Marketing professionals are increasingly betting on influencer marketing as a strategy for their business. According to a series of reports, agencies and brands have significantly increased their 2020 budget in this sector.
Professionalisation in influencer marketing goes beyond choosing the perfect influencer. Nowadays, other factors such as automating daily tasks in order to save time and money are taken into account. As companies see how effective this strategy is, they see the need for process automation tools that offer the possibility of working at scale.
Three ways to scale your influencer marketing activity in-house
Companies such as Nike, Adidas, Amazon or Cheerz have in-house influencer marketing departments. They give a lot of importance to this strategy, have the necessary knowledge, and influencer marketing tools that help the daily management of their campaigns. But how can you scale your influencer marketing activity in-house? Here are some points to keep in mind:
1. Influencer marketing know-how
Scale implementation begins with having the necessary knowledge of the sector. Take into account the evolution of influencer marketing as a digital marketing strategy compared to other techniques and, most importantly, know how to implement it.
Some of the knowledge that must be had before implementing influencer marketing in-house:
- Global investment of influencer marketing and study the competition: How do the budgets of other companies, or even your competitors, increase so that the market does too? What kind of social network are they investing in? What kind of influencer marketing campaigns do they carry out? How much estimate budget do they invest?
- Budget vs. actions: Once you know the budget for your campaign, you must be clear about the objective you want to achieve and the actions that are going to be carried out for it. Find influencers who have key audience data to impact your target audience. To achieve this, find an influencer marketing software that offers the main KPI’s and demographics of your audience immediately.
- How to manage an influencer marketing campaign: First, obtain the contact details of each of your chosen influencers and contact them directly. Automation can manage a large portion of the process but when it comes to dealing with influencers, the human touch is essential. Have well-developed briefings and legal documents to send to them. Ensure you have a team with the experience of managing a campaign as no two influencers are the same. Once you have managed your first campaign then the process is fairly straight forward and you start to build a network of trusted influencers for future campaigns.
Exercising comparisons between previous campaigns and knowing how to improve the data obtained is one of the keys to a successful influencer marketing strategy. In order to do this, measuring results is essential to being able to benchmark both the brand and the competition.
2. Scale actions with a process automation tool
When you have the basic knowledge of how to develop influencer marketing campaigns, the next step to scale the strategy in-house is to implement an influencer marketing tool. These type of tools facilitate the work of the team since they count on the automation of the processes. It’s the best way to save time and optimise budget and performance – just make sure you do your homework and choose the right tool.
Escalating influencer marketing within a brand requires a focus on standardisation, systematization, and co-ordination.
Some benefits of implementing an influencing marketing tool:
- Direct relationship with influencers: Communication with influencers is fluid, not automatic. Thanks to the creation and personalisation of emails of certain tools, you have direct communication with them.
- Create standard documents: You do not have to create them one by one. With automation processes, you will have legal documents or frames for any collaboration automatically in a few seconds.
- Send emails in a massive way: Although emails can be personalised, sending of emails with documents such as contracts can take time. Thanks to influencer marketing automation tools’ functionalities, you can select those influencers that you want to receive a certain email and send it to all the click of a button.
- Organise campaigns in a unique site: When creating a campaign, you can organise your workflows, such as accepting influencers and email sending. For example, you can execute actions associated with the workflow that has been established and select various influencers from validated content to be published content.
- Favorites influencers: Create long-term relationships with creative ideas that are sustainable over time.
- Automate, program, follow and direct message in social media: Not only will you be able to contact the influencers via email. You can also select the influencers you are interested in working with, write a DM directly to their social media from your brand and follow them.
- Automatically manage follow-ups to save time: The possibility to create as many emails as there are steps in the process. That is to say, you can create actions on scale according to the answers of emails.
- Influencer metrics history: To measure the result of each influencer and to extract statistics that allow us to have a historical guide. The influencer marketing tool includes the possibility of including all previous and current KPI’s. Make a comparison with different influencers.
3. Influencer marketing team and roles
Having the possibility to apply scale in influencing marketing is also a good option for communication and workflow between different teams. The control function in a marketing influencing tool is a key factor for automating processes.
It is possible for an agency to have control over what the client can access. For example, the client will be able to see the status of the campaign but not the influencer fee.
On the other hand, it is possible that within the same team, the manager has access to all the processes; the data analyst only to the report; and compliance and legal only to the contracts.
Positions that should be held within a marketing influence department:
- Manager: The leader of the department that makes strategic decisions.
- Account executive: Influencer marketing campaigns management, from the contact with influencers, content validation, to the realisation of results report.
- Data analyst: Data is the most important part of estimating campaign results. You will need to collect all of the necessary statistics from those influencers that fit the brand itself. Therefore, you should ask for a screenshot of your main KPI’s and store it in the database and assist in the preparation of the metrics report. If you have a CRM for influencer marketing, you will be in charge of managing the database of each influencer.
- Compliance and legal: More and more influencers have their own managers or representative agencies. Depending on the country you are in, there will be some regulations, so it is important to be up to date with them and apply them to the influencer contract.
Influencer marketing in-house or outsourcing?
The next question is: influencing marketing in-house or outsourcing? It depends on each case. Both options have a number of benefits.
Have you carried out influencing marketing campaigns before? Do you have knowledge of the sector? There are a number of questions that should be asked prior to creating an in-house influencer marketing department.
If you are an agency or brand that doesn’t have the right experience, the most effective solution may be outsourcing. It’s very important to know the market, what kind of objectives can be achieved, what KPI’s you are interested in and what strategies should be applied to achieve these objectives.
These are just some of the key insights that should be taken into account when planning an influencer marketing campaign. Having an external agency can help you create the strategy, planning, and management of the influencer campaign. They have the experience and knowledge to develop campaigns from start to finish, and they already have a relationship with influencers and know who gets good results and who does not.
On the other hand, outsourcing takes time. They don’t know the brand or the product as well as you do, and constant communication is necessary for them to understand how you want the influencers to communicate your product whilst always taking into account their recommendations as professionals.
However, if you have the necessary experience, knowledge, and resources, you are in the best place to create your own in-house influencer marketing team. Whether you are a brand or an agency, generating in-house strategies is always positive because communication with other marketing or social media departments is more fluid and objectives are more aligned.
No one knows better than your own company the values of the product to be promoted. There are no third parties to diversify your message. In addition, it is a good way to maintain direct contact with influencers for future campaigns and maintain a good relationship with those who interest you the most.
However, it is essential to know what influencer marketing tools the agency is using in order to ensure your results and insights are to the standard you expect and your money is being well spent.
In short, it’s an effective way to optimise your budget and resources as long as the volume of campaign creation is appropriate in terms of profits.