Chapter 4: Internal & External Onboarding

Getting your influencer started on creating content for your brand

Internal onboarding

Once an influencer agrees to partner with your brand, you must complete several administrative (operational, legal, fulfillment, etc.) steps.

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Adding the influencer to your system

Now’s the time to use your Activated Influencer CRM. For all new influencers who accept the terms of your deal, amass all their info you want to track and add it to your database. Include details that are important to your influencer and your campaigns. By having their specific individual information in the database, you can retrieve all their information in one place.

Since it is essential to track performance, you will want to attribute your influencer’s activity with a specific designation or promo code for easy monitoring. You can also track your influencer partner’s results on Instagram, YouTube, and other social platforms. Establishing an early list of content categories (before the start of your campaign) also helps keep your campaigns focused; for example, you can organize content categories by social media platform, content type, etc. Effectively monitoring and managing the numbers will give you (and your influencers) a cohesive (and necessary) tool for success. 

In summary, here are a few details to keep in mind while structuring your creator list:

  • Campaign or promo code
  • Influencer name/handle
  • Contact information
  • Category
  • Gender
  • Personal information
  • Location
  • Their product selections (if applicable for your campaign)

Checklist

Campaign or promo code

You must always have each influencer’s most current contact information to ensure effective and timely communication.

Influencer name/handle

It’s important to correctly note your influencers name or preferred handle. Take the time to make sure you get it correct, no one likes to have their name misspelled.

Contact information

You must always have each influencer’s most current contact information to communicate effectively.

Category

What is the best way to categorize your influencers content? Beauty & health? Fitness? Automotive? For ideas, YouTube has a list of categories for its content creators.

Gender

It’s essential to be mindful of who your product is for. Even if it’s a unisex product, is the design geared toward women? Be aware of the products you send and the audience viewing them.

Personal information

Keeping track of their age and birthday is a great way to remember that important date each year. You can also keep track of any other special occasions, such as the birth of a child or an anniversary. 

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Pro Tip

Sending on note on these special occasions is a great way to maintain your relationship and show that you care about them as people.

Location

You will need your influencers address to send product. And sometimes the creator’s location will play an important role in how they show off your product. For instance, if your deliverable is a product to use at the beach, you should ensure that your influencers have regular access to the beach. 

External onboarding

Once you’ve collected a creator’s necessary information, you must provide them with the resources to execute their campaign deliverables.

First, you must provide them with campaign specifics, including the following:

  • Posting timeline
  • Posting tasks
  • Content rights document
  • Affiliate link or discount code

Posting timeline

A creator will need a concrete timeline for when they need to create and provide the deliverables. For example, suppose you’re partnering with a creator for a product that goes live in June. In that case, the creator should have a general timeline of when they should receive and try the product and provide their agreed-upon deliverable, likely by May, to create hype. 

Alternatively, you might want them to publish when your target audience is most likely to see it–perhaps on a Saturday. If a content creator agrees to provide you with three pieces of content, a schedule for when they should post would be extremely helpful to keep them organized and make your expectations apparent.

Posting tasks

An outline of posting tasks pairs well with the posting timeline. For example, if a content creator agrees to create an unboxing video one week and an Instagram Reel another week, you can ensure that the tasks are laid out simply and on a schedule.

Content rights document

This document is essential for using an influencer’s content in other situations, such as repurposing an Instagram post picture for an ad. If you have repurposing in mind, ensure this is one of the first documents your influencer signs before sending product or payment.

Affiliate link or discount code

Before your creator posts, ensure they get credit for their work by sending them their affiliate link or discount code. Each influencer should have a unique identifier, so their success is easily trackable throughout your campaign.

Instructional/how-to documentation

  • Posting guidelines: These guidelines can include caption must-haves, required hashtags, brand tags, photo tags, etc.
  • Inspo assets (photo or video): Show them what content performs best or how you prefer or require it to look. Don’t be too overbearing if they have their own style.
  • Talking points: These might be phrases related to your brand or the product they’re promoting. Include key value props since most influencers hate scripts. Ultimately, you shouldn’t be working with anyone that can’t confidently endorse your product on their own
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Pro Tip

Intro Call: An intro call is typically for more prominent influencers. Chatting with them on the phone about your brand and excitement about the partnership goes a long way to building the relationship. A simple, “Hey, so nice to meet you. How was your weekend?” could turn into you reminiscing about a concert you both attended last Saturday. Next thing you know, you’re seeing much more excitement from the influencer and perhaps more freebie posts. Fifteenminutes is really all that’s needed.

Types of Campaigns

Before you begin your onboarding process, you should know the types of campaigns you’re looking to launch. This will help you coordinate your delivery dates with your partnered creators.

Evergreen campaigns

This type of campaign is always on and is often best served as a product-seeding volume measure. This campaign aims to maintain a consistent pipeline of fresh influencers to whom you are sending product and from whom you are getting posted content in return. This type of campaign can be the ultimate powerhouse for your overall marketing efforts. You can use evergreen campaigns to achieve almost any KPI (driving orders, spreading awareness, generating UGC, establishing brand reputation, etc.). 

The best strategy for an evergreen campaign is to establish a standardized model that applies to an entire campaign. For example, an influencer gets X in exchange for Y. This type of campaign works for all influencers but is best for micro influencers. Long-term or bespoke campaigns work best with more prominent influencers.

Seasonal or promotional

As the name suggests, these campaigns focus on a specific date, season, holiday, event, and anything in a time-sensitive context. You must plan seasonal or promotional campaigns like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Valentine’s Day, or the Super Bowl at least one to three months in advance. The timing of sending product to influencers needs to coincide with the campaign for optimum performance and results (which is where a posting timeline is helpful). 

It’s important to remember that influencer marketing campaigns can take weeks from initial outreach until influencers post content. Holidays and promotional events are time-consuming, and you’ll need to curate a list of influencers, conduct your outreach, engage in communication, negotiate, and ship product. Keeping all of these factors top-of-mind will make your campaigns run smoothly.

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Pro Tip

Timing is critical to the success of your campaign. Giving your influencers enough time to promote your brand effectively is a professional courtesy, and your influencers will appreciate it.

Sending product too early can also create its own set of problems. The influencer may lose or break the product, the genuine excitement may wear off, the product may lose its “new” feel, or the influencer may forget about your campaign once it’s time to post. Sending product too late not only runs the extreme risk of your product not arriving on time but is also bound to stress out your influencer trying to accommodate deadlines and content calendars. It’s not the professional way to start a partnership and is a bad reflection on your brand. Monitoring your product ship dates to your influencers is a great way to stay on top of things and keep your campaign running smoothly.

Time your product delivery one to two weeks before your campaign post dates. Also, inform the influencers as to when they can expect the product. Communication of information is vital to an effective campaign.

Long-term/bespoke

Some brands create a customized campaign for a specific influencer. Outside of a standardized campaign process where the goal is volume, you’ll want to know how to craft campaigns for VIP influencers. Long-term and bespoke campaigns are often combined into one category because they often intersect. 

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Pro Tip

You’ll want to validate an influencer’s performance through an initial trial campaign before offering a longer-term option. But once you’ve identified them as a potential long-term partner, you’ll want to present a long-term goal.

Ideally, you’ll work with the influencer to create a bespoke campaign that utilizes various social networking activities, such as meet-and-greets, to engage with their followers on a different level. The possibilities are endless with the reach of influencers all over the globe. Let your creative juices flow. Influencers can take your brand to the next level. There may be different compensation terms for varying levels of influencer engagement, so be sure to include that option in the information you record in your Activated Influencers CRM.

Automation & Templatization

One of the easiest ways to increase your campaign efficiency is through automation. With technology right at our fingertips, there’s no reason not to. By automating routine tasks, you will be free to manage more influencers for your brand. More influencers = more reach. For instance, you can create a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for your influencers that will save both of you time and provide clarity for your prospective influencers and those already on your roster. Any supporting campaign assets (tools) you can provide for your influencers will also benefit.

Email templates

You will want to give your influencers and those who write content for you a concise guide on the language, look and feel you want for your brand. In addition, you will want to supply any brand specs, official logos and product assets, and an FAQ document to ensure that common questions can be easily (and correctly) answered. Having ready-to-send templates available will save countless hours and keep your campaign running smoothly, but they aren’t for everyone. 

You will want to give your influencers and those who write content for you a concise guide on the language, look, and feel you want for your brand.

You will also want to supply the following:

  • any brand specs
  • official logos
  • product assets
  • an FAQ document where you answer common questions

Ready-to-send templates will save you countless hours and keep your campaign smooth. You’ll want to give your VIPs genuine attention, not a standard mailing. 

Other resources may also include how-to guides to your products, product updates with details into new features and sample photography of how you prefer your product to be shot.

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