INDUSTRY GUIDE TO INFLUENCER MARKETING: AGENCY
They say that planning makes perfect. Maybe that’s not exactly true when it comes to marketing campaigns. But, planning definitely puts success closer in reach. Define your campaign thoroughly now so that you make better decisions down the road.
As an agency, the first step to take when setting up influencer marketing campaigns is to understand the brand you’re working with. Sit down with them to discuss their campaign objectives and to get to know their brand mission and products. Get a feel for their culture and their aesthetic style.
Some brands, especially small businesses and young startups, may not be well-versed in the world of influencer marketing, and it’s your job to guide them. Ask them questions like:
- What do you want out of this campaign?
- What values are important to your brand?
- How would you describe your brand’s personality?
- What is the unique selling proposition of your product or service?
- What are you prepared to offer influencers in terms of incentives?
- Do you have any specific timeframe to work with it, like a product launch or holiday sale?
- How long do you want the agency to handle the campaign?
- What are your limits as a company?
That last question is a bit vague, and could apply to finances, creative services or simply manpower. For example, global e-commerce can send out more packages to influencers, and more quickly, than a local boutique. It’s important for both brands and agencies to be aware of these limits so that you can strive for realistic goals.
After all, you are the influencer marketing expert in the relationship, and when working with clients who don’t have experience with the strategy, you may be faced with unrealistic expectations. By getting the brand to do a bit of self-reflection, or by sharing some of your wins and missteps, you can help manage expectations, and avoid misunderstandings or disappointments later on.
In tandem with defining the campaign’s goals, you also have to establish its target audience. Who is the campaign directed at? Where are they from? What do they like to do, what are their interests? Ask the brand if they have market research or other insight into who these people are.
Knowing the target audience’s age, gender, location, language and top interests will be important later on. These qualities will direct your influencer discovery, and they’ll also come up when you evaluate influencers’ audience metrics.
Next, determine which social network is the best venue for the campaign. For example, if you want to target American teenagers, Snapchat or TikTok may be best, as they were the two most-used networks among that demographic in 2020.
In connection with the above two points, start thinking about what type of content would work best for this campaign. Does the target audience respond better to photo or video content? How much and what type of content is feasible given the budget for incentive?
Some types of content are more expensive than others. For example, Instagram stories take less work to produce, as they’re only visible for 24 hours. Influencers therefore charge less than posts, which are always visible on their profiles.
Ask yourself what other content ideas you can use, keeping in mind the campaign budget. Giveaways, takeovers, live streams, tutorials, Instagram guides...each content format has unique benefits and challenges in influencer marketing.
Also, the influencers you work with may have their own ideas. It never hurts to have a general content strategy in place, but start priming the brand now (especially if they’re new to influencer marketing) that content creators may have a better way to express the message. Giving influencers creative freedom is paramount to achieving authentic campaign content. They best know their audience, and therefore how to communicate the brand’s message to them.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are observable metrics that you can measure to track your progress in working toward a goal.
Some common KPIs in influencer marketing campaigns are:
- Impressions on influencer-created content
- Interactions with influencers’ branded content
- Clicks on certain links
- New followers on social media
- Referral traffic to the brand’s site
- Sales acquired through influencer profiles or discount codes
- Defined conversions like sign-ups on the brand’s site or downloads of content
- Content created by the influencer for performance
Choose which KPIs you’ll use to track the campaign’s progress, and make sure you have a system in place to capture that data.
For agencies, the marketing proposal is their plan for the campaign that they present to the client. Put your best foot forward with this document, because you want to impress the brand. If you’re not sure what to include in a proposal, visit our Definitive Guide to Influencer Marketing, Chapter 1.4 Creating a great proposal.
Explain any details related to your agency, as well. How will you charge the client? How will you handle the campaign throughout its lifecycle? Briefly lay out a schedule and methodology, so your client has the chance to ask any questions or raise any concerns.
That being said, you are the expert, and the brands came to you for a reason. So if they express unrealistic expectations or ideas that digress from their objectives, wield your experience and expertise to keep the campaign grounded in reality.