Influencer marketing has continued to grow rapidly over the past few years. As the industry matures and demonstrates huge ROI, everyone is looking for a piece of the action. But successful campaigns are created only as a result of careful planning.
With that in mind, here are my top 5 steps to building a successful first influencer marketing campaign!
1: Influencer Marketing Campaign Brainstorm
Rally your team together, or if you’re completing the project solo, grab a cuppa to a) work out your campaign objectives and KPI’s and b) define your target audience. Both pretty simple but very important steps which will save you precious time and cash by creating a highly targeted campaign from the outset.
|When outlining your campaign objectives – be specific. Work out what you are trying to achieve (e.g brand awareness, increasing leads or growing your followers). Next work out how you will determine your campaign is successful. E.g. For brand awareness, you could look at analysing the traffic to your website and monitoring your follower growth across your social channels throughout the campaign period.|
Next up, your budget. When starting out, working out a realistic budget can be daunting so read our ‘How to Budget Your Influencer Marketing Campaign’ for guidance. Even if you’re running a gifting only campaign, you should still have an idea as to average product cost.
2: The Creative Format
Your objectives, target audience and content type will likely affect the platform(s) you use. Are you looking to build a long format educational piece targeted towards a niche community? If so then a blog post or YouTube video may work best. Perhaps you are targeting a millennial audience to grow your social media following, so an Instagram takeover coinciding with a blogger giveaway would be better suited.
Be creative but keep your target audience in mind - and remember - influencers know their audience better than anyone else, so seek their feedback on the type of content their audience is likely to engage with.
Pro tip: Also consider a posting timing and frequency schedule to ensure the project stays on track.
3: Finding The right Influencers
Now you’ve identified which influencers are the best fit, it’s time to tailor your search.
Finding the right influencers can be a little time consuming but you can save a lot of time through using a self-service platform like ZINE, which allows you to narrow your search by applying filters such as category, reach (per channel), audience demographics, engagement rates, collaboration types accepted, and more. To help keep track of your searches you can also create custom tags, and organise influencers into lists.
If conducting your search manually you’ll have to store your list on excel, just be sure to add all relevant @handles for reference.
When vetting influencers, consider: their general tone of voice, quality and style of content, strongest platforms and previous sponsored posts.
4: Your Influencer Marketing Agreement and Management
Time to brief your influencers.
Put together clear and concise campaign guidelines which include expected deliverables, posting timeline, campaign hashtags and handles – along with any other relevant brand or product information (including payment/compensation terms). Be sure to share your campaign goals so the influencer is able to tailor their content accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to outline any legal restrictions here too, it’s important to note any do’s and don’ts (e.g no brand logos or no competitor sponsored content within the last 3 months). You should mention whether the influencer will need to share their content for approval alongside content ownership / usage (if applicable). Being clear and upfront is the best way to minimise any possible issues further down the line.
5: Influencer Marketing Reporting
If you have access to ZINE's influencer marketing platform your reports are automatically generated and you can download them at any point after the content has started to go live. Alternatively, you’ll need to keep an eye out for content as its published and ask for screen shots of analytics from your influencers.
Now you have tangible stats, you can see: which platforms worked best, the most engaging content treatments, the best performing influencers – and how this would affect your decisions around post frequency, platforms and budgets next time around.
The take home
Comprehensive due diligence ahead of your first influencer marketing campaign is a must. The experiences and conclusions you make will not only impact your business objectives, but will also inevitably shape future campaigns – so take the appropriate steps the first time!
If you fancy a chat about your own influencer marketing ambitions for 2019, get in touch! I always love hearing about your experiences and I’m always happy to share guidance and support. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m Key Account Manager at ZINE, where I’m lucky enough to support my lovely clients to execute end to end influencer campaigns. I spend most evenings watching embarrassingly bad TV in even more embarrassing PJ’s!