Brands looking to expand their reach by partnering with a social media influencer can learn from the mistakes of others. As influencer campaigns have continued to grow, the takeaways from influencer campaign management can provide valuable intel about planning, executing, and measuring results.
Consider the following 10 pieces of advice as your team brainstorms on ways to make your next influencer campaign a success.
Clearly define your campaign goals
How will you know if your influencer campaign is a success? By comparing the outcome to your predetermined goals.
Start by deciding what results you’re hoping to achieve. Are you looking to boost brand awareness? Get users to download your app? Acquire newsletter subscribers? Drive traffic to your e-commerce store?
Beyond just giving you benchmarks against which you’ll measure your results, figuring out what you want from the influencer campaign will help you flesh out the content, create a call to action, and determine which hashtags to use.
Don’t choose influencers only by the size of their following
Being well-known isn’t always a valued attribute when evaluating social media influencers. Large audiences don’t always equate to engagement, trust or authenticity.
When searching for creators to partner with your brand on an influencer marketing platform, start with a broad funnel, such as industry. Then you can begin narrowing your search with other criteria, such as niche, experience working with brands, history of engagement, the quality of content they create, and their timeliness in responding.
Include a call to action
What do you want the audience to do? Tell them.
A call to action (CTA) should include a clearly identified prompt for your users to do something. Among other options, you can direct them to fill out a form, share a post, download an app, visit a landing page, watch a video, or buy something using a discount code.
Never assume that content alone is enough to generate action. Provide one or more ways for your audience members to engage, learn more, or convert from prospect to customer.
Research your hashtags
Imagine launching an influencer campaign with a hashtag that proves to be detrimental to your brand. Perhaps it was associated with a competing brand, controversy, or a non-competitive brand’s recent campaign.
Start by searching for the hashtag on popular platforms — several years back, if necessary. You may also need to provide your chosen influencer with a list of hashtags not to use, as they may be unaware of certain connections.
Research your competitors’ campaigns
Much legwork goes into researching your competitors’ products, services, advertisements, and promotions. The same effort should be put into learning about their influencer campaigns.
Do some digging to discover who they’ve worked with, the type of content they pushed out, the type of engagement they achieved, what hashtags and CTAs they used, and the campaign results, when possible.
Engage with comments on your campaign
Discuss how comments will be handled. Usually, influencers are responsible for engaging with their fans.
Invest time into communicating with followers on every campaign. Use the person’s name, demonstrate appreciation for their interest, and customize each response rather than relying on copying and pasting generic statements.
Brands should provide direction for any negative comments that come in.
Ensure your contract includes rights to reuse material
Beyond spelling out the details of pre and post-campaign expectations and compensation, your influencer contract should specify your brand’s rights to reshare, reuse, and upcycle any content. This includes repercussions for violations and what pieces you expect the influencer to deliver to your brand and by when.
Because repurposing content can provide additional revenue in the long run, you must be clear in your contract’s language. The benefits of influencer campaigns can extend far beyond your interactions with the influencer, and a solid contract can protect both parties from legal troubles.
Influencer platforms like IZEA’s can help with this.
Follow FTC guidelines
Although influencers are expected to know, understand, and follow Federal Trade Commission guidelines for social media campaigns, so are brands.
In addition to requiring disclosure of a paid partnership or sponsored collaborations on a post, the FTC expects marketers to ensure no false claims are being made about their products, services, or partnerships.
Measure beyond sales
Defining your key performance indicators (KPIs) and other metrics will help you determine if your influencer campaign was successful and where there’s room for improvement. This can guide future decisions regarding working with that influencer and others, as well as content, calls to action, design, and more.
To measure your return on investment (ROI), analyze metrics for various factors, including engagement (shares, likes, comments), click-throughs, use of customized promo codes, downloads, website traffic, new followers, and user-generated content.
Focus on long-term relationships with influencers
After any campaign, take a moment to thank the influencer privately and in the comments. It will demonstrate not only respect and class from your brand but also the value you place on your partnership.
As with employees, retention is usually cheaper than starting over. When you consider the time that goes into finding new influencers, researching them, introducing them to your brand, and developing a relationship, it makes sense to maintain the partnerships you’ve built with successful influencers.
Consider these pieces of advice before launching your next influencer campaign. By learning from best practices and the mistakes of other brands, you can increase your chances of success.