Last week we explained what influencer marketing is — read last week’s blog post here if you missed it!
We also shared some things to consider when looking for the right online influencer to market your product or service.
Maybe you have some potential influencers in mind now. Before you reach out to someone, it’s important to do your homework. Good research and smart planning are the foundation of any fruitful marketing campaign.
In today’s blog, we’re sharing 5 essentials to prepare you for your next influencer marketing campaign so you maximize your return on investment (ROI).
While you’re reading, imagine you own a barbecue restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee, and you want to execute an influencer marketing campaign. We’ll show you how these essentials would work for you!
1. Know what you want to accomplish.
You’re seeking an influencer because you want more business — that’s the bottom line of marketing. But you run the risk of confusion with potential customers when an influencer presents an unclear message. If your message is unclear, prospects will take their business where the message is clear.
Write down specific goals for your influencer marketing campaign. Some examples include customers or returning customers, more online sales, brand awareness, or more followers on social media.
Example: You would like 100 more customers a month for your barbecue business in Memphis, Tennessee. Your goal is to get barbecue lovers who live in the area and tourists seeking authentic Memphis barbecue to visit your restaurant.
2. Find the right influencer for your brand and campaign.
Once you know what you want to achieve from this campaign, you’ll want to find an influencer that fits your brand like a glove. Not every influencer will put your campaign in front of the right people.
Don’t only look at an influencer’s total number of followers — think quality over quantity. Seek out someone who’s a good fit for promoting your product or service instead of someone who has more followers, but isn’t a great match.
Also, keep in mind that a large following doesn’t always equate to an engaged audience. Check their recent posts to see how many likes and comments they have. The more likes and comments, the better chance you have of obtaining a better ROI.
Example: An influencer who reviews vegan restaurants would not be a great choice to promote your barbecue restaurant because their 50,000 followers are probably also vegan. A local barbecue enthusiast with 5,000 followers, however, probably has a lot of followers who’d check out your restaurant.
As a barbecue restaurant owner in Memphis, you would search Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok using the hashtags #barbecue, #bbq, #memphis, and #memphisbbq. Look at the people who post using those hashtags, and see if any of them has a sizable following.
3. Detail what you want the influencer to promote.
You’ve found the perfect person to promote your brand! They are local to you, have a lot of engaged followers, and love your brand.
Now you have to communicate exactly what you need them to do to meet your business’s goals. Tell them what you’d like them to say about your business or what kind of content you want them to post.
There’s nothing wrong with writing it out or taking example photos and videos for them. You can also ask the influencer to take a photo with your product or host a giveaway. If your business has social media pages or a website, tell them that you expect them to tag your business in any posts or videos to help lead people to your pages.
Example: As a BBQ restaurant owner in Memphis, tell your influencer you want their followers to see really detailed photos of your awesome food — and emphasize your secret, one-of-a-kind sauce! You’d also like them to host a giveaway contest for a $50 gift card to your restaurant.
When they agree to help you with your campaign, it’s time to put pen to paper.
4. Negotiate and finalize the terms between you and your influencer.
Both sides need clear terms & conditions about compensation. Influencer marketing can be cost-effective compared to traditional marketing because you have a variety of ways to compensate an influencer.
Influencers with tens of thousands of followers will likely have set prices for marketing. You’ll have to decide whether those prices are within your budget. Influencers who have several hundred or a few thousand followers may look to you for the terms.
You can typically compensate an influencer per every post or video. You can also provide affiliate links or discount codes and offer free products in exchange for their marketing efforts.
Put the terms in writing once you’ve agreed on them — expectations, deal breakers, legal action, payment instructions, and more. This will protect you if problems arise. For example, you might want to terminate the arrangement in the contract if the influencer isn’t posting as frequently as you agreed on in your terms.
You should also include information about the Federal Trade Commission’s requirements here. Anyone who posts on social media must be transparent about their compensation — whether through payment, trade, or gifts — for an endorsement. The influencer should clearly say or write in their post that it’s a form of paid advertising. Terms like “[Business Name] Ambassador” or “Sponsored by [Business Name]” are acceptable. An influencer also shouldn’t make false statements about your product.
Example: Your influencer is very engaged on social media and has 5,000 followers who are mostly within the Memphis area. He’s never done a marketing campaign and doesn’t know what compensation he should get. You offer him two free meals a week. One meal a week must be photographed, and one meal must be in a video for an Instagram Reel or TikTok.
After 3 weeks of these posts, he must do a $50 gift-card giveaway. His followers must follow your restaurant’s page to enter. He likes the idea of 6 free meals for himself and accepts your offer. He must communicate to his followers that your restaurant is sponsoring his posts, and he can’t make false claims about your secret sauce. For example, he can’t say it’s sugar-free!
5. Prepare for your campaign and analyze the results!
You’re ready to execute your campaign now that both parties are on the same page and the terms are in writing!
Analyzing and tweaking your campaigns are necessary to maximize your ROI. If this campaign works out, congratulations! You should keep working with that influencer or seek out other influencers using these methods to find new customers. If you didn’t see the results that you wanted, you may need to figure out where it went wrong and try a new approach.
Example: Your influencer has been coming to your restaurant and posting about it regularly. Your restaurant’s Instagram account has gained a few customers since he started making posts. Some of your waitstaff have told you that customers came in because they saw his posts.
Did you see the bump in revenue you were hoping for? Was your restaurant busier this month than last month? Did you gain followers on social media? Did the person who won the $50 gift card come in yet? If you didn’t reach your goal of 100 more customers in a month, you might want to reach out to an influencer with more engaged followers.
With these essentials in view, working with influencers can boost your business. We know charting a path for partnership with an influencer takes a lot of research and work. If you think influencer marketing might be a good fit for your business, schedule a call today and let our team take care of your campaign. We’ll find the right partnership to raise awareness about your brand and bring business to you.