Recommendations have evolved. In the past, we asked a friend or neighbour to recommend a product or service. Now, 47% of millennials turn to social media reviews before making a purchase decision.

However, consumers aren’t always visiting the accounts of brands. Instead, they’re visiting the profiles of influencers – individuals they trust on social media, who specialize in certain niches and typically have larger-than-average audiences. Consumers search for a trusted voice to help them get to know your product before deciding to purchase it.

Bright Local reports that 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. Consumers actually trust absolute strangers more than they trust advertising directly from brands. This is the power of influencer marketing.

So how do you find influencers and launch a kick-ass influencer marketing campaign with Modash?

Like all successful creative campaigns, influencer marketing doesn’t kick KPI ass without planning – you can’t just “wing it” and hope for the best. Modash is built around a workflow that guides you through the process of creating influencer campaigns that matter.

This article will introduce you to that workflow and cover the concepts we feel are most important to consider while crafting your kick-ass influencer campaign.

1. Determine Your Goals.

To make any content piece successful, start with the end in mind.

What are your goals? Thinking of this from the perspective of your target customer will increase your ability to focus on a real KPI. Think about what your customer needs to do right now. They need to discover your product, and often they even need to be shown that they have a problem they may not have been aware of–and that you can solve it.

Defining your true objective and setting KPIs that matter to your customer is crucial to creating an influencer marketing campaign that exceeds expectations. It will also help you stay focused while preparing your campaign and analysing the results afterward.

2. Craft Your Influencer Campaign.

Craft a campaign by communicating your ideas clearly.

Reaching out to influencers is your pitch. In order to draw interest and to engage influencers to work with you, we need to help you communicate clearly. You’re asking them to attach your brand and values to who they are and give you a little bit of the social equity they have spent years developing. Providing them with core information makes it less likely that they have to rely on their own research and potentially misinterpret your ideas or brand.

You can begin to establish some creative guidelines of what you want the content to look and feel like. Offering some ideas and aesthetic here is great.  Providing examples and styles of what you hope to see the influencer create will guide them to success.

Nevertheless, striking a balance is key. Influencers know best what works for their audience, and it’s important to trust them with content creation. A Crowdtap survey found that 77% of influencers cited creative freedom as the most important factor when deciding whether to partner with a brand more than once. We want to support this by providing marketers confidence via a review system, allowing you to approve content before it goes live (where applicable).

With Modash, the next step is adding your product. When building your campaign, be sure to consider what exactly you are promoting. It’s important to think about how many products you can allocate to each influencer, as each of them will have to receive at least one in order to adequately create content about your business. You can choose to gift or loan your product, but allowing the influencer to keep the product is a much more compelling offer for an influencer who is considering partnering with you.

3. Managing Influencer Tasks and Trusting Influencers with Content Creation.

Based on the campaign goal you set previously, you will determine the social media platform best suited to show off your product. Where is your audience hanging out?

You, of course, want to be where they are, with someone they trust. Based on your product, campaign, and influencer, you can choose either Twitch (live-streamed gaming, talk, and other live shows) or Instagram.

Once the channel is set and you have clearly developed your expectations, you need to create a task. It’s important to ensure all details are clear from the outset. You don’t want an influencer to post too early or make other easily avoidable mistakes.

Play to your brand. If you need very specific things to be in order, then build tasks in the same fashion. Sometimes being laid back and willing to let the influencer take the reins brings out the best content. Usually, falling somewhere in the middle with clear notes and important items ends up being the sweet spot, allowing you to focus your energy while not overly controlling an influencer’s creativity.

Key things to specify in your task are:

4. Find Your Target Influencers.

Next up is determining what target audience you want to reach with your campaign. This can be done with customer profiling or your existing marketing data.

Partnering with the right people is the essential core of any influencer marketing campaign. Finding influencers isn’t about finding the most famous person. Instead, it’s about finding a person your audience trusts and leveraging that influence to promote your brand in an authentic way.

“If an influencer doesn’t fit a brand’s ethos, the authenticity factor is going to plummet.”- Shannon Furey

You want to work with people who are competent and relevant in the industry, but at the same time, you need to evaluate their audience. You need to be confident that they will deliver your message to the audience you are looking for.

Modash makes audience interests, brand affinity, age, gender, location, and other important details easy by simply adding filters so you can eliminate the guesswork.

On engagement rates:

In determining which influencers to work with and whether they can engage their audience, you need to look past the number of followers and look at the actual engagement rate. This is one of the key metrics that will help you gauge the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaign before it even begins. It tells you how their content performs across the platform and how responsive their audience is to their content. This also protects you from cases of influence fraud by understanding how credible their audience is. Soon, Modash will present this to you automatically during discovery.

Collaborating with the right people to share the right solution to a relevant problem in an authentic way with a trusting audience–that’s what makes for a great influencer campaign.

5. Define Your Budget

It’s clear that monetary rewards are crucial when working with influencers. Don’t expect influencers to work for free or for free samples. According to the Crowdtap survey, this is the biggest misconception brands make when working with influencers. 68% of influencers in the survey said that they would work with a brand more than once if the brand compensates them fairly.

Unfortunately, today influencer marketing is a self-fulfilling prophecy; if treated as tactical and non-strategic marketing channel it will act as such. Brands sometimes fail to invest in strategy and then struggle to justify why they should, seeing as how their previous campaigns didn’t provide an adequate return.

According to Altimeter’s Influence 2.0 study:

“Small budget investments indicate that influence is still practiced at the tactical level and, thus, it’s difficult to prove it as a strategic priority.”

Those who do invest in the strategy and get past the point of trying to use one-off campaigns as proofs of concept are investing more and more into influencer marketing. In fact, Altimeter’s study also shows customers who use IRM platforms like Modash and focus on long-term campaigns their campaigns see so much ROI that 77% will be spending more and more in this area.

“So where is the power of influence marketing occurring . . . if it is happening at all? The true power of influence marketing is coming from: network connections of the individual; long-term collaboration that results in authentic understanding and advocacy; quality, trusted content that is seen and shared by a relevant audience; and face-to-face and word of mouth advocacy.” – Mark Schaefer (Executive Director, Schaefer Marketing Solutions LLC)

6. Report And Analyze

Modash does the reporting for you, and soon you will even be able to plug in your Google Analytics and other measurement tools to help understand the true impact of your campaigns in the most quantitative manner.

However, even if you’re not working with us, it is probably very important to you that you can see where your money is going. Jump back to the beginning, the planning, the desired business outcomes and desired KPI. If you have defined what you are trying to do and developed a KPI to measure that, your work is already done.

Brands new to influencer marketing often struggle to understand that influence can be used in many portions of the user journey for many target customers. Recruitment, PR, Customer Success, and many other teams in your company can benefit from the use of influencers. This is all about the journey.

Understand the stage in your user journey you are targeting and build KPIs around measuring that specific stage. Remember, you’re trying to provide something of value to your user, no matter what. Help them learn, entertain them, and help them decide that you are trustworthy.

In conclusion

Modash has been built to help marketers trust and scale influencer marketing campaigns. We work to help every creator get paid. Doing that means working closely with marketers to help them more effectively execute profitable campaigns, every single time.

If you need help signing up for Modash, or if you have a question, we invite you to contact us.