Next Steps: Running a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
Tuesday April 17, 2018
Last week, we shared a blog about getting started with influencer marketing. But the 3 steps we shared there were only the prep stages - here's how to run a successful influencer marketing campaign all the way through.
Step 4: Make a good first impression.
When you're getting ready to reach out to an influencer, your goal is to start a relationship with them and their brand. Whether or not they eventually do marketing for you, you want to have a good relationship with them that's mutually beneficial.
So in your introduction, mention that you like their brand and are impressed by their content. Reference specifics about their profile so they know you're not spam. During this first contact, don't go into the details of what you want from them. Just say you'd like to work with them and ask if they're interested. Here's a good example of an introductory DM:
"Hi there Jane, I'm Jill from This Company. We love your posts about gardening and nature-inspired fashion - we're huge fans of your page! It goes hand-in-hand with our brand's mission. We'd love to work with you in a marketing capacity. If you're interested, let us know and we can set up a call!"
If they decline the offer, thank them and continue to engage with their profile. Again, you'll have one more valuable business connection regardless of their response, so make sure you keep the lines of communication open.
Step 5: Deciding a payment option and amount.
There's no hard-and-fast rule for how much to pay for an Instagram post. In one study, Influence.co found the average amount for an instagram post was $271.
Keep in mind, though, that the size of the influencer's audience affects what you pay them. In general, accounts with fewer than 1,000 followers charge less for posts and get a higher rate of engagement than large accounts (15% average vs. 2.5% average). On the other hand, large accounts may charge more, but their posts may bring in better numbers. After all, 2% of 100,000 followers is still 2,000 people.
When you're deciding what to pay an influencer, try to determine the return you'll be getting from their post. Think about the value they're giving and equate the pay to that. Do some research to see what the market prices are, and leave room for negotiation. You may decide that you want to split up your campaign between influencers.
Also, you can consider options besides cash for payment. You could offer free products or services, first dibs on new products, or a lifetime discount. An affiliate program might also be an attractive deal, where you pay the influencer based on the results of their post. Non-cash payments may be more manageable for you if you're a very small business, but the market is already flooded with these kinds of offers. Make sure you're offering real value for the influencer and don't insult them with an unreasonably low offer.
Step 6: Publish content and track results.
Once you've decided on how to pay your influencer, now it's time for them to make their posts. Now is the time to give them the packet you created with example content from your profiles and any hashtags you want them to use. Also, be sure to comply with FTC guidelines. Normally, compliance can be as easy as asking your influencer to use #ad or #sponsored in their post.
But make sure you give them free reign to create their own content for these posts. Influencers know their audience - that's why they're influential. Their original content will reach their audience better than content you control. Plus, content they completely create will feel authentic to their audience and coherent with the rest of their profile. So give them creative freedom and trust them to represent your brand well.
Once your influencer makes their post, you should also promote the campaign on your profile. Track the results of the campaign with UTM codes and Instagram analytics. You'll want this info to determine whether the campaign was worth your money and whether or not to do it again. But the influencer will also want the info so they can improve their effectiveness and have statistics for other businesses who may inquire about partnering with them.
Step 7: Keep up the relationship.
The real value in what influencers offer you is a relationship with them. Once a campaign ends, it's easy to lose touch and you may not think you need to keep in touch. But it's important to let your influencer know that you value them for more than the money they bring you. Regram their posts, give them shoutouts, like and comment on their content. That will let them and your mutual audience know that your business is about genuine connection and mutual value.
We hope the two posts in this series have given you the tools and inspiration to get started in influencer marketing. It's not simple, and you need to be purposeful in your strategy. But it can be incredibly profitable and rewarding. Now, what will you do to take the first step into influencer marketing?
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