3 Ways to Reduce Time Spent on Influencer Management

Influencer Management
Spend less time managing influencers and more time analyzing positive results.
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Influencer marketing is certainly one of the most exciting and fascinating trends in the marketing world today. While consumers continue to decrease time spent watching television, reading magazines, and listening to the radio, time spent on social has only increased. But as far as influencer management goes, marketers are spending more time than ever.

From the rise in inauthentic engagement and fake followers, to deciphering Instagram pod frauds and the difficulty of finding the right influencers, it’s becoming increasingly time consuming to put together a campaign that reaches your marketing objectives. In fact, 30% of marketers surveyed by Mediakix stated that reducing time spent managing campaigns was their number one concern.

The costs you need to consider

Influencer marketing can be very expensive. If you do it in-house, here are some of the costs you need to consider:

  • Influencer marketing software
  • Influencer compensation
  • Influencer commissions (if applicable)
  • Employee salaries for time spent on influencer management
  • Product or service cost
  • Content usage rights

As a marketing manager who is responsible for setting the budget, you don’t have much to work with in the way of reducing expenditure. At the end of the day, you do have to pay to play. That said, one major area where you can work to reduce costs is in influencer management.

Let me walk you through three different ways to reduce time spent on influencer management.

1. Using an influencer marketing platform

I’d love to be able to say, gone are the days of full influencer marketing CRMs done in Google Sheets – but this strategy still exists. You see, most influencer marketing platforms are built for brands who can afford to spend a few thousand on software alone – in addition to all the other expenses I mentioned above.

If you can afford it, I highly recommend using an influencer marketing platform as long as you’re okay with spending as much of your budget on software as you would for an entire nano-influencer campaign. These platforms will give you the ability to source, onboard, manage, and report – all tucked inside a fancy dashboard.

For tighter budgets, you could consider using a platform for part of your influencer management process, such as MightyScout’s Campaign Monitoring software that is a modest $99/month. It will allow you to set up handles, hashtags, and location tags that you want to monitor and attribute campaign metrics to. This would replace manually recording posts in a Google Sheet for example.

An influencer marketing platform is certainly the biggest timesaver when it comes to influencer management, but it has a hefty price tag attached. If you can afford it, great, if not, select a cheaper alternative like MightyScout to offload some of your management duties.

2. Putting influencers through an application and screening process

When you’re sourcing influencers, you may be taking an in-depth look at their profiles and assessing whether or not they’re the right fit for your brand. You’re probably checking for fake engagement and spending 5-10 minutes analyzing their metrics, perhaps using a tool like Upfluence’s Chrome extension to dig into the audience demographics.

Here’s something you should consider: influencers receive dozens (sometimes hundreds) of requests from brands each day. You may think that you’re in the power position because you’re paying for a service, but you’re not – it’s supply and demand. That said, if you’re looking to build an always-on campaign with 20-30 influencers, you’re likely going to need to contact 125-200 influencers to reach your desired number.

If you spend 5-10 minutes looking at each influencer, you’re wasting 10-25% of your time because they won’t all respond to your outreach template.

So what should you do instead? Develop an application using a program like Typeform and in your outreach template, direct influencers to the application form. You can set it up so their information goes straight into your CRM, or simply Google Sheets. Set up qualifying questions so that you weed out those who aren’t a good fit.

Let’s suppose you sell vegan supplements, you may ask in your application that influencers identify whether or not they’re knowledgeable about the products you sell. Choosing the right influencers that are true thought leaders in your niche will increase the relevancy of the ads they create for you and reduce time spent on influencer management because you don’t need to educate them as much on what your products do.

Once you have all your applications, you’ll send them an offer along with your campaign brief so that they can get an idea of what you’re asking them to do. What exactly does a campaign brief entail and why should you develop one? Glad you asked.

Influencer management strategy tip

A recipe for success is when you have a brand that influencers would genuinely love and use, even if they weren’t being paid to. Quality influencers who are relevant to your brand will demand less time spend managing influencers.

3. Developing a concise campaign brief

A campaign brief is often overlooked, but I believe this is instrumental to a successful campaign and it certainly decreases the time spent on influencer management. Your campaign brief will explain what you’re looking to have content creators do and it’ll end up answering many of the typical questions you’d otherwise get from them. 

As you can imagine, if each influencer has 2-3 questions about the campaign, you can to have to exchange several more emails per influencer relationship. Multiply this by a couple dozen influencers, and suddenly you’re spending way more time on communicating with influencers than you should be.

Influencers will also appreciate it, especially if you include example posts from other campaigns you’ve done. This way, they can get inspiration for their content and will be better positioned to tell you whether or not they think they can pull it off creatively. Sometimes what you’ll ask for does not fit with the aesthetics of their page.

The ideal length for a campaign brief is 5-7 pages, including a title page and a thank-you page – meaning you need to touch on several key points within only a handful of pages. To make things more difficult, you want to have minimal text on each page. You’ll need to be ultra concise, but also clear and comprehensive. Difficult? Yes. Impossible? No, we do it all the time. It’s like anything online – if there’s too much text, people won’t read it. If the campaign brief looks pretty, is nicely presented, and written in a fun and engaging way, people will be more likely to read it and ultimately feel more connected to your brand. It should make them smile more than once.

Having a campaign brief also means that you don’t have to explain to each individual influencer what it is that you want them to do.

4. BONUS - Using a scheduling tool to book posts

This one isn’t mandatory, but we find it very effective for a couple good reasons. We use Calendly by setting up a timeframe for them to upload their content in. When we confirm that they are participating in the campaign, we request that they choose a date for their post(s). This leads to less missed dates because they chose their dates – it wasn’t given to them by someone else.

Calendly also enables email and text notifications and integrates directly with Slack’s calendar, so all parties involved know when to look for the uploads.

This means less time spent on influencer management because you no longer have to go back-and-forth to lock in dates. On the flip side, if you aren’t already having influencers select dates, you risk forgetting about them or them forgetting about you. Be flexible with the schedule of course, but it does make things easier for everyone.

Influencer management communication flow

Ideally, this is how your communication will flow from first touchpoint to first post.


Email 1: Cold outreach template with link to application

Email 2: Acceptance email with offer, campaign brief, and request for PayPal and shipping info (if applicable)

Email 3: Confirmation of participation in the campaign, request to select a date in Calendly

Email 4: Between 24-48 hours prior to the post’s upload, request to see the content for approval

Email 5: Approve/disapprove content – but if your campaign brief is good, you’ll rarely need to disapprove of anything

Email 6: Thank them for uploading the content, set the stage up for how the relationship progresses from here.

How this fits into influencer relationships

I hope you’re partnering with influencers on a regular basis, rather than transactional one-off relationships. The communication flow that I’ve just described is just based off the initial contact, on-boarding, and the first upload.

It’s important to build healthy relationships with influencers. bloggers, and content creators. At the end of the day, they’re your brand’s first impression to thousands of potential customers. When they’re happy, you’re happy.

Set up your campaigns to minimize time spent on influencer management, put the systems and processes in place to ensure a successful campaign, and keep those influencer relationships strong.

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