Posting Guidelines are the Cornerstone for Campaign Success
As brand trying to connect with your community on social, there is always a need for more content. Creating enough quality content for your brand can be a difficult task for even the savviest social media marketers. Which has caused many marketers to turn to influencers to assist with this content creation.
Many marketers find this strategy successful, but to do it right requires finding influencers who are the right fit for your brand and providing them education on how to properly share your brand message. There are resources available to help with the process of finding the right influencers and we’ll outline what you need to know in order to properly educate your influencers how to share about your brand.
So, you’ve found the perfect influencer for your program.
Whether the program relies on influencers sharing posts to their social channels or has them creating content specifically for your brand to share, proper onboarding and education is key. You can find the best influencer for your program, but that brand fit won’t be as meaningful if they don’t know how you expect your brand message to be shared. You need to teach them how to convey your brand’s story to their audiences.
However, there is a fine line between education and dictation. Make sure that you are not prescribing content. The idea is to provide guardrails and give direction for their sharing. This guidance will set their creative thinking in line with your brand values without jeopardizing their authentic point of view. Being too prescriptive in this step leads to spammy inauthentic content. When it’s done right, it builds trust with the audience.
The reason you only need to give guidance, not provide scripting, is that the influencers know their audience and how to engage them best. They’ve built their following based on the amazing content they create. Treat the relationship with them as you would a business partner and give them room to create in order to facilitate the best content.
What information does the influencer need to know?
To get the influencer properly trained for your program, it’s important to share content guidelines with them. These guidelines are what will be used to communicate all of the necessary information to the influencer. So what needs to be included in these guidelines?
First and foremost you want to provide details about your brand. Who you are and what you represent. Oftentimes, the influencer will already be familiar with the brand and may even be a passionate fan. But there are always details that can be added to help influencers understand the brand values better.
With the brand basics established, you want to get the influencer up to speed on the program’s details. This section explains what kind of program the influencer will be participating in. This is the spot to share campaign goals, what the brand is trying to achieve overall and how influencers fit into the strategy. This will help guide their participation. The overall creative look and feel should also be shared to highlight how they should be sharing.
Though you want to stay away from prescribing content, you need to give details about what influencers are expected to include in their posts. This is the spot to outline proper hashtags, any accounts to mention, important points, and relevant calls-to-action.
Brand do’s & don’ts
You should have a list of general brand guidelines that you’ll want the influencer to follow regarding how to speak about the brand and how the brand should be pictured. This includes details about how you do not want the brand referenced or pictured. One common example is “Please do not picture any other brand products or logos in your photo or tag any other brands in your captions.” You may also ask that your product not be pictured in a certain way (“please make sure that the full bottle is visible in the photo”) or asking influencers to leave out religious or political commentary from their captions. This isn’t always a juicy topic, you just may want to mention a particular quirk of your product (“Please do not feature dogs as the product is poisonous to dogs.” or “The bottle does not spray upside down, please do not show the bottle upside down.”)
Good influencers almost always avoid divisive or controversial language and imagery, and if you have a good brand fit you can rest easy that your images will be safe, but it is always good to outline your rules up front.
FTC Disclosure Preference
Proper sharing includes abiding by the Federal Trade Commission’s rules & regulations. Many influencers (and brands alike) are still confused about what they’re required to do to stay on the FTC’s good side. So this is your opportunity to ensure that your brand’s posts abide by the rules. Pick a couple disclosure messages that you are comfortable with and ask the influencers to include one in their post captions.
Pro-tip: Download our comprehensive guide to the FTC’s rule’s & regulations to get familiar with what your influencers need to know.
As you show the influencers how to properly share about your brand, it’s always helpful to include some example posts for their reference. These are a simple way to guide their content creation and give them a visual reference of what a quality post looks like.
Every campaign has a finite timeframe. Inform the influencer when they should be sharing their content. We always recommend giving the influencer a “window” of time to share within because you want to give them ample time to create and allow them post in a cadence that will drive positive engagement from their followers. Work with them to schedule their posts at a time that is comfortable for them.
Compensation / marketing materials
This is the place to outline your compensation rates for the campaign. You should also include details about swag or other merchandise you’ll be sending influencers. Make it sound exciting-- this is one of the most important decision-making factors for participation.
Campaign guidelines are the make or break for a successful campaign. Influencers use them to ensure that they’re meeting brand expectations. But building these guidelines can be a daunting task. Consider using a partner like SEEN to assist in communicating your brand’s goals to influencers. When you know that you’ve identified the right influencers for your program and you’ve provided these tools to guide their sharing, the program management that will follow will be much simpler and you’ll be on your way to a successful program. Subscribe to the SEEN blog to learn more management tips and stay tuned for information on how to manage the program.