Best Practices for Getting Started with Influencer Marketing
If you have decided you want to investigate using influencer marketing for your business, it’s important that you develop a strong plan. Influencer marketing comes with a price tag, and in order to get the most return on your investment, selecting the right partners and having SMART goals can lead to success. Here are the best practices to get started with an influencer marketing campaign.
Developing Your Campaign
Set goals for what you want to achieve through your collaboration
Make sure your strategy aligns with your goals
Create a strategy that’s mutually beneficial for you and the Influencer
If there is nothing in it for the Influencer, they are less likely to get involved
Selecting Your Influencer
Focus on an Influencer (and their audience) that clearly aligns with your brand and your target audience
Something to consider – don’t ignore micro influencers. Their engagement and audience reach is often more effective than top-tier influencers who have millions of followers.
A micro influencer is someone that has a smaller following
Understand that these people have gained a captive following for a reason. Their audience loves what they produce. It’s important that your campaign effectively portrays your brand’s message, but it’s equally important that you don’t limit the influencer and their creative freedom.
Make sure the content/piece of content being created look and feels organic/authentic. If it’s not, it will become very apparent to the audience that it is an advertise and can hinder positive results.
Negotiating Rates and Payments
Best practice: Be fair and transparent. It’s important that you ensure you truly understand the value they bring to the relationship before negotiating anything.
Pay the Influencer for their time, effort and creative
How much you invest is up to you, but like any other marketing initiative, the more you put in, the more you get back
The Influencers may have their own rates as well
There is no best practice on when you should pay the Influencer but below are some common practices. NOTE: This portion is usually guided by the Influencer rather than best practices
Up front (some Influencers will not commence work until payment is received)
After all the deliverables have been received (usually within 7 days)
50/50 – where Influencer receives 50% up front to ensure collaboration and 50% upon receiving all discussed deliverables
Briefing Your Influencer
Provide briefing notes or a briefing document (just as you would when working with a freelance consultant or graphic designer)
This ensures that the Influencer knows what is expected of them
Be concise, clarify your objective and agree on the deliverables and commitment from both parties
Include useful information for the Influencer including links to product pages, press releases and more.
How to brief your influencer:
What is the campaign and why are you implementing it?
Helps them understand the message you want to communicate through their content as well as developing a solid call-to-action
KPIs and Goals
This should clearly outline the goals you wish to achieve as a result of the influencer engagement.
This should define your agreed upon deliverables, expectations, deadlines and due dates.
This is where you can clearly include certain social requirements such as social tags, hashtags and/or required links.
EXAMPLE of deliverables:
1 x Instagram post featuring product with branded @tag and #hashtag on October 5
1 x Instagram story featuring product with verbal mention of the brand on October 5
1 x Blog post that encourages the audience to make a purchase using the discount code: XYZ by October 10
Content Theme, Style and Mood Boards
It is a good idea to set some brief guidelines around the content theme and style you want, to ensure what is delivered aligns with your brand. Keeping in mind that you don’t limit the influencer on their content creation.
Do’s and Don’ts
This is where you inform the Influencer of ways to help keep an image on brand with your company, such as logo placement.
Help the influencer create the best content for your brand and uphold the brand message by using this section as an opportunity to highlight some key things you do and don't want to see in the content.
This section allows to make it very clear that there is a process in place to provide feedback and/or request edits when influencer content is submitted
Influencers want to be treated as creative professionals but brands should have the opportunity to provide feedback and edits if the content does not meet the briefing guidelines (and only when the content does not meet the brief, not because you “don’t like the image”).
These best practices will help you set up an influencer campaign. If you want help creating the campaign goals or influencer brief, reach out!