You now have influencers in place and ready to start. Set up campaigns you want to run with influencers. Base them around goals you want to achieve. An example is, “Raise awareness by 20% of product A.” Or “Increase sales on product B by 15% in a one-month period.” Remember goals should be realistic. Don’t say you want to increase sales by 200%
When you bring on influencers make sure you tell them exactly what you are expecting. Don’t leave them guessing as to what you want. Its always a good idea to have an onboard document that spells out what you are looking for. Also, what they can expect from you as well. Make it a two way street and they feel comfortable coming to you with new ideas.
Starting a campaign you should tell what you would like to happen. I have found that if you email them with specific key points you want them to cover. It will help them craft the story they want to tell. Keep the key points to just a few items. Don’t give them a complex list of 20 points to point out. No one will want to work with you in the future.
If an influencer doesn’t cover the items exactly like you want. Don’t get all upset that they didn’t meet your expectations. Talk to them, and I don’t mean an email. Set up a phone conversation to find out why they did what they did. They may know their audience and one of the key points may not have worked for them. It may give you some in sight on new ways to do things. Influencers have a reputation in the industry. They don’t want to be seen as a “sell out.” Sometimes you have to give them leeway in the way they share your product/service.
Working in the US, you will need to follow guidelines for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). They have specific rules about how posts should be labeled. The most important is disclosure. If you paid the person, either monetarily or product. The influencer must disclose that he/she is posting due to a relationship with you and/or your business. If you are going, “I don’t need to know about this, it’s the job of the influencer.” Think again! The FTC doesn’t fine the influencer, its almost always the company behind the influencer.
The FTC is always changing disclosures. Its not always easy to keep up with the regulations. When in doubt always disclose a relationship and payment. Put the disclosure high up in a post. That way you can hopefully avoid any appearance of impropriety. I’m not a lawyer and offer no legal advice on this subject. This is my best practice I have developed from being on both sides of the influencer table.
I reported earlier that brands are uneasy in not being able to control how your story is told. You should let the influencer tell the story as they see it. You don’t want someone coming in to your business telling you how to do things. Influencers don’t want you to do the same with them. In fact, I have found the more transparency you have, the better the results. Let influencers tell the good and bad of your product/service. When you see something that is 100% positive, you become suspect as to the intent. Most aren’t sure they can believe it. Think of reviews done by employees. Lastly, it may let you see where you have issues in your product/service. This could allow you to fix issues you didn’t know existed.
This should go without saying but never ask an influencer to lie or report things that aren’t true. Not only will this give your credibility a ding, it will affect the influencer. Be as honest and straightforward as you can be in your campaigns. Dishonesty will be found out and may damage your brand beyond repair.
After your campaigns have completed. Next, you want to do reporting. That topic is part 4