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Getting Started with Influencer Marketing: A Step-by-Step Guide

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In today's digital age, influencer marketing has become a powerful strategy for brands and businesses looking to reach a wider audience, build trust, and boost sales.

By partnering with individuals who have a significant online following, you can tap into their credibility and influence to promote your products or services.

However, getting started with influencer marketing can be a daunting task, especially if you're new to the game. Luckily for you, we’ve prepared this article on how to start influencer marketing.

This step-by-step guide will walk you through the essential process and aspect of influencer marketing, from identifying the right influencers to planning and measuring your campaign's success.

Understanding Influencer Marketing for Brands

Let’s begin with what influencer marketing entails. We’ve spoken about it in detail before, but in brief, it’s when you collaborate with influencers on social media platforms to promote or advertise your brand.

An influencer is an individual with a sizable and engaged following. In successful influencer marketing, the following is typically one that matches or overlaps with your brand’s audience demographic.

Leveraging the influencers’ reach can therefore help brands amplify their own reach, build credibility, enhance loyalty, and more.

The End-to-end Influencer Marketing Process

Now let’s get to how to start influencer marketing. Below is a guide to the process, split up by stages.

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Stage 1: Discovery and Strategy

This is the initial stage where you have to identify your goals and objectives.

Among other things, you should identify the following:

  • What kind of influencer to reach out to based on your products/services and target audience

  • What social media platform you want to focus on (you can have more than one but be wary of selecting too many)

  • What type of influencer marketing content you want to use, e.g. sponsored posts, product reviews, giveaways, PR kits, affiliate marketing, etc.

You need to understand all these before you can proceed to the next stage. You may also want to come up with an action plan summary to keep track of the campaign timeline or deadlines, by the way.

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Stage 2: Influencer Identification and Collaboration

At this stage, you probably know what kind of content or influencers you want to work with for the campaign. This is when you start to source and reach out to these potential influencers for collaboration opportunities.

Note that you may well need to negotiate with influencers to settle on appropriate compensation. Influencers’ rates vary significantly, but generally, the bigger the influencer’s following, the higher the rate.

Don’t be fooled into just finding the highest-rate, highest-following influencers, however. Influencers with smaller audiences can sometimes provide even better ROI than those with big audiences, often because of higher engagement.

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Stage 3: Campaign Creation and Execution

Once you’ve selected or confirmed the influencers to work with for this campaign and they’ve agreed to collaborate, this is where you begin your campaign.

Here you will have to draft a campaign brief outlining all the important details influencers have to note. If you’re not sure what to put here, read on, because we’ll share what to include later.

Anyway, after you and the influencer have aligned on the campaign, the influencer typically does their part, creating the content you requested as per their contract.

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Stage 4: Monitor, Analyse and Optimise

Once your campaign starts rolling and influencers start posting, it’s time to start monitoring the audience response. It’s important to track performance in real time for more representative data.

You can analyse various metrics such as likes, comments, shares, and so on. These can help you figure out engagement, estimate campaign reach, and the like.

It may even be useful to sort through reactions like comments at times. Whether you do this or not, the goal remains the same: to get a better idea of how people are reacting to the campaign and whether or not it’s achieving the goals you set.

What to Include in an Influencer Campaign Brief

What is a campaign brief? The influencer campaign brief is a document that outlines everything an influencer needs to know to work with your brand on a specific campaign.

The usual influencer campaign brief has a lot in common with the influencer marketing pitch deck. The difference is that the pitch deck is meant for influencers who haven’t yet agreed to work with you, whereas the latter just explains what you need from the influencers who’ve already agreed to work with you.

In any case, the brief outlines critical data the influencers will need to hold up their end of the bargain in this collaboration. Here are the essentials:

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Brand Introduction

This refers to a short introduction of your company as a reminder of whom they’re working with. For this, you include notes such as the industry, what you do, what you sell or offer, what your USPs are, etc.

Include all the key information of your brand here. Explain your niche and brand values, among other things.

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Campaign Objectives

In this section, you should clearly define the goals of the campaign, such as brand awareness, product launch, lead generation, or affiliate marketing.

Be sure to marry those goals to specific, measurable, and time-bound objectives. This is to help influencers understand what success looks like, as they’ll need ways to figure out whether or not what they’re doing is working for you.

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Deliverables and Payout

It’s important to be transparent about the deliverables and expected payout.

At this point, it may be wise to reiterate the agreed-upon compensation structure and payment terms, in particular. This includes when and how influencers will be compensated (e.g., upfront, upon completion, via bank transfer, or other methods).

State requirements for their deliverables clearly too. State if the influencer must post a 1-minute Instagram reel or 2 Instagram stories, for example.

And if you have special requirements or instructions for influencers to follow, note them here as well as a reminder. Guidelines like using a specific hashtag for the content they produce for you should definitely be reiterated.

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Key Messages

This expounds on the deliverables noted in the previous section. This is where you highlight the key messages or talking points you want the influencers to convey in their content.

Be clear about specific product features, benefits, or unique selling points you want them to emphasize, as it can guide their content creation.


Content Concept

This section is optional as its presence depends on your campaign and may vary from brand to brand. After all, some brands allow influencers to be free and easy to come up with their own content, while some have specific directions.

If you want something specific, state the type of content you expect from influencers, whether it's Instagram posts, YouTube videos, blog posts, TikTok videos, or a combination of all of those.

Include as many details as you can. Consider notes about content length, quality, even colour filters, and any required hashtag or mention.

Leave notes about content direction or ideation here too. For example, if you’re a florist, you can probably leave the influencer a note about creating a video to surprise loved ones with a bouquet.

That said, while you provide guidelines, try to allow influencers some creative freedom even here. The most effective influencer content aligns the campaign with the influencer’s personal style and authenticity – this makes it more genuine and engaging.

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Campaign Timeline

Provide a timeline for the campaign, including important dates such as content submission deadlines, publication dates, and events or promotions related to the campaign. Factor in extra time for content review and approval processes too, of course.

This should help you as well as the influencer stay on track throughout the duration of the campaign.

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Other Campaign-related Notes

Some of the other details you can include in the brief are logistics and shipping, contact information, terms and conditions, and usage rights, etc.

For example, if the campaign involves physical products, specify how and when influencers will receive the products, along with any shipping or return instructions.

As for the terms and conditions, clearly outline the usage rights and permissions you are granting to the influencers for the content they create. Specify whether or not you can repurpose their content for your own marketing purposes afterwards.

Get help setting up your influencer marketing campaign today

All of this should get you started on influencer marketing. That being said, it’s perfectly natural to still feel intimidated by it if it’s your first time, even with a guide available.

If you do think you need professional assistance to set up your influencer campaigns, let us help. We can discuss the types of influencers your brand can benefit from, find you options, and even set up the entire influencer campaign for you if necessary.

You can also read more of our articles on the topic to expand your knowledge. For instance, we have a piece on developing influencer marketing strategies that may help. Or you can go right ahead and talk to us about that too – contact us for a chat for your digital marketing needs anytime!


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