The 5-step guide on collaborations with influencers
People are naturally used to following somebody, looking up to those who are more successful and live "better" lives. That's why social media influencers manage to gain such popularity. Marketers, on the other hand, figured out how to use this to their advantage. In fact, each $1 spent on influencer marketing brings on average $5 of income.
With time, however, many bloggers evolved into influencers because their lifestyle or ideas directly impacted their audience. Social media celebs seemed more like you and me since they were closer to real people, hence their level of trust exceeded traditional media such as TV.
When social media stars began to gain an increasing number of followers, marketers decided to enter the fray and launch one-time projects to capture the attention of a large audience. It worked some of the time, and sometimes, it didn't.
Call it native advertisement, brand integrations, or influencer marketing, as we now know, requires several factors to become successful, and the number of followers is no longer a key point here. Another challenge is tracking results.
How to launch and track influencer marketing campaigns
It's not a secret that well-planned campaigns bring better results. Execution is also important, but tracking and analyzing results is equally crucial. Let's discuss each step in detail.
1. Determine your goal and metrics to monitor
Depending on your business objective, an influencer campaign might be focused on different things such as new sales, brand awareness, reputation management, etc. Thus metrics would differ in each case.
Nevertheless, it's crucial to set the list of most actionable metrics and avoid the vanity ones. We've previously created a list of the most valuable metrics worth monitoring.
2. Select influencers for collaboration
There are multiple tactics and criteria for choosing the best candidates for an influencer marketing campaign. Meanwhile, using YouScan – a social media intelligence platform, marketers can easily spot social media users (we call them authors) who've already mentioned your brand or the monitoring topic (which can be a whole industry).
Why are they worth considering foremost? Obviously, these people are already familiar with the brand and might be more loyal when offered to collaborate. Apart from that, such partnerships would be more native as the audience has previously seen posts featuring a company.
The list of all authors can be sorted by engagement, number of mentions, or influence, aka number of followers. At the same time, you can see the sentiment of those mentions and the social media networks where these mentions were posted.
3. Create and track affiliate links, UTMs, coupons, etc
When running an influencer campaign, especially with multiple content creators at a time, it might be challenging to track the effectiveness of each partner and source. Hence, the best strategy is to assign a dedicated link for each influencer to see the detailed statistics of each brand integration.
Depending on the goal, you can create offers with different end dates. Short-term offers and discounts, for example, would work best when you need to swiftly raise sales or get rid of outdated products because they require an immediate response from the audience. On the other hand, when establishing a close relationship with a certain blogger's audience, it is preferable to generate a long-term offer. An affiliate link, for example, allows a partner to earn a percentage of each sale. At the same time, customers may receive a discount, a limited-edition product, a little gift, or a one-of-a-kind service. On the other hand, marketers can easily track each sale as well as the overall success of any collaboration.
4. Monitor campaign results with social media intelligence
While social media in-app analytics allows for tracking only your owned channels, social media intelligence tools like YouScan help track influencers' posts engagement featuring your brand and even add their pages as a channel to monitor all activity. Apart from that, you get the data on sentiment, mentioned aspects, topics, and if the post is related to a particular trend.
Powered by image recognition, YouScan also helps brands track and analyze pictures featuring their logo. First of all, visual monitoring allows for significantly more mentions to be tracked than regular text monitoring since users frequently do not include a caption but rather share images with logos on them. The second benefit is that such visual mentions include valuable consumer insights. Third, when this technology is applied to influencer marketing, companies can easily spot ambassadors who mention their brand without an official contract.
To make monitoring even more effortless, YouScan provides its users with easy-to-use dashboards where you can visualize all the required metrics. Below is an example of several widgets offering comprehensible and straightforward visualization of social media data involving influencers and the audience response.
Such dashboards can be used either for daily monitoring or as reports that can be shared via a link with all the stakeholders.
5. Build better strategies for future campaigns
Using influencer analytics tools, marketers can both analyze campaigns and implement this data to plan further campaigns.
For example, when working with influencers, it's good to avoid those who previously collaborated with your competitors. Brands can also prevent reputation damages when revising whether an influencer had previously negatively mentioned your brand, your competitors, or generally got into crisis. Their reputation might harm each brand working with this person in such a case. Since nowadays information spreads in a matter of minutes, monitoring such issues might save huge budgets for companies and save audiences' perception.
One of the most recent examples is a scandal that has twice affected Peloton. The brand was first mentioned in the "And just like that" show, although the scene was unpleasant. One of the main characters dies while riding the company's bicycle.
The public relations team reacted quickly, launching an advertisement featuring actor Chris Noth, demonstrating that he is more than alive. Unfortunately, the actor has been afterward accused of sexual assault. Therefore the brand was forced to withdraw the campaign once again.
To save their reputation, brands must now double-check the backgrounds of influencers, not counting all the mentioned preparations.
Are you looking for a tool to help you work with influencers? Request YouScan's free demo to simply discover content creators for your campaigns.