The Definitive Guide to Influencer Marketing
Like most things in life, marketing campaigns rarely pay off if you don’t put in the hard work beforehand. In order to have great results, you have to approach your campaign from a strategic perspective from the very outset. And that starts here, with campaign definition. Keep reading to learn all about the types of campaigns that exist, how to create a marketing proposal, and more.
When you’re defining your campaign, there are a lot of things to consider. We’ve created a list of important aspects of influencer marketing campaigns to help you get started.
This is the most important thing to define: what do you hope to get out of this campaign? These are some of the common goals of influencer marketing campaigns.
Raising awareness is particularly important for new brands, or brands that are transitioning into a new market or industry. People are more likely to buy from a brand they know or which has been recommended to them. Influencers can help boost awareness by promoting your product in a way that seems natural and which their audience is more likely to trust.
If awareness is about how many people know your brand, brand engagement is the customer experience on social media. On Instagram it’s measured by likes and comments. The right influencer can wield an emotional connection with their audience to build an emotional connection with your brand. Also, don’t forget to invite your fans to participate in your brand! Encourage your followers to mention you or use branded hashtags. This is a win-win for you and your followers: they feel more involved, and you get organic exposure.
Sometimes, influencer marketing is a great way to supplement your own content marketing. If you strike deals with influencers that allow you to use their content, you can achieve both an ambassador and a content creator at the same time. Just remember to define your aesthetic and outline your content guidelines. This way, if you work with multiple influencers, you’ll end up with content that is visually and thematically cohesive.
Whether you’re looking for sales, sign-ups or app downloads, conversions are when you convert leads into completions of your campaign’s objectives. For example, if your goal is to increase sales through your collaboration with an influencer, the conversion might be a purchase made using that influencer’s discount code. Although it’s tempting to think otherwise, conversions aren’t necessarily the best type of objective for every campaign. It all depends on your brand, where it’s currently at, and what it needs.
Influencers can generally be classified into five tiers based on their number of followers:
Nanos usually have high engagement with their audience, as they have fewer people to manage. Although you risk the chance that they may be inexperienced, you can usually close a deal with them for product alone. And they’re especially useful for collaborations based on products of low value, such as mobile phone cases.
Considered experts in their fields, micro influencers generally have great engagement and audiences who trust their voices. They are a great way to enter a niche market, and they’re more experienced at collaborating with brands than nano influencers. As long as you’re asking for a reasonable number of posts, you can usually close a deal with Micros for product alone. And if they do ask for a monetary fee, it won’t be much.
At this level, influencers start to get more professional. They’re likely transitioning their social media accounts from a hobby into a full-time job. As a result, Mediums usually ask for a monetary fee in addition to product, and some might already have a manager. Their engagement is generally good, even if it’s lower than that of nano and micro influencers.
Macros are full-time, professional influencers. They’re no strangers to frequent collaborations, and some may even have their own product lines with partner brands. They create polished content and have great reach. However, you’ll see that engagement starts to drop off in this tier. Be prepared to offer both product and a fee for their services. Managers may also drive up the influencer’s fee by about 20%.
“Mega influencer” is basically another way to say celebrity. These are the top of the top, whether because they’re famous outside of social media, or because they’ve grown their profiles to celebrity status. Their content is top-notch and they have professional managers to organize their feeds. But keep in mind that their followers are less-focused and represent a wider range of interests. Followers may also see mega influencers as less authentic than their smaller counterparts. Mega influencers are costly and have low engagement, but their reach is unrivaled.
There are two main paths to social media fame:
These influencers became known because of social media, where they used content creation and commitment to make a name for themselves. They continue to rely on their social media accounts as a way to make money, whether as a full-time job or side gig. In any event, one thing is true: they’re generally receptive to collaborations with brands.
Creators can often be found working in categories like beauty, fashion, food, fitness, or travel.
Think Cristiano or Rihanna, personalities that are famous for their work outside of social media. They usually have huge followings, which are acquired indirectly because of their fame and not purely based on their content creation. They’re more expensive than Creators in the same follower tier, and they’re usually less receptive to collaborations, as social media isn’t their primary source of income.
Personalities can often be classified as actors, musicians, athletes, artists, or writers.
Every channel is a bit different, and some are better suited for certain campaigns than others. Instagram is the most popular platform overall, with most campaigns including it in some way.
Whatever your brand, product or goals, Instagram is an overall great platform to market on. With various media types, clear captions, easy-to-access likes and comments, as well as a wealth of users and data, the social network offers something for everyone.
As a video-based platform, Youtube is great for unboxings, how-to’s, explanations/reviews, and capturing experiences. Youtubers can help give life to your product while also explaining any complex or elaborate details.
Especially relevant among Gen-Z, TikTok is a rising force in influencer marketing. Its short-form videos are great for quick and to-the-point marketing tidbits, such as food demos, makeover before-and-afters, travel tips, video lookbooks, or challenges.
In this guide, we primarily focus on how to run a campaign on Instagram. But most of the information included herein is transferable to other channels.
Instagram offers various content formats, each with its own advantages.
While they generally get more impressions when compared with stories, posts require more effort on the part of the influencer. Therefore, collaborations built around posts may be a bit more expensive. Posts are great for when:
- The product is visually appealing, like clothes or makeup
- You plan to repost the influencer’s content to your own account
- You want to do a giveaway
As they disappear after 24 hours and don’t occupy a lasting place on an Instagram profile, stories are easier and more comfortable for influencers to produce. They’re great for unboxings, product tests, or explanations/reviews that need a more personal touch. Stories are also particularly useful for:
- Products that don’t have a very high value
- Driving traffic to your website through the Swipe Up feature
- Products that don’t easily lend themselves to content creation, like tissues, and whose product placement may be more natural in stories than posts
Similar to Stories, video allows for a more detailed explanation of a product or service. However, unlike Stories, videos offer better quality and more editing options. You can upload short videos as posts, or longer ones to Instagram TV, which is a standalone app from Instagram you can download for free. Videos can be useful for:
- Showing off an experience, such as a music festival, which is better captured through the
- Complex products that require a visual and/or verbal explanation, like a personal shopping dynamic motion and sound provided by video service, which may not be easily explained via posts.
Instagram Live is similar to Stories/Videos, but it allows the audience to actively participate in what the influencer is experiencing. It also requires spontaneity on the part of the influencer, which can lend itself to authenticity. IG Live could be perfect for:
- Product Q&As with the audience
- Live events that followers would want to experience first-hand
Instagram’s newest feature has a format very similar to TikTok, making it ideal for the short-form videos we mentioned above. As Reels only allows you 15 seconds to share your message, it’s not the best format for things that need a lot of explanation. But the tool could work for branding or for when you want to make a visual impact in just seconds. It’s particularly well-suited for industries like fashion and beauty, whose products are designed to catch the eye. Try Reels for:
- Quick demos, like recipes or beauty tips, that can show off your product
- “Trailers,” quick videos to introduce maybe a tourist destination or restaurant
- Visual montages, like video lookbooks or makeover before-and-afters
In addition to considering the type of media you want for your campaign, you should also think about any specific type of content that you’d like to use. As technology advances more each day, the creative possibilities are near endless for what you can do to show off your product or service.
The audience gets to see a product exactly how it is when shipped and opened for the first time. The influencer’s candid impressions are key here. If done well, unboxings can generate trust in your product, as potential customers get to experience it without any visible manipulation from manufacturers or marketers..
Ever-popular on Instagram, giveaways allow you to raffle off your products on an influencer’s profile. This content normally generates likes and comments for you and the influencer, although that engagement may not stick once the giveaway is over. In any event, giving away free stuff is a great way to boost interest in your brand. You could even follow up with winners to see if they’re interested in doing a review.
Everyone loves to save money, and you can create influencer-specific discounts to help incentivize sales in a more personal way. Also, the links or coupon codes you use will help you track the success of your campaign later on.
How will you pay your influencers? Remember that incentives can be monetary or non-monetary.
This is an excellent way to pay influencers, especially those who fall in the nano or micro tiers. Also, it’s usually the cheapest way to collaborate, as the cost is just the cost of production and potential shipping.
If you plan to repost an influencer’s content, mention that during negotiations. If you’re a big name brand and you give an influencer exposure through your profile, that could be included as an incentive.
Negotiate a one-time fee and pay it through an invoice, PayPay, or another method that is secure and registered. Make sure you have a record of the payment.
CPA is a commission-based model that pays influencers based on how many acquisitions they generate for your campaign. Your campaign defines the acquisition based on your objectives, but some common examples are sales, registrations to your site, or newsletter sign-ups. CPA can be measured by tracking links (utms), coupon codes, or other pieces of data unique to the campaign.
Many influencers may not be inclined to accept CPA alone as payment for the collaboration, it can be used alongside product or a flat fee to create an interesting and attractive incentive package. You could perhaps offer a flat fee a bit lower than normal plus the commissions gained through the CPA strategy.Here are two examples of how CPA could work in a campaign:
(1) Fixed rate on an acquisition - Imagine your campaign wants to increase sales at your clothing website. You could offer an influencer $5 on every sale generated through the links on their profile.
(2) Variable on an acquisition - In the same scenario, instead of offering them a fixed rate, you can offer them something like 5% on every sale. If a customer just spends $10, the influencer only gets $0.50. But if another customer spends $300, the influencer will get $15.
Another important way to define your campaign is by its duration. Are you pushing your marketing at a certain time of year? Is it seasonal? Do you want something long-term? There are two main types of campaigns:
In this type of campaign, influencers market your brand on a recurring basis. It may be more expensive, but you’re also getting a lot out of it. First, you have constant contact with your target audience. Second, recurring influencers start to turn into brand ambassadors. And third, as the same influencers create content for your campaign throughout the year, you end up with aesthetic consistency, which helps visually identify your brand more easily among followers.
An example of a recurring campaign is Kiwoko, a Spanish pet store. The brand works with pet influencers on a recurring basis to help promote different seasonal product launches, like summer and Christmas. In between, it focuses on other events going on in the stores, like pet adoptions. When managing a recurring campaign, just keep these points in mind:
- Choose an experienced and reliable influencer
- Understand that you may need to adapt the campaign to changes or new needs
- Diversify the types of media used in the campaign so it’s not too repetitive
- Consider working across channels to reach a larger audience
Want to learn more about how Kiwoko uses long-term collaborations to their advantage? Check out our case study, How Consistency Helped Kiwoko Get 1.9M Impressions on its Summer Vibes Campaign.
Sometimes you may want to focus your marketing efforts on a specific event or holiday. Maybe you want to launch a special campaign for Black Friday, or one that revolves around Coachella. One-off campaigns can also be useful for the launches of products that don’t easily lend themselves to a lot of content creation. For example, a company that makes refrigerators may not have enough content to market throughout the year, but a one-off campaign could help announce a new product when it’s released.
One-off campaigns have more of a surprise factor, and may lead to unforeseen results. If an influencer mentions your brand once and never again, the collaboration might seem inauthentic. Or, their audience may forget you soon after the mention.
On the other hand, one-off campaigns offer room for discovery. You might get to know a new influencer that works well with your brand and who you can go on to form a long-term partnership with. One-off campaigns can also help you test the waters of new markets before making a bigger commitment. In any case, track your results and keep an open mind when analyzing them, and you may learn something new that you hadn’t anticipated.