So many brands bluff their way through influencer marketing programmes. Here are eight ways to professionalize your approach.
KNOW YOUR OBJECTIVE
Always start with the end point in mind. How are you going to be able to measure whether the influencer marketing programme is a success if you don't first qualify and quantify the objectives. This opening phase essentially answers questions like:
- Why are we doing it?
- What exactly are we doing and where?
- How will we know whether or not we’ve done it?
Understanding your influencer marketing objective starts with:
- Knowing who you want to influence (usually customers but often wider stakeholder groups)
- Articulating what the client wants to achieve
- Determining how this work fits into your client’s bigger communications and business strategy
SELECT MOST RELEVANT INFLUENCER
SELECT MOST RELEVANT INFLUENCER
Identifying and then selecting the most appropriate influencer starts with articulating what you’re aiming to achieve. That is why it is so important to work with your client and articulate exactly what the objectives are for this piece of work.
Then decide whether the best-fit-influencer is someone who is a subject matter expert within your category or whether to choose an influencer who resonates with you target audience.
I written in-depth about this process and created the 4S Filter for successfully identifying and choosing the most relevant influencers by searching, surfacing, screening and ultimately selecting the right social influencer(s).
SCREEN OUT INAPPROPRIATE INFLUENCERS
This phase provides you with a safety check. It’s the step where you vet influencers. In the identification and selection phase, you will probably have used third-party tools to do the heavy lifting finding influencers based on keyword search based on algorithms. In the screening phase, you’re checking for:
- An authentic match with your client’s brand. Does the tie-in feel natural? Ensure it's not contrived in terms of content, values, and tone of voice
- Consistent content creation which resonates with your target audience prompting shares, comments, and likes
- No close relationships with competitor brands
PUT A CONTRACT IN PLACE
Make sure you get what you’ve agreed with the influencer in writing. Get a contract signed. This is also an opportunity to remind the creator about their obligations for meeting disclosure regulations, too.
DEVELOP A CREATIVE BRIEF
The contract now negotiated, work together with the influencer on the creative brief. Use this phase to remove any ambiguity with the influencer on what content is to be created, the creative look and feel, the flow and the key messages to be conveyed.
Don’t bind influencers into a straightjacket, though. Brands turn to influencers because they want their stories to be told with an authentic voice. Often, however, they also think they can control the message via influencers.
Influencers know their audiences. They know what their audience likes – and what it doesn’t care for. They’ve built a following through hard work. Consistently posting quality content which resonates with their following and they engage with that following. Trust your digital due diligence phase and learn to let go.
DISCLOSE THE COMMERCIAL ARRANGEMENT
Make sure your influencer discloses your commercial arrangement effectively. It's the right thing to do ethically, commercially and legally.
The economic value of content is zero unless it is seen, shared and acted upon. Different metrics and methods for measurement can be used to define your success depending on your influencer objectives.
Use different influencers with different messages at different parts of the simplified sales funnel of awareness, consideration, decision depending on your call to action appropriate for that phase.
REVIEW, REFLECT AND LEARN
Make time for a wash-up session as soon as possible after the influencer project. This is the opportunity for the team to come together and to answer questions whilst the details remains fresh in everyone's minds.
Don’t’ ask what went wrong. Do ask: ‘what could have gone better?’ Let improvement, not failure, be the guiding principle.
There may have been no mistakes made but areas you would do differently next time to improve the process. Capture this.