The second letter in the social media marketing POST model stands for Objective. This step calls for the marketer to pin down exactly what it is they want to accomplish with their campaign in terms of impact and reaction.
Influencer Marketing Strategy and Objective
Perhaps this sounds overly easy: after all, all marketing is done with the goal to sell, right? Pause for a moment, though, and you’ll realize it isn’t so simple. Over the years, marketing has evolved from mere advertising into a complex research-driven industry that examines countless streams of data to form conclusions and establish workable strategies. You may be trying to sell to potential customers, yes, but you also might be better served by gathering information from them or about them in order to better tailor your product and message to their needs. Maybe instead you want to generate some buzz to get word-of-mouth reviews of your product circulating, or accumulate some Facebook likes or retweets on Twitter to increase visibility. All of these goals require very different approaches to get the desired results, and you’ll have no way of properly laying out the steps to put the needed approach into action unless you know which one you’re pursuing. While this part of the POST model is only concerned with developing a firm idea of what purpose you mean for your campaign to serve, it is a vital first step toward the application process that will come later.
It is also important to note that this stage has a hard requirement of one single goal – you cannot cheat and choose several instead. If you do, you’ll be defeating the entire purpose of narrowing down your idea, to begin with; the whole campaign will become unfocused and difficult to run. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t aspire to multiple things for the product you’re promoting, though. Having two or three of these goals running concurrently can really help your long-term marketing efforts. You just have to pursue them through separate campaigns, keeping all the machinations involved in running them far apart. It may seem like more work, but the better organization it brings you will actually save you time!
So what does all this have to do with influencer marketing specifically? A lot, in fact. Influencers are typically not people directly associated with your marketing team, and this means that they can sometimes have trouble knowing what direction you want to take your product in. They know that their job is to promote your product, but promoting can mean many different things. It’s a waste of their potential to leave their instructions at that and end up with them repeating different variations of ‘this product is great.’ If you properly follow the O-step of the POST model and figure out what you want your campaign to do, you can pass that information on to your influencers instead of leaving them without guidance. This allows them to stay on track and use extra effective tactics like an appropriate call to action or multimedia features to get you the results you want. If you don’t have an objective to pass along to your influencers, you’re just not getting all of what you paid for, and any business person can see the folly in that.
In conclusion, while it is in some ways the simplest step, the Objective step of the POST model is an indispensable part of properly launching a social media marketing campaign (perhaps even more so in the influencer sphere). Start off well here, and you’re well on your way to a successful overall project.