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Every day, we talk to numerous people who want to get started with influencer marketing because they have realized the important value influencers are able to create for their companies. This value is particularly important for entrepreneurs to bring success to their startup/ company and for career oriented marketers/ advertisers to shine within their firm and accelerate their careers. One thing we notice a lot: Many brands new to the influencer marketing world do not have a clear understanding of how to structure their marketing efforts in this regard and miss out on adjusting them when their parameters start to change. Thus, they do not tap the full potential of their influencer marketing activities and leave money on the table.

There are three main phases every company involved in influencer marketing experiences at different points in time: The learning phase, the transition phase and, finally, the scaling phase.


Influencer Marketing Rollout


Influencer Marketing Rollout © InfluencerDB


Learn your lesson!

Do not hesitate to implement influencer marketing just because you have the feeling that you lack knowledge. Most companies which start using influencer marketing do not have all the skills from the starting point on. Therefore, the learning phase is an essential part of the process.

During this phase, use the time to take your chances and test different strategies to find what works best for you. In the end, you are the one who knows your brand or company best and only by trying out different ways you can identify what performs well and cut out what does not work at all. In this phase, you will start rolling out campaigns and learn which ones are most effective for your business.

Additionally, this is the right time to start using tools: At some point, the workload will not be manageable without tools and software. They will help you to monitor your campaigns, organize cooperations and keep all team members in the loop. It might seem possible for you to manage the work without tools, but reaching the profitability threshold as well as the next phase will take longer. Instead of wasting this time, consider the use of tools for a more valuable outcome in the end.

We are not gonna lie, of course we advise you to use InfluencerDB as your tool of choice. It supports you compare the metrics of influencers, measures the performance of influencers and campaigns, helps you identify all KPIs which are relevant for your brand. An additional value: It optimizes your processes by assembling all data in one place and by keeping all team members in the loop. Furthermore, you will not only get insights into your own performance but also into the performance of your competitors.

The learning phase extends over a varying period of time and ends as soon as your brand or company starts to make profit. Profit, in this regard, can include different aspects: Sales, generated media value, engaging content for further distribution.

What is essential during this phase: The profitability threshold varies. Not every brand will reach this point at the same time. The length of the learning phase and, thus, the point in time when profitability is accomplished, highly depends on by the product itself.

The profitability threshold is mainly affected by three factors: The visual nature of the product, the margins, and the general fit of the product.


Factors impacting profitability threshold © InfluencerDB


The threshold is lowest for highly visual products with high profit margins. Consequently, the threshold is high for non-visual products with low profit margins.

Visual products can be marketed more easily. The options are diverse since the products can be displayed in various settings and numerous situations. Examples of visual products are watches, food products, and clothing items – basically every product which can be displayed in a picture.


Examples of promotions of visual products


Non-visual products are more difficult to promote. These products include all items that cannot be displayed on pictures that easily, like food delivery services, travel booking and telecommunications providers. Brands that sell products like these and have low margins, will generally reach their profitability threshold at a much later point in time.


Examples of promotions of non-visual products


The threshold also depends on the fit of the product itself. If a product fits perfectly into the Instagram universe and hits the Instagram audience as well as the audience of influencers, the product is a lot easier to promote than a product which the majority of Instagram users and influencers’ audiences do not generally like or use. Identifying the right influencers for such products is a lot more difficult since you will have to find very specific niche influencers who have an audience that is interested in such product. Hence, the profitability threshold is higher.

In general, brands with non-visual products and low margins must use tools from the outset on to get the best value out of their processes and to reach their profitability threshold earlier. But also brands with visual products can highly benefit from the use of tools at an early stage.

Challenges of this phase

Outcome of this phase

  • Experience
  • Identifying the right strategies for your business
  • Optimizing your processes with the help of tools

Complete your transition!

After completing the learning phase and filtering out those things that performed best for your brand, you reach the transition phase. This phase is crucial for your further success since you now have to prepare for scaling. You reach a higher level of knowledge and expertise regarding the topic. You should start focusing on the best performing aspects. If you already cooperate with an influencer marketing agency, consider increasing the budget. Also, continue to work on optimizing processes, for example by adding additional data into the analysis.

Challenges of this phase

  • Keeping up with the pace

Outcome of this phase

  • Knowing which aspects work best for your brand
  • Optimizing your processes
  • Reaching an important point: You are ready to scale your business!

Scale it up!

In the scaling phase, it is time to go full throttle! Depending on your already existing team, it might be advisable to extend your manpower and hire new employees that will help increase your in-house efforts. It is essential to onboard new employees properly to ensure that they will be beneficial for your company. The use of tools will help you to manage your growing network across different teams. Furthermore, it is advisable to put emphasis on monitoring your competition and setting your benchmarks accordingly. Expand your relationship with your agency by increasing involvement and processes. This phase also demands expansion into other markets and scaling by markets and volume. Now your work really starts to pay off and you will have the opportunity to grow if you handle this situation wisely and make the right moves.

For more tips, watch our on-demand webinar on how to work with an influencer marketing agency with Laura Pier, Managing Director of Social March.

Challenges of this phase

Outcome of this phase

  • Growing your business
  • Taking your skills and expertise to a higher level

The Takeaway

Do not expect to be overly successful right away. In the end, it is a learning process which needs a certain amount of time and acquisition of knowledge to be successful. Nonetheless, there is no reason for companies and brands to hesitate about using influencer marketing just because they do not have the skills and knowledge at the outset. With the help of tools and agencies, the required expertise will be acquired quickly. The most important aspect to pay regard to is adjusting your activities whenever you reach a higher level. When you reach a certain level of expertise and success, adjusting your activities is essential to ensure a persistent growth and will help scale your business.

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