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How to set up the perfect 30-day trial campaign with The Cirqle

In 2022, the global market for influencer marketing is expected to increase to $16.4 billion, $2.6 billion more than in 2021 (source). Thousands of brands are looking to get in on the action and it will only increase as we see the efficacy of the format do the same.

Here at The Cirqle, our goal is to make performance-driven creator-powered campaigns as easy to set up and run as possible for any brand, in any market. Our platform has been built in-house from the ground up and is able to reach almost half a million creators with any campaign brief put out on the platform. Our Customer Success team helps ensure the campaigns are in the best possible shape to create high-performing creative posts for amplification.

It’s one thing to say it and entirely another thing to do it, which is why a 30-day trial period is offered to prospective clients to demonstrate the usability and potency of our platform.

Getting behind the wheel is the best way to take a test drive, and there’s no better way to see what The Cirqle can do than running your own campaign.

We want to make sure every brand using our platform is set up for success, and this includes understanding how much time should be spent on each section of the campaign. It’s common for brands looking to work with us to ask how their 30 days should be spent between the various chapters of a campaign:

  • Writing a strong campaign brief
  • Reviewing applications
  • Creator selection and contracting
  • Content review and approval
  • Combining creator content with Paid Media

It’s a fine balance between allowing enough time to properly plan out and prepare for the campaign and giving the content the time needed to perform, but it’s one of the most important things to consider when planning for your campaign. Rush the brief and creator selection and you’ll run the risk of ending up with content that is irrelevant, poor quality or not on brand. Take too long and your trial period will be gone before you know it.

Writing a strong campaign Brief (24-48 hours)

You’ll want to make sure the brief is perfect before setting it live, as it’s better to spend more time polishing it than it is to have to request changes from each creator further down the line. As the old saying goes, “Measure twice, cut once”. 

For creators, the brief is their first impression, instruction manual and bible for your brand and your campaign.

The brief will provide all the information creators will need to create content, so getting it right is paramount. We recommend reading through our blog post on How to write an effective creator brief and workshopping it internally before going live to make sure it’s aligned with your business goals.

It’s an important step to consider the type of brief you want to write as well: do you want to give creators a lot of freedom to do what they want or do you need them to stay on brand and align to your guidelines (think brand messaging, colours, etc).

Great examples of strong campaign briefs include:

Drawing inspiration from these will make your life a bit easier.

Reviewing applications (Days 3-5)

You’ve gone live with the perfect brief and you’re seeing influencer applications roll in. But how long should you give creators to apply? Content creation is rarely a full-time job, so it’s important to be patient and give them time to review the campaign brief and consider if it’s right for them. It’s always a good idea to align this step to include a weekend so creators with full-time jobs have a chance to check the platform and their emails.

Trial campaigns generally look to use 4 to 10 creators, and you will be able to easily find these creators within the first 100 applicants - if you’ve set up the creator requirements correctly in the brief.

Creator selection and contracting (Days 5-7)

Selecting creators should be a fairly quick process if planned correctly. Shortlisting applications based on their channel metrics first to separate the wheat from the chaff will help you share only relevant creators with your key internal decision-makers. Our creator bidding system will eliminate the need to negotiate payment rates, which can often be a time-consuming process.

Creator Bidding allows creators to share their rates to ensure compensation is fair.

Contracting can take a little longer. You’ll need to give creators some time to review the Scope of Work (SOW) and make sure they can deliver the work within the required timeframe. To account for this, we typically allocate 24-48 hours to accept a contract; if creators still haven’t accepted by this point, we recommend the offer be rescinded and shared with another to keep the ball rolling.

Content that shows the product adds legitimacy to what creators produce. If you’re giving the product to the creators to use in their content, you’ll also need to account for delivery time on this chapter, which can increase this chapter by up to 3 business days.

Content review and approval (Days 8-16)

This chapter is allocated the second largest portion of the trial period simply because it’s vital to producing high-quality, effective creative. Content and amplification have a symbiotic relationship in Branded Content campaigns and each can only do their best if the other is as well.

How long this chapter will take can be impacted by several factors, only some of which are in your control.

Creators often have full-time jobs and other commitments in their lives, so the longer you can offer them to create content and make revisions, the better they’ll be able to guarantee they can put aside the required time. To avoid dragging this on for weeks, you should also consider how long you’ll need to review the creative assets and share feedback with the creator. As standard with our campaigns, creators agree to one round of revisions that may require a reshoot, but this can take time and it’s preferable for everyone involved to amend existing content. This will be a testament to the quality of your brief; too much feedback and you did not clearly define what you’re after.

Just as the brief should be easy to understand, so too should your feedback. You should strive to provide clear direction on what needs to be amended in the creator’s content. This can be the difference between the success and failure of a campaign; the clearer the feedback, the faster you can give approvals, and the faster you’ll be able to have your campaign go live. Below are some examples of content created off the back of high-quality briefs.

Combining creator content with Paid Media (Days 17-30)

This is what you’ve been working towards from day one; you’re ready to begin amplifying and seeing the results it’s sure to deliver. Combining creator content and paid media will allow you to add another strategy to your digital marketing arsenal. There are several components to this chapter, and you’ll soon see why this is where we want to dedicate the majority of any trial period. For more information on how to best set this up, you can check out our Guide to using creators with Paid Media.

Once a creator has approval on their creative assets, they will look to go live based on the dates provided in the brief. If time is of the essence, you can ask them to go live earlier, but either way, this can take a day or two, especially if you’re operating across different time zones.

The Learning Phase

Once their content is live, the campaign can be set up and amplification can begin with the Learning phase. How long this will take is difficult to determine as it can depend quite heavily on the amount of detail in the campaign setup. Facebook and Instagram both consider the learning phase of any ad campaign to be complete when 100 conversion events have taken place. However, other platforms may require anywhere from 50 to 200 conversions to collect what is known as statistically significant data for the learning phase to have completed. Based on the initial audience base, audience segments, in-content offers and influencer-powered discounts, amplification budget and quality of content, it can take anywhere from 2 to 7 days for results to drip in.

The Optimising Phase

Once a piece of creative or the ad campaign has hit the required number of conversions, it can then enter the so-called Optimising phase, which will make up the rest of the trial period and beyond. Using the data gathered in the Learning phase, we can begin to be more selective with the ads we serve to use the best-performing content in the most effective placements served to audiences most likely to convert based on your campaign’s objective. Further layering of retargeting and internal audience lists can also be implemented here and you can use our Performance Dashboard to track what creative, influencer and social channel is driving the most return for you in terms of conversions, sales, revenue and RoAS.

Being efficient with your time at the start of the trial month will allow more of this chapter to be included as a part of it. The Optimising phase should continue beyond the end of your trial period, with best practices leaving amplification on for at least a month. This phase is where you’ll see your benchmarks improve and results come in with more efficiency the longer you leave it.

A 30-day trial with The Cirqle is a complete end-to-end run-through of an influencer campaign that drives performance. We recommend you give it a spin by clicking here and selecting the Scale Plan. Our team will immediately be in contact to go through the opportunity.

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