Despite being around for years, Influencer Marketing has begun to enjoy new popularity. According to a survey from Influencer Marketing Hub, the Influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $9.7 billion in 2020. That's a 46% increase from 2019, and it's projected to grow by another 50% in 2021. As this tactic continues to thrive, marketers of all stripes had better pay attention.

Simply defined, Influencer Marketing is when a business collaborates with an influential person to promote a product, service, or campaign online. Influencers are real people who share their lives publicly with those who follow them on social platforms, such as Instagram or YouTube, giving their followers a peek inside their daily life, as they would their own friends and family. Since consumers turn to those whom they already know on social media for recommendations and lifestyle choices, followers trust an influencer’s advice, expertise, and reviews.

With more eyes turning to influencers, brands and marketers are looking to add this tactic to their upcoming marketing strategies. In fact, Influencer Marketing Hub reports that 66% of marketers are planning on increasing their influencer marketing budget in 2020. Is your team also thinking about adding influencer marketing into your marketing mix? Here are seven things to consider before you start sliding into an influencer’s DMs:

1. Determine and Define Your Campaign KPIs and Goals

First, be sure to define your campaign goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You don’t want to set up a campaign just to have a campaign. Pending what your KPIs are, an influencer marketing campaign might not be the best fit. The key is knowing exactly what goals you want to reach. Here are a few KPIs you can track for an influencer marketing campaign:

  • Conversions (website sign ups, sales, etc.)
  • Referral or direct traffic to website
  • Reach and awareness (audience growth)
  • Engagement (likes, reactions, shares, comments, clicks, mentions)

2. Selecting the Right Influencer(s)

Deciding which influencer you want promoting your brand can be tricky. Your brand image is too important to hand over to just anyone. So, when vetting out influencers, keep in mind your campaign's target audience and potential reach. Influencers come in all sizes across various niches. Are you looking to reach a broad audience or take a more targeted approach?

Determine if an influencer aligns with your brand by investigating the overall brand and style displayed on his or her platforms. Of course, before signing a contract, take time to ensure that the influencer understands your vision and brand. Familiarizing influencers with your company enables them to create the best content possible. It also educates them to respond to potential inquiries from their followers.

3. Craft a crystal-clear influencer agreement and offer fair compensation.

Like any smart partnership, it is best to ensure that roles, responsibilities, expectations, and compensation are clearly defined with your influencers. Unfortunately, the compensation value of an influencer campaign remains somewhat mysterious. Compensation generally corresponds to the influencer’s follower count, but some influencers may have a prepared media kit with their own pricing guidelines.

Otherwise, a general rule of thumb is to compensate $100 per post for every 10,000 followers the influencer has and negotiate from there. Keep in mind that compensation doesn’t necessarily have to be cash. Brands can also offer influencers compensation (in the form of traditional payment or brand gift cards) plus discounts on products they may use for the campaign.

4. Allow influencers freedom and creativity when it comes to promoting your product or brand, but communicate necessary information with them.

Allow the influencer to create authentic content. She knows what her audience will respond to best, and followers can sense forced or salesy content. Still, to ensure the best outcomes, you should also make clear any campaign goals and creative guidelines with your influencer (e.g. using specific hashtags or products in posts). Communication, as always, is key.

5. Be sure that all influencer campaigns follow the FTC guidelines.

This is a big one. According to a recent survey from Influencer Marketing Hub, only 14% of influencers complied with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines in 2019. As more influencer marketing campaigns enter the market, this medium will only become more regulated. So when in doubt, make sure any content tied to your name follows the FTC influencer marketing guidelines. At minimum, this means that the influencers you partner with need to be explicit about promoting your brand in their posts. Keep a pulse on influencer content as it goes live. If you see posted content not following the guidelines, make sure to reach out to the influencer to make necessary corrections. It's your brand! (Oh yeah, and it's the law.)

6. Re-use the content your influencer creates.

Be sure to include a clause in your contract agreement which establishes your rights to any content created for the campaign. These assets—photos, videos, graphics, etc.—can be used later for other campaign deliverables or even for organic content to use across your brand’s social platforms. Hopefully, your influencer will generate some quality content around your brand; make the most of it.

7. Don’t lose contact with the influencer.

This important step is often overlooked. After a campaign, the influencer’s followers are already familiar with your brand, so try to keep an ongoing presence with this audience. If you found success with the first campaign, consider making this influencer part of your yearly plan and re-engage their audience with follow-up campaigns. You may also wish to add influencer marketing to another campaign.

Ready to give it a go? Remember that influencer marketing should complement your current marketing plan—so don’t force anything if it doesn’t feel right. If you are curious, reach out to Click Rain to learn more about how influencer marketing can upgrade your current marketing game.

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