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How To Launch an Influencer Marketing Campaign

How To Launch an Influencer Marketing Campaign

Influencer marketing can seem pretty intimidating. To pull off a successful campaign, you're going to need to work with the right social media influencers. So you might be asking yourself, how do I reach out to influencers? How much is it going to cost me? And is it actually going to bring me sales? Well, today I'm going to walk you through how to set up an influencer marketing campaign from start to finish. And you don't have to be a massive business to set this up. This is pretty straightforward, so let's get started.

So in a recent article that I did, I noticed that a lot of you guys left comments, wondering how to reach out to influencers, and those were actually the inspiration for this article. So thank you so much for that. And if you want to see your idea featured in my next one, make sure that you're dropping me a comment because I do pay attention to the comments.

How to build a powerful influencer marketing strategy

So these are the steps that we're going to look at and creating a successful campaign in this article. So first you're going to want to set your goal and your budget. Then you'll do some research on your influencers. After that you'll reach out, then you'll negotiate the terms, then you'll put your plan into action, and then you'll review to see if your campaign actually worked.

How to set your campaign goal

So let's look at these steps in detail. Step one is to set up your campaign goal. The first step is to ask yourself what your goal is. Why do you want to work with an influencer? Now, obviously making more sales is a big one, but there are other options that you might not have thought about. Examples of more common goals are to build brand awareness and strengthen brand image. You may also want to increase your social media engagement. Or you could focus on improving conversions like newsletter subscribers, free trial signups, and email list building.

I'm just going to use Kinda Hot Sauce as the brand that we'll be promoting.
So the first step here is to write down my campaign goal. I like to use a Google doc, nothing too fancy, and for my fake hot sauce brand, I'm going to say that my goal is going to be more sales. I would recommend that you be specific, so I'm going to set my goal to be two times my return on marketing investment.

How to define your budget

So next you'll want to set aside a budget. If you're an independent business owner, it might be really tempting to just skip this step, but keeping track of your expenses is going to help you understand whether your campaign left you in the red or in the green. If you want to pay your influencers in the product, I find it really easy to just calculate your campaign by figuring out your cost per influencer.

So let's say my average rate to ship a package is $13 and my hot sauce costs me $12 to produce. Then I can put aside $25 per influencer. Maybe I want to work with 10 influencers to start. I would recommend starting small so that you can see if influencer marketing is the right fit for your business.

You may not be paying the influencer in the product, and we'll talk about all the different ways that you can compensate an influencer later, but just make sure that you do have a rough idea of how much you want to spend at this point.

And be honest with yourself. How big your budget really isn't that important, but the important part is staying on top of your numbers to ensure that you're getting your return on your investment.

How to find the right influencers

You're going to want to decide whether you want to use nano or micro-influencers, midsize influencers, or large influencers.

So there's pros and cons to each.
Nano influencers are kind of like your black widow because their audiences don't expect to be sold to. Brands like to work with them because their audience is super dedicated and they trust them through and through.

Now the downside is that nano influencers don't usually do this for a living, so they may lack the time or the experience to work with you.

Mid-tier influencers may show great results, since at this size, they're still going to have that genuine two-way connection with their audience. Now, the only thing is that these people will likely want to be receiving monetary compensation.

And we do have to respect that because that could be the way that these people are earning their living. This could be their full-time job. Working with top tier influencers is super exciting because of their reach and their content could immediately impact your business positively, if their audience is engaged and relevant to your business, of course.

But keep in mind, as influencers grow, they do tend to lose connection to their audience and their niche might start to dilute. And also just because they have a large audience doesn't necessarily mean that their audience will convert for you.

If their audience is primarily in Australia and you don't even ship there, then their 1 million followers aren't much use to you anyway. So don't just look at the numbers.

To make sure that it's the right fit, you can ask for screenshots of their analytics so that you can look at the demographics of their audience. And you want to make sure that you're doing this no matter what size influencer you're working with.

Influencers get asked for these stats all the time, so you don't need to be shy about asking. So that's what you can expect from certain size influencers, but how do you actually find them? So you'll want to use these tools to find the right influencers.

Obviously, you can just go on Instagram type in some hashtags and search through the top section. But I don't always love that method because I find that the results are pretty limited. So what I've personally done is I use a tool called Dovetale.

How To Launch an Influencer Marketing Campaign

It's a pretty robust platform to help you find Instagrammers and Youtubers, and you can search based on specific keywords, locations, niches, and audiences. And you can even send influencers a message straight from Dovetale, which has saved me a lot of time in the past.

They normally have a 14-day free trial. Now, unfortunately, I don't think you can search for TikTok influencers on Dovetale yet. So for that, you can also check out Hypetrace.

How To Launch an Influencer Marketing Campaign

So let's say that I've used these tools and I decide on hot sauce expert Bill Moore. I'll now want to make sure that his audience is authentic.

How to validate your influencers

Outside of the numbers, you're also going to want to validate that this content creator can create the type of content that you're looking for. So to do this, make sure that you're just checking their past work. So for me, I want Bill to be able to review my hot sauces, and he has tons of YouTube videos doing that, so this could be a perfect fit.

How to reach out to influencers

So here's the part where a lot of people get tripped up because they get nervous. They don't know what to say. They feel intimidated by the fact that these people have a lot of followers, but here's a little piece of advice. The hype is always less than what you think it is. If someone has 50,000 followers and you're imagining that they're getting a hundred Dm's a day, they're probably getting only 5 Dm's a day.

I want you guys to be fearless business owners. Don't let something like a follower count discourage you, so that when you reach out, you're friendly, you're clear what you're asking and you're firm.

When I'm reaching out via email, here's what I might say.
Hi Nill. My name is Swapee. I'm the brand manager for Kind Hot Sauce. I came across your YouTube account after watching your black-eyed Susan review. I really love how in-depth you described the ingredients. After watching, I wanted to reach out to see if you'd be interested in trying our new collection. If you're accepting collaborations at this time, I would love to send you the full line for you to review in a dedicated video. Feel free to check us at kindofhotsauce.shop. If you're interested, let me know, and I'll be happy to share more details.

So let's dissect this a little.
First, we introduce ourselves, then we establish a connection. Let them know that you know who they are, and this also helps them in making it feel less like a mass email. Then we give them a genuine compliment. This helps open up the relationship and it also sets the expectation of what kind of content you'd like them to create for you. Now we want to cut straight to the chase. Tell them exactly why you're reaching out.

Next, you'll want to softly explain your expectations. So the purpose of this email is to gauge interest and gently propose a relationship. We don't give too much detail on the logistics just yet. That comes later. Let them know where they can find you. You also want to make sure that you're including your social media handles in your signature as well, and that's going to help increase your credibility since maybe this influencer hasn't heard of your brand before.

A common pitfall of an intro email is making the email too long, and making it all about you. We only really injected a little bit about us at the very end of the email, but the meat and the potatoes of this email should be about them. We want to be putting the focus on their work, and that's going to help warm up the conversation.

And don't worry if an influencer is interested in doing work with you, they will find you online and learn more about you on their own time. When I'm reaching out via DM, the tone is going to be a little bit more casual. When I'm reaching out on Instagram, I usually use a voice note because it just feels more personal and it's a great way to stand out.

I'll make sure that I'm inserting a clip here, but it's basically the same idea, just more personal. Once you find out that they're interested, the next step is to get more detailed about the expectations and the type of content that they'll create.

How to create content with an influencer

So next, you're going to want to negotiate the terms of the relationship. This could happen in an exchange of friendly emails, back and forth. It doesn't have to be anything serious like a contract, but as long as you're having a paper trail, that's enough if you're just starting out. So imagine me and Bill were just going back and forth, and this is our final agreement. So let me explain what's on-screen here.

Talk about the type of content they'll create
Maybe I want bill to make a meme and post it to his Instagram, or maybe I want him to record a video talking about our brand ethos. How about a cooking class using our products. Basically, at this point, you can also use this time to ask for specific things. So you may want them to highlight certain product features or tell your brand story.

Specific requests
If the relationship is fair in the sense that the trade-off is equal, you can have a list of requests for the influencer to fulfill. But if the relationship is skewed in the sense that the influencer is more so doing you a favor to help promote your brand, then you will have to forego some of that creative control.

At that point, you might have to tone down some of your requests. Either way, I recommend that you give them creative freedom. You chose them because you like their work in the first place. So try to trust them to do a really good job for you. Because a script usually comes across as ingenuine and stiff. So just keep that in mind, as you're working with your influencer.

You'll also want to discuss where these things are going to live. Do you want to feed post? Do you want a story post?
Maybe you want some blog content. It's really up to you and what makes sense for your business and the influencer you're working with.

Next, you'll want to discuss a timeline
If you want to see a first draft, just set the date for when that would be due, but generally speaking, it's usually enough just to have a date of when that thing would be going live.

Come to an agreement as to how they will mention you. Do you want your name to show up on screen?

Maybe you want to be tagged in the photo, or maybe you want them to include a link to your website in the description box.

Call to action
In the best-case scenario, the influencer will have a very clear call to action, like make sure you're checking out kindahotsauce.com to see their new collection. And then I might ask bill to leave a link to shop with us, to see a higher return on investment.

You'll also want to agree on compensation
If you have a budget to pay for their time, then you can just simply ask what are your rates? Or can you send me your rate card? But if you don't have a budget, there are ways around this. You can give them something of value. That's not just a simple money exchange, but just keep in mind if the roles were reversed, and if you were the influencer, would you be happy with the deal that you're about to offer them?

You could exchange products for content
This is a very popular way to carry out influencer relationships. You could exchange professional opportunity for content. So what do I mean by this? I might want to invite Bill to design a custom hot sauce line in exchange for him talking about it on his social media. So this could be a win-win because for him, it adds to his experience as an influencer. And for us, we get to add a new collection with a face behind the line.

Here's another idea. You could exchange ad spend for content.

So what you would do is you would send the influencer your product. Get them to take a photo or a video with it and post it to their social media as usual. But in this case, you would get them to send you that content, and then you would run it as an ad on your end. The reason that this works is because you're getting exposure from the content that they've shared and they're getting exposure from your ad.

If you're not a hundred percent sure on how social media advertising works, I actually have an entire article dedicated just to Facebook ads, if you're a beginner. So make sure that you're checking it out. Sometimes people fail to remember that influencer relationships at the end of the day are still relationships. So if there's respect, you're both happy with the end product, then you're going to want to continue on this relationship.

And if you're able to establish a genuine connection and you both have an emotional tie, then both of you are going to want to be more accommodating towards one another, and you're going to want to help uplift each other. Okay. So if this were real life, the bill would accept I'd ship him his package, and then he would create the content. So the next step is managing your relationships and tracking the results to see if your campaign worked.

How to stay organized and track results

Like I said, you want to start small at the beginning to see if influencer marketing is even going to work for your business, but managing 10 relationships at a time is still a lot to keep track of. If you're maintaining relationships with many influencers at a time, you can use a free tool called HubSpot. Here you can make notes of people's social media handles, shipping addresses, and when shipments were sent.

You can write down the results that the influencers brought to you here as well. And I recommend that you also input contacts that you've reached out to so that you're not accidentally reaching out to someone more than once.

So now, how do you know if your influencers actually brought you return on investment?
Well, remember in the beginning, how we said we wanted to make double our money back? I set aside $25 for a bill. Now I want to make sure that I'm getting $75 back. So to track results, I'm going to ask bill to use this special link that I made here in his YouTube description box. That way I can see how many people click the link to go buy our hot sauces.

This link is called a UTM code, a UTM code tracks, the performance of campaigns, and they're easy to make at utmmaker.com. But alternatively, I could make a special discount code for the bill, and bill could ask his audience to use it at checkout. When I see how many people use this code, I can track how many customers bill brought in. Once your campaign is over measure your results against your initial goal.

At this point, you can see if you want to work with these influencers again, and to keep those relationships going. You might also notice that your campaigns didn't bring you in as much results as maybe thought, in which case, try working with different influencers and try different types of content. Some industries will be better suited for influencer marketing and some will be better suited for Facebook ads for example.

No two industries and no two businesses are the same. So, if you find that influencer marketing isn't really working for you, then just make sure that you're keeping up to date with your digital marketing education to find those winning strategies.

Last words

All right. Congratulations on getting started with influencer marketing. I hope that it's going to bring your business that boosts that it needs, and maybe you'll make some friends in your industry along the way. Thanks for reading this article. if you found this helpful let me know in the comment section below.

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