Marketers constantly struggle online with all of the clutter and noise that’s on social media. Making things more difficult, the days of posting a picture with no caption or text are over, and have been for some time. Today’s consumer wants to be told a story, long or short doesn’t matter. The storytellers rule online and agencies are taking notice.

One way marketing and PR pros have been heading is toward the use of social media influencers – those with a targeted audience that follows their every move and post.

Here are 7 steps to help you and your client’s get set up for success with a social media influencer campaign:

  1. What is the end game: how will you and your clients determine what is home run? What metrics will you use to measure success? Before you make the move agree on how you’re going to keep score – measure by brand exposure and reach, an increase in engagements and interactions, or an increase in sales – or a combination of all of these – it’s critical that everyone is on the same page on what you are aiming to achieve.
  2. Clearly identify the target audience. Don’t rush. Take time to take a deep breath and identify what type of information your audience wants to receive and then give it to them.
  3. Does your client’s brand need a macro-influencer or a few well-placed micro-influencers? Will the macro-influencer spend enough time on your brand with all of their other brands they’re supporting. Does the micro-influencer have the followers to successfully move the needle – sell your client’s products?
  4. Get out and follow influencers; check out their posts and their followers. The right influencer can be a game changer for your company and its brands. Then grab a few that closely represent the views of your brands.
  5. What will the influencer provide and how will they be compensated? Determine what you need from them – will you get a blog, tweet, Facebook post? What are their statistics. Are you paying them in product, money, or some combination of both?
  6. Work with the influencer and the brand team to create the right content. The content must cause a consumer to like the post and then make the effort to visit the company’s website and purchase the product(s).
  7. Post content, engage, follow up, and report back to your clients. You must remain active online and have two-way conversations. Don’t go dark after you post content or potential consumers will move away from your content.

Social media influencer campaigns can provide a huge lift for a company and its brand if it is targeted in scope, measurement and expectations. With these 6 keys you’re well on your way to success.