When creating an influencer campaign it is important to understand that there are a lot of moving pieces which you will need to manage. If you are recruiting influencers and building a network, the process you go through will be much different than if you are running a campaign with influencers who you already work with. But regardless of the type of campaign you are running, there are certain steps which you need to take to ensure that it will be successful. We put together the following list that not only covers what it takes to make a campaign successful, but also the type of planning you need to do after the campaign is over to maintain the momentum.
1. Plan Ahead
Knowing what you want your campaign to be, who you want to target, and which influencers you want to include in your program will help with planning out and getting your campaign launched. Some of the major points which you need to pay attention to include: who your fans are, who your influencers’ audience is, the timeline of your campaign, and the overall look and feel of the campaign. Thankfully a lot of these steps lead into one another, and a lot of your assets, such as copy and graphics, can be reused or based off of what you already have or easily duplicated.
But, the most important factors which you need to keep in mind is that your influencers are in fact regular people. Depending on the industry which you are involved in, your influencers may not even be on the same schedule as those you interact with on a day to day basis. When sending invitations to influencers, it is important to remember that many of them may not be checking their emails every single day. In fact some may be juggling several different emails at once. When sending invitations, it is important to send your email invitations out early before the campaign begins, we suggest at least a week or two before launching, and allow them time to check their email and accept the invitation. Sending the invitation too close to the launch of the campaign will result in a lot of influencers missing the email or be too late to have a meaningful impact on the campaign.
2. Incentivize your Fans
Your fans are important. However, many brands tend to split their focus between influencers and fans which leaves their campaigns a little muddled. Whenever you are running a campaign, it is important to put front and center what your fans and influencers will receive from participating. If you are running a giveaway, it needs to be made clear what your fans will receive by participating. Whether that means entries towards a grand prize or discounts towards a single purchase, if your fans do not not why they are participating and should be engaged.
Influencers on the other hand, are there to help spread the reach of your campaign and introduce your brand to their audience. They have been recruited either from an opt-in form or through a previously existing network, and are already committed to what you are trying to do. There are many different options available when running your campaigns, and recognizing which campaigns works best with which influencers will make all of the difference. There are many options available when setting up your program, and many directions you can take when inviting, but what is most important is to understand that your fans are your number one resource, they are the ones spreading the message and entering your campaign. While your influencers are important, they are not the ones entering your campaign. Their audience is the one which you are ultimately trying to reach and the ones who you want to either hear about your campaign.
By putting your fans first, you will not only be able to drive more traffic, but also be able to give everyone a clear reason and goal for why they are participating in the campaign. You want your fans to continue to come back for future campaigns and to actively share your campaign with their friends.
3. Use Posts
Many brands are protective about their image and what can and cannot be said when in affiliation with them online, but many influencers do not generally publish content which brands would be comfortable with. This is why being able to give organic suggested posts to influencers is so effective. This is able to accomplish two things. One, as a brand you are better able to control what it is that your influencers are publishing, and two, it makes it a lot easier for your influencers to decide what to post.
By making these posts sound like something they would be willing to post you are effectively activating your influencers’ network with a single click. This is the reason that understanding who you and your influencers’ fans are so important. You want your posts to sound like what your influencers are posting. These posts should be casual and written in a way that will not involve a lot of extra editing from your influencers. If they have to edit too much, they may never schedule your suggested posts and this will severely diminish the promotion of your campaign. If the posts which are scheduled for your influencers are more organic, their fans will react more positively.
4. Use Sharing
Along with posts, which again need to be optimized to be in your influencers’ voice, it is important for the social sharing options to be customized as well. Too often brands will spend a lot of time and money to develop some great online content, but will often overlook how they expect their audience to share that content.
Many sites think that they can get away with general shares that simply include a link, which is not very eye catching and if someone does decide that it is worth sharing they may may add text which misses the point entirely. Instead, just like scheduled posts, your social sharing options need to be written in the language of your fans. This will make it easier for your fans to share without having to customize a lot of the copy, and the less that they have . Be sure that it includes an image, a link, and copy that sound like something which would appear in one of your fan’s social feeds.
5. Follow up with your Influencers
After your campaign has finished, it is always a good idea to follow up with and reach out to the influencers who participated in your campaign. The reason for this is to better understand what worked, what didn’t, and optimize your future campaigns. This type of feedback is only possible when you make the effort to reach out ask for it. You will not only be able to recognize which influencers struggled with when participating in the campaign, but also how you can make it easier for them in future campaigns. This is also a great way to figure out which influencers you would be interested in moving forward with on future campaigns or if some of your influencers will work best with your campaign types.
However, this also means that not all of the influencers who have applied and have been accepted will always be the best fit for all of your campaigns. In fact some might be best for only some campaigns while you may want to keep inviting certain influencers back for multiple campaigns.
Speaking of following up with fans, it is important to keep your audience updated on what their potential for growth with your brand. One excellent solution is to offer your audience the opportunity to become involved as influencers in your next campaign or reward your fans that have consistently been entering and coming back to your campaigns. These fans have the potential to be terrific influencers for your brand and will continue to be exceptionally dedicated to your marketing efforts.
By planning ahead and knowing what you want your campaign to be, you will be able to accomplish a lot. You will not only have a better idea of how to reward your influencers and work with them, but also have a better idea of what it will sound like when they share it. There is a lot to think about when developing campaigns, but a lot of it builds on top of one another. Having a bigger picture of the type of campaign which you want to run will not only prove more beneficial to you, but also go a long way towards making sure that your campaign reaches everyone that it needs to. There are a lot of options available when creating a campaign and you can never be too prepared.