Do you want to get the word out about your brand and reach new audiences? Influencers are an excellent and fairly inexpensive way to market to new customer segments you haven’t yet reached. You might feel a bit overwhelmed if you’ve never run an influencer campaign before.

Launching your first influencer marketing campaign doesn’t have to be stressful. You need to be aware of the potential pitfalls, have a few tips on hand to get going and then run with it.

How Do I Start an Influencer Marketing Campaign?

The most recent State of Influencer Marketing Benchmark Report indicates the industry will grow to $16.4 billion this year. Such growth indicates businesses that haven’t yet tried the promotion method likely will soon.

How can you start your first influencer marketing campaign? Here are our favourite tips for newbies and experienced teams alike.

1. Sponsor a Contest

One of the easiest ways to attract a bunch of micro influencers is to sponsor a contest for your brand. You tap into the power of your fan base and let them share information about your product. Your only costs are creating some amazing content and the prize.

For example, you might offer a prize to the person who has the most shares, the most likes or draw names from those who were active in sharing information about your product.

How to Launch Your First Influencer Marketing Campaign


Venmo regularly runs cash giveaways on their Instagram page to get their users sharing and talking about their product. It’s a simple micro influencer campaign where people can do something very easy, such as comment. The more chatter there is, the more interaction the page receives.

In one campaign, they state 2,999 of their followers will win $11.85. Your budget may be smaller. You may want to choose fewer winners or have a single large prize.

2. Know Your Top Fans

Your top customers are a great place to start when putting together your first influencer marketing campaign. You can test the waters and usually reimburse them only with free products. It will give you an opportunity to figure out the rules of your influencer campaigns and make tweaks before you shell out cash to a larger influencer.

3. Find the Right Match

Selecting the right influencer for your first campaign helps you fail or succeed. Think about what personalities best represent what you stand for. For example, if your brand is known for its wholesome, family values, you probably don’t want to go with someone known to have questionable morals.

Look over the influencer’s profile carefully. Read past posts. Make sure there isn’t anything that might offend your customer base. You should also seek someone who has a working knowledge of your industry.

How to Launch Your First Influencer Marketing Campaign


50 Floor teams up with Richard Karn, who played Al Borland on Home Improvement. People recognize him as a friendly face in the home improvement industry. He’s an excellent celebrity match for the company. People who follow Karn are likely to consider the flooring for their renovation needs. Those who land on the homepage will spot a friendly face and instantly feel more trust toward the company.

4. Time Your Campaign

Approximately 86% of marketing professionals say they’ll use an influencer marketing campaign sometimes during the year. The key is figuring out the right timing for your first one. Consider what offers you already have in the works and how you might tie them into a campaign. Do you have a new product launching soon? Perhaps you offer a clearance sale every Black Friday?

Think about the timing that works best. Keep in mind this is your first campaign. If the timing doesn’t work out, you can always try something different next time. Keep tweaking and learning with each campaign until you reach the referral numbers and new leads you desire.

5. Stick to Brand Guidelines

Establish strong brand guidelines so you offer a consistent experience no matter who promotes your brand. If Influencer A and Microinfluencer B are both saying similar things, people are much more likely to believe it.

How to Launch Your First Influencer Marketing Campaign


Little Gents Closet posted a while back seeking brand ambassadors to represent their products. They then share photos of these cute little guys wearing their fun clothing. How better to sell your items than to get a few customers talking to their mom friends about the quality and stylish looks?

6. Track Results

Don’t get so tied up in planning your first influencer marketing campaign that you forget to track how well it does. You want to know what works and what doesn’t so you can improve your next campaign. Ideally, each time you work with an influencer, the process will be improved.

Start with a separate landing page the influencer sends customers to. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is by offering a special discount and taking them to a page to receive it or having them input a code so you can track which orders come from the influencer.

Pay attention to when the partner posts for you and what your traffic does. Are some posts more successful than others? Do some offers appeal to your audience more?

Just Jump In

As long as you use a little common sense and work with a professional, it’s hard to go wrong with an influencer marketing campaign. Jump in, start tracking results and refine your systems as you go.

Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.