Have you ever seen your favorite Youtuber or Instagram account promote a product?
Chances are you have. You might have even purchased a product. After all, they’re a trusted authority in your life. Why wouldn’t you trust their opinion?
More and more, brands are understanding that this new style of marketing, called “influencer marketing” or influencer campaigns, has tremendous potential for selling and growing a business.
More often than not, a message or promotion looks better coming from an influencer, or a content creator with an audience.
The problem? These campaigns can backfire, and when they do, the message seems inauthentic. The audience sees right through the content to the sales message. So how do you do it correctly? How do you make sure it doesn’t blow up in your face?
Slow down — that’s why we’re here.
Let’s talk about how you can start creating and implementing outstanding influencer campaigns.
Wait, Why Should I Use Influencer Campaigns?
With Internet media and content, there’s a growing connection between audiences and content creators.
People who follow Instagram accounts of people they enjoy, watch Youtubers they connect with, or religiously read blogs trust the people who run these accounts.
The influencers themselves are connected to their audience in the same way.
That being said, influencer campaigns use that trust to create brand awareness and promote products. Why? Because it works. Turns out, people are more willing to engage with a brand when it is promoted by someone they trust.
In this guide, we’re going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to plan and execute your own influencer campaigns.
Step 1: Figure out your campaign first
You might want to start emailing influencers immediately. You need to fight that urge.
Influencers have indicated that they don’t like having terms changed randomly or new requests added on a whim. They want a concrete proposal so they know what they’re promoting or marketing. Without this, your campaign is doomed.
So take a step back and figure out what you want to do. Some questions you can ask yourself:
- What product am I promoting?
- What platforms do I want to promote on?
- What’s my “angle?”
Once you’ve got these things figured out, you then need to…
Step 2: Research social platforms
Different platforms and influencers have different kinds of reach and based on your product or brand. This means you might not do well on certain platforms, but could dominate others.
It helps to research previous influencer campaigns to see what kinds of campaigns work on Youtube, Instagram, etc.
Take, for example, the makeup world on Youtube. Many beauty vloggers do makeup tutorials, so their platform is naturally suited for showing off visual products. If you reached out to a beauty vlogger for, say, a brand of skateboards, they might not be enthused.
It’s also important to realize that not every platform works identically. If you choose an influencer, it’s a bad move to have them do a blanket campaign on all their social media. Audiences of different media won’t always respond favorably to a copy-pasted message across all channels.
You need to understand how their content works first before you decide where you want your campaign to go.
Once you’ve figured out your platforms…
Step 3: Choose your influencer(s)
This is probably the hardest part about conducting influencer campaigns, ironically enough.
First off, we have to fight the urge that tells us that the biggest audience = the biggest reach. There are studies that have actually proven this to be incorrect. In fact, small influencers (called “micro-influencers”) show better brand engagement numbers.
They feel authentic, and their time is put into their content. That means they are likely to work harder to bring an original, creative message that doesn’t compromise their identity (or your brand’s). Research shows that influencers with anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 followers are putting up great results.
Then comes the scary part: reaching out.
The main thing that you should not do is send a canned, unoriginal message. Influencers want to know that you’ve chosen them for a reason, not just for their follower count.
Do some research on their channel or account. Figure out what kind of content they make. Next, you should use that information to personalize your message. If all else fails, you can get some help finding influencers to market to.
It’s also important to frame it like a proposition. Make sure they understand that they can say no. You’re just putting feelers out, that’s all.
So let’s say that you’ve secured some influencers.
Step 4: Take your hands off the wheel
We mean, sometimes you have to just let go and let the influencer work their magic.
There have been numerous influencer mishaps where a lack of creative control makes the message seem too forced.
Remember, influencer audiences know the influencer. They know what they would say and do, and they can also pick up when an agenda is being pushed.
It’s tough to do, we know, but…let go of some control.
You need to give your influencers the room to create content that their audience will enjoy. Doing this will yield better results and a better relationship between your brand and the influencer.
That’s not to say you just walk away completely. Talk to the influencer. Figure out what works for both of you. You don’t want a tightly-controlled message that leads to an Instagram fiasco.
You’ve done the campaign, and you have some new consumers. Great! Now what?
Step 5: Follow through
Don’t turn off your new fans by being impersonal and hard to reach.
The reason influencer campaigns work is because the influencer is introducing their audience to your brand. Once this is done, you need to keep that conversation going.
Engage with them, answer their questions, offer them advice. Give them the customer service they were promised.
Curious about getting started with influencer campaigns?
Contact us, drop a comment below, or get a free quote. We know producing videos and campaigns can be tough, but it sure doesn’t have to be. Let us help!