Find what to consider when defining your strategy, hiring an agency, choosing and paying an influencer, writing a contract, monitoring your campaign and measuring success.

Influencers offer the potential to reach new audiences and create authentic connections, but also come with risk.

Before engaging an influencer, it is important that you:

  • check with your legal and/or media team (as some government agencies have a firm “no influencers” stance)
  • do your research well
  • communicate your expectations
  • evaluate results. 
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Consider hiring an agency

We recommend you involve a media agency if you're engaging influencers as part of a campaign, especially if it’s the first one you’ve run.

Some media agencies or platforms are dedicated solely to helping you find the right person for your campaign. These media agencies can:

  • apply various filters (for example, psychographic and demographic)
  • identify appropriate personalities
  • detect fake followers
  • provide a quality score. 

Contact your media or social media agency to check if they specialise in influencer marketing.

As with any social media campaign, if you’re engaging an agency, it is important you don’t leave it entirely in their hands. To mitigate risk, you should ensure you do your own risk assessments where appropriate throughout the process.

Define your influencer strategy

You should be able to articulate your decisions for choosing an influencer. 

When defining your influencer strategy, consider:

  • which platforms your target audience are active on
  • how influencers will help you achieve your campaign objectives
  • what influencers offer that other marketing efforts do not
  • whether the influencer’s brand and values align with your organisation
  • how your campaign fits with the influencer’s existing content and other brand associations
  • who will approve the influencer's content (if relevant)
  • verifying the influencer has a legitimate following
  • remuneration, if any
  • what parameters or boundaries your influencer should work within
  • what to do if your chosen influencer comes under fire for their behaviour or content. 

Define success

Your performance indicators will affect the type of influencer you choose, so start by planning your goals.

Your goals may include:

  • reach
  • impressions
  • engagement
  • brand awareness
  • conversion goals such as downloads, subscribers, purchases, or leads.

You might also like to set parameters to help achieve these goals. For example, the number of content pieces to deliver or publish. 

Choose an influencer

Some agencies are moving away from influencers who are only famous on social media. These agencies are in favour of influencers who have clout outside of social media and are knowledgeable about the campaign they are part of. Such influencers may include sporting stars or television personalities. 

You don't have to choose an influencer with millions of followers or an overly curated feed. Micro-influencers can also be effective.

Choose an influencer who discloses partnership clearly and strives to be inclusive, open and apolitical.

Use a social listening tool (such as Meltwater) or agency influencer database, as well as Google searches, to identify potential influencers, then dig deeper. Investigate each influencer's history and possible risks. Meltwater checks only go back 15 months, so manual in-platform checks are also advised. Create a shortlist of the influencers you would like to engage or use. 

Identify influencers to avoid

All NSW Government campaigns must avoid influencers who: 

  • engage in risky, unhealthy, illegal or undesirable activities (such as smoking, promoting extreme dieting or taking illicit substances)
  • post or express views that are racist, sexist, or homophobic
  • bully people
  • make jokes at the expense of vulnerable or marginalised people
  • are associated with organisations or causes that may bring the NSW Government into disrepute
  • are (or have been) involved in public controversies
  • receive sponsorship or work with brands that conflict with your agency’s values or your campaign’s key message. 

You can add other criteria to vet influencers that are not suitable for your campaign.

If you think an individual is too risky to be involved in your campaign, play it safe and leave them out. 

Check the influencer's followings

The worth of an influencer is often determined by the size of their following and perceived influence.

There are many online tools you can use to check if an influencer's followers are real. Check if an influencer started off with a large following or has repeatedly gained lots of followers at odd points. These red flags may indicate that the influencer has purchased followers.

You should also check if users are commenting on the influencer's posts. If there are no comments (despite the influencer holding a large following), it is likely the influencer is being deceptive. If there are many comments that seem off or ‘spam-like’, the influencer may have purchased ‘comments’ as well as a large following.

Write a contract

Once you have researched influencers and chosen who you would like to engage, work with your legal team to write a contract. You may wish to use this example contract (DOCX, 371.86 KB) as a template. Get approval to issue the contract from your senior executive and alert your media team. 

From a social media perspective, a contract for an influencer should include:

  • goals, objectives and reporting requirements
  • content approval process
  • start and finish date of the partnership
  • types of posts (for example, composition, quality, branding, disappearing content versus feed, who has creative control of images, and who will produce creative) 
  • remuneration (if any)
  • how the influencer will communicate to the public that they are in partnership with the NSW Government and/or your agency (for example, including ad or tagging your account) 
  • if and how the influencer is to engage with the media regarding the campaign and their partnership with the NSW Government
  • appropriate influencer conduct during and after the campaign
  • who owns the content, how long it stays live for, whether you can re-use it and how to credit appropriately
  • requirements related to the Advertising Act
  • what checks are needed for the partnership (for example, a National Police Check and/or a Working with Children Check) 
  • what happens if the influencer violates or does not fulfil the contract
  • how the influencer should respond to comments on content and where to access approved responses
  • what to do if things go wrong. 

The contract should align with the guidance in the Australian Influencer Marketing Code of Practice.

Consider remuneration

The NSW Government doesn't have a standard guide on remuneration for influencers.

Influencers will often provide a rate card to agencies with a price list that matches costs to deliverables. However, there may be an opportunity to provide non-monetary remuneration, for example, experiences or media opportunities. All agreed remuneration must be clearly specified in your contract.

The example contract template stipulates how long posts need to live on the feed and when payment will be made. We recommend you use the template when engaging an influencer.

Please review the advertising section of the Social Media Guidelines, as the Advertising Act will apply to remuneration for influencers. You must include all influencer spend in your expenditure reporting.

Monitor the campaign

Set up social listening and check in with your influencer’s accounts regularly.

Contact the influencer to see how they’re going, especially if people are leaving feedback on their posts that needs to be addressed. Engage with the posts, where appropriate.

Evaluate the campaign

Measure the performance and ROI of the influencer campaign based on the predetermined goals and objectives.

Compare your campaign results with your objectives. Report your successes and learnings to provide recommendations for future campaigns.

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