Posted on
28/3/2023

The Influencer Marketing Funnel explained

In 2023, it's hard to imagine marketing without influencer marketing, as working with social media influencers can bring your brand more visibility and awareness, and ultimately increase ROI. Launching a successful influencer marketing campaign requires success at every stage of the influencer marketing funnel. Read what that is and how to do it now on the Kolsquare Influencer Marketing Blog.

illustration entonnoir bleu représentant funnel influence marketing

Key Takeaways

  • The three phases of the influencer marketing funnel are: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion .
  • The top of the funnel phase targets brand awareness.
  • The next stage, the middle funnel, is about building trust and FOMO
  • Finally, you convince customers to make a purchase in the Bottom of the Funnel

Before you start optimizing your influencer marketing funnel, you should first take an  inventory. Determine which stage of the marketing funnel you want to focus on, determine the goals of your campaign, and identify influencer marketing strategies that align with your core goals.

Read more valuable tips on and for influencer marketing on the Kolsquare blog to help identify and solve potential problems.

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Defining the Influencer Marketing Funnel as a Concept

The influencer marketing funnel (translates to funnel) is a marketing strategy that influencers and brands use to promote products and services. Basically, the influencer marketing funnel can also be equated with a classic customer journey (i. e. the journey customers take until they complete a purchase). It is a strategy that includes several stages to lead  potential customers through the buying process.

Experts note different stages, ranging from three to six steps, depending on sensitivity to detail. In the simplest model, the influencer marketing funnel consists of three main phases:

Graphic by Forward Influence

  • Awareness phase: this phase is about making potential customers aware of the brand and its products or services. This is usually done through posts or stories by influencers who introduce the brand’s offerings to their followers.
  • Consideration phase: Once potential customers have become aware of the brand, they should be encouraged to consider buying the product or service. This is usually achieved through reviews or product demonstrations by the influencers, which can help build trust and credibility with the target audience.
  • Conversion phase: the final phase of the influencer marketing funnel is about converting potential customers*into actual buyers. This is usually achieved through discount codes or exclusive offers that drive the audience to make a purchase.

Overall, the influencer marketing funnel is designed to create a seamless “customer journey” that leverages the influence and credibility of social media influencers to drive brand awareness, interest, and ultimately sales.

The Influencer Marketing Funnel, can  include six different phases, which are the previous three  more specified – which we will discuss in more detail now.

Top of the Funnel or Brand Awareness as the first step of the influencer marketing funnel

The main goal in the Top of the Funnel (TOFU) phase is to build brand awareness. So, this is about getting the word out about your product or services. In this step, you provide information and answer questions your followers may have about your brand. Keep in mind: Your product or service is exactly what your target audience needs. Then, once your customers know about you, they should delve deeper into what your brand has to offer. At this stage, the focus is on building interest through initial engagement.

It’s important to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success. Here are some of the most important KPIs for tracking brand awareness:

  • Impressions (the number of times your post is viewed by your audience).
  • Reach (the number of people who viewed your post)
  • Engagement (the likes, comments, and shares a post receives)
  • Follower growth on the brand’s site
  • Number of active influencers (provides insight into the size of your influencer program and ability to build relationships with new audiences)

Kolsquare tip: Note that the focus of the TOFU phase is not to persuade your audience to make a purchase. Rather, it’s about generating curiosity and interest in your brand. Also, you can either measure KPIs manually with spreadsheets or use a creator management platform like Kolsquare to automate the process.

The Tentree brand, for example, has used just one marketer to rally a team of 80 creators to create engaging content that drives lasting brand awareness.

Second phase of the Influencer Marketing Funnel is the middle funnel

In the middle funnel, your goal is to get potential customers to engage more actively with your brand’s content. In this way, you should share more information about your industry and brand to build deeper engagement. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting customers interested and engaged, so it’s best to engage with your influencers. They are closer to the consumers, which is why they better understand their doubts and objections.

To measure success in the middle of the funnel, you can track engagement metrics like engagement rate and the ratio of likes to comments. Read our 2023 update on improving engagement rates for more on this. Logically, influencer campaigns can build relationships with your target audience who are familiar with your brand but may not yet fully trust it. Ideas for working with influencers at this point in the funnel include the following:

  • Contests, sweepstakes or challenges
  • Informational videos and FAQs
  • Live streams (The basics of live streaming for influencer marketing.)

The bottom of the funnel is about Conversion

As customers move further down the funnel, the focus shifts to increasing conversions. At the bottom of the funnel, you should use multiple conversion techniques to make it as easy as possible for customers to engage with your brand. To track success at this stage, you can measure the number of link clicks and the click-through rate, subscriptions, leads, discount code redemptions, sales, and return on ads spent  for repurposed influencer-created content.

Creating affiliate links or discount codes, tags, and actionable landing pages can help you track accurate conversion metrics. By tracking the right goals and metrics at each stage of the funnel, you can optimize your influencer marketing campaigns and maximize your conversion rate (CR).

Since you want to make a sale at the bottom of the funnel, you should work with creatives who have built a high level of trust with their followers. Micro and nano influencers are especially talented at driving sales. Their audience is small, highly engaged, and puts a lot of trust in the influencers’ product recommendations.

Don’t forget that it’s not over after a purchase; after all, you want your current buyers to stay with you and become long-term customers and fans of your brand. Better yet, referrals are every brand’s dream. The only people you trust more than influencers today are people in your immediate circle.

Overall, the influencer marketing funnel is a powerful tool for brands to create a seamless customer journey that leverages the influence and credibility of social media influencers to drive brand awareness, interest, activation, conversion, retention, and ultimately referrals.

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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