Running brand collaborations with influencers is a fantastic way to market your company. Influencer campaigns can result in more sales, awareness, as well as new followers and more.
However, as with any other marketing campaign, collaborations between influencers and brands require meticulous planning, diligent follow-ups, as well as thorough analysis of results. Let’s look at the five steps involved in these collaborations.
Define your strategy
It is essential to establish a clear objective for your collaboration. What would you like social media influencers to assist you in achieving? Set a goal, whether it’s branding, followers, engagement sales, or any or more of these benefits of influencer marketing.
The next step is to determine who your target audience is. Consider your buyer personae and the characteristics that define them: age, gender, geographic location as well as their interests and the language they speak. Conduct some research to determine what they do with their time online, and choose the best network for your advertising campaign.
Then, think about your resources and plan the specifics for your marketing campaign. This includes things like budget, deadlines, and the content type. Divide your budget into expenses you’ll pay for marketing tools and other services, and the amount you’ll be able to spend on incentives for influencers. This figure will help determine the kind of influencer you’ll end up working with.
Identify the best influencers for your collaboration
If you are planning collaborations with your brands it’s crucial to choose influencers who fit your brand’s specific needs. Each brand is distinctive and has their own style, mission and values.
So, any influencer who is working with you must uphold the same values. For example, if you’re a sustainable slow fashion company, try to seek out an influencer who is in the same field.
Also, keep in mind that different influencers charge different rates. These fees are affected by several variables, such as follower counts or engagement rate, as well as the type of content requested. In general, we could sort influencers into the following levels:
- Nano influencers, 1-5K
- Micro influencers, 5-50K
- Medium influencers, 50-100K
- Macro influencers, 100K-1M
- Mega influencers, 1M+
Many brands, and especially small companies, benefit most from micro and nano influencers. In order to collaborate with them, you can usually offer them free products, sometimes accompanied by a fee of a few hundred dollars. And even though they have small followings, these influencers have the highest average engagement rates in the industry.
Regardless of the type of influencer you choose, remember to look at profile performance, too. Here’s a short list of the metrics you need to be looking over:
- Follower growth: Is it natural or do you notice sudden spikes which could be a sign of fake followers?
- Engagement rate compared to peers: If engagement rate is excessively low or unusually high, you should investigate if it’s due to influencer fraud.
- Average views – For video content.
- Followers to following ratio: To determine if they’re employing follow/unfollow strategies.
- Audience demographics – Ensure that they are in the same demographics as your target audience.
- Audience authenticity – Run a fake followers audit to verify that their target audience is genuine.
Discuss with influencers and close the agreement
Contact the influencers that meet the criteria for your campaign. Then, negotiate the brand collaboration. You’ll need to resolve major questions such as payments and deadlines, and decide if you’ll need a contact. A contract is generally only required when some kind of fee is paid; for free products alone, you can usually skip it.
You should also go over the publication guidelines you want your influencer to adhere to. For instance:
- Brand hashtags or brand mentions you’d to be used
- The aspects of your product or company you would like them to highlight
- General guidelines on aesthetics such as specific colors or settings that you want influencers to employ
In the end, allow influencers the freedom to be creative. They understand how to reach their followers, so let them do it. Micro managing influencers could result in the collaboration appearing fake. This means that the content will appear less natural and more like an advertisement, and followers will pick up on that.
Keep track of the campaign as it progresses
If you’re ready for influencers to publish, make sure that you’re also ready to begin capturing results and media. You don’t want to overlook anything, because the more information you can collect to review, the more insight you’ll get about your successes and mistakes.
To gather media, you must establish the best strategy for the amount of influencers involved in your campaign. If you’re working with only one or two, it’s feasible to check their profiles frequently and download their content for your campaign.
However, in the event that you’re working with a large number of influencers, this could turn into a burden. If you’ve asked them to use hashtags or mentions, you’re capable of tracking the posts where they are properly applied. Though you might need to follow up with influencers that did not include these mentions or hashtags.
In terms of results, collect data from everywhere that you are able to: Analytics software as well as e-commerce platforms and influencers themselves. Influencers have personal information regarding their content, including impressions, which you can ask them for.
Examine your results
Once the campaign has concluded the time has come to assess the success. The degree to which you’ve succeeded or not will depend on your goals and the amount of money you put into it.
If, for instance, you put $100 into an influencer, and they helped you make $200 in sales, you’ve definitely made money. If you put in $100 with the expectation of 20,000 impressions and actually got 40,000, you’ve also proved successful, as you’ve cut costs per impression.
Be open-minded in this stage. You may not have achieved what you wanted to achieve. But consider all the benefits you gained from the campaign, not just your primary goal.
Consider things like the content produced, any media coverage and social shares you received, and the advantages of identifying potential ambassadors for your brand.
Lastly, always look into strategies you didn’t think of previously. Examining your shortcomings will help you better optimize your campaign the next time around.
The process of establishing a brand collaboration requires some planning and time to define your strategy and find the most relevant influencers. When done right this strategy gives you a real and natural way to connect with your target audience.