No matter if you’re completely new to Influencer Marketing or already deeply involved in the sector: A lot of brands are still insecure when it comes to structuring their influencer marketing efforts. Our 9 steps will help you coordinate the necessary stages of a campaign and shed light on your influencer marketing process!
- Set Strategies
- Identify Influencers
- Analyze Influencers
- Approach Influencers
- Negotiate Terms
- Set up Contract and Briefing
- Execute your Campaign
- Review KPIs and Track Campaign Outcome
- Retain Influencers and Strengthen Relationships
1 Set Strategies
The first step of your influencer marketing process is knowing what you want! In order to exploit the full potential of influencer marketing, you need to define your goals. What do you want to achieve? How can you deploy influencers to support reaching your goals in the best possible way?
Influencer Marketing Agency Social Match describes the strategic approaches of a campaign as:
- Awareness (raising the knowledge and perception of the brand)
- Pull (increasing the popularity of the brand)
- Conversion (driving sales or stimulating any kind of action of the consumer towards the brand, such as website visits)
A campaign can accomplish more than one of these objectives! Depending on the brand and the strategy, all three objectives can be reached potentially.
Keep in mind that influencer marketing is not only about showing products to followers. Paid media is only one part of influencer marketing. Influencer relations and content production are others.
Looking for stimulating follower growth on your social media channels? Does your brand launch a new product? Do you need content for your owned media channels? Do you want to strengthen the relationship with existing and potential customers?
Only you know your objectives! Think about which strategy is most valuable for reaching these goals and define your KPIs accordingly.
2 Identify Influencers
After defining which strategy you want to use, it’s time to identify fitting influencers and analyze their metrics to see how valuable they are for your brand.
Use external sources to find influencers
- Google: Use relevant keywords to find influencers for your niche.
- Instagram: Use relevant hashtags to identify influencers which are active in your sector.
- Blogs: Blogs like Man Repeller and Highsnobiety regularly feature upcoming influencers for specific sectors.
- Top 10 Lists: Platforms like Statista constantly create Top 10 lists of the best influencers in fashion, beauty, travel, design etc. Also, find similar lists on our blog.
- Media Monitoring: Which influencers are hyped right now? Who is the talk of the town on TV and social media?
Engaged influencers of your brand
This section shows which influencers already mention your brand or engage with your channel through likes and comments.
These engaged influencers are especially valuable for you because they are fans already and thus have a high level of authenticity when it comes to promoting your brand.
Use the network of influencers you already cooperate with. These influencers will most possibly share similarities regarding brand fit and content with your cooperation partners and might be just as valuable for you.
Aggregator channels like @americanstyle frequently repost the content of successful influencers.
3 Analyze Influencers
An important step in your influencer marketing process is the analysis of influencer channels. Don’t make the mistake and contact jump into a cooperation right away!
Although their content might look great and the follower numbers seem promising, an in-depth analysis of each influencer is absolutely necessary!
- Brand Fit & Authenticity, to see whether the influencer aligns with your brand and if he or she can truly promote your brand in an honest and inspiring way.
- Content Quality, to see whether the influencer’s content, imagery, and tone align with your brand
- Follower Numbers, to evaluate the potential reach of an influencer.
- Follower Growth, to see whether the influencer manages to constantly attract new followers. This is especially important for long-term collaboration!
- Like Follower Ratio, to evaluate whether the influencer’s audience engages with the content. High follower numbers are invaluable if the audience does not care for the content!
- Daily Follower Changes, to spot abuse strategies like follower purchase and follow for follow.
- Audience Analysis, to evaluate the true value of an influencer’s audience and detect fake followers and bots.
- Outgoing Mentions & Posts, to spot whether an influencer already works with competitors of yours.
- Engaged Influencers, to see which influencers belong to the influencer’s network and might be potential cooperation partners for you.
4 Approach Influencers
If your desired influencer is already a big hit, he or she will get several cooperation requests each day. So when approaching an influencer as the fourth step of your influencer marketing process, point out why the cooperation is interesting for the influencer.
In your first approach, keep it short and simple!
- Briefly, present your brand and your values
- Outline the campaign and its objectives
- State the campaign’s timeframe
If the influencer shows interest in a cooperation, provide more information and highlight the strategic approach of the campaign.
Download our e-book Influencer Outreach & Negotiation!
5 Negotiate Terms
Make sure to clearly point out your expectations when negotiating the terms of a collaboration in order to evaluate whether the influencer will manage to support your goals.
To build a deeper relationship with the influencer, chose adequate incentives. Micro-influencers might be glad to receive products of your brand, whereas star influencers are more likely to be persuaded by invitations to exclusive events.
Showing real interest in the influencer will simplify the relationship-building process. In the end, influencers are human beings and cannot be treated like advertising media.
6 Set up Contract and Briefing
Setting up a contract and a briefing is an essential part of your influencer onboarding! For brands, the onboarding can be rather tricky. On the one hand, you don’t want to jeopardize the influencer’s artistic freedom by setting strict guidelines.
But on the other hand, certain specifications need to be pointed out to ensure the success of the campaign:
- Campaign timeframe and deadlines
- Quantity of content pieces and channels involved
- Required campaign hashtags and tags
- Required disclosure of the paid cooperation. Make sure to use terms which are legally recognized in your country!
- Appearance of the content piece (flatlay, product up front, product in background, etc.)
- Tone of the content piece
- Exclusion of competitors in posting
- Usage rights of content pieces
7 Execute Your Campaign
During the actual campaign execution, make sure to not let the influencers run off, but keep close contact and stay up to date on the progress of your campaign.
Keeping the relationship building in mind, offer support during the campaign and be open for requests of your cooperating influencers.
The campaign execution will give you valuable insights! Which influencers are easy to work with? Which ones follow your guidelines best, who was rather difficult to handle?
All this information can be assembled in our Influencer Relationship Management feature Network, which serves as a highly valuable tool for managing your influencer relationships!
8 Review KPIs and Track Campaign Outcome
After executing a campaign, the work is not done yet! Naturally, you’ll want to know how the influencers performed and which value they added to your campaign.
The KPIs to review are dependent on the campaign strategy, but generally, examine:
- Follower growth of your channel: How many followers were forwarded from the influencer to your brand channel?
- Quantity of content pieces (postings, stories, articles, etc.)
- Engagement (likes, comments, reposts), Like Follower Ratio
- Quality of comments: Did the influencer genuinely inspire the audience and create interest in the brand?
- Earned Media Value: Was the influencer able to create buzz/ virality around your brand?
- Mentions/ Tags
- Post-performance of influencer postings
Generally, you want to evaluate which influencer cooperation was successful and which didn’t work out and why.
This step will help you reflect on the campaign and draw lessons from it for your upcoming campaigns and cooperations.
9 Retain Influencers and Strengthen Relationships
If an influencer created an extremely high value for you and really drove conversions during the campaign, do not let go of the influencer yet just because the campaign is over!
Retaining highly valuable influencers is key and adds additional authenticity and credibility to your influencer marketing campaigns!
So make sure to stay in contact with the influencers and establish a relationship with them beyond the limits of your campaigns.