We will provide a guide for developing an influencer marketing campaign timeline. We will discuss why it's important to create a work back plan that allows brands and creators to collaborate seamlessly.
BWG Connect & Mavrck invite you to participate in an interactive discussion with your peers.
As always, there will be no sales pitches and there is no cost to join.
Managed Services Team Lead at Mavrck
Rebecca Dickinson is the Managed Services Team Lead at Mavrck, an all-in-one influencer marketing platform for enterprise consumer brands. In her role, Rebecca drives KPIs for customers, manages influencer campaigns, provides strategic recommendations, and delivers data-driven insights to improve customer outcomes.
As a marketing and communications professional, Rebecca helps brands connect with consumers in an authentic, compelling way emotionally. Rebecca is also the Founder of She Well and was previously the Marketing Coordinator for Yelp. She received her BA from The Catholic University of America and her MA from Georgetown University.
Co-Founder & Managing Director at BWG Connect
BWG Connect provides executive strategy & networking sessions that help brands from any industry with their overall business planning and execution. BWG has built an exclusive network of 125,000+ senior professionals and hosts over 2,000 virtual and in-person networking events on an annual basis.
What are the best practices for creating an influencer marketing campaign? And why are timelines so important?
Timelines are vital to set expectations between teams and stakeholders, plan out campaign needs and hit your goals, and ensure high-quality content for your brand. But what does a typical influencer campaign timeline look like? Rebecca Dickinson breaks down the process, from finding the right influencer and targeting your customer to campaign briefs and contract negotiations.
In this virtual event, Aaron Conant is joined by Rebecca Dickinson, Managed Services Team Lead at Mavrck, to go over influencer marketing best practices. Rebecca shares tips for first-time marketers, working with influencers and diversifying your pool, mitigating delays, and crafting the right campaign brief for your brand.
Aaron Conant 0:18
Happy Tuesday everybody. My name is Aaron Conant, I'm the Co-founder and Managing Director of BWG Connect. We’re a networking and knowledge sharing group with 1000s of brands who do exactly that we network and now share together to stay on top of the newest trends, strategies, pain points, whatever it is that shaping digital as a whole. That's changing faster than ever. Right now. I'm talking with about 30 brands a week to stay on top of those trends and just network as a whole. If anybody like to have a conversation on what's going on, always love those conversations. I'm more than happy to share but also love to pick your brain and say, what are you seeing happen in this space? What are the pain points you're dealing with? And those questions as we go through those conversations, how we come up with the topics for the call. So I'd love to have a conversation with anybody, where you close to 240 virtual events this year, probably 300. Next year, it's just expanded so much into a lot of in person events as well. We're getting back to like the small format dinner and tier one cities across the US. So if you're interested in any of those, just ping us, put you on the on the invite list for those. couple housekeeping items before we get started today. You know, any point in time you have any questions, we want this to be as informational as possible. So any point in time you have a question, drop it in the chat, drop into the q&a, or you can always email me questions anytime Aaron Aaron@bwgconnect.com. And that includes an hour after the call today, tomorrow next week, whenever it might be, just shoot me a note, we usually get you an answer in under a day. And that's also if you need any connections across the industry as well. We've got a you know, poaching 10,000 brands in network now. So, you know, got a lot of contacts out there. And the last thing is, is we're starting to set, you know, three to four minutes after the hour. And just you know, we're gonna wrap this up with at least in three to four minutes to go on the hour as well. We're gonna give you plenty of time to you know, wrap up this meeting and get on to your next without being late at all, and maybe even grab a cup of coffee along the way. And so with that, I want to kind of kick this conversation off, you know, a lot of questions right now. We're chatting just a little bit around, you know, what's happened with Amazon how fast it grew. You know, a lot of people are over index. And now there's a huge shift in focus on the direct consumer side, the branded side, how do I grow that? How do we put paid media dollars there? And we've had a lot of questions as a whole in the influencer space. And what does it take to grow that network as a whole? What does it take to optimise it? What our timeline so quickly? Can I use it? So there's been enough questions we thought we host an event like this, we got some great friends, partners, supporters of the network for a while now over a Mavrck they join. They agreed to jump on the line today and answer as many questions that we can throw at them, but also, you know, kind of walk us through what they're seeing in this space as a whole. And so Rebecca, kind of kick it over to you if you want to do a brief intro on yourself and Mavrck that'd be awesome. And then we'll have some more people join in then we'll kind of kick off into the content sound good?
Rebecca Dickinson 3:05
Great. That sounds good. Hi, everyone. My name is Rebecca Dickinson. I'm a Senior Strategist here at Mavrck. I sit on the Manage Services Team at Mavrck so we help really with everything from strategy to execution for influencer marketing campaigns and scaling social proof programs.
Aaron Conant 3:27
Awesome. Well, hey, everybody, just again, drop questions in the chat or the questions question section or email me but then Rebecca, do you want to kind of like jump in. If you want to pop up, you're
Rebecca Dickinson 3:37
awesome. There we go jump into some of the content. Awesome. Great. Can everyone see that? Yep. Perfect. Okay, um, so today we're going to be talking about influencer campaign timelines. And so as I mentioned, I am Rebecca Dickinson. I have been at Mavrck for about three and a half years now and on the Manage services team so I definitely have a lot of experience managing influencer programs and I consider myself quite the expert when it comes to influencer timelines. So just a little bit about about Mavrck we're an end to end influencer marketing software company. We help enterprise brands automate and scale social proof programs. So some of the types of programs that we power our traditional influencer marketing programs, brand and college Ambassador programs, customer and employee advocacy programs, customer referral programs, product sampling programs and then rating and review programs. Cool. So I'll go ahead and dive into influencer campaign timelines. So first and foremost, why are timelines important? First, of course to help set deadlines for your brand and internal stakeholders and creators will be showing you a couple of visual examples today. And I think you'll be able to tell just, there's a lot going on when it comes to timelines, especially as it pertains to different roles and responsibilities and tasks that need to get done, and how they all impact one another. So definitely to set expectations between teams and stakeholders, they're certainly important. Additionally, the ability to hit goals with enough time and planning, of course, when we set out to create an influencer marketing program, we want to make sure that we're able to hit our goals as our priority. And so we need ample time to be able to do that. And then finally, to plan out any campaign needs, or items that may take more time. So we'll be talking a little bit more just around shipments, draft review any elements that could require more time.
Aaron Conant 5:58
I mean, this is something I hear all the time is like how the timing is a whole? Like, do you see the same thing where you're like engaging that people have a misconception on how long it should take either too long, too short? Yeah. Like there's a little bit of a, like, how long should it take? I brought them on board, you know, don't they just post and just get rolling? Is that Yeah, seeing all the time as well?
Rebecca Dickinson 6:15
Yeah. So I think a lot of brands, especially if they're newer to influencer marketing, they are super excited to get their program off the ground when we first meet with them. And so as a result, they're often looking to turn things around as quickly as possible. So here you can see, really the the minimum amount of time we need is about four to six weeks. And for a lot of brands. I think that seems like a long time. But when I show you this breakdown it it actually isn't that much time. So again, because we're working across multiple different stakeholders, we need plenty of time to ensure that we're able to get that high quality content that brands are looking for.
Aaron Conant 6:55
Yeah, I see a lot of it on a new item launch, right where people don't really say that like, oh, how do we blend this in? Yeah. Well, how soon before you launch? Yeah, well,
Rebecca Dickinson 7:04
yeah, for sure. So the first really step here is to set up a campaign. So usually, we start out with building the out the campaign finalizing the influencer brief, we actually draft up all the campaign messaging ahead of time just to automate our programs as much as possible. And then we typically identify influencer personas and build out lists of creators that we're looking to target our outreach to. From there, we set the campaign to live and begin sourcing, so influencers will actually receive an outreach email from us, which they can then apply to a given campaign. And then from there, we go through the vetting process where we're really curating and vetting our creators who apply to the campaign, looking at things like demographics, historical campaign performance, engagement rate, all of that information is really helpful for making our selects as well, of course, their content. And then from there, we are looking at incentive and products of filament. So sometimes this is sending product directly to influencers or other times it's giving influencers payment upfront to purchase the product locally. So after that is really the bulk of the content creation and influencer communications, this is really, really important just to ensure that creators are able to get the product whether it's in mail or pick up the product locally. And then of course, we want to make sure they are given plenty of time to actually create the content so that we're able to meet the needs and and reach our goals there. From there, we have campaign monitoring. So just making sure that all of the content is going live, we're answering any influencer questions, campaign reporting, so wrapping up, collecting all the insights, key performers, all that good stuff, and then finally incentivizing and fulfillment. So processing payments within that 30 days of the campaign close. So here is the the nice visual and we've actually linked out a resource as well for you guys, too. But you can see hear just all of the different tasks that play between the different stakeholders involved as well as how they all really impact one another. So just I think this is a really helpful visual just to see how one thing that could be late will then impact the next which will then impact the neck. So the best thing that you can do is to really plan ahead for these influencer marketing programs to ensure that you have plenty of time to get everything you need done, and create that content and get those results. So what requires more time? The first thing is identifying more influencers or re recruiting. We're gonna be talking a lot more about this but a lot of times brands will get so excited and they'll launch their programs but They haven't really identified the exact persona they want to go after for, for their campaign. And so we definitely recommend getting really just specific on the type of creator that you're looking to activate those performance metrics, and being strategic from the get go. And then contracting and negotiations as well can take a lot of time, especially if legal is involved. If if you're working with macro creators as well, which are going to be higher reach influencers, there's often agents and red lines involved. So that will add an additional one to two weeks, at least to the timeline, as well as sending product as I mentioned, and then draft review and draft review as well. If legal gets involved there, it's gonna likely take even more than than two weeks time.
Aaron Conant 10:52
So really quick,are you able to send this out afterwards? Because as everybody's doing planning, right, not just budgeting planning for next year, but a lot of campaigns going in there. Everybody knows a new product launches the timing on it. I mean, are we able to send this out? So people are going to be able to have you know, or connect you with them? So you can send a copy of the deck?
Rebecca Dickinson 11:09
Yeah, absolutely. We can definitely get that over after the presentation.
Aaron Conant 11:13
Yeah, this is just so much more complicated than, like, seven, eight years ago with a new item launch, right? Where you just interacting with the retailer and stuff like that, like this is yeah, it's gotten a lot more complicated. And there's 10 more moving parts. And this is a nice, I think you've kind of summarised a lot of this really nicely, you know, if then a this is the standard if then if then if then you can build it out into a, you know, for this one, we actually need, you know, 12 weeks, so,
Rebecca Dickinson 11:37
yeah, but certainly, okay, cool. Um, so
we did talk about a little bit about this. But on the brand side, I think multiple rounds of sourcing can cause additional delays, product shipments and availability. So again, the mail right now is pretty crazy. So just making sure that if you are sending critters product that you provide those tracking numbers to them can be really, really helpful. And then we're also seeing some product arrive damaged or a package or is lost or stolen. So again, I think tracking numbers are really helpful here, as well, on the Creator side not getting enough time for content creation can often weren't an extension as a as I showed you from the visual. If product is delayed, then an influencer may only have a couple of days to create their content, and most most require at least a week. So that can often add additional time to the timeline, as well as unclear directions or confusion on the brief. That's again, something we'll go into a lot more detail. But I find that especially brands who are newer to influencer marketing, if the brief is not really clear to the influencers, there's going to be confusion, and especially if there is draft review, it could it could hold up content going live because of multiple rounds of draft review needed. Yeah, on both sides, again, contracting and negotiations, delays and draft review. And then just general unresponsiveness can all add to delays and timelines.
Aaron Conant 13:09
Yeah, it's so quick, you know, comments that come in here. I've definitely dealt with product available availability issue during our influencer campaigns, which is twofold, right, as you're playing it is a front end, you know, you're playing it, can you actually get it to them? Are they going to have it in time on the back end? Or you can have it in stock? Right when they actually execute the campaign? Just two sides of what we're going through, you know, global supply chain right now is, you know, all all amok, but I'm the only one, you know, she sends over their specific stakeholder questions that every influencer strategist should ask.
Rebecca Dickinson 13:45
Hmm, yeah, I would definitely say so. I think it's very similar to when you're setting up a general marketing campaign is understanding goals and kind of laddering your campaign from there. So understanding goals and objectives, and then from there, identifying, obviously, the budget and we have some additional slides that I think will will help there but I think working backwards to understand really what the the main goal is, and then building out the program from there as is most helpful. Awesome. Great. So the first way we can really mitigate these delays is by source thing, the right influencers. So this actually leads in nicely to the last question around where kind of just start with influencer campaigns, I think when the first step that you want to take is just to understand what your overall budget is, and then what your goals are, and how they ladder up to your overall marketing objectives. So obviously, at the top of this spectrum of influence, you have mega influencers who are going to be like traditional celebrities. As far as social media goes, usually people with over a million followers All the way down to these loyalists who are really like brand fans, where our bread and butter is at Mavrck and I think most people think of traditional influencer marketing is in this micro and macro sphere. So activating traditional content creators. And basically the way we differentiate micro versus macro is micro creators, it's more of a side hustle of creating content, they're maybe aspiring content creators to be full time, whereas macro creators are really full time content creators as a whole. And so I think the reason that we are super passionate about micro craters, that Mavrck is because they embody really several use cases of influencer marketing. So first and foremost, they're able to create really high quality content across various social channels. But then they're also able to be activated for things like referrals, so promo codes, link sharing, things like that. And then for reviews and research. So we certainly run a lot of review campaigns on top of our micro programs, as well as activating micro influencers for research. So that could be surveys or focus groups. And of course, they're much more cost effective. And just efficient. I think we tend to also get content in perpetuity, which is amazing with micro creators, so able to leverage their content across various channels and social, it could even be on Amazon pages, things like that. It's really, really helpful. So as I mentioned, something that can add a lot of time to the timeline is having to go back and resource creators, maybe the first batch of outreach that you did, you weren't super happy with the results. And so identifying the right influencers, from the get go can can really be key in this in this area. So first and foremost, just understanding the persona of the influencer, that you're looking to activate and making sure that they really aligned with their target consumer. The next would just be considering if they are contextual fit. So looking at their various content topics, the tone, look and feel any existing partnerships, especially making sure that they haven't partnered with any of your competitors in the last three to six months, as well as demographic information can be very helpful. Diversity, always including a diverse group of Persona types that meet your consumer personas. And then finally, looking at analytics. So making sure they're really an analytical fit. So you can look at historical CPM CPE engagement rate. All these things are found within the Mavrck platform, which is very helpful. If you're not currently using an influencer marketing tool. You could look at engagement rate by reach or maybe a view count on their YouTube. There are certainly other ways to look at their historical performance.
Aaron Conant 18:01
Yeah, so a couple questions that come in here. Can you do more into what a review what review campaigns are?
Rebecca Dickinson 18:09
Yeah sure. So I'm review campaign. Think of it as just an influencer, we're activating activating a creator, we're sending them a product. Usually, with micro campaigns, we are having them create content as well. But the review is just asking them to leave a review. That is then usually syndicated to like a third party retailer, we do have partnerships with Jaco and Bazaarvoice. So we have a lot of partners that are utilizing micro influencers, to run review programs at scale to then syndicate both reviews and even some influencer generated content directly to site.
Aaron Conant 18:51
Awesome. So another question that comes in is if it's the first time using an influencer campaign, is a timeline the same? Right? And then what? What is the first one and experimental one? Do you have an experimental like, first off trial campaign? I think there's a lot of people, you know, that are either tried it once or twice in the past or not tried it, but no, they need to jump into this space. Is there like a trial program? And then how does that timeline you know, need to be adjusted for you know, first time kind of blending two questions together there.
Rebecca Dickinson 19:25
Yeah, I think this timeline that we shared should work well for for first time marketers, I think it's really important to make sure the scale of your program is a bit smaller. So if this is your first influencer marketing campaign, or maybe it didn't go as streamline as you had hoped, your first couple of campaigns, it's definitely best to start off on a smaller scale. So maybe three to five creators you build a relationship with and activate and then as you get more comfortable, maybe you scale that program in the next month you activate 10 creators. I think a lot of marketers can get overwhelmed by looking to scale their programs fast and furiously. But it's definitely better to smart to start small, especially if you're not using a tool.
Aaron Conant 20:19
Awesome, awesome. Quick question here. This one gets kind of interesting. How would reviews work on Amazon if you purchase the product for them? That's Amazon's an interesting. puzzle. Yes. So I kind of Yeah, you and that's another whole call, then we'll do Amazon ratings reviews call.
Rebecca Dickinson 20:37
Yeah. So for my understanding Amazon, we don't really touch Amazon. They're incredibly strict around their review programs. So I think where we encourage brands, if they're looking to leverage or up their Amazon pages, we encourage them to utilize influencer generated content in their in their brand product pages to boost that that trust and authenticity by using that influencer content.
Aaron Conant 21:09
Yeah, makes sense. I mean, Amazon's really touchy make sense it? Yeah. Sure.
Rebecca Dickinson 21:17
Cool. And so as I mentioned, just utilizing diverse creators, when possible, I think we always encourage brands to include a wide variety of personas, each representing your various consumers. So things that you may want to consider are ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, status, age, all these different types of diversity, these so that you can really authentically build each into your various influencer personas. We also have brands that create resources that showcase the different influencer examples who represent their their persona types across the board. So using the wrong influencers, how to avoid doing this, the first piece of advice that I have is to review all of their information. So looking at content, the various topics that they create content around their audience data. So within the Mavrck tool, we're able to actually get demographic information around the age, age and location, which can be incredibly insightful to maybe if they're leveraging bots and things like that, they're not necessarily apparent if you're just looking at their profile on a social channel. fraud risk is something else we have built into our software, as well as engagement rate, you obviously want to make sure that their followers are real and genuine, and they're creating highly engaging content. The next thing is just to learn more about influencers directly from them. So we love adding application questions into our outreach, which is basically a survey just to understand kind of their behaviors, and also their passion for the brand. Are they interested in your brand? Are they working with any of your competitors, all of these questions can just help to further vet the right partners for your programs. using existing customers is also an awesome strategy that we don't see a lot of brands use it's really low hanging fruit, but something we always encourage our partners to do. So this could be done by leveraging an application link to a given campaign or advocacy program on a landing page or could be sent through a direct message to an influencer or fan that you're talking to or sent through CRM. There's definitely a lot of low hanging fruit opportunities here to engage fans of your brand who actually may end up being content creators and then finally just diversifying across the spectrum of influence like I mentioned, there's certainly a time and place for content creation reach things like that but then also looking at other tactics like affiliate or reviews all those different things can really help help you to identify the right creators for your goals
Aaron Conant 24:09
in Are you helping where she comes in? Are you helping people with this today? For me, that's the the initial thing that you know is pure going out they they want to find the right people, but it's all time effort money and you know, everybody's like crazy busy right now. Are you helping you know them through and find the right ones?
Rebecca Dickinson 24:29
Yeah, definitely. That's all I do ever all day every day. Yeah, so we do have a Managed Services team here at Mavrck and we help with all of the the vetting and sourcing of creators just to make sure that we are really aligning the right creators for for every brand.
Aaron Conant 24:47
Awesome. Well, you know, one more you know, note that just comes in. When using influencers to inject paid messages into reviews. I have to assume you know, you have to put a sponsored or ad to The review system, or do the review systems allow this?
Rebecca Dickinson 25:05
Yeah. So I believe the partners that we use, you'll see a disclosure within when a when a review is actually being syndicated, saying that someone received a free product or it was a sponsored review. Those types of disclosures are actually embedded into the programs.
Aaron Conant 25:30
Yeah, some great.I don't know if we can keep rolling through this. Yes. You know, people can keep dropping questions, and I'll let you go like to the next slide. And we'll keep working these in as we go. We got to come in. Awesome. I love it. Great. I'm not surprised. I mean, it started coming up. And, you know, I would say, you know, 10, out of the 30 conversations I have every week right now. So that's, you know, what every three is? I guess I'm not surprised. There's as many questions.
Rebecca Dickinson 25:52
Yeah, totally. Cool. So we're going to talk a little bit about mitigating delays by creating the right campaign briefs. So the briefing process really starts with influencer outreach. And so the first piece of advice I have is just to make sure with your subject line that you're making it direct and specify the campaign and brand opportunity. Another piece of advice would just if you're running a paid program, include the words paid and the subject line, we've seen that massively increase open rates, which makes total sense. So I think just being really pointed, and even testing out different subject lines to see, which which create the largest open rate can be a great strategy as well. Personalization, so consider adding, why you love their content, what drew you to their feed or any other insights that you want to share? This is a really, it's, it's super valuable, I think, to the creators themselves, they're getting a tonne of outreach from different marketers. And so this can help to set your brand apart and build that trust and authenticity in your investment by taking extra time to to really personalize your your outreach, and then vital information. So this is where the brief comes into play, outlining the scope of work like deliverables, the due dates, draft due dates, content, live dates, payments, the content themes, all of those different briefing elements are going to live in this outreach email. So it's important to get clear there, and then any application questions. So again, as I mentioned, this is a great opportunity to add those to your outreach to better understand what types of creators you're going to be working with and getting to know them a little bit more intimately. So for best practices for the brief, you're always going to want to state your purpose, I think a lot of marketers will send us a brief and it will be very much in in the marketing vernacular where they're it's very marketing speak, where we're looking for the brief to translate to the influencers, so that they can fully understand our mission and help us to reach our goals. And so the best way to do that is to state your purpose and really communicate well with the influencers, exactly what you're trying to convey through running this program. The next piece of advice would be to include creative examples. So this could be example post captions, or creative images just to convey that creative look and feel that you're really looking to achieve key messages and a call to action. It's crazy to me how many brands do not require a call to action, I think in post caption copy and stories, we should always be requiring call to action. So that that's definitely an important element in the brief, as well as including some must hit messaging to ensure that creators are really hitting the mark as far as the overall messaging for the campaign goes. And then finally, do's and don'ts. This is incredibly important, just to create a clear list of requirements around what is and isn't acceptable and copy and creative. I have had brands where in their do's and do nots, they do not mention anything about actually featuring the product. And so I have had a draft review process where an influencer didn't feature the product. And the brand flagged it and the creator said, Well, it's not in the brief. So that will be an additional $500 for me to reshoot my content. So when when in doubt, I think even if it seems really obvious, just be really pointed and clear about exactly what you're looking for in the do's and don'ts section of your brief.
Aaron Conant 29:39
Awesome. So I'm going to jump in just because there's some great questions, I think, kind of apply not only the campaign brief, but campaigns as a whole. Do you do anything differently when you do an unpaid influencer campaign versus paid influencer campaign?
Rebecca Dickinson 29:53
Um yeah, I would say typically, we're I mean, we're very upfront with the fact that it is production I would say the outreach is going to be the outreach is going to be very different as far as like the the size of the creators themselves. But overall, I'm nothing, nothing massively different, I don't think I think just the types of people that we're targeting, we want to make sure that they are on the lower kind of micro nanosphere versus the micro higher tier micro and Mega.
Aaron Conant 30:28
You know, when, when we're looking to start an affiliate program, and I like this question, because, you know, I see this, you know, the shift from the influencers, where you're paying the cash, right, like you're saying up front, to more of affiliates, right, they're driving traffic, and maybe they get a discount code, you know, somehow you can tie back the attribution. But it says we're looking to start an affiliate program. Have you seen more success giving influencers discount codes or commission based links?
Rebecca Dickinson 30:57
Yeah, I think we're still like struggling a little bit with affiliate programs. What we've seen work well with affiliate is one, it's in A, it's baked into like a long term partnership or Ambassador program, because their audience is already very conditioned to seeing the content, they know that they're in partnership with the brand. And they're seeing it repeat exposure, maybe month, over month, or even week over week, sometimes if it's if it's stories. So I think the affiliate programs that tend to be successful are those that are also intertwined with like, in a traditional ambassador, always on style program, versus like a performance based marketing, like affiliate program, if that makes sense.
Aaron Conant 31:47
Yeah, yeah, it does it. One more and then a comment, you know, are there general, like price points or cost to consider, you know, general ballpark that you've seen for, we'll say, initial campaigns, or, you know, starting programs?
Rebecca Dickinson 32:00
Yeah, uh, you know, it, it's tough. It's definitely tough. I think we recommend definitely doing a little bit of research and surveys can work really well for this serving creators before you launch a campaign to see maybe what what their rates could be. I think when we're running paid programs, especially with micro influencers, anywhere between 100 to $500 is pretty standard for like, an Instagram post and stories. Again, it's it's so dependent on the types of creators but I'm sure we have some, some thought leadership too around rates that we can pass along after this presentation as well that that could be helpful, especially to newer people in the influencer marketing world.
Aaron Conant 32:49
So in just the last year, just kind of a comment, and I love it because I was in pharma before it's just, you know, fun fact, not really a question, but important to realize when your rules are very hard for influencers is kind of that be really empathetic, you know, around, you know, if you have a, you know, a category that has a lot of restrictions around what can be said that I was I, you know, was a, you know, for almost 17 years in pharma. Right now, OTC and prescription side, it's, there's a lot of things you can't say. And in fact, most things you can't say. So a good I can cause a lot of back and forth. And just a great point, Brad, from the standpoint of this is a timing call. Right. And so if you're in a highly regulated area, you know, add additional weeks on to go back and forth and make sure that you can get through regulatory affairs approval.
Rebecca Dickinson 33:35
Yep. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Instagram and Facebook have a lot of good thought leadership around what can and cannot be said, as well as age gating content. This is relatively new, but for any OTC or restricted, different categories, we always recommend age gating content, even obviously, for alcohol brands, this pertains to as well. But yeah, definitely familiarising yourself with the ins and outs and guidelines from Instagram and Facebook is going to be extremely important here. And then of course, draft review as well. Yeah, I would, I would definitely recommend draft review if you have a more sensitive product or category.
Aaron Conant 34:20
Awesome. Love it. Everybody. Yeah. And everybody keep dropping the questions in the comments in the chat. And the q&a has been super fun. keep dropping them and we'll get them answered. Doing awesome, Rebecca, thanks for randomly just like popcorn questions here, but we can keep rolling.
Rebecca Dickinson 34:34
Okay, yeah. And so again, I mentioned creative elements. Mood boards are extremely valuable. They help really set the tone and feel for the type of content that you're looking for, as well as creating imagery that really resonates well with your creators and inspires them to generate inclusive and unique content for your brand. So we have a campaign style guide blinked out and A deck as well that you are able to, to view after the presentation that I think could be helpful as well. So being too prescriptive how this this happens first, I would say turning the influencer brief into an advertisement, this is definitely a mistake that we often see. So just making sure when you're briefing the content that you're of course, sharing, those must hit messages and key messages, but you're also leaving space for, for the Creator to put some of this content and copy into their own words. And I guess the next bullet point here is not understanding the value of influencers and their ability to create content. So this is usually a trust issue, I think, especially for brands who are newer to influencer marketing. So again, we do want to make sure that we have those must hit messaging do's and don'ts. We have a content theme, we've shared imagery, but when it comes to the value of influencers, it's really the fact that they are using their own channels, and that they have amassed an audience with over time. And they have their own content look and feel and unique aesthetic, and we're using them to then voice our message through the Creator to reach an audience. So it's extremely important just to make sure that, that you are utilizing the influencer for the value of their content and for their own personal brand. And just remembering that so I think it does take time to build up that trust. But over time, we see a lot of awesome, awesome creators following the directions. And then finally having too many requirements. So I've seen briefs that are five pages long. And again, it's way more important to just share the very important elements versus trying to get everything on paper, because the more you have, it's going to get lost. Again, most of these creators aren't marketers, they're not lawyers, they're not going to necessarily be reading through every single element. So you just want to make sure that what's on the brief is all they need to know in order to get that content created. So how to avoid being too prescriptive, you can ask influencers or create an advisory board to review the brief before finalizing more and more we're seeing brands especially who work with long term partners, setting up advisory boards in order to get constant feedback from influencers around different strategies or campaign ideas or concepts. So this is a great way also to bounce back. Some thought around a brief asking yourself what would different influencers respond to with your brief, you could also pass the brief along to different members of your team, even possible along with family or friends to make sure in their eyes, they they think the brief makes sense and given creative freedom to adapt a strategy to their strengths. So this is again back to creative liberties and making sure that the Creator is able to use their own unique tone and voice and brand to convey the messages in the brief. And then finally, just making sure the content fits the channel. So if the brief is super editorial focus, you probably you don't want to focus on a channel like Instagram reels or TikTok you want to focus on YouTube or Instagram. So I'm just keeping that in mind as well. So some final additional tips for mitigating delays in draft review, we always recommend creating a draft review checklist that just has all of the different elements in the brief. And this helps for seamless draft review and to speed up that process. Again for legal review, if legal is going to need draft review, adding additional time to that timeline. And then revisions, this is really important. reshoots should only be required if the Creator missed the mark on something that was already included in the brief. If there are new elements that the brand has decided or you've decided that you want, or you might have missed in the initial brief, you'll you'll likely want to just add that to a new campaign versus asking creators to reshoot their content. reshoots typically costs an additional fee. If it's information, then that wasn't necessarily provided up front. So just a good learning again to have a strong brief and make sure it includes everything that you're looking to generate in the content, contracts and negotiation so creator often we love asking creators to opt in to our terms and conditions when running campaigns through Mavrck to streamline the process in order to save time. This helps us to avoid the contracting again. Sometimes contracts are necessary, especially when working With mega creators or macros with agents, but one possible again, we like to have creators opt in, and then offering a flat fee incentives. So this is another great way, especially working with Nanos, or micros, or mid tier influencers, offering a flat fee incentive will help to reduce that time on contracting and negotiations. And then other best practices. So just allowing plenty of extra time between deliverables and case delays and to starting early, you're likely going to need more time than you think, especially if this is one of your first influencer campaigns. Tell creators if timeline shifts again, we're people working with people. So it's always better to over communicate, then go dark, and then adapt, have a plan A, B, and C as needed. Aaron, I'll pause any questions before we just dive quickly into planning for 2022?
Aaron Conant 41:00
Yeah, let me see here really quick. Um, if you don't have legal counsel, what's the best way to draft a contract for input influencer partnerships? Maybe you guys have, you know, standard templates? I don't know.
Rebecca Dickinson 41:13
Yes, yeah. Um, I would say, you can definitely find some standard templates online. We Mavrck have a template that we have our partners use. But I think just making sure that you're able to have all the parameters that are necessary in place. And again, I think the internet is probably your best bet, if you don't have legal counsel to find some of these different example contracts and things like that. Awesome. Cool. So 2022, it's coming right up, it's hard to believe that we're already more than halfway through q4. So brands and marketers have already solidified their influencer budgets for 2022 inventory for influencers is starting to be limited, especially because we are seeing more and more brands activate and always on long term partnership basis. So the time to really start planning out your 2022 calendar year for influencer marketing is is now so the first recommendation is to map out the year head. So you can start by identifying key calendar moments and brainstorm how they may intersect with your brand. You can then review your 2022 marketing strategy and consider where influencers could help to leverage or support your brand, and then map out opportunities on a campaign calendar. So I have this example here. That's just some confirmed and unconfirmed themes of one of our partners who likes to map out the calendar year in this way, and then share this with the rest of their marketing team. The next step would just be to solidify budgets and any content needs. So solidifying quarterly budgets, consider channels that you'd like to activate on identifying the number of creators to work with, and determining any additional tactics, such as reading and reviews, surveys affiliate, and then creating a visual plan to share with the team. So this is a really nice example of one of our partners who breaks down their quarter by quarter activation plan. So here you can see they have their activation use case, across their different brands. They have their requirements for the partnership, they have the number of influencers, they're planning to activate, they have their incentives mapped out, as well as total costs, and then KPIs around how they're planning to measure the success of each of these programs.
And then step three would be to create an action plan. So create a step by step action plan to bring the 2022 plans to life. Think about creating again and always on influencer strategy that runs on autopilot. This could even be five craters if you're new to influencer marketing. But it's a great way to build up relationships with creators and have a steady stream of content. And then considering a test and learn approach where you can scale your program slowly over time. So this is an example of a timeline for always on partnerships. So you can see here from this example, January is really the month that we use to recruit creators for their upcoming program. We've then run a three month pilot program, that's a test of relationships. So influencers are sent product, they create content, and then we take the month of May to kind of reassess, restructure, refine and then from there we take the next six months or so through the end of the calendar year to activate these craters month over month. So just a couple of five thoughts for me. Key takeaways, number one, create a reasonable timeline for your brand and creators. Again, from the visuals that I shared today, you can see there's a lot that is going on with these programs, especially as you add in additional things like draft review and product shipments, and things like that. So it's, it's super important to have a timeline that all parties can use to stay on track. Number two would be to plan ahead for potential timeline success or areas for quick turnaround. Number three, activate creators that ladder up to your marketing objectives. So really take the time to vet the right creators looking at persona contextual fit diversity and performance. Number four, build a strong brief that will translate well to influencers, communicating key messages, do's and don'ts, and of course, creative examples. And then number five, anticipate delays and have a plan B, or C always over communicate to creators if delays occur. And again, remember influencer marketing, we're all people dealing with people. So when in doubt, just do your best to communicate and influencers more often than not are happy to accommodate. And that is it.
Aaron Conant 46:20
Awesome. So I have some more questions that came in. One is what do you think about locking in influencers to block competitors? Do you see this happening a lot? Or is there just so many out there? Doesn't matter? Or have you seen this happen?
Rebecca Dickinson 46:33
Yeah, um, I haven't necessarily seen this happen. I mean, typically, in the industry, we call it exclusivity. So we do have some brands, if they're activating influencers long term, they will require exclusivity in their contract or agreement with creators so that they can work with any competitors. If that's something you're interested in, I would definitely take the time to map out exactly the the exact competitors that you want exclusivity for versus being more general and saying category exclusivity. That being said, a lot of creators aren't huge fans of exclusivity, or they'll upcharge for exclusivity, just because it takes away from other partnerships. But I would say within within Mavrck we have so many different creators to work with that. Usually we don't see brands being super nitpicky around exclusivity or trying to lock out competitors.
Aaron Conant 47:35
Awesome. Do you have any tips on other one second, do you have any tips and other incentives to provide influencers with we focus mostly on product gifting and commissions and currently have personalized notes and boxes when sending product out? Is there? Are there any additional you know, that you'd recommend?
Rebecca Dickinson 47:51
Yeah, I think I'm just I love that I love that you're doing like product shipments and things like that. I think surprise and delight elements go a really, really long way. Oftentimes, influencer marketing can be very transactional. And so if you don't necessarily have cash to offer or things like that, just taking the time to build a relationship offering experience or different surprise and delay elements, again, I think can go a long way and just building that relationship with creators, who then may be more even likely to want to work with you, even if you can't compensate them with additional incentive. Awesome.
Aaron Conant 48:33
You know, next question. We just really answered this before, but I just know a bunch of people have joined on, you know, about sharing the presentation, you know, we can connect you Rebecca with people on the line today to make sure that you can shoot them over, you know, a copy of the presentation, you know, for sure. Um, and I'm just looking here, you know, I don't have any other questions that have popped up. So I mean, Rebecca has been awesome, you know, and everybody on the line today, look for file email for me. I'd love to have a conversation with you, you know, what are you guys going through in the digital space, how we come up with topics for calls like this as a whole, if you need any connections, if you're looking for any service providers, that's how a lot of people in the network rely on us here at BWG connect as we've vetted out all the top service providers across the digital landscape from Amazon to direct consumer to shipping to international expansion. That's performance, marketing, email, SMS, direct mail, whatever it might be. I mean, the influencer space, you know, the team at Mavrck 100% worth of follow up conversation with Rebecca and the team over there. They've been great friends, partners, supporters have a ton of brands in the network and just come highly recommended across the board. So we're setting some time up there to learn more about what they do. Basically, everything that she covered today, they're able to help you out with it's a lot to undertake right now. And you know, finding the staff to do it is incredibly tough, but this is a this is now more table stakes than it's ever been before. And so it's got to be part of your marketing campaign as a whole. You know, you know, with that, Rebecca any last minute, you know, Thanks for the team as we kind of wrap up here a few minutes ago before the end of the hour.
Rebecca Dickinson 50:04
No, I don't think so. Again, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us we'd be more than happy to talk to you. I know it can be super overwhelming, especially if you're newer to influencer marketing or you're, you're trying to do everything manually. But again, we're more than happy to help them in whatever way we can.
Aaron Conant 50:24
Awesome. Hey, this has been a blast. Rebecca, this has been so much fun. Thanks again for your time today. Thanks to everybody who dialed in all the great questions across the board. incredibly fun look for follow up email from us. We'd love to put some time in the calendar but obviously we'll connect with Rebecca for a copy of the deck as a whole. Everybody take care, stay safe and look forward to seeing you at a future event. that's it everybody have a great week.