How to start an influencer campaign: Your 101 guide

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So you’d like to try influencer marketing. You understand the benefits and you’d like to see how it can help your brand spread its message. Great. So now what? How does one actually go about launching a campaign? Let’s start with the basics.

Step 1: Identify your goals, budget + measurements

First things first, figure out what you’re trying to do. There are a variety of ways influencer marketing can help your brand, but it’s smart to focus on one or two at most. This will help you target the right influencers and craft campaign requirements that are concise and focused.

Here is a limited list of common influencer marketing goals:

- Increase brand awareness
- Bring more traffic to your website
- Expand your mailing list
- Launch and promote a new product
- Drive sales conversion

Once you’ve landed on a goal, it’s time to think about measurement. For a more detailed look at measurement, check out this blog post written by an FYI co-founder.

Make sure it’s something you can accurately track. Most campaigns will have a corresponding hashtag — that’s a great way to track brand awareness. You can also provide your influencers with trackable links so that you can easily see how many people are clicking to your site or signing up for your mailing list. Another great way to track your campaign is with a promo code for a discount on your product.

With these measurements in mind, the same list of goals would look like this:

- Increase brand awareness by expanding social reach by 30% using the hashtag #HavensCoInfluencer
- Bring 3,000 new clicks to a product-focused landing page
- Attract 3,000 new email subscribers
- Launch new product with the goal of reaching 500,000 consumers with the hashtag #HavensCoProducts
- Increase sales of your product by 3%

Finally, figure out your budget. Influencer marketing can be a really affordable marketing option with a great ROI. But you have to pay your influencers. So set a budget before you reach out to them. Successful influencers have a brand of their own that they’re working to grow and maintain. In other words, treat your influencers like the businesspeople they are. Make an offer and negotiate a rate.

Influencers with a smaller following might start at $100/post. More experienced influencers might be looking for $500/post. It varies on the expertise, followership and engagement rates. If setting a rate without proof of efficacy makes you uncomfortable, ask for the numbers. Influencers should be able to provide data points like traffic per day, social engagement rate, average reach, etc.

 

Step 2: Find and contact the right influencers

Now that you’ve got the backend work done, it’s time to find the right influencers for the job. How do you find influencers? Start searching, clicking and reading. You’re looking for bloggers, social media superstars, video hosts and the like. This part can take some time. Plus, you’re going to want to identify more influencers that you’ll be using as it’s likely that not all of them will agree to the campaign.

There are a few things to consider when you start contacting influencers. First of all, you want influencers that are already writing about topics that relate to your brand or industry. For instance if you’re selling high heels, you probably shouldn’t be partnering with a blogger that writes primarily about sports — even if that blogger has a massive following. Partnering with influencers that don’t make sense for your brand can have a substantially negative impact on the success of your campaign.

While you’re looking for the right influencers, consider your goals. If you’re measuring reach, look for influencers that have a big following on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re hoping to drive engagement, look for influencers that have a lot of comments on their blog and profiles. Surprising to some, these two traits don’t neccessarily go hand in hand. An influencer with a smaller following might have much better engagement than an influencer with a massive following. Both have their value.

 

Step 3:  Creating a campaign brief

Once you have a list of influencers that are interested in working with your brand, it’s time to send them the campaign details (If your company requires contracts, legal approval and/or paperwork, this is also the time to get that worked out). What kind of campaign do you want to launch? Here are a few common methods:

- Launch a series of sponsored blog posts
- Have a variety of influencers take over your Instagram for a short time
- Throw a Twitter Party
- Get several influencers to tweet about your products during the same time period
- A combination of all of these

When you’re creating the campaign brief, you should include deadlines, hashtags, goals, messaging requirements and suggestions, legal requirements and anything else you can think of that might be helpful to your influencer. The more information the better.

Send your creative brief to your influencers and tell them when to start!

 

Step 4: Track results + distribute payments

By this time you’ve either launched your campaign or you’re ready to launch. Great work! But you’re not done yet. Now it’s time for tracking. Based on the detailed goals you’ve put together (see #1) and the metrics discussed in this post, you know exactly how you’re going to be tracking the campaign.

Make sure your campaign has fully run its course before you start reporting on the data. Combine data points and try to gather some key insights. Once you have it gathered, if there are any influencers that you think did an especially great job, let ‘em know! This is also a good time to decide what you think worked well and what you think could have been done better so that you can improve your campaign next time.

Finally, don’t forget to send out payments to your influencers in a timely matter. They’re businesspeople too and are expecting to get paid on time for their great work. Be sure to pay them all around the same time.

 

Finally…

Seem like a lot of work? It is. That’s why we created a platform that helps you efficiently manage all of these steps and more. By using the Find Your Influence platform, you can search for influencers with keywords and other filters, draft campaign briefs, launch campaigns, track results and make one-click payments—all in one platform. We’ll save you time and money, and you’ll be working with industry experts who can help you launch a successful campaign.

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