How to Build a Successful Influencer Marketing Framework (Updated May 2019)

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

What was the last product you purchased or the recent new spot you discovered in your city? Do you remember where you first heard about them?

Did you learn about them from family, friends, acquaintances, or social media peers?

If so, your decision to try the product or place was influenced.

But you are not alone. In this digital era, a majority of consumers turn to the internet to look for information about new products and places. Many trust the experiences of their social media peers and also heed to their recommendations.

That’s why the influencer marketing industry has grown significantly over the past decade and is still booming. In fact, it is reported to be the fastest growing customer acquisition tactic today.

However, the lack of a proper influencer marketing framework means that many brands and marketers are yet to unleash the full potential of their campaigns.

To run successful campaigns, you need to find the right influencers, assess their audience health, and approach them with an effective campaign brief. If you want a bit of a head start, you can also download our best influencer outreach email templates to boost reply rates. All of this requires a proper influencer marketing framework in place.

Effective influencer collaborations demand a lot of time, resources, and hard work. But if you follow the right framework, you can easily run successful influencer marketing campaigns.

To help you, I’ve put together this guide on how to build an influencer marketing framework that delivers the best results. Follow these proven steps to build your influencer marketing framework successfully.

And don’t miss the chance to download our best influencer outreach email templates to increase your email open and reply rates.

#1. Identify Your Target Audience

The first and most basic step of setting up an influencer marketing framework is that of defining your target audience. You can strategize only once you have figured out who your target audience is. It is important to identify the basic demographics of your target audience such as age, gender, location, and top interests.

Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, you can easily discover the top people they follow and trust. This will help keep you focused when it comes to influencer selection.

You can then filter your list of potential influencers based on their style and audience demographics. This will help you identify and shortlist the influencers who can connect with your audience the best.

However, you may need to make some compromises and work with a mix of influencers to achieve your overall campaign goals. All of this should be well-defined in your influencer marketing framework.

#2. Define Your Campaign Goals

If you want to maximize the effectiveness of your campaign, it is essential to draft a clear strategy. And a clear strategy starts with defining your core campaign goals and objectives. Without setting clear goals, you won’t have a definite direction to take your business. Having a set direction can help you make optimum use of your resources.  

To build a solid influencer marketing framework, you need to define what you would like to achieve with your campaign. Clearly defined campaign goals will provide you with the metrics you should track to measure the success of your campaign.

Some of the major influencer marketing goals you may want to consider for the influencer marketing framework include the following:

  • Raise brand awareness: Get more people to see, know, recognize, like, and mention your brand.
  • Increase engagement: Get more likes, comments, shares, and tags on your content.
  • Generate more leads: Get more people to visit your website, check out your products, or sign up for your newsletter.
  • Drive more sales: Get more people to purchase your products or hire your services.
  • Build reputation and customer loyalty: Get people to trust your brand and convert them into loyal customers.
  • Build backlinks: Get more links that direct back to your website.

The goals that you define in your influencer marketing framework should be S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). Then make sure that all of your branding and messaging across platforms aligns with those goals.

#3. Find the Right Influencers for Your Brand

Finding the right influencers for your brand can be the most crucial and time consuming step of your influencer marketing framework.

When it comes to influencer selection, you need to consider their reach, audience demographics, and resonance with your brand and campaign goals. It is even better to partner with influencers who already love and talk about your brand or products.

It is also necessary to consider their engagement rates. Influencers who have a high engagement rate can be instrumental in helping you get more leads and conversions. This is because their followers are more likely to engage with their content and notice your brand.

You can use tools such as BuzzSumo and Mention to identify the top influencers in your niche and discover people who are talking about your brand.

Track, Measure, and Optimize

Image via BuzzSumo

Once you have a potential list of influencers, the next step in building an effective influencer marketing framework is to refine your list.

Evaluate each of your potential influencers on the following parameters:

  • Reach
  • Engagement rate
  • Authenticity
  • Personality and style
  • Previous brand associations
  • Audience demographics and interests

There are a number of influencer marketing platforms that can help you find, shortlist, and approach influencers. In fact, platforms such as Grin can also help you manage and scale your influencer marketing campaigns. Including a few of these platforms in your influencer marketing framework can be helpful too.

Before you approach your selected influencers, make sure that you do your homework. It is always good to have a campaign brief ready in advance. This can help you answer any queries that the influencers may have as well. And you can also use our tried-and-tested influencer outreach email templates for better results.

#4. Connect With Influencers

Once you’ve found the right influencers for your campaigns, the next step in the influencer marketing framework should be that of connecting with them.

Some of the best ways to connect with them are:

  • Emails
  • Social media messaging
  • Influencer marketing platforms such as Grin

Your goal should be to first establish a strong relationship with them. Don’t immediately pitch your idea for a collaboration. A great way of starting off your communication with them is by commending some of their achievements or complimenting them on their posts. You can also discuss some things that they’ve mentioned in their posts.  

Once you’ve had some communication with them, then you can pitch your ideas. This will make them more receptive as well. Additionally, the communication will also give them enough time to understand your brand.

After you’ve decided to collaborate, you should get a contract made. This makes the deliverables from both the parties clear so that there will be no misunderstanding at a later stage.

A legally binding contract will also help clarify the terms of the partnership. Once this is done, you can go ahead with the collaboration. Doing this can make the partnership simpler and that’s why it’s an important part of influencer marketing framework.

#5. Create a Campaign Brief

Though this seems easy, it’s important to create a proper campaign brief. It will help you provide the right information to the influencers and can prevent a lot of back and forth communication. That’s why it’s an integral part of any influencer marketing framework.

So, what should you include in a campaign brief? 

Start your campaign brief by introducing your brand. Mention the aspects of your brand you want the influencer to focus on.

Tell them about your campaign goals so that they can shape their content plan accordingly. This could be raising awareness, engagement, sales, or advocacy. You should also provide influencers with detailed KPIs (key performance indicators) that you’ll use to measure results.

Another important element of your campaign brief is your content guidelines and those should be mentioned in the influencer marketing framework too.

A majority of influencers prefer creative freedom when creating content for their social media profiles. But as a brand or marketer, you need to ensure that the influencer-created content aligns with your brand’s messaging and your overall campaign strategy. This should be clearly specified in your influencer marketing framework.

It’s acceptable to ask for some specific requirements. In fact, it’s important to specify what you don’t want in the content they create for your brand.

You should provide a clear brief in the influencer marketing framework which includes the following:

  • The type of content you want - image post, boomerang, short video, long video, carousel, etc.
  • Any specific image style that you find more suitable for your campaign - flatlays, close ups, collages, etc.
  • The amount of brand or product visibility you expect to see
  • Any specific features of your product or service that you would like them to emphasize
  • Timeline to submit content for review or the date they need to post the content
  • Do you want content rights to repurpose the content on your social media profiles or website?
  • Any campaign specific hashtags you would like them to include
  • The type of collaboration you’re looking for - gifting, guest posting, sponsored content, contests and giveaways, influencer takeover, affiliate promotion, brand ambassadorship, etc.

You should encourage influencers to ask questions if anything is unclear or if they have any concerns related to your campaign brief. Effective communication and transparency can help you build a successful influencer marketing framework for your campaign.

#6. Track, Measure, and Optimize

Last but not the least, the most important element of an influencer marketing framework is measuring success.

If you want to improve the ROI of your campaign, you should track and monitor every detail. This includes checking the quality of content, engagement on the influencer-created content, number of leads generated, the amount of sales each influencer drives, and much more.

This will help you analyze and understand what’s working the best for your audience and what isn’t.

The world-famous watch brand, Daniel Wellington, effectively uses custom affiliate codes to encourage sales and measure the effectiveness of each of their influencers.

Find the Right Influencers for Your Brand

Image via Instagram

Final Thoughts

Many brands and marketers are leveraging influencer marketing to achieve higher ROI than other forms of advertising. But to get higher returns, you need to develop a successful influencer marketing framework for your campaign.

This step-by-step guide to building an effective influencer marketing framework can help you unleash the full potential of your influencer campaigns. This is your chance to gain greater reach, engagement, sales, and growth for your brand through profitable influencer collaborations.

What are the other things that you need to have in mind while building an influencer marketing framework? Let us know in the comments section below.


Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown

Brandon Brown is the CEO of Grin, an influencer marketing software solution for brands. Grin’s software helps customers identify, recruit & activate the world’s most engaging influencers. Prior to Grin Brandon led marketing for the #1 energy drink market in the world, Los Angeles & Orange County, at Red Bull North America. He is an expert in consumer marketing and has extensive experience working with the worlds largest brands to reach consumers through influencers, athletes, musicians and artists.

More by Brandon Brown