Influencer and ambassador marketing has become a part of every modern marketer’s tool kit. And for good reason. In the new era of social media, a simple truth has shown through: people trust people. Not logos.
It’s human nature. Of course we prefer to trust, engage, and communicate with individuals more than brands. It’s the faces in our social media feeds that slow our scroll… not logos. It’s that person-to-person communication that offers connection and conversation with you; not just a brand message that is broadcast at you.
Understanding the power of this connection, brands and marketers have been quick to jump in. And while it’s possible for marketers to manage the process end-to-end on their own, it’s certainly not easy. Instead, marketers can look to influencer marketing platforms. These platforms should help users:
- Identify the right influencers for their program
- Engage and negotiate terms of their opportunity
- Manage and coordinate multiple influencers and activation timing
- Distribute campaign content to participating influencers and their channels
- Measure campaign performance
1. Identify the Right Influencers
Effective influencer marketing programs aren’t built on affinity alone. As a marketer, you probably have an idea of the influencer(s) who you believe will best represent your brand. And while it’s easy to pick the highest-profile athlete or the influencer with the most name recognition, you may be able to find a better bang for your buck.
The most impactful influencer campaigns are built with the target audience and performance in mind. And to truly understand who an influencer reaches, and how their content performs, marketers need access to data. Demographics, psychographics, and social media performance analytics should drive the influencer selection process.
Effective influencer marketing platforms should provide information including:
- Influencer interests – what areas do they have authority in?
- Audience demographics – who do they reach?
- Activity data – how often do they post? On what channels?
- Engagement data – what portion of their audience interacts with their content?
- Content performance – what types of content performs best?
- Influencer Comparison – how do they compare to other influencers?
- Accurate Pricing – how much do they cost to work with?
This actionable data helps marketers weed out fake followers, uncover real engagement, and understand who to work with to reach a target audience. Without this data, you’re in the dark. To find the right influencers, you have to be armed with the right data… and the right influencer marketing platform will help you access that information and use it to your advantage.
2. Access & Engage
It all starts with access. Whether you’re aiming to work with micro-influencers with 5,000 followers, or the world’s most influential professional athletes, you need the ability to reach them.
While it’s possible to start an influencer relationship via DMs, that strategy will put a lot on your plate and leave you drowning in outreach and eventual negotiations. Instead, look to influencer marketing platforms with real access and outreach plans to engage your target influencers.
Some influencer marketing platforms simply offer databases that provide contact information and leave the rest to the marketer. While that’s a great first step, access to contact information is a small, early part of the influencer engagement process.
Most marketers should instead look to platforms that can take them across the finish line. Rather than giving you a list of agents’ phone numbers and email addresses (and praying they respond), end-to-end influencer platforms will help you:
- Select influencers who fit your goals and budget
- Manage influencer outreach
- Negotiate pricing
- Manage contracts on your behalf
Additionally, your search will lead you to platforms with built-in networks of influencers and athletes who are already actively using the platform for marketing engagements. Leveraging these networks can speed up the access and engagement timeline as the onboarding process is already complete.
3. Manage Influencer Campaigns
Getting the desired influencers onboard and under contract is where the work really begins. Once they’re ready to join the campaign or program, marketers are now tasked with effectively managing the process. This is where a platform’s campaign management capabilities comes into play.
Content management, asset distribution, and scheduling are all a part of keeping the campaign on the tracks. A competent influencer marketing platform will be the marketer’s best friend for campaign management. A platform should provide:
1. Media management
Influencer marketing campaigns require great media management. Whether the media is generated by the influencer or the brand, a platform that can store, manage, and measure media assets is vital to campaign success (and your sanity).
2. Compose content
Whether influencers are sharing your message verbatim, or using your suggestions to craft their posts, you need a way to share content opportunities. Great influencer marketing platforms will provide a ” post composer” that allows you to craft media and messaging to share with individual influencers in your campaign.
3. Simple scheduling
Avoid the waiting game. You’ve likely spent weeks finding the right influencers and finalizing media and messaging. The last thing you want is to be waiting on pins and needles for your campaign posts to publish.
Platforms with a scheduling tool take out the guesswork and allow timely, strategic flighting of influencer posts. This is especially key if you have multiple influencers participating in your campaign.
4. Real-time insights
One benefit of social media is the ability to react and adjust in the moment. The same should be said of your influencer activations. With access to up-to-date analytics, you can make adjustments to share more posts, boost or promote content, or hold off on new posts — all in real-time.
4. Automate Publishing
One of the biggest stressors on influencer marketers is the timely, accurate fulfillment of campaign content. Too often, marketers are left to rely on the copy-paste-and-pray method — refreshing their feeds hoping that the influencer’s posts are published.
Rather than waiting with bated breath, use a platform that promises on-time, accurately published posts.
Opendorse offers publishing tools that let everybody breathe easy. Marketers know their posts will be published accurately and on-time, every time. Athletes and influencers can review and approve posts to automatically publish on their social media channels.
5. Measure Performance
Despite the explosion of analytics and performance data in social media and digital marketing, measuring influencer activations has remained difficult for many marketers. This has led many to distrust and even avoid the industry all-together. But this doesn’t have to be a reality.
Many influencer marketing platforms today offer in-depth analytics and performance measurement tools. These capabilities are a must. Influencer marketing has the ability to drive powerful outcomes. From revenue to engagement; follower growth to fundraising… real performance is possible. But to approve budget and report your efforts, you have to be able to measure it.
So, look to partner with an influencer marketing platform that offers insight beyond follower counts and surface-level engagement. The best platforms provide real-time results, influencer comparisons, and facilitate sophisticated tracking techniques that allow for conversion and ROI measurement.