In recent years, influencer marketing has emerged as a highly effective tool for startups aiming to boost their awareness, engagement, SEO, and sales. With 61% of consumers confirming that they trust influencer recommendations over branded social media content and 93% of marketers already using influencer marketing in their campaigns, it is safe to say that an influencer’s sway cannot be underplayed.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through how you can run an influencer marketing campaign in North America with tips on;
- How to develop an influencer campaign strategy
- Sample influencer charges
- Influencer marketing agencies and platforms
- How to find and vet influencers for your brand
- How to structure your collaboration with influencers
How to run an effective influencer campaign for your start-up
1. Identify your target audience
Consider factors such as demographics, interests, and values to understand whether your audience is, in fact, on social media platforms, following influencers.
An important note here, influencers are not just on Instagram; we also have Youtube Influencers, and LinkedIn influencers. If you know your audience well enough, follow their trail, and they’ll direct you to their favourite influencers.
2. Define your objective and metrics
Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or boost sales? Define the key metrics you want to achieve through this process at the beginning because it defines the entire campaign from here on.
If you want to generate leads, you would need to design a collaboration that allows potential customers to be redirected to a lead gen form. If you want to boost sales, you must design campaigns that share coupon codes or UTMs leading customers to make traceable purchases.
3. Research and shortlist influencers
Conduct thorough research to identify potential influencers who resonate with your brand and target audience. Look for influencers with authentic engagement, a strong following, and a track record of promoting relevant content.
There are 3 ways to go about researching and shortlisting influencers:
- In-House: If you have a marketing team, you can handle everything in-house, from selection to negotiation to execution.
- Influencer Agency: You could also consider hiring an influencer marketing agency. They generally already have relationships with influencers. This may considerably reduce your research and communication time because agencies have defined rates and direct access to their influencers on call or message.
Influencer agencies also help you design and optimize content ideas, product shipments, payments, and tracking.
If you don’t have an in-house team, an agency could be the right choice to manage the campaign for you, end to end.
Here are some Canadian Influencer Marketing agencies you can consider:
- Influencer Software: A new wave of influencer marketing marketplaces has launched recently, where the software does part of the work, and you can do the rest. You can use the marketplace to find, filter and start conversations easily. You can even pay them directly through the marketplace.
This is a good option if you have single-person teams or small teams where they need the tech to speed up their work. You will still hold the creative reigns but can leave some of the tracking to the platform.
Here are some Influencer Marketing platforms you can consider:
4. Evaluate influencer fit
Once you have a shortlist of potential influencers, assess their fit with your brand values, messaging, and aesthetic. Consider their content style, tone, and the values they portray to ensure a seamless alignment with your brand identity.
5. Set a campaign budget
Barters are not very common with influencers who have a large reach. Influencer marketing is a huge business. Data from Statista found the North American industry alone was worth almost USD $4.14 Billion in 2022.
Based on your campaign objective, your budget can vary. Factors such as the size and reach of the influencers and the deliverables you expect from them can impact their charges. There are primarily 4 types of influencer categories: Nano, Micro, Macro & Mega.
Influencer Marketing Hub helps us understand ballpark pricing for different categories of influencers in North America based on their follower size.
6. Define campaign deliverables and negotiate the deal
Create a clear proposition for the influencer. It should have the following:
- Talk about your objective for the campaign.
- Specify the desired deliverables, like sponsored posts, product reviews, giveaways, or live event appearances.
- Outline content requirements, posting schedules, and campaign timelines. Ensure that the influencers understand your expectations.
- Negotiate terms like payment, feedback timelines, number of edits, and copyright usage of their content for your ads, websites or other marketing collateral.
- Add a fail-safe in case they miss their deadline, put out content without approval, or ghost the campaign.
7. Create compelling content guidelines
Once the deal is closed, always start with detailed content and campaign guideline. This should typically be a presentation with the following information:
- Introduce them to your brand with all the relevant brand assets like a description, product images, product descriptions, and website links.
- Provide them with your brand guidelines – colour themes, fonts, language
- Provide them with a detailed brief of the campaign-specific messaging points, creative direction, and references of videos or images for look and feel.
- Add in do’s and don’ts – especially if you’re particular about how your brand is represented.
Here are some templates you can use for your next campaign!
8. Monitor and measure results
Throughout the campaign, closely monitor the performance of the influencers’ content. Track key metrics such as engagement, reach, website traffic, conversions, or sales. Use this data to evaluate the campaign’s effectiveness and make any necessary adjustments.
9. Foster relationships
Building relationships with influencers can lead to long-term partnerships and brand advocacy. During and after the campaign, nurture the relationships you’ve made by engaging with the influencers’ content, offering exclusive opportunities, and seeking their feedback for future collaborations.
In today’s digital landscape, whether we admit it or not, influencers can make or break a campaign, and in some cases, alienate your core customer. Remember when Youtuber MKBHD revealed the truth about Esocabar? Their ability to sway opinions, shape trends, and engage audiences is undeniable. As a result, developing a well-thought-out influencer marketing strategy is paramount.
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