The Time Equation: Unveiling the Hours Behind an Influencer Campaign

October 6, 2023
7 Min
Guadalupe García
| Author
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Decoding the Clockwork of Influencer Programs

In digital marketing, influencer programs have become the secret sauce for brand success. But the burning question remains: How many hours does it take to orchestrate an influencer program that not only communicates effectively but also yields substantial results? 

Let's find out.

The “Workload Calculator” 

Communication is the linchpin of any successful influencer program. That being said, let's first take a look at the time needed for communication. We've devised a Workload Calculator to demystify the hours invested in this crucial aspect. 

Let's look at this interactive tool: [the Workload Calculator]. You can input your specific numbers by creating a copy of this document, which shows you a personalized glimpse into the time it takes to communicate with influencers based on the number of influencers you want to work with.

For this article, let's assume we want to activate 50 influencers for a gifting campaign.

Based on thousands of campaigns we have managed for our clients, we know the onboarding rate for gifting campaigns is around 15%. This would mean that we would need to reach out to 333 influencers to send out 50 products (50/15% = 333). To understand how long it takes to work on the communication, we need to know how many emails we must reply to. With a 35% reply rate, this would be 117 emails (333*35%=117).

To onboard an influencer, on average, you have around 6 email exchanges (negotiation), which comes down to 700 total emails that have to be replied to. If you calculate around 5 minutes per email, the total hours it takes to work through 700 emails is about 58 hours (700 emails * 5 minutes / 60). If an average employee works 160 hours per month, you must allocate around 40% of a full-time employee to cover the communication required to activate 50 influencers for a gifting campaign.

Maximizing ROI with Influencer Marketing

As you probably saw from the overview above, influencer marketing is more operational than other advertising forms, but its ROI is a lot higher. If you are dedicated enough, you can build up a completely independent revenue channel with influencers driving the growth your brand deserves. As most companies spend on Meta and Google ads, the competition is very high, which results in low returns. Influencer marketing is more complicated to master, which is also why the returns are higher. With influencer marketing, hard work pays off! 

In the previous paragraph, we looked at the time it takes to work through the communication, which is one element of activating influencers. Let's break down the other parts you need to master to onboard and activate 50 influencers successfully.

As a CEO or business owner, you might be unable to work on all this yourself. In that case, it is wise to use influencer software to streamline the process or hire an agency to do the work for you. In this article, we will compare the time it takes to activate 50 influencers manually versus using software versus hiring an agency. The table below provides a clear overview of the time it takes to active 50 influencers broken down to the different aspects you need to go through.

Searching for the Right Influencers - Manual vs. Influencer Hero

In our example, to onboard and get 50 influencers to post about our product or service, we would need to reach out to 333 influencers (15% onboarding rate). Finding 333 influencers could take many hours, while this could be done in a couple of minutes with Influencer Hero by using a simple look-a-like filter based on an ideal influencer profile, adding a location filter, gender/age demographics, and other analytics. Using a software like Influencer Hero instead of hiring a freelancer or having your employee search through Google and Instagram for endless hours is a far better option.

The best part of Influencer Hero is that besides influencer data, you can also access audience analytics. Looking for influencers with > 70% female followers and 40+ years old? No problem, simply add audience filters to find the influencers you want to work with!

Free Influencer Audit Chrome Extension

  • Fake Followers
  • Engagement Rate
  • Audience Insights
  • Forecast Sales and more

Setting Up Your Outreach

Doing this manually can be time-consuming. How should you formulate your email, what information should you include, and what messaging will lead to higher reply rates? These are all questions we have answered for you. Use our A/B tested outreach templates, which have been used and tested on thousands of campaigns. You can directly add them, make some minor tweaks to tailor for your brand, and use automatic drip campaigns within Influencer Hero. Send hundreds of emails with a click of a button and let our system automatically send out the follow-ups for you. Doing this manually would mean sending each email individually, the same for each follow-up.


Using Influencer Hero, it takes around 5 minutes to reply to an email (taking breaks, going to the bathroom, etc. into account). Through our native email integration within our CRM, you can combine ChatGPT & templates to automate email writing. When doing all of this manually through a normal email inbox, everything takes a lot longer as you constantly need to find the email in a messy inbox. Doing this manually will take around three times as long and could take up to 175 hours to activate 50 influencers.

With Influencer Hero, you can access a Trello / Kanban-like board that automatically keeps track of your progress and notifies you when an email is received. It makes everything much easier than using spreadsheets to keep track of everything.

Sending Out Products

Sending products manually takes time to work with spreadsheets and create manual orders. With Influencer Hero, you can directly dispatch from the CRM, which is connected to your Shopify store and automatically creates a $0 order.

Collecting Content

If you have to collect content manually it takes a lot of time to look up an influencer’s social media profile, going through their feed and reels to identify the post. If the influencer posted a story, you probably missed it. In the overview above, we calculated around 15 minutes per influencer, which comes down to 3 hours. With Influencer Hero, all content / UGC is automatically captured. You can see your best posts directly through your content / UGC library, bookmark them to favorites, and download the high-resolution file. Further, create flyers, that can significantly boost promotional efforts, thereby increasing your brand's visibility.

If using software and managing this process in-house still sounds like too much work, you can always consider hiring an agency to do the work for you. Read more about our Agency services here.

Automate Your Influencer Communication with Influencer Hero

Manually, the process is laborious. Endless hours are spent on tasks that Influencer Hero can accomplish in a fraction of the time. From finding influencers to setting up campaigns, every step is streamlined, leaving you with saved hours and enhanced precision and effectiveness. 

Based on our insights outlined in this article, one full-time person equipped with Influencer Hero can achieve the workload equivalent of four individuals toiling away manually. Influencer Hero doesn't just save time; it multiplies your team's efficiency. It's not just a tool; it's a force multiplier in the competitive landscape of influencer marketing.

Everything you need to set up an outclass outreach campaign, you will have it under Influencer Hero’s dashboard.

Read: A Step by Step Approach for Creating a Performance Driven Influencer Marketing Program in Our Ultimate Influencer Marketing Guide.

How much time does it typically take to run a successful influencer marketing campaign?
What are the critical time-intensive tasks in managing an influencer program?
Can automation tools reduce the time spent on influencer marketing campaigns?
How can brands efficiently allocate their time in influencer marketing to maximize ROI?
What strategies can be employed to reduce the turnaround time for content approval in influencer campaigns?

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