Influencers have the potential to make a significant impact on their followers and everyone else who goes on social media platforms. It’s therefore no surprise that many top brands, such as Adidas, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Mcdonald’s, have incorporated influencer campaigns into their marketing strategies to boost their relevance in the 21st century.
In fact, the prediction for 2022 is that partnerships between brands and influencers will strengthen even more. If you are a business looking to boost your brand’s visibility and growth, tapping influencers should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy. In this post, we will talk about how influencer marketing campaigns work and what influencer campaign checklist you need to look at to help drive your company’s success.
What is an influencer marketing campaign?
An influencer marketing campaign is a well-organized course of action designed to achieve specific marketing objectives on social media through the use of influencers. This type of marketing campaign allows companies to leverage the popularity and credibility of digital content creators to efficiently deliver their brand’s message to a broader audience.
Instead of using default celebrities like Hollywood A-listers as spokespersons for their brands, many corporations tap the services of influencers to make their campaigns more relevant and successful. However, the lines dividing influencers and your usual celebrities like actors and models are now blurred; The latter group is increasingly turning to social media to boost their influence and star power. Thus, companies now have a choice to use professional content creators, celebrity influencers, or both for their digital marketing projects.
How do influencer campaigns work?
Now that you know what influencer campaigns are, you may be wondering how they work. In the next section, we lay out all the steps you need to take to create a successful influencer campaign.
1. Conduct the necessary research.
By “necessary,” we mean determining everything and anything that can help make your influencer campaign effective. Here are some of the questions you’ll need to answer:
- What are your marketing objectives?
- What is your budget?
- Who is the particular audience you are targeting?
- What types of content are they interested in?
- What social media apps do they prefer?
- Who are the influencers that are most relevant to your target market
2. Find the right influencer for your brand.
The answers you uncover during your self-assessment and external research can lead you to the content creator to work with. Here’s an influencer checklist to help you ask the right questions about the creator you’re eyeing to use in your campaign:
- Follower count – Is their following substantial enough to broaden your reach?
- Type of followers – Is their particular demographic aligned with your brand’s target market?
- Frequency of publishing – How often do they produce and post content?
- Engagement score – Do their followers interact with them regularly on social media to the level that will connect them to your brand?
- Cost – The objective is not to get the most affordable influencer but the most cost-efficient one.
- Other influencer stats – These include average likes and website clicks per post.
- Niche – Are they playing in your industry?
- Quality of followers – Do ascertain that their following isn’t primarily made up of bots.
- Previous partnerships – This will give you an idea of how effective they are as endorsers.
3. Hire them!
Although it’s still a buyer’s market when it comes to picking influencers, the more effective ones may already be on the must-hire list of several companies. This means you will compete with these entities eager to partner with these digital content creators. Increase your chances of bagging the best-fit influencer you’ve picked to endorse your products or services with the following tips:
- Present your brand as having the same core values as your chosen influencer.
- Create a unique pitch that will showcase what your brand can offer.
- Interact with them through retweets, shares, and comments on their blog.
- Link your content to their posts.
- Subscribe to their social media accounts.
- Be present at their webinars.
- Find out what industry conferences they attend and meet them face-to-face.
4. Be clear with your key performance metrics.
From the start, you’ll need to ascertain your definition of a winning campaign and ensure that the influencer you’ll partner with gets it. You cannot achieve what you can’t measure in the first place. Do you want to strengthen brand awareness, improve conversions, drive traffic to your site, or generate leads? Spreading yourself too thinly will be a waste of precious company resources and will not help you hit your target. Instead, be strategic by narrowing your objectives to one or two big-ticket items that will have the biggest impact on your business. Then align these with your influencer partner.
5. Create your influencer marketing strategy.
A typical influencer strategy is the result of the collaboration between the brand and the content creator. Communicating what you want to attain and brainstorming for the freshest, most innovative, and most relevant ideas will help ensure the success of your influencer marketing campaign. Among the more critical points you can work out together are the types of content to be produced. In addition, you may want to ask yourself if you should shoot a video, run a contest, or record a podcast. Your influencer partner may even suggest influencer strategy templates and other tools and tricks they may have used in past winning collabs with other brands. You’re sure to benefit from the creative inputs of your influencer partner.
6. Stay vigilant with FTC compliance.
Rules are created to put things in order and make life smoother and more pleasant for everyone, including social media influencers and brands. Thus, compliance with the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) guidelines is a must when running influencer marketing campaigns. Here are some examples of the organization’s rules and regulations that help protect consumers as well:
- Use plain and simple language.
- Include disclosures (any financial or personal relationship with the brand).
- Place the disclosure where people can’t miss it.
Be sure to understand and follow the guidelines. The bottom line is that you should remain honest and not deceptive.
A checklist for a successful influencer campaign
To ensure that you don’t forget anything as you go about creating a goal-hitting campaign, we’ve prepared an influencer campaign checklist for you to go through:
1. An influencer marketing plan
Before you can do this, you must first establish your business goals and objectives. The more specific you are about what you want to achieve, the more likely you are to attain them. Set your key performance indicators early on so you can effectively evaluate your performance. It would also help to check out a few successful influencer marketing campaigns, such as those of Nike and Zara, to inspire and spark creativity
You may have all the influencer strategy templates from which to create a cohesive marketing plan, but it will be pointless without the financial capability to execute your campaign. Thus, it is critical to determine your planned expenses and your maximum budget in case surprises arise (whether problems or opportunities).
Of course, your influencer marketing campaign won’t be one without influencers. So be diligent in reviewing the influencer checklist we shared earlier to ensure you won’t miss anything. Without the necessary diligence, you may end up with an influencer who may not only be incapable of adding value to your brand but may even take away from it.
4. Channels to use
Another crucial element of your influencer campaign checklist is the social media platform you will use for your marketing activities. This will depend on where your specific demographic is most active. You can choose one channel to focus on, or you can do multiple-channel campaigns to get your brand message to a larger audience.
5. High-quality content
Once you’ve decided on the type of content needed to achieve your marketing objectives, you can craft top-notch content that can grab your target demographic’s attention. Traditional brand messages no longer work, so don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
If the influencers you choose are professional creators, it’s likely that they already have the necessary equipment to create production-quality media. However, some influencers who didn’t start out as such (e.g., actors, doctors, lawyers, models, etc.) may not be as equipped or as tech-savvy. Should you work with the latter, provide the hi-tech gadgets and other tools they need to create excellent content. In addition, you may need to extend technical support to ensure that the posts they turn out will capture what you intended to execute from your influencer marketing plan.
Which mistakes should one avoid when running an influencer marketing campaign?
An intelligent marketer learns from the mistakes of others. Let us help you avoid these common pitfalls that can render your influencer marketing campaign ineffective:
1. Limiting yourself to default vertical markets
Vertical markets are the default groups that businesses work with or focus on. For example, if you are in the food industry, you’re expected to partner with influencers within the industry, like gourmets and chefs. But restricting yourself to preselected options will cause you to miss opportunities from crossing over to other sectors. For example, if you’re selling health food products, partnering with doctors and nutritionists may help you boost the credibility and reputation of your brand. Experiment with different verticals to take advantage of not-so-obvious opportunities that may come your way.
2. Not analyzing the profile of your target market
One of the keys to an influencer marketing campaign winner is an in-depth understanding of your audience. Without a clear picture of the audience you are targeting, you won’t be able to create a compelling influencer persona that can reflect your target market’s description. Here are some info that you need to know to help you truly know your audience:
- Their pain points (the problems of your customers that you’ll be providing solutions for)
- The type of influencers whose advice they follow
- The social media channels they hang out in
- The other brands they follow, be they competitors or affiliate companies
3. Not providing your partner influencers with proper onboarding and support
It’s one thing to be aware of a brand’s existence and another to truly know the brand and everything that it stands for. As a marketer worth your salt, part of your job is to ensure that you orient your influencers and give them access to information that can widen their knowledge about your brand. This includes dos and don’ts so they can represent the company well. Also, this will help ensure that their image and values align with yours. Knowing your brand at a deeper level can give them the confidence to use their creativity in telling your brand story.
Influencer marketing campaigns have the potential to catapult your brand to unprecedented growth. However, when done in a disorganized manner, you may forget critical elements that can lead to failure or make you lose out on opportunities. So before you forge ahead, step back a bit so that you can go through the essentials in our influencer campaign checklist with a discerning eye. The more items you tick off the influencer campaign checklist, the higher the likelihood of achieving your marketing goals and targeted brand growth.