Influencer Marketing

How to Execute an Influencer Marketing Campaign: A Step by Step Guide

July 16, 2020
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Jacob Kelly

Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing strategy that can drive serious results for your business. However for many businesses, especially small local businesses, putting together an influencer campaign is something they have not done before. 

We’ve been putting out blog posts over the last month with different tips and tactics for influencer marketing but we wanted to consolidate all of that information into one article that features a step-by-step guide on how you can execute your own influencer marketing campaign. 

Step 1: Set the Goals for Your Campaign

Before you start doing influencer marketing, you need to figure out what your goals are for your campaign.

The two main objectives to consider are:

  1. Reaching a new audience
  2. Increasing conversion

The goal of your campaign will impact how you go about operating. It will change the influencers you partner with, the content being created and how you analyze results.

Step 2: Find Influencers that have Aligned Values to Partner With

Once you’ve established your goal, it’s time to find influencers to work with. As mentioned, the goal will affect who you partner with.

If your goal is to reach a new audience, you’ll want to work with creators who have a bigger following and one that is not similar to your own. With SocialRank you can compare your audience to someone else’s to see how much audience overlap there is to make sure you aren’t paying to have your product promoted to people that already follow you.

If your goal is to increase conversions, you’ll likely want to partner with someone who has a smaller audience but has a stronger connection with their followers. While you won’t get the same reach with a micro-influencer, they often communicate with more of their followers on a one to one basis, creating genuine relationships and a high level of trust when they promote a product.

No matter what your campaign is, you’ll want to make sure that these creators have aligned values to you and your brand.

An easy way to do this is create an avatar or persona of your ideal customer or target audience. Use this avatar to: 

  1. Find influencers who match your avatar. Who better to promote your product than someone who is your desired end user?
  2. Find influencers who are of interest to your end user. For example, say you sell phone cases and your end user is 18–28 year old males. What are their interests? Tech & gaming. Knowing that information, you can look for tech and gaming influencers whose primary audience is 18–28 year old males.

This will allow the creator to speak naturally about your brand and product and make the advertisement come across more genuine which will help increase the effectiveness of the campaign.

If you want to learn more about how to find your dream influencers in minutes instead of hours, click here for an online training we did that will show you how to do just that.

Step 3: Vet Your Influencers

Once you find creators you want to partner with, you’ll want to verify their authenticity.

“Are you really an influencer if you don’t have any influence?” - Farokh Sarmad, CEO of Goodlife Media

If someone is unable to influence their followers then you aren’t going to want to partner with them. A great way to verify someone’s authenticity and engagement is with SocialRank as it  shows you backend data from platforms like Instagram and Twitter to help you vet the creators you want to partner with.

Another less accurate way to do this is simply by doing the eye test. While this has become more difficult since Instagram started hiding likes, you can look at other metrics to gauge a creator's engagement. A couple of things you can do is read their comments. Are their comments all generic and spammy? You can also look at video views. Instagram may have hidden likes but video views are still public. If someone has 1 million followers but only gets 2,000 views, you know something isn’t adding up. At the end of the day, use common sense. If something feels off to you, you’re probably right.

Step 4: Reach Out to Influencers

Once you know who you want to partner with and have verified their authenticity, it’s time to get in touch with them.

The best way to do this is through their email. Most creators have their email under the contact button on their Instagram page or written in their bio. With SocialRank, you can use filters like keywords in bio (ex. “gmail.com”) to find email addresses to reach out to creators.

When writing your email, be as straight to the point as possible. Provide 2-3 sentences max on your company, product and values. Then clearly define that you would like to work with the influencer and what you will be providing them and what you hope to receive in return.

Click here for a couple of example emails you can use when reaching out to influencers.

Step 5: Content Creation and Posting

Once you’ve reached out to influencers and settled on an exchange and deliverable, it’s time for the influencer to create the content and post it. Truthfully, you shouldn’t have a lot to do with this step other than providing some basic guidelines and approving the creative.

When it comes to the guidelines you are providing, we recommend keeping them pretty light. You want to give as much creative freedom to the creators as possible. These influencers understand their audience better than anyone else. If you allow them to post as they normally would, the advertisement will feel more authentic. If you try to dictate creative and copy, things will feel forced.

It might feel weird for you to be relinquishing some control over your brand but if you’ve partnered with people who have aligned values to you, they should represent your brand in a positive manner.

Once the creative and copy have been approved, the influencer will then post the content on their channels. Once they do this, make sure to reshare it on your account. This isn’t required but helps amplify the message of the creator and can help you build relationships with the influencer.

Step 6: Review the Results of the Campaign

Once you’ve finished a campaign, it is crucial that you take some time to review the results.

As we mentioned, the goal of your campaign will impact how you measure results. Here’s a quick rundown on what to look for depending on your campaign.

Reaching a new audience (awareness)

If this is your goal, you can ask the influencer to provide you with their post analytics to review how many impressions, shares and engagements their post got. Another good metric to look at is how many followers you had before and after the campaign started.

A great way to analyze your audience before and after a campaign is with SocialRank. Not only does SocialRank allow you to compare your audience to someone else's but if you run a report for your account before and after your campaign, you can compare your audiences and see how many new followers you gained and more about them.

Increased Conversion

If your goal is to increase conversions, you can provide an influencer with their own discount code, set up a special landing page for each influencer that tracks who lands on that page, or you can compare the sales during the time frame of the campaign to your yearly average sales for the same duration.

Bonus Tips

We wanted to share a couple of things to keep in mind when setting up your next campaign.

  • Set up longer-term campaigns. Longer campaigns allow the influencer to post about your product more and increase exposure to your brand. It often takes people multiple exposures before converting. Plus, if an influencer is willing to post about your brand or product multiple times, odds are they genuinely like the product they are promoting. If their audience can sense that, this increases the likelihood of them converting as well. If the promotion feels fake, people will be less inclined to buy. It may be more costly to do a long-term campaign with an influencer but you can usually negotiate a discounted, bundle price. 
  • Don’t forget that when working with influencers you are working with people. Take time to build a relationship with them. If they have a genuine relationship with you and your brand then their ads will come across far more authentic.
  • When reaching out to influencers, look at their audience data to see where their followers are. If you’re a local business in Toronto there’s no point getting someone whose followers are primarily in Vancouver to promote your brand. You can see this data on SocialRank or by asking the influencer to provide their insights.

It’s Time to Run Your Campaign

Influencer marketing can be hard. It doesn’t have to be though! If you follow our step-by-step guide and leverage tools like SocialRank, influencer can be an easy and effective strategy for you and your business.