Looking for more than just reach and impressions from your next Influencer Marketing campaign? Look no further. When crafted correctly, Influencer Marketing campaign tactics support the full marketing funnel. We’re talking from the top of the funnel—awareness—to the bottom of the funnel—referrals. And, every phase in between. However, knowing which tactic matches which marketing funnel phase is key to delivering campaigns that exceed expectations. So, how can you use Influencer Marketing and the marketing funnel to most effectively and quickly move consumers along in the customer journey? We’ll show you how with our proven process, including more than 20 campaign activation ideas.

What Is the Marketing Funnel?

First things first, what is a marketing funnel? Otherwise known as a customer’s journey, the marketing funnel is a process that captures your customer’s progress from learning about your brand to making a purchase and beyond.

The Influencer Marketing Funnel includes six different stages:

  1. Awareness. This initial phase focuses on getting the word out about your product or services. Specifically, it alerts your customers about your brand and helps them answer questions or find out information about things they are interested in and are searching for.
  2. Consideration. Once your customers know about you, you want them to dig a little deeper and get to know your brand’s offerings. In this phase, the focus is on driving interest through initial engagement.
  3. Activation. This phase is about deeper connection and greater information. It provides a more tailored approach to interest customers and drives greater engagement.
  4. Conversion. Houston! We’ve got lift off! This is where the magic happens. Sales! And, whatever other key calls to action your brand chocks up to meaning conversion. 
  5. Retention. The loyalty phase is about creating long-term customers and driving repeat business. 
  6. Referral. Sales are magical and retention is the icing on the cake. But, referrals are every brand’s dream. There’s nothing better than when a customer recommends a brand through word of mouth, ratings, reviews, or better? Mass social media promotion. This is the marketing investment that keeps on giving and completes the marketing funnel.

How Does Pinpointing Marketing Personas Lead to Marketing Funnels That Move the Needle?

Before you craft Influencer Marketing campaigns that will guide your consumers through the marketing funnel, let’s go over one key point. Something that, if you haven’t already done, you need to stop reading and complete this important step. I’m talking about identifying your target audience.

Clearly defining your marketing personas before mapping out your customer journey is critical. In Buffer’s Complete Actionable Guide to Marketing Personas, it refers to nailing the collective buyer persona as the foundation to the marketing house. Without accurate depictions of who your target market is, you’ll risk whether your content and calls to action will really guide people through the marketing funnel. On the other hand, when you pinpoint exactly who your ideal consumer is, your objectives, actions, and results will be a perfect match.

How Do I Move Consumers Through the Customer Journey by Matching Influencer Marketing and the Marketing Funnel?

After detailing your marketing persona, focus next on moving customers through the marketing funnel. Most importantly, match the right Influencer Marketing tactic with the right phase.

Four steps will help your brand do just that:

  1. Choose which marketing funnel phases on which you want to focus—which stages you want customers to journey to or through.
  2. Determine your campaign’s objectives.
  3. Identify Influencer Marketing tactics that align with your core objectives.
  4. Match the Influencer Marketing tactics to each phase of the marketing funnel.

1. Choose Your Marketing Funnel Phase.

Brands invest in marketing in hopes of getting a return on their investment. In other words, they spend money to make money. However, customers usually aren’t in a hurry to move through the marketing funnel and show brands a quick return on investment (ROI). Instead, they are on a journey and may make many stops along the way, including checking out your competition. Therefore, they must be helped on their way to your brand’s destination.

Marketing campaigns, when crafted right, are just the guide customers need to move from milepost to milepost, taking action brands desire. The key is knowing where you’re taking customers for each campaign—to just one part of the marketing funnel or all the way through it.

Unfortunately, not every campaign takes customers to all stages of the marketing funnel. For example, a Twitter Party may generate billions of impressions and lead to massive awareness. However, it likely won’t help your brand get repeat business or referrals. A blog tour sharing an eBook about your brand’s services may create evergreen content and help your brand get organic search results for years. It may generate lots of downloads and get you contact information, but it doesn’t guarantee sales.

Therefore, honing in on the stage you most want customers to go to, choosing campaign objectives that align with that stage, and selecting tactics that support it will best drive your desired results.

2. Determine Your Campaign’s Objectives.

Once you’re clear about to which stage of the funnel you’re heading, the next step in campaign creation is getting clarity on your goals. Therefore, ask yourself: “What does success look like on this campaign? When it wraps up, what key calls to action and quantifiable results do I want it to have achieved?”

Examples of campaign objectives include:

  • Drive 100,000 unique website visits.
  • Generate 1 Million video views.
  • Get 1,500 eNewsletter subscriptions.

3. Identify Your Influencer Marketing Campaign’s Tactics.

Campaign tactics are the activations your brand or your partnering creators take to achieve the desired results (the campaign objectives). 

Examples of campaign tactics include:

  • Publish a blog post.
  • Amplify blog post content across social media.
  • Create and share short videos on IG Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts.

In this video, we share ways to drive results by matching marketing campaign tactics with specific objectives.

Download a PDF pairing campaign activations with key objectives.

4. Match Campaign Tactics to the Marketing Funnel Phases.

When you are clear on your marketing funnel destination and your campaign’s objectives and tactics, you are ready to match those tactics with the marketing funnel phase.

How Do I Match Campaign Tactics to Marketing Funnel Phases?

Wondering which campaign tactics go in each part of the marketing funnel? Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.

Influencer Marketing Tactics for the Awareness Phase

The marketing funnel’s awareness phase educates consumers best when you focus on the Influencer Marketing tactics that achieve your brand’s desired results.

Awareness Phase Campaign Objectives

The results for the awareness phase include:

  • Activity. The number of posts shared during a campaign or the number of posts shared using a specific hashtag is the total activity.
  • Engagement. The number of comments and shares all of the posts in a campaign receive equals a campaign’s engagement.
  • Impressions. Individual impressions is the number of times each person posts about the brand, multiplied by his/her number of followers. The sum of all individual impressions from each participant reflects a campaign’s total impressions.
  • Reach. The number of influencers participating in a campaign multiplied by their followers is the total reach. Reach does not factor in posts, impressions, or engagement.

Awareness Phase Campaign Tactics

These campaign activations can help take your customers to the first phase of the marketing funnel—awareness. Then, they can see and become familiar with your brand’s products and services.

  • Ambassador programs
  • Blog posts (search engine optimized infographics, informative or how-to content, reviews, etc.)
  • Conference, trade show, retreat sponsorships geared to influencers or with influencer participation
  • Demos (in-person or virtual influencer-led or hosted cooking demos, DIY workshops, photography classes)
  • Display advertising (served on popular influencer’s blogs or social media channels)
  • eNewsletter campaigns
  • Influencer developed creative assets for marketing purposes
  • Informative content: videos, blog posts, etc. (Consider including infographics for more views.)
  • Live events (in home, at a brand’s corporate headquarters, at hyper-local locations, virtual, etc.)
  • Live streaming broadcasts (Facebook, Instagram Live, TikTok, YouTube, etc.)
  • Podcasts (audio content)
  • Spokesperson opportunities
  • Social media campaigns: paid social advertising, earned media, or influencer social amplification
  • Twitter Parties
  • Video-based content (short- or long-form informative or how-to content, reviews, unboxings, etc.)

How to Add Influencer Marketing to The Awareness Marketing Funnel Phase

The awareness phase is what Influencer Marketing was made for and where it is the easiest to implement tactics while driving quantifiable results. To begin, identify the criteria the right creator partnerships must fit. Consider these elements: age, gender, geographic region, niche, diversity, children (and children’s ages), household income, interests, tone, shopping patterns, and items he/she/they frequently purchase or talk about. Next, look closely at their followers and determine the makeup of their audience and whether it’s a match for your desired target market. Then, double-check their engagement percentages to ensure real and engaged versus fake followers. Finally, once you find ideal partners, reach out and negotiate an ambassador program (long-term) or campaign (short-term) sponsorship agreement.

For example, let’s say that you are a retail company and sell clothing. In the awareness phase, you could enlist influencers to showcase your product, tell your brand story, share specific key message points, highlight pieces they love through review-oriented content, and drive their followers to your website or a specific landing page through a trackable link. Additionally, creators could develop written, audio, photographic, and/or video content and promote it across their platforms, including blogs, podcasts, and social media.

The goal for your influencer partners would be to drive their followers to read, view, listen to, or otherwise consume and engage with the information and click on the link. Your brand’s goal? To educate the influencers’ followers about your product, service, or cause.

Influencer Marketing Tactics for the Consideration Phase

The marketing funnel’s consideration phase drives consumer interest best when you focus on the Influencer Marketing tactics that achieve your brand’s desired results.

Consideration Phase Campaign Goals

The results for the consideration phase (also referred to by some sales and marketing professionals as the acquisition phase) include:

  • Clicks
  • Contact information
  • Earned media
  • Leads
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Organic reach
  • Social media follows and likes 
  • Traffic (landing page, website traffic)
  • User-generated content

Consideration Phase Campaign Activations

These tactics can help your customers begin to more seriously consider—engage with—your brand:

  • Advertising or other offer (in a blog post, via social media) that requires a click to receive
  • Advertising, campaigns, or social media that drives traffic to your brand’s website
  • eBooks requiring contact information to download
  • eNewsletter requiring subscription to receive
  • Giveaways or sweepstakes that require contact information and other key actions (visiting the brand’s website, etc.) for a chance to win
  • Guides (business, travel, how-to, etc.) hosted in online articles and on landing pages that require form completion to receive
  • Search engine optimization or paid social advertising that drives organic search results on blog posts, Pinterest posts, and YouTube videos
  • Social media campaigns that drive engagement, follows, and likes

How to Add Influencer Marketing to The Consideration Marketing Funnel Phase

Brands can publish their own online articles, run giveaways and sweepstakes through third-party services, and tackle most of the above-listed tactics without influencer participation. However, engaging influencers make the activations stick. How? Brand ambassadors who meet your brand’s criteria, including reaching your ideal target market, can drive interest with their word-of-mouth marketing and creative assets. Most importantly, because of the trust they have with their followers, they also are likely to motivate your target audience to take action. 

For example, let’s say that your brand offers a photo storage service in three different packages. A popular blogger who is known for his excellent photography could write a review post about the service and include a giveaway for a 1-year premium package to 10 lucky winners. Additionally, he could promote the giveaway via paid social media and across his social media channels, driving people to the post on his blog.

When people organically or click through to read his review, they will see the giveaway. Not only will he require that people provide their information and permission to share that with you but also he will instruct them to visit your website and leave a comment with an answer to a question you can only find on your website. Through his efforts, he will raise awareness about your services and packages, drive traffic to your website, and gather contact information from each entrant. He could add more requirements to drive more calls to action as desired (social media follows, etc.). The result? Well, results!

Influencer Marketing Tactics for the Activation Phase

The marketing funnel’s activation phase drives consumer intent best when you focus on the Influencer Marketing tactics that achieve your brand’s desired results.

Activation Phase Campaign Desired Results

The activation phase is similar to the consideration phase with the primary difference being that people express greater intent at this stage of the customer journey. In the former, consumers read or click to find out additional information. In this phase, they sign up and opt into learning more via a presentation. Therefore, the best way to measure success in this phase is to track sign-ups. Additionally, you can track:

  • Attendance
  • Free trial completions
  • Sign-ups
  • Survey completions

Activation Phase Campaign Tactics

These activations, which can be both paid and free, can help your customers more fully engage with your brand. 

  • Consultations
  • Free trials
  • In-person meetings (demos, focus groups, trade show activities, sponsored events, etc.)
  • Live streaming events that require people to sign up (and could require people to join a private online community)
  • Webinars that require RSVPs

How to Add Influencer Marketing to The Activation Marketing Funnel Phase

Brands have the option to position themselves as the experts, running all activations themselves. However, to drive greater results, they can partner with influencers to co-host, host, and/or drive attendance from their following. The latter is a sure-fire way to get just the right huge ROI. 

For example, let’s say that you are a consumer product goods brand that sells a food-related product. You want to help potential customers learn about the versatility, availability, and health benefits of your product. Furthermore, you want to focus on the perks of buying your items in the winter months. To drive the greatest engagement, you could partner with a foodie influencer with a large following in the precise target demographic as your key consumers. Specifically, she could host the event for her followers. Then, to build in a sense of immediacy, you could have her cap the attendance, make it time-sensitive, offer a gift for all those who attend, and require each participant to complete a form. 

Additionally, form completion could be required at the outset (the cost of admission) and survey completion could be required at the campaign’s conclusion to get the gift. The present could not only highlight your brand’s products, such as a gift basket with your brand’s items and a limited-time trial offer. But, it could also spotlight the influencer to show the partnership and thank the follower (attendees) as a show of gratitude. 

At this point, the potential customer knows who your brand is and has basic information about your products. Additionally, they have taken the leap to have an emotional experience through an influencer they trust. Because of that, they gained greater information, and have potentially tested or tried the product.

Influencer Marketing Tactics for the Conversion Phase

The marketing funnel’s conversion phase drives key calls to action best when you focus on the Influencer Marketing tactics that achieve your brand’s desired results.

Conversion Phase Target Campaign Metrics

When most brands think of conversion, they think of sales—the optimal metric. However, conversion may not always mean that. In addition to a customer showing a little green for your for products and services, metrics in the conversion phase could also look like:

  • App downloads or in-app purchases
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Number of website visits (or other steps) it took for the consumer to convert
  • Sign ups (if your brand is a cause-based organization and sign ups is your primary goal)
  • Socially assisted conversions through Google Analytics
  • Specific metrics on the point of purchase (for example, where the customer purchased: on your website, via an affiliate link through your affiliate program or a partnering influencer, using a coupon or discount code, especially if through a creator you worked with, etc.)

Conversion Phase Campaign Activations

These campaign tactics can help your customers take steps toward key calls to action, including sales:

  • Affiliate marketing links distributed in key places (in blog and social media posts and paid social advertising, on landing pages, and through key brand ambassadors or influencer partners, etc.)
  • Case studies weaved into blog posts and eBooks
  • Demos (via video: live streaming broadcasts, long- or short-form content, social media platforms like TikTok and Reels, etc.)
  • eNewsletter campaigns
  • Podcasts
  • Product reviews and comparisons (via blog, social media, or video posts and events [in-person or virtual], etc.)
  • Testimonials (included in blog and video post and social media reviews)

How to Add Influencer Marketing to The Conversion Marketing Funnel Phase

By this point in the marketing funnel, your customers would be aware of your brand’s products, services, or cause. Additionally, they would have engaged with you in some way and gained a deeper knowledge. Those steps would help them know how your brand could meet their needs and what product or service would best do that. Then, they would be motivated to make a purchase or take another key call to action to convert.

Influencers can be especially, well, influential in the conversion phase. We often think of them as being most beneficial in the awareness and engagement stages especially as it pertains to driving information. But, when we think about all they can help with in the conversion phase, we’d be wrong to end our relationship with them just shy of bringing home the key results.

For example, let’s say that you were a family-friendly game app and that your primary objective in the conversion phase was app downloads. Your secondary goal would be in-app purchases. You were smart and involved influencers in the three previous marketing funnel phases. You engaged TikTokers to create short-form videos playing the game, which raised a lot of awareness. Then, you involved parenting influencers to write reviews, offering a family vacation sweepstakes, which required entrants to share their contact information and check out the app information page online. Next, you held a series of virtual show-and-tells hosted by popular influencers in a variety of age groups and different niches.

Finally, you offered everyone who entered the sweepstakes and everyone who attended the virtual events $50 in in-app purchases good for the first year of service after they downloaded the app. Last but not least if they showed activity at the year mark, you would give them an additional $50 in in-app purchases.

Influencer Marketing Tactics for the Retention Phase

The marketing funnel’s retention phase drives repeat business and additional engagement best when you focus on the Influencer Marketing tactics that achieve your brand’s desired results.

Retention Phase Campaign Goals

The results for the retention phase include similar things to the conversion phase with just these slight differences:

  • App use and in-app purchases
  • eNewsletter open and click-through rates
  • Engagement on post-conversion campaigns
  • Loyalty program sign ups and reward point redemption
  • Retention rate:
    • Additional purchases (including in-app purchases if your product is an app)
    • Sign ups for new campaigns, lists, or petitions (if your brand is a cause-based organization and sign ups is your primary goal)
  • Survey feedback
  • Text marketing sign ups and open and click-through rates
  • Valuable customer coupon redemption past the point of the initial purchase

Retention Phase Campaign Tactics

These activations can help your customers become long-term, loyal customers or take action on the above-listed results:

  • Behind-the-scenes tours
  • Creative assets and content, sharing helpful and useful information, raising greater brand and product awareness
  • Custom email marketing to your highly tailored to your converted consumers (those who have made a purchase or otherwise made it through the conversion phase)
  • Insider information
  • Product tutorials
  • Targeted responses to feedback, including complaints and questions
  • VIP experiences (first looks, pre-sale opportunities, special discounts, special access to in-person and virtual events, etc.)
  • Surveys

How to Add Influencer Marketing to The Retention Marketing Funnel Phase

Most brands are deliriously happy when a customer journeys from awareness to conversion. But, the consumer’s trip doesn’t stop there. Who wants a one-off sale, download, or sign-up? Furthermore, who wants conversion only to see inactivity or abandonment?

In this phase, the brand has a unique opportunity to keep the customer happy and inquisitive about other, especially new, offerings. The goal? Retention! While the brand may take responsibility for tactics like brand eNewsletters, customer service, and surveys, influencers can play a vital role in this phase. 

For example, let’s say your brand supports a social cause and the primary goal is activism. Specifically, you want people to sign up for your database, support petitions, and send letters using your online system to their congresspeople. In short, you want people to help impact change through their voice, primarily through writing (petitions, blog posts, social media, etc.). 

Therefore, enlisting influencers to join and support the cause would be the first step. Then, you could implement many of the above-listed tactics in each phase of the marketing funnel to drive potential activists further and further through the customer journey. Once people join, you could continue partnering with influencers and have them help you drive retention. Specifically, you could have them do social media takeovers of your accounts, run behind-the-scenes tours on their platforms, and share VIP information via private live streaming broadcasts only for those subscribed to your brand’s loyalty program. Finally, you could turn influencers into the VIP of all VIPs and give them the freedom to recruit other loyal fans. As they share exclusive content, your customers will want to take action and be part of the cool kids’ crowd. The result? Retention!

Influencer Marketing Tactics for the Referral Phase

The marketing funnel’s referral phase converts customers into brand evangelists best when you focus on the Influencer Marketing tactics that achieve your brand’s desired results.

Referral Phase Campaign Objectives

The primary result for the referral phase is, well, referrals. Additionally, your brand should track and measure the following:

  • Earned media
  • Positive ratings
  • Positive reviews
  • Referrals
  • User-generated content

Referral Phase Campaign Inclusions

These tactics can help your customers become enthusiasts and brand ambassadors:

  • Affiliate opportunities
  • Brand ambassadorships
  • Gifts or recognition for unsolicited and unpaid word-of-mouth marketing
  • Limited-time/quantity offers
  • Paid partnership opportunities
  • Referral codes
  • Referral rewards
  • User-generated content (word-of-mouth/media marketing)

How to Add Influencer Marketing to The Referral Marketing Funnel Phase

You’ve partnered with influencers to raise awareness, drive interest, secure intent, get conversion, and enjoy repeat business. So, there is only one step left in the consumer’s journey—getting authentic referrals! And, like all other marketing funnel phases, no one is better suited to be brand evangelists than influencers that love your brand and are tapped into your target market.

Let’s say that you are a retail brand and sell clothing to the tween demographic. Your target market is not only the trendiest tweens on the block, but also their parents. Though these budding teenagers highly influence their parents, mom and pop are the ones holding the purse strings. Keeping this in mind, you might consider contracting with popular TikTokers who have moms with great followings and engagement on Instagram. Mother/daughter duo creative campaigns could include unboxings, who wore it best, before and afters, and other trendy activations. In them, they could share their loyalty to your brand, what they have bought, and offer a limited-time discount code good only for their followers who buy a product and sign up for your brand’s loyalty program. The results? A faster customer journey for you newest buyers and huge ROI in every marketing funnel phase.

Case Study: HelloFresh Drives Loyal Customers Via Influencer Marketing and the Marketing Funnel

HelloFresh, a healthy meal delivery service, gets it right when it comes to guiding hungry consumers through the customer journey. With the exception of including a chef inside your weekly meal box (don’t I wish?), they are spot on with moving consumers through the marketing funnel.

Moving From Awareness and Consideration to Activation

First, I learned of HelloFresh from an influencer, highlighting the service on her Instagram channel. I wondered if such a service could solve the same problems for me that she touted it did for her. Namely, making meal selection easy, cutting down on grocery shopping time and expense, reducing time in the kitchen all while offering families healthy and delicious meal choices. However, I wasn’t convinced. So, I followed the link my influencer friend shared and explored the opportunity by looking at their meal plans and information.

When a close friend, different from the influencer I followed, sent me a text, offering me a too-good-to-pass-up code where I’d get three meals free for trying the service, I was sold. I loved that there was no commitment required to purchase additional meals and that I could try the service at no charge.

The Conversion Phase

Then, I kept seeing influencers raving about different meal choices, which made me want to sign up for the service. I mean, I, too, had to have the Cherry Balsamic Pork. So, when HelloFresh emailed me a coupon to sign up, I took them up on their offer.

Becoming a Brand Evangelist

Over time and the more that I ordered from them, they started sending me free codes to share. And, wouldn’t you know there was something about feeling like the hero that made me want to do it?! After all, I was saving five friends and family members at a time money and meal selection exhaustion. Many of who I shared the code with ended up being long-time customers like I was.

Down the road, HelloFresh added other services, some I took advantage of and others I didn’t. But, what I loved was that from time to time, they would surprise and delight us with freebies from brand partnerships (e.g., free desserts or beverages). And, they kept the coupon codes and free meal offers coming so I could gift them to my friends.

What started as awareness and curiosity turned me into being an evangelist. Through the mix of company-executed activations and influencer marketing, I went all the way through the funnel and am a loyal customer years later.

HelloFresh is a brand that understands the power of combining Influencer Marketing and the Marketing funnel. And, they know how to match desired results and campaign activations with just the right phases of the marketing funnel. Win-win!

Wrapping It All Up

Clarity at a campaign’s outset (in the planning phase) and quality in the execution phase leads to ROI. A critical component to a campaign’s success is knowing how to move customers through the marketing funnel with Influencer Marketing. First, craft campaigns that will deliver big by choosing your marketing funnel phase. Next, determine your campaign’s objectives. Then, identify your influencer marketing campaign’s tactics. Remember! Choose campaign activations that are in line with your goals. And last but not least, match the tactics to the right marketing funnel phase to watch those results come pouring in. With that combination, your brand can’t help but see incredible results and exceed expectations.

If you’re now dying for a little Cherry Balsamic Pork, hit me up! I’d be happy to send you a free code. And, no! HelloFresh isn’t paying me to say that. It’s all about referrals, baby!

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