You like the sound of influencer marketing and feel like you’ve got a good idea of what it is. You’re ready to take a shot at it, yet you’re not entirely sure where to start. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Influencer marketing keeps getting bigger and more important for your brand. Consumers have basically no trust left in brands and that is where influencers step in. This is the right moment to start off your influencer marketing campaign. And when you follow these five steps, you will be ready to take it a step further and start a continuous influencer marketing program.
Step 1: Set clear goals and expectations
Before you do anything else, you need to know what you want to achieve with your campaign. This is different every time and needs revision. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Do you want to sell a new product? You need a clear vision. The more time you put into preparing your campaign, the better the results will be. Think of this as the preparation process.
A great trick to help you define your goals is the SMART method. SMART stands for
well-defined guidelines on what you would like to accomplish in the campaign
the ability to track or measure progress while working to reach your goals
the goals you have are achievable and not out of reach
have goals who are relevant and fit with the long term plans of your brand
the amount of time needed to achieve your goals
You need goals to evaluate your campaign. Solid preparation leads to a successful influencer marketing program. That is why this step is so important for your brand.
Step 2: Pick a budget
Now you’ve got your goals, it’s time to set a budget for your entire campaign. Pick a number that works for your brand’s overall budget and keep this amount in mind when setting up your campaign. It’s good to have two numbers in the back of your head: one for the entire campaign, and another that tells how much you’d like to spend on influencers. If you want your campaign to be spread around different kinds of social media, it’s good to know that each platform has its own characteristics and pricing. So when you are thinking about a budget, you can spread it across all different types of social media.
A great thing to keep in mind is that micro-influencers are more budget-friendly than big stars. This will give you an option to work with several micro-influencers at the same time. Next to that, micro-influencers are more open to feedback about their content and might even be open to a long-term relationship with your brand.
Step 3: Select the right influencers
You’ve got your goals and you’ve got your budget. Now it’s time to pick an influencer who fits the bill. Don’t get blindsided by the number of followers someone has. A popular health vlogger might not be the best fit for a fast food campaign, no matter how many followers they have acquired.
There are a lot of influencers and almost all of them have their own niche. Find the ones who your audience looks up to and get them on board. It’s important to know who your audience is. That way you will not be focusing on everyone or on the wrong people.
Find a balance between your personal preferences and the company guidelines. You might have seen an interesting influencer on your feed, but are they also the best fit for your company? Do they fit with the brand? Do they share the same views on topics? Are they suitable for your budget? The perfect influencer would be a mix of all of these questions. Take some distance from your personal preferences and it’s more likely you’ll pick the right influences to work with.
Important to think about when selecting influencers are reach, engagement and relevance. Big influencers might sound attractive, but they could have less engagement than smaller ones. Selecting the right influencers depends on your goals. Macro-influencers are perfect for generating a bigger reach. But micro-influencers will give you authenticity and involvement. When you have a bigger budget for certain campaigns, it’s good to consider using both. The mix of macro- and micro-influencers gives you both a bigger reach and authenticity.
Lastly, brands tend to overlook influencers who are already interested in your brand. A simple Google search or browse through some relevant hashtags could deliver interesting influencers you might have overlooked in the first place.
(Side note: on Influo, brands don’t have to pre-select. Publishing a public campaign notifies all influencers who then can apply for a deal. Brands select from interested influencers and that saves them about 5-12 working hours)
Step 4: Execute
Keep an eye on timing in this step. In your initial goals, you’ll have agreed on a time frame for your campaign. Don’t forget about this. There’s also a second time frame to think about: the timing for executing the campaign. Brands often have issues with keeping these two time frames in mind. Your entire campaign takes up more time than just executing it. It’s important to keep them separate.
Tell your influencers exactly what the rewards are and what you want them to deliver. It is good to find a balance between the two. Make sure your rewards reflect the deliverables and are realistic.
Don’t shy away from telling influencers what you’re looking for. But do not get this confused with ordering them what to do! Their audience will notice content that’s not genuine. Give clear guidelines about the content they need to post about your product, but let them be creative.
Step 5: Measure your success
When keeping track of the campaign success using analytics, you will receive loads of information. That’s important for evaluating your influencer marketing process in the future. This is why setting your goals in the beginning is so important. Thanks to your goals, you’ll be able to evaluate your outcome and see what you can do better in your next campaign. If you met your initial goal, try trading up to something a little more ambitious next time.
Check if the engagement on the branded post is higher than the engagement they get on average. For example: if the influencer you’re working with has 6000 likes on average on an Instagram post, and the branded picture only has 3500, something did go wrong in the process.
When you measure your success with your initial goals in mind, you’ll receive valuable information for any future campaigns.
When you focus on these five steps and follow them all the way through, there is no doubt your campaign will be a success. Just don’t forget to set goals, pick a realistic budget linked to the right influencers who are perfect for your audience and to review the entire process once it is done. When you successfully finish your first influencer marketing campaign, you’re ready to move to continuous programs.