Is there a fast, easy, and proven Influencer Marketing campaign process that drives desired results every single time? Yes and no! The good news? In our 14 years of influencer relations experience, we have created a tried-and-tested process that guarantees ROI. The better news? It’s not rocket science. On the other hand, campaign strategy, planning, and execution do take time. The more campaigns you run using this process, the faster you’ll churn them out. Driving results and maximizing budget? That’s what we call a win-win!

Influencer Marketing campaign process to guarantee ROI

What Is the 5-Step Influencer Marketing Campaign Process?

Unlike viral videos that require crossing fingers and wishful thinking to exceed expectations, Influencer Marketing campaigns can hit it big with a simple, 5-step proven process, including:

  1. Identify the campaign’s objectives. 
  2. Specify the campaign’s desired results. 
  3. Choose the campaign’s activations. 
  4. Select metrics tools and create a tracking plan. 
  5. Execute the campaign according to the scope of work. 

Let’s drill down further and identify what each of the five steps includes in the Influencer Marketing campaign process.

1. Identify the campaign’s objectives.

Also referred to as key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals, objectives detail a campaign’s primary purpose. Knowing from the outset what you want to achieve, at least at a high level, helps make every other campaign decision fast and easy. For example, let’s say that your brand’s primary objective is awareness. In that case, you might focus on some of the following:

  • Engagement: Shares, comments, saves, opens, and click-throughs (emails or links)
  • Impressions: Follows, retweets, likes, listens (podcast, audio, video), sponsored update likes, and update views (video, live streaming)

While it’s tempting to talk tactics before solidifying objectives, resist the temptation! Instead, stick to defining and getting consensus on your campaign goals. 

Get a comprehensive list of common campaign objectives broken out by each marketing funnel phase.

2. Specify the campaign’s desired results.

Once you’ve figured out what you want your campaign to achieve at a high level, drilling down further on your goals is key. Let’s continue with the example above of raising awareness through impressions and engagement. In this step, you’d want to pinpoint what success looks like specifically. Namely, the exact numbers of likes, views, listens, or follows you’d need to hit to ensure ROI. If you can add a deadline, even better! For example:

  • Drive 100,000 website unique visits in 1 month while increasing time on site from 2 minutes to 5 minutes per unique visitor.
  • Generate 7% engagement on the Q1 video-based campaign (running from January to March). Specifically, increase video shares from 2% to 5%.
  • See a 15% increase in video views from Q4 2021 to Q1 2022.

You could detail your campaign’s desired results further by adding specific numbers to each line item as we did in the first bulleted item above. Percentages are great but actual numbers—the baseline figure next to the goal amount—are more motivating and easier to track.

3. Choose the campaign’s activations.

With your campaign objectives and desired results in mind, you’re ready to tackle tactics. This is many practitioners’ favorite part of the Influencer Marketing campaign process. And, it’s a good thing. Why? Because matching objectives and results with the right activations make all the difference on whether you hit your goals. That said, choosing tactics is a two-part process, including 1) Know your options. And, 2) Create your buyer persona.

Chart of Influencer Marketing Activation Results

Know Your Campaign Activation Options

Before you choose your campaign’s tactics, know that you’ve got options. For instance, popular Influencer Marketing campaign tactics include:

  • Affiliate marketing
  • Ambassador programs
  • Creative assets for marketing purposes (rights to professional photography or videos, content, etc.)
  • Creative campaigns (blog, live streaming, podcast, or video-based campaigns across blogs and social media on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitter, and/or YouTube, etc.)
  • eNewsletter campaigns (dedicated blasts or features in weekly or monthly publications)
  • Live or virtual events (conferences, at home, at corporate headquarters, on location, retreats, via Zoom, etc.)
  • Ratings and reviews on a brand’s website
  • Satellite media tours or other spokesperson opportunities

Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list. Furthermore, you do not have to be in all places (or on all platforms) at once.

Let’s put this into practice using the example from the first two steps. First, we know that awareness is the primary objective. Now, let’s say that you need 5 Million video views to get a return on your investment. That would be your desired result. Knowing you’ve got options is helpful as you dive deeper. That takes us to part two in this process. Instead of choosing tactics right away, do your homework! 

Create Your Customer Persona

Before throwing a dart at the campaign activation dartboard and choosing tactics, spell out your consumer persona. First, identify your ideal consumers’ age or age range—what generation they are a part of. Next, pinpoint other key criteria that will help you best market to them (e.g., physical location [demographic details], marital status, preferences and interests, behavior traits, pain points, challenges, etc.). Finally, decide where you want to take them in the customer journey—awareness, consideration, activation, conversion, retention, and/or referral. 

After pinpointing the particulars, let’s say you decide that younger Millennial women are your audience who prefer video-based content. From there, you could determine that short, live, and informal videos are the optimal activations for success. Instead of longer-form videos, you would want to consider short-form options on Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts. 

To reemphasize, a campaign’s objectives and desired results should always drive the activations and not the other way around. Additionally, the activations you choose should guarantee success and resonate with your target audience. Just like it’s tempting to talk tactics before objectives, it also is tempting to choose trendy tactics instead of focusing on what will really drive results. Resist the temptation to follow the trends for trends’ sake and bank on tried and true activations that will hit it big for your brand success-wise. That said, if trendy tactics will wow your audience while driving results? Score! Always go with what will drive ROI.

Discover which platforms and content types the different generations prefer.

4. Select metrics tools and create a tracking plan.

You’ve determined your campaign objectives, desired results, and activations, including tactic options and your buyer persona. Now, you’re excited to move to execution, right? I don’t blame you! Putting planning into action is a rush. However, while it may seem like putting off metrics until a campaign is underway is a good idea, it’s not. The most successful Influencer Marketing campaigns discuss metrics at the outset. Specifically, in campaign planning meetings. And, like the activation step, metrics, also, involve a two-part process: 1) Select metrics tools and 2) Create a tracking plan.

Select Metrics Tools

Different desired results require different tracking tools to accurately capture your campaign’s data. The good news? Lots of options exist, including platform-specific analytics and third-party tools in a range of pricing options.

This image details common campaign objectives, the activations that help you achieve them, and the various metrics tools that are available to help you prove ROI. Though not a comprehensive list, this is a great starting place to ensure you’re set up to track your campaign metrics. Again, you have a ton of metrics tool options, varying greatly in price, company, type, and quality.

Download our FREE printable, highlighting which tracking and metrics tools help you track which objectives.

Create a Tracking Plan

Equally important to having the right tracking tools is determining how, where, and how often (when) you will gather each campaign’s results. Without a tracking plan in place, including how you will best tell data-driven stories, reporting results is difficult. Furthermore, if you don’t include metrics in your campaign planning meetings (Yes! Right at the outset!) and track them throughout your campaign, sharing accurate, compelling data is nearly impossible.

Let’s return to our example of a short-form video campaign. First, you’d want to see what metrics and insights Instagram Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts provide. Next, you’d want to familiarize yourself with how to interpret and gather the information, including downloading any key elements (stats, images, etc.). Then, you’d want to identify third-party tracking and metric tools that could augment your stats. This may require researching the most up-to-date and popular platforms. Once you’ve decided on and accessed the tools and learned how to use them, you’d want to create a plan. Specifically, you’d want to identify where you will track your campaign metrics (e.g., in a spreadsheet, in a specific tool, in your campaign-management system). Finally, agree on how often you will track (once a day, multiple times per day, once a week, etc.).

Important tip! Don’t forget to determine at the campaign’s outset what type of content, data, links, creative assets, testimonials, and other things must go into your stats report. That way, you’ll know whether you need to set up an online filing system to gather creative assets and/or a spreadsheet for data collection, administer a survey to gather additional data, or prepare any other documents to make the report creation task fast and easy.

5. Execute the campaign according to the scope of work.

Now that you have all of the upfront pieces in place, you are in great shape to spell out the campaign details in a scope of work (also known as an SOW), including these details: 

  • The campaign’s objective(s) and company goal(s) the campaign will meet
  • The anticipated measurable results
  • The budget
  • The inclusions
  • The brand messaging
  • Influencer criteria (Hint! Attract influencers whose followers match your buyer persona to get your brand messaging to just the right people.)
  • Influencer details (e.g., compensation types and methods, compensation amount, special instructions, etc.)
  • The metrics plan, including data to track and tools for measuring it
  • Campaign timeline, including key milestones and critical deadlines

SOWs can be incorporated into a contract or shared as part of a campaign brief. Additionally, you may copy and paste relevant parts into the Influencer Contract or other third-party documents. Regardless of where you house it, who you share it with it is key. Any internal and external team members or vendors who need to be on the same page throughout the campaign should have access either to the full scope of work or to the parts of it that relate to their role.

Tip! Including as much agreed-upon detail as possible in the SOW upfront will result in clarity. Additionally, it will lead to a more streamlined execution phase and less rework.

Influencer Finding and Management

Though the campaign execution phase has many steps, none is more important than influencer finding and management. This is because lining up creators with followers in your target demographic and who produce quality work is what will drive campaign ROI. Getting this piece wrong can put your entire campaign in jeopardy.

Download our FREE eBook to learn the ins and outs of finding, vetting, negotiating with, and managing your influencer partners.

Wrapping It Up

Again, ensuring results on Influencer Marketing campaigns every single time is possible. Additionally, it can be easy when you follow this five-step Influencer Marketing campaign process: 

  1. Identify the campaign’s objectives. 
  2. Specify the campaign’s desired results. 
  3. Choose the campaign’s activations. 
  4. Select metrics tools and create a tracking plan. 
  5. Execute the campaign according to the scope of work. 

And, remember not to leave out knowing your campaign activation options and creating a customer persona.

Last but not least, get up to speed on influencer finding and management.

It’s simple math! Objectives + desired results + activations + metrics (plan and tools) + a scope of work (including influencer finding and management) = guaranteed ROI. 

Next Steps

Tools to Implement the Influencer Marketing Campaign Process

  • Want to clarify your campaign objectives and see how they align with each marketing funnel phase? Check out our comprehensive post here.
  • Interested in knowing popular activations that go with common campaign objectives? Download our FREE printable.
  • Need help drilling down on activations that lead to desired results? Download our FREE printable.
  • Looking for metrics planning tips and tools? Check out our metrics roundup here.
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