate marketing to introduce a new revenue stream and supercharge conversions through authentic influencer content. Take Mountain Rose Herbs, for example. The wellness brand turns influencers into affiliates to drive sales at a greater scale through educational content, bringing in over 90 conversions and $140K of revenue, at an average rate of $1K per day.
But before you dive head first into finding your brand partners, set up the foundation of your affiliate program. Consider the following:
- What is your offering? Your goal is to create an influencer-affiliate community that is attractive for creators to join, yet still yields profit for your brand. Think about the payment system you want to use. The average commission structure is 10-30%, but you need to determine your rate based on your business’ needs and budget.
- How will you measure success? Determine which metrics to focus on to keep track of what’s working and what’s not. Focus on success indicators like number of sales per affiliate, value of sale per affiliate, frequency of mentions per affiliate, and overall program revenue.
- What tools do you need to run your affiliate program? Think about the third-party tools you’ll need to recruit affiliates, create each affiliates’ unique link or code, and track the success of your program. You can use a spreadsheet, but it’s better to invest in an analytics platform that gathers and displays your data.
Step 3: Find the right creators
Now, it’s the fun part — recruiting the right people into your program. Like any other partnership, authenticity is the key ingredient to success when it comes to influencer marketing. Consider what type of creator would be the best, most genuine partner for your brand. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you’d want to work with a diverse array of fashion influencers who typically create content such as try-on hauls, outfit-of-the-day posts, and the like, so that they can seamlessly integrate your products into their content and effortlessly drive sales.
Step 4: Measure your campaign
Use the metrics you set up before your campaign to evaluate your program’s success, your top-performing creators, and the highest-converting content. By doing so, you can re-invest in the same strategies and replicate success throughout your entire program.
To streamline the whole process, use a tool like Aspire. Our ShareASale integration gives you access to the best of both Aspire and ShareASale, allowing you to use Aspire to find and manage your collaborations, while also tracking influencer-affiliate link clicks, conversions, and payout all in one place.
Step 5: Repurpose your influencer content
Last but certainly not least, leverage the goldmine of influencer-generated content (IGC) you now have in your arsenal and turn them into high-performing paid ads. This is one of the most effective ways to optimize your ad spend. Why?
- Because IGC is diverse, you can easily personalize your ads to each audience segment you’re targeting, leading to higher performance at lower costs.
- Using influencer content in paid ads provides social proof to customers looking for third-party validation.
- Studies show that using IGC to power paid ads can increase purchase outcomes by 82% while creating a 4x improvement in brand lift.
Plus, it’s now easier than ever to turn organic influencer content into paid ads. With native ad features like Instagram Partnership Ads and TikTok Spark Ads that allow you to seamlessly turn organic influencer content into ads run under the creator handle, enabling you to stretch the impact of your existing content and boost performance with little effort.
By bridging the gap between your organic and paid channels, you can impact your entire funnel at far lower costs.