By: Crisel Mills, Account Manager
In a previous blog, I listed six reasons to consider an influencer program as part of your overall PR strategy. Now that you’re ready, what happens next? Before you hit the ground running, here are a few steps to take to ensure a successful campaign:
- Determine your goals.
Like any program, you have to prioritize your goals. Are you looking to drive awareness or conversions? We all want the best of both worlds, but to be successful, you must choose one. If you’re looking for an awareness campaign, you want influencers with an impressive social reach. Influencers that participate in this type of program leverage visuals and know how to craft concise posts that are appealing to a mass audience, therefore, driving overall impressions. However, if you’re looking to drive conversions, it’s best to tap influencers that are considered “experts” via industry or experience. This type of influencer has built a following around their knowledge, so while their social reach might not be as impressive, they reach your target audience directly. An endorsement coming from them is more likely to drive engagement including leads. Let’s say you’re promoting a new fitness program and want to reach as many people as possible, you would go with an awareness campaign. If you want to reach vetted leads, consider a conversion program.
- Decide on full-service vs. DIY.
Along with your goal, this is another key decision – and one that will determine your overall budget. The minimum for most full-service agencies is $25,000. This sounds like a lot for a single flight, but they are designed to move the needle. Another alternative is to take a DIY approach. You may not be able to scale as quickly, but if you are looking to test the waters or work with a handful of influencers throughout the year, this may be the way to go. Pricing with DIY is dependent on the individual and the platform used to manage the program.
- Construct a guardrail document.
Since influencers don’t know the ins and outs of your business, create a guardrail document to guide content creation. In this document, you should share the company mission and values. Include a product description, keywords and anything else that will inspire compelling posts. Remember, influencers have their unique style and voice – and you want them to use it. After all, that’s what their followers are looking for. Offering guidance is beneficial for both parties, since the last thing you want to do is find yourself editing a handful of posts or blogs.
- Create incentives.
Another thing to consider is influencing the path to purchase. Don’t forget; many brands are now discovering the real potential behind influencers, so you want a desirable incentive that your influencers can offer. It can be as simple as a trackable coupon code, or if you have a high-value item, a giveaway is a great alternative for building excitement around the product or service.
- Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Finally, whether you decide to execute an awareness campaign or drive conversions, don’t take a ‘one and done’ approach. It will take a minimum of three flights to optimize the program fully. The first flight provides a benchmark, while the third reaps the benefits of the key learnings from the first two. It may seem like a large investment, but the reward is equally high.
Interested in the next step? We’d love to help! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on a full service program or DIY.