By now you’ve realized that influencer marketing campaigns can drive real results for your brand. Working with creators can help you achieve your goals whether you want to increase brand awareness, boost customer loyalty, launch a new product, or drive revenue. But influencer marketing campaigns are not one-size-fits-all, they should be designed and personalized to your needs. That said, there are industry-wide best practices that marketers should know in order to get the most from their campaigns.
This guide to running influencer marketing campaigns will offer expert tips on how to successfully execute every important campaign milestone. You’ll learn how to streamline your influencer campaign processes and get practical advice on how to hire influencers, nurture partnerships and generate high-quality content that drives results.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Steps to running an influencer campaign
- Tips for influencer recruitment
- How to master influencer outreach
- How to create an influencer contract
- How to get more value from your campaigns with whitelisting
Steps to running influencer marketing campaigns
While each influencer marketing campaign is unique, most will follow the same set of steps. Having a clear idea of your campaign timeline and the process you need to follow will help the smooth running of your influencer marketing campaign.
It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture once your campaign has started, so we have put together a handy influencer marketing campaign outline to take you through each of the key influencer campaign milestones.
1. Define Your Strategy
You should begin by making some important choices that will guide the rest of your influencer marketing campaign. This includes setting your overall campaign goals. Your aims will dictate the direction of your influencer campaign, so it’s a key decision to make up-front. Know what you are working towards, and be as specific as possible. That will make it easier to measure your success at the end.
2. Choose which tools will help you deliver your influencer marketing campaign
Running an influencer marketing campaign requires a significant amount of time and energy. Using manual processes for influencer recruitment and campaign management can be a huge drain on resources, especially if you are looking to scale your influencer campaigns. That’s why investing in the right influencer marketing and automation tools can make all the difference.
3. Create a campaign to match your goals
With your goals and strategy in mind, you can decide which type of influencer activation is the most relevant for your campaign. At this stage, you should consider when you will run your campaign? Perhaps it is a seasonal campaign where you will tap into shopping events like back-to-school or holiday shopping?
You should also consider what type of content you need influencers to create. Do you want product-review videos for YouTube? Maybe you want your influencers to create a product-themed TikTok challenge. Or perhaps you want to work with influencers to drive sales of your summer line by offering promo codes with a 10% discount?
4. Recruit influencers
Firstly, you should decide which channel(s) you’ll use for your campaign based on your audience, content niche, and formats. Then you can focus your influencer search to find creators active on those channels.
Using your influencer selection criteria you will be able to choose the influencers who are best suited to your campaign. You should analyze an influencer’s follower count, audience demographic, fake follower %, sponsored content saturation rate, and engagement to decide which influencers offer the most value for your business.
5. Agree on the terms of your partnership
Before you dive into content creation and publishing, you want to take enough time to effectively onboard your influencers. This can involve setting out the terms and conditions of the campaign in a contract. Signing an influencer contract or agreement is a good way to ensure that expectations are clear to both brands and influencers. It also builds trust by showing transparency and mutual commitment to upholding the terms of the partnership.
In addition, creating a campaign brief is vital to communicating the key information and expectations for the campaign. It’s your chance to outline the aim of the campaign, content formats, timeline, brand values, campaign assets, and dos and don’ts. Sharing a detailed brief makes sure that the influencer is fully prepared to deliver on the campaign goals.
6. Content production and validation
The next crucial step is to enable content creation. This could include sending products to your influencers or distributing promo codes. You should allow a couple of weeks for content production before your expected publishing date. Agree with your influencers beforehand if you want to review and validate content before it gets published.
7. Measure campaign performance
In order to decide if your influencer marketing campaigns have been successful, you need to measure the performance of your influencers. Upfluence offers a performance dashboard that tracks engagements, clicks, and sales generated as part of your campaign. Viewing the results of your campaign will help you decide which aspects to keep and which to change for your next campaign. You will also understand your overall return on investment to help you decide if the campaign has been a smart way to spend your marketing dollars.
How to hire creators for your influencer marketing campaigns
We’ve seen an overview of the steps it takes to run a campaign. But it’s worth diving deeper into influencer recruitment. After all, without influencers, there’s no campaign.
Whether you’ll be hiring influencers for the first time, or you want to expand your current influencer program, you should follow these key steps to recruit influencers.
List your influencer selection criteria
Have in mind which location, industry niche, and the type of influencer you’re looking for. Knowing your criteria will help you to create an influencer shortlist based on the creators who are most suited to your campaign.
Decide what compensation you will offer to your influencers
Have your offer ready to go so you can include it in your initial outreach message to entice influencers to participate in your campaign.
Choose your method of influencer search
Conduct your influencer search using an influencer marketing database such as the one available with Upfluence. Alternatively, you can do a manual influencer search using search engines and social media platforms. Consider recruiting influential customers as brand advocates for your business. Upfluence’s influencer matching tool can help!
Send your first outreach email
Write a message that introduces your brand and campaign. Don’t forget to include details about how you will compensate the influencer for taking part.
Send a follow-up email if needed
Follow up with your priority list of influencers. If you don’t have enough positive responses, consider widening your search criteria.
Negotiate the terms of your agreement
Agree on the expectations and compensation associated with your influencer marketing campaign
Share the campaign brief
Get your influencers excited about joining your campaign by sharing the creative brief. It should include all the campaign details and guidelines for content production.
Create and sign an influencer marketing contract
Consolidate your agreement by signing a contract that protects the interests of both parties and ensures transparency about expectations.
Influencer outreach: what, why, and how
Once you’ve identified your ideal influencers, outreach is the next hurdle you have to jump to successfully launch a new partnership. Get it right, and congratulations, you have a new collaboration! But, get it wrong and you’ll delay kicking off your influencer marketing campaign. You can avoid wasting valuable time at the start of your campaign by having a clear influencer outreach strategy in mind. This guide will equip you with everything you need to deliver effective outreach at scale.
The goal of influencer outreach
The goal of your first outreach message is to introduce your brand and get your influencer interested in taking part in your campaign. You don’t need to share every detail in your first message. Instead, briefly explain your products and values, then give an overview of your campaign and what compensation you’ll offer. This gives the influencer enough information to decide if they want to learn more, without overwhelming them.
How to reach out to influencers
You can reach out to influencers via social media apps and DMs, but this will take you more time as you’ll need to write every influencer individually. You might have decided to manage influencer contact information and outreach manually to keep track of messages and replies in a spreadsheet. This may work if you’re contacting a very small number of influencers, but if you’re expanding your influencer program you’ll quickly get lost trying to track the progress of your outreach manually.
What to include in your first outreach message
- An introduction to your brand and products
- Show how the influencer’s content aligns with your brand’s values.
- Make an offer, and show the value you can bring to the creator.
- Outline what you’re looking for from the influencer, such as the number and format of the posts expected.
- Give clear instructions for the next steps and provide contact information and a deadline if there is one.
These are the basic elements of your first outreach message. You should use them as a guide to creating your own personalized version for each of your influencer marketing campaigns. You might need to prepare a follow-up email too. If you’d like some additional inspiration you can use these tips and influencer outreach templates to help.
Influencer contracts & agreements
Influencer contracts are becoming increasingly commonplace in influencer marketing, and for good reason. As the industry matures and becomes more standardized, influencer contracts are an important tool to set out the terms of your agreement. Influencer contracts benefit both the creator and the brand by cementing their commitment to successfully carrying out influencer marketing campaigns.
What is an influencer contract or agreement
It is a written agreement that is signed by both parties that sets out the terms of the campaign. These will include clauses for the following: compensation, expectations, exclusivity clauses, content ownership, non-disclosure agreements, and grounds for termination.
Why do you need an influencer contract
Just like any other professional partnership, a contract protects the interests of both parties. It makes expectations clear which helps to build trust and nurture working relationships. It’s an important way for both creators and brands to show their commitment to upholding the terms of the campaign and carrying out their side of the agreement.
How to create an influencer marketing contract
An influencer contract should contain the following elements:
- The name, address, and contact information of your company and the influencer.
- Expectations about campaign deliverables.
- A reminder to comply with the FTC guidelines which state how influencers should declare when content has been sponsored by a brand.
- Timeline for content approval.
- Content ownership clause if the brand wishes to reuse influencer-generated content after the campaign is finished. Should state for how long and for what purposes the brand can use influencer content.
- Publication timeline.
- Campaign reporting, state if you need additional analytics data from your influencers.
- Exclusivity clause if you require that the influencer does not undertake any other paid collaborations while your campaign is running.
- Payment amount, method, terms, and conditions.
- Grounds for termination of the contract.
- Signature and date.
Influencer whitelisting is the number one strategy for brands to amplify the results of their influencer marketing campaigns. It allows brands to reuse influencer-generated content across additional marketing channels, including paid media.
Reusing high-quality influencer content that converts in this way helps businesses to reach new audiences and increase overall conversions!
What is influencer whitelisting
When influencers grant brands access to their social media advertising account this is called ‘whitelisting’. The process allows brands to run social media ads promoting their products using the influencer’s content and profile. Whitelisting takes your brand-influencer partnership to the next level. It helps brands to maximize conversions generated from influencer content created as part of the original campaign and leads to better-performing social ads. Creators also benefit from increased visibility beyond their social media followers. Whitelisting also allows them to do paid collaborations with brands while reducing the amount of brand content posted to their organic social media feeds.
Why try influencer whitelisting
Influencer whitelisting offers benefits to both brands and influencers. It’s a great strategy to try with your best-performing influencers as part of a long-term partnership. In order for whitelisting to deliver the best results possible, you should prioritize working with your top influencers to run whitelisted ads.
Benefits of whitelisting for brands
- Reach new audiences based on your influencer’s followers.
Whitelisting allows you to target lookalike audiences that match the demographic of your influencer’s audience and are therefore more likely to convert.
- Better performing ads lead to lower ad spend.
Reusing influencer content that has a proven track record of performing well will lead to top-performing ads. Influencer content is authentic which makes it more relatable and easier to engage with than typical corporate social ads. This makes it more likely that your ads will naturally perform well. The algorithms on social media will reward ads that are already performing well by showing them to more users on the platform, naturally boosting ad reach without the need to increase your ad spend!
- Brands will experience a higher ROI.
Whitelisting is a fantastic way to reuse influencer-generated content. By focusing on repurposing content that has already been paid for, brands can save money on content creation. Content amplification helps brands get additional value from content that has already been created, thus increasing the return on their original influencer investment.
Benefits of whitelisting for influencers
Influencers will grow their audience thanks to increased visibility on their chosen social media network
Whitelisting targets an influencer’s lookalike audiences which helps creators reach new people who are interested in their content niche and would be interested in following the influencer’s account. New algorithms have made it very challenging for influencers to grow their online audience organically so whitelisting is a great way for many smaller creators to increase their online presence and in turn attract more followers.
Influencers can avoid the oversaturation of their organic feed
When influencers begin posting too much sponsored content to their social media feed it can have a negative impact on their engagement rate and overall performance metrics. Influencers are popular with their fans due to their authentic storytelling and personal style of communication. Therefore if a creator’s feed becomes overcrowded with brand promotions, their followers will start to engage less and the influencer’s overall performance will decrease, making it difficult to secure future brand partnerships. A good way to avoid this is influencer content whitelisting. By publishing content from brand partnerships via paid advertising (whitelisting), influencers will be able to find a better balance between the branded and organic content shared on their feed.
In this guide, we’ve shared everything you need to know about running influencer marketing campaigns. This guidance will help you to effectively manage every step of the campaign to ensure you reach your goals.
Building strong processes from the start will help you to deliver successful campaigns time and again while nurturing long-term influencer partnerships that will help you to grow your brand.
Don’t forget to refer back to this guide for best practices and top tips to help you maximize success with your influencer marketing campaigns.