I’ll tell you right off the bat that I’m no influencer marketing specialist, but I have been around and worked with bloggers since 2012 and I have had my fair share of encounters with today’s influencers. And, from just talking to them about the campaigns they were involved in, I got a sense of what seems to work and what not.
So, I put together what I believe are some very common sense tips and tricks on how to have a good business relationship with an influencer and a successful influencer campaign. I underline the fact that this is my own opinion, from my own experience, feel free to correct me or add to the list in the comments.
- Research, research, research – As with everything in marcomm & online, I strongly believe research is gold. Need I mention you should search high and low for the influencer that BEST SUITS your campaign/brand?! I probably do, since there are a lot of hit and miss campaigns. Look at figures, of course, but, trust me, they are not always the most relevant. See how the influencer engages with his or her community, how their community reacts. And, of course, make sure that you don’t real in an influencer who just the other day praised your competitor.
- Manage everybody’s expectations – As with every campaign, you (should) have different objectives – PR/marketing/sales/business etc. Make sure you know what your objectives are in every area and talk to the influencer about them. They should know what is expected of them and together have an honest agreement on what they can (actually) deliver. On these terms, daft a clear contract, of course.
- A clear brief – This ties in to what I mentioned above. Clear objectives and knowing what the influencer can deliver will make it easy for you to offer a clear brief. Be sure to also personalize the brief depending on each influencer. The brief also helps you track campaign progress and deliverables.
- Leave room for creativity – That being said, a brief is not the Bible. The whole idea behind having an influencer campaign is to reach a community through the specific voice of a person they value and admire. Trust me, they will smell bullsh*t from a mile away. If anything in the way the influencer writes/talks etc. is amiss, they will know and they will be quick to judge and offer negative feedback.
- Offer support throughout the campaign – Don’t just write the brief, send it, and then just check in with influencer to see if they published the content and to get a results’ report. See how their community reacts, chime in when they ask for further clarifications or information, preferably in real time or as soon as possible. The faster you react, the less you leave room for interpretation and… PR crises. Moreover, you never know when you have the opportunity to do something even bigger or more meaningful.
- Results, results, results – It’s all fun and games, until…you invest in an influencer and get nothing in return. Going back to the objectives, don’t be shy to ask your influencer to give you access to figures, community reactions etc. See what is the impact of their content. Are you just after visibility – no problem, report reach. You want to make an impact or influence a small, specific target audience – cool, report tone of voice and community feedback. Want conversions – great, make sure you track and correlate influencer content with actual business markers.
- Pay fees on time – This might seem obvious. Trust me, it is not. If everything is fine and dandy, the campaign is a success and you are happy with the work the influencer has done, pay them on time. This is what they make a living on. I bet you wouldn’t like it if your boss tells you you’ll get your paycheck 10-20 days later this month. Not cool, right? Right! By respecting what are actually contractual terms, you will ensure a good relationship and mutual respect with the influencer for the future. Also helps in preventing other types of PR crises (*wink, wink).
So, this is my two cents, but if you want to find out more information on the subject, from experts and agencies specialized in influencer marketing, make sure you don’t miss the Influencer Marketing Conference happening this Thursday, September 12, at the Marriott Hotel.