The Start-to-Finish Guide of Running Successful Influencer Marketing Campaigns

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Influencer marketing is constantly growing and evolving. From running dedicated influencer marketing campaigns to collaborating with celebrities, popular social media figures, and authoritative bloggers on specific projects - companies have now started to look at influencer marketing as an essential component of their overall marketing strategy.

More and more brands and marketing professionals now understand that they can win the hearts (and wallets) of their potential consumer by partnering with people whose opinions they trust and respect.

Believe it or not, but a staggering 94 percent of marketers now invest in influencer marketing because they believe that this particular type of promotion generates up to 11 times more ROI for them than other traditional types of advertising.

Linqia’s latest big report shows that more than 39 percent of marketers plan to pour even more money into influencer marketing until the end of the year. According to their findings, marketers will spend somewhere between $25k to $100k in the next couple of months, which only underlines the fact that influencer marketing actually works.

However, the same report shows that influencer marketing is still a tough cookie for most to crack. For 76 percent of questioned marketers in the same Linqia’s study, determining the exact ROI of their influencer marketing collaborations is fairly difficult.

Even though this type of marketing shows promise and a lot of people see the value in partnering with people whose personal brand has the power to affect how a particular group of people thinks and feels about specific brands, services, and products - a lot of companies are still scared to fully embrace influencer marketing as their go-to promotional strategy because a lot of key elements still remain unclear to them.

This is why I have decided to resolve this issues once and for all for our readers and create a detailed, start-to-finish guide on running successful influencer campaigns.

In the following segment of the article, I’ll take you through all the stages of the process, one phase at the time, and teach you how to take your influencer marketing game to the next level.

If you’re already familiar with the basics, you can hop onto the segment that interests you the most by clicking on the headline below:

  • Determine Objectives
  • Find Your Audience and Strategically Select the Right Channels for Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns
  • Types of Influencers
  • Strategically Selecting the Right Channels
  • Determining the Idea Influencer Persona
  • How to Integrate Influencers in Your Campaign
  • Finding the Right Influencers to Help You Meet Your Goals
  • Influencer Outreach
  • The Process of Crafting the Perfect Outreach
  • Anatomy of a Perfect Outreach Email
  • Content Creation & Collaboration
  • How to Run Your Campaigns and Measure ROI

However, I advise you take the time to read the guide in its entirety. Influencer marketing is just like building a house of cards - one wrong move and the entire structure collapses. You don’t want to miss out on vital information that could be crucial to your success. Be sure to at least skim the content and check if you agree with everything I wrote in this post.

Determine Objectives

Like any other type of marketing, influencer marketing isn’t something that you can do ad hoc, based solely on your gut feeling. There is little to no point taking on influencer marketing without having a solid plan first.

Numerous brands fail with their influencer marketing efforts mainly because they refuse to plan ahead and set objectives for their campaigns. All they basically do is chase influencers with big followings on major social networks and offer them money and products in exchange for a couple of promotional posts.

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This type of approach rarely results in success.

Even though a significant percentage of them ends up generating at least some engagement, the vast majority doesn’t really know what to do with it. It’s just traffic that comes and goes.

Nothing more than that.

It’s not something that you can capture, maintain, and direct in the desired direction.

This is not the right way to do influencer marketing.

If you want to win big with this practice, you need to have a solid reason for doing what you’re doing.

What do you want to achieve with your efforts in this department? It could be something simple, or something more complex.

It all depends on what’s your end-goal.

When partnering with influencers, most brands focus on:

  • Increasing their website visits by a specific percentage
  • Increasing their social media following
  • Increasing their brand awareness
  • Generating more leads and sales by a specific percentage

Whatever your core objective may be, it’s always important to have one. You need to have a general idea of why you’re investing in influencer marketing in the first place and what you’re looking to get from your efforts.

This will affect how you measure the success of your campaigns and select with which influencers you’re going to work with on specific projects.

For example: If you’re looking to start some quick buzz online and get people talking about your new product, you will most likely reach out to influencers that have large followings on Facebook and Twitter. If your desire is to create in-depth awareness and shape the opinions of people regarding the value and authenticity of your product or service, you should partner up with influential niche blogger or relevant media sites who have a lot of authority and respect in the industry.

It is of utmost importance to closely tie your goals to your key performance indicators. For instance, if you have a goal of increasing your social following, you should know the exact number of your followers before and after partnering with an influencer. If you don’t define the KPIs for measuring your efficiency, you will face extreme difficulty determining the exact success rate of your influencer campaigns and collaborations.

You need to create intelligent goals and KPIs. Period. This is the backbone of influencer marketing. They have to be specific, realistic, measurable, achievable, and time-based. A goal of “increasing sales and leads” is too vague. On the other hand, “growing your sales and leads by 20% in August” is something that you could see achieving and use it as a bar for understanding the efficiency of your influencer marketing campaigns.

Find Your Audience and Strategically Select the Right Channels for Your Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve via your influencer marketing, you need to figure out who you’re going to target and why. It is impossible to find the right influencer if you don’t know in advance who you want to influence.

In case you don’t already have an ideal customer persona in mind, now is the time to work on that.

Regardless of what your goal is and what tactics you deploy to get more people to notice your brand online, everything still boils down to that same skill of understanding how your most valuable users think and behave.

If you don’t know who your ideal users are, how they tick and operate online, you won’t be able to spark any interest from them, which means that all of your influencer marketing efforts will bring you zero ROI. You won’t know what strategies or networks to choose, let alone how to select the right influencers to help you grow your exposure and generate more leads and sales.

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If you don’t know who you ideal consumers really are, there are few ways you can find out:

  • You can open your Google Analytics account and check the demographics of people who are currently visiting your site and converting through via your blog posts, ads, or pages
  • You can do surveys
  • You can look through your contacts database to uncover trends about how people find and consume your content
  • You can take into consideration your sales team’s feedback on the leads they interacting with the most
  • You can talk to active consumers to see what made them do business with you

There is a simple formula for defining your audience and figuring out who to target with your marketing efforts.

It goes like this:

[YOUR BRAND NAME] creates [PRODUCT AND SERVICE] to help [ACTION] do better.

Filling in the empty spaces in this simple formula will definitely guide you in the right direction when it comes to understanding your ideal consumers.

The idea here is to take a deep dive into the details:

  • Age
  • Gender (if your product is gender-exclusive)
  • Job
  • Outlook on life
  • Interests
  • Location
  • Education
  • What problems do they face and how your product can help them live better

Once you have all that, you can move on to the second phase of the process. When you know everything there is to know about the people who you’re looking to engage, finding the right influencers for your campaign immediately becomes a significantly easier process.

For influencer marketing to be successful, you have to partner up with influencers who influence your ideal consumers.

For instance, let’s say that you have a large marketing budget and that you can afford to work with LeBron James on an influencer marketing campaign. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should do that.

If you’re selling sportswear or something related to basketball, LeBron would clearly do an excellent job of marketing your gear for you.

However, if you have a product like Dibz, a marketing utility that’s designed to help agencies and independent marketing professionals remove the pain and unnecessary manual steps from the process of link prospecting - partnering up with a basketball superstar just doesn’t make any sense.

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Sure, a lot of people will see your brand and product online, but 99 percent of them will completely ignore it because it has nothing to do with their interests.

The more you can narrow your market to a specific niche, the easier it will be to search for the right authoritative figures to help you promote your brand and products.

Finding the right influencers for your brand is more complicated than it seems. A recent study confirms that more than 67 percent of marketers struggle to pick the right influencers for their campaigns.

Finding influencer whose audience matches your target market is one of the most important components to running successful influencer marketing campaigns.

Types of Influencers

Before we can start searching for influencers that perfectly fit our brand and campaigns, we first need to understand more about the influencers as public figures.

There are three major groups of influencers:

  • Celebrity influencers
  • Macro-influencers
  • Micro-influencers

Every group brings a different set of perks.

Celebrity Influencers

Celebrity influencer is a pretty self-explanatory term. This is the oldest type of influencer marketing. Companies like Nike, Adidas, and many others have been hiring celebrities for years to endorse their products and build better brand and product awareness.

Some celebrity campaigns have been so successful that they have become synonymous with the celebrities who promoted them. For example, Michael Jordan’s partnership with Nike quickly become so iconic that Nike decided to transform Air Jordan’s into a stand-alone brand.

However, it’s not all sunshine and roses when it comes to working with celebrities. There are certain pros and cons you need to consider before partnering with a celebrity to promote your products for you. Some celebrity campaigns have created more problems than good for both involved parties. For example, Kim Kardashian was fined a quarter of a million dollars for posting a single Instagram photo on behalf of one brand.

The main issue with celebrity influencer marketing today is that people are growing suspicious about celebrities promoting items and services they don’t personally use. If you have the money to pay someone famous to endorse your brands, service, and products, make sure that your influencer is 100 percent on board with your business. If you don’t establish a believable connection, the whole campaign will bring zero value to your business.

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For instance, would anyone really believe that a guy like Michael Jordan is super into your fishing gear? Would it matter if the greatest basketball player of all time promoted fishing hooks and rubber boots? - I think not. It’s just not relevant.

Sure, you can make a super fun ad or post with MJ which might get you a bit of exposure online, but your efforts here won’t really change the buying behavior of the targeted audience.

When it comes to celebrity influencer marketing, the best plan here is to find the people who are willing to become your genuine brand ambassadors. The main reason why Air Jordan’s took of as a brand is because MJ was actually wearing the gear. Same goes for Cristiano Ronaldo who currently has brand ambassador deals with Nike, Tag Heuer, Sacoor Brother suits and Monster headphones. He actually wears the gear and can be seen and photographed in public using/wearing his sponsor’s products.

Macro-Influencers

Macro-influencers are people with large online followings. They are usually considered to be experts in their own field. The difference between celebrity influencers and macro-influencers is that macro-influencers are usually just popular online in their own industry, while celebrity influencers are recognizable across multiple channels and mediums.

For instance, Rand Fishkin built a recognizable name with a lot of credibility, but only within the digital marketing industry. Outside of it, people don't know who he is or what he does. Same goes for Brian Dean, Jay Baer, and Neil Patel.

If you have a service or a product that helps people with their digital marketing, you would receive more value working with these niche authority figures than with celebrities like Zac Efron, Emma Stone, and others. An endorsement from the likes of Rand Fishkin and Brian Dean could instantly build your credibility and help you get your name in front of the right people.

However, getting macro-influencers to work with you is never an easy task. You have to offer them something exciting to even consider promoting your brand to their audience.

They have already made a name for themselves in the industry, so most of them aren’t really open to doing anything that has any chance of harming their credibility. They are the top dogs in their niche, so they don’t really have to do anything they don’t believe in just to make a bit of money on the side.

In my experience, macro-influencers work with new brands only when:

  • They are pitched something that truly blows their mind
  • When they are invited to collaborate on big researches and studies that could underline their expertise even more
  • They genuinely love the product or mission of the brand that approaches them
  • The brand offers something that could help them look cool

Micro-Influencers

This is the largest group on the list. Micro-influencers are basically scaled-down versions of macro-influencers. They don’t have insanely large following, nor do any recognition outside of their niche and market. These are people who shape and influence the opinions of smaller groups of users, in the range of 1000 to 10000 people.

Micro-influencers are often just bubbling under the macro-influencer level. A lot of them aren’t really that big because they have a more narrow focus on the topic and niche.

Depending on the industry and the people who actively follow their work, micro-influencers can be extremely useful. A vast number of them have personal connections with their followers which means that they have a lot of insights into their audience’s needs and preferences.

That is why it's often better to partner with micro than with macro-influencers. They have a much more significant support base than the average user, but they’re also a lot more flexible than macro-influencers. They are open to new partnerships, and they don’t charge nearly enough as the first two groups of previously mentioned influencers.

Even though they don’t really have a lot of fans, micro-influencers often have high engagement rates. Their audience recognizes their expertise and keeps coming back for more. They have become fervent supporters of the influencer’s work.

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When it comes to running successful influencer marketing campaigns, follower count shouldn’t be a decisive factor. A lot of people still buy followers in order to pump up their network and make their brand look bigger than it really is. Apart from selecting the right influencers that are in perfect sync with the brand, products, or services you’re promoting, you should also take the time to study the influencers’ engagements rates. Look beyond traffic, likes, and share. Focus on comments and how people truly interact with their content.

Strategically Selecting the Right Channels

Once you have your goals set and you know the exact type of audience you’re interested in pursuing, it’s time to strategically select the right channels for your campaigns.

Every channel brings different value. Running a campaign across multiple channels is not really a bad idea, but most brands don’t really have that big of budget to spread their message everywhere. If you operate on a limited budget, you need to strategically pick the channel and type of content that will most likely bring you the best ROI.

For instance, if you’re planning to promote a tool like Dibz via influencer marketing, it’s in your best interest to look for influencers who can actually make a case for your product. You need people who run authoritative blogs and write articles on the topics of SEO and digital marketing.

Getting a tweet from the likes of Rand Fishkin about your product isn’t really a good strategy for you, especially if your product requires a bit of explaining and demonstrating before someone can successfully use it. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a tweet from Rand won’t work, but experience has shown that our targeted audience is far more interested in reading blog posts instead of tweets.

Sure, it might cost you more to publish an article on a popular industry blog, but you have to think a couple of steps ahead and calculate which channels will work best for you.

Different products and brands require different approaches to influencer marketing. In some cases, an Instagram post from the right influencer can do a lot more good for you than 10 blog posts. But in other situations, it can be a total waste of your resources. The point is: Every product is different and it requires a unique approach. You cannot really push a link prospecting utility the same way as you push a clothing brand online. One is all about the aesthetics, while the other is about removing the pain from the process, so it requires deeper approach where you can actually demonstrate how it works.

Determining the Idea Influencer Persona

Just like with your audience, you need to develop an ideal influencer persona for your campaign before you start outreaching to people. It’s in your best interest to find people who not only have the exact audience you are after, but also share your company values.

When creating an ideal influencer persona, you should focus on the following:

1. Personality type: Are you in need of an activist, authority business figure, knowledge leader or someone even more specific? It is of great importance to find a person who people could see as a user of your products and services.

2. Genre: Are you looking for a male or female influencer, or both? This is especially important for gender exclusive brands. If you have a makeup company, you don’t really want an NFL star to promote your lip balm.

3. Niche: You can choose one or more niches, but they have to be relevant to your brand. For instance, in order to promote Dibz, I usually target SEO and digital marketing influencers who run authoritative industry blogs because my ideal customers are SEO agencies and freelancers who are always looking for good products that could help them save time and money on mundane tasks.

4. Topics: If you want to get a lot out of your influencer collaborations, you need to find a topic that’s close to them. For instance, if Brian Dean is known for his articles on the topic of building links, it would be dumb for me to ask him to write a post about Dibz from a influencer research angle. You need to find a topic for which both you and your targeted influencer care about. In order for your collaboration to make sense, it’s has to look like an organic fit.

5. End-goal: What do you want to get out of your influencer collaboration? Better social following and awareness? More site visits from relevant audiences? Are you building authority in your niche by partnering with the best bloggers? Do you have a visually driven campaign and you need influencers who are big on Instagram? Is it quick Twitter buzz you are after?

Whatever the type of engagement you’re looking for, the idea is to narrow down the channels and the number of followers on those channels you’re going to target. Take every single one of these elements into consideration when searching for influencers to partner with for your campaigns.

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How to Integrate Influencers in Your Campaign

There are different levels of influencer involvement. Some marketing campaigns are solely influencer-based, while others play a smaller role in a bigger strategy.

Before you contact anyone to help you promote your brand, you need to decide upfront what level of involvement you’re willing to offer. You could choose to incorporate influencers into every stage of your campaign, from market research to execution. Some campaigns use multiple channels to spread the word and use social influencers as just one of many tools to accomplish their ultimate end-goal.

It all depends on what you want to achieve. It is important to figure this out before you move to the following phase of the process.

Finding the Right Influencers to Help You Meet Your Goals

Once you figure out the specific type of promotion you’re looking for and you develop an ideal influencer persona, it’s time to search for influencers that can help you spread your message accordingly across the Web.

There are literally dozens of ways you can search for influencers. You could start with a simple Google search for relevant keywords (like “link prospecting”, “link building” for Dibz), or you can use a wide variety of tools that specialize in finding influencers for your campaigns.

Dibz is one of those tools. Back in January, we have publish a case study in which we wrote about how our utility helped us find more than 2000 DACH influencers in record time for a client, even though nobody in our team speaks fluent German.

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Regardless of the fact that Dibz is primarily a link prospecting tool, it can also be used for different types of data mining, such as, in this particular case – influencer research.

The tool makes it possible for the users to scrape the Web using predefined and custom search parameters.

All you have to do is:

  • Open the tool
  • Write down the keywords in the search term field
  • Enter the parameters for your search (since we had to classify the blogs according to the country in our above-mentioned case, we specified the type of websites we were after, as well as their TLD)
  • Set the date range, depth, and language

And voilà - the tool will immediately start scraping the Web in accordance to your parameters, providing you with a list of relevant results in just a couple of minutes!

This is just one of many ways to look for influencers online.

You could also do it by:

  • Paying an agency to do it for you
  • Using one of many patented platforms that help users discover people they believe are the influencers for their audience (Deep Social, Klear, Discover.ly, etc.)
  • Searching manually for people on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter using keywords and hashtags
  • Using tools like BuzzSumo, Hey Press, Ahrefs Content Explorer, and many other who fall under the same category.

Searching for influencers is not really hard once you understand what type of audience you’re interested in pursuing. If you have a lot of data on your hands, you’ll easily find people who fit your mission and brand online.

Remember to always look beyond the number of followers and site visits. We at Four Dots look at our prospect from various different angles before marking them down as potential influencers for our campaigns. Our agency staffers analyze the actual engagement of particular influencers. We look at their last 5 posts in order to determine their current status. Our staffers look at social shares, links, and comments. We also try to figure out if the influencers actually communicate with their audience or do they just ignore their messages.

In our eyes, engagement is the only real metric that separates good from bad influencers. We tend to select people with smaller following that have better engagement rates before influencers who have insanely big networks but who aren’t in tact with their followers.

Influencer Outreach

This is where things get a bit complicated. One of the main reasons why people hire agencies to handle their influencer marketing for them is because someone else gets to do the outreach part the process.

Businesses frequently reach out to Four Dots to perform this mundane task for them. Outreach can be a tricky game. Apart from being slow and exhausting, outreach is also an extremely delicate part of the puzzle where one wrong line could multiple all your prep work with zero.

If you don’t want to partner up with an agency and you wish to outreach to influencers on your own, there are certain things you need to have in mind before sending an email.

Not that long ago, I wrote a separate article on this topic. In that blog post, I pointed out that, regardless of how good and experienced you are, sending outreach emails will always be a gamble. There’s no one-size-fits-all model which can guarantee you that the people you reach out to will see and reply to your emails. Even though there are certain marketers who maintain a decent success rate in this field, everything still boils down to pure dumb luck.

Why? - Well, because when you’re sending cold emails you can never know who’s receiving them at the other end. Even if you do your research well and create a personal email for each and everyone one of your targeted influencers, there’s still a legitimate chance that your messages will get ignored.

Sure, you may know their name and credentials, but you still don’t really know them as people. You still don’t know if they, for example, hate receiving cold emails or not. You don’t know what they like and dislike. Maybe you’re reaching out when your recipients are on holiday, so they don’t feel like talking business while they’re chillin’ on the beach. Maybe you’re using the wrong tone in your messages. The possibilities are endless. These are just some of the things you can never really know about your prospects in advance.

Of course, there are certain tricks and tactics that could significantly increase your chances of getting a response from your targets, but at the end of the day - it’s all about sending the right email to the right person at the right time.

When it comes to outreaching to influencers, you should focus on the following:

Finesse and Personalization

If you’ve read our previously-mentioned article on the topic of outreach, you might have noticed this screenshot:

Finesse

Tim Soulo from Ahrefs shared this example on his private Twitter account. As you can see from the image, Tim framed and pointed out every mistake the sender made while reaching out to him.

The biggest problem here definitely originates from lack of personalization. A lot of people still send their outreach emails in bulk. They often rely on generic and uninspiring hooks to get people to respond to their messages.

Judging by Tim’s reaction, it’s safe to assume that influencers despise this particular approach. If you want an influencer to really sit down, read, and respond to your email - you need to put in the work and create something personal and inspiring. You need to be sincere and provide the influencer with enough evidence that you deserve his or her time and attention.

Be Concise

There’s no need to get overly descriptive in your outreach emails. Especially if you’re trying to engage someone who you know for a fact is constantly busy.

Most successful outreach emails are the ones that get straight to the point and immediately make it transparent to the recipient why he or she should consider your proposal. There’s no need to get super salesy here. Your recipients already know the game, so it’s in your best interest to avoid “selling ice to Eskimos” and get straight to the point.

Visualize your outreach emails as elevator pitches. You have 20 to 30 second to get someone interested in your idea. You have to secure your sale just before the elevator stops and your prospect gets out on the floor. That’s why your outreach emails have to be interesting, memorable, but also succinct as well.

Add Value

Money isn’t the only factor when it comes to partnering with influencers. Regardless of who you’re trying to reach, it’s important to know that EVERYONE loves a good idea. Especially people who have big networks to nurture and entertain. If you have something to offer to specific influencers that will make them look good and even cooler in their audience’s eyes - they’ll agree to work with you.

The challenge here is to come up with that something great and communicate it correctly via email.

Influencers with huge online followings are in constant need of top-quality content and campaigns that have the potential to grow their authority and recognition even more. Even though they are often hard to impress, there’s always a gap somewhere that needs filling.

Research your idea well before pitching it to your prospect. Be transparent about what exactly you can do for the influencer you’re trying to engage. Articulate your idea in a way that immediately grabs your recipient’s interest and makes him or her see that you’re the real deal.

The Process of Crafting the Perfect Outreach

As I’ve mentioned earlier, outreach is a delicate game with a lot of moving pieces.

In my agency, we always first make a list of bloggers and social media stars that match our ideal influencer persona, and then we start to follow them and engage with their content.

We either:

  • Follow them on every social media channel, subscribe to their blogs, newsletters, and reply to introductory emails
  • Share their content on our private channels
  • Comment on their blog articles and social media posts
  • Respond to question they ask their followers
  • Link them in our posts
  • Write ego bait posts that have a high degree of probability of provoking engagement from them

We take notes on everything we believe is worth writing down about those specific influencers and their followers. What type of content works best, how often do they publish, do they reply to social media posts and blog comments, which are the worst and best-performing posts - basically everything that comes to mind, that could provide us with genuine insight on how to approach our targets.

Once we build some recognition and make sure that our targets know who we are, we try to reach out to them and get them to participate in our campaign.

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The idea here is to make the email more about them than you. Regardless of how fun or interesting your brand may be, most influencers don’t really care about you. All they really care about is their image and their audience, so you better make it your prime objective to instantly communicate how your idea helps them.

In order to do that, you actually have to follow the influencer and understand why people like him.

Anatomy of a Perfect Outreach Email

Having all these elements in mind, the structure of the perfect outreach email looks something like this:

  • Create a short, but sweet subject line. It should be vague enough to pique interest, but also with enough detail for any personalization to be distinct. For example: “Interested in partnering with us on [TOPIC THAT THE INFLUENCER CARES ABOUT] project?”
  • Explain the benefits of your proposal
  • Provide the specifics
  • Add a deadline to provide the recipients with an understanding that they should respond to your email ASAP.

Begin your email with a friendly greeting. Something nonchalant works best here. Don’t go overboard, keep it simple and short. Keep the general tone friendly, but professional. Avoid using any overly salesy phrases - you don’t want your emails to end up in the spam bin.

Write a sentence or two about yourself, or just sign off at the end with your name and role in the company.

Cut all the fluff out and provide influencers with short and easy-to-read sentences that don’t eat up their time and energy. If the influencer already recognizes your name and you have already interacted with each other in the past, be sure to mention that.

Write the body of your email just like I suggested above (explain the benefits of your proposal, provide the specifics, add a deadline), send it, and wait for the response. If you don’t hear anything for a few days, send a follow-up. If that doesn’t work, mention the influencer on Twitter to remind him that you’re still waiting for a response.

Content Creation & Collaboration

While working with influencers, it’s in your best in interest to always keep in mind what you want to achieve with your collaboration. In addition to that, it’s also of great importance to think about why you’ve decided to work with specific influencers in the first place.

That’s right, it’s because of their content and how their audience responds to their output.

Most companies make the same mistake here. They target specific influencers and ask from them to post something that feels and looks unnatural to them. For example, I constantly see different social media influencer posting literally the same type of photos with the same descriptions.

Personally, I believe this isn't an effective approach to influencer marketing. The key to earning big ROI through your influencer marketing efforts is authenticity. When influencers are given the freedom to create promotional content for a brand in their own way and style, it comes across as more believable to the targeted audience.

Brands need to show more flexibility when working with influencers. Influencers know their audience well, so it’s quite logical that you let them take the wheel and do their own thing. Let them decide how to promote your brand. At least, have a conversation and work on the idea together.

However, it’s still important to remain true to your core objectives. Even though you or your influencers might think something is cool, the post still has to provoke a specific action from the audience.

There’s literally an infinite number of way you could collaborate with influencers. These are the more common ones:

  • Send free samples in exchange for a shout-out
  • Pay for product reviews (This is especially popular with YouTubers)
  • Host giveaways: provide products, services, samples, coupons, and discounts for influencers to share with their audience
  • Run competitions through influencers
  • Pay for sponsored posts
  • Write guest posts, or do gest vlogs

The options are endless. Every single one of these angles has its own set of pros and cons. Personally, I like to mix them all together. Naturally, this sort of approach will cost you a lot more money, but I strongly believe that transforming an influencer into your brand ambassador is the best way to actually get a completely new group of people to remember and trust your brand.

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For micro-influencers, partnering with a brand allows them to elevate the quality of their content. By giving them a bit of trust and resources, you’re basically helping influencers take that next step to become even bigger players in their niche. If everything goes well, they will love you for it and become actual supporters of your brand.

If the particular influencers end up loving working with you, they will organically promote your future materials pro bono and share your content with their audience. The idea here is to build a bond and then work hard to maintain it.

How to Run Your Campaigns and Measure ROI

As you know, influencer marketing is a slow process. You need to do a lot of prep work before you can start to contact influencers and work with them to spread your message across the Web.

There different types of influencers and all of them can do different things for you. The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t apply here. You need to analyze every single one of the influencers on your list and adjust your goals according to their role in your strategy.

You should look at different factors when determining how much you should pay a single influencer:

  • Quality of their audience - how well their audiences matches your targeted market?
  • Authority - how big of a figure a particular influencer is in his niche? How often do people share, quote, and praise his knowledge?
  • How good of a fit is the influencer to your brand?
  • What’s the media value of the influencer posts - how often does his content go viral? How often do online magazines and different websites pick up his content?

Providing answers to these questions will help you calculate how high you should go to acquire the services of particular influencers.

Once you get specific influencers to agree on the price and partner up with you, it’s time to let them go to work and monitor their performance. You can follow what they do in real time, or when the campaign is over. Before the campaign begins you should check these items off your to-do list:

  • Define goals
  • Define KPIs

Once the campaign starts, you will follow KPIs and compare them with your goals. The closer you’re to meeting your goals, the better. If the influencer doesn’t bring you nearly enough value as you’ve projected, that means that either your goals are unrealistic or that the influencer doesn’t really have any power over his or her network.

For instance, if your goal is to increase your Instagram following by 20 percent during your campaign, then you need to know exactly how many followers you had before and after you’ve started working with a particular influencer. The same goes for leads and sales. If your goal is to increase direct site sales by a specific percent, you have to know the exact number of direct site sales before and after you started working with the influencer. You can make the tracking easier by creating a dedicated sales page with the link for the influencer.

Most brands follow these statistics:

  • Reach and engagement for each post
  • Website visits after the influencer mentions the brand
  • Additional sales generated during the campaign compared to the cost of working with influencers

If you’re interested in just building awareness, you should measure your impressions and site traffic. If you want to get more conversions, you should monitor your traffic and audience behavior in Google Analytics.

For every goal, there’s a different set of KPIs you should follow. One of the most crucial jobs here is to keep a close eye on your most important KPIs as the campaign develops. If you tune in from the beginning, you will have a lot less difficulty understanding how effective certain influencers are. You will see all the improvements caused by their work and you can even suggest changes to the content and style of promotion that could help you get even more value from your partnerships.

Closing Words

Thank you for taking the time to read yet another massive article on our blog. I hope this guide helped you understand all the details and elements you need to consider when collaborating with influencers.

As you can see from everything written above, influencer marketing is all about promoting authenticity. You don’t want to use influencers as just faceless drones for spamming their audiences. No. Your goal here should be to provide influencers with enough room, flexibility, and trust to create promotional content that’s in perfect sync with the material they usually distribute via their website or social media channels. You don’t want to the black sheep of the heard. Your goal here is to organically appear on popular channels and reach out to people in a style and language they peffer.

Be sure to do your homework before you actually decide to partner up with specific influencers and run your campaigns. Follow the steps from this article and I promise you won’t experience any issues with your influencer marketing.

That’s it for now,
See you soon again,
Rad @ Dibz.me