Influencer Marketing - preparing a campaign with an influencer - Step by step instructions

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The most important thing in Influencer marketing you should think about before you start working with influencers is the goal you want to achieve.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer Marketing - preparing a campaign with an influencer

Influencer Marketing can be a devilishly effective form of promotion - as long as you know how to prepare a campaign with an influencer. Check out our manual! At all kinds of groups or meetings related to marketing, it is often said that Influencer Marketing does not bring the intended results. However, in most cases, it turns out that the example campaign was poorly prepared or the return on investment was greatly overestimated. So what to do to make such actions have a real effect?

1. Influencer Marketing - Define the goal of the campaign 

The first and most important thing you should think about before you start working with influencers is the goal you want to achieve.

The argument that everyone (or your direct competition) does this is not the best motivation as it does not guide the next steps.


Most marketing activities can be roughly divided into two types: branding and sales. It is similar with campaigns in the area of ​​influencer marketing. Image campaigns are by definition much cheaper and easier to carry out, but their actual effectiveness (selling your products or services) is much more difficult to measure.


If you want to increase brand recognition and reach, but do not expect a measurable sales effect, cooperation with large, medium and small influencers will work well. The only thing you should take care of checking the real reach of individual people.


It is a great solution for the beginning of the adventure with Influencer Marketing and when promoting a new product or brand, when we want to make "noise" on the Internet. Such activities can have a significant impact on sales, but to measure it, remember about a simple rebate code that customers can use when shopping.


The second aspect of the image campaign with influencers is increasing brand credibility. It is known for a long time that a product recommended by a specific person is received much warmer, therefore the use of the "human factor" is a common advertising procedure.


In such activities, give up sales messages (discount codes or affiliate links can also be received in this way), because the recipients will associate them with the advertisement, which will only reduce credibility instead of building credibility.


Sales campaigns are more complicated because you have to choose how to measure the sale of your products or services at the very beginning. While in the case of campaigns with bloggers, you can attach monitoring codes to their website, in other channels you are forced to use affiliate links, promotional codes or traffic source monitoring tools. In the case of such activities, care should be taken not so much to check the range as to the statistics of real sales.


It often happens that in terms of sales, it is more profitable to cooperate with smaller influencers (a statement of costs and profits). 

In this case, you should focus on higher campaign costs, if only because the creators who actually "sell" have higher rates and very rarely decide to barter.


2. Set KPIs for Influencer Marketing

If you have already defined the goal of working with Influencers, the next step should be to define the KPIs you want to achieve.

Of course, their size will depend on the budget, type of product or number of collaborations. The truth is that the more campaigns you run, the easier it will be for you to set achievable KPIs.


However, if you're just starting out, start by budgeting and then determining your ROI percentage. In the case of an image campaign, the real return on investment will be difficult to determine, but take into account that activities with influencers are usually cheaper and more precise than advertising in outdoor or traditional media.

Don't be greedy and be careful not to overestimate KPIs

One of the most common mistakes when planning a campaign with influencers is overestimating the results or being guided by the "results" of the competition. The truth is that few brands boast about real income from cooperation, showing at most the generated range or the company's income, without taking into account the costs incurred.


It will be safest if you take from a few to a dozen or so% of the income from such cooperation for losses and you will systematically strive for higher and higher profits. This will allow you to develop a cooperation scheme and type of influencer tailored to your brand.


3. Define the target group and brand presentation

The goal and initial KPIs have been set, so we can proceed to the preparation of the strategy. At this point, it is very important to answer two questions: 

  • Who are my clients?

  • How do I want my brand to be talked about? 

By determining who your current customers are (or for whom the product was created), you can easily establish your target group - but you have to be careful about the trap of obvious associations. 

For example, if you sell anti-acne products for young skin, your target group will be not only teenagers with skin problems, but also their parents. Why? Because it is often they who decide on the final purchase, especially everyday products, which kids don't want to save on their own savings. 

In some cases, there will be several target groups, which means that the campaign should be prepared taking into account several influencers with different characteristics. Referring to the example above:

  • The teenagers are best digested by the same-year-olds who will emphasize how treating acne influenced their self-confidence and acceptance, e.g. at school.

  • Parents, whose children suffer from acne, or experts (e.g. a dermatologist), who will present certificates, safe composition and effectiveness confirmed by tests, will appeal to parents better.

In this case, our influencer marketing is based on two recipients, and therefore with two messages. A campaign aimed at both parents and teenagers, with authorities tailored to them, will mutually reinforce the message. On the other hand, excluding one of the groups can significantly reduce efficiency, as it leaves a gap for the competition's message. 


The second, equally important issue is the answer to the question of how you want your products to be talked about. 


Each brand has a certain aesthetics, philosophy and features that are emphasized in marketing messages. Extracting these values ​​is crucial for influencers later to get a strong and, above all, consistent message. 

For example, if you are the owner of a brand that produces, ecological yoga clothes, you probably have values ​​close to you, such as caring for the planet, often vegetarianism, meditation, conscious choices, etc.

Therefore, if your product is combined with clothes from chain stores, at an alcohol-drenched party with hamburgers on the table, it may not reach potential customers, and will only become a nice inspiration to find in a cheaper version "made in china". A product will be received completely differently when it is shown by an influencer who values ​​inner balance, ecology and a healthy lifestyle. In this case, you will reach your potential customers who have consistent values ​​with yours and that is why they can buy an even more expensive product. 

Of course, every marketer dreams of creating a spectacular campaign that will become an unforgettable case winning industry awards. However, "at the end of the day" what counts is the profit that advertising activities have earned for your brand.


Therefore, when preparing your strategy, I recommend that you focus on the answers to the above two questions. And on their basis, create a natural, emotional sales message:

What am I talking about? (about the product) → Who am I talking to? (to influencer's target group, similar to our clients) → How do I speak? (analogous to brand communication - consistent with its aesthetics / tone of voice / values, etc.)


In my experience, influencer marketing caused a sale of inventory in the case of campaigns that were based on experiences and emotions that a given audience needs, and the product delivered them.


The average recipient is not interested in 10 additional, innovative functions of the coffee machine, which he will probably never use, and the opportunity to drink his favorite coffee with a friend, away from the family hustle and bustle.


Therefore, if you define the target audience and their problems / dreams, and then refer to the needs, aesthetics, values ​​or philosophy that are consistent with their beliefs, you will get a strong, coherent and very emotional campaign. And in the face of very strong competition and constant innovations, it is purchasing under the influence of emotions that can affect sales increases.


4. Choose channels and formats that fit your brand

If the preparation of the strategy was based on defining the audience and the way of presenting products, the next step in planning a campaign with influencers is choosing the channels.


First of all, you need to remember that the choice of the channel should depend on the typical characteristics and behavior of your recipient. First of all, it is worth verifying the size of the age group on individual platforms. For example, Instagram has a younger audience than Facebook, but older than Tik Tok.


It happens that brands intentionally decide to communicate to too young audience in order to educate and generate demand for products in a few years. Such action is great for increasing awareness and building a positive relationship between the brand and the potential consumer, but not every brand can afford to postpone the purchase even for several years.


The next step should be to verify typical behaviors and establish leading channels in a given group that will allow you to reach potential customers. In most cases, it will be difficult to limit yourself to one medium, so do not be afraid of simultaneous campaigns on 2-3 portals, especially if you have several groups of recipients.


Unfortunately, there is no recipe for choosing the perfect channel to run a campaign based on influencer marketing, but by analyzing the target group and its typical behavior, we can choose the most appropriate medium. However, it should be remembered that each of the platforms gives different possibilities and has different limitations.


5. Influencer Marketing - choose and verify with whom you will create the campaign

The last element of preparing a campaign strategy is the selection of appropriate influencers and their verification. Assuming that in the previous steps you have defined who your audience is and in what context you want to present your product, finding the right creators should not be difficult. 

Where to look for influencers:

Affiliate networks (eg LifeTube, GetHero) - a very convenient solution if we want to cooperate with YouTubers, because through several people, we have access to at least several dozen creators.

Contact with the manager is usually much faster and more specific than negotiating with the influencer himself, and tax issues are much simpler (especially in the case of minors). The downside of this solution is the high cost of cooperation, because the remuneration of partner networks can be quite high.


Portals associating people interested in cooperating with brands (eg Reachablogger, WhitePress, Hash.fm) - this is another option that greatly facilitates cooperation with influencers, especially if we focus on influencer marketing based on cooperation with smaller creators.


For a specified amount, we get a list of benefits, and their implementation is enforced by the agency. The huge downside of such a solution is often the lack of verification of the creators in terms of authenticity and the appearance of our brand on profiles that look like advertising poles. 


Managers - more and more influencers decide to hire a person responsible for their cooperation. It often happens that one person represents several creators. It is a very convenient solution when it comes to the speed of contact, all formal issues and the possibility of cooperation with various authors. However, it recommends the verification of the submitted statistics, as in the case of small organizations there are manipulations of the results.


Rankings (eg SoTrender, Jason Hunt ranking) - depending on the list, their authors use different indicators. Often in such rankings we can find "gems" that surprise with their authenticity and commitment of users. Such a solution requires a lot of commitment from us, because each time we have to contact influencers personally, verify statistics, take care of formal issues and enforce the provision of services.


Plebiscites (e.g. Joy Influencer of the Year, Hasztagi Roku, NYX Face Awards 2019) are awarded at least a few influencer awards every year. It is worth being up to date with these lists and trying to cooperate with the winners. Most often, such people gain popularity very quickly, so it is a good investment in influencer marketing based on a long-term campaign that will increase in value month by month.


As in the case of cooperation based on rankings, such a solution requires a lot of work from us, and the more media plebiscite the more competition we will have.


Monitoring tools (eg Brand24, SentiOne) are one of the most natural ways to establish cooperation. By monitoring the phrases assigned to our brand, we can easily catch disinterested product recommendations, and if such a publication reaches a large range - it is worth turning it into permanent cooperation.


An additional advantage is that the creator can communicate cooperation with the brand in a natural way, without losing authenticity. The main problem of such a solution is the need for regular monitoring of mentions, and secondly, all issues related to the verification, contact and enforcement of actions.


Remember that thanks to monitoring tools, you can also easily trace the activities of the competition. All you need to do is observe the mentions, hashtags or markings reserved for specific brands. Of course, you can do it manually and go through all brand markings, e.g. on Instagram, but using the tool will not only speed up the entire process, but also will not miss any publication.


Monitoring YT / IG lists, etc. - a good way is to regularly check the ranking of the most popular YouTube channels. In the case of Instagram, use the possibility of searching for similar profiles - this option will also work if your competition cooperates with a specific creator (by searching for accounts similar to the profile of such an influencer, we can count on finding a similar creator with an analogous audience). The downside of these solutions is that they are time-consuming in terms of monitoring, verification and contact. Additionally, in the case of YT, we may be redirected to the affiliate network.

How to verify the authenticity of influencers? 

First of all, do not be influenced by the number of followers, views or reactions because all these results can be obtained in an illegal way or manipulated for the benefit of the creator. What is worth paying attention to is the quality of engagement and followers.


For an experienced marketer, a moment is enough to conduct a quick audit of profiles and, for example, to initially determine whether a given creator is the right person for cooperation. However, if you need hard data or you are just starting your adventure with influencer marketing - use the tools!


Influtool, Socialblade or IQ Hashtags are great applications that analyze the quality of accounts of individual creators based on traffic, engagement and followers. Thanks to checking many indicators at the same time, they are able to assess both the% of real observers as well as their involvement. In addition, they track sudden increases and decreases in profile size, the activity of bots on the profile and determine the credibility of the influencer.


6. Influencer Marketing versus benefits, media plan and formalities

If we have a specific campaign goal, a developed strategy and a group of verified and interested influencers, it's time to adjust the appropriate services to individual people.


One of the repeated mistakes in campaigns is the lack of trust on the part of the client, and thus taking away the creator's authenticity. When deciding to work with an influencer, you should take into account the way in which he communicates naturally with your recipients (tone of voice, aesthetics, formats or even regularity in adding content), and then give him the opportunity to be himself.


It often happens that authors receive a detailed brief with a prepared text for recitation, as a result of which the material produced is very inauthentic and is directly associated with an advertisement.


If you care about a natural and effective campaign, treat the influencer as a partner and together prepare the scope of cooperation and the concept of activities, based on your strategy. Such a solution is usually much better, because the authors know their target group very well and are able to weave advertising messages in such a way that they are positively received. Remember that by being flexible and not imposing a rigid framework, you give yourself the opportunity for influencer marketing in the form of long-term cooperation that is pleasant for both parties.

Long-term cooperation or a single shot? 

The decision on the length and scope of cooperation is often related to the budget we have. Based on my experience, I can venture a statement that the most effective cooperation with influencers is based on long-term activities or ambassadorial contacts.


However, before you decide to sign a several-month contract - check how your clients react to a given creator and whether the effects at the beginning of cooperation promise the future.


A short-term campaign will be great if you want to verify the effectiveness of individual influencers, especially in terms of sales. Activities with a small scope of benefits are cheaper than contracts lasting several months, and at the same time allow to select from the group of creators people who have a real impact on profit.


The downside of this solution is a less authentic message and a lack of trust in the product. It is also possible that our campaign will be one of many (including competitive brands), because with one-off actions, influencers rarely agree to sign a non-competition clause.


Short-term campaigns with more creators are a good idea if we want to make some noise, for example, around a new product and reach the widest possible audience in a short time.


A long-term campaign is definitely a more effective and authentic form of influencer marketing. It has a great influence on building trust and brand image and has a real impact on the sale of products.


Of course, it is associated with higher costs, but if we have verified the creators well, we do not have to worry about the return on investment. In addition, by signing a contract for a few months with an increasingly popular influencer, we receive benefits that become more expensive month by month (here it is worth considering cooperation with e.g. prize winners) and we can count on taking into account the non-competition clause.

Mediaplan - how to prepare it? 

The preparation of a media plan is closely related to the form of cooperation. The optimal solution is to run short and long-term campaigns simultaneously. Thanks to this, we have permanent ambassadors who publish periodically, generating us ranges and sales. When deciding on such activities, it is worth preparing a long-term media plan in which, for example, we will adjust specific products to specific seasons or occasions. At the same time, when introducing new products, we can strengthen the message with short-term activities with a larger group of creators, thus putting on a "boom" range.


However, regardless of the type of cooperation, the most important element of the mediaplan is the distribution of services over at least a few days. When negotiating with an influencer, try to get the entire package of publications, preferably on several channels - because you never know which message will be the best.


For example, in the first place Influencer can prepare the unboxing of a PROWER package (e.g. for Instagram Stories), where it will express its interest in the product. The next step should be product placement in a specific context (e.g. using a cosmetic in everyday makeup on a YT vlog or another Instagram Stories) and a short comment about the product or asking if the recipients are interested in a longer review of the product. The culmination of cooperation may be a movie, photo or blog entry with the promised review. With the ambassadorial cooperation, you can consider periodic gifts for the target group - discount codes, contests, etc., which can soften the advertising message. 

Formalities

When deciding on influencer marketing, you must remember to create an appropriate contract and pay taxes, which will depend on the type of contract.


What should be in the contract: 

  • The scope of cooperation with the exact indication of individual services and places of publication. 

  • The duration of the campaign and the publication schedule, including the time for sending materials for approval. The contract may also contain a provision on the need to keep materials on the profiles for a specific period of time.

  • Number of amendments, their scope and time for implementation. 

  • Transfer of proprietary copyrights or granting a license to use the materials, along with a detailed list of fields of use.

  • Consent to use the image, optionally also to use other personal data.

  • Obligation to send statistics on published content. 

  • Optional: prohibition of cooperation with competing brands with precise specification of brands and a provision on confidentiality.


7. Implementation of the campaign

After preparing the strategy, choosing the right influencers and signing contracts, it's time to implement the campaign. Theoretically, a well-prepared brief should provide you with a good night's sleep - but it would be worthwhile to be relatively available during the activities, if there was a need for an urgent consultation or solving an unexpected problem (e.g. the courier did not deliver the products on time).


The key is the cooperation between you and the influencer and the approval of all materials before their publication. At the same time, after the publication of individual materials, be prepared to moderate inquiries on behalf of the brand and provide substantive support in answering by the creator.


8. Measuring the effects in influencer marketing

Regardless of whether you implement the campaign on behalf of the agency, or you are the owner of the brand and try your hand at influencer marketing - it is important to summarize the activities carried out. Ask all creators to send you statistics on published materials (not earlier than a few days after publication, because the content may have a longer lifespan), analyze them and compare them with sales data (if you have such an opportunity), traffic on the website or the number of followers, etc. Such action will allow you to draw conclusions and optimize similar actions in the future. 

*** 

A properly prepared campaign with the use of internet creators can bring great results - both in terms of image and sales. However, before you take up this challenge, it is worth analyzing whether it will be more profitable to delegate the implementation to an experienced advertising agency.

Influencer marketing carried out by the agency - advantages

  • Industry knowledge and experience in running campaigns with influencers. 

  • Relationships with partner networks and / or influencers, which give the possibility of greater negotiation of remuneration or terms of cooperation.

  • No additional costs related to the purchase of access to monitoring and analysis tools.

  • Substantive and strategic support for all departments of the agency (lawyer, accountant, strategist, art director).

  • Access to statistics and campaign results for other agency clients, which enables quick verification of the authenticity and effectiveness of some of the authors. 

  • Limiting additional obligations only to preparing a brief for the agency, introducing any comments and accepting prepared proposals. 

  • Failure to complete additional formalities (negotiations, preparation and signing of the contract, payment of taxes, preparation of regulations in the event of a competition).

  • Preparation of a detailed report on the activities carried out and recommendation for further campaigns.

  • Simultaneous synchronization of activities in other brand marketing channels, if these are operated by the same agency, which makes the advertising message very strong and consistent.

In-house influencer marketing - advantages

  • Full control over the course of the campaign. 

  • Excellent brand awareness, which can translate into better matching of influencers and creating a coherent strategy. 

  • No additional costs in the form of agency fees for the coordination of activities. 

  • The ability to build relationships with influencers, which may translate into costs and scope of cooperation. 

  • Live access to sales statistics and the possibility of immediate reaction if any of the activities have a particularly good impact on the results (eg extension of cooperation).

  • No need to brief the agency, introduce amendments and numerous approvals.

  • Ability to react quickly to brand mentions and conduct RTM activities (without the need to hand over products to an agency and time-consuming detailing).

  • Simultaneous synchronization of activities in other brand marketing channels, if these are handled internally.

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Urdu Soft Books | News, Articles, and Urdu Books Blog: Influencer Marketing - preparing a campaign with an influencer - Step by step instructions
Influencer Marketing - preparing a campaign with an influencer - Step by step instructions
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