11 Steps to Prepare for an Influencer Campaign

Thursday Feb 27th, 2020

Prepare for an Influencer Campaign

Reading Time: 5 min

From identifying your goals to creating a sound content strategy, these eleven steps will help you maximize results. We encourage you to use this post as your influencer campaign checklist. By having an at-a-glance resource, you can reduce preparation time and feel confident about your content strategy.

1. Optimize Your Website

Improve conversation rates, time-on-site, and user experience by optimizing your website. We’re not saying that you should overhaul your entire online store. However, a few small changes can make a big splash in the sales department.

Small Changes

Big Benefits

Add alt text to your images Make page more ADA Compliance and helps with searchability
Compress images  
Use keywords in your H1 text and browser title Improve page relevance and ranking
Write keyword-focused meta description Improve page relevance and ranking
Craft a comprehensive product description Improve page relevance and ranking

2. Make Your Checkout Mobile-Friendly

Content creators will get the traffic to your site.  Keep on-the-go shoppers advancing through the complete checkout process with mobile-friendly features and speed.  Is your shopping cart easy to edit? Is it easy for shoppers to input their information or even auto-fill? According to Business Insider, mobile eCommerce is poised to reach $418.9 billion by 2024, up from 128.4 billion in 2019. Further, in the next four years, 44 percent of online shopping will be done from a smartphone.

3. Identify Your Campaign Goals

Identify what success looks like for your business, keeping in mind that “more sales” is not always the only goal. For instance, maybe you’re interested in receiving a certain number of reusable lifestyle photos. Or, perhaps you’re looking to find long-term affiliates that embody your brand.  Or, you’re looking to associate your brand with an important purpose such as environmental-friendliness. 

Socks that look like a faceUse these key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor and measure the success of your campaign:

  • Distribution (follower reach)
  • Engagement (number of likes/comments)
  • Insights (feedback to improve business process)
  • Return on Relationship (ROR)
  • Sales Lift (increase in sales)
  • User-Generated Content (UGC) 

When calculating the ROI of an influencer campaign, think about the outcome in terms of how much content was produced and distributed. With sales lift measures, keep in mind your sales cycle.  If you are promoting an item with a long sales cycle (e.g., a refrigerator), you will not see immediate sales lift in a three-month campaign. On the cost side, if you compare professional photography to lifestyle photography services you'll probably see savings compared to the alternative.

4. Identify Your Timeline

Building a timeline is essential for successful influencer campaigns. Reason being, a well-crafted, and leveraged influencer campaign will take about three months from start to finish.

For example, if you’re ramping up for a July 4th sale, you’ll want to contact an influencer agency in April. By doing so, you’ll leave yourself ample time to:

  • Consider the content, context, and scope of the campaign
  • Fulfill influencers’ gifts and resolve delivery issues
  • Repurpose campaign content proactively

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5. Identify Your Target Audience

Context is critical when it comes to creating successful influencer campaigns. More specifically, knowing your target audience will allow you to better align with influencers who are representative of your brand. Additionally, each social media platform has different users.

In terms of the “type” of influencer, it’s less about “look” and more about the content they produce. For example, if you’re a toy brand, you’ll want to find influencers with children. If you’re a brand that emphasizes diversity, align with content creators with different ethnic backgrounds, religions, and sexual preferences. 

When it comes to choosing a social media platform, consider your target audience’s age and gender as well as the product you offer. For instance, if you’re marketing baby products to millennial women, Instagram needs to be top of mind. If you’re marketing a new gaming laptop to Gen Zs, YouTube could be a slam dunk.

6. Set A Budget

Determine how much you can spend in terms of dollars and products. Your budget will help you figure out how many influencers you can incorporate into your campaign.

If your goals are strictly content-based, you should consider an agency that also specializes in made-to-order lifestyle photography. ApexDrop offers a streamlined $150-per-photo service that gives you even more control over your budget.

7. Put Your Internal Sharing Method in Place

At the end of an influencer campaign, you’ll likely wind up with a lot of content. Have a plan in place to reuse and repurpose it. One of the biggest hurdles in leveraging influencer content is sharing it securely with those who need it most.

Before your influencer campaign launches, be sure that a few members of your team have access to your social accounts and that you have a DropBox or Google Drive set up with appropriate sharing settings.

Male influencer flexing

8. Find an Agency with Vetted Influencers  

Combing through profiles for fake likes, comments, and followers is time-consuming and challenging. Speed up and simplify the process by hiring a micro-influencer agency that’ll do the vetting for you.

At ApexDrop, every content creator is vetted with a 40-point algorithm. From here, each profile that passed will also be analyzed by our seasoned campaign coordinators during each campaign selection process.

9. Set up Your Social Profiles

Get your social media platforms ready for visitors by making sure you've filled out all the fields properly. Ensure your photos are high resolution and your content is professional.

Take the time to make sure your profile also includes keywords that users might use to find you. Resize images if they are too big or too small for the platform. Don’t wait for your campaign to launch to start a profile on a foreign social media platform—start utilizing the new platform as soon as possible. 

10. Write a Creative Brief 

While it’s not mandatory, you might consider providing influencers with a creative brief. This document could include:

  • Photo ideas
  • Current hashtags
  • Color palettes suggestions

Making specific photo requirements is not recommended. The goal of working with an influencer is to generate authentic branded content.

When you remove creative control from an influencer’s post, the messaging is no longer genuine. Keep in mind, today’s socially-savvy consumers know when an influencer is being fed lines. 

Writing a creative brief

11. Be Ready to Engage 

Amplifying your brand on social media isn’t worth much if you are not being social. In other words, you need to be ready to engage with your fans, followers, and influencers. As content creators tag you and use your hashtag, be sure to like, comment, and Regram their posts.

It’s helpful to think of an influencer campaign as a conversation about your brand. If you’re not responding, they’ll lose interest. If your audience loses interest in the conversation, that means they’re also losing interest in your brand.

Ready to Get Started?

With prior planning, influencer marketing can lead to a great return on investment. You'll also earn volumes of valuable content to leverage for future marketing initiatives.

ApexDrop has a vast network of vetted micro influencers who are ready to create content. If you’re interested in working with ApexDrop, schedule a call to learn more about how we match brands with the right influencers.