7 Influencer Marketing Tasks You Can Automate (And 5 That You Shouldn’t)

April 1, 2024
13 min
Rochi Zalani
Content Writer, Modash
Nycole Hampton
Senior Director of Marketing, GoodRx
Teri Simone
Head of Marketing & Design, Nieu Cabinet Doors
Sarah Saffari
Founder at InfluencerNexus
... and
more expert contributors

Influencer marketing is a relationship business. So, introducing automation into some aspects of your workflow is a thin line to walk — too little and you’re overburdened with menial tasks. Too much, and you lose the magic of a creator partnership.

In this article, I’ve interviewed influencer marketing pros to help you determine which tasks you can automate and which ones you definitely shouldn’t.

5 influencer marketing tasks you shouldn’t automate (and why)

1: Sending a collaboration offer (customize each proposal instead)

Build custom deliverables for the creator partners you’re collaborating with.

Nycole Hampton, Senior Director of Marketing at GoodRx, says that mass callouts with cookie-cutter offers, campaign details, and pricing are deprived of authenticity.

Nycole Hampton
Senior Director of Marketing, GoodRx
I don't think offers should be standardized. Is being an influencer standardized? Sure, some companies cattle call lots of creators for the exact thing, but is that the most strategic way to work? Not always, not often. If you don't custom choose your partners it's likely not going to be as strong of a fit and that shows.

Sure, internally, you might have a ceiling on the budget you can offer to each potential influencer partner and a rough estimation of the deliverables. But tailor it to fit each creator’s strengths and style.

For example, if you find influencer 1 makes better Instagram Reels and influencer 2 excels at creating the perfect Instagram Stories, pitch the right content formats to them when sharing your offer. It’ll help the creator feel special (“they noticed I do X better than Y!”) and also help you double down on the influencer’s forte.

Dmitri Cherner agrees:

Dmitri Cherner
Head of Influencers, OneSkin
Every influencer is different. Their reach / engagement, their audience, their content / category, and more. These factors change the value of a partner for a brand. I don't like platforms or agencies that mass outreach and simply say "we're offering X in return for Y, do you want to participate?" It may streamline the campaigns, but the quality will be so low that you're unlikely to hit any goals.

(Unless, perhaps, your goals are a certain number of mentions).

There might be other exceptions. For example, if you're recruiting for an affiliate program, your offer might be fixed. Though, putting in some effort to personalize and take the long-term view is still beneficial.

2: Influencer negotiation (consider doing discovery calls instead)

Templatizing the whole influencer communication process from start to finish via email can help you scale faster. But at what cost? Discovery calls help you start influencer relationships on the right foot and build a strong rapport with your creator partners. There’s just something more friendly about putting a face to a name when you “see” someone — even if it’s on a Zoom call.

Teri Simone, Head of Marketing at Nieu Cabinet Doors, emphasizes you also miss out on improving your overall influencer marketing ROI by automating this process:

Teri Simone
Head of Marketing & Design, Nieu Cabinet Doors
When we have the opportunity to find out a creator’s goals, what THEIR audience is resonating with the most, and what they are excited to work on and deliver, the results will be far beyond something that is solely based on metrics and no human interaction.

Having a 1:1 call can also help you understand the creator’s strengths beyond past performance metrics. And this extends into influencer negotiations: when you have the influencer in front of you, you can assess the value they bring to the table better and close an improved deal than you would’ve on email alone.

Exception: if you’ve created a brand ambassador program that’s self-serving, or recruiting thousands of creators, you might not be able to get on a discovery call with every single influencer. There’s no issue in limiting communication to email in this scenario. But you might still consider prioritizing getting on calls with the highest value collaborations / creators.

3: Relationship activities (personalize your creator interactions instead)

Some things need headcount and investment, not tech and automation. Sending a birthday card doesn't really have the intended impact when it's clearly automated and impersonal.

You can’t automate crafting a personalized birthday & anniversary wish or writing a custom thankyou note. Only someone who’s been in it on the field with the influencer can do those jobs well.

Avoid automating relationship-building activities — whether it’s having an influencer newsletter or gifting extra merch to top-performers. A creator should feel special, valued, and noticed, not like just another cog in the machine to improve your business.

Exception: if you recruit hundreds or thousands of ambassadors, providing individualized attention to every creator partner is impossible. In that case, you can either automate some relationship-building activities or direct them only to top-performers.

4: Providing influencer feedback (give individually tailored feedback instead)

Providing regular feedback to influencers is crucial. It helps them understand what’s working and what they can do better. And it enables you to specify who is a top-performer and what you can learn from them for your other influencer collaborations.

Automating this process means an influencer’s performance metrics are sent to them weekly or monthly. But it lacks the personal touch that can lead to compound growth.

For example, a tool can tell the influencer their first video performed much better than their second one. But only you can tell them why it was so — maybe it was audience fatigue or perhaps their messaging wasn’t on point.

You also have to invest resources in assessing each influencer’s performance to provide personalized feedback. But it’s time well spent: you help the influencer get the full context on their performance and help them improve for the future.

Exception: you might want to skip personalized influencer feedback sessions for short-term creator partners. It’s unlikely that the brand you're working with/for willl get an ROI on that time & energy if you don't intend to collaborate again inthe future. Personalized comments are best reserved for long-term influencer partnerships because you see benefits for a long time.

5: Influencer outreach (send personalized messages instead)

Your influencer outreach messages can have a template, but you shouldn’t fully automate them. Why? Automating a message means you send a generic compliment with brand details and a call-to-action. It won’t improve your response rate like a personalized message could.

Rugile Paleviciute, Head of Partnerships at BURGA, acknowledges that there's a point when mass outreach might become a part of your toolkit. But that personalized messages will always win.

Rugile Paleviciute
Head of Partnerships, BURGA
Influencer communication & negotiations can take a long time, so brands try to optimize by sending bulk emails. While it's impossible to do everthing fully manually and personalized at scale, if you really want to work with a creator, the personalized approach will always win.

In our outreach survey, of 51 marketers, 54.5% only templatized a part of their outreach message. Ideally, you’d personalize the first half of your email and templatize the rest about company & campaign info. Here’s an outreach example:

Exception: you might consider a fully automated outreach message when you’re a household name with which every creator would be excited to partner. In that case, your response rates are likely to remain high simply due to brand strength.

Nikola Sokolov, co-founder of Influencers Club, also suggests you can think about introducing automation in influencer outreach when you’re getting excellent response rates or when your right-fit creators market is very broad.

Nikola Sokolov
Co-Founder, Influencers Club
If your response rate is good already, and the "total addressable market" (number of creators you could potentially recruit) is big enough, then you can start to introduce automations.

7 influencer marketing tasks you CAN automate

1: Influencer onboarding tasks

The work is only beginning once you’re done with the influencer discovery call. Onboarding tasks like signing contracts, sending certain types of information or influencer briefs can be automated. You can create instructions and a step-by-step workflow in advance and plug them into an influencer management tool (if you use one) to go out automatically.

Nycole Hampton automates influencer onboarding as the Senior Director of Marketing at her company, GoodRx.

Nycole Hampton
Senior Director of Marketing, GoodRx
We plug in different details. Things like content briefs attached, authentication instructions linked, etc. All creators authenticate into our platform so that it is automated but reporting and analysis is fully hands-on.

Of course, you will have to create different briefs for different types of influencer collaborations, but you can at least automate some generic brand information for that process. And only alter campaign-specific details.

Automating influencer onboarding not only saves you time, but also avoids delays for the creator. Sending billing information, brand details, contracts, etc. manually is easy to fall through the cracks. But if you’ve set up an automated funnel, it’s flawless.

2: Tracking live influencer content

Collating live influencer content in one place is a time-consuming task when managing influencer campaigns.

To start off, you can do this without any extra tools or automation. Mike Newton, creator of Building Influence, has a free spreadsheet template that can help. The sheet doesn't automatically pull in live influencer posts, but it provides a good structure to get organized with tracking influencer content for free.

Then, as your program develops and this starts to become a heavier lift, it's an easy thing to automate competely using influencer tracking tools.

In Modash, all you have to do is:

1. Name your campaign

2. Specify which influencers you'd like to track

3. Specify which content of theirs you'd like to track, e.g. posts containing a particular hashtags or keywords. (Or just track all their content.)

4. And voila! Modash will automatically pull all the relevant content into one dashboard. Even Stories. With no need to ask influencers for authentication.

Modash will also give you an overview of how your campaign is performing, with individual influencer performance metrics like:

  • Number of posts by each influencer (so you can check if they've hit their deliverables easily)
  • Total engagements, and average ER% of your sponsored posts per influencer
  • Total revenue (if you connect your Shopify store to track promo codes)

(You can try Modash for free for 14 days.)

3: Outreach follow-ups

Your first message to an influencer should be personalized. But following-up is a crucial component of creator outreach. And it doesn’t always have to be customized — all you have to do is nudge the influencer to see your first email.

Many influencer outreach tools can help you automate these follow-ups. You can create an email funnel such as “send a follow-up email if not responded for 5 days” and free up a ton of headspace that would’ve gone into remembering this manually.

Sarah Saffari of Influencer Nexus follows this approach:

Sarah Saffari
Founder, InfluencerNexus
The only part of outreach we automate is a drip of light nudges until the influencer responds. People get busy and open emails at all hours of the day. We space them out and stop at 3.

If you really want to partner with an influencer but are getting no response, I recommend tweaking this approach and slightly customizing your outreach follow-ups, too. But in general, set up email sequences for follow-ups to scale your outreach efforts.

4: Answering FAQs

If you’re running a brand ambassador program, you’ll likely get bombarded with a ton of questions. Maybe influencers DM you a lot to inquire if you’re looking for creator partners. Or you get a ton of inquiries on your ambassador landing page.

The easiest solution is to ensure the commonly asked questions are answered on your landing page and influencer briefs. You can also set up a chatbot using tools like ManyChat or ChatBot. Instagram has the option to set up FAQs and auto-replies in its DMs.

Or you can keep things simple and use templates to answer the common questions. Either way, automating the answers to FAQs will help you save time and avoid retyping the same messages over and over.

5: Task management

Each campaign you run will more or less follow the same workflow:

1. Influencer discovery

2. Influencer outreach

3. Influencer onboarding

4. Influencer tracking

5. Influencer payment

Depending on the complexities of your campaign, you might have more or less steps in the middle. But it’s replicable work. Many influencer marketing platforms have project management capabilities built-in that allow you to duplicate tasks and workflows, so you don’t have to repeatedly create a new workflow for each creator and campaign.

If your influencer marketing tool doesn’t have task management features, you can also use free specialized project management software like Trello. You can create a “card” for each influencer and add their details to it. Then, you can move the card along various stages as they finish onboarding or get their first payment. You can duplicate an existing card whenever you add a new influencer to your campaign, so you don’t have to start from scratch.

Similar options are available on almost every project management tool. Think of the process you repeat for each influencer and set up automations for the task.

6: Finding influencer emails

You can go to each creator’s Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube and hunt for the email in their bio. But that time is better spent solidifying influencer relationships or even finding new creator partners.

Almost all influencer marketing platforms find an influencer’s email address for you. In Modash, you can find influencers, shortlist them, add them to a list, and export their contact details in bulk.

Why waste hours scraping through hundreds of influencer profiles to find emails you could’ve found in a few clicks?

7: Influencer performance analytics

If you’re using influencer and affiliate marketing together or running performance-based campaigns, you’ll likely need to generate UTM links or coupon codes for each influencer. Using tools like Social Snowball and Looker Studio, you can automate:

  • generating these unique links & codes
  • tracking influencer performance from these personalized URLs and codes

Teri Simone, Head of Marketing at Nieu Cabinet Doors, agrees:

Teri Simone
Head of Marketing & Design, Nieu Cabinet Doors
This is the easiest part to automate without losing the value of the human connection in creator partnerships! Through UTM link tracking, dashboarding, or using coupon codes to attribute your partners’ sales data, you can see what (and who) is working best for your brand.

Many influencer marketing tools integrate with ecommerce systems to help pull this stuff together in one place.

(Modash integrates with Shopify to give you revenue data via promo code redemptions.)

Getting individual & collective performance analytics for influencers also helps you ace your influencer marketing reporting without doing a ton of heavy-lifting to manually sift for the data points.

When should you start thinking about automation?

While automating certain aspects of influencer marketing fast to scale is tempting, it doesn’t always mean you should.

  • If you’re just beginning to use influencer marketing as a channel, it might be beneficial to do things manually and develop some competence in the processes. For instance, you can automate influencer onboarding right away, but doing it manually for the first few times might help you learn the ropes of what creators actually need from you, what questions they have, and experiment with the ideal workflow.
  • Influencer marketing is ultimately a relationship-based channel. Some things — like developing a personal rapport with creators — will always need more headcount, not tools & automations. Scaling the wrong things might actually redact from the relationship experience instead of adding to it.

To begin with:

1. Think of the processes that you have to follow for each & every influencer

2. Cut the parts where building camaraderie with influencers is involved

3. If you think you can benefit from doing some of those tasks manually to begin with, postpone them for later

4. Evaluate if you can use tools to automate the remaining tasks (or at least a part of them)

5. Keep checking in every now and then initially to ensure the automation is working smoothly

Parting advice? Don’t sweat it! Influencer automation is a reversible decision. You can always go back to manual if you automate a task and feel it's compromising your influencer relationships. Trial-and-error will help you find the right balance.

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Contributors to this article

Nycole Hampton
Senior Director of Marketing, GoodRx
Nycole is a seasoned marketer with nearly 20 years of experience, largely focused on social media, creator and content marketing. She has built and led social media, influencer and content marketing teams and practices within global agencies and in-house.
Teri Simone
Head of Marketing & Design, Nieu Cabinet Doors
Teri is a founding team member at Nieu, a bespoke cabinet doors company. She's responsible for developing and executing on marketing objectives, including running influencer campaigns.
Sarah Saffari
Founder at InfluencerNexus
Sarah is the founder of InfluencerNexus, an agency that crafts memorable stories, builds trust, and drives revenue through creator partnerships.
Rugile Paleviciute
Head of Brand Partnerships & PR at BURGA
After running influencer partnerships at Europe's fastest growing companies, Rugile now leads a team of 12+ influencer marketers at BURGA.
Dmitri Cherner
Influencer Marketing Expert
Dmitri has 10+ years of senior marketing experience, building and managing Influencer programs at agencies and brands such as Ruggable, Quince, and OneSkin.
Nikola Sokolov
Co-Founder at Influencers Club
Nikola is the co-founder of Influencers Club, a creator outreach agency. He's worked with brands like Discord, Linktree, and Amazon.

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