Multi-Post Branded Content Campaign Design Tips

This post is an excerpt from our Authentic Marketing Conference in Los Angeles. The conference was a rich environment for brands and influencers to openly discuss tactics for authentically building a strong following. All of the content from the Authentic Marketing Conference is available as a Digital Marketing Bootcamp

Here are some key takeaways from the Multi-Post Branded Content Campaign Design panel:

  • Keep campaign briefs to one page
    Influencers, like most of us, are incredibly busy. Help streamline the process of your influencer campaign by ensuring that your campaign brief doesn’t exceed one page.
    • Tailor branded content for each platform
      Consider which platforms you will be publishing branded content on before starting your influencer campaign. Begin to craft your content based on the platform it will be published on, for example: repurpose long form blog content for Facebook, utilize Twitter for influencer Q&As, and create square images for Instagram.
       
      • Measure earned media
        Track CPM on paid networks to showcase your campaign’s ROI. Almost always, when you measure earned media from an influencer campaign vs traditional advertising, influencer campaigns have a higher ROI.

       

      What tools and resources do you use to run campaigns and find influencers?

      Now we use platforms such as Group High to reach out to influencers and make connections. –Tanya Salcido

      I’ve been working with influencers for four years and back then we used good old Google spreadsheets. Now we use platforms such as Group High to reach out to influencers and make connections. –Tanya Salcido, UC Irvine Health

      We decided to give parent-friendly bloggers, the people who we want to attract, 25 ideas on what to blog on in August. We sent these out to our 4,000 bloggers and said “Here are some ideas,” and they forwarded it on to their friends and their friends clicked back to read it, and we had a pop-up that said, “Click here to join Blog PR.” We actually get a lot of bloggers by helping bloggers. –Josh Ochs, BlogPRWire.com

      Define your objectives and don’t bite off more than you can chew. –Alan Reed

      Define your objectives and don’t bite off more than you can chew. Generally speaking, you never want to do more than five platforms for a campaign because it just gets crazy. As far as analytics, there are a ton of different things out there that you can use to measure whether it is Epoxy or Hootsuite. –Alan Reed, TEN: The Enthusiast Network

      I think one of the biggest things with running campaigns with multiple posts is organization, it goes a long way. I really like social distribution platforms like Epoxy, which is what we use at BEGIN because it allows me to basically automate as much of my work as possible. There are weekends where I will just say, “All right. I’m going to work this weekend and plan everything out for the weeks to come.” It helps me to stay on top of things and really execute what I need to do. –Sarah Virk, BEGIN

      What is a good length for a brief? Should we be sending out pages to influencers?

      If you are going to have a brief for influencers, we are all busy, so keep it to one page. –Josh Ochs

      We got a brief from a big brand that a lot of us know and it was 3-4 pages long. I thought it was too long to be honest. If you are going to have a brief for influencers that work with you, we are all busy, so keep it to one page. –Josh Ochs, BlogPRWire.com

      What are some best practices that can be done ahead of time to align expectations with the brand, to set up tools to track posts and to make sure that the influencers know what to expect to run a smooth campaign?

      The biggest mistake that I’ve seen being done for multi-post campaigns is seeing the same type of branded content on different platforms. I don’t think it works. I would like to see brands/companies/agencies harness the different social platforms and treat them differently. If you are going to post a blog, go to Facebook. If you are going to use Twitter, why not turn it into a Q&A platform where you have someone actively answering questions. –Sarah Virk, BEGIN

      We did a project with Healthy Choice recently and we did the following thing: first of all, we had to internally go through processes. You need to know what your process is—what your 20 steps are because there are probably 20 steps to everything—whether you are an influencer network or a brand. I think a lot of people forget to think through the process. If you give your product out for free, what if they don’t like it? What do you do if they don’t get it? You have to plan, communicate, and be prepared. One tool that we love to use is what we call “the scrappy dashboard.” We take a Google spreadsheet that we update and work on live, and we publish it to a web page, just that one tab, and we send the long link to the client so they can see that one tab. We were able to put all these blogs that we worked on with all these metrics in this colorful document: when they are due, when they are posting, we need approval, here is the following, here are the tweets, etc. The brand told us, “We check that every morning. We love seeing where we are on the campaign.” They loved this easy, simple, scrappy dashboard that we created. –Josh Ochs, BlogPRWire.com

      If you have multiple people on a campaign then Asana is a great way to do internal management. –Sarah Virk

      I think if you have multiple people working on a campaign at once then services like Asana or 17Hats is a great way to do internal management. I love doing that because I have interns in and out of my office all the time. It takes me probably about two weeks to get them on board and get them comfortable with Asana, but once that gets going I don’t have to constantly email them or talk to them in the office because they know their tasks are automatically there. I can see an update as to what my co-founder is doing, what my marketing associate is doing, what my intern is doing, and what the progress is on everything. It keeps everything organized in the office. –Sarah Virk, BEGIN

      We work closely with bloggers to extend their outreach. –Kyle Snarr

      Flipboard is a place that bloggers or brands can go to tap an audience that they are likely not tapping right now. We have this high-quality, very influential, reactive, affluent audience so when you have your campaign out and running, if you are looking for that extra traction or you are looking for that niche audience who loves that particular topic or brand or product, we have it. We work closely with bloggers to extend their outreach and they are paired next to high-quality content from the world’s best publishers. –Kyle Snarr, Flipboard

      What about marketing automation platforms and analytics for the whole customer journey? Are any of you using that as a research platform for your branded content?

      The single metric that we report to clients that gets them to spend more was earned media value. –Jesse Leimgruber

      The one single metric that we report to clients that gets them to spend more was earned media value. These clients have platforms where they are looking at how their campaigns perform side by side so for influencer campaigns and blog campaigns we do impressions times CPM on a paid network. So if a YouTube view is $0.10 for a pre-roll ad and we got 100,000 YouTube view that is $10,000 in earned media value. Providing them this earned media value metric made them so comfortable that their campaign was getting an ROI because it is apples to apples comparison on how many impressions do these posts get me, how much would I normally pay to buy these impressions, and therefore we can show them that we got an ROI. –Jesse Leimgruber, Neoreach (Moderator)

      What are some ways that you position influencer and social campaigns to other channels and capture the value over time?

      We always include a Millward Brown brand index study with all of our campaigns so you take a baseline at the beginning, because ROI is hard to show, and then you can show the brand impact over time, which usually translates in the minds of the marketer or the CEO that there is an impact so brand impact studies are kind of expensive but it is a part of every campaign that we run on Flipboard. –Kyle Snarr, Flipboard