As social media becomes more ingrained in our lives, influencer marketing is picking up a lot of steam as well. People feel so connected to their favourite influencers today that they even treat them as the main source of information, advice and recommendations. This meaningful relationship has then grabbed the attention of marketers all over the world.
According to SocialPubli (2019), 93% of marketers use influencer marketing in their marketing strategy. Influencer Marketing Hub has also reported that 66% of their respondents intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2020. And merely four percent intending to decrease their budget.
If you are also hyped by this big thing and thinking to run your own influencer marketing campaign, here is our step-by-step guide to help you out!
What is an Influencer?
First things first, you must know who you will be working with: the influencers, but who are they and what do they do?
An influencer is someone who represents a specific niche or industry and has the power to influence the purchasing decisions of others with their knowledge, position, authority and relationships. They can be artists, bloggers, athletes, gamers, comedians, pop icons, models, industry experts, thought leaders or even individuals who specialise in their niche but only have a small scale of followers like micro-influencers.
To better illustrate how influencer marketing campaign actually works, here is an example of a collaboration between @mr_kenjichai and Samsung Malaysia on Instagram. You can see how Kenji (@mr_kenjichai) incorporated his expertise as a graffiti artist in this collaboration, which fits perfectly with the theme of Samsung Galaxy Note20 with S Pen as an inspiring content creation tool.
Now that you have a clearer idea of an influencer, we shall then delve into our main topic: How to run a successful influencer marketing campaign? These five steps will walk you through from planning to execution to analytics.
Step #1: Determine Your Goals and Metrics
Whatever you do, you have to be clear what it is you are trying to achieve and how you will measure the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign. Once you set your goals, you will know what metrics to look at, and eventually define the key performance indicators (KPIs) for your campaign.
Here are some goals and metrics that are commonly used for influencer marketing:
- Brand Awareness: The number of people reached, the number of mentions of your brand name or hashtag, the growth in your social media following, the engagement rate of the sponsored content, etc.
- Increased Sales: Growth in sales, the amount of sales through affiliate/designated discount codes, etc.
- Engagement: Engagement (rate) generated during the campaign, the number of mentions of your brand name or hashtag, etc.
- Website Traffic: The number of new visitors, total page views, click-through rate, referral sources, etc.
Determining your goals and metrics is always the first thing to do. It will affect your planning and strategy to launch a full-fledged influencer marketing campaign that focuses on meeting your KPIs.
Step #2: Design the Campaign
A well-designed campaign helps you to make the most out of it by creating values for your customers and accomplishing your goals. These are some of the things you should take into account when designing your campaign:
- Target Audience: Know your target audience. Without knowing who you are selling to, you will never find the right influencers. You should be able to identify some basic characteristics of your target audience like age group, gender, locations, and interests.
- Messaging: Deliver a clear and consistent message. Think of a message that creates values for your target audience, the one that makes you unique and set you apart from your competitors.
- Key Dates: Pick the dates and periods. Decide when to start your campaign, how long it will last, and when to launch your special events. Having these key dates outlined helps you to keep track of your progress, boost efficiency, and stay focus.
- Channels: Choose the right channels. You can run your campaign on more than one social media platforms, but they have to be where your target audience is. Also, they should suit the products you are selling.
- Budget: Set the budget for your campaign. The budget will dictate which tier of influencers you can work with, how many influencers you can activate, and the number and scale of your sponsored contents.
These details will also be useful when creating an influencer marketing brief that allows influencers to get a clearer picture about your brand and the campaign. It can surely save both of you some hassle.
Step #3: Find the Right Influencers
Selecting the right influencers is one of the most vital deciding factors in the success of a campaign, but it can be quite challenging. Therefore, I have summed up the 5 most important criteria you should consider during the selection process.
- Niche: The influencer should represent a niche or industry that aligns with your brand. Partner with someone who is relevant that can make an impact in your niche.
- Audience: The audience the influencer serves should overlap with your target audience. By reaching the right audience, the chances of achieving your goals will be much higher.
- Follower Count: A broader reach is preferred, but the higher the follower count is not always the better. Follower count only matters if the audience actually cares and engages with the influencer.
- Engagement Rate: An influencer with good engagement rate usually converts better. Scroll through their posts to check for their average number of likes, comments and shares.
- Profile & Content: Always strive for authentic quality content and make sure both of you share matching values. Your influencers are your brand representatives and you want them to leave a positive impression of your brand.
To put it simply, a right influencer should fit your brand and has (a good number of) highly engaged followers who are truly interested in the content they create.
You can find a list of potential influencers by doing manual research like searching on the social media platforms with relevant keywords or looking through someone’s follower list. This is the most affordable way to look for influencers, but it is way too time-consuming.
Instead, you can consider using an influencer marketing platform like Needle to help you with the influencer search. It can really save your time and even bring you better results!
On Needle, you can easily search for matching influencers with the smart filters based on industry, language, location, fee, etc. Furthermore, you can access the audience demographics from the influencer’s profile page, such as age, gender, and locations. The tool is also very useful when it comes to analysing important metrics of the influencer like engagement rate, reach per post, and likes per post. But what really sets Needle apart from other platforms is the influencers are handpicked and nurtured through workshops and consultations to ensure quality content.
Once you have completed your research and shortlisted the potential influencers on Needle, you can send them an invitation to join your campaign or create a campaign to allow influencers to apply for the job.
Step #4: Coordinate the Campaign
Now it is time to get your campaign rolling and fine-tune your collaboration with all the influencers.
Coordinating a campaign with your influencers might be more demanding than you expect. You must be clear about what you are trying to do, what your influencers are capable of doing, plan it well and keep everyone on the same page. If your coordination fails, your campaign fails.
Use the information you have outlined in Step #2 to prepare your influencer marketing brief to provide your influencers an overview of your campaign. On top of that, you should include some basic guidelines for their content creation by highlighting your expectations, requirements, and compliances.
After giving the influencers all the relevant information, it is important for you to let them do their job. After all, they know their audience the best. Trust them with the content creation and allow sufficient creative space and freedom. You should have your guidelines, but do not overly micromanage how they produce their content.
Step #5: Track and Measure the Results
Review, approve, roll out the campaign, continue to monitor until the campaign is over, your job is not done yet. The final step is to analyse the campaign results and measure your success, but first you have to make sure all the relevant metrics are tracked.
You can use the analytics tool provided by Needle to track your campaign results. Needle’s AI-powered system can compile the campaign results from all the influencers you work with on the platform. It saves you from daunting manual reporting by allowing you to generate the campaign reports in seconds and begin your analysis.
(include a clip showing the campaign results on Needle)
To find out how well the campaign performs, you will need to compare the results against the KPIs and goals you initially set for the campaign from Step #1. You should also have some of these questions in mind while doing the analysis:
- How have your metrics changed?
- What was the ROAS for the campaign?
- How did the campaign perform compared to your previous campaigns?
- Which influencer drove the most sales? Why?
- Which contents did not perform well? Why?
- Is there anything you would do differently next time?
Finally, you should be able to conclude what worked and what did not. Then, smartly utilise these data to guide your next influencer marketing strategy.
And there you go! A comprehensive step-by-step guide to create an effective influencer marketing campaign. It is not much different from designing a usual marketing campaign, but the real challenge lies in finding the right influencers, and Needle can help you with it. Sign up for FREE today and start exploring the platform!