6 Things to Do Before Starting Your Influencer Marketing Campaign - Seasoned Influence - Influencer Marketing For Food Companies

6 Things to Do Before Starting Your Influencer Marketing Campaign

If you’ve reached this page, you’re probably pretty new to influencer marketing. You, like many other marketers, are probably hoping to take advantage of the success of influencer marketing, intending to make it a larger part of your overall marketing strategy for 2018 and beyond. But before you start your next—possibly your first ever—influencer marketing campaign, you want to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success. “What do I need to know,” you may be asking, “before starting an influencer marketing campaign?”

Well, we’re glad you asked! Here’s our checklist of the 6 main things you need to work on before you ever contact influencers, send out product, or draw up contracts.

Identify Goals

No doubt you’ve got some goals in mind already, but it’s important to be clear and explicit about what they are. Having well-defined goals is crucial to informing your campaign strategy and measuring the success of your efforts. Think specifically about what you’d like influencer marketing to do for you that other marketing strategies may not cover right now. Influencer marketing is well-suited to many marketing goals, but choosing one or a few to focus on will go a long way in helping plan and execute the campaign (and future campaigns to come). So take some time to ask yourself some of the questions below to really nail down your focus.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Do you want to generate branded content?
  • Do you want to increase brand awareness?
  • Do you want to promote a new product, sale, or giveaway?
  • Do you want to encourage user-generated content?
  • Do you want to improve brand reputation?
  • Do you want to rebrand?
  • Do you want to improve your social media presence and account followers?
  • Do you want to reach a new audience?

Identify Target Audience

Your target audience will no doubt inform and/or be informed by your overall campaign goals. Knowing who your target audience is will be crucial when choosing what social media and/or other platforms to focus on and which influencers to work with. It may also influence other aspects of your campaign, such as the budget or how you plan to track your success.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Who buys your product already?
  • Who might benefit from your product but isn’t buying it yet?
  • What genders, ages, socioeconomic statuses, interests, professions, personalities, etc. will you go after?

Establish a Budget

starting an influencer marketing campaign; establishing a marketing budget

This one is common sense for any marketing department. You need to know how much you’re able to spend so that your efforts are targeted, allowing you to implement your campaign strategy with confidence. Your budget will influence your campaign strategy and vice versa, so it’s an important piece of the puzzle to establish early on. Even if you make changes to your budget over time, it’s advantageous to explicitly define expectations as early as possible.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Will you be doing this in-house or paying an agency to help? (Need help deciding? Check out our article on the in-house vs. agency question.)
  • How many influencers are you hoping to mobilize? What kind of content are you looking for, and what is your budget per influencer to compensate for those deliverables?
  • What percentage of your overall marketing budget are you willing to devote to this specific strategy?

Establish Your Campaign Strategy

Here when we say “campaign strategy,” we mean the nitty gritty practical details of how you’ll implement the campaign. There are tons of different ways to do influencer marketing, and whether your hope is to push the envelope or rely on more traditional strategies, there’s a lot to think about before you can really get started. Be thoughtful about where you want your audience to encounter content about your brand, what type of media you want that content to be presented through, how you will create mutually beneficial arrangements with influencers, etc.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • What platforms will you focus on?
  • What types of influencers will you go after?
  • How will you compensate those influencers?
  • Will you pay to boost influencers’ posts?
  • Will you create long-term or short-term contracts with influencers, or no contracts at all?

Determine How You Will Track Your Goals

starting an influencer marketing campaign; tracking your campaign success

One place marketers often struggle when it comes to influencer marketing is tracking ROI. Don’t leave these considerations for later; determine early on how you will track the success of your campaign. Take stock of the tools at your disposal and make sure they are set up to provide precisely the insights you need.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Will you give influencers a coupon code or affiliate link for their followers to use?
  • Will you measure increase in site traffic or number of purchases?
  • Will you track new social media follows/likes/mentions?
  • Will you pay special attention to the source(s) of traffic to your site?

Create a Workflow

Nothing ruins a good plan like bad workflow. No doubt you’ve seen the truth of this fact first hand at least once or twice already. It may seem tedious, and you may still need to work some things out as you go, but make sure someone is accountable for every individual step of the campaign process and that everyone understands how the process works before ever implementing it. This is the best way to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and ruins your best intentions.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Who will reach out to influencers and how will they do it?
  • Will you need spreadsheets to track potential and confirmed influencers?
  • Who will be responsible for maintaining spreadsheets?
  • Who will be responsible for paying influencers and/or sending out product?
  • What is your timeline for each individual step of the process?

In Summary

No matter how eager you are to dive into influencer marketing (and you should be!), it’s important to go in with a plan, and a clear set of goals and expectations. Before you ever reach out to influencers, take a step back to ask yourself some of the questions we’ve listed above. And if all this leaves your head spinning, shoot us an email! We’d love to help mobilize influencers for your brand.

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