How to Run an Influencer Campaign

Running your first influencer campaign can be a daunting task, but if you follow these steps you can avoid pitfalls and put yourself on the path to success.  

1. Articulate your goals.

Influencer campaigns follow a grassroots model, meaning they work best  when grown organically over time. If you’re new to influencer marketing, focus on raising awareness for your brand and building a social network. Eventually, your strong social presence will help to generate sales. No matter what your goal, establish a definitive metric by which to measure it.  Some common goals for influencer campaigns are:

 Photo by @franciskenneth

Photo by @franciskenneth

-Raising brand awareness

-Building excitement for a product launch

-Identify new leads

-Generate sales (over several campaigns.)

2. Determine your incentive

Influencers need to feel that their work is worthwhile.  The type of incentive you are able to offer will impact the quality of influencers you can attract. Fortunately, incentives don’t have to be cash.  Depending on the value of your product, the size of your influencers, and the nature of your collaboration, many influencers are willing to trade for product.

3. Determine Preferred social channel

Instagram is the most popular channel for influencer marketing. However, some products may be better featured with videos or in-depth reviews.  Keep in mind that budget will determine which channels will be available to you.

4. Identify and Engage Influencers

The right influencers for your brand don’t necessarily have the largest following. What’s more important is that their audience is a good fit for your brand. Generally speaking, influencers with smaller followings are more willing to trade for product.  These micro influencers can be incredible partners because of their highly engaged audiences.

When working with any type of influencer, it’s important to provide an artistic brief that is clear and meets your needs while still leaving lots of room for creativity.  You’re connecting with the influencer because you love their work, so give them the freedom to do what they do best. Also, make sure that all contracts are finalized prior to the start of the collaboration.

 Photo by @ivvnwong

Photo by @ivvnwong

A few pitfalls to look out for:

  • Fraud: Watch out for influencers who are buying followers or using bots to increase engagement. Signs such as low engagement rates or fake-sounding comments can be evidence of fraud.

  • Unreliability: Find out what you can about an influencer’s past collaborations to ensure that they will follow the guidelines and post in a timely manner.  Additionally, it is wise to engage a few more influencers than your minimum post goal, in case an influencer backs out. 

5. Deliver Product.

Be sure products and rewards are delivered to influencers in a timely manner.  The longer an influencer waits for their product, the less excited they will be about the collaboration. If possible, it is useful to come up with creative packaging for your deliveries.  Remember, these are gifts! Additionally, some influencers may share the experience of opening, or “unboxing,” your package on their social accounts.

6. Manage Collaborations

It is important to be engaged with influencers during the process. This makes influencers feel that they know you and keeps them dedicated to your brand.  Be available to answer questions, provide guidance if requested, and- of course- like their posts!

7. Screen Content

Monitor influencer content as it is posted.  If content doesn’t align with the creative brief, politely follow up with edits. If you love the content, you can like it or share it on your company’s social account (Making sure to credit the influencer!)  If you would like to use influencer content on your company’s website or other publications, you can ask for a quote to purchase image rights.

8. Analyze and Report

 @jackiembarr

@jackiembarr

Circle back to the goals and metrics you established early in the process. Did you reach your campaign benchmarks?  Why or why not?

9. Maintain Relationships

Establishing long-term partnerships with the influencers you love most will help build a strong social network for your brand. Identify which influencers were your favorite to work with, and engage them for future campaigns.

10. Repeat!

Influencer marketing works best over the long term.  Consistent campaigns with your favorite influencers will improve your impressions, engagement, and the quality of your content.  Eventually, your brand can move from raising awareness to converting leads and selling product.

Ready to run your own influencer campaign?  Download this detailed checklist to make sure you never miss a step. Keep in mind, this checklist is especially effective for campaigns with ten or fewer influencers.  The more influencers you work with, the more complex identification, logistics, and relationship management can become.  Obviously has the ability to scale up influencer campaigns and work with dozens- or even hundreds- of influencers at once.  

If you’re looking to run a large influencer campaign, reach out to Obviously!