Influencer Marketing 102: How to Run an Influencer Marketing Program

GRIN also recommends this free guide:
How to win in today's creator economy

Now that you’ve taken some steps to build an influencer marketing program, it’s time to get down to business and learn how to run an influencer program. 

If you haven’t completed all six steps from Influencer Marketing 101: How to Start an Influencer Program, take some time to go back and work through them. 

And if you’ve been filling out the downloadable strategy template (also from Influencer Marketing 101), grab a pen because we’ll give you the tips you need to finish it. 

So you’ve developed an influencer marketing strategy. Now what? 

1. Send creative briefs to your content creators. 

Send your creators a quick email and attach the campaign brief. You should encourage influencers to ask questions if anything is unclear or if they have any concerns related to the brief. Effective communication and transparency can help you build a successful influencer marketing framework for your campaign.

And if a creator has edits they would like to make to the brief, don’t be offended! Consider their feedback, and see if you can be a bit flexible. If you can’t, then the partnership may not work out. And that’s OK! If that happens, continue your creator search until you find the right match. 

2. Track your campaign performance. 

Once your influencer marketing campaigns are up and running, you need to measure the results. This is where those goals you set in the beginning will help you, so take a look at your key performance indicators (KPIs). 

If engagement rate per post is one of your KPIs, do the math to figure out each post’s percentage and make a note of it in a spreadsheet. How do they compare to the numbers you set during the planning stage? If they’re higher than your goal, congrats! You’re killing it! If the numbers are lower, it’s time to look at your program and see what you can improve upon. 

3. Optimize your campaign.

Once you know how everything is performing in relation to your goals, it’s time to optimize. D​​etermine what worked well for you and where you lagged behind. 

For example, maybe most of your creators are doing great, but one person’s results are less than you hoped for. Perhaps they may not be the best fit for your current campaign. In this case, consider ending the partnership and searching for other creators similar to the ones excelling. 

Or, if results are low across the board, consider other optimizations. If you gave rigid guidelines and the content seems disingenuous, consider offering your influencers more creative freedom. 

This will help you get the most out of your campaigns and manage your future campaigns more effectively.

After you optimize, it’s time to return to step 2. Track your performance for a few weeks, and see what changes. Keep measuring your results and optimizing until your campaign ends. This will ensure you get the most out of your program. 

4. Nurture your creator partnerships. 

Your influencer strategy must leave plenty of room for personal interaction with your team of creators. 

Nurture the relationships by offering an open line of communication. If they have questions, answer them promptly. If they have feedback on how you can improve your program, listen! 

If they’re a bit quiet and don’t reach out often, take some time to email them occasionally, check on how they’re doing, and offer any help you have. This may be the opening your creators need to be a bit more communicative.

While this step can take a bit of time, don’t skip it! Communication is key for developing long-term partnerships with creators, which can yield amazing results, like more brand stability, better creative flow from partners, and higher overall sales. 

5. Analyze and share results. 

Marketing leaders must always be ready to share their results.

Dashboards and relevant and real-time reports with a wide range of filters are ideal. With a comprehensive creator management platform, marketers can give the appropriate information to stakeholders with ease. 

However, if you’re just getting started in influencer marketing, you probably don’t have the budget for a platform. In that case, you can use tools like Excel or Google Sheets to turn your spreadsheets of data into graphs and charts. 

And while graphs are great for showcasing the numbers, take some time to compile top-performing content pieces to share with your stakeholders. It can provide a more human touch and spice up your presentation a bit! 

Two women talking at work showing sharing results is part of how to run an influencer program
Analyzing and sharing results is an important part of running a successful influencer marketing program.

6. Brainstorm for your next campaign. 

After considering what worked and what didn’t, use your hard-earned insights to brainstorm for your next influencer marketing campaign. 

If you’re going to keep working with some of the same creators from this campaign, ask them to collaborate with you in the ideation stage. They’re experts in developing content that resonates with their followers, and after working with your brand, they’re experts in your company too! 

When developing future campaigns, don’t just repeat what you did in your last program, but don’t change the entire plan either! Keep some elements (the ones that worked the best) and incorporate fresh ideas. Maybe consider trying new KPIs or adding creators with different audiences into the mix. With each unique decision you make, the more you’ll learn! 

Need some inspiration? Check out these influencer marketing examples from top-performing brands. 

Organifi

Organifi partners with true brand fans whose audiences closely align with their target consumers. And a huge part of Organifi’s success in influencer marketing is due to the effort their team takes to develop close, genuine relationships with their ambassadors. The team is always available to provide support and engage with creators, and this dedication leads to brand love and more authentic content. 

One of their favorite tools for discovering creators is GRIN’s Web Extension. Download it for free today, and try it for yourself. 

MVMT 

Long before “influencer marketing” was the phrase on every marketer’s tongue, MVMT knew that Instagram was the place to be and creators were essential for success. MVMT looked for micro and macro influencers who could take stunning photos of their watches. From there, they negotiated content usage rights and repurposed the creator content to drive awareness and avoid high production costs. 

After seeing success, they decided to empower creators to share MVMT with the world by giving them affiliate links and discount codes. Since the start of their program, they have gathered over 39,000 pieces of unique creator content and earned more than 100,000 affiliate link and discount code conversions.  

Trestique

@urbanwit AD| 1st ever fully refillable zero-waste makeup routine! Save with URBANWIT20 @trestique #trestique #trestiquepartner #expectmore #cleanbeauty  #sustainablebeauty #zerowastemakeup ♬ Cheerful and fashionable gypsy jazz (loop(840957) – Single Origin Music

Trestique rebranded in 2021 and knew they needed to make a big splash for Black Friday, so they ran a 2-week Instagram campaign to teach people about the brand and drive sales. 

They partnered with eight creators. During the first week, these creators posted photos and videos to introduce the campaign. In the second week, they participated in Instagram Live events to educate consumers about the products and encourage sales. They also provided their creators with discount links for 30% off. 

After their 2-week campaign, they saw a 300% increase in influencer link clicks and a 268% increase in revenue from previous campaigns. 

Key takeaway on how to run an influencer program: The creator economy is constantly evolving and so should your influencer marketing strategies. 

As you begin working on your first influencer marketing campaign, you’ll quickly learn that it’s a lot like a science experiment. Not every hypothesis you have will work out, but that doesn’t mean you should stop! Instead, analyze the results, see what you can change, and keep moving forward until you find success. 

Treat the entire process as a learning experience, and stay open to new ideas and techniques. And if you want to level up your influencer marketing game even more, check out our helpful tools, blogs, podcasts, and more! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Running an influencer marketing campaign can be as cheap or as expensive as you like. The overall cost depends on several things, including: 

  • How many creators you partner with
  • How many posts you want your creators to share 
  • The type of posts you want (photos, short-form videos, long-form videos, etc.) 
  • Each creator’s rate (can depend on # of followers, engagement rate, and more)
  • Whether or not you’re paying commissions 
  • The cost of products you send out 
  • Whether you’re paying to earn content usage rights so you can repurpose their posts 
  • And much more

There are 12 main steps to take when creating an influencer program: 

  1. Set your program goals. 
  2. Find your target audience. 
  3. Determine which social media platforms you want to use. 
  4. Discover the right content creators for your brand. 
  5. Reach out to the creators. 
  6. Write campaign briefs. 
  7. Send the briefs to your chosen creators. 
  8. Track your campaign performance. 
  9. Optimize your efforts. 
  10. Nurture your relationships with your creators. 
  11. Analyze and share your campaign results. 
  12. Brainstorm for your next campaign.

If you are a brand looking to partner with influencers but you’re not sure what to offer them, here are the three most common rewards: 

  • Free items or services – Not only is this a nice benefit for a creator who likes your brand, but it also gives them something they can photograph and share with their followers. 
  • Flat fees – Talk with a creator to see if they have a set price per post. You can usually negotiate with them on the cost. 

Commission payments – If you use tracking codes or links, you can see how much revenue each creator generates and pay them a set percentage of their sales.

Influencers can get paid in several different ways, including: 

  • Free products – Brands may send influencers free products if they agree to post about them. 
  • Flat fee – Brands who want an influencer to post about their products may pay them a flat fee. 
  • Commission – Some brands give influencers affiliate links or discount codes. When people make purchases using the link or code, the influencer gets credit and a percentage of the sale price. 
  • Payment from social platforms – Some platforms, like YouTube and Twitch, pay influencers for the amount of engagement they receive. 
  • Subscriptions – Some influencers use sites like Patreon to let users access exclusive content by paying a monthly fee. 

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