Breaking into Influencer Marketing: What to Do (And Avoid) Before Your First Campaign

Breaking into Influencer Marketing: What to Do (And Avoid) Before Your First Campaign

Immaculately-curated lifestyle images on Instagram, parenting advice from trusted bloggers, firsthand videos from a test drive at the race track – online influencers share content that speaks to their unique audience and creates a lasting relationship. With traditional online advertisements battling ad blockers and fighting to prove the ROI of banner ads, brands and agencies have turned to influencers to reach audiences eager for fresh content.

Not only can influencer marketing reach an engaged audience, but it can also increase consumer trust and credibility in the process. But creating a successful partnership with an influencer involves more than throwing ad dollars at the newest Instagram celebrity. Break into influencer marketing by following these critical steps, and avoid the common pitfalls of first-time campaigns.

DO set specific goals you want to achieve by partnering with an influencer.
Content created by influencers can lead to conversions by greatly impacting awareness, engagement, brand and perception-shift metrics. However, tracking conversions with influencer campaigns can be difficult if the campaign isn’t planned to perform that way from the inception. Custom coupons or influencer-specific landing pages can accomplish this, but must be considered in the planning stages. Influencer marketing may be exciting in theory, but setting concrete KPIs and goals in the planning stages is necessary for executing successful campaigns.

DON’T chase the latest internet celebrity.
The temptation to ride the buzzy coattails of Snapchat’s new It Girl is real, but misguided. Not only are new media celebrities often overpriced, but their content can also pale in comparison to influencers who have built loyal audiences ready to engage with each new post. Campaigns tapping multiple influencers for the same budget can also provide more branded content and increased opportunities to engage your audience. Of-the-moment stars may also be a poor brand fit; a reality star may have the personal brand and audience to partner with a new wine product, but has little to offer a bank promoting 401k rollover services.

DO know your audience.
While Facebook users skew older, new apps like Snapchat court younger audiences. Twitter is popular among literary enthusiasts; Pinterest boasts a heavily female user base. Distinguishing the target audience for a campaign will help determine which platform provides the best opportunities, and can even determine which influencers provide the strongest partnerships. Keeping your specific target audience at the forefront of every campaign enables influencers to create original content that speaks to consumers and translates the value of your brand.

DON’T let influencers run wild with creative and contracts.
Established influencers have a track record of high-quality content and create lasting brand relationships that build their credibility. But that doesn’t mean you should cede all creative control over your marketing campaign. Establishing expectations, look-and-feel guidelines, and individual campaign elements is crucial. Clear timelines, production budgets, revision procedures, and final approval agreements protect your brand and allow influencers to focus solely on creating beautiful content instead of evolving contractual details.

DO set up the framework for your campaign to succeed.
A well-timed Instagram campaign with multiple influencers can generate a tidal wave of incoming traffic to a retailer’s site, but could result in a destructive flood if the site’s servers aren’t prepared for the increased traffic – or if the site lacks mobile functionality. Before creating a partnership with an influencer, ensure your brand is set up for the results with the necessary hardware and appropriate assets.

DON’T be overwhelmed by influencer marketing.
Connecting directly with your audience by providing them thoughtful, engaging, useful content is an exciting and cost-effective opportunity! Navigating this opportunity can be daunting. Seek out an experienced partner to smooth the process of sifting through thousands of potential influencers to find the few that speak to your audience, handle contracts, and anticipate unknowns. Federated Media’s team of content strategists can helm the ideation and creation of any influencer campaign and offer deep knowledge of successful influencer partnerships geared across every vertical or brand objective. Set goals, determine your target audience, and create long-lasting relationships with the help of a trusted partner who can guide your campaign and provide access to established influencers and high-performing content.