If you’re in the influencer realm, it can sometimes feel like you’re in the wild west – everything is up for interpretation and sometimes making sense of it all can be a real challenge. The social media influencer marketing space has grown and expanded so much in the past few years that there are now some defined terms that everyone should know to be able to speak the language of influence.

Now that major (and even small) brands are incorporating influencer initiatives into their yearly marketing budgets, things are starting to get a little more serious and the expectations for pitches and working with influencers are higher than ever before. No matter what industry you are in, you have to be well-versed in that industry’s terms to be able to understand what everyone is talking about…or you may not be taken as serious as you would like.

Professionalism in this industry is more than just branding, media kits, case studies, and amazing pitching emails…it’s being able to speak the same language as everyone else and show them that this isn’t just a hobby…it’s your job.

To help you out, we’ve put together this glossary of important influencer marketing terms that you need to know before negotiating your next partnership deal!

how to create an influencer case study

Influencer Marketing Glossary of Terms:

AFFILIATE MARKETING: We’ve mentioned affiliate marketing before because it’s one of the most popular types of influencer marketing that brands use, and can be a great way for you to earn money on social mediaeven while you sleep! If you’ve ever read a blog post and seen links to products or services that were being recommended by the author, those were probably affiliate links. As an affiliate, you promote a brand, product, or service, and then receive a commission based on how many sales you send their way. The transaction is usually tracked using a link that is specific to you, and you’ll get a commission when someone clicks the link and purchases the product or service.

AMBASSADOR: An ambassador is traditionally a representative or promoter of a specific activity, service, brand or product, and this definition holds true in the influencer market too. A brand will usually compensate an influencer for being an ambassador, promoting the brand, representing them in a positive light, and increasing brand awareness and sales. When you’re considering an ambassador position, make sure to define all expectations and compensation. Your role as an ambassador can be more ambiguous than just doing a one-time brand partnership so it’s important to keep the logistics (and everything they will require from you) top of mind when negotiating so you can manage expectations.

BOILERPLATE: In the PR world, a boilerplate is a blurb at the end of a press release that explains the background of the company and how they’re related to the press release. A boilerplate is essentially an ‘About Us’ for the company, and it’s an important opportunity for PR professionals to define the key messages of the company they’re writing about. If you’re an influencer, brands may ask you for a boilerplate – this just means send them a quick about, written in the 3rd person.

CALL-TO-ACTION (CTA): Anyone vying for your attention, trying to tell you what to do next, is using a Call To Action or “CTA.” CTA’s are used in marketing to invoke an immediate and actionable response from the audience. CTA’s are used everywhere, from Instagram captions (“click the link in my bio for more!”) to emails (“sign up today”). Depending on the type of partnership deals, you may be asked to use a CTA to drive your audience traffic to a certain website or product on behalf of the brand. 

CAMPAIGN: Campaigns are organized marketing efforts working toward a single goal. For example, a brand may bring you on as a partner for a campaign highlighting their product launch, with the goal being product awareness and sales. There may be multiple influencers working together on one campaign or your role may be to just push out the messaging on your social media influencer platform as part of a larger campaign.

CASE STUDY: A case study is the research and analysis of an event, project or campaign, in order to draw conclusions from the outcome. A case study can be made really about anything but recently, marketing agencies and social media influencer marketing professionals have been creating case studies on influencer marketing initiatives to quantify their effectiveness and Return On Investment (ROI). It may be a good idea to do a case study on your own influence, to understand its reach, effectiveness and value, especially since brands are asking for case studies more and more when evaluating influencers for brand partnerships. 

CLICK THROUGH RATE (CTR): A click through rate or CTR is the number of times people click on the link or type of button that will lead them somewhere else on social media or the internet. For example, if you are promoting a product on Instagram and prompt your followers to “click the link in bio,” then the average number of times people take that action and click on the link, would be your “CTR.” Yes, even “Swipe Ups” on Instagram can count as a measure for a click through rate.

CLIP/CLIPPING:  A press clip is usually an image copy of news coverage that PR professionals collect to prove their success in getting a story out. In the influencer world, PR or brand representatives may ask you for “clips” which means screenshots or copies of the promotion you did for them on social media or your blog. You can also use clips in your social media reports following any partnerships, if they’re applicable to your campaign.

blogger negotiating a partnership

CONTENT CALENDAR: Creating a content calendar can be a powerful tool for building your brand voice and keeping tabs on your posts across all channels. A content calendar is a document, excel sheet, phone app, or website that serves as one place where you can plan your social media posts and blog topics ahead of time. If you have to juggle traveling and partnerships, a content calendar is a great way to make sure everything gets posted on time and looks cohesive. Remember, everything you do on social media and your blog reflects your brand so it’s better to be organized to make sure everything is perfect…and also to minimize stress. :)

CONVERSION: A conversion is the point when a site visitor or follower does that thing you’re waiting for them to do…whether it’s adding themselves to your email list, becoming a paying customer, or clicking that affiliate link. “Conversion” is a common term that brand partners may use when talking about the success of a partnership.

COST PER ACQUISITION (CPA): Cost per acquisition, or cost per action, is simply the cost of a conversion. So basically if a company is paying you $1,000 to post and promote their brand on Instagram, and their goal is to make sales, then the “CPA” would mean how much did it cost in marketing dollars to get each sale. For example, if they got 100 sales from that one Instagram post, then the CPA would be $10. ($1000/100 = $10). When it comes to CPA, the lower the better (because it means they spent less money getting the acquisition), and figuring out that number can help brands quantify if they’re spending their marketing budget the right way, or if there are less expensive (and more effective) ways to get the same results. When you have these types of partnerships that focus on acquisitions, then the brands will probably calculate the CPA for your campaigns based on how much they’re paying you and how much business you’re bringing in on your side – CPA plays a big role in ROI.

COST PER CLICK (CPC): More specific than a Cost Per Acquisition, a Cost Per Click is the amount of money that it costs a brand to get someone to click on a link or ad. This is also a pricing model for online advertisers, where the advertiser pays the site each time their ad is clicked on. So for example, if a company puts $1,000 into paying for advertising on Facebook to promote their new website, and they had 5,000 clicks on the advertisement, then the CPC would be $0.20. ($1000/5,000 = $0.20).

COST PER LEAD (CPL): CPL is the cost of each lead or new potential client. It is a pricing model, where an advertiser pays for the leads that are generated by the advertisement.

COST PER MILLE (CPM): CPM is also called Cost Per Thousand (CPT), and is the cost that an advertiser pays per thousand of impressions.

COST PER ENGAGEMENT (CPE): CPE is the cost of an engagement with an ad. This engagement-based pricing means that advertisers pay for each active engagement with their advertisement.

DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATION (DMO): A destination marketing organization (DMO) is responsible for the promotion and marketing of a destination for leisure and business travel. It’s also frequently referred to as a “Convention and Visitors Bureaus” or “CVB” or a tourism board. As a travel influencer you may find yourself working with a DMO and visiting a destination for a press trip. Here at Sidewalker Daily, we work with travel brands and DMOs to facilitate influencer press trips so if you’re a travel influencer, sign up to be in our Press Trip Program here.

blogger negotiating deal

Social Media & Influencer Marketing Terms Cont.

DELIVERABLES: “Deliverables” are the products or services you’re providing to your client or brand partner in exchange for monetary compensation, travel or product trade. To negotiate partnerships, you need to understand the types of deliverables you can offer a brand to help them achieve their social media influencer marketing goals and objectives. Once the deliverables are agreed upon, then you know what you have to deliver to the brand or client for the partnership, campaign or project to be complete.  For example, if a brand is paying you for 2 permanent posts on Instagram, 3 Instagram Stories and 1 blog article, those would be your “deliverables” for the partnership. 

EARNED MEDIA: There are 3 types of media – paid, owned and earned. Paid media is paid advertising (think Facebook ads), owned media encompasses all sites owned by the person or company (their website, Instagram, Facebook page), and earned media is any media about the person/company that isn’t paid or owned. Earned media is the the main focus for PR professionals when they’re getting coverage on a story or event. Someone else talking about you? That’s earned media.

EDITORIAL CALENDAR: An editorial calendar is used to keep content marketing organized and scheduled. Brands and companies use editorial calendars to plan when they’re going to brainstorm, write, edit and publish any content they’re pushing out to their various channels such as their email list, website articles, social media and even print. It’s a way for tons of different departments and teams all within a company to stay organized with all of the content and campaigns they are planning to rollout for the foreseeable future and to make sure everyone on the team meets their deadlines. 

ENGAGEMENT RATE: Engagement rate is the rate of engagement (likes, comments, Instagram Story views, swipe ups) that you receive on a piece of content. Engagement rate can even be calculated for an entire social media platform (or multiple)! Your engagement rate is largely considered the most important number that you can share with brand partners when pitching because it is seen as a way to measure your connection (and influence) with your audience. It’s essentially one of the factors brands will consider when deciding whether to work with you or not, because it’s linked to how they measure ROI (return on investment) and the value you’ll bring to the partnership.

EOD: “EOD” stands for “End of Day” which really means the end of the business day, not the actual day. The end of a business day is traditionally 5:00 pm but pay attention to where the client or brand is located in the world because your EOD may be different than theirs. For example, if the brand or client is in New York City and you’re in Los Angeles, then you’ve got to factor in the time difference when you see the term EOD.

FACT SHEET: A fact sheet is a one-page tool used by marketing and PR professionals to summarize and present essential information and statistics about a product, service or business. For influencers, a fact sheet is kind of like your media kit, where it has all the essential information about your blog or brand that you can provide to potential partners and clients!

FAM TRIP: FAM trip stands for familiarization trip which is another term for press trip – they are frequently used interchangeably. Traditionally, a FAM trip would be complementary to travel agents, but now these trips can include anyone who is in the position to promote the product, property, or destination…like an influencer! A FAM trip can be organized by airlines, hotel companies, tourism boards or any other DMOs – really anyone who would benefit from your recommendation (or endorsement) of their property or destination to your audience.

FLIGHT AGREEMENT: A flight agreement is an agreement used when you are going on a press trip and the destination or hotel is paying for your flight. You will state the airport you are flying out of and the one you would like to return to, along with dates and other important travel information. Flight agreements also typically allow influencers and bloggers to state their desired trip schedule. Once you sign this agreement, it basically ensures that if there are any flight cancellations or changes, it’s on you to cover any fees or costs associated with the change. Companies and tourism boards will often let you review the flight information and approve/sign before they purchase the flight.