Influencer marketing is rapidly becoming familiar to brands as advertising continues to shift heavily toward the digital space. At HZDG, we define an “influencer” as: a public figure or private citizen who has a distinct point of view, style, and voice, as well as access to a highly targeted, distinct audience. Over the past 12 months, HZ’s Content Studio has established an in-house influencer marketing department and service offering, providing a range of services that include campaign ideation, influencer selection and vetting, management, and analysis.
To help you understand this new (and somewhat nebulous) frontier, we’ve created a toolkit of resources that will strengthen your approach to and management of campaigns. Here are some essential steps for building a successful influencer marketing plan:
Step 1: The When and Why
A brand is best suited to partner with influencers when it has a campaign, concept, or initiative that it wants to place in front of a specific audience. This strategic approach increases the chances that the brand’s message will resonate with a highly engaged audience through a trusted peer—the influencer. Understanding the when and why for using influencers sets a foundation for the campaign strategy; goals and KPIs (key performance indicators) are then solidified during this step.
Step 2: Brand Alignment
Once a brand has established the when and why for an influencer campaign, the stakeholders are now positioned to start vetting potential influencers. At this point, we also start to establish what role the influencers will play in the campaign and what kind of content we want them to create. It’s crucial to partner with influencers whose personal brands align with your own. Brand alignment is determined through a thorough vetting process—analyzing each influencer’s content style, voice, engagement rates, and previous partnerships. Choosing an influencer who aligns with the brand will frame the success of the campaign.
Step 3: Partnership essentials
Once a brand has selected a list of desired influencers, we prepare two documents before entering into negotiation:
- Scope of Work—this documents the influencer’s deliverables and defines the brand’s expectations, goals, and KPIs
- Partnership Contract—this is the legal agreement(s) between the brand/agency and influencer, including payment terms, influencer deliverables, timelines, and non-compete details
It’s important for both the brand and the influencer to feel supported by these documents, creating a transparent working relationship. Establishing a mutually beneficial partnership can make an influencer marketing campaign more successful, and generate long-term rewards for the brand and the influencer alike.
These three steps help establish a starting point for effective influencer marketing campaigns. Next time, we’ll offer some Dos and Don’ts to make your next campaign more successful.