Best PracticesEditors' Picks

Part 2: How to Simplify Your Influencer Marketing Workflow & Implementation Process

By July 20, 2017 No Comments

Part 2: How to Simplify Your Influencer Marketing Workflow & Implementation Process

influencer-implementation

In the first part of this guide, we reviewed the real operational labor costs and discovered how inefficiencies add up quickly.

For the second part of our trilogy: We review what are the proven techniques and the right tools, and how to reduce labor costs through strategic preparation. 

Pre-Campaign Planning Process

Before any campaign, it’s important to create a content calendar by deciding on key dates. You’ll need to identify specific media channels and establish specific campaign requirements. Then you’ll see a visualized lifecycle of your campaign. A content calendar sets your target deployment dates and required ad placement channels.

It also ensures you’ll have the foresight to meet your defined goals or key performance indicators (KPIs).

Worst Case Scenario:

You realize you’re no longer on track to hit your target reach or engagement because you need to hire more influencers.

Or your expected cumulative post performance is not meeting pre-established benchmarks.

 The rule of thumb here is the earlier, the better. 

You should have your content calendar ready one to two months before you identify or contact influencers. Remember, time-intensive operational tasks begin at the influencer identification stage. This will ensure you have enough time for a well thought out campaign strategy and a well developed, high performing brief.

Consider including the following KPIs: content format, platform placement, and timeline items when creating your campaign content calendar.

Start by defining your KPIs:

At this stage, you should establish quantifiable objectives that will define what success means to you or your client’s upcoming influencer campaign.

Photo by John Baker

Brands run influencer campaigns for a variety of different reasons like reach, impressions, engagement, pieces of user-generated content (UGC) created, sales lift, signups, or hashtag usage.

  • Typically your target KPI is your cost drivers. For example:
    • (CPM) cost per thousand impressions 
    • (CPE) Cost per engagement 
    • (CPC) Cost per click 
    • (CPA) Cost per acquisition 
  • By clarifying on audience targeting requirements, it then becomes possible to identify desired audience likes, interests, behaviors, and demographics required to achieve brand or client objectives.

Define desired content formats and platform placements:

Once you understand what type of content needs to be created, you can decide what the best platforms are for ad placement based on your previously defined campaign KPIs.

At this stage you should begin to get a grasp on realistic timelines, expected influencer compensation costs, content creation guidelines, and platform-specific measurement capabilities:

  • Desired media formats can affect influencer pricing based on production time requirements, ad brand content creation guidelines.
  • Different platforms have varying placement prices driven by channel-specific demand, contain a wide range of measurement capabilities, dedicate brand-content approval processes, and need specific influencer posting instructions (such has hashtag usage, tagging, or backlinking)

Decide content placement timelines:

At this stage, it becomes possible to decide timelines that are derived from your defined campaign parameters. You’ll note on your content calendar what needs to be created, how long it will take to create when you want the influencers post to go live, and how long you want the post to stay alive.

From here you can now get an idea of when to start each phase in the deployment process.

  • Decide what media formats will go live
  • Decide what channels you will place them in and how long the posts will stay live.
  • Define the influencers to find, recruit, negotiate, and place your branded posts and give yourself enough time to manage posts as they go live under your newly established campaign deadlines

Tools to Efficiently Manage Campaigns

Once your campaign kicks off and deployment activities begin, it’s important to manage each campaign task as efficiently as possible to minimize waste.

There are a variety of platforms, tools, and templates available to help you with this. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is team collaboration capabilities.

Often times more than one person is working on an influencer marketing campaign. These people range from campaign operators, brand clients, or project managers.

It’s important all parties involved have access to the information necessary to understand all moving parts:

  • Alexander-andrewscampaign progress
  • influencer approval
  • state of product shipping requirements (if needed)
  • participant payment information
  • content submission status
  • backlinks to live posts
  • tracking campaign performance

The tools teams can use vary from bootstrapped DIY solutions like Google’s G Suite to paid self-service platforms (like NeoReach). Teams should consider their own unique needs and budgets when selecting an influencer campaign management solution.

However, at the end of the day, you get what you pay for.

Bootstrap DIY solutions:

Managing campaigns with Google Drive has cost-effective aspects to get your influencer campaign team organized and collaborating quickly. Campaigns separated by shared folders with subfolders created for key documents and content storage. Google Docs in combination with Google Sheets created to manage entire campaigns and calculate basic performance measurements.

  • Use shared folders to collaborate efficiently: Shared folders alongside subfolders can be given out to key stakeholders and used for internal process management.
    • If you’re an ad agency working with a customer, and they want to review finished content, you can simply make a folder for that and share it with specific users.
  • Harness shared folder hierarchies to stay organized: Label files with identifying document and campaign identification names. 
    • Say a project manager require they approve all content before it’s posted live on social media.
      • Simply create a folder called “Content Pending Approval”
      • Upload the pre-approved media as it’s submitted throughout the duration of the campaign
      • Share it out with key decision makers
      • Move it to a separate “Approved Content” folder once it’s approved
  • Create shared Google Docs and Sheets to manage campaigns: Use Google Docs for campaign procedure documentation and planning processes, then shared with teammates. Adapt Google Sheets to provide campaign managers with a bootstrapped dashboard used for managing influencer pipeline activities through qualifications, recruitment, negotiation, post-approval, and payment verification process.
    • Spreadsheets tailored for specific campaigns requirements like shipping products or managing coupon codes, with critical influencer information noted in rows segmented by social media usernames, workflow stages color coded as progress indicators, and worksheet cells referenced for simple measurement computations (i.e. for values like total reach or engagement rates).
    • Cell ranges referenced into charts for rudimentary data visualization and KPI performance management.
      • We created a simple Influencer Campaign Management Template, complete with pre-filled data segments, cell references, and typical configurations that can be downloaded and adapted to meet your basic requirements for simple low-cost influencer campaigns. You can download it, here.

Drawbacks when using bootstrap tools and methodologies:

What bootstrap tools save you in platform costs, cost marketers the same if not more in man-hour inefficiencies.

Kyle-johnson-diy-marketing

Photo by Kyle Johnson

In most cases, the adverse impact on campaign performance and added labor requirements during initial discovery phases eat up savings from gains in DIY bootstrapped platform arbitrage. These tools also risk an unprofessional perception when collaborating or reporting to brand facing clients or stakeholders (however not always).

Drawbacks:

  • Unless you already have a massive network of engaged influencers, marketers will face real difficulties having to manually search social networks or online blogs to find relevant users for band specific campaigns.
  • Each influencer campaign requires targeting niche audience criteria translating to hours of clicking through non-relevant content and users without the ability to do any audience segmentation filtering.
  • Teams will find it difficult to calculate accurate metrics like impressions (note: follower reach is not the same as impressions), return on investment, or do any user audience analysis for improved ad placement among influencers without needing third-party measurement tools.
  • It’s easy to make data input errors that can throw off entire campaigns.
    • For example, forgetting to manually record user payments, post approvals, or shipment status can self-inflict inefficiencies into the workflow during campaign management.
      • It’s challenging to record updated user follower counts, post engagements, and critical ad performance metrics throughout campaigns as they scale in size without automation.

Paid Platform Service Providers:

Using paid solutions from influencer technology companies, like NeoReach, can be a campaign implementation and workflow lifesaver.

These tools typically use cutting-edge measurement, management, and automation workflows to drive colossal cost savings from operational efficiencies during deployment.

  • When we created Neoreach we wanted to create a  unique granule approach to audience targeting capabilities. In contrast to manual setups, filter influencers by:
    • content category type tags
    • channel placement
    • in-depth audience demographic information (such as age, gender, location, income, and occupation)

Filtering makes light-years in differences in overall campaign performance attributed to audience relevance.

  • Using enhanced targeting techniques over NeoReach’s massive database, we discovered teams saved 98.75% in time when teams actively located key influencers.
    • That means manual setup time reduced from 20 hours figuring 2.5 hours on average during the initial influencer campaign introductory steps.
  • Our clients noticed enormous cost savings when managing active campaigns using our platform’s five-step workflow manager. Our workflow manager saved influencer list approval, outreach, discussion, coordination, and campaign post completion.
    • 95% from a 90-hour manual task baseline to a much more practical 4.5-hour management timeline
    • Reduced 110 cumulative man-hours to just 7 hours for a 10 person influencer campaign for a total calculated labor cost savings of over $3,860
  • In addition, we improved placement by reaching a more targeted, relevant audience while exploring data-rich insights – segmented by time periods and performance.

Takeaways for Implementation & Workflows

Here are countless influencer marketing campaign implementation techniques that can streamline deployment processes and lead to notable cost savings. By using a pre-campaign planning content calendar together with a variety of affordable or paid tools, marketers avoid time-consuming tasks that inflate operational costs.

Marketers gain a strong understanding of influencer campaign planning and put key solutions to good use. They generate massive costs savings through the mitigation of costly operational inefficiencies as a result of understanding the process.

Leave a Reply