When is the right time for an influencer campaign?

When you want your product to reach the target community, influencer campaigns can be a good promotional tool. In order for them to have the desired impact, it is good to plan them in detail. Here are the recommendations of Cristian China Birta, blogger and entrepreneur.

Influencers, bloggers, vloggers, people with a lot of Facebook fans must be resources for you. That's how you have to see them. Resources you access if you want to. Only if you want to. But to access them, you have to make sure they are in sync with your communication and marketing strategy. Otherwise, you are entering an area that I do not recommend at all: "I also want to do a campaign with influencers." This will not help you, this is not the objective. 

Why work with influencers? 

Through influencers, you reach, much easier and much more efficiently from a financial point of view, communities which you would otherwise reach with great difficulty and with a lot of money. 

How much do influencers cost? 

The answer is simple: some are cheap, others are obscenely expensive. You should not necessarily be interested in how much they cost, but what they deliver for the investment you make in them. You give them money to get some benefits back, you don't give them money just to see yourself on their blog or Facebook page. Lots of likes don't translate into lots of money for you. 

Choosing the right influencers 

Choosing the right influencer is very, very hard. It is a job in itself. I could give you a list of 20 criteria by which they are chosen, but it is best to consult a specialist. If you e-mail an influencer asking for a collaboration, it's very likely that they won't respond. Why? The explanation is simple and yet very complicated: they probably receive about 20-30 such e-mails to choose from every day. Experience tells them that in 95% of cases the collaboration with the respective brand or entrepreneur does not materialize. Therefore, it is very likely that they will not respond to you. 

I recommend you do not make the mistake of sending the same message to journalists and bloggers. Draft two separate e-mailing lists, to make it easier for you to express yourself: "Dear bloggers...", "Dear journalists...". 

What is the conversion mechanism of these campaigns? More precisely, this mechanism means that you have to take care that your server does not crash, that you properly track the people directed to your website, check how many sales you make or why you don't make them, and be able to do an analysis at the end of the campaign. 

One fundamental thing you have to understand about an influencer campaign: the influencer doesn't sell for you. The influencer brings you people who take the time to look at your brand, your service, your product. It’s up to you to sell. What you do next to make sure you get money from the people the influencer sends your way is strictly your business. 

I highly recommend you test absolutely everything when you do a campaign like this: create a customized link, see what happens with the people you're exposed to. This is how you will find out if the influencers will help you in the future and help you calibrate the budget invested in such a campaign. 

When you access a resource, you must conclude a contract with that resource. The contract is extremely important because it sets out exactly what they have to do. The brief you give an influencer is, most of the time, critical for the success of the campaign. In order for you to understand what you need to ask an influencer for, I'll give you an example: you don't ask them to write nicely about you, you can ask them to do brand awareness, i.e. to reach as many people as possible, or you can ask them to send people to your website, i.e. a referral campaign. The difference is fundamental, because the influencer approaches these situations differently. 

If you're a new entrepreneur, it's normal to do them all. At some point, the road opens up and you start doing this internally. You will realize, however, that it is best to outsource, even necessary when it comes to influencer campaigns. 

If you have lots of money, which I'm sure you don't, I would recommend you to do a test: invest one thousand euros in a campaign made by you, with the knowledge you have, and a thousand euros in a campaign outsourced to a specialist. Then you will see what I mean. 

I'm sure you already know this, but we live in a world where social media rules. That means that your marketing budget needs to be significant. I have not seen any business succeed without investing at least 10% of its turnover into marketing. 

If you don't know what marketing means today, I'll tell you: marketing goes from street posters to AdWords campaigns. When in doubt, I recommend you ask someone who knows. My colleagues and I will help you if you ask specific relevant questions, not questions like: "How can I make money?".  

When you start spending money on an influencer campaign, I recommend that you first do it on a test basis. A test helps you from two important perspectives: you have a small budget and it  helps you realize if your product/service is suitable for the social media. 

When you look at the results of an influencer campaign, you have to make sure you have the skills and know how that will help you understand how those results can be of help you. A high number of likes does not mean a successful campaign, what matters is what happened behind that post with a high number of likes: how many people were directed to your website? How many sales have you made? 

Your brand’s exposure 

When we talk about the exposure of your brand, there are two options: Owned Media, i.e. your media (website and social media accounts) and Paid Media (Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, influencer campaigns). If we talk about Owned Media, many people make a colossal mistake: they don't pay attention to the server. 

Pay great attention to what the technical part means in the digital area because it is like the foundation of a house. When you expose your brand to a large crowd of people, two things can happen: a good one and a bad one. The good one: more people see your brand. The bad one: among the many who see it, there are also idiots. You have to be ready for them too. However, if 80% of them tell you there is a problem with your brand...take this as a warning sign and redo some of the analyses. 

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