Trying to build a brand DIY style? Need to engage your influencers? We compiled a list of free or low-cost, effective ways to get your influencer campaign organized and able to easily tackle essentials like influencer identification, communication, activation, and management.
Searching & Selecting Influencers
- Social Blade: Retroactively review account growth for Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, and Twitch, screening influencers for growth patterns and account irregularities.
- Calculator (Spreadsheet Formulas): Use basic calculations like Campaign Acceptance Rate, and Single Submission Success Rate to dynamically determine influencer campaign fulfillment timelines (we made this guide).
- Influencer Marketing Hub Free Engagement Calculators: While we can’t speak to the validity of any of the cost estimations or media values made on the site (industry markets and methodology still remain inefficient and opaque), the engagement rate calculations make for a nice quick way to review a key influencer performance metric.
*(Bonus):* The average engagement rates for Instagram and Twitter in 2017 featured on the IMH site gives perspective of where an Influencer lies relative to their peers on the platforms as a whole (again not a definitive answer, just a well-formatted estimate).
- Social Platform Search & Review Techniques: Use the Social platforms themselves to search for your target influencers by tags, content type, suggested users, locations, and niche keywords and content your target audience would already be consuming. Plus, it’s always best practice to manually review the last 10 – 15 posts your target influencers have made across their social channels (ie. screening for offensive content).
Communication & On-Boarding
- Facebook Messenger & Related Apps: If you need to contact a page or influencer, messaging the user on Facebook messenger, directly on Instagram, or any other related application the influencer has made themselves available on, may not be a bad idea. Now understand, connecting with an individual to collaborate on a social media campaign is completely different than spamming users on these platforms. Be genuine, personal, and show respect when reaching out to connect with any individual.
- Google Docs & Sheets: Managing campaigns with Google Drive can be a cost-effective way to get your team organized, and collaborating quickly (We put together a quick guide on this and the drawbacks as well when using spreadsheet methodologies).
- MailChimp, Gmail & Related Email Tools: With up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month free forever with no credit card required, you can’t beat Mailchimp’s ease of use for influencer communication and correspondence. Gmail is always great as well, with custom domain emails starting at just $5 per month with G Suite.
Remember: be genuine, personal, and show respect when reaching out to connect with anyone by email.
- DocuSign: At $3 per month to start, with the ability to send agreements for signatures and documents backed by flexible integrations with Dropbox and Google, DocuSign can be great for signing campaign agreements with influencers.
Planning & Activation
- QuickBooks: Quickbooks is the best for tracking payments to contracts throughout the year. If your team is planning a high volume of influencer making campaigns, they will need a tool to keep up 1099’s, logging completed work and separating vendor expenses.
- Google Calendar: Using the Google Calendar system to plan influencer activation dates, requirements, and collaborate with teams if you’re using G Suite can be a great way to get a campaign planned out, with key dates quickly.
- Paypal: We find the most widely accepted, and adopted form of payment with influencers lies with Paypal. It’s familiar and people usually have an account. In addition, integration into your accounting software like Quickbooks can further streamline how your billing and payment teams process information for state and federal tax compliance (note: always consult a professional for financial advice).
Management & Reporting
- Google Sheets: Our team made a simple easy to use Influencer Campaign Google Sheet Template you can copy and use to help on your their campaign for basic organization, management, and calculation of simple post-performance measurements. (and when you’re ready even import directly into NeoReach via CSV ;)!
- Native Social Measurement Tools: Each social network has their own measurement capabilities and functionally. Explore how each platform can complement your influencer efforts, like using Insights for branded content on Instagram for example.
- Google Analytics: Using Google Analytics on dedicated landing pages, product specific pages, and/or running comparative channel traffic analysis from before, during, and after campaigns can be a great way to measure top line impact efforts have had on brand controlled assets.
- Bitly: Easy to use, free account for tracking clicks, referral channels, top locations and more. Great for tracking top sales funnel metrics or a specific influencers traffic referral ability (i.e. using dedicated Bitlinks for each influencer).
Ditch the tools and start automating campaigns with a dedicated solution that’s backed by a team of industry pioneers.