7 Steps in Launching a Successful Influencer Campaign in 2019

April 17, 2019

Launching an influencer marketing campaign can seem like a daunting task, especially for marketers who have never worked with social media influencers before.  Below is a breakdown of seven, manageable steps to help brands and agencies navigate the complexities and avoid some of the common pitfalls associated with setting up an influencer marketing campaign:

  1. Identify the Right Influencer Management Platform or Agency

Influencer marketing platforms can more easily connect your brand with the influencers who create custom content in a manner more efficient than trying to do the same on your own. The range of services offered by various platforms and/or agencies differs greatly. Some platforms provide simple solutions for keeping track of basic campaign metrics, like engagements and what influencers you are working with, while other agency managed platforms will organize and execute the entire campaign from start to finish.

Choosing the right platform depends on how much of the work your company wants to handle itself vs. having an agency managed solution handle all the cumbersome details.  Strategizing an influencer campaign, identifying and vetting influencers, building influencer relationships, approving content, verifying compliance language & disclosures, and moving through the campaign’s execution can be extremely time-consuming and stressful.  You might not know where to start. You might waste a lot of time on unproven influencers. In general, for a campaign with ten influencers around 110 working hours averaging around $4k in working hour operational costs alone.

Agencies can ensure your brand gets the highest possible return on investment (ROI) while addressing your questions and concerns with expertise. Such agency equipped platforms can track the results of your marketing campaign, explain those results to you and use those results to determine how to best approach your next campaign.  Commonly, the influencer agency will give you access to real time reporting including impressions, clicks, click-thru-rates, engagement rate, leads and traffic generation. At the culmination of an influencer campaign, the agency should also provide you with a “Campaign Wrap Up Report” that will be a summary of all the results from your influencer campaign including earned media values.

  1. Devise A Campaign Strategy and Determine Goals

Take some time to figure out who your target consumer audience is what type of consumer is going to buy your product. Does the influencer match your brand’s message, as well as, are there any brand safety concerns you may have?  Knowing your target audience is crucial for devising a campaign strategy, because it allows you and your agency to precisely choose which influencers will deliver the desired results.

Set defined goals for your marketing campaign. What exactly do you want out of your campaign? It could be brand recognition, branding awareness for a new product launch, overall social media awareness, additional new followers, an increase in sales, foot traffic to your locations, or a combination of all the above.

Defining the goals of your campaign also involves knowing what success looks like. Be very clear on what the optimal ROI will look like is an integral part of devising an influencer marketing campaign strategy. This will also help you define an appropriate budget for your campaign.

  1. Create a Detailed Influencer Marketing Client Brief

An effective influencer marketing campaign needs to include an influencer marketing client brief, so the client and agency have clear expectations laid out in advanced. The brief provides important information regarding the campaign, its objectives, the required content pieces, messaging etc.… Afterwards, the contract supports the briefing from a legal point of view. Below are a few example questions: 

  • Please describe your product or service.
  • What are the main KPI’s? (what are your “clients” exaptation, what do you want to achieve with your campaign)
  • What do you look for in an influencer’s audience?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • How will you measure success and ROI?
  • Content/Messaging (Provide Creative Freedom)
  • Images and videos.
  • What is the tracking link and/or landing page URL that an influencer should use?
  • FTC Guidelines, Disclosures and Hashtags. 
  1. Identify Influencers That Match Your Brand’s Target Audience

 A successful influencer marketing campaign involves knowing which social media personalities to hire, what demographic they serve, and how successful they are at influencing their consumer audience. With over 1 billion users under its belt, Instagram is the professional influencer’s social media platform of choice. Influencers on Instagram tend to have uniquely loyal followers who trust their favorite influencer’s opinion.

When utilizing a platform one can search for influencers based on different categories like: Beauty, Entertainment, Family, Fashion, Health & Fitness, and Travel just to name a few. Additionally, you can search by Age Range, Price Range, Location (are they US based?), Gender, and the platforms the influencer uses: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube for example.  Once you have selected a candidate you can see what their audience demographic is made up of.  For instance, is their audience primarily US based, Male or Female, skew younger or older, married or single, and what potential brand affinities they have such as: Starbucks, Instagram, Nike, and Netflix. More importantly you can also drill down to their number of followers, engagement rate percentage, posts per week, and average number of posts “likes”. These metrics are an indicator of how well your campaign will perform with this influencer, as well as, the expected results your brand should experience with this influencer.

  1. Create Content That Makes Sense…Then Review It!

7 Steps

Logistics should be defined before the execution of your campaign. Help your influencers stick with a schedule by outlining how the acquisition of your product will work, how long to expect for product shipment to arrive, whether or not the influencers will need time to get to know your product, how and when the content should be created, when is the content due for the first approval process, how long does the influencer have to make revisions, when is the expected launch date for the influencer campaign, and what needs to happen after the fact.

Devise some influencer talking points that you would encourage your influencer to incorporate in their custom content that highlights features of your brand that you feel are important. Also consider having your influencer mention where they can purchase your product whether it’s online at your website (have them insert a unique tracking link) or at a local big box store. Creating and having your influencer incorporate into their content a custom discount code that consumers can use when they purchase is another great strategy for encouraging purchases and tracking sales.  Communicating a clear list of requirements and speaking points allows your influencer to look back and reference your needs while creating content, in addition to giving their reader base something of value.  Include at least five talking points that are core to the message of your influencer marketing campaign. Keep in mind, Social Media posting space can be limited so requiring too many talking points may be overwhelming or frustrating for a creative influencer, consider a list of optional notes that they can address if it feels organic to the creation of their content.

  1. Set the Right Price for Influencer Marketing Campaign

Do not expect influencers to work with your brand just because you provide them with free products or services. According to a recent survey, this is the biggest misconception brands make when working with influencers.  68% of influencers in the survey also said that they would work with a brand more than once if the brand provides them with fair compensation.

When negotiating a sponsored post fee, you need to take into consideration all factors so there is no one, catch-all payment structure for influencers. Value can also be placed on which social media platform they are using, the variety and number of individual content packages they will create for you, and generally how much work on the influencer’s part will be involved.  Prices for influencer marketing campaigns vary, according to services offered, as does the amount of control, man hours, and tracking of results.  Here are the keys factors to determine fair pricing:

  • Total Engagement Rates (likes, comments, shares, clicks): This is probably the most important factor in determining the cost and which influencers you should work with.  It will help you determine whether the influencer will have a positive R.O.I.
  • Quality of Content: Was the talking points copy and pasted, does the images and videos look professional or amateur?
  • Total Reach: How many followers does the influencer have?
  • Usage Rights: Can the brand repurpose the content for its own use on ad campaigns, social media, etc.?
  • Popularity: How popular is the influencer with other brands?
  • Posting Schedules and Counts: Does the content overlap across platforms and other marketing channels?
  • Timing: How long is the influencer being given to create the content?
  • Exclusivity: Does this influencer have permission to work with your competitors at the same time?

Though many influencer campaigns involve payment agreements, smaller micro-influencers may produce content in exchange for your free product or service. Micro-influencers may be especially eager to gain free products in exchange for content reviews, and a good match with a content creator may be an effective way of garnering authentic, trustworthy reviews.

Be sure to send to reviewers individually. Take the time to understand what they preferred size, shade, scent, etc. might be and include a personalized element like a thank you note or custom packaging. You can even use unique promotional codes as a way of allowing influencers to choose which variety of product they would like to have shipped to them.

  1. Influencer Marketing Metrics and Ability to Track and Report in Real Time.

Some key influencer marketing metrics involve reach, engagement, click-throughs, return on investment, earned media values and sales.

Influencer reach can be measured through audience size, the number of impressions a content post receives, as well as how much traffic comes to your site through tracked links in an influencer’s content post. Larger reach may be a positive indicator, but sometimes larger reach won’t predict the success of your campaign. Because micro-influencers have a niche audience, their reach may be able to provide more useful engagement than a larger influencer’s less focused audience.

Engagement involves how much your brand’s campaign has influenced the discussion, commenting and conversation occurring on social media. “Likes” can be measured, as well as comments and shares. The approachability of your influencer counts here–more visible influencers tend to be less engaging because they have more difficulty responding to their followers and creating that community feel that first led to their success.

Return on investment (ROI) is really the whole point of your marketing campaign. What good is influencer marketing if you aren’t getting the dollars you spent on marketing to deliver greater returns in revenue? Well, the influencer marketing arena has been booming for a reason. A good agency will have the tools you need to track the metrics that determine how much return you are getting as a result of your marketing campaign.

Here are examples of what metrics to measure ROI

Direct sales: If you want to measure ROI of your influencer campaign by direct sales, give influencers a unique code to give to their audience that they can use at checkout for a percentage off their purchase.

Brand Lift: Showing a user multiple content by different influencers in one campaign significantly increases brand lift and purchase intent.

Impressions and Reads: Ask influencers to share their review of your product on their blog and their social channels.

Activations: If you’re trying to generate leads via your influencer marketing campaign, make sure you have a juicy piece of content that influencers can share with their audience.

Engagement Rate: Indicates the performance of the influencer’s content.  If you want consumers liking, commenting and sharing your content make sure your influencer posts are worth sharing.

Clicks: Create unique URLs for individual influencers to find out the number of clicks driven by each influencer and to be able to determine post-click activity.

Reach: Indicates the number of people who see your influencer’s content.

Earned Media Value: This is the ability to measure the cash value of social media campaigns, and it’s a more transparent way for companies to judge the value of their investment in influencer marketing.

All of the above steps involved in creating a successful influencer campaign can be extremely time consuming.… ShopHer Media Can do all of this for you!  Contact Us today!

 

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