Between conferences and Facebook groups, we get to hear a lot of behind-the-scenes stories from bloggers. Unfortunately, this is a story we've heard far too frequently. Tell us if this sounds familiar.
Liz Wakefield, a lifestyle blogger, gets an offer for a campaign to promote a new product. Liz loved the product and created amazing content. Her content incorporated all of the brand's talking points. Liz completed all of the deliverables and even did extra social shares above and beyond what was required. The post had great engagement and performed well on Liz's social channels. She even got a couple of comments showing that people planned to buy the product. All in all, Liz gave herself a gold star for a job well done.
A couple of weeks later, Liz got an email from the client. They didn't receive the expected number of email subscribers. Liz panicked and double checked her contract and talking points. She reviewed all of her correspondence with the hiring agency. Everything she has talked about the new product details, but only one bullet in the scope of work references the company's newsletter. Liz is hyper-conscientious and thought she did a great job for the client. How should she respond to their email?
Typically, we hear people giving a wide range of advice on how Liz should address this with the client AFTER the situation occurs. (For the record, we only support a professional email or telephone call to respond. This is a snark free-zone.) Instead of focusing on what to do when it happens, however, we want to address how to avoid this situation.
We recommend addressing this proactively, before you sign your contract. Here's the question we want you to ask before you accept any campaign:
How are you measuring the success of this campaign?
Often, businesses will refer to this as their key performance indicators or KPIs. Just remember, a KPI is how a client is measuring performance or success. This is a critical factor for you to know and evaluate in any campaign.
Knowing the client's KPIs will allow you to craft the best possible content.
If a client comes to you and says that their goal is for you to create a vegan recipe featuring their milk-alternative that they can share on their social channels, you can create a plan for this campaign and the content you want to create.
If, instead, the same brand comes to you and requests that you create a blog post with an original recipe that encourages readers to download a coupon, you may shift your focus within the content to ensure that you are highlighting the coupon and encouraging downloads for in-store purchases.
Quite simply, if you don't know the KPIs, you can't create content that is most likely to help your client achieve their goals.
Measuring the Success of a Campaign
When you know the client's KPIs, you can easily measure the success of your content. For example, if a client requests content to help them grow their Instagram followers, your success is based on how well you achieved that goal. Whether you received a large number of Pinterest shares may not be relevant to that goal.
To show success within their organization and to determine their return on investment for hiring you, your client will measure the appropriate metrics at the end of the campaign. We want you to do the same thing. We never want you to be caught by surprise by a client who may be unhappy with the results.
When to Discuss KPIs
It's critical to know how a client is measuring the success of the campaign before you accept the contract. Since the client's KPIs should strongly influence the kind of content that you will create, you need to know this before you accept any campaign and before you set your rate.
If the KPIs are not an action that you believe your audience is likely to take, you should discuss this with the client. You may be able to negotiate new deliverables by aligning the KPIs to your audience. Or, more importantly, if you don't believe that you can create successful content for the client, you should decline the campaign.
As you discuss the campaign deliverables, whether it is in-person, by phone, or via email, simply ask the client how they are measuring success and what results they want to see from your content. If you are working with a client who is new to influencer marketing, and they are not sure how to measure success, take the opportunity to guide the client and create content that will deliver great results!
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