Because influencer marketing is still emerging as a legitimate marketing channel, there is a lot of scepticism on whether influencer marketing is worth it. It requires budget, it takes a lot of manual work to manage and there is the whole debate around credibility and influencer fraud, however when done right, influencer marketing can drive serious results and ROI. But it doesn’t all stop when you engage and confirm an influencer partner or when they actually publish their content. There are a lot of steps that need to be taken throughout the process to make the most of your influencer campaign and investment.
Because influencer marketing is still emerging as a legitimate marketing channel, there is a lot of scepticism on whether influencer marketing is worth it. It requires budget, it takes a lot of manual work to manage and there is the whole debate around credibility and influencer fraud. However when done right, influencer marketing can drive serious results and ROI. But it doesn’t all stop when you engage and confirm an influencer partner or even when they actually publish their content. There are a lot of steps that need to be taken throughout the process to make the most of your influencer campaign and investment.
Let's start at the beginning…
Make a plan & strategy
Set out a timeline and plan everything you need to achieve for your campaign to go off without a hitch. Have the answers to all the important questions: Who will be responsible for what? When will you reach out? What are the objectives of the campaign? What will your budget be? When does content need to go live? Planning is essential to keep track of everything and to be clear on your goals for running a campaign.
Define what success will be
One of the biggest downfalls we see with influencer marketing campaigns is brands not defining what success will mean for their campaign. Have a good think about what will make this campaign successful for you and how you are going to measure and track this success. Is it growing your followers or increasing sales? Is it creating brand awareness or tapping into a new target market?
Understanding the goals of your campaign upfront will help you brief influencers in a clear and concise way to ensure everyone involved will be across the goal of the campaign.
Create an influencer brief
We cannot stress how important it is to brief an influencer. Briefing an influencer correctly will eliminate any chances of miscommunication, hold everyone accountable for their tasks and help the influencer create content that is on brand and aligns with the key messages of the campaign.
Make sure your social media channels are active
It’s a big no-no to do influencer marketing on a social media channel that you don’t have an active presence on. Your social media accounts a significant role in converting influencer collaborations and ultimately making the campaign successful. You need to make sure your accounts are set up and active before collaborating with an influencer. You wouldn’t want a potential customer to land on your Instagram only to find three posts from a year ago featuring your old branding - or for them to search your brand on Instagram to find nothing!
Only choose influencers that are a good fit with your brand
How do you do this? By using the Scrunch platform of course!! But in all seriousness, you can use the Scrunch directory to filter through influencers that are from a certain country, are a certain age, talk about particular topics and so much more. It will help you determine whether they’re a good fit for your brand and save you a hell of a lot of time compared to if you were going to find this information out manually. Choosing influencers that align with your brand benefits everyone! It helps the influencer authentically incorporate your brand into their content and their followers are going to be genuinely interested in your brand.
Follow and know your stuff about the influencers you’re working with
It sounds like a bit of “duh, of course we’ll do that” thing, but it’s very common that brands aren’t even following the influencers they want to approach. Influencers receive emails all day, every day, so it is important to stand out from the crowd and an easy way to do this is to follow the influencer. Personalize your outreach emails to include their name and a note about their recent holiday or a special milestone. You can read some more tips on personalization in outreach here. It’s also important to like and engage with their content too.
During the campaign
A lot of brands want to approve influencer content before it is published, which is totally fine, however, be sure to give influencers the creative freedom to create content that aligns with their usual content. Make sure influencers know up front that content approval is required and ask to be given access to the content before it goes live to check that it’s on brand and fits the brief.
Make the most of multiple channels
Get creative and don’t just collaborate on one Instagram post. Make the most of multiple content types on the one channel, such as Instagram posts, Instagram Stories and IGTV. Create multiple touch points for the audience so your brand stays top of mind throughout the campaign period.
Use a consistent hashtag
Hashtags are great for disclosure guidelines in influencer marketing, and it’s also best practice to give influencers a hashtag to use throughout their content as it helps to group all of the campaign content together. For example, if you’re a pet food company, you could start a hashtag called #dogsof*yourcompanyname*. This will help you keep track of posts that go live during your campaign period and help consumers find other content about your brand too.
Keep your account active
To make the most of your influencer campaign, you really need to ensure that your own social media channels are active and up to date before and during the campaign. If influencers are posting on Instagram and Twitter, make sure you have both channels set up for your brand and regular content on each. Success is not just up to the influencers, you need to work hard to make the most of the campaign too.
Share influencer content
Once influencer content starts going live, go ahead and share it across your own social media channels but remember, you do not own the credit so always, always, always give credit and repost with etiquette. Your followers will love seeing the influencers content and it will keep your channels fresh and engaging, plus your community will love discovering like-minded accounts at the same time. It’s a win-win.
Comment on the influencer posts
Influencers often get lots of questions about products that they share on their channels. Their followers trust their opinion and feedback and often turn to their influencer for additional information about the brand and product. However, the influencer is not always the best person to answer these questions. Keep track of influencer content as it goes live and be sure to regularly check the comments on influencer content that features your brand in case there are any questions that you can answer from potential customers. It will add a personal touch and customer service element, and will also help build a relationship with the influencers community and convert leads.
Secure the right to use influencer content commercially
Influencers are professional content creators, so it goes without saying that their content is usually beautiful and engaging so make the most of it! Ask your influencer partners if you can share, publish and repurpose their content across your platforms in marketing material, on your website, in EDMs or on product pages. Be really clear with the influencers on how you would like to use the content and for what period of time, and be sure to include whether you will credit them.
Do a post campaign report
Developing a post campaign report will give you the ability to determine whether the campaign was a success and whether you’d change anything for future campaigns. It’s also important to look at how each piece of influencer content performed, and how the campaign performed as a whole to pull out insights and key takeaways. The work doesn’t end when the influencer post goes live - you need to measure, optimize and try again to learn from each campaign and ultimately make your influencer marketing strategy a success.
Repurpose influencer content
If you were granted permission to use influencer content commercially, repurpose all of that beautiful content you received during your campaign. You now have a library of high quality content that is ready to be shared. It’s unlikely that all of your social media followers are also following the influencers you worked with, so they wouldn’t have seen the content before.
If you keep all of the above in mind before, during and after your campaign, you will make the most of your investment and ensure that you work towards the goals you want to achieve. If you have any questions at all about running your influencer campaign - be sure to reach out to the Scrunch team.
To ensure your next influencer marketing campaign is set up for success, be sure to follow these few tips and tricks