HOW TO CREATE AN INFLUENCER CASE STUDY
When it comes to landing brand partnerships, having a solid “case study” is one of the best things you can do to stand out from the crowd. Essentially, an influencer case study is your secret weapon in convincing the brand you are pitching to work with, to choose you over someone else. The great thing about a case study is it doesn’t matter how many followers you have…it matters how effective you are at getting your followers to take action.
Here at Sidewalker Daily, we work with brands on their influencer marketing initiatives and have insight into what they are looking for when it comes to selecting influencers for partnerships and campaigns. While everyone in this industry focuses a lot on media kits, one of the most important documents for a brand to see during the evaluation and negotiation process is an influencer or blogger’s case study. We also work with creators and influencers to create their pitching materials and work with brands.
And a case study can be even more valuable than a media kit because it gives the brand insight into what an influencer can possibly do for their brand in terms of reaching internal goals and objectives. Trust us when we say that having a case study on hand will put you one step ahead of everyone else.
So let’s go over how to get started ASAP so you’ll be ready to impress potential brand parters and clients!
What Is An Influencer Case Study?
In the blogger and influencer world, a case study is a document that describes a previous project, campaign or partnership you were involved in and has a recap of the results. A case study basically has all the relevant information any brand partner would need to know in determining your effectiveness in promoting their brand, product and/or service.
A case study is essentially a collection of evidence to prove your value and show the brand that you’re not all talk…you actually can produce results. Whether it’s your ability to drive clicks to a website or help them get targeted engagement, a case study is a concrete example to illustrate what you were able to do for another brand or company during a past partnership.
What’s The Difference Between a Case Study and a Media Kit?
A media kit is a document or presentation that contains important information about your business or brand that is used to promote yourself or pitch to potential clients and brand partners. A media kit includes important topics such as an “about you” section, the stats and demographics of your audience, an overview of the services you offer, and even examples of the types of partners you worked with in the past to establish credibility.
On the other hand, an influencer case study is a document which includes all the important components of a past partnership or campaign. It dives deep into one project to demonstrate your capabilities and how you were successful at achieving what was asked of you – almost like a piece of evidence to show the brand you are pitching to. For example, “I was able to do X,Y,Z for this brand and help them achieve their specific goals and objectives, so it’s proof that I will most likely be able to do what you’re asking of me too.”
A case study can be an independent, stand alone document or it can be included in your media kit. It really depends on how long you want your media kit to be and also if you will be creating an evergreen media kit or have the ability to customize it depending on the type of brand you are pitching to.
Why Is A Case Study So Important?
Since brands are getting wiser, (and influencer marketing studies have exposed all the tricks of the trade when it comes to influencers and bloggers), companies now want to see some proof that you are what you say you are. Since giveaways boost followers, engagement pods boost comments and you can buy likes by the thousand, brands want to know that what you’re selling (your influence) is the real thing.
In the travel influencer industry, brands, tourism boards and hotels LOVE case studies because it makes them feel confident that if they hire you for a campaign, that you’ll be able to deliver. Since brands are so focused on ROI (return on investment) this is the best way they can ensure that they’ll be able to make the partnership worthwhile.
When you’re communicating or negotiating with a PR or brand rep about a partnership, they most likely won’t be at the top of the food chain. That means they will have to report to their boss or client (and the rest of the team) about the success of the partnership or campaign and working with you. So if anything doesn’t go according to plan, they’ll at least have the evidence they need (your case study) to justify their decision to work with you. Brand reps are looking for influencer marketing ROI case studies that convey concrete results to ensure they are not being taken advantage of by anyone who is not truthful about their following or audience in their media kit.
Also, keep in mind that a lot of important information about your influence and strength of your following is not public knowledge…only you have the keys to that information. For example, your story views, swipe ups, click through links on the website URL you promote, blog traffic, and conversion rates are something only you (and a past brand partner) would know, so having a solid case study is a great way to demonstrate how you can drive people take action.
Yes, someone can see you posted a picture on Instagram and mentioned it was an #ad or “paid partnership,” but a well put together case study demonstrates all the behind the scenes results that are not only impressive but can really make a brand feel confident in their decision to work with you
What Type of Case Study Should You Send?
If you’re a seasoned influencer and have numerous past brand partnerships that were successful, you may want to consider creating a few different case studies in various niches, so you can cater to who you’re pitching to. For example, if you’re pitching to a hotel, you should provide them with a case study that is an example of a past hotel partnership you did. If you’re pitching to a brand that wants you to promote their product and help them drive sales, then provide them with a case study of a past partnership that you were able to do just that.
Just remember not all influencer marketing campaign case studies are created equal. The more the case study is relatable to the brand partner and their goals and objectives of the partnership, the better chance you’ll have at landing the deal.
What Information Do You Need To Put In Your Case Study?
Depending on the past partnership you will be highlighting in your influencer case study, you will need to include information about two main areas. The first is an overview of the partnership – what were the goals and objectives of the campaign and what did the brand hire you to do specifically. The second section you’ll need to cover is the results of the campaign- were you able to achieve what you promised, did you over deliver, was the campaign a success?
Here are some things you should consider including:
- Date of Campaign
- Name and Logo of the Brand Partner
- Objectives of the Partnership or Campaign
- Deliverables You Were Asked to Create and/or Produce For the Partnership
- Results You Were Able to Produce For the Brand
- Testimonial from the Brand
Essentially you need to walk someone through the highlights of the campaign or partnership from start to finish so they can understand the background and goals of the project and also understand what you were able to achieve. And if you over-delivered on a campaign, make sure you state that in your case study. For example, if the required deliverables were X, and you produced Y, make a note of this to your case study.
And if you’re creating an Instagram influencer case study, make sure to include all analytics of the campaign (impressions, story views, site traffic, image saves etc) and include screenshots too!
It’s also really important to remember to add up the total engagements or impressions of the entire campaign, rather than defining them per post. It is way more powerful to show the entire project as a whole, then in multiple smaller parts. For example, if you produced 4 Instagram posts that got over 20,000 likes per post, you would say the campaign was “4 posts that received over 80,000 likes” instead of saying “4 posts with an average of 20,000 likes.” The first version feels more powerful, right?!
Not Sure What Your Influence Is…Test It!
If you’re a micro-influencer just starting out or even a seasoned influencer that hasn’t really refined your influence just yet, before trying to earn money through partnerships…we suggest testing your influence! Yes, brand partnerships create amazing case studies but if you’re not there just yet, you can take matters into your own hands. Whether teaming up with a smaller brand or even buying a product and hosting your own giveaway, there are tons of creative solutions to get the information you need for your case study.
We know how important it is to be able to test your influence out stress free so we’ve partnered with our friends at A.M. Club for you to do just that. It’s a great way to create a micro influencer case study and show brands that even though your numbers may be small, they’re mighty! Learn more here.
How To Create A Case Study: Tools You Can Use To Get Started.
Once you’ve gathered all the information, screenshots and images for your case study, the next step is putting it all together. It’s important to make sure your case study is branded and looks good visually, especially since everything you provide to the potential partner is a reflection of your brand and capabilities as a creator.
There are tons of tools out there you can use to create your case study but here are some of our favorites:
Canva: Canva is a free graphic design tool that has tons of pre-made layouts and templates that you can use to create your case study.
Google Slides: Google Slides is a free tool to create presentation decks and you can easily create a case study to be able to send to potential brands.
Inexpensive Templates: You can purchase inexpensive templates on sites like Etsy or Creative Market to create your case study.
Tip: No matter how you create your influencer case study…don’t forget to send it as a PDF and definitely have someone you trust look it over for typos and grammar errors.
When Do You Send A Case Study?
The right time to send a case study depends on when the brand or company shows interest in working with you. If you include a case study in your media kit, that’s totally fine but it’s important to understand the goals or objectives of the partnership you’re considering before sending your case study.
That’s to ensure your case study includes all the relevant information the brand would want to see. Depending on how strong your case study is, it also can help you during the negotiation process and help you get a higher rate for the partnership. Just a few things to keep in mind. :)