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A Cheat Sheet for Working with Influencers

15 ACTION ITEMS for Social Marketers in 2017

If you’ve experimented with influencer marketing, you know that it’s no easy feat executing a successful campaign involving influencers. Looking in from the outside, it may seem like you simply reach out to influencers, send them your products, and they create content for you.

But the truth is that successful influencer marketing takes thorough planning and step-by-step execution to reach its full potential.

To make sure your next campaign with influencers is a success, here’s a handy cheat sheet that will guide you through all of the crucial stages.

The Basics

In order for your campaign to be a success, you need to start strong. And that means getting the basics right. Make sure you begin by:

  • Defining Your Goal – What would a successful campaign look like to you? What do you expect from the influencers? Do you want them to help raise brand awareness or to help drive more sales? Whatever your goal is, make sure you define it so you have a strong foundation for every other aspect of your campaign.
  • Defining Your Performance MetricsHow will you keep track of your performance to ensure that you’re reaching your goal? You need to define which metrics will be relevant for measuring your campaign performance. For example, the number of social media impressions, reach, click-through, etc. These will serve as relevant metrics to measure the level of brand awareness raised by influencers.

Choose a Business Model

After completing the basics, you can start choosing which business models you’d like to use for your campaign. You should ideally choose a model that will be best for achieving your goals. Some of the best influencer marketing business models are:

Sponsored Content

This is one of the most popular influencer marketing business models. It involves paying influencers to create content for your brand. The content may be entirely about your product, or it may feature your product along with products from other brands, depending on your agreement.

Example: Style blogger Sarah Vickers (Classy Girls Wear Pearls) created a blog post showcasing products from Nordstrom. She also promoted the post through Instagram and encouraged her followers to check out the post through the link in her bio.  

Sponsored Content Sarah Vickers

Branded Content

Branded content is content created by your brand. But if you’re going to use this as an influencer marketing model, you’ll be using influencers in the content. For example, you showcase influencers trying out and using the product in their own style rather than having professional models pose with the product.  

Example: Sprint created a branded video featuring influencers like YouTuber Lele Pons (1.48 million Twitter followers, 5.3 million YouTube subscribers) and a fitness vlogger (134K Twitter followers and 2.5 million Instagram followers).

Branded Content Sprint

Product Lines

This involves co-creating products with influencers, which works best when you use top influencers in a relevant niche. They could get involved in creating a new line of products, preferably something named after them. You could have them design one new product. Or, in the case of subscription boxes, they could help put together a special box.

Example: Beauty influencer Jackie Aina worked with Too Faced to create darker and deeper shades for their Born This Way foundation line.

Product Lines Born This Way


You could also invite influencers to events and have them share their experience with their social media followers. This would work great if you were launching a new product. They could help build hype for the product through social media.

Example: Tarte Cosmetics regularly organizes events for beauty influencers. At one of these events, they invited some of their favorite beauty vloggers and the vloggers’ mothers for a beauty bonding event.


Brand Ambassador Programs

There’s also the business model that involves recruiting influencers as your brand ambassadors. Ideally, you should consider recruiting relevant micro-influencers or everyday consumers with a significant following.

You will be providing them with an affiliate link or code, which they can share with their audience. The link will help you keep track of the conversions they generate, and they will get paid a percentage of every sale made through those links or codes.

Example: Glossier works with everyday consumers and micro-influential beauty bloggers, such as Jodie Glows. Each of them is given a unique URL. They promote these URLs on social media and get paid a certain amount for each conversion they drive.

Brand Ambassador Jodie Glows

Define Your Ideal Influencer

After deciding on a business model, you can start defining your ideal influencer based on your goals and needs. What does the ideal influencer look like to you? Some characteristics that you might want to include in your definition are:

  • Relevant
  • Creative
  • Original
  • Approachable
  • Engaging

Choose a Compensation Model

Next, you have to decide on how you will compensate influencers for their efforts. This will help you stick to your budget and ensure sufficient and/or appropriate compensation for each influencer. Some of the options are:

  • Pay per post, which involves paying influencers for each post they create
  • Pay per result, which involves paying influencers for every click-through, conversion, or social media impression they generate
  • Free products and/or experiences

Find Influencers

After all this, you can start looking for influencers to work with. Here are some of the best ways to look for potential influencers to work with:

  • Conduct manual searches on social media platforms using relevant keywords and hashtags
  • Work with an influencer marketing agency that can connect you with the most relevant influencers
  • Use tools like Simply Measured Listening to track social media conversations and find influencers who are already talking about your brand
Simply Measured Find Influencers
Simply Measured Listening

Track Your Campaign

Finally, start tracking your campaign once it’s executed to see how well it’s performing. Keep a close eye on each influencer and the content they create to see how effectively they’re promoting your brand.

Content Share Tracking Simply Measured
Simply Measured Content Share Tracking

Finally, make sure you track all the results they generate so you can reward them accordingly. If you find that some influencers aren’t yielding the desired results, you can adjust your campaign and discontinue your contract with them.

In other words, tracking your campaign performance helps you make adjustments to the campaign so that all your time, effort, and resources are put to good use.

For more information on how you can build out your best influencer marketing campaign, check out our blog post, “The DO’s and DON’Ts of Influencer Marketing.”

Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter

How to Build an Influencer Program for Your Retail Brand


Shane Barker

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant. He specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

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