You’ve got a great product and you know your market is hot. Next step: connect the two dots with influencers to reach your target audience! Working with influencers is a great idea to increase brand awareness and sales no matter what size brand you have. If you’re brand new and have no audience, influencers will give you a voice and help you reach your target market. If you’re larger, influencers can improve your credibility by lending you authentic, unscripted voices.
Knowing that influencer marketing can skyrocket your brand and actually working with influencers to get results are two different things. Spoiler alert: the exact plan you create is going to depend on the specifics of your brand, so there are no hard and fast rules here. Instead, this guide will take you from concept to campaign creation so you have a roadmap to connect to and work with your next star no matter what your brand structure is. Get your notebook out, it’s time to make a plan.
Step 1: GOALS
Each campaign you run should have a limited number of products that you’re pushing. Depending on the structure of your brand, this could be several items which are each at a different price point or serve a different section of your audience. It could be your new or updated offerings for the season, or it could be a single high-ticket item that you’ll be selling for either a longer period of time or in a highly limited release.
Sales goals are only one example, and from most reports, it isn’t even the most important. Most brands are aiming to reach new customers and build brand recognition. You can measure these goals by new followers and increased engagement rates, or you could measure the number of shares your posts are getting. Increasing brand awareness is a great way to get more potential customers communicating with you as well, so you may gain valuable feedback that can shift the trajectory of your campaigns and future products.
Step 2: STRATEGY
No matter what sort of product structure your brand has, keep your campaign limited in scope so your marketing can stay focused on what you want your customers to buy. Choose an appropriate sales target based on previous performance and market projections, or how many of each item you would like to sell, broken down into daily metrics so you can compare sales year over year. The more data you track, the better you can understand what’s working…and what isn’t. Fortunately, most platforms have robust data tools so you have a lot of information at your fingertips.
Create a timeline of your campaign, from the preparation work that needs to be completed all the way through the launch and, if applicable, recurring evergreen content and sales. Smaller brands will have timelines that are weeks or months, whereas some large companies will be planning a year or more in advance.
Step 3: INFLUENCER BRIEF
This is how your influencer knows what kinds of posts you’re expecting, what your goals are, and what the campaign timeline is. Prepared brands will have a standard brief that talks about the brand’s values and origins, and a section that they update with each campaign with new products and campaign guidelines. This prepares your influencer with your expectations and ensures you get the content that you’re looking for. If you haven’t made an influencer brief yet, head over to this handy guide.
This is also a great place to reiterate the 3 R’s of great social media influence: Relevance, Reach, and Resonance. These factors combine to increase your organic engagement rates and create new fans for your brand. The benefit to using influencers in this regard is that you gain their authentic voice and style as part of your campaign, which is significantly more powerful than ads from a marketing team.
Step 4: SOCIAL MEDIA PULSE
To be effective at social media marketing, it’s important to understand the platforms that your influencers will be posting on. Not only that, but influencer posts aren’t the only things you should be sharing. Your brand should have an internal set of guidelines for brand posts, such as tone, colors, style, etc. Plan regular posts from your brand’s official account and keep your content fresh, exciting, and engaging. Interact with your followers by replying to comments, and thank your social customers for posting about your products.
Your brand’s posts will also tell you where the most active members of your audience are. This is where you will get the most bang for your buck when you decide which influencers you want to work with, or you can choose influencers that post on other platforms to expand your reach.
Step 5: DECIDE AND ACT
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into understanding where your ideal customers are, and where your audience is most likely to make purchases. It’s time to choose your influencers. Smaller brands will usually work with only a few influencers, whereas larger brands may either be working with many smaller influencers or just a few celebrity names. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, if this is your first campaign working with influencers, your best bet is to just go for it!
Connect with an influencer that matches your brand’s values and get them on board. If you’ve followed along with this guide, you have all the steps you need, and working with influencers will give you the experience to make your campaigns even more powerful.