So many brands bluff their way through influencer marketing programmes. Here are eight ways to professionalize your approach.
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:
Understanding your influencer marketing objective starts with:
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).
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scott Guthrie is an influencer marketing strategist, event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.