How to run your first Influencer marketing campaign
Influencer marketing has fast become one of the cornerstones of digital branding, and for good reason. With the right influencers on your side, not only do you have immediate access to their ready-made audience, you also have the virtues of the brand extolled by a third party, bypassing the scepticism that consumers have towards more direct marketing efforts. But how do you get the right influencers to help you take your online presence to new heights?
Over the next few weeks we are going to look at what is involved with running an infleuncer campaign, but lets first start with considerations around the creators, what should you be looking for.
Step one: Define the goals, the audience, and the influencer
First of all, think about what you want from the campaign. More clicks on the website? More conversions? A successful hashtag on social media? Next, who is the audience of this campaign? If you don’t have an ideal customer profile, it’s time to build it. Influencers might only target a niche within your niche, so define those, too.
Besides reaching the right audience, you need the right influencers, so ensure that you’re identifying those who would naturally have an interest in your offer. Without the right influencers, you’re not likely to get anyone willing to join your campaign. Without the right audience, you might get influencers, but they’re not reaching the people who can help you achieve your goals.
With recent press surrounding influencer marketing you would be forgiven if you think that it is littered with fake followers and fake engagement, and yes while that does exist tools and agencies exist to help you avoid falling into that trap and having a bad experience.
Do your homework, use the many social listening tools etc to find out who has the engagement in your market sector, work with your influencer agency to address exactly who you want to reach, don’t get caught up in the vanity metrics always keep the outcome in mind.
Step two: Narrow down your influencers
Take your time identifying a wide roster of influencers then start narrowing them down. You shouldn’t only reach those who have the biggest audience. Relevance comes first. If they’re a recognised authority in the subject matter your brand falls under, that’s the golden ticket you want. Reach is important, too, but not as important.
It’s a good idea to court not only the biggest and most influential influencers available. Think about incorporating ones with a smaller audience, too, so that you have buzz being created at different levels in online communities. The perfect strategy incorporates those with over a million followers, the mid-tier influencers with over 10k followers, and some of the more niche kind beneath them, But it is different for each brand and you are far better attracting those who create content that fits with your brand.
Creators need to be authentic, so if you are not the right fit for them, and vice versa don’t expect the content to come off in the way you anticipated. food for thought, if you are choosing creators based on followings alone then you are missing the point. Here are some considerations:
What is the content they produce
Look at all the channels, they may look good on instagram do they have the same tone on other channels?
Work with their style, they built up an audience by creating the content that the audience wants to consume, let them drive it.
Step three: Make meaningful contact
If you are looking at a small campaign using small influencers in a market you can reach out yourself. Impersonal email templates have to go when it comes time to making contact with influencers. The truly valuable ones aren’t likely to appreciate it. Don’t reach out unsolicited, start by approaching them through whatever addresses they have open to potential partners. Customise your pitch to them as much as possible. Make it clear you know and like their work. If you have the opportunity to meet them a targeted influencer at an event, reach out to them. You have to make yourself memorable to a) get their attention and b) get them invested in making the best effort for you.
Influencers and creators are often new to dealing with brands, potentially their is a culture clash, the primary form of communication fro a brand is email, however your creators may prefer Whatsapp or messenger as a primary communication tool. They may not have worked in a marketing department and are not used to dealing with briefs. If you do not have the time and skillsets in-house to deal with communications issues then work with an agency, many of the Influencer agencies. Many have databases and metrics in place, they also understand your brand values and they way you communicate.
Alternatively for big creators and influencers you can often speak directly to the talent management agencies, they are used to working with brands and can give you an insight into how the talent works, don’t be surprised to find out that large YouTubers are in demand and diaries are booked up months in advance.
Step four: Co-operation
The money that comes with an influencer partnership is a big part of why they’re likely to work with you, but it’s not the only reason. They will be considering the goals of their own business.
Let them write or record their own content, instead of providing a script for them to copy. You can offer some guidelines, but the more you restrict what they can express, the more risk of them sounding ingenuine.
It is in a brands best interest to get the most genuine and engaging content out of any deal, co-operation is key and if this is your first campaign enjoy the experience of working with some new perspectives, you may get some feedback that you were not expecting.
Step five: Measure and reward success
The primary goals developed in step one should be the key indicator of whether an influencer campaign is successful or not, but it’s worth looking at a whole host of metrics, through social media, website traffic, and more, to see the full effect. From there, find those who have made the most contribution to the success of the campaign and keep in touch. Successful influencer relationships should be nurtured.
A network of influencers can be one of the most effective ways to organically grow the visibility of your brand, as well as the interest and anticipation of services and products. It’s worth taking the time to plan out your approach thoroughly, so don’t rush it.