In today's dynamic marketing landscape, influencer marketing is now considered a "must-have." But how can brands ensure they're implementing effective campaigns? Let's explore some key considerations for brands to make certain they are implementing influencer campaigns that will achieve marketing goals.
Influencer marketing has taken off—what was once met with skepticism is now a $21.1 billion industry worldwide that is expected only to increase year over year. These days, there are more brands pursuing influencer marketing than ever, and many view it as a vital part of their marketing mix. Influencer marketing is a massive industry that has the potential for a significant impact on any brand.
With any marketing approach, there can be a best way—or, at the very least, a good way—to execute it so you don’t end up wasting your money. There are multiple factors to consider when planning an influencer campaign, from finding the right creators, making the right offers, communicating the right creative requirements, and ensuring you achieve the right goals.
Let’s dive into the essentials you need to know to ensure your influencer marketing campaign will help you achieve your targets.
Know your goals and objectives
First, you’ll want to be sure you are setting a clear roadmap by defining goals and objectives for your influencer campaign. You probably have an idea of what these are, as they are likely the driving force behind your decision to implement an influencer marketing campaign in the first place.
Your goals and objectives should be the foundation of every decision in your influencer campaign. From which influencers you work with and how much you spend to what the content communicates and your CTA, making your goals and objectives the guiding force behind your campaign can help steer your strategy.
Additionally, defining goals, objectives and KPIs will also allow you to measure the success of your campaign.
Type of posts & partnerships
Outlining the type of collaborations, partnerships, and posts in your campaign can have a significant impact on achieving your desired goals and objectives.
One of the most common options is collaboration or sponsored posts. Picture an unboxing or review-style post designed to generate awareness and showcase your brand and product features. This could be a stand-alone post or a series of posts designed to tell a longer story or share a journey.
Alternatively, you could focus on a contest or giveaway-style post, which is excellent for getting your brand in front of new people and engaging new and existing followers. You could also partner with high-profile influencers for an account takeover to boost awareness, create hype, and build credibility.
Other options include brand ambassador or affiliate marketing agreements where influencers are paid a commission based on the performance of their posts. These agreements go a long way to creating long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with influencers and users.
Know your budget
Know what you want to spend on your campaign and how much of your budget you want to allocate to each influencer based on fit. Knowing what your budget looks like going into a campaign is important to determine the number of influencers you can work with and which influencers fit into your budget.
Here’s the tricky part: there is no set price for influencer posts, and post cost can vary based on a number of factors, like account size, engagement rates, usage rights, and post types.
So, how do you decide what to allocate to each influencer? There are countless guidelines that provide estimates on typical post cost based on account size and platform. Start with an estimate from these guidelines, then evaluate each influencer on how good a fit they are with your brand and goals. The better the fit, the larger the slice you could assign them from the budget. But, no matter how good a fit they are with your brand, if an influencer’s requested rates are going to blow your budget without offering a substantial return on investment, they’re probably not the best fit for your brand and goals.
Pick the right influencers
This is easier said than done. Many factors go into determining who the right influencer is for your brand, your campaign and goals. Here are a few things to consider.
Size: The ideal account size comes down to budget and goals. Smaller nano and micro-influencers can be cost-effective options for generating leads and creating quality content (especially at a local level), while macro and mega influencers are usually more expensive but can have a significant impact on generating awareness and elevating your brand’s profile.
Relevance & Credibility: You should be looking for influencers who fit seamlessly with your brand and industry and are credible. You want to ensure the influencer would likely use your product or service, is knowledgeable in the field, and that followers trust their recommendations.
Engagement: A “good” engagement rate varies depending on account size and platform; consider more than just the engagement rate alone. Try taking a deep dive into the engagement quality to confirm the comments and questions are relevant to the posts, the comments are from real people who show interest, that engagement is positive, and the influencer responds to comments and questions.
Account Insights: Once you’ve identified influencers to work with, you’ll want to look at their account’s insights to confirm the quality of their social account. Quality indicators to look for include if their followers are real, if their audience demographics match your target audience, if their audience is largely located in the area where your product is available, etc. You’ll want to ensure you are spending your influencer budget on creators who could best benefit your brand.
Decide on a social media platform
Next up is deciding which social media platform you should use for influencer posts. One way to make this decision is to determine which platform has the largest community of your target audience or niche. Another is to focus on the platforms you currently have a presence on, or that best match the style of content you’d like produced.
Another option is a multi-platform focus. Although your primary focus may be on one particular platform, you may implement a smaller number of influencers on other platforms or even ask that posts be syndicated to an influencer’s other accounts to boost reach and exposure.
Have clear post-content requirements
Clearly defining desired content is important in ensuring your campaign successfully achieves desired goals and objectives. You may have a specific style or aesthetic you prefer for your brand, or you may want the influencer to take the lead and do what they do best. Either way, you’ll likely have talking points, product knowledge, brand messages, and CTA’s you want communicated in the content to help you achieve your goals for the campaign and overall marketing objectives. You’ll want to clearly outline requirements in a creative brief or a detailed post style given to each influencer with any additional Do’s and Don’ts.
Collect post data and optimize
Finally, once you have selected the influencers and posts are created and shared on social media, it’s time to measure the campaign’s performance. You’ll need to collect the engagement metrics and clicks from each influencer post. This data can be used to determine the campaign’s success by calculating the return on investment (ROI) and comparing it to desired objectives.
Collecting and analyzing this data can also be used to determine the performance of individual influencers, post styles, and social platforms. This will provide key learnings on what performs best for your brand and allow for further optimization to improve future campaigns and increase ROI.
Planning and implementing an influencer campaign is a complex process—there are many considerations and decisions involved to ensure your campaign will successfully achieve its goals and objectives.