How does it work: how do you set up a B2B influencer marketing campaign?
I’ve had a lot of conversations with (potential) clients all over the globe the past 3 years. Most people are attracted to the word ‘influencer marketing’ and they’re all eager to start, which is fantastic. Just when I start to explain the process to start with a campaign and what we require from them before we even start, I notice that a lot of clients in our sector aren’t ready or underestimate the strategic part, which is a pity.
Let me guide you through the 6 steps on how to create/ set-up a successful campaign
1. Analysis : analyzing the target audience you want to reach
The first step is the most essential one, and the key to success is to align your influencer marketing campaign with your strategic goals. An influencer campaign is not independent from your other marketing efforts! It must strengthen or supports other online and offline activities.
The most important question you need to ask yourself is: what would be the desired outcome of your campaign? When would you be satisfied? Of course this is different for everyone: some companies need more awareness or visibility for their events, others need new leads for guests, others want to attract associations to their destination etc.
You also have to ask yourself the question: On which channels am I currently active and how do these contribute to my overall strategy? On which channels can an influencer make a difference?
Spoiler: it’s usually the channels where your social media presence is strongest!
A related question is: who is your current target audience v.s. who is your desired target audience? Are you reaching the users you should be reaching? You can have all the right posts with fantastic content but if you serve it to the wrong audience, it will fall on deaf ears.
Another important consideration is that repeated impressions of the same or very similar messages are necessary to resonate with your audience. We are working in a B2B market, therefore we strongly recommend to create a campaign that lasts at least 6 months, preferably longer. That way you can rest assured that you did everything to reach your desired audience.
We have covered all of this in a game, specially created to chart a company’s current marketing efforts and strategy. We want to make sure we have the full picture of a company’s marketing efforts so we ask a lot of questions! We don’t want potential customers to feel like they are in a police investigation so we made a game to smooth over the barrage of questions.
With the collected information you will receive a clear overview of your current marketing efforts: where they are optimal, where they need work and where the opportunities lie. Then you can start to look for the influencer you are looking for.
2. Scouting & selection : searching our database for trusted opinion leaders and thought provokers based on customer needs
We are all influenced by our surroundings and of course we do influence others. We prefer to call influencers, KOL, Key Opinion Leaders —LINK— to give them the recognition they deserve.
Most companies have difficulties with this step. It’s nearly the same procedure to look for a new employee in your company. With the outcome of the first step, you have a clear description of your potential influencer and who could be the right match. Finding the right influencer based on the profile you need is a lot more challenging. You will have to find more than 1 influencer that might fit the bill. That way you will have a better match.
3. Briefing : align and coordinate the creative content and brand communication
Once you have chosen to work with an influencer because of his/her expertise, knowledge and followers, treat them as experts! They know what works and more importantly what doesn’t. Therefore involve them from the start.
These experts have some great ideas and already know what works for their audience.
Not including them when outlining the content strategy can be a big mistake. They aren’t merely executors of your strategy. Neither will they post everything you want them to. They have a reputation to maintain! They are creative and very well aware of the trends and developments in the industry.
They will make the bridge between your goals and their audience of followers. They will create the content aligned with the desired outcome of the campaign.
4. Planning : Creating a plan of influencer communication and strategy
This is the most time consuming part. The influencer will create a basic content calendar and expect a more thorough strategy from the customer including what to post when and where. The exact scope of what an influencer is going to create can vary greatly. It goes from creating blog posts, videos, podcasts, interviews, quizzes to participating and reporting on an event, collecting recommendations, going on a site-inspection, reviewing a new restaurant etc.
The options are endless, just pay attention that the activities and posts of the influencer are aligned with the outcome of your campaign. It’s crucial for the client/supplier to have an overview of all influencer activities for the upcoming 6 months or more.
5. Marketing : influencers broadcast branded communication through their channel(s)
Everything is put in place to start. All parties are informed, documents are in place and the influencer knows what to do. Use this time to monitor the campaign, and check what the results of the first post, or video are? Ask the influencer for feedback on a regular basis. It’s a must to plan a monthly call to keep track of the activities.
One of the great things about influencer marketing is its flexibility: in case of unexpected surprises or negative or positive developments you can change the influencers course of action. Say for example that your hotel has won award. That’s the perfect opportunity for the influencer to engage in that conversation!
6. Reporting : a final assessment is shared with all available figures
The influencer campaign is over, now what? Have we reached our goals? And have we reached our desired target audience? Or other interesting data that came out of the campaign? Comments, feedback other facts or figures?
Measure the impact of your campaign; and again, we have to be honest and tell you that you can’t measure everything! Ask the influencer for feedback: not only for the data of course, but also how they experienced the collaboration and what can be improved for the next edition?
If your team needs to be updated by the latest developments of social media, why don’t you ask the influencer to train your employees? You can get much more out of your campaign than you might think!
Interested to set up your influencer campaign? Contact us, we are happy to support you.