In a world where marketers are doing influencer marketing "because everyone else is doing it so I should be to," things can easily get messy. The industry has vastly expanded over the past ten years, and influencer marketing isn't as black and white as it once was. Now, there are different types of influencers, fake follower scandals, issues with measurement, and more.
After running over 150 influencer marketing campaigns since launching in 2015, we've put together a checklist of nine steps we recommend taking in order to achieve a successful influencer marketing campaign. While this blog post only covers high-level insights into some of those steps, you can download the full checklist here to learn some of our secrets to success.
Without further ado, let's get started with our first step!
Step One: Set Your Business Goals
Before you begin any type of implementation, it’s extremely important that you know what you’re objectives are for influencer marketing. Too often do marketers jump on the bandwagon of a new tactic before figuring out what their strategy should be. But, if you take the time to answer the five questions we’ve outlined below, you should be on the right path towards success.
- What product/service/event do you want the content to support?
- What does your target audience look like and on which social media channels do they spend the majority of their time?
- Describe success. “At the end of the campaign, we’ll be happy if…”
- What Key Performance Indicators might help you optimize during the campaign?
- How will you measure success and Return on Investment when the campaign concludes?
Step Two: Identify Your Budget
Let’s face it, influencer marketing isn’t getting any cheaper as demand continues to increase. Not only do influencer fees continue to rise, but as the space evolves, the level of effort required to run an impactful campaign with important brand protections in place is on the rise as well. A key question to answer when it comes to budgeting is whether you’ll execute in-house or outsource campaign management.
AGENCY MANAGED INFLUENCER CAMPAIGNS
For those planning to outsource influencer campaigns to an agency, your first step is to determine how much budget you’re going to invest on an annual basis. If you’re new to the space or still trying to determine what the right investment should look like, the chart below shows results from a survey conducted by The Association of National Advertisers asking, “How much do you spend annually on influencer marketing?”
INTERNALLY MANAGED INFLUENCER CAMPAIGNS
For those with in-house influencer marketing teams, you’ll need to allocate budget across four areas:
- Staff Members
- Media Fees
- Third-Party Tools
- Influencer Fees
When determining the value of each of these components, make sure you have the right balance between your staff and your automation tools. We’ve found many internal teams are automating too much in an effort to cut back on costs, which is ultimately costing them long-term.
COMPENSATING YOUR INFLUENCERS
Last year, we conducted a survey with TapInfluence of over 790 influencers in an effort to help brands and influencers work better together. Within this survey, we found that some brands are still offering free product as a form of compensation. In the competitive landscape the influencer marketing industry has evolved into, that tactic doesn’t fly with many influencers anymore. Additionally, 53% of influencers listed low compensation as their biggest challenge. While there are many factors to consider when selecting your influencers (which we’ll elaborate on in the following section), take into consideration the influencers answers from the chart below. Take note that on average, these influencers work 1-4 campaigns in a typical month.
Step Three: Find the Right Influencers
When it comes to identifying the best influencers to represent your brand, there are three factors to consider. To start, we recommend that you never implement opt-in programs because you’ll lose control of who’s representing your brand. Instead, as we do at Carusele, you should take the time to hand-select and vet creators for your campaigns, and think about what type of influencer you want to partner with.