The end of the year is a time for reflection. To summarize an overall trend I’ve noticed: 2020 and 2021 were weird. Each year has presented a unique set of challenges for brands, agencies, and the marketers who drive their success. Looking back on the past two years, those in the influencer marketing industry must now ask the questions, what worked? What didn’t? Am I going insane? But perhaps most importantly, what’s next?
Regardless of your scoreboard of victories vs. losses your business faced in the past, as 2022 looms over the holiday season, brands and agencies can benefit from heeding the words of Benjamin Franklin (and every teacher I’ve ever had): “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
So, here we are – helping to prepare you. In a three-pronged approach, this blog will provide an overview of the process, strategy, and innovation necessary to achieve the goals you’ve set and help your influencer marketing team overcome the challenges they will likely face in 2022:
- Creating a plan
- Making your budget the boss (baby): designing an influencer marketing budget
- Influencer marketing strategies of success: a powerful playlist
1. Creating A Plan
Take a good look in the mirror: are you running the influencer marketing performance you dream of late at night? If that’s the case, great! You can stop reading. If it’s not, or your wildest ambitions haven’t been realized, it’s time to create a plan and make those dreams a reality. You can start this process from scratch or get a head start by using this plan and timeline created by Mavrck.
Aligning Your Teams
The responsibilities of influencer marketing have been traded between different business units since the early 2000s. Like helping your parents make Thanksgiving dinner, public relations, social media, marketing, research and development (R&D), and other teams have all had their fair share of fingers in the influencer pie.
The first step of preparing for 2022 is aligning with every department at the table and understanding the goals each team wishes to achieve. Having everyone on the same page when it comes to learnings from influencer activations in 2021 plus goals and budgets for 2022 activations ensures that you’re moving toward a collective integrated influencer marketing strategy with a shared calendar to boot.
Identifying Your Top Performers
Everyone has their favorite cousins they see during the holidays, and every social media program has its favorite and highest-performing influencers. Identifying your top performers is a critical introspective step to improve your influencer program in 2022. As the warriors on the front lines of your influencer strategy, these creators and consumers know the terrain best and should be a priority in future activations. Dedicating time toward collecting feedback on your campaigns can give your team a better understanding of your direction and deepen the context on achieving the goals you’ve set.
If you haven’t already, consider creating an ambassador program with these influencer champions. An always-on strategy like an ambassador program without the right technology can be difficult and time-consuming to manage but yields massive benefits.
2. Making your Budget the Boss (baby): Designing an Influencer Marketing Budget
The following budget overview provides three key considerations in creating a lucrative budgeting plan: reviewing your goals, your influencer program’s current maturity, and the best budget allocation.
Outcomes vs. Output
Whether your budget is currently looking like a boss or a baby, you have to spend money to make money. A comprehensive budgeting plan ensures that regardless of the size of your budget, your dollars are as effective as possible. Since its inception, the Mavrck platform has aimed at helping brands and agencies hit the boss goals they’ve set for themselves, even with the most baby of budgets. Here are a few examples of typical goals set by brands, along with case studies on how Mavrck played a role in achieving them:
Influencer Marketing Experience
What level are you at when it comes to your influencer marketing experience? If you’re just starting out, crafting your practice, testing channels, objectives, and your audience, you may be in the aptly-named testing phase.
If your team knows the ropes of managing an influencer program and has had some experience with the difficulties of connecting your campaign performance to the customer journey, you may be in the proof phase.
Lastly, veterans who have been in the trenches, solidified and grown their budget, established some success, and are ready to take their strategy to the next level reside in the scale phase. Understanding where your team falls on this spectrum of experience will help with the allocation of your budget and the risks you are willing to take.
Budget Allocation: A Minivan Metaphor?
You know what your goals are, but now need to pave the road toward them. Think of your budget like a minivan driving down the road. At the end of the road is a fruitful 2022 and the accomplishment of your objectives. Your team is behind the wheel and your influencers are safely buckled up watching Shrek 2 in the back (stay with me here). The amount of cash put toward partner relationships, influencer incentives, paid media, or reserve budget will decide the horsepower of your engine and the velocity at which you will realize your set objectives.
At this point, you may be realizing that this road trip is no easy task. A lesson from reflecting on the past is that every year brings unexpected tests that will inevitably inhibit the speed and capability of your metaphorical budget minivan.
That being said, I have a secret for you. I’ve installed a little red nitrous button to take this minivan to hyperspeed. In the context of this increasingly bizarre metaphor, that button is Mavrck. The nitrous being this list of budget allocation examples ranging from $10,000 – $1 million budgets to speed up your process.
The last part in the engine is in fact not a part, but a person, and is arguably the most important piece. They sit in the passenger seat and are in charge of the music. Your partner in crime, the Bonnie to your Clyde, playing songs that turn a simple drive into an ROI adventure. Mavrck is happy to take the aux and throw on a playlist.
Allocating a portion of your budget toward an agency or technology partner like Mavrck to manage your influencer program will benefit your team through:
- Increasing the number of campaigns you can perform (unlimited)
- Identifying the right influencers for your brand
- Measuring and reporting your success
- Saving time and money with automated workflows and communication so your team can focus on strategy
- Scaling your influencer marketing ROI
3. Influencer Marketing Strategies of Success: A Powerful Playlist
As your minivan passenger, we’re playing the hits — those tunes being the strategy and capabilities Mavrck provides to get the most out of your budget. Here are five songs your own team should be playing to maximize that influencer budget:
Activating your full spectrum of influence: Every person that touches your brand, big or small — from macro-influencers to loyalists — has value and Mavrck can activate all of them. (Song – Imagine by John Lennon)
Identifying advocates & loyalists: These are your loyal customers and those who’ll advocate on your behalf. Use social listening to identify them, share exclusive news with them, and reward them via affiliate programs. (Song – LOYALTY by Kendrick Lamar ft. Rihanna)
Leverage employees as influencers: Who knows your brand and messaging better? Offer them incentives to motivate them even more. If salaried, employees could be one of the most cost-effective options for 2022 activations. (Song – Hustlin’ by Rick Ross)
Leverage ambassadors to get economies of scale: Longer-term partnerships with those who love your brand organically is always a great tactic. (Song – Clique by Kanye West)
Distribute content: In an effort to increase the lifespan of IGC while gaining predictability and scale. (Song – good 4 u by Olivia Rodrigo)
Our hope is that by working with Mavrck, we can provide value for all of your teams. More than a simple platform provider, we strive to be your partner. At our core, we provide software and services, but we want to become an integral arm of your influencer program to assist in the end-to-end management of your campaign, strategy for your team, and to foster an environment of growth and innovation wherever your goals may be. Rather than just talk the talk, here is us walking the walk on what teams specifically can benefit from a Mavrck partnership in 2022:
- Marketing: Customer acquisition and testimonials; content creation at scale for product marketing; repurposing content on marketing & social channels
- R&D: Product research via surveys and focus groups; new product ideation and concept testing.
- eCommerce: Easy integration into any eCommerce stack with API-backed data and tracking for measurement and reporting.
- Social media: Save time with automated workflows and communications; benchmarks to ensure performance and cut time to launch.
- Shopper marketing: Drive traffic to in-store purchase; promote the brand to bridge social and retail channel gap.
- Reflect on the maturity, success, failures, and top performers of your influencer program in the past and align all of your team’s goals for 2022.
- Design a budget. Your budget size and how you allocate it will determine the velocity at which you reach the goals you’ve set.
- Create a comprehensive plan and calendar for activations in 2022 or use our 2022 Planning Guide to get a head start.
- Utilize the best strategies to get the most out of your overall budget.
Consider a partner like Mavrck to scale your influencer program to the next level.