Barely a decade ago, influencer marketing was almost non-existent. Instagram, which made its debut in 2010, changed all of that. Now, influencer marketing is seen to be more effective than traditional marketing methods like advertisements in print media and TV.
Influencer marketing is a great way to increase brand awareness and sales. However, what matters the most is how the influencer promotes your product. There are thousands of people who claim to be influencers, only some fit the bill and are worthy enough to genuinely influence their followers to try your products.
An Influencer marketing campaign needs to be implemented with a lot of careful planning and research. These should be thought out months in advance to take advantage of festivals, holidays, and other factors. Sometimes, current developments in the market can give marketers great opportunities to use influencer marketing. Whatever be the reason, there has to be a lot of thought put into the process.
Let us see how we can plan a successful influencer marketing campaign
- Create a document stating the goals of the campaign– Each influencer marketing campaign is created with a goal in mind. Jot down the goal and how you aim to achieve it, what kind of value-addition it provides you, and so on. This includes-
Copy– clearly define what words/content you would and would not want to use. Set boundaries for your influencer to ensure the content is in line with the objectives of the campaign. Define which kind of content medium you aim to use- text, image, GIF, video, etc.
Ideal dates– Identify which dates are ideal to run an influencer campaign, based on the seasons, holidays, and other important developments.
Budget- Whatever happens, ensure you DO NOT cross the budget you determined. Set the budget based on market rates and based on prior research for the campaign.
Buyer personas- Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes to know what they look like. This will help you to choose the right influencer(s).
- Define these goals- For each of the goals, make a solid plan that you and your team have to implement. For example, you could set yourself a goal of selling at least 150 exotic vacations for the Christmas-New Year vacation by the end of October. Make this part of your influencer marketing strategy and give your influencers enough time to complete these goals. You could reward them with a commission on each sale to motivate them to give their best.
- Find, shortlist and get background checks done on potential influencers
The biggest difficulty marketers face is hunting for the right influencer. The best way to get this done is through influencer marketplaces like Quikplace.io. These marketplaces help you choose the right influencer and guide you in the influencer marketing process. Based on your requirement, you can go for a mega-influencer or several micro-influencers that represent your entire target audience. These influencers should be on board well in advance to take advantage of future opportunities,
- Define what kind of content would go live
Each influencer may have his own way of promoting the product. As a marketer, you have to be careful to ensure that each influencer’s content is in line with the brand requirements. There should not be any influencer who uses puns, offensive content, or any disparaging words to promote the product.
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- Define who has rights to the content
This is usually decided on a case-to-case basis. It is highly recommended to include into the influencer contract who will have the rights to the content posted- can you share it on the company’s social media handles after it has been posted or does the influencer have the sole rights to engage and post on behalf of the company. This has to be done after a lot of brainstorming and planning. If this isn’t clearly defined, there could be chances of dispute later on.
- Draft a set of content creation guidelines
The life of a social media post is generally very short. To make a lasting impression, it should be catchy and interesting. This is only possible with deep research and brainstorming with your team (and also the influencers). The content that the influencers create should match the expectations of the brand. After brainstorming, you can give your influencers a brief of what type of content is expected from them. For best results, the influencer and your marketing team should work together to create content that grabs the audiences’ attention. Many marketers add in a clause where the influencer has to take their prior approval of what he intends to post online.
- Promote the influencer’s content
After the influencer’s post is live, you have to check the analytics regularly to ensure it is having the right impact that you wanted. If you aren’t; reaching the target of a certain number of impressions, you can consider boosting the post or using paid adverts to ensure you reach the targeted goals.
- Review the results of the campaign
There are various metrics that you can use to review the results of your influencer campaign. These include sentiment analysis, earned media value, the number of impressions, organic results, paid results, and so on. Compare this with the targets you set. Have you met your targets? If not, what challenges did you face? How well did your competitors do during the influencer campaign? Were the challenges you faced similar to your competitors? Each influencer campaign is a learning process, many aspects will be learned from the trial-and-error method.
A successful influencer marketing campaign depends upon a lot of factors. It requires a lot of patience, research, and planning. To protect the interests of both parties, a detailed influencer contract has to be drafted. This will contain all the rules and regulations that each party has to adhere to. Nevertheless, your hard work will be fruitful if you have taken steps in the right direction.