In recent years, influencer marketing has really taken off. The industry has more than doubled in market value, and in 2021 has reached a value of $13.8 billion. If the market value is growing so much, the strategy is clearly working for the companies investing in it.
But if you have never tried influencer marketing, you might not be sure about where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you learn how to work through an influencer campaign’s five stages.
Campaign Definition: Know your goal and target audience
The very first thing to do is decide on your objective. Do you want to work with influencers to raise awareness about your brand? Or maybe you want to get new followers or increase sales. Whatever the case, just make sure your goal is clear.
Set up some KPIs (key performance indicators) to help you track your progress toward that goal. For example, for a sales campaign, you might want to track how many times people use an influencer discount code, plus the sales and revenue generated.
In tandem with this, you must know your target audience. Make sure you understand who you want to reach with your campaign. Think about their age, gender, language, locations, and interests.
Finally, find out on which social network your target audience spends most of its time. Demographics can help you decide this. For example, if you want to reach teenagers, you should probably turn to TikTok creators.
Campaign Setup: Find influencers who work with your budget
Not all influencers are created equal. There are various factors that can affect how much an influencer charges, like their country, their engagement rate, and the type of content you want. But another major factor is follower count.
To understand this better, we can divide influencers into various levels:
- 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 you go in the levels, the more expensive influencers get. Nano influencers and micro influencers will often agree to collaborate with you in exchange for free products, or sometimes a small fee of $100-200. So they’re good options if you are working on a tight budget. From the medium level and beyond, expect to start paying heftier fees.
A KOL, or key opinion leader, is someone who has a great reputation in their chosen industry. As they have other places to share their opinions besides social media, they don’t have any set threshold of followers. KOLs can be expensive to work with and difficult to get in touch with, so make sure you think about what type of ROI they can bring you.
Finally, whenever you’re searching for influencers for your marketing campaigns, it’s essential that you analyze their profile to detect any signs of influencer fraud. Whether a nano or mega influencer, look at their follower growth, engagement rate, and audience authenticity to check that everything is in order.
Campaign Launch: Negotiate and decide if you need a contract
When you select a few influencers to collaborate with, reach out to them. Contact about double what you think you’ll need, as some influencers won’t reply or even open your emails.
Negotiate with the influencers who are interested in collaborating with you. Discuss topics like the following:
- How much you’re going to pay them (consider both free products and fees)
- How much content, and what type, they’ll produce
- Posting deadlines
- Any disclosure requirements the campaign content must fulfill
- Hashtags or mentions you want them to use
Additionally, decide if you need a contract. If you’re only giving influencers free products, you generally don’t need a contract, unless the product is very expensive. But if you’re paying fees, you’ll probably want to capture the agreement in writing.
If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to drafting up this type of document, you can download an influencer contract template. Edit the variables to include the information specific to your campaign. Then review any questions you may have with your legal expert.
Campaign Monitoring: Don’t miss out on results and media
Once your campaign is up and running, make sure you have a system in place to capture results. You’ll want to see the media that influencers post, as well as collect data like how many likes, comments, impressions, etc. that it gets.
To do this, you can track your brand mentions and branded hashtags. If you asked influencers to include them in their content, you should get notified when the influencers use them. Or, if you’re not working with a large number of influencers, you can check in manually to see when they post.
As for results, gathering data depends a bit on what type of metrics you’re looking for. Google Analytics can capture data about your website, like visits, which links brought your visitors, etc. E-commerce platforms like Shopify can provide insight into sales and revenue. But you may also need to ask influencers for some private social media data, like the number of impressions that their post generated.
Campaign Analysis: Remember that success is relative
Measuring the success of your efforts is the final stage in the influencer marketing campaign. It may be tempting here to compare yourself to your competitors, or to other successful campaigns you may have seen. But don’t do it!
Success is relative, meaning you should only compare yourself to yourself. You should measure your success by considering the benefits of your campaign versus the investment you put into it.
For example, if you paid a micro influencer $100 to promote your brand’s new sneakers, and gave them a pair of sneakers valued at $50, your investment is $150 total. If the influencer brings in sales that total $250, you can see that you’ve made a profit and have therefore been successful.
Another way to measure your success is against your initial expectations. Imagine you hire an influencer and pay them $200, expecting them to garner 50K impressions on their campaign content. But in the end, they actually bring in 75K. You’ve outdone your initial projection, and so you can also say you’ve been successful.
Influencer marketing isn’t always easy, so have an open mind throughout the process. You may have to make last minute adjustments, and your results may not be exactly what you expect. If you don’t perform as well as you’d hoped, analyze why and look for potential paths to success you might not have expected. This way, you’ll be better prepared for next time. You can also use this website as a backup to make sure your videos are getting noticed.