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Influencer Marketing Strategy Checklist & Template



Influencer Marketing Strategy Checklist & Template

If you’re a marketer looking to reach new audiences, partnering with influencers can be a great way to do that.

Influencer marketing is an incredibly effective strategy. Nearly 3.96 million of the world’s population is using social media, and researchers say that number might reach 4.41 million by 2025.

As a result, influencer marketing has naturally become one of the most popular marketing methods. As target markets become younger and more digitally connected, influencers can help organizations connect with consumers where they are – online.

By building influencer relationships, brands can leverage an influencer’s reach to achieve their marketing goals.

But if you’re considering hiring an influencer for your brand, where do you even begin? It can be tricky to narrow down your goals, what type of influencer you want, and what goals you hope to meet with an influencer strategy.

To help you narrow your search and ensure your influencer marketing strategy is as effective as possible, we’ve created a template and guidelines to help get you started.

The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing

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Influencer Collaboration

Influencer collaboration is a marketing strategy that involves paying individuals with a large social media following to advertise your brand to their followers. The influencer can demand compensation in monetary value or complimentary products and services in exchange for their recommendation.Influencer Marketing Collaboration

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, 90% of marketers will allocate a budget to influencer marketing, with 62% increasing their existing budget. The same study also cites that most brands that have worked with influencers are pleased with their results based on conversion rates and sales they received as part of the collaboration.

The good news is even companies that hired micro-influencers (that is, influencers with 15K followers and fewer) still got impressive results.

According to Convince and Convert, the top 13% of marketers are getting great returns from influencer collaboration regarding quantifiable results.

In fact, for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, they’re getting $20 or more. This explains why marketers are increasing their influencer marketing budgets.

Here are six steps to help you create and implement an influencer marketing strategy:

1. Define your goals.

By clearly defining the end goal of your strategy, you can work your way backward to determine the steps needed to get there. Using your goals as guiding lights will also define your strategy’s metrics for success. These will help keep your campaign on track.

Are you trying to increase brand awareness or drive engagement? Do you want to spruce up your lead generation method, or do you want to build on the loyalty and goodwill of your existing audience?

Dunkin Donuts is an excellent example of how defining your goals can influence your results. They hired Charli D’amelio to advertise their products to increase their app downloads.

After her video went viral, they launched a drink named after her, “The Charli,” and her 143 million Tiktok followers were more than willing to join in the trend. As a result, the app’s download increased by 57% when Dunkin Donuts released the drink.

2. Identify and define your audience.

Properly segmenting and identifying your audience can determine the effectiveness and success of your influencer campaign. It’ll be easier to identify which audiences would best help your marketing goals once you define them.

Depending on your organization’s target personas or ideal buyer, you should group consumers by demographics, psychographics, buyer lifecycle stage, or preferred channel.

Tinder is an excellent example of how your target audience can influence your campaign. Most of their app users are 18-25 years old, so they hired influencers in this age bracket to promote their app.

Tayler Holder was one of the influencers who participated in the campaign, and one of his posts has over 500k likes. It’s just a photo of him wearing a Tinder-branded shirt and a short caption, “Swipe right and come find us on @tinder.”

3. Define your budget.

Defining your budget is essential s because it guides your content creation and distribution options.For example, if you’re on a limited budget, you may opt to use an independent influencer instead of an agency.

This is also a good time to decide how you compensate your influencers. Some influencers are okay with being paid using free products and services.

Every influencer marketing campaign is different depending on the means of payment and the resources required for the campaign. Here is an example of how you can break down your marketing campaign budget:

a pie chart break down of how to budget for your influencer marketing campaign


4. Choose a type of campaign.

The way you promote your brand through an influencer depends on your goals and the target audience’s preferences.

Guest posting, sponsored content, re-targeting, co-creation, competitions, mentions on social, discount codes, and more are terrific examples of influencer marketing campaigns.

For example, Audible partnered with best-selling author Tim Ferriss on his podcast, where his listeners could use his custom link to get a discount on Audible content. This partnership delivered a relevant offer to the target audience, benefitting Audible, Tim Ferriss, and his podcast listeners.

5. Decide on the social media platform you want to use.

One good thing that happened during the pandemic is that the usage of all social media platforms went on the rise. Marketers’ most used social media platform as of last year is Facebook, and the least used is Snapchat.

That being said, the best platform is based on your target market and the kind of content you’re promoting.

For example, if you’re promoting something for teens, Snapchat would still be your best platform. This chart from WordStream will give you more clarity.

6. Create content for your campaign.

Once you’ve decided on the medium and campaign type, it’s time to create compelling content. Even if you have the most exciting campaign or best product-market fit, consumers will lose interest if your messaging or content doesn’t captivate them.

Make it as easy as possible for your influencer to share your message. The better your messaging fits with their audience, the easier it is for your influencer to push your brand out to their audience.

For example, Fitplan targets people working out from home who might need professional training to reach their body goals. To increase their app sign-up, they work with influencers already sharing fitness content with their audience, like Michele Win.

In return, when their followers sign up for the app, the influencers get to train them and earn money from the app. This strategy works because the content aligns with the users’ needs, and they can see what to expect. It’s also easy for the influencers to push this message because they simply share the same message with their followers.

7. Find your brand influencers.

The right influencer should understand and connect with your audience, your brand, and the content you’re promoting. For example, if you’re promoting supplements, you have a better chance with influencers who are into health and fitness than influencers who are mainly interested in new fashion trends.

You can get influencers in your niche by using hashtags on social media platforms. For example, by simply searching #fitness on IG, you get over 1 million posts from different fitness influencers.

Sometimes, you don’t have to work with an influencer in your niche but rather someone who is trending. Your marketing team can help identify the best influencers for your brand by staying on top of their social media game.

8. Promote your campaign.

Once you’ve successfully identified your target market, found your ideal influencer, and created compelling content, all that’s left is promoting your new partnership!

Go to your favorite social channels or draft a blog post to generate some buzz.

For example, Fitplan shares short workout advice videos by their influencers on their IG page. This is a good way to encourage viewers to sign up by giving them a glimpse of what happens in their program. Sharing the content on their page also helps reach the people who might not be following their influencers.

9. Track your success.

It’s critical to track the performance of your partnership to ensure all expectations are met and determine the success of the campaign.

Track website traffic, engagement, conversions, or other metrics you decided on when you determined your marketing goals. You can agree to check the data weekly, monthly or quarterly depending on the nature of your campaign. Check in with your original goals to analyze your success and how to repeat them.

There’s a lot of potential for high return on investment (ROI) from influencer partnerships. Therefore, tracking if and how your influencer content performs better than your non-influencer content is essential.

Influencer marketing Strategy Checklist

The Influencer Contract Checklist

An influencer contract is a document that contains the details of the agreement between the influencer and a business. For example, the contract includes the terms of content creation, legal protection for both parties, and compensation received, among other details.

It’s important to have a contract to keep the influencers you’re working with accountable, and it’s always a brilliant idea to have a legal document where money is involved.

1. The Basics

This includes the date your contract begins and both parties’ official names. It’s important to ensure the names that appear in the contract are official and acceptable in a court of law.

Use simple language to describe everything in this section to avoid any kind of misinterpretation in the future.

2. The Expiry Date

How long will you be working with the influencer for this particular campaign? However short or long it may be, stating the dates is essential.

This section should state whether it’s a one-time campaign and, if not, the terms of renewing the contract. For example, you can set your influencer’s contract to one year, with the option of renewing it based on the parties’ agreement.

3. The Mode of Compensation

What will you be offering the influencer in exchange for their services? It could be monetary or a free product or service.

Regardless of what you’ll offer, ensure you state it clearly. How much will you be offering if it’s money and after how long?

For example, your terms could state that you’ll pay the contractor 30 days after sending their invoice.

The payment structure will vary from one agreement to another. For example, if it’s a one-time campaign, you could agree on paying half the money before the campaign and the rest after the influencer hits their key performance indicator (KPI).

4. Your Inclusion in the Campaign

Content distribution is just one of the main parts of an influencer marketing campaign. There are other vital parts, like creating content and deciding on the best tone for the campaign.

An influencer better understands the kind of content that resonates with their audience and creative ways to present it.

Therefore, it’s good to include the influencer in the creative briefing sessions. In this case, you’ll need to state how many meetings they’ll be expected to attend and for how long.

5. The Type of Content

What kind of content are you expecting from the influencer? Is it a guest post, a vlog, or a reel? State the expectations clearly.

If you’re expecting multiple content formats, mention exactly how they should be delivered. For example, you could state you need four reels and four social media posts twice a week.

7. The Approval Process

As we mentioned, a marketing influencer campaign works best when the influencer collaborates with the marketing team. This helps with quality control by ensuring the influencer adheres to company values.

In some instances, the marketing team may have some suggestions for or edits to the content before posting. Ensure you mention how many revision rounds the influencer should expect to make and if revisions guarantee extra pay.

8. The Promotion Requirements

How much do you want the influencer to be involved in the marketing process? For example, do you want them to share the content on their personal pages? If yes, what platforms and how often?

State these expectations, including how much they should engage with the audience to avoid any conflicts in the future.

9. The Content Copyright

If you want the right to edit or modify the influencer’s content, it’s important to include content copyright in the contract. Your copyright terms should also allow you to use their images or logo when posting related content.

On the other hand, the influencer might want access to the content they edit. If this is the case, be sure to mention how long they’re allowed to access the content. When can they access the content and do they retain the copyright forever?

10. The Publication Agreement

A publication agreement details when the influencer will publish the content. Do you publish once, twice a week, or several times a day?

Ensure you capture all these details on your contract and include any penalties the influencer will face if they don’t comply.

Include other additions the influencer must make to the content when uploading it. These may consist of promo codes, hashtags, or tracking links.

11. A Restrictive Covenant

A restrictive covenant is an agreement on the length of time an influencer isn’t allowed to work with a competitor after the campaign. So first, define your competitors and include them in the contract.

Additionally, ask the influencer to confirm that they have no written contracts with your competitors.

12. A Sunset Clause

A sunset clause dictates the length of time your sponsored content should appear on the influencer’s pages. Without a definite period, many influencers can delete the sponsored content once they’ve been paid or after a short period.

Be clear on how long the content should stay on the influencer’s page before they can delete it.

13. A Cancellation Clause

What happens if the influencer feels you’re no longer a good fit for their audience? Or they break the agreement, and you can no longer continue working with them?

Prepare for these scenarios by having a cancellation clause in place. It should cover any penalties or repayment.

14. Image Authenticity

Image manipulation isn’t a new concept– especially with the editing apps and filters available on the market. Ensure you have a clause that protects you from image manipulation.

While you want your products to appear appealing, you also want to ensure customers don’t feel cheated when they receive your product.

Image manipulation may also trigger publishers to flag your ad for false advertising. Publishers could then remove your content or your ad campaign from their platform.

15. A Morality Clause

You can’t control what an influencer does, but you can protect yourself with a morality clause. Remember, how they conduct themselves during the campaign can damage your brand’s reputation by association.

Therefore, some guidelines can protect you, like discontinuing the contract when they conduct themselves in any way that puts your brand at risk.

Once you have an influencer marketing strategy and a contract, you’ll need to create an influencer proposal to send to potential collaborators.

Here’s a short influencer proposal checklist:

1. State your goals.

What do you want to achieve with this influencer marketing campaign? It could be better brand awareness, increased subscription rates, high traffic, or high engagement.

Whatever your goal is, it should be stated clearly in your presentation.

2. Show visual examples.

Influencer marketing is mainly about visuals. So, before you meet with an influencer, research and take screenshots of the campaigns you like.

These resources will give your influencer an idea of what kind of content you’re looking for.

3. Simplify the numbers.

If you love data, chances are your proposal will be full of figures. This is boring, and most influencers will not pay attention to this presentation. Provide only the necessary data based on the influencer’s preference to avoid overcomplicating the proposal. The metrics you share will depend on the media platform you’re working on. For example, if you’re promoting IG content, your influencer will need to see the content interactions, profile activity, and the accounts your posts are reaching. This information is important when setting future goals and negotiating prices.

Also, try to replace the data and tables with graphics that appeal to them based on their interests and the nature of their career. Keep in mind that successful influencers are heavily booked and you also need to wow them to work with you.

4. State the responsibilities of the influencers.

State all of the influencer’s responsibilities. How should the influencers participate in the marketing campaign?

Responsibilities can include creating content, developing hashtags, editing images, or sharing content on their page.

5. Give examples of influencers you’d like to work with.

If you don’t have specific names in mind, you can create a buyer’s persona to represent the kind of people you want to collaborate with. You can boost this persona with success metrics like followers, engagement, and likes.

Coming up with this persona will help your potential influencers know your priorities in this campaign.

6. Don’t be too detailed.

Although you want to ensure your collaborators understand your expectations , you don’t want to micromanage them.

Instead, include a brief. This allows the influencer to share ideas on how to reach your goals.

Download the Influencer Strategy Template

Are you ready to try these influencer marketing strategies with your organization? Download our free influencer strategy template and achieve your marketing goals today.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?



Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?

We took those questions to the marketing community. No big surprise? Most still use Twitter. But from there, their responses vary from doing nothing to moving away from the platform.

Lowest points

At the beginning of the Elon era, more than 500 big-name advertisers stopped buying from the platform. Some (like Amazon and Apple) resumed their buys before the end of 2022. Brand accounts’ organic activity seems similar.

In November, Emplifi research found a 26% dip in organic posting behavior by U.S. and Canadian brands the week following a significant spike in the negative sentiment of an Elon tweet. But that drop in posting wasn’t a one-time thing.

Kyle Wong, chief strategy officer at Emplifi, shares a longer analysis of well-known fast-food brands. When comparing December 2021 to December 2022 activity, the brands posted 74% less, and December was the least active month of 2022.

Fast-food brands posted 74% less on @Twitter in December 2022 than they did in December 2021, according to @emplifi_io analysis via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When Emplifi analyzed brand accounts across industries (2,330 from U.S. and Canada and 6,991 elsewhere in the world), their weekly Twitter activity also fell to low points in November and December. But by the end of the year, their activity was inching up.

“While the percentage of brands posting weekly is on the rise once again, the number is still lower than the consistent posting seen in earlier months,” Kyle says.

Quiet-quitting Twitter

Lacey Reichwald, marketing manager at Aha Media Group, says the company has been quiet-quitting Twitter for two months, simply monitoring and posting the occasional link. “It seems like the turmoil has settled down, but the overall impact of Twitter for brands has not recovered,” she says.

@ahamediagroup quietly quit @Twitter for two months and saw their follower count go up, says Lacey Reichwald via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

She points to their firm’s experience as a potential explanation. Though they haven’t been posting, their follower count has gone up, and many of those new follower accounts don’t seem relevant to their topic or botty. At the same time, Aha Media saw engagement and follows from active accounts in the customer segment drop.

Blue bonus

One change at Twitter has piqued some brands’ interest in the platform, says Dan Gray, CEO of Vendry, a platform for helping companies find agency partners to help them scale.

“Now that getting a blue checkmark is as easy as paying a monthly fee, brands are seeing this as an opportunity to build thought leadership quickly,” he says.

Though it remains to be seen if that strategy is viable in the long term, some companies, particularly those in the SaaS and tech space, are reallocating resources to energize their previously dormant accounts.

Automatic verification for @TwitterBlue subscribers led some brands to renew their interest in the platform, says Dan Gray of Vendry via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

These reenergized accounts also are seeing an increase in followers, though Dan says it’s difficult to tell if it’s an effect of the blue checkmark or their renewed emphasis on content. “Engagement is definitely up, and clients and agencies have both noted the algorithm seems to be favoring their content more,” he says.

New horizon

Faizan Fahim, marketing manager at Breeze, is focused on the future. They’re producing videos for small screens as part of their Twitter strategy. “We are guessing soon Elon Musk is going to turn Twitter into TikTok/YouTube to create more buzz,” he says. “We would get the first moving advantage in our niche.”

He’s not the only one who thinks video is Twitter’s next bet. Bradley Thompson, director of marketing at DigiHype Media and marketing professor at Conestoga College, thinks video content will be the next big thing. Until then, text remains king.

“The approach is the same, which is a focus on creating and sharing high-quality content relevant to the industry,” Bradley says. “Until Twitter comes out with drastically new features, then marketing and managing brands on Twitter will remain the same.

James Coulter, digital marketing director at Sole Strategies, says, “Twitter definitely still has a space in the game. The question is can they keep it, or will they be phased out in favor of a more reliable platform.”

Interestingly given the thoughts of Faizan and Bradley, James sees businesses turning to video as they limit their reliance on Twitter and diversify their social media platforms. They are now willing to invest in the resource-intensive format given the exploding popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content.

“We’ve seen a really big push on getting vendors to help curate video content with the help of staff. Requesting so much media requires building a new (social media) infrastructure, but once the expectations and deliverables are in place, it quickly becomes engrained in the weekly workflow,” James says.

What now

“We are waiting to see what happens before making any strong decisions,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO at Rank Secure. But they aren’t sitting idly by. “We’ve moved a lot of our social media efforts to other platforms while some of these things iron themselves out.”

What is your brand doing with Twitter? Are you stepping up, stepping out, or standing still? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.


Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

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45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]



45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

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How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open



How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money

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