In recent years the field of influencer marketing has truly boomed. The industry has more than doubled in market value, and in 2021 has reached $13.8 billion. If the market’s value is rising so rapidly, it is evident that the strategy is successful for the companies that invest in it.
However, if you’ve not tried influencer marketing before, you might not know where to begin. This is why we’ve put together an array of suggestions to help you figure out how to navigate the five phases of an influencer marketing campaign.
Campaign Definition: Know your goal and who you want to reach
The first thing you need to do is to determine your goal. Do you wish to work with influencers in order to increase awareness of your company? Perhaps you’re looking to gain new social media followers or increase your sales. Whatever your reason, ensure your objective is clear.
Establish some KPIs (key performance indicators) to monitor your progress towards achieving your target. For instance, for a sales campaign, you may want to keep track of how many customers use coupon codes from influencers as well as the amount of revenue and sales.
Alongside this, you should also be aware of your target audience. Be sure to know the people you intend to connect with through your marketing campaign. Consider their gender, age, languages, location, and their interests.
Then, discover where your customers spend most of their time on social media; this is the network where you want to run your campaign. That demographic data you collected can help you determine this. For instance, if you would like to engage teens then you might look to TikTok influencers to help you, as that network is popular with young people.
Campaign Setup: Find influencers that work with your budget
There are many variables that affect the price an influencer will charge, such as their location, engagement rate, and the kind of content you’d like them to create. However, another important aspect is their follower count.
To better understand this, let’s examine the different levels of influencers:
- Nano influencers, 1-5K followers
- Micro influencers, 5-50K followers
- Medium influencers, 50-100K followers
- Macro influencers, 100K-1M followers
- Mega influencers, 1M+ followers
- Key opinion leaders, no specific follower range
The higher up you go in those levels, the more expensive influencers are. Nano and micro-influencers often agree to collaborate with you for some free products, or they may request a modest fee of $100-200. This is a great option when you’re on a limited budget. However, at the middle level and up, you can expect to begin paying much more expensive costs.
A KOL, or key opinion leader, is a person who has an outstanding reputation in the field they work in. Since they have other platforms to voice their opinions other than social media, they don’t have a defined number of followers. KOLs can be costly to collaborate with and are often difficult to get in touch with, so be sure they can offer you a good ROI before planning to work with them.
Whatever type of influencer you end up looking for, it’s crucial that you look over their profile for signs that indicate influencer scams. Whether it’s a mega or nano influencer, check the growth of their followers, as well as engagement rates and audience authenticity, e to confirm that their followers are indeed real.
Campaign Launch: Negotiate and decide if you require a contract
Generally, it’s best to contact twice the amount of influencers you believe you’ll require, because some influencers may not reply or even read your emails.
Negotiate with influencers that are interested in working with you. Consider topics like:
- What amount you’ll pay for them (consider both free items and fees)
- What amount and type of content they’ll create
- Posting deadlines
- Disclosure requirements that the campaign content must meet
- Hashtags or mentions you’d like them to include in their content
Furthermore, determine if you require a contract. If you’re merely providing influencers with free products, then you usually don’t require a contract, unless the product is very expensive (like a new car). On the other hand, if you’re paying fees, you’ll likely want to record the agreement in writing.
If you’re not sure where to start when you’re creating this kind of document, you could take a look at an influencer contract template. Edit it to incorporate details that are specific to your particular campaign. You can then discuss any concerns you might have with your legal professional.
Campaign Tracking: Capture as many results as you can
When your campaign launches, ensure that you have a system in place to record outcomes. You’ll need to look at the content that influencers share and track data such as how many impressions, likes, and comments the post receives.
To achieve this, you should track your brand’s mentions and hashtags. If you’ve asked influencers to use them in their posts, you should be notified when they do. Or, in the event that you’re not working with many influencers, you can check their profiles manually to see when they publish.
As for results, you might need to use a few tools to get the full picture. Google Analytics can capture data about your site’s visits, the links that led your users to your site, etc. E-commerce platforms such as Shopify offer information on sales and revenue. You may also have to request influencers’ private data from social media, such as the amount of impressions their post received.
Campaign Analysis: Be aware that success is relative
The final step of an influencer-based marketing strategy is deciding if you’ve been successful. It’s tempting to evaluate yourself against your peers, or even to other successful campaigns you have heard about. But don’t do it!
Success is relative, meaning you should only compare your results against your initial investment or initial expectations.
For instance, imagine you paid a micro-influencer $100 to help promote your brand’s latest sneakers, and then gave them the sneakers at $50, your investment will be $150 in all. If the influencer generates $250 in sales then you’ll know that you’ve made money and therefore have succeeded.
Another way to gauge your performance is to compare it against your initial expectations. Imagine that you pay an influencer $200 and expect them to receive 50K impressions on their content. However, in the end they actually earn 75K. You’ve surpassed your initial estimate, lowered the cost per impression, and have succeeded!
Influencer marketing isn’t always simple, so keep an open mind during the process. It is possible you might have to make last minute changes. If you’re not achieving your goals the way you expected, examine the reasons why. And look for opportunities to succeed that you may not have anticipated. In this way, you’ll be more prepared for the next time.