If you’ve set aside the funds and manpower to get going with influencer marketing, chances are you’ll want to be as sure as possible that it will be successful.
Although nothing can guarantee a successful influencer marketing campaign, planning and setting out processes for how you want yours to run is only ever a good way to start. Because starting out with influencer marketing can be daunting to say the least, we’ve put together a quick guide to the most important steps to take when planning out your first campaign.
1. Know EXACTLY what you want to get out of the campaign
When we say EXACTLY, we’re not just using upper-case for dramatic effect. Well maybe a little bit. But the point is, unless you know what results you’re looking for in detail, it will be extremely hard to assess whether not you’ve achieved them. This stage will involve not only ascertaining what business results you want to see from influencer marketing e.g. higher sales of a particular product, more website visits or increased brand awareness in the form of higher social followers and engagement, but also identifying the audiences you want to engage in the process.
In terms of the different ways influencers can work with a brand, and how those ways might translate into measurable ROIs, the two linked blog posts will explain both processes in more detail. For now, it is enough to say that the more you manage to identify your expected influencer marketing results, the better chance you give yourself of achieving them. Make sure also that these desired results are listed clearly and simply so that they can be shared with your influencer(s).
2. Identify your influencers
This step can only be achieved after stage 1, as which influencer(s) you work with will depend entirely on your expected outcomes and the audiences you’re looking to reach. Be led entirely by niche, audience and audience engagement. The beauty of influencer marketing is that it allows you to reach engaged audiences that are more likely to be interested in your brand than those targeted by above-the-line campaigns. Influencers are able to talk to and represent brands to audiences in a trusted and authentic way, and so you can see why choosing the right influencer is also a matter of who they influence. Here’s a bit more information about choosing the best influencers to work with (the CI platform can help too!)
3. Decide how you and your influencer(s) should work together
Selecting influencers to partner with is only half the battle – the best influencer-brand partnership in the world is useless if executed wrongly. There are endless ways that influencers can be employed by brands in marketing endeavours, and each has its strengths and weaknesses.
This stage especially requires constant communication between brand and influencer, as each needs to bring their own expertise, experience and, indeed, requirements to the table to come up with the most effective plan. This stage will also be fully reliant on your expected outcomes and objectives.
4. Plan out how to measure your ROIs
Influencer marketing is often cited as being hard to monitor and glean the results of, but it really needn’t be. If you put in the time early on with detailed KPIs, targets and timescales, and make your influencer aware of all the above, you’ll find the process a whole lot easier.
We advise breaking your desired ROIs into both short and long-term categories, as well as into ‘outputs’ and ‘impacts’. The outputs are tangible, recordable actions, and impacts are the visible results of those actions. Check out this post for clarity, and more detail on the process.
5. Go for it!
Yes, influencer marketing endeavours do require an immense amount of planning and forward thinking to be successful, and the more you understand how it works, the greater your chance of success. However, as with most marketing efforts, jumping into the deep end and launching a campaign can only provide more opportunities to learn and improve.
Let your influencer guide you – they know their audience and how to talk to them. Don’t be afraid to make clear to your influencer what you are expecting from them, but remember that influencer marketing is a partnership, not a dictatorship. If you’ve found the right influencer and taken the time to prepare, you won’t go far wrong!