In today’s social media filled world, people are far more likely to follow the purchasing habits of people they feel like they know – including their favorite bloggers, Instagram influencers, and YouTube vloggers – rather than a random advertisement from a brand they are unfamiliar with. This is why influencer marketing has gained a significant amount of momentum within the past two years.
Influencer campaigns utilize brand ambassadors with a strong social media presence to bring your brand’s message to a larger consumer market. Instead of a broad marketing campaign that aims to directly reach a large group of consumers, you simply work to inspire, hire, and/or pay influencers in your market group to spread the word for you. While this can be a wonderful approach to marketing, it takes knowledge, contacts, and the proper tools to be truly effective. When you don’t have the right tools for influencer marketing, it can be very time-consuming and difficult to stay organized, let alone keep track of return on investment, specific brand advocates, contracts, content, etc.
Here are a few tools we use internally at Power Digital Marketing that you can implement into your own influencer marketing campaigns to make your job easier.
An Influencer Database
When engaged in influencer marketing, you want to make sure that you choose social media influencers who fit the three R’s of influence: relevance, reach, and resonance. Finding the right influencers to fit your needs takes a lot of time and energy. And once you’ve found these influencers, you need a way to keep track of them and the particular campaigns they are or might be involved with for your brand.
At Power Digital Marketing, we have found that simply relying on Google sheets or Excel documents simply isn’t a scalable solution for staying organized with influencers and outreach programs. It’s a great place to start, but we highly recommend investing in a tool designed specifically for creating your own influencer database in order to streamline your influencer list building and marketing processes. Having a database also helps to shed light on issues such as whether you are dealing with a micro influencer or macro influencer, who influences your influencers, etc. And you can also segregate influencers based on additional data such as post frequency, engagement, audience, etc., as well as their overall content style and quality.
When we ultimately recognized the need for this tool, we created our own proprietary influencer database, called Dexter, which we now use to build our own lists of influencers in various niches, report on campaign successes, and find new influencers through our online scraper tool.
A Solid Image Rights Release Agreement
Influencers are creators, which means they make amazing content. You should be leveraging this content across the board in your marketing campaigns. In order to do so, however, you first need permission from your influencers, legally and in writing. This is why at Power Digital Marketing, all of our influencer campaign agreements include an image rights release agreement, which is customized based on the uses that the brand will need for the specific image(s) or video(s).
Similar to a model release form, this document is used when images of an influencer have been or will be used in photographs, video, or other content. As a marketer, you need to acquire the full legal rights to that image to be used in any way you would like in the future. This form should be used for anyone whose images you plan to use in a marketing campaign to show that the influencer fully acknowledges and agrees that you can do anything you need with the images, including publishing, republishing, distributing, editing, changing, etc. in order to make effective use of that influencer for your marketing campaign(s).The influencer should also release any claims that he or she may have on any potential future issues that could arise, such as a right of privacy or right of publicity claim. When working with images of an influencer, a solid image rights release agreement is essential to ensure that you have properly acquired and retained the rights needed for the use of the influencer’s image and content.
A Templated Campaign Agreement
A campaign agreement is another critical component of all our influencer campaigns at Power Digital Marketing. The reason why is simple: without them, influencers far too often flake on collaborations. The simple act of signing an agreement holds them more accountable and makes it far more likely that they will actually follow through on the marketing agreement you have made with them.
These agreements also provide the complete rundown on the whole marketing campaign, including what specifically is required of the influencer, what the exact compensation agreed upon is, and what exact brand messaging the influencer should be including to meet their part of the agreement. This step not only holds the influencer accountable, but it also ensures that you stay within your budget.
A Mood Board
To create an effective influencer marketing campaign, you need a consistent look, feel, and tone that accurately reflects your values and your brand. You also need an influencer who can reflect these same elements for your campaign. At Power Digital Marketing, we have recently discovered that including a mood board, or a few creative image or video assets to use as a guideline, has made not only our clients happy and feeling better aligned, but also helps the influencers we’re working with. To be truly effective, this tool should be created at the start and launch of your campaign, and it can be adjusted and reworked as needed for different campaigns down the line. Your mood board should showcase how you want the specific product to be portrayed, the colors you want to emphasize, creative concepts for inspiration, and overall style.
Not only does a mood board show that you’ve done your research, but it ensures that everyone from the brand, the influencer, and the middle-man organizing the partnership are all aligned on the creative strategy. It also helps with organic social marketing for the brand because they can use these assets as inspiration for their own posts.
Audience Insights Tools
A single influencer can’t be everything to all people. Effective influencer marketing involves using the right people for the target audience. This means the first step is to clearly define and understand who your target audience is, and then to make sure that the influencer you work with truly appeals to this audience. There are a number of different audience insights tools out there that are a big component of vetting influencers. If you think the influencers you rely on appeal to your target demographic, you need to know if their followers are really the potential customers you’re interested in. The only way to truly tell is to partner with effective audience insights tools, which are often bundled in with influencer databases as an added bonus. You can gather information about the followers’ locations, demographics, interests, and more using these helpful tools. Here are a few examples:
An Influence Map
Influence maps are visual models created to show the interests of specific groups and the particular people who actually influence their decision-making the most. For example, mothers have different interests and influences than single women and married people have different interests and influences than students. Each of these demographics has their own set of influencers, and often these groups can also be broken down into far smaller subgroups.
Facebook Audience Insights
Ever wonder who your followers are and who they’re following? Created so that advertisers could target their Facebook ads more effectively, this free tool can be used to learn more about your audience even if you are not advertising with them. This data comes from self-reported Facebook information they used when completing their profile, including age, gender, relationship status, job title, and location, as well as information they added over time such as Page Likes, Groups, etc. It also includes third-party data partners to whom they may have provided information including household income, purchasing behavior, home value, etc. that is available through external companies that match their data to Facebook users. It’s easy to access this tool from the Facebook Ads manager. Just click on ‘Audience Insights’ located in the left-side menu. You can segregate the information by everyone on Facebook, only those connected to your page, or a custom audience you choose. You’ll have access to powerful demographic information through this powerful social media tool.
Another powerful audience insights tool is the use of personas, creating semi-fictional representations of your ideal target customer group based on market research and real-life data about your current and prospective customers at all stages of the sales funnel. This powerful tool helps businesses better understand to their key buyers and who and what influences them, making it possible to deliver more focused marketing content and messaging.
At Power Digital Marketing, we have proven expertise in creating effective influencer campaigns. We use powerful tools including our own proprietary influencer database, solid image rights release agreements, targeted campaign agreements, mood boards, and a variety of audience insights tools to craft targeted, successful influencer campaigns for companies just like yours.