7 Steps to Create an Influencer Marketing Program - DigitalSparxMarketing

Digital Marketing Article

7 Steps to Create an Influencer Program

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is big business now and everyone from the Kardashians to the mom next door is an influencer. So what is a Social Media Influencer and how can be beneficial for your business? An “Influencer” is a user on social media who has built up a following of other users. Often times they have credibility in a certain field, others they may just have a unique flavour of entertainment that speaks to certain. Regardless of how built the following, one thing that is consistent is that a social media influencer has access to a large audience and has the power to persuade their following. Social media influencers are a big part of today’s social media world, they can attract individuals that may not be a part of your normal target audience.

Whether you are a local business, B2B, or a large eCommerce operation, a social media influencer can be a great way to get people familiar with your business, especially those who aren’t in your regular target audience. Reaching out to influencers however, is not as simple as it sounds. Influencers are often savvy marketers with a loyal social media following. Their loyal following grants them the ability to suggest ideas and products – and they increasingly are aware of this. Influencers spend their own time and money to keep and grow their following, and while they are certainly willing to engage in partnerships, they know better than to do this for free. Creating a program for your business to engage influencers can be hugely beneficial, so long as the effort is rewarding for both the business and the influencer. This guide will walk you through a step by step process to create an Influencer Ambassador Program.

Now let’s get to the core of finding and acquiring social media influencers. There are a few steps you should follow to ensure a successful Influencer program. In this article, we go through the steps that Digital Sparx Marketing took to successfully create an influencer program for our Dallas based client Psychedelic Robot. Psychedelic Robot is a 13,000 sq ft interactive, immersive art pop up experience that includes multimedia installations from local and international artists including fashion, sculpture, painting, photography, video, music, costuming, performance and more.

7 Steps to Create an Influencer Program

Step 1: Finding your Influencers

It’s important to find influencers who align with your brand, target the right audience, and who will be able to achieve the results you want. In Digital Sparx case, to target influencers narrowly, we decided to invite influencers who had over 5,000 followers, lived in Dallas and were in between the ages of 25 – 40. We felt that with our specific client, these type of influencers would bring in our targeted audience. We spent lots of time researching to find these influencer reports that matched our desired audience. After researching we found over 1K influencers in Dallas, that fit our criteria. Our next task was to host an Influencer PARTY!

Step 2: Designing Event Specific Creatives

An Influencer event is a great way to get to know your influencers on a personal level, see who is most interested in your brand and funnel out those influencers you may not want to work with. In order to host a successful influencer night, it’s important to follow these steps. Remember, you aren’t just throwing a party, but you’re hosting an event that will in turn, find the best people to help bring in others to your business.

Iron out the details of your event; winging it is certainly not our recommended strategy. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before hosting an influencer event. Below is an example of event specifics we used for our event.

  • Where will you host the event?
  • What time and how long will your event be?
  • What will you provide? If allowed, drinks and food are great motivators for more attendees. Alcoholic drinks even more so.
  • Will you have a DJ, live music or activities for your guests?

We created an engaging flyer that was to the point but also spoke directly to our target audience – the influencer!

Step 3: Sending Event Invites

We created an event on Eventbrite to keep track of RSVP’s and give our influencers an easy way to receive the event information and RSVP to the event. On Eventbrite, you can customize the event RSVP link to your liking, keep it relevant to your event, short and easy for people to type it, if needed. Be sure your event is set to private, you only want people to RSVP who are invited to the event, also remember to add eye catching graphics to entice people to RSVP to the event.

Our next step was to invite our influencers! Send emails and DM’s to influencers, many influencers provide their emails on their Instagram accounts. It’s great to email them if available but direct messaging influencers on instagram is the best and quickest way to get a hold of them.

Step 4 – Creating Event Specific Metrics

Determining how you are going to measure success before the event is critical. This is an example of what we measured for our client:

  • How many people will we invite?
  • How many people will attend?
  • How many Instagram stories will be shared?
  • How many people will sign up for our ambassador program?
  • How many will become ambassadors?

Note: One common question we received from our influencers was if they were allowed a +1. It’s important to decide if +1s are allowed to be able to properly accommodate more guests. Many influencers bring a photographer with them, so in these cases we allowed influencers to bring a guest.

It’s important to ensure that your event is well planned out, fun, and measurable. What type of metrics will you be measuring to ensure the event was successful?

For our specific case, we decided to look at the following metrics:

  • Total posts from the event, add up total posts shared
  • Likes, Comments and reshares from each post to reach a total engagement

We had a sign in sheet, but we also had another sheet where we kept track of those influencers that were interested in future collaboration (affiliate program). To achieve your desired results, set reachable goals and specific metrics to measure your results.

Step 5: Managing the event – Training your staff

It’s extremely critical to distinguish the roles and responsibilities of your staff, who will do what during the event. Come game time, you don’t want to miss out on important and critical opportunities.

Having staff available to interact and meet your influencers is crucial. Before the event, decide the roles and responsibilities for each of your staff members and set clear objectives for the night of the event. In our case, we made sure a staff member was assigned to the following tasks:

  1. Sign In
  2. Meet and Greet
  3. Parking Passes
  4. Ambassador Program sign ups

Entrance to Event:

Make it a priority to have a hashtag for the event to keep track of posts, which means signs around the venue or a sign at the front for your guests to have clear direction. (hashtag, wifi (if available)).

We had a few artists that contributed to our client’s exhibit also attend, they were able to meet our influencers and interact with them on a personal level. Our guests really enjoyed meeting the artists and getting know how thee exhibit was created.

Local Influencers, enjoying the night!

We also invited our client’s list of PR and local news contacts, although many of them had already visited Psychedelic Robot, they reshared images on social media and we had a large local Dallas news station share another story that covered our client.

Giveaways are a great way to make influencers feel special and thank them for attending the event!

Step 6: Tracking Attendees and Ambassador Interests

The process to keep track of attendees is best through a sign in process. Be sure your sign in sheet contains a place for you to collect name, email and Instagram handle. We had a separate sign in sheet that was used to keep information of influencers interested in our ambassador program as well. Another tip, is to have the staff member keeping track of the sign in sheets also jot down notes about the influencer interested in the ambassador program.

During our event, many influencers expressed interest in specific exhibits they’d like to promote, merchandise interests or gave us more insights into certain style of posts they prefer. This is important to make note of and reference back when you are inviting your influencers to join your ambassador program.

Step 7: Gathering your Outcomes/ Results

It’s important to recap the metrics and results from your influencer night. Below you can find the example of report and numbers. Stories that were shared reached a total of about 500,000 followers combined. This was great exposure for our client. Many high-quality influencers were interested in the ambassador program as well! Influencers were excited and motivated to receive additional information about collaborating with our client, and creating a quality partnership that would benefit both parties. The next step would be to follow up with those interested in the program with details and specifics of the Ambassador program.

Reporting Event:

  • Total RSVPs
  • # of Attendees
  • Stories shared from unique accounts(doesn’t include the artist stories)
  • Ambassador Program Interests
  • Total Followers Reached from stories shared – 500,000+

We recommend to create a simple chart that shows your results, for example:

RSVP’s# of AttendeesStories SharedAmbassador Program Sign upTotal Follow Reach

After the event we reached out to influencers who expressed interest in collaboration. We converted these influencers to ambassadors, allowing them to receive a percentage of sales they sold through their special ambassador link.

To come up with the percentage or number, consider your cost per acquisition or cost spent per ticket sold, how much time and effort the influencer will need to put in and their follower count.

Tracking Results

The ultimate goal of any influencer program is to give your brand credibility and have the influencer program drive sales. There are many creative ways to convert the influencers into paid “affiliates” where there is an incentive on each sale. If so, sign-up your influencers into an affiliate marketing program and create unique user portal for each of your influencers so they can track results in real-time.

There are a few different ways you can keep track of results for your influencers. In An Influencer Ambassador Program is a great way to get sales for your business that you wouldn’t normally receive in your regular digital channels. If implemented effectively, it can be a great sales channel.

Got questions or need help with launching your influencer marketing program? Get in touch with us for a free brainstorming session!

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