7 Steps in Planning and Executing an Influencer Marketing Campaign
While scrolling through social media platforms, you may have seen people creating interesting content about a product or brand, endorsing a specific product/service, and receiving great traction or engagement on their post. These are often influencers with a high following on social media platforms and have specialised knowledge and skills in a particular niche and industry. As a result, they can create an influence on their audience and hence are chosen by brands to promote their products/services.
If you’re a brand that wishes to know the steps you need to follow while planning and executing your next influencer marketing campaign, read on! This blog has all the relevant information to help you.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a type of social media marketing that utilizes endorsements/mentions about the brand from content creators regarded as experts or knowledgeable people in a specific niche. For example, a fashion & lifestyle influencer may be considered an expert in fashion styling and creates content in the form of images, videos, product reviews, tips, how-to-videos etc., which creates an influence on her follower base. Therefore, she may be approached by brands who wish to promote particular fashion products like cosmetics, jewellery, handbags, apparel, footwear, etc.
Influencer marketing is a growing trend, with a lot of acceptance amongst brands and hence a rapidly growing industry. In fact, according to Research and Markets, the influencer marketing industry is expected to grow to $84.89 billion by the year 2028.
Steps involved in planning and executing an influencer marketing campaign
We’ve explained the 7 steps involved in planning and executing an influencer marketing strategy in this blog.
Determining the objective
While devising any campaign, the first step is defining the objective that we may want to achieve. For example, Reach, Engagement, Affiliations, Leads, etc. Only when the goal is clear can we define the metric to measure the success of this campaign. For example, in the case of influencer marketing campaigns, the most common objectives are Brand building and driving sales. Some measurement metrics are:
Determine your target audience
To make any campaign successful, one needs to establish a connection with its target audience. Hence, the first step of the influencer marketing campaign planning process is determining its target audience. Some things brands must take into consideration include:
a. Location of their audience
b. Likes and dislikes
c. Brand behaviour and buying patterns
d. Identifying social media platforms that your audience is active on
As a part of the campaign planning process, we also need to define how many people we want to reach through this campaign, how many we may want to engage with and the number of people to whom we wish to offer discount coupons/free products through the specific campaign.
Set a budget
Once a brand has defined the target audience, the next step is to define a budget for the influencer marketing campaign. Once we have the budget and the outreach number is determined, we decide the type of influencer we will need to hire and the social media platform we need to leverage. Brands must ensure the budget is sufficient for them to receive substantial results.
Brands may opt for the following pricing methods to determine the estimated budget: (cost for influencer marketing)
a. Cost per Engagement: This refers to the number of likes, shares, and comments generated in the influencer marketing campaign.
b. Cost per Click: This refers to actions taken when the customers interact with influencers, like clicking on a specific link in an advertisement.
c. Cost per Acquisition: This refers to the number of sales or leads generated by executing the marketing campaign.
d. Cost per Deliverable: While striking a deal with the influencers, the cost is calculated based on the relevancy of the influencer's profile, followership, and what deliverables in the form of content pieces they are committing to deliver.
Research suitable influencers
Once the target audience is determined, and the platform is identified, brands need to ensure that the influencer they shortlist for the campaign can relate and connect with your product and the audience. Hence, they must research suitable influencers relevant to the product category, brand, and campaign. Then, the brand must evaluate these influencers based on whether they have been a part of such campaigns for similar brands and consider their following, reach, engagement rate, views, etc. An important factor to consider here is to evaluate the kind of content each influencer creates and whether their audience engages well with such content.
Furthermore, influencers may have their maximum followership at a particular platform. Hence, evaluating them platform-wise is also an important decision. For example, an influencer may have an excellent presence and following on Youtube, but not on Instagram, which is the brand’s desired platform.
While researching suitable influencers for a brand campaign, brands need to consider which type of influencer they wish to engage in their campaign. There are broadly 3 categories of influencers: macro-influencers, micro-influencers, and mega influencers. These influencers are categorized based on the number of followers they have. Micro-influencers have the lowest follower count, macro-influencers have a comparatively higher follower count than micro-influencers, and mega influencers have the maximum number of followers.
a. Micro-influencers: Micro-influencers have a small fan base, but are approached by brands who have small budgets. Micro-influencers have followers in the range of 10,000-100,000 followers. These influencers post brand-relevant content and some micro-influencers’ content may be specific to a city. Local brands may use micro-influencers to reach their target audience.
b. Macro-influencers: Macro-influencers usually focus on a specific category, like lifestyle, blogging, etc. They have followers in the range of 100,000-1 million.
c. Mega influencers: Mega influencers are people with a high level of credibility who have more than 1 million followers. If a brand wants to create buzz for its brand, it can engage a mega influencer in its marketing campaign.
Whenever planning an influencer marketing campaign, it’s always advised to have a mix of micro, macro and mega influencers in order to create a buzz in all three areas of the strata in which they have their influencing power.
Decide communication message
A campaign must focus on a specific message/ communication the brand wants to communicate with its audience. Hence, a brand needs to formulate the message around which they will ask the influencer to create content. For example, a new restaurant in town may wish to spread brand awareness and hence ask the influencer to create content in the form of a visit to the restaurant and create a review of the overall experience along with the different dishes, hospitality, environment, and interiors. Here, a brand may want to promote a specialty dish like noodles that will be a part of the influencer’s content.
In campaigns where the objective is to drive sales, and the influencer is being shared revenue for the sales they bring in, they are given a unique code that the audience may use to make the purchase. This helps measure how many conversions a particular influencer brought in for the brand, and is often also called affiliate marketing.
Contact influencers and share campaign brief
Selecting appropriate influencers for a campaign is the key to success in such a campaign. Hence, prior preparation needs to be done to start reaching out to the influencers. For this, an initial reach out can be done via the platform or their email ids available on their profile. Once interest is received, a brief of the campaign needs to be sent to these influencers, which will talk about the brand, product, messaging, and the type of content that needs to be created. Once the influencer confirms this, the company will wait for the content to be shared by the influencer, and then launch the campaign.
Refine strategy based on results, & pivot for next campaign
The brand may have planned and executed your marketing campaign, but it’s still important to revisit the marketing strategy from time to time. Hence, they must look at their influencer marketing strategy based on their results from the marketing campaign. For example, if a brand launches two campaigns in Hindi and English and the Hindi campaign performs better than the English campaign, they will ensure that their future campaigns are in Hindi to ensure that their campaigns are successful.
A few important things to keep in mind while planning an influencer marketing campaign are:
a. Define and set timelines with influencers for delivering the content
b. Payment terms
c. Clearly define the type of content the brand may require
d. It is important to clarify the number of rounds/repetitions to reshoot the content until the brand manager is satisfied with it
The influencer marketing industry is constantly evolving. As a result, brands will need to keep their strategies up-to-date with the changing times. By reading this blog, we hope you’ve better understood how to select a relevant influencer marketing icon, determine brand messaging and costs for influencer marketing campaigns.
Let’s Build Brands is a marketing agency in New Delhi helping firms create marketing strategies for their brand. If you wish to learn more about the services offered by Let’s Build Brands, head over to this page.