Influencer campaigns are risky and difficult, right? They don’t have to be.
The average influencer campaign budget is about $1,000, which makes engaging with influencers a realistic goal for your clients. There are ways to approach influencer campaigns for your clients where you can take charge and create meaningful work for clients.
Have any of these situations happened to you?
- Your hospitality client felt bruised after a well-known influencer was demanding and difficult to work with during their visit.
- Your small business client did not think your recent influencer activity was worth it.
- An influencer you started talking with about an opportunity completely ghosted you and now you don’t know what to tell your client.
- You’ve been asked by your client to vet an influencer who has presented a media kit and pricing sheet that you think is way out of line with your client’s budget.
Sound familiar? Situations like this make independent practitioners shudder when they think about where to start to launch and manage influencer campaigns.
Navigating the universe of influencer campaigns
Large agencies and multinational brands are using large scale identification platforms or talent agencies that represent influencers. (For the record, these fall into the celebrity category and are out of reach for most of us). They are pricey — many start at $5k per month and that’s just for the tool or the relationship. Some of these tools are betting you want to work with “hundreds” of influencers and you need “dozens” of proposals in a short time period. That’s just matching you to an algorithm. It lacks authenticity and doesn’t create value.
There’s just no infrastructure out there for practitioners who want to create niche campaigns with local and regional brands. It’s no wonder practitioners believe influencer campaigns are tricky.
The average influencer campaign budget is about $1,000, which means it’s doable for many clients. We have managed dozens of influencer campaigns for businesses in a wide variety of industries — from health care and small business to travel destinations and nonprofits — and with a wide variety of budgets. Along the way, we’ve developed four key elements to campaign success.
4 steps to a fabulous influencer campaign
Like any communications or marketing effort, you must first set smart goals. Answering some of these questions will help you get to those goals:
- How can an influencers’ voice add to the brand’s footprint?
- What kinds of things do we want them to do? Test a product and give a testimonial? Take over a social channel? Have an experience and report on it? Co-create content with the brand?
- What kind of deliverables would you seek? Blog post or op-ed; social posts; images and video.
- What is the timeline for the engagement?
- What does success look like for this client?
- What kind of budget is available? For your time and project management AND for time and content creation for the influencer.
Once you have answered at least some of these questions, you can begin the process.
1. Identify the potential influencers
You are looking for topic experts and for appropriateness for the brand.
2. Engage them
These are similar skills to approaching reporters. What channels are they on? What do you see in their social feed? Our initial outreach is sometimes a Direct Message on one of their channels.
3. Manage the project
Everything from making the offer, to creating a contract with deliverables and making sure it all happens.
4. Report the results
This is as much about making sure the influencer met those deliverables as it is analyzing the engagement, web traffic, etc that resulted from it.
Secret sauce for solo PR pros
Solo practitioners are perfectly positioned to add “Create and manage influencer campaigns” to their skillset with the steps shared here. The ability to target client needs and cross-match those with appropriate influencers is far more meaningful than the web-based tools that are just pulling from an algorithm.
More resources on influencer campaigns
If you’re ready to do more with influencer campaigns, here are some resources we’ve used and shared with our clients as well as a special offer for the Solo PR Pro community.
- How Brands Can Set Up Influencers for Success
- Three Ways Brands Fail in their Influencer Campaigns
- Influencer Marketing Playlist
- The Complete Guide to Disclosure for Brands and Influencers
- Get the Right Influencers for Your Brand: An online course for brands on how to work with influencers. SPECIAL OFFER: Members of the Solo PR Pro community get 50% off on this course through Feb. 28 when you use the code: SOLO50OFF at checkout.