We’re influenced every day; by friends and family, celebrities (Kim Kardashian, we’re looking at you!) and even the barista at our local café. Inspiration is all around us and, today, influencing is a profession in itself.
1. Define the objectives
Your first consideration should always be – what’s the campaign purpose, target and desired results? From there, ideate a creative strategy and pinpoint a brand aligned partner to bring the vision to life.
2. Develop the strategy
What type of influencer best suits the campaign and messaging? If you’re looking to increase awareness, drive traffic and maximize sales, consider partnering with macro influencers. To reach a target audience and create branded content, look to niche influencers. Or, if you’re seeking to build loyalty and increase market share of voice, micro influencers are your best ally. Finally, nano influencers stimulate engagement, encourage product testing and create a sense of community – all while generating repurposable content.
3. Curate the collaborator(s)
When it comes to finding the perfect influencer partner, consider these four factors: relevance, quality, engagement and authenticity. Taking a hyper targeted approach and focusing on curating a small but resonant influencer pool is typically most effective. The average engagement of an influencer is important because an engaged community represents a pool of potential consumers. Finally, a creator’s authenticity is perhaps the most important factor; their brand and content must complement the client in order to feel authentic.
4. Develop the brief
A strong brief includes multiple elements: campaign description and objectives, expectations (aka “the ask”), timeline, approval process, content rights and usages outline, and (sometimes) an exclusivity clause.
Remember – it’s important to give artistic leeway to your influencer partner; you chose them based on their quality content so don’t be too prescriptive. Also, be careful not to change your plan, strategy or objectives at the last minute. Once the brief has been approved by the client, then the collaborator – stick to it! Finally, be crystal clear about your requested rights and usages. This often overlooked detail significantly sways the budget.
5. Make the approach
Your initial influencer outreach should clearly outline the proposed collaboration. An influencer usually won’t work without compensation or for product exclusively, so make sure you’re being equitable about the work you’re requesting. Above all, be professional – contact the influencer or their agent via e-mail; no one wants you to slide into their Instagram DMs!
6. Draft the contract
Contract rookie? We got you! Here are some primary elements to include in a comprehensive contract:
- The “ask” (the influencer’s responsibilities) and “give” (what the influencer receives in exchange)
- Clauses outlining:
- Licensing and content permissions/rights (who owns the content, how it can be shared, approvals and modifications)
- Code of conduct/ethics
- Contract cancellation
- Brief/campaign details outlined in the Appendix
7. Approve the content
If you’re working within a paid partnership model, you can request content approval prior to the influencer posting. Plan ahead and specify that the content needs to be received for approval 48 hours in advance; this way, you can either approve or request changes.
8. Monitor the results
You’ve spent all this time planning out the partnership and waiting for the content reveal, which is why close monitoring is essential! It’s also key information when pulling together a wrap report and determining results and ROI.
9. Product the report
It’s time to crunch numbers! Next comes analysis, comparison, and explanation. A report should highlight campaign-relevant statistics: number of brand mentions, impressions and interactions, CPE (cost per engagement) and CPM (cost per thousand impressions). One you hit save on the final version, it’s time to sit down and present the final report to the client.
10. Process the payment
You’re not done just yet! Monitor the payment process to guarantee you’re squared with your influencer partner. Typically – and in accordance with your contract – payment is due to the influencer within 30 days of receiving their invoice. Influencers are often freelancers without the means of a large company or media outlet, so be understanding of their position. Prompt payment and clear communication are essential!