As our famous diplomat Benjamin Franklin once said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail”. Whichever business endeavour you engage in, you need to thoroughly plan it in order to make sure that everything runs smoothly and that you actually experience real benefits from it.

The first important step in your planning stage should be focused on your goals. You need to know exactly what it is that you want to accomplish with your influencer marketing campaign so that you can know which influencers you should team up with.

For instance, some of your goals may be raising brand awareness, engaging your target audience in your brand and converting them into customers, as well as increasing your sales and ROI. Influencer marketing campaigns are perfect for achieving these goals and helping you grow your business.

When creating your influencer marketing strategy, you should also select the metrics that you will track, because they will help you evaluate the success of your campaign. For instance, you can keep track of the growth in your social following and the number of your brand mentions on social media, as well as your sales growth and campaign engagement (the number of people you have converted into customers and the number of repeat customers during your campaign).

Typical KPIs (key performance indicators) you should follow are engagement rates, views, impressions, reach, click-throughs, follower increase, and sales growth. Of course, it all depends upon your set campaign goals.

When you choose the metrics you will follow, don’t forget to make a record of all the numbers prior to your campaign launch, so that you can assess the effectiveness of your campaign upon its completion.

Once you set your goals and select your metrics, you should choose the social media platform (or platforms) on which you will run your influencer marketing campaign. Every social media platform is unique, so you need to consider your goals and objectives when picking one.

The most important thing to take into consideration is your target audience. There’s no point in running a campaign on a platform that your target audience is not actually using, so you need to make sure you are exactly where they are. For instance, if you want to attract millennials, Instagram would be the best platform for your campaign.

You also need to consider the type of content that your influencer will share. For example, if you want to focus on photos, Instagram is again your best bet. YouTube and Facebook are perfect for video content, while Facebook, LinkedIn and Medium are excellent for sharing text.

If you focus on Snapchat and you want your influencer to include links leading to your website when sharing content, make sure they use Snapchat Stories, so that people can actually click on the links.

As the Collective Bias survey shows, Facebook is the most influential social media platform, as Facebook posts are influencing 19% of people’s purchase decisions. YouTube doesn’t fall much behind, as it influences 18% of consumers when it comes to their purchase decisions, making it second most influential social platform.