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Activated Trust and Engagement: How to Launch a Profitable Influencer Strategy

With 82% of the UK using social media for over an hour and a half each day, it's easy to understand why so many brands are choosing social media marketing. However, brands must battle for users' attention on these highly engaging platforms. While traditional paid advertisements often struggle to stand out, influencer strategies offer a compelling alternative.By collaborating with influencers, brands gain access to engaged audiences who have a genuine interest in the influencer's content. This approach connects you directly with your target audience through trusted creators who have the power to sway purchasing decisions.

Team building a strategy with a rocket
Team building a strategy with a rocket

Key Takeaways

  • Effectiveness of influencer marketing: Influencer marketing continues to be a highly effective strategy across various industries due to its ability to directly connect brands with target audiences through trusted personalities.
  • Importance of authentic content: Successful influencer campaigns hinge on authentic and engaging content that resonates with the audience. This includes not only promotional posts but also product reviews and long-term ambassadorships that build trust and credibility.
  • Strategic planning: Developing a clear and strategic plan is essential for influencer marketing. This includes defining precise campaign objectives, understanding the target audience, selecting appropriate influencers based on alignment with brand values, and crafting content that appeals to the audience's preferences and interests.
  • Measurable outcomes: Monitoring and measuring the success of influencer campaigns is crucial to ensure they meet defined goals. Brands should adapt their strategies based on analytics to maximize engagement, reach, and ROI, reflecting the dynamic nature of social media trends and audience behaviours.
  • The value of contracts: Protect your brand and the influencer with an influencer contract that outlines the scope of work, details the payment structure, specifies content usage rights, and defines any exclusivity terms.

What is influencer marketing?

An influencer campaign is a type of marketing strategy in which brands promote products through influencers. An influencer is anyone with over 1,000 followers on any social media platform. Influencers could be entertainers, educators, or highly qualified professionals.

Why are so many brands choosing influence strategies?

82% of the UK population are social media users, and these scrollers and posters spend an average of 1 hour 49 minutes on social media platforms each day. This means that social media platforms are fantastic places for businesses to target audiences–no matter the niche.

There are two ways to access these consumers: paid ads and influencer marketing.

While paid ads give brands access to these audiences, social media users are now highly savvy and fatigued by overtly promotional content. Developing engaging and memorable ads that grab attention in seconds on social media is vital, otherwise the content will be ignored.

After all, why should people be interested in an ad when they have an unlimited stream of content to swipe through?

That’s where influencer marketing steps in. It allows brands to tap into an influencer's audience by sending a free product for review, co-collaborating to develop content, or sponsoring specific posts.

Here, the audience is already actively interested in the influencer, so your promotion is more likely to be viewed and remembered.

Yet, influencer marketing goes deeper than simply grabbing attention. The audience trusts the creator, so their endorsements also bring authentic social proof. This is especially important for brands hoping to connect with Gen-Zs, who are more cynical than ever.

Due to these benefits, the influencer marketing industry, now worth 868 million, is projected to grow to 1.3 billion by 2029, and 50% of brands will increase spending on influencer marketing in 2024.

How to create an influencer strategy?

The advantages of an influencer strategy are numerous. For example, you increase brand awareness, build trust, and boost sales.

Yet, to succeed, the strategy must be thought out and targeted, especially when it comes to who you collaborate with.

What are the 3 R's of influencer marketing?

To develop campaigns that maintain attention, you must carefully analyse your potential partners. Considering the reach, resonance and relevance of an influencer will ensure you choose the right partner to add value to your brand.

Reach and Resonance

Reach is the number of followers a digital creator has. While this is important, it doesn’t really tell you how many people will actively pay attention to your advert. For that, you need to understand the resonance of the influencer’s content. Resonance suggests how engaged the target audience is by considering the likes and comments each post receives.

In fact, reach and resonance tend to be negatively correlated. That means the higher the number of followers, the lower the engagement.

Let’s break that down:

  • Nano-influencers:
    • Reach: 1,000 to 5,000 followers
    • Resonance: 7.38% engagement rate
  • Micro-influencers:
    • Reach: 5,000 to 10,000 followers
    • Resonance: 2.64% engagement rate
  • Macro-influencers:
    • Reach: 100,000 to 1M followers
    • Resonance: 1.50%
  • Mega-influencers:
    • Reach: 1M+ followers
    • Resonance: 1.06%

Businesses increasingly collaborate with nano- and micro-influencers because they are niche creators who connect deeply with their audiences rather than those with large followings. This means enhanced authenticity and better engagement, which is deeply important as the public becomes more resistant to traditional marketing methods.

In addition, these smaller creators often cost less to work with. That's why 64% of marketers have worked with micro-influencers compared to just 17% with mega or celeb influencers.


Follow counts and engagement rates are important, yet, they aren't sufficient for a successful collaboration.

The influencer's values and style must align with the brand's for the promoted content to feel authentic and, therefore, engage and convince the target audience.

For example, if a brand is a body-positive clothing brand, it will be more relevant to collaborate with creators who already have body-positive content. On the other hand, promoting the brand through highly filtered, “aspirational” posts by high-fashion influencers will confuse the audience.

Due to this, it can be beneficial to find creators who are genuine fans of your brand and enjoy what you do. This may mean checking your comments or tagged posts to find digital creators who already use your products.

Tapping into this relevance also means brands should seek influencers who don’t create too much promotional content. Creators who launch too many collabs will appear inauthentic to their followers.

How do you structure an influencer strategy?

A successful strategy is about more than simply finding influencers with reach, resonance, and relevance to your brand. It’s a complex process that many marketers are unsure how to begin.

While it can be tricky, there are some tried and tested steps that will help your strategy succeed.

1. Analyse your current image

The first step to designing a strong campaign is to develop a deep understanding of people's current perception of your brand on social media platforms.

You can search manually by regularly checking relevant hashtags. Or, you can track mentions of your brand or competitors and record the types of comments and content created around them. This is known as social listening.

For brands looking to launch campaigns fast and receive actionable insights rather than spending hours tracking their brand, social listening tools can help. They will quickly provide competitive benchmarking and tell you the sentiment around your brand. They’ll also dissect competitors' campaigns so you can see which digital creators they are collaborating with and who is winning them new customers.

Above all, this helps you understand what’s happening in your industry so that you can develop campaigns that hit the mark and target current trends. Check out Kolsquare's social listening tool today.

2. Define your goals

Influencer marketing campaigns thrive on clear objectives. Defining your goals upfront not only provides direction but also helps you select the most suitable influencers and campaigns to achieve them. These goals will also help you to measure success and return on investment during and after the campaign.

Consider the objectives for your campaign, such as increasing:

  • Brand awareness or sentiment
  • Engagement rates on your content
  • Backlinks for SEO
  • The marketing funnel and customer lifecycle
  • Direct sales
  • Web traffic and clicks
  • Followers on social media platforms

3. Investigate your target audience

It’s likely you’re already aware of who your general audience is, but decide whether that’s different for your influencer marketing campaign. Due to the authenticity of social media marketing, many brands try to win new customers by engaging with them on their preferred channel.

For example, dairy company Arla launched a TikTok influencer marketing campaign to target a Gen Z audience. The campaign's goal was to enhance brand awareness and keep their brand name in current conversations through creators who understand the language and trends of younger demographics.

Despite social media being ubiquitous, it is impossible to target everyone. After all, even mega-influencers tend to have audiences in set demographics. By precisely targeting an audience, you're more likely to reach them effectively.

Once you understand who your target audience is, start to develop an understanding of:

  • Content: Do they prefer posts that are funny, entertaining, educational, inspiring, sad, or relatable? Which influencers do they follow across social media platforms?
  • Platforms: Where do these individuals spend time? Is it long-form educational videos with a conversational tone on YouTube or aspirational Instagram photos?
  • Engagement type: How does your ideal customer engage with posts? Are they sharing hashtag challenges? Or do they leave heartfelt messages on posts?

Understanding how your potential customers act on social media is a great way to understand how you can reach them.

4. Decide on your Budget

Marketers must still define a clear budget and expectations of how much they plan to earn.

However, if this is your first campaign, it can be difficult, especially as there are no set costs for influencer marketing. The charges will depend on each influencer, the industry, and the campaign. In addition, prices can often be negotiated. However, there are some trends.

Firstly, the greater the reach of an influence, the more it will cost to employ. Working with creators with small followings, such as nano-influencers, will therefore be the cheapest partners

Additionally, the complexity and duration of the campaign impact the budget. A straightforward one-off post will generally cost less than a comprehensive campaign involving multiple posts, stories, or additional content such as videos or live sessions.

5. Identify the best type of campaign

The type of campaign is one of the biggest impacts on the budget. Yet, there are other considerations, such as the engagement they encourage and how they are perceived.  

Here’s a brief analysis of campaign types:

  • Long-term partnerships: By aligning with influencers over an extended period, for example, choosing an influencer as a brand ambassador, both parties work collaboratively towards shared goals, consistently producing content across various platforms to deepen brand identity and audience engagement. These partnerships allow you to strengthen your campaign over time by analyzing what works and what doesn’t. These longer collaborations typically involve multiple touchpoints, providing sustained exposure over time.
  • Mid-term strategies: Here, brands can sponsor influencers to craft content that reflects both the brand’s and the influencer’s creative visions. This strategy requires an ongoing relationship and a deep understanding of each other’s brands, enabling the creation of content that genuinely resonates with both sets of audiences.
  • One-off strategies: These are also very low-cost and low-risk options, such as sending free products or affiliate links and promo codes that pay influencers on commission for a sale. In addition, brands can pay influencers for conversions they drive directly through Cost-per-Click (CPC) links or similar methods.  While this approach only costs the price of the product and shipping,

While cheaper approaches tap into new audiences without upfront costs, they offer less control over the resulting content and timing, relying on the goodwill of the influencer to generate positive exposure.

The more you invest in an influencer, the more they will respect you and prioritise your collaboration.

6. Decide on the social media platforms

Social media platforms tap into different types of audiences in different ways and offer different types of content.

  • Instagram: Here, users can post short videos and images. the user base skews younger, with 51% of users falling between the ages of 18 and 34, divided into 21% aged 18 to 24 and 30% aged 25 to 34. Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing, according to a Hubspot survey that found 72% of social media marketers using it.
  • TikTok: Over 60% of TikTok users are aged under 35. One of its positives is that it has the highest engagement rate of any platform due to its intelligent algorithm and attention-stealing short video content.
  • YouTube: With even 74% of 55-64-year-olds using it, YouTube offers a wide range of long-form video content, including educational content and tutorials.
  • LinkedIn: The business-to-business social platform LinkedIn is used by brands looking to connect with other business people. It’s a strong venue for enhancing reputation and professionalism.
  • Facebook: One of the first social media platforms available, Facebook has 56 million users in the UK. However, it has lower engagement rates than other platforms.

While these are popular choices, there are also other options, such as X, for collaborations. Many brands also choose to launch multi-platform strategies to reach audiences in different ways.

7. Find suitable influencers

To build an influencer program that’s effective, you need to find creators who genuinely align with your brand and products.

You can do that by monitoring branded hashtags and social media comments to find supporters who are highly engaged with your brand. In addition, conduct thorough research to discover influencers within your niche.

8. Create engaging content

Empower creators and let them shine—they understand their audience best. Simply supply them with a comprehensive brief that includes crucial details about your brand. Its directions should be straightforward to follow but with room for an influencer to use their creativity. This will allow the creator to convey your message and keep the content engaging and tailored to what captivates your audience.

To manage your content effectively, consider developing a content calendar. This will help you schedule your posts, align with your influencers' availability, and coordinate with anyone else involved in content creation and editing.

Pinpoint specific topics to focus on and identify the influencers who are best equipped to communicate each type of content. This might be based on their proven track record, their alignment with your brand's values, or their ability to drive long-term success. In some cases, it's beneficial to collaborate directly with influencers to produce and disseminate content at key moments throughout your campaign.

9. Promote your campaign

Maximise the reach of your campaign by strategically using every available channel. Start by leveraging your brand's social media platforms to co-deliver content alongside your influencers. This dual approach ensures consistent messaging and increases engagement across different audiences.

Don’t stop at social media; extend your reach through email newsletters. Sharing updates about your campaign, behind-the-scenes content, and exclusive offers via email can help keep your audience engaged and informed. This is especially effective for nurturing leads and converting them into loyal customers. Every piece of content should serve to funnel viewers back to your primary campaign goals.

10. Tracking the success of an Influencer strategy for brands

Assessing the effectiveness of your influencer ads is essential for gauging campaign success and pinpointing influential partners.

Here's how to effectively measure your influencer ads using key performance indicators:

  • Engagement rates: This tracks the number of comments and likes on posts.

  • Reach and impressions: These metrics gauge the reach and visibility of your influencer campaigns.

  • Hashtag tracking: Monitoring the performance of branded hashtags offers insights into their spread and adoption.

  • Click-through rate (CTR): Tracking CTR is crucial for assessing how effectively content drives traffic to your intended destination.

  • Conversion rate: Measure the conversion rate for campaigns with specific actions in mind, such as purchases or sign-ups.

  • Cost per action (CPA): Calculate CPA to evaluate the financial impact of the influencer partnership.

  • ROI: Compare campaign profit against costs to determine overall effectiveness.

  • Audience growth: Increased social media followers indicate a successful campaign, particularly if new follower acquisition aligns with campaign timings.

While conversions are vital, don't overlook the importance of brand awareness and sentiment growth. In addition, despite the metrics you planned for, keep an open mind if you received other benefits and analyse why.

If an influencer's content has performed poorly, rethink the type of content they created and their audience. This is an opportunity to refine the campaign and make it more effective.

Get help creating an influencer strategy

Managing influencer campaigns can be daunting, especially for small and medium businesses already juggling numerous marketing responsibilities. If the thought of identifying the right influencers, forging meaningful relationships, and continuously tracking campaign performance feels overwhelming, consider leveraging an influencer marketing platform.

These platforms are designed to remove the operational complexity of influencer marketing. On a single interface, you can search a database of millions of influencers to pinpoint those who align with your brand, manage your communications, and gain ready-to-go insights into the impact of your campaigns.

This not only saves you time but also makes your campaigns more likely to hit targets. Above all, platforms make your influencer marketing as impactful and stress-free as possible. If you'd like to learn how a platform can help you, try a Kolsquare demo free today.

The influencer contract checklist

A well-thought-out strategy is essential. However, it's crucial to protect your brand and collaborators with robust contracts.

This checklist will guide you through the key components necessary to set clear frameworks for your partnerships.

Cover the basics

In any influencer contract, it's essential to begin with a section that includes the personal details of all parties involved. This should cover information such as the names of both parties and specifics about the collaboration.

Set deadlines

Coordinate with the influencer to establish specific start and end dates for the collaboration. If you anticipate a long-term partnership, define the scope of the current project and plan to issue subsequent contracts for continuing work as needed. Detailing when the content is due can also help set clear expectations.

Negotiate payment terms

Engage in discussions with the influencer to settle on payment terms. Clearly define the upfront payment amount, whether it is a flat fee, the payment schedule, and the triggers for each payment.

In addition, consider whether you'll reimburse any incidental expenses incurred during the collaboration, payment for content revisions, and if they can work with competitors in the meantime.

Specify the type of content

In your influencer contract, it's essential to precisely outline the specifics of the collaboration. This includes the number of posts, the nature of the tasks, and the types of content you expect. Clarify the expectations for both parties and the creative concepts you've mutually agreed upon. For instance, you might specify the requirement for one sponsored video on TikTok.

To help guide your influencer's creative process, show examples of posts that align with your brand's vision. This will give them a clear idea of what resonates with your audience and what doesn't. Additionally, explain the underlying data and goals that shape your campaign strategy.

Specify where they should share the content and whether they should engage with the audience on your posts or theirs. By setting these clear objectives and boundaries, you ensure that the campaign aligns with your core marketing goals, paving the way for a successful and impactful collaboration.

Create an approval process

Decide how you will review content before it goes live. Start by specifying who within your organization will review the content, the turnaround time for feedback, and the number of revisions allowed.

Collaboration between the influencer and marketers ensures the content is high quality and aligns with the brand's guidelines.

Establishing a system for submitting and tracking content revisions can also help maintain organization and prevent misunderstandings.

Define copyright

Decide who gets access to the content, how long they can use it, and where it can be shared. Determine if you will keep permanent ownership or if rights will go back to the influencer after some time. Make sure it's clear if you can modify the content. It's also useful to let influencers use your brand's name, logo, and images to increase your visibility and recognition.

Image authenticity

Make sure the content is original and not copied or created by AI, as customers might distrust heavily edited content. It's also important to comply with legal requirements by labelling advertisements clearly with #ad. Both the brand and the influencer are responsible for this.

Cancellation clause

Including a cancellation clause in influencer contracts is crucial for protecting both parties in the event that the collaboration needs to be terminated prematurely. This clause should specify the conditions under which either party can cancel the agreement, such as breach of contract, failure to meet deadlines or other unforeseen circumstances.

It should also outline the required notice period for cancellation, any financial penalties involved, and how the compensation will be handled upon termination.

Tools for marketing with social media influencers

Using a tool or agency can streamline every element of your campaign, saving time and costs. These assistive options make launching effective campaigns easier.

Influencer outreach tools and platforms

Influencer marketing tools simplify your strategy from start to finish, offering key features such as:

  • Monitor trends: These platforms analyse social media trends in real-time, offering actionable insights to guide campaign strategies. By understanding the current landscape, brands can tailor their approaches for maximum impact.
  • Advanced search features: Platforms’ search functionalities streamline the process of identifying suitable influencers, leveraging AI-driven algorithms for precise targeting. This ensures you connect with influencers who align closely with your objectives and target audience.
  • Performance tracking: By monitoring key metrics, you can optimise your strategies to maximise your ROI without needing spreadsheets.

See how a platform can benefit your brand with a free Kolsquare demo today.

Influencer agencies

Work with Influencer Marketing Agencies: If navigating influencer marketing seems daunting, consider partnering with influencer marketing agencies. These agencies specialize in connecting brands with the right influencers who can truly affect consumers' decisions, offering end-to-end campaign management services, from ideation to performance reporting.

Some examples of agencies include:

  • GOAT agency: Based in London, The Goat Agency is a leading influencer marketing firm that supports brands working across all major social platforms. With a vast network of over 100,000 influencers, their comprehensive services include social media management, content production, and data-driven marketing strategies.
  • We are Social: We Are Social, known for its extensive global presence and a team of over 1,300 professionals, offers digital marketing and influencer strategies designed to build authentic connections and modernize brand voices. Their broad service range covers everything from creative direction to detailed analytics.
  • Buttermilk: Buttermilk is a dynamic influencer marketing agency located in London. It is primarily focused on helping brands jump on trends and engage younger demographics through platforms like TikTok. Buttermilk's core services include full social media management, content creation, and campaign design.

To learn more about 10 UK agencies click here.

Influencer strategy examples

Case Study: Scaling Impact with Wellcom Agency and L’Oréal Professionnel's Steampod 4 Campaign

Wellcom, a leading Parisian communications agency with a strong history in public relations, content, brand management, and social media, teamed up with L’Oréal Professionnel.

Known for their revolutionary haircare and styling solutions, L’Oréal Professionnel aimed to promote their next-generation Steampod 4 hair straighteners during the Christmas period of 2022.

Objective: The campaign's primary goal was to elevate awareness of Steampod 4 and its cutting-edge features, positioning it as the perfect holiday gift.

Strategy: Wellcom selected a diverse group of 80 influencers across Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok to create and share video content showcasing the Steampod 4. It was an all-encompassing campaign with influencers of all reach and catering to various hair types and styling needs.

Execution: The influencers were carefully chosen using Kolsquare, a tool that helped Wellcom identify and qualify influencers who were a perfect fit for the campaign’s goals. The selection process was data-driven, considering factors like follower demographics and content engagement to ensure alignment with the target market.

The influencers were sent a free product and, in turn, demonstrated the Steampod 4's innovative technology and ease of use in videos, which became the campaign's cornerstone.

Results: The campaign generated substantial visibility, achieving over 21 million reach and 1.1 million engagements across 150 pieces of content. The strategic use of influencer videos not only informed potential customers about the product but also created authentic testimonials of its benefits, enhancing consumer trust and interest. Learn more about the campaign here.

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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