According to Instagram, 87% of users report that influencers have inspired them to make a purchase.

In the crowded space of social media today, businesses and brands are looking for ways to reach their audience that is engaging, authentic and effective. You’ve heard the term influencer marketing buzzing around but you don’t exactly know what it is or where to start? Follow our guide below for tips on how to create a successful influencer marketing campaign that’s right for your business.

1. Set Campaign Goals & Budget

Planning an influencer marketing campaign can take a lot of time and resources, which is why this first step in setting up your campaign goals can be so critical. What do you hope to achieve through this campaign? Is it sales, is it awareness, is it because you are launching a new product line? 

Your goals and objectives will determine how you proceed with planning out your influencer marketing campaign. Which influencers you want to work with and how you collaborate with them will be dependent on your specific campaign goals.

It would also be wise to setup a budget and appropriate KPI’s during this first step so you can track your ROI and know exactly what you’re working with when it comes time to choosing influencers and creating contract agreements. For example, if your primary goal is to increase sales, one of your KPI’s would be to track revenue. But how do you know what sales came from your influencer marketing campaign rather than general web traffic? This is why you need to plan out your campaigns in advance and we’ll touch base on it in step 4 of Reach Outs and Campaign Coordination.

2. Connect With Your Audience and Select Social Media Platform(s)

In order to sell to your audience you have to fully understand them and their thought process when it comes to making purchasing decisions. If you haven’t already done so at some point in your business, do a deep dive into your audience demographic and psychographic to determine their behaviours AKA ultimately what can “influence” them to follow a brand or make a purchase.

What social platforms is your audience primary on? Consider the industry you’re in and your campaign goals from step 1. You wouldn’t use a TikTok influencer if you were a professional B2B service provider primarily on LinkedIn and vice versa.

Each social channel has their own set of audiences. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube…etc. all attract different types of users. Does it make sense to focus on an omni-channel approach or capitalizing on 1? These are the types of details to iron out within this stage of planning.

3. Choosing the Right Influencers

You’ve made it to the meat and potatoes of your influencer marketing campaign! This is the most important and timely step when it comes to influencer marketing. Choosing the right influencers can literally make or break the success of your campaign.

Research and discovery of influencers can be done through manual research, 3rd party social media tools and/or going through your existing followers. Manual research is done by searching relevant hashtags or keywords appropriate to your business and/or industry and finding accounts that may be a right fit for your particular influencer marketing campaign. Look through tags, places, similar accounts or even followers of competitors to find potential influencers to work with. The biggest question here to ask is “who is your audience engaging with”.

You could also try finding someone that is already following you. They would be loyal to your brand and already know your products so you know it will be a genuine connection and one that has potential to succeed.

Some additional questions to ask when considering what influencer’s to use are:

  • Does it make sense to be using a micro (less than 10k) or macro influencer (over 100k)?
  • Is their content in line with my brand or campaign message?
  • What is their audience analytics and how engaged are there followers? 
  • How often do they post and what type of content does well?
  • What previous collaborations have they been a part of?

Asking influencers for their media kits upon doing research and choosing which accounts to work with will help you answer most if not all of the questions above.

4. Reaching Out and Campaign Coordination

Once you figure out which influencers you want to work with and that are right for you, you’re ready to reach out to them in hopes of a collaboration. The most traditional way to do so is via Email as it keeps all messaging formal, professional and all within 1 thread to reference.

Another form of contacting influencers is directly through DMs, but if you’re utilizing this method, keep it short and move the conversation to Email if there is interest. Personally I love to send an initial DM to connect, asking for their Email for further communications. This way you can always keep this potential influencer within your roster for future campaigns as well if the current one does not work out.

If all is well and accepted, this is also the stage where you would develop campaign guidelines, create contract proposals and ultimately finalize a campaign together. It should be complete with expectations, specific deliverables, timelines, any fine print in regards to compliancy and written compensation or rewards. Going back to our example of if your campaign was created to increase revenue, within your proposal you could provide a unique discount code specific for that influencer to encourage sales and that way you can track it’s success in step 5. 

Always send contracts and proposals via Email (not DMs), once it has been signed and accepted you can plan to launch your campaign.

5. Measure Results and Debrief

Lastly, now that your influencer marketing campaign is ready to launch or well on its way, it’s time to measure it’s results.

A successful influencer marketing campaign can offer lasting benefits for both the business and the influencer by providing exposure to both related parties. Look back at step one when you determined your budget and measure it against relevant KPI’s dependant on your campaign goals. 

Once your influencer marketing campaign is officially over, it could be beneficial to debrief with your internal marketing team to discuss whether or not it was worth your while, what succeed, what you could have done better so that your next influencer marketing campaign can be even more successful.