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A Guide for Agencies to Effectively Pitch an Influencer Marketing Campaign to Clients
If your firm offers marketing services, you’ve undoubtedly had clients ask you about influencer marketing and blogger engagement. They want to see bloggers talking about their brand and they want to know how you can help them make that happe.
But – how can you help them? This whole Influencer Marketing thing is new to you. Maybe you’ve thought about giving it a try but didn’t know where to start, let alone how much to charge your client or how to report results.
So – here it is, this is where to start! I’m here to walk you through the steps you need to take to say “Yes. We can help you with Influencer Marketing.” (Or, as you might be thinking, “Yes. We will gladly take that piece of budget…”)
STEP 1: Identify a Specific Content Creation Task
The first step is to identify what bloggers will do. As much as you may be tempted don’t fall into the trap of thinking, “It doesn’t matter what they do, I just want them to link to the client.”
You really don’t want them to just link to the client. You want them to do so within well-written, relevant, positive content. So, start with an idea of what that content might be:
- Product review
- Announcement of a product line (new spring collection, etc)
- A How-to article that mentions the product (how to clean an oven, using your client’s heavy-duty sponge)
- Gift recommendation (this would make a great Mother’s Day gift)
- A Tweet with a specific hashtag
- A Pinterest pin showcasing the product
- An Instagram photo showing the product with a specific hashtag
This will give bloggers a task to consider when sending you their bid (the price they want to be paid for working on the campaign). It will also help you and the blogger understand when they’ve completed the task and are eligible to be paid.
STEP 2: Outline the Trackable Events
This is a step that will help you showcase your agency’s marketing expertise. Your client might not think of this step, and other agencies will probably miss this opportunity – but not you – you’ve got all the bases covered!
Your goal here is to head off the client’s question that will come at the end of the line: “What did we get out of that campaign?”
Thinking about that at the beginning ensures that you set up the proper tracking right from the start and aren’t scrambling to gather facts later. Here are a few things to consider tracking:
- URLs of every post and social share
- Images and video created – there may be multiple creatives in one post
- Hashtags – if you’re not using a unique one, be sure to check the current stats so you know what the campaign contributed in lift)
- @ mentions on Twitter and Instagram
- Click throughs to the client’s site – consider a specific landing page for the campaign
- Actions on the client’s site – this is where you can shine! Add an opt-in form to the page to capture email addresses from new prospects.
- Sales – track the clicks all the way through to sales with Google Analytics, or the client’s affiliate program.
- Coupons – Influencer marketing campaigns don’t always follow a direct impression > click > sale flow. So, using a unique coupon for your campaign can highlight customers who were influenced to purchase by an influencer that may not have been picked up in a click stream
STEP 3: Quote a Campaign Budget
Create a proposal for the client letting them know that you’ll recruit bloggers to complete the task you’ve identified.
For example: We will recruit bloggers to participate in a Summer Collection Reveal. We’ll ask them to create a blog post reviewing one of the items from your Summer Collection including at least 3 unique photos. They’ll also be required to share at least one of the photos to Instagram tagging your profile, and using the hashtag #abcsummercollection
Now it’s time to lay a price on the client!
Here are the aspects that you need to consider when creating the budget:
The blogger’s fee. There is not a “standard” rate. The price you pay each influencer will vary based on the deliverables you’ve requested, the influencer’s reach into your target market and their personal goals. We’ve seen rates from $2 for a Tweet to $650 for an Instagram post. Your campaign could have that broad of a range itself. So, think about blogger’s fees as a total, not a per-influencer rate. Once you have a total number, you can divvy it up between influencers as you connect and negotiate with each of them.
Platform fees, or recruitment and influencer payout fees – You’ll either use a platform like ours recruit influencers, communicate with them and handle their payouts and 1099s, or you’ll do each of these things on your own – but that won’t make them “free”. If you’re working with us (which I obviously prefer!) our fees are simple to calculate and add to your budget. If you’re working on your own, budget for Facebook ads to recruit influencers, time to email back and forth with them, check-cutting ftime/ees or Paypal payout fees, W9 collection and 1099 tracking and issuing.
Your time – I’ve run a few campaigns. Trust me. It takes more time than you may think. From setting up the materials for influencers to use and promote, to recruiting them, negotiating, motivating them to complete the work, checking their work and reporting to the client adds up to hours and hours of work. We see agency fees ranging from 50% – 100% of the spend. So, if you’re budgeting $1,000 to spend on Influencers and fees, you’ll add another $500 – $1,000 as your fee in managing the campaign.
STEP 5: Set Expectations for Decision Making
This is a critical step in setting up a successful campaign for your client. Far too often we see agencies miss this step and allow their clients to sabotage the campaign right from the start.
If a client has hired you to manage their campaign – YOU need to be in the driver’s seat.
If your client wants to make the final decision on which influencers you work with, the content they produce (draft review and revisions) and/or how much each influencer is paid – they should run their own campaign. That statement may sound harsh, but it’s the honest truth. If the client has hired YOU as the professional, then YOU should be the one making these decisions because YOU have the knowledge and expertise to make the right decisions.
If you’re not confident enough to take those reins and demand this control, don’t take on the work – you’re not ready for it. If the client isn’t confident enough in you to give you those reins and that control, don’t take on the client – they’re not ready for it.
Running an influencer marketing campaign takes a lot of back and forth between you and the influencers. It requires quick thinking, the ability to be flexible and create custom, one-on-one arrangements within the scope of the campaign and it requires you to act quickly when you have an influencer’s attention. Even with a client who tends to approve everything – getting their approval on all of these pieces slows the process down to a crippling pace. With a client who doesn’t approve everything, you’ll be juggling a hundred balls in the air just to have the client sweep in and bat down half of them without understanding the work it took to get them moving, and the damage that knocking them down will create.
BONUS STEP: BECOME AN APPROVED AGENCY
If you haven’t guessed by now, we’re very interested in working with agencies. You know how to manage clients and campaigns; we’re here to provide you with the tools that take the hassle out of the job.
Our Approved Agency program gives you a third-party certification to show prospective clients that you have the knowledge, experience and connections to run successful influencer marketing campaigns. It also offers you exposure and potential prospects, as well as referral commissions.