“When will I see results from my influencer marketing campaign?” This is one of the most common questions that we get from prospects and clients. And if you landed on this post, you probably have the same question.
We understand, everyone is rushing to see results from their marketing campaigns. Sometimes people see influencers as a magic bullet that will instantly boost traffic, attract new customers, or increase sales. In most cases consistency and time are required to achieve the results you’re looking for.
To understand how soon you can reach your goals with influencer marketing, we’ll walk you through the timeline of a typical influencer marketing campaign so you will know what to expect at each stage.
It Can Take A Few Months
So exactly how long until you see results? Honestly, it depends. You probably get this answer a lot and feel frustrated by it, but it’s the truth. Depending on your brand, product, budget, process, and execution, the timeline of results will vary. From our experience designing and executing influencer marketing campaigns, you can expect to see measurable results from your campaign in as quickly as 3 months if executed correctly.
Typically speaking, after 3 months, a brand that is new to influencer marketing has enough data to start drawing conclusions about their campaign performance. This is also when brands can start entering into long-term partnerships with influencers with the intent of growing them into brand ambassadors. After 6 months, brand-affinity grows as ambassadors continue to expose their audiences to your brand and products. This is an important period in the campaign because during this time your brand will accumulate trust from potential customers. If you can plan your campaigns to last longer than 6 months, you will see significantly more improvements in brand awareness, traffic, brand loyalty, and sales growth.
A common mistake people make when running influencer marketing campaigns is to stop the campaign once they see some initial results. There’s no need to pause. Pausing after one post, as many brands do, causes them to miss out on the exponential growth seen when audiences are consistently exposed to a brand and its products over a period of time.
Influencer Marketing Campaign Timeline and Expectation
Are you wondering why it takes a few months to execute an influencer marketing campaign? What happens in those three months? To give you a clear idea of the timeline of running an influencer marketing campaign, we broke it down into six simple stages.
The Strategy (Weeks 1 - 2)
To ensure your influencer marketing campaign goes smoothly, you want a thorough, strategic plan before executing. You should expect the strategy stage to take the first couple weeks of your campaign cycle. In this stage, you will complete important tasks such as setting campaign goals, deciding on influencer niches, researching your competition and defining measurable results.
Our blog post about how to run an influencer marketing campaign can help guide you through the planning process.
Influencer Outreach (Weeks 2 - 4)
Once the strategy is outlined, it’s time to reach out to the influencers that align with your brand, products and goals. If you are reaching out to influencers by yourself, there are several options. You could manually message or email them about the potential partnerships. This method is effective, but it can be quite time consuming. You could also sign up for an influencer marketing platform to find and connect with influencers. There’s dozens of these platforms on the market, and each have their pros and cons. You can expect to pay up to $10,000 per month for the best platforms or as little as a few hundred dollars per month for platforms that are new to the game. You can also partner with an influencer marketing agency that has access to an industry-leading platform and utilize their access.
In this stage, you can expect to product a list of qualified influencers for your brand’s campaign. Depending on the number of influencers and your level of experience, this step may take longer.
Influencer Product Coordination (Weeks 3 - 8)
Once you reach out to the influencers, the next steps are to set up agreements and ship out products. When working with influencers, it’s important to make sure that they are familiar with your brand and your products. Providing free product samples and a well-crafted influencer brief can help the influencers to create authentic content around your brand and products.
At this point, the goal is to make sure your brand’s gifted products are delivered to influencers in a timely manner so that they can get ready for content creation. All the logistics of collecting influencer’s addresses and shipping out products can be time consuming. A good influencer agency partner will take care of product shipping logistics for your brand.
Influencers Publish Content (Weeks 4 - 12)
As the influencers receive their product samples, they will start to create content about your brand and products. This process starts around week four and continues until the end of the campaign. At this stage, it’s necessary to quality review the content publishing to make sure that the influencers are meeting deadlines and creating quality content for the brand per the instructions in your brief.
During this time in your campaign, you can expect to see the influencers publishing their content about your brand on social media. At this step, your brand continues to receive more exposure as more influencer content goes live. As the brand representative, you want to engage with your influencer’s content and audience. This shows your support for the influencer and any questions that their audience has about your brand or products.
Influencer Payment Execution (Weeks 6 - 12)
As the influencers’ content starts to publish, you will want pay the influencers for the work they have done. If you are working with the Get Hyped team, we take care of all payments and paperwork for taxes so that you can save time on the accounting.
If you’re managing your own campaign, ensure you’re asking influencers for a W-9 Form or a W-8 Form if they are based outside of the U.S.
Analytic Gathering and Campaign Review (Weeks 8 - 13)
It’s finally time to review all the conversions and other results from your influencer campaign! At this point, you can gather the influencer analytics and measure the success of the campaign. If your goal was to increase brand awareness, you should expect to see an increase in your website traffic and social media engagement. Some important KPIs that you could track include impressions, engagement, link clicks, earned media value, and ROI.
At the end of this cycle, you should evaluate the success of the campaign and pivot your strategy where needed. It’s wise to continue to invest in the influencers that perform well in the first campaign. Stopping an influencer campaign after just one round of content is a mistake we often see brands make. The secret sauce of influencer marketing comes into play when you build long-term partnerships with influencers exposing your brand and products to audiences consistently over time.
Factors that Affect Influencer Marketing Results
By now you should have a better picture of what to expect in your first influencer marketing campaign. The timeline that we presented above is the average for a typical consumer brand executing an influencer marketing campaign. However, we have to point out that, in reality, it might take longer for some brands to see significant results. The take away is that influencer marketing is a long-term play.
There are a few factors that can affect the timeline of your campaign, such as the creative freedom you allow and your communication with the influencers. If you want to make sure your campaign is efficient and effective, we recommend you provide enough creative freedom to influencers and invest in long-term relationships with the top-performers.
These two factors play important roles in accelerating your influencer marketing campaign. Giving creative freedom to influencers ensures the quality and authenticity of the content. Since the audience views an influencer as a friend, they prefer to see genuine content. They want to hear honest opinions and feedback about a brand. Many campaigns fall flat because they try to control the messaging from the influencer. This can make the influencer sound salesy and the audience isn’t looking for a sales pitch. It can also hurt your relationship with influencers and the audience, which negatively impacts your results.
Another way to give your campaign a long-term win is to nurture the relationships with influencers. We recommend you send them unexpected free products, brand merchandise, or give them a social shout-out to appreciate their contributions. By doing so, you can keep the high-performing influencers in your circle and make them feel like they are part of your brand’s family. It will elevate your campaign success when you have a group of accountable influencers vouch for your brand and your products because they believe in them and your mission.
A successful influencer marketing campaign doesn’t happen overnight. It takes consistency and effort from your brand’s team to start seeing exciting results. However, with a well-crafted influencer marketing strategy, the results are more than worth it.
We have helped dozens of brands exceed their marketing goals using influencer marketing. Are you ready to invest in optimizing your influencer marketing campaign? Contact us and let’s get hyped!
About the Author: Kristina Coughlin
Kristina is a social media marketer with a focus on D2C brands. She’s the Founder and Operations Director at Get Hyped, the leading influencer marketing agency connecting CPG brands with their target audience. Check out her LinkedIn content for more influencer marketing best practices and tips. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristinacoughlin/