Influencers & Affiliates

Influencer Marketing, Part 3: Setting Goals

Now that you know what influencer marketing is and why you as an ecommerce brand should use it, the next step is to create campaign goals before spending your hard-earned budget.

The ultimate marketing goal of ecommerce brands is, presumably, acquiring profitable customers. But there are many ways to do that.

Where does influencer marketing fit in? Influencers could increase the brand’s overall visibility, improve its social profile, drive traffic to its website and product pages, increase initial orders, improve repeat purchase rates, spur higher-margin purchases, improve average order size, and more.

The process can seem overwhelming. To help, consider two goal-setting frameworks: BSQ and SMART.


  • B – Think of a big goal.
  • S – Small actions make up the big goal.
  • Q – Move quickly, or it won’t matter.

As described by David Van Rooney (an author, academic, and VP at Walmart), BSQ creates a simple yet powerful long-term focus, broken into smaller achievable actions.

For example, an ecommerce marketer might want to increase sales to a specific product page. The B portion of the framework might read, “Increase XYZ product sales by 300%.”

The S portion could consist of four influencer actions: (i) two industry-related C-list celebrities to share the product on Instagram pages for raw exposure and possible traffic, (ii) 10 authoritative influencers on YouTube to review the celebrities’ endorsements and explain the positive attributes of the product, inviting discussion within the comments, (iii) 100 peer-level influencers to share the YouTube videos on their Facebook and Twitter profiles with a brief affirmation of why they agree, and (iv) 100 additional peer-level influencers to purchase the product and share their opinions on each channel of the previous pyramid of influence.

Separating the goal into actions makes it possible to move quickly on the first item of the sequence. BSQ is a time saver where a quick and good goal is better than no goal at all.


BSQ, while fast and logical, leaves room for ambiguity. A more evolved goal-setting framework is SMART by Smart Insights, a training platform.

  • S – Make your goal specific.
  • M – Your goal must be measurable.
  • A – Your goal needs to be attainable (or actionable).
  • R – Relevancy is key.
  • T – Create a fixed timetable.

SMART’s emphasis on relevancy addresses a weakness with BSQ. Using BSQ, a marketer could launch an influencer campaign with a small action that’s quickly doable. But it might not be relevant to the end goal.

For instance, hiring 50 YouTube influencers to ask their audience to like and subscribe to the brand’s YouTube page won’t be relevant to increasing sales if the brand is not sharing product info on YouTube.

Similarly, the attainability factor on SMART covers a pitfall on BSQ, where it’s possible to initiate a small action that isn’t likely to happen. Perhaps the brand could never afford to hire the C-list celebrity, for example.

Creating Campaigns

With an end goal and a breakdown of its tasks, brands can approach all marketing campaigns more efficiently — influencer and otherwise.

When using influencers, stretch your dollar further with:

  • Generosity. A common pitfall is attempting to lowball influencers. It can sometimes work, but brands often forget that they are looking for ambassadors. Compensate influencers fairly, and the likelihood of being delighted with their reviews increases dramatically. View influencers as partners, not used car salespeople.
  • Repurposing. Marketing can get expensive. Try to reuse across multiple channels what you’ve received from an influencer. Transcribe a YouTube review into a blog post. Edit the blog post into Instagram stories, and convert those stories into still images for Pinterest.
  • Amplifying. By chaining and combining influencers’ efforts, you can drastically magnify, say, the power of a terrific review in other marketing channels and audiences.

See “Part 4: Choosing Social Networks.”

Joe Sinkwitz
Joe Sinkwitz
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