Influencer campaign planning shouldn't be Mission Impossible
So the campaign has finally kicked off! You've read my previous article and expertly vetted and selected your influencers and the campaign brief has been circulated to them, easy stuff! However, you've noticed that your audience isn't really engaging with the content and you're starting to question why your audience seems to have become alienated from the brand. Is it the content? Is it the influencers? Is it the concept? There are many things that could have and may still go wrong if the campaign is not planned correctly.
Setting individualised missions for influencers is vitally important. By sending one brief to all influencers for the same campaign, all influencers will produce very similar content. Within certain verticals there is often an audience overlap, in which case, followers following several influencers part of the same campaign will see the same type of content being produced, which may be alienating for the audience. This is where the importance of influencer mission setting and dynamic campaign planning plays a role in the success of the overall campaign.
Not every mission will match the influencer, and conversely, not every influencer will match the mission.
It’s important to match the missions to the influencers and not the influencers to the missions. By assigning missions that have been tailored to the influencer’s style, the content they create will reinforce the brands message in their own signature style. The missions the brand sets should be a framework for the influencer to work from, not a script.
Brands need to think out of the box when it comes to dealing with influencers. It is all about creating the perfect framework that allows for full creativity, authenticity and engagement while remaining aligned with the brand’s objectives and protecting its brand equity. Authenticity in the content is crucial to ensuring the message resonates with the target audience, in a way that is original and organic. Influencers should use their own discretion and build the story in a way that matches their style and flow, while staying within a given framework.
Following this, a publication calendar should be established, where all influencers’ posts are spread over the period of the campaign and matched to different criteria and daily/weekly/monthly events such as public holidays of different themes. In doing so, the content will resonate with the brands target audience in different styles, themes and ways – keeping it fresh and new.
Another aspect of effective campaign planning is to confirm the correct hashtags and mandatory disclosures required by law, as well as the mandatory mentions for the brand. In the planning stages, brands should consider all regulations applicable to the campaign. Influencers are not industry professionals; brands should therefore provide a framework of flexibility for the influencer so that they create their own personal content while respecting all regulations, no matter the sector or vertical.
It is critical to protect both the brand and the influencer by covering all the details of the relationship.
In terms of legalities, I cannot stress enough the importance of contracting with all parties involved throughout the campaign. Strict contracting creates an agreement between the brand and the influencer; this should be in writing to cover all parties involved. Proper contracting protects both the influencer and brand or agency. Brands cannot forget that the influencer will become associated to the brand in everything they do, at least for the time of the campaign. This should include the details of the missions, deadlines and schedules, DO’s and DON’Ts as well as the expectations and consequences if something goes wrong.
Effective campaign planning and management is a human skill and requires specific expertise. It should not be an automated system. Influencer marketing is different to digital marketing in this way. Influencer marketing experts manage real people who speak with an audience, rather than managing the audience itself and to do so effectively, one needs a specific skill set that is very different from other fields of conventional marketing.
The success of an influencer marketing campaign is based on various factors throughout the timeline of the campaign but it is critical to set missions and effectively plan campaigns well in advance to ensure the campaign gets off on the right foot. Without doing so, there is a high risk that the campaign will produce a terrible ROI. It may also deviate from the overall objectives of the brand and harm the brand equity.
In previous and upcoming articles, my colleagues and I will demonstrate how a kickass influencer marketing campaign should be run in a series of four articles. You’ve already seen what influencer marketing is all about in the first article of the series. You’ve also learnt about the importance of having a dedicated influencer marketing strategy. Following that, you’ve seen the importance of vetting and selecting the right influencers.
In this article, you’ve learnt about the importance of effectively planning a campaign and setting mission statements. You can look forward to learning about effective campaign management to ensure the protection of your brand equity. These articles (and more) will be released weekly. If you’re dying to know more now and you’d like expert assistance with creating and managing your influencer marketing campaigns, you can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org