Starting any new marketing campaign is a bit of a gamble. You don’t have any past results to base your decisions on and you have to use your business’s valuable resources in order to run it. If your marketing campaign doesn’t work, you’ll waste not only your money but your time.

This is especially true for social media influencer campaigns. This is a relatively new form of marketing, and because of that, many business owners do not know much about it. They attempt to dive in headfirst, but then don’t get the results they were after. This discourages them from trying social media influencing again, which is unfortunate because it can be a very efficient form of marketing for your business.

To keep you from making some mistakes early on, and to help you get the best possible results your first time out, here are some things you’ll want to know before you execute your first social media influencer campaign.

Phone in hands.

How to Find Your Audience

Before you can start your first social media influencer campaign or any marketing campaign for that matter, you need to know your audience. If you don’t have a target audience in mind, you’ll end up wasting time and money reaching out to people who have no interest in your products or services. And, if you get lucky enough to find someone who does have an interest, your message may not be tailored to suit their needs.

To figure out your ideal target audience, you can begin by asking yourself a few basic questions. Who is your competition? What problems does your product or service look to solve? What does your current customer base look like?

Using these questions you can start to learn more about your audience. For example, exploring your competition may lead you to their website, where they talk about the audience they serve. Or you can think about the problem your product is solving and who might be experiencing that type of problem. As you come up with answers for these questions and start to do some research, write down notes about who your target audience might be.

After you have a list of traits, you can then start to define your target audience more clearly. A good way to do this is by developing a buyer persona. A buyer persona is a detailed description of a fake person who would be your ideal customer. Use your imagination and think about where this person might live, what their job is, how much money they earn, their likes and dislikes, and why they might need your products. Most importantly, think about where this person might spend their time online, as this will help you create an effective social media influencer campaign.

Which Platforms Are Best for You?

Once you have a good idea as to who your audience is, and where they are likely to spend their time online, you can then begin to think about which social media platforms you want to target. Each of the major social media platforms offers different advantages and disadvantages, while also catering to different demographics. You’ll want to choose the top social media influencers on platforms that will help out your business the most.

For example, Instagram is an excellent platform to choose if you are selling products to a younger generation. If you’re selling clothing products to young women, Instagram influencers would be the ideal partners because they can post pictures in your items. On the other hand, Facebook tends to have an older audience, meaning the influencers on there may not be as effective.

Of course, there are no set rules as to which social media platform is best for you. While younger audiences may use Instagram more, that doesn’t mean they don’t have Twitter or Facebook. At the same time, your business can also run multiple campaigns, using influencers across different platforms. But for your first social media influencer campaign, it’s a good idea to go with the platform that gives you the best chance of success early on.

You can check out this guide to learn more about the demographics of different social media platforms.

More Important Things Than Size

When creating their first social media influencer campaign, many businesses make the mistake of going with influencers that have the largest audience size. The thinking is that by going with the top social media influencers, their brand message will reach a larger audience. And while this may be the case, it’s not always the best decision.

For example, let’s say Influencer A has 10,000 followers and Influencer B has 1,000 followers. You could promote your product through Influencer A, but their audience is much more diverse. As a result, not as many of their followers engage with your product. At the same time, because of their larger audience, Influencer A charged more than Influencer B.

Influencer B, on the other hand, has a much more specific audience. While they may have fewer followers, the majority of them engage with each post and perfectly fit your buyer persona. You could spend less money working with Influencer B, but end up with better results.

All this to say, there are more important things than follower size when it comes to social media influencers. Micro-influencer is a term that refers to influencers with smaller, but more engaged followings and many businesses do quite well working with them.

It’s important to look at the quality of their audience, how much engagement they receive on their posts, the influencer’s credibility, and how well their image fits in with your brand’s. You should definitely take follower size into account when deciding which of the top social media influencers to work with but don’t let the size of their audience be the only factor you consider.

The Easiest Way to Find the Top Social Media Influencers

Girl wearing heaphones and looking at phone.

One of the hardest parts of starting your first social media influencer campaign is often finding influencers to work with. You know the audience you want to target, what social media platform you want to use, and the type of influencers you want to work with. But after that, how do you actually go about finding influencers to work with? And how do you know if they are reliable or worth the investment?

The typical approach for first-timers is to conduct the search manually. They will visit their preferred social media platform and begin searching by keywords. Hundreds of results will likely come up, and they’ll have to investigate them one by one to see if they are a fit for their brand. If it’s determined that the account is a good fit for them, they will then have to send the user a message and see if they are interested in promoting their products or services. This process is certainly available to you, but it’s a time consuming one.

A better alternative is to use a service like Collabstr. With Collabstr you can easily find influencers in your niche and on your preferred platform. You’ll get to see advanced metrics about their audience all in one place, along with how much they charge. You can then conduct all business directly through our service, saving you a ton of time.

A common mistake brands make when running their first social media influencer campaign is going with the wrong influencer. This happens because they didn’t do enough research or explore all of their options. You want your first campaign to be a success and for that, you need to know as much as you can about the influencers you’ll be working with right from the start. Collabstr makes this easy so that you can focus on more important matters.

How to Approach a Potential Influencer

Once you’ve found an influencer you want to work with, either through Collabstr or some other method, you then need to work out the details with them. By knowing which details you need to figure out, and what aspects you need to get into writing, you can start your first social media influencer campaign off on the right foot. Some things you’ll want to consider are:

The Content to be Produced

What is it you expect your influencers to produce for you? Will they be creating a video review, an Instagram post, or something else? What sort of things do you want them to mention in the content? If you give the influencer too much freedom in what they produce, you may not be happy with the results. It’s much better to specify exactly what you want, down to the tiniest detail, so that there is no confusion.

Content Rights

What happens to the content after it is produced? Who owns it? Do you plan on reusing the content in future ads or testimonials? It should be clear as to who owns the content the influencer creates going forward so that there are no disputes down the road.

Timeline

Think about when you would like the content to be posted and how long you would like to work with this influencer. Are you hiring them for one post, or would you like a series of posts over a specific time period? It’s important that you establish deadlines early so that you don’t end up chasing after the influencer to get things done.

Compensation

Finally, you’ll want to work out the compensation for the influencer. In some campaigns, the influencer will be paid per post, while in others they will get paid based on performances. In many cases, you will also have to supply the influencer with sample products, so this is another cost to factor in. If you use a service like Collabstr you can see the rates that an influencer charges before reaching out to them, so you’ll know from the start what to expect in terms of compensation.

How to Set an Appropriate Budget

The last thing you’ll want to know before you execute your first social media influencer campaign is how to set an appropriate budget. When it’s your first time out, it’s hard to know how much you should spend on this campaign. If you spend too little, you may not get the results you are looking for. On the other hand, if you spend too much, you could end up wasting money since you are still new at this.

While every business is different, there are a few things you can take into consideration to help you find a good starting budget. Most small businesses spend somewhere between 7 and 12 percent of their total revenue on marketing. Of course, you may have other marketing campaigns going, so you’ll then want to divide this number up into however many campaigns you have, including your new social media influencer one.

Using this method should give you a rough ballpark as to what you can spend on your new campaign. You can then start on the lower end of this estimate and experiment with different social media influencers. As you gain more experience and learn what works best for your business, you can start to spend more towards the upper end of that estimate.

Learn As Much as You Can Before Starting

The key to a successful first social media influencer campaign, as with any other marketing campaign, is to learn as much as you can before you spend any money. For example, you may not have been aware of how Collabstr can help you find the top social media influencers to work with, or how important it is to define your audience before you begin.

Now that you know these things, you can begin to execute your first social media influencer campaign. And while you may still make some mistakes along the way, these mistakes likely won’t be as big as they otherwise would have been. It’s going to take some time to find the right social media influencer strategy for your business, but now that you know the information above, you’ll be well on your way towards getting there.