Managing an Influencer Campaign
It sounds easy, right? In theory, it certainly is. And it may seem easy talking about it casually outside of work to those not in the know, but there is a process, and one full of headaches if it’s not managed properly.
1st step: how do I find the right influencers, and ensure my budget goes as far as it possibly can? It’s not as straightforward as we’d like it to be. There really isn’t a standard pricing model for Instagram, and YouTube is flat fee, or CPV (cost per view), which all videos essentially back out to regardless of pricing. Instagram can theoretically be backed into a CPM (cost per thousand), but unlike an ad being served to what’s hopefully a human and an impression being recorded, Instagram is based off the number of followers divided by cost. $10 CPM to $20 CPM is pretty standard, so if the person has 1MM followers, you could be looking at $10K-$20K for a post and a story with a swipe-able link. For YouTube, a $.10 CPV or $100 CPM is common for a shorter integration and possibly low. Once you’ve found your influencers, it’s on to the next step.
2nd step: Reach out. Seems simple enough, and usually is if the influencer has a manager. They can book out calendar dates, negotiate rates, and keep the talent on schedule for deliverables. However, if the talent is not represented, it can become trickier, especially if product is involved. It’s not unheard for influencers to agree to a campaign and then disappear just when you need them. We once had a blogger join a campaign, sign a contract, and then disappear once the product arrived. I can’t tell if she just wanted a product or hated it so much she cut off contact, but regardless she wasn’t compensated monetarily and the client was out a product. Stinks, but sh*t happens.
Be prepared, have a contract ready to send with recourse in the event things go awry and make sure everything is in writing. Most influencers treat this like their business and don’t want to tarnish their reputation by being seen as unreliable or downright a thief, and while anything is possible, you want to be prepared. Outline everything to be expected in a campaign from the dates product will be sent to when drafts from the influencer will be due to when the final post will go up, etc. Make sure all links to be included are correct. The worst thing that can happen would be to use a broken or incorrect link which sends potential customers to a landing page that isn’t working! Tough to measure the efficacy of a campaign when that happens. Be very clear and precise. It’ll save you hassle later on.
3rd step: Run the campaign. Give the influencer talking points but let them run with the idea creatively. They’ve built their following by being original, and asking them to become a shill will backfire. Odds are any influencer who knows his/her worth won’t agree to be a part of such a campaign anyway. Once posts are live, collect links, test to make sure all are working properly and analyze the the publicly available data. In addition to any 3rd party analytics you may be using also request stats from their back-end. Sometimes, though not always, this is different. It’s good to see all data.
4th step: Finalize the campaign. Once you’ve gotten everything to wrap up things up pay your influencers on the terms of the agreement. It keeps you in their good graces for future campaigns.
This post may come off as rather simplistic but I can’t tell you how many times we are asked about our process of running influencer campaigns and how we avoid pitfalls which they’ve encountered. We use technology which aggregates thousands of blogs, social handles and YouTube channels, which houses data so we know who will work best for any given campaign, but if you plan to do this yourself, carve out a decent amount of time, keep these steps in mind and reference this for YouTube.