Thinking about kickstarting your influencer marketing journey but aren’t sure where to start? Well, you’re not alone. More and more B2B enterprise companies are taking the leap every day. And many of them are asking the same influencer marketing questions and facing the same challenges. Not only can it be a daunting task to source and successfully engage with an influencer but ensuring their influencer marketing program integrates and uplifts their overall marketing plan tends to be an afterthought.
Here are the top questions your team should answer before diving into your first influencer marketing activation. Creating a plan of action or simply considering these questions will save you time and effort in the long run.
What are the goals of your influencer marketing efforts?
Is it brand awareness, increased audience engagement, content creation, or lead generation? Understanding and establishing this goal first will set expectations for your team and the influencers you partner with. Your goal will determine the kind of influencer you’ll want to source and the kind of content and activities you’ll want them to create.
Establishing your goal early on forces you to consider how your influencer marketing program will integrate into your entire marketing mix. This helps establish program timelines, messaging, and launch dates. These important structural pieces allow all your marketing efforts to run like a well-oiled machine as opposed to throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks.
Who will manage your program and what’s their bandwidth?
What many people don’t realize is how much time it takes to do influencer marketing properly. Influencer marketing management is a full-time job. But, many enterprise companies will make this role an add-on to an employee’s existing responsibilities. It’s a labor-intensive discipline so they need to have the bandwidth to handle program and influencer management.
The challenge is this role consists of sourcing, interviewing, contracting, and monitoring influencers and their content on a regular basis. If your team is trying to scale its influencer marketing efforts, time and resources can quickly become a problem. Without proper management, campaigns get delayed, messaging doesn’t align, and the value of the program is ultimately lost due to reactive rather than proactive thinking.
What’s the timeline of the program?
After you’ve decided on a goal, establishing the timeline can be a tall task. Campaigns often creep out of scope due to internal approvals, delays in content creation, or unforeseen circumstances. When the timeline doesn’t stay on track, the campaign strategy suffers. Establishing and distinguishing always-on programs from one-off campaigns early on can cut down on project delays and establish firm deadlines for internal and external stakeholders. From there, it’s all about creating a detailed plan and strategy to successfully execute these programs.
Have you thought about brand safety?
People plan for everything to go right, but what happens when things go sideways? One of the most important, yet overlooked, factors is creating a brand safety plan. It’s imperative to have best practices and brand safety measures in place. Otherwise, instead of having a powerful brand advocate on your team, you might have a vocal brand detractor.
Companies often fail to create a brand safety plan early on and find themselves in firefight mode when an unexpected issue occurs. This is something you should plan for in advance. Creating a guideline of procedures, escalation methods, and approved responses will help you avoid further issues during a situation where timing and thoughtful solutions are of the utmost importance.
Do your metrics align with your goals?
Here’s one of the biggest influencer marketing questions. Reporting is the challenge every company continues to tackle. If you can’t properly report, how can you determine success? The process can be very overwhelming if you don’t know what to look for. Teams know they want to establish key metrics, measure and analyze ROI, and use the results to guide future influencer marketing strategies. But many teams get measure metrics that don’t align with their original goals and conclude the campaign was unsuccessful. Others get overwhelmed and revert to constantly changing their method, which makes it nearly impossible to establish benchmarks and compare campaigns. It’s imperative your team understands if the influencers are speaking to the right audience. At the very least, make sure you’re looking at metrics that match your goals. For instance, if you’re looking to increase quality leads, you need to look at engagement.
Our team helps companies just like yours answer these questions and more all the time. To help, we’ve created this influencer marketing asset that can serve as a great starting point to kicking off your program.