Running successful influencer marketing campaigns is both an art and a science. On the one hand, identifying and briefing influencers is fundamentally a creative process; on the other hand, continuously driving campaigns’ ROI up relies on a thorough workflow.
Here are five best practices to stack the odds in your favour when collaborating remotely with your team — and influencers — around influencer marketing campaigns.
Best Practice #1: brief influencers early and clearly
Being clear is not about asking influencers to compromise on their voice: being clear is about communicating to influencers what you expect so that you do not compromise on yours. The earlier you define what you need as a team, the better the collaboration will flow.
In a recent episode of The Brand Moat focusing on influencer marketing, host Julie Slater asked Whalar co-founder, Neil Waller, how much control is given to influencers on a campaign. Waller responded:
“Influencers are given a very clear brief that could have very tight parameters or very open parameters, but they’re given a very clear brief. They can say that’s for me, I think I can do a great job for that. Then they are held to account for delivering on that brief.”
If you don’t want them to make a joke about your product or brand, say it. If you need them to highlight a specific feature of your offering, let them know. If you need them to include some particular language about your collaboration, tell them.
Some influencers will be able to build a narrative around that framework, some others may find it too restrictive, but at the end of the day, you will end up with content that aligns with your business goals and brand values.
Best practice #2: share and approve brand materials upfront
You may not be able to greenlight the final piece of content that influencers will produce in collaboration with your brand. After all, that makes sense, since the very reason you are engaging in this form of audience outreach is to benefit from their credibility, which they derive from authenticity.
However, you should be able to provide influencers with creatives for benchmarking, inspiration and context purposes. Materials could be the official assets used in your product’s launch campaign or some kind of regulatory language required in your industry.
Whether you are collaborating with influencers through an agency or managing the process in-house, you want to make sure that you have a robust workflow to share and approve everything.
With the workflow, you are not looking for anything too advanced or fancy, but rather for consistency and reliability: your favorite digital asset management system (DAM), project management tool or collaboration platform are all great candidates.
Best practice #3: coordinate campaigns for maximum impact
In marketing, in general, and influencer marketing in particular, momentum is everything. Whether you are launching a new line, promoting a specific use case with your product or running a sale, you want to synchronize influencers’ messaging across the influencers you are working with and your brand communication.
For instance, earlier this year, you could see videos sponsored by Bounty on both Binging With Babish and Joshua Weissman’s respective channels with a couple of days of interval. This is a smart approach to promote the “Quicker Picker Upper” paper towels. It not only allows them to reach a wider audience by collaborating with two influencers; it also maximizes chances of repeat impressions with the overlapping audience of both channels, reinforcing their messaging.
This can be achieved easily by planning all your campaigns ahead of time in an editorial calendar, to make sure your brand story unfolds effectively, for maximum impact:
Best practice #4: promote influencer content through your channels
One common misconception is to see influencer marketing as a distribution channel, and influencers as loudspeakers for your brand messaging.
Influencer marketing indeed allows your brand to extend its reach beyond your audience and get your products in front of new eyeballs. However, before anything else, remember influencers are creators.
If you selected an influencer for a specific collaboration, you believe their editorial line resonates with yours (and vice versa), and you are happy to associate your brand with theirs. So, why not use that content and include it in your publishing schedule?
For instance, if you partnered with an Instagrammer, beyond liking or leaving a comment on their post, you could give them a shout out on your own Instagram account, @mentioning in your caption, and even linking to their post in your bio. Similarly, if you collaborated with a YouTuber, you could share their video on your Facebook Page and boost it with targeted Facebook Ads, to maximise repetition and impact.
Best practice #5: measure qualitative and quantitative response
Last but not least, once your influencer campaigns “end,” it’s time to evaluate the feedback received on content created by influencers.
You can use your favorite social media management and website analytics tools to measure how many impressions, likes, shares, comments, @mentions, clicks, conversions and new followers (for your brand) each post has generated. These metrics will tell you how well a campaign performed on the quantitative side and ideally help you calculate the ROI of your effort.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to the qualitative side of things, looking at how people reacted to a creator’s piece of content: did they find paid promotion flowed nicely into the influencer’s narrative, or did it feel forced? Did the post mainly generate positive comments or adverse reactions? Does it seem that this collaboration contributed to building trust in your brand, or did it harm the legitimacy of the influencer?
Measuring the response you get to an influencer campaign, debriefing as a team, and incorporating your insights into your next campaign is critical to continuously improving the impact of influencer marketing for your team.
Influencer marketing collaboration in a nutshell
Whether you are new to influencer marketing or have been collaborating with influencers for a while and recently started working with your team remotely, having a robust set of processes to guide your efforts is key to your success.
By briefing influencers about your expectations, sharing and approving brand material, coordinating your campaigns, promoting content created by influencers, and measuring the response you receive from their audience, you are stacking the odds in your favour.