How to Run a Campaign from Beginning to End (Self-Serve Tool)

This is a guide to the Heartbeat Campaign Builder that was written precisely with you in mind.
Yes, you. Hooray!

First things first, thank you so much for embarking on this journey with us. What you’ll find below is a straight forward (and at times, technical) campaign guide that will swiftly and seamlessly teach you how to build a campaign with Heartbeat.

Before we get into discussing campaigns, links, marketing objectives, and whatnot, we wanted to take a moment to thank you.

The humans at Heartbeat who built this are thrilled you’re using it. We’re even more thrilled that you’re helping us fulfill Heartbeat’s mission to create a world where every voice has value.

How to Run a Campaign

Now that you’re on the Heartbeat platform, you’ll want to get a campaign set up. We make this process as simple as possible to get your campaigns up and running.

Add Your Campaign

After logging into the Heartbeat platform, you’ll see a blank brand page set up as shown below. On the menu on the left of your dashboard, select +Add New Campaign. In this example, we will use the company, Vibe Headphones.

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Set Your Objective

In this next step, you will build your campaign starting with naming your campaign and setting your marketing objective(s).

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Name Your Campaign: select a short campaign name related to your company or the specific campaign. This will be shown to the ambassadors when they apply, and will also be used as your trackable campaign hashtag. For instance, if you name your campaign Vibe Headphones, your tracking hashtag will be #hbtvibeheadphones. All of our tracking hashtags require ‘hbt’ before the custom campaign name to pull the data directly into your dashboard.

Choose Your Primary Marketing Objective: choosing a primary marketing objective won’t change anything about the campaign setup process, but it will let us know what you care about most, so we can provide you with results and analysis that matter to you most.

What is your primary marketing goal?

Brand Awareness: your objective is to get your brand name out there, so as many people discover your brand as possible.

Customer Acquisition: your goal is to identify ambassadors who best meet your targeting criteria, adding them into your marketing funnel.

Engagement: you’re looking to build a deeper relationship with your customers and increase loyalty. Engagement rate is measured by likes, comments, and video views, divided by total follower count.

Content Creation: anyone can receive great content when they work with Heartbeat, but your primary goal isn’t just marketing. It’s to generate a large variety of high-quality content you can own and repurpose.

Traffic: enter the URL of the landing page you would like to drive traffic to. Our ambassadors will have a link in their bio that connects to this page. Each ambassador has a unique “Pulse” link, that they typically keep in their Instagram bio full-time, and this link will automatically redirect to your selected landing page once they post for your campaign. Ambassadors are required to keep the link up for a minimum of 3 days, but it typically stays up longer.

A few things to understand about traffic:

1) Most traffic from Heartbeat campaigns do NOT go through the link in bio, but we do like to track it. Many people will see your post and search your brand directly, or enter a URL from memory.

2) If you’d like to use a unique landing page to understand traffic, ask the ambassadors to ALSO include that link in their caption. This will work well if you have a unique promo code as well (example: VIBEHEADPHONES30 for 30% off).

3) You may use UTM links. So feel free to add them to this field. The ambassadors will see their masked Pulse link, not all of the UTM codes, so you don’t need to include a link that is unique here.

Choose Your Content Placement: Heartbeat supports tracking for both Instagram In-Feed posts, and Instagram Stories. We recommend picking one or the other for each individual campaign, so your instructions are clear to the ambassadors.

Benefits of In-Feed Posts: posts do not expire so they can have a more lasting impact as they garner more likes and comments overtime. You can easily repurpose the content from in-feed posts for your own Instagram feed, Instagram ad creative, or anything else. You may request still images, or videos for in-feed posts, but please be specific in the campaign instructions if this matters to you.

Benefits of Stories: Instagram Stories are now very commonly used, and many ambassadors feel more comfortable with Stories than with static posts. Stories only last for 24 hours, and will be in vertical format, so you can repurpose the content for Snapchat, your brand’s Instagram or other vertical format needs. You may request still images, or videos for Stories, but please be specific in the campaign instructions if this matters to you. Keep in mind that Heartbeat ambassadors typically have 300-5,000 followers, so many of them do not have the “Swipe Up” functionality you see with mega influencers.

Choose Your Content Type: Heartbeat supports both user-generated content (UGC) campaigns, and pre-selected brand asset campaigns.

Benefits of UGC: campaigns can be more engaging, because you’re asking the ambassador to do something specific, and create content that’s unique to them. This is best if you intend to repurpose content, or if you’re looking to engage ambassadors more deeply, with the goal of getting them into your marketing funnel.

Benefits of Re-Post: reposting means that you’ll provide the selected ambassadors with already brand approved images or videos from your own content collection, and they will share this asset on their personal Instagram account. If you have an ad or a movie trailer to get out there, or you’re not interested in new content creation, this option is for you. Re-Post campaigns also help you save in shipping costs, or scale campaigns quickly, if you need a fast post turnaround.

Build Segment

In this section, you can select the type of ambassadors you want for your campaign based on age, location, gender and more.

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Invite Ambassadors

You can invite ambassadors from the following:

The Heartbeat Community: Heartbeat has 300,000 users on the consumer app, all of whom are eager to discover your brand and apply for your campaign! Check this box to invite our network, and get our ambassadors into your marketing funnel.

My Members: we highly recommend that if you have a list of people who already love your brand, you invite them to follow you on Heartbeat. Checking this box will invite them directly into this campaign. To set up a Segment of your current customers or loyalists, you can provide them with a direct link to the campaign on your social media or email marketing, OR you can invite them by clicking New List, and uploading a CSV file of emails. You can also access people who have answered your survey questions here, so feel free to create a survey question that will help you target the best ambassadors to invite. Please note your invited customers will not be automatically a part of your community on Heartbeat or campaign, as they ultimately have to volunteer to participate and join.

Targeting: we recommend keeping your targeting as broad as possible, at least for your initial test campaign. Think about it this way: If you invite all ambassadors, of all ages, across the U.S., you’ll get a larger quantity of our best ones to apply, and then you can select the ones who are right for you. If you only invite ambassadors who are, say, vegan, in the state of Rhode Island, you’ll only be inviting a small number of people, so you won’t have as many options to choose from. How you target is up to you, but being more targeted isn’t necessarily a good thing, unless it’s a parameter you absolutely need. This is true for age, gender, location and any other demographics.

Define Budget

In this step, you will start by setting a budget for your campaign.  

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Let’s Set Your Budget: start by selecting your budget parameters. Below, you’ll see an estimated number of posts for your budget, and you can always go back and change the budget if it doesn’t fit what you’re looking for. Note that this is an estimate, not a guarantee. Our campaign minimum is $2,000, but we recommend $5,000 for an initial test budget, which will give you a bigger data set from which to derive insights.

Optimize Ambassador Selected By: all ambassadors who meet your targeting criteria will see the campaign in their app and be able to apply for it. But we can optimize our recommendations for which ambassadors you should approve based on your marketing goals. When in doubt, select “Highest Engagement.”

Highest Quality Content: Select this if you’re looking for fewer, higher quality content creation. These ambassadors will be more of an “influencer-style,” so if you’re only looking to repurpose content, this will be your best bet. Each individual content creation might cost more, but you’ll get great content.

Highest Engagement: select this if you’re looking to drive results terms of engagement rate or conversion. There’s a correlation between high engagement and performance.

Highest Reach: choose this if you’re looking to maximize reach. Typically, this means you’ll get people with higher follower counts. Note that this might mean you get fewer people, and they might have lower engagement. Reach and engagement rates are inversely correlated, so the more followers, the lower the potential performance.

Most Posts for the Money: if you’re looking to simply spread the word, using as many people as possible, select this option. You’ll have lots of people, with lower content quality, but you’ll get your “money’s worth” in terms of how many posts you’ll get.

Your Campaign Projections: Our campaign projections tool will help you understand how many posts and what type of results you can expect. This is just a prediction, and the specific ambassadors you approve will determine how many posts you get for your budget.

Design Your Campaign Card

Your Campaign Card is what the ambassadors who meet your targeting criteria will see in their app. Think of it as a quick advertisement that gets them excited about applying for your campaign.

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Image: select an eye-catching image that represents your brand.

Campaign Headline: think of this as an email subject line that quickly explains what your campaign is about and why they should do it. Examples are: Get paid to post about your passion for music or Get a free pair of headphones from an incredible new brand!

Short Description: the point of this section is to explain what will be expected of the ambassadors, if they are selected for a campaign. If you’re shipping them a product, please say that. If you’re asking them to go into a store, please say that. If you’re asking them to download an app on an iPhone, please say that. You want the ambassadors to feel like they know what to expect when they apply, so there are no surprises later on. You should also excite them about the campaign, and tell them why to apply! For example: “For this campaign, you will be asked to take and post a photo of yourself listening to your favorite music while wearing a pair of Vibe headphones.” “If you are approved for this campaign, you’ll be shipped a pair of free headphones (worth $200), and will be asked to create an image of you wearing the product.”

About Your Brand: in this section, you should explain to them what your company is, or what the specific product is that they’ll be receiving. Use an existing blurb, or write to this specific audience directly.

In the Ambassador View on the right, you’ll be able to preview what the Campaign Card will look like in the ambassador app. When you’re ready, hit Save and Continue.

Once the ambassadors apply for the campaign, they’ll show up in your Ambassador Sorting tool. You’ll be able to review the ambassadors’ stats - reach, engagement, pay rate, and more. You’ll also see their past Instagram posts, so you can determine if they are right for your brand. You’ll have the option to Approve, Reject, or put them in Backup. Backup just means you can always go back to them and review later if you’re not sure. You won’t see the Ambassador Sorting section until your campaign goes live, so let’s keep going, and get your Campaign Instructions set up in advance.

Campaign Instructions

After you have selected the best ambassadors for your campaign, only those ambassadors receive specific instructions about what to post. Be sure to be clear - this is where they will expect detailed instructions and guidelines, along with all of the information they will need to complete their post.

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The Post: use this section to explain EXACTLY what you’ll be asking the ambassadors to do.

Here is an example of recommended format for The Post instructions:

Step 1: You will receive a redemption code in your Heartbeat profile to use to redeem your Vibe Headphones at Please redeem the offer within 48 hours of being approved for this campaign. 

Step 2:  Your tracking number will be in your Heartbeat profile within 2-3 business days after placing your order and you will receive a pair of Vibe Headphones within 5-7 business days of placing your order. Keep an eye out for it to arrive! 

Step 3: Try on your headphones and get to know them! 

Step 4: Take a photo of you wearing your Vibe Headphones in an environment that’s authentic to your on-the-go lifestyle! Make sure you can clearly see the headphones featured. 

Here’s a few places we suggest capturing your photo in: 

  • In the car

  • On your couch

  • On your table 

  • In your room

  • While working out

  • At a coffee shop

  • Laying in bed

If you’re shipping them a product:

  • Ask ambassadors to confirm their shipping address in their Heartbeat profile, so you don’t end up shipping to the wrong address.

  • Let them know they’ll receive a tracking number, and that you’ll be tracking the shipment too. This discourages people from receiving a package and not posting.

  • Let them know when you estimate they’ll receive the product. For instance, if they’ll receive it in two weeks, and they have a planned vacation then, they’ll want to know that.

  • Include an email address or phone number they can contact if they have issues with shipping. Heartbeat can help with some customer support, but won’t know specifics if the product is coming from you.

    If you’re asking them to download an app:

  • Tell them here that they’ll need to download an app, so they’ll need a device such as an iPhone or Android, if that matters, to do so. We’re working on ensuring their phone type in targeting, but it’s safe to include a note here as well.

  • If there’s a sign-up flow, let them know the steps they’ll need to go through to complete sign up. If there’s a specific section they need to go to, say that here.

  • You can certainly ask them to download the app and take an action, but please note that the more tasks you ask them to complete in the app, the less likely the ambassadors will complete the posts. Be straight to the point about what you want them to do.

  • If you want them to include imagery from the app in the post, be clear about how to do this. We’ve discovered that photos of apps can be tough to take. One option is to request that they do a shot of themselves doing something in the post, and then a carousel post of the app screens.

If you’re asking them to use a one-time redemption code so they can redeem a free trial or free digital product:

  • We can help facilitate this! Send a list of redemption codes to your Account Manager, and we’ll sync each ambassador with a unique code. Their individual redemption code will show up here, in the Campaign Instructions, so all you have to do is tell them what to do with it. Example: “Please go to to use your unique redemption code, and select the product you’d like.”

If you’re asking them to use a promo code in their caption for their followers:

  • If you’d like to use a universal promo code (“VibeHeadphones30”), just go ahead and let the ambassadors know what that code is here, in the instructions.

  • If you’d like to use unique promo codes, we recommend telling the ambassadors to use their Instagram handle. For instance, if their Instagram account is @k8eddie, their promo code would be K8EDDIE30.

  • Based on historical data, we find that the higher the discount, the more promo code conversions you’ll see. Think about doing a higher discount on a product with high margins, like 40% off a case of your product, rather than 20% one product.

  • If you’re using promo codes to evaluate the success of the campaign, it is imperative that your website doesn’t have competing codes. For instance, if someone sees a code on a Heartbeat post for 25% off, but when they get to the website, they are presented with a 30% off code, you’ll never be able to track that accurately. Many of our partners take a typical code, like 30%, and tell their ambassadors to use 31% off, so it’s easier to track those promo code uses that came from Heartbeat.

The Caption: in an ideal world, you’re providing inspiration for the caption, but they’re not cut-and-pasting it. You want them to convey your brand message, but campaigns are actually more successful when the caption is authentic to the ambassador’s voice. In this section, provide them with a great caption example, but tell them to post in their own words. Provide them with a list of 3-5 brand benefits that they can talk about, so they can select the one or two that actually speak to them.  

Here is an example of recommended format for The Caption instructions:

What’s your experience using your Vibe Headphones been like? What part of your routine does it most come in handy? In your own words, speak to what you enjoy most about the headphones and how you’re able to hear the world around you, on your terms. 

Below are a few thought-starters to incorporate: 

Vibe Headphones features a four-microphone system that picks up and isolates your voice while cancelling the noise around you. You’ll hear and be heard like never before- even in noisy environments! 

  • The wireless headphones are optimized for Google Play and Amazon Alexa so you can choose the right voice assistant service for you!

  • Vibe Headphones are light-weight, portable, and come in a variety of colors to best suit your personal style 

  • Where and what activities do you use your headphones most? 

  • Does a certain genre of music, especially bass-heavy music, sound even better in your Vibe Headphones? Highlight that!

Please also place this required call-to-action at the end of your caption: Click the link in my bio to learn more about Vibe Headphones! 

Regulatory Hashtags: our default hashtag is #hbtsp (Heartbeat Sponsored Post), but you should include whichever regulatory hashtag you’re comfortable with. Feel free to replace it with #ad or #sponsored, or whatever makes sense for your campaign. Our system will scan each ambassador’s post when they submit it, to ensure it’s included.

Other Hashtags: we could teach a whole course on Instagram hashtag strategy, but in general, you’ll want to include 2-4 hashtags that help people discover your company. We recommend searching the top used hashtags in your category, and including those. Using hashtags that are specific to your brand won’t necessarily help with discovery, but feel free to include those if they are important to you, or if they are a part of a larger marketing initiative.

Mentions: include your Instagram handle, so they can tag you or mention you in their caption.

Tips: we include a Do’s and Don'ts section in case you have specific things to tell your ambassadors. We’ve included a few that we think are important, but feel free to include or exclude anything you’d like. These tips can be about the process, the brand, the post itself, or anything you’d like.

We recommend including a “Do contact for customer support inquiries” so they know who to contact if they have any issues including ones with shipping. You may also include this in the post instructions section as well.

Post Inspiration & Aesthetic: the images you select will give the ambassadors a guide to how to post for your campaign. You can select images from your own Instagram account, or images from influencer campaigns. It’s important to note that the ambassadors are not professional influencers, but if you provide great inspiration images, they’ll be able to produce that high-quality content as well.

Schedule & Review

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Earliest Post Date: if you select this option, posts will go live as soon as possible. In turn, you can ignore the calendar altogether. Keep in mind that it will take a few days at minimum for posts to go live and more if you’re shipping ambassadors a product.

Run Campaign Until Budget Runs Out: this option will start on a specific date, if you designate one, and will keep going until the budget is reached.  

We know the calendar is a bit confusing as it is laid out now, so if you have specific dates in mind, just let your Account Manager know what you’re looking for, and we’ll make it work!

Submit for Review: once you hit this button, Heartbeat will be notified, and will begin the process of reviewing your campaign.

If we have tips or edits, your Account Manager will let you know, and you can make adjustments to ensure the success of your campaign. Once we approve it, the campaign will go live, and ambassadors who meet your targeting criteria will see the Campaign Application card in their app.

Next Steps

  • Directly after your campaign goes live, ambassadors will begin to apply for your campaign.

  • The applicants will appear in the Sorting Manager section of your dashboard, in the left hand navigation bar.

  • In the Sorting Manager, you may select Approve, Reject or Backup for each ambassador.

    • Approve: you have selected this ambassador for your campaign, and they will receive the Post Instructions immediately.

    • Reject: this ambassador is not a good fit for your campaign in which case, they will be kindly notified. We handle this very tactfully, as the message is coming from Heartbeat and not you.

    • Backup: you’re not immediately sure whether you want to include this ambassador or not, so you can keep them in backup, and go back to this list in case you decide to use them for the campaign at some point.

  • Once you’ve selected ambassadors, they’ll be able to view the Post Instructions, and will begin creating posts.

  • If you are shipping the ambassadors a product, we can provide you with a list of addresses for the ambassadors you’ve selected. As mentioned before, tracking numbers are highly recommended, so you can manage who has and has not received a package.

  • As posts go live, you can favorite ambassadors in your dashboard, under Live Posts, and review your campaign analytics under Performance.

Feel free to check in with your Client Success Manager at any time for help, and be sure to review our Knowledge Base for further tips and techniques.