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DECIDE HOW TO REACH OUT TO THEM

Influencer marketing is a fairly new type of marketing and a lot of brands are still yet to crack it! The first place to start is to decide if you’re planning on reaching out to the influencers yourself or will you be using an agency to do it on your behalf?

Finding the right influencers to work with your brand and connecting with them can involve a lot of back and forth and there are rules and regulations to follow, so it’s very important to be clued up with everything before you start sliding into anyone’s DMs. If you have someone in your team who has experience in this, that is perfect but if not, think about working with a consultant or agency as this can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

WORK OUT WHICH INFLUENCERS ARE RIGHT FOR YOU

Finding the right influencers to work with your brand is not always easy, especially if you’re a niche product. There are so many digital influencers online in 2020 so finding the right people to join your tribe can be a bit daunting.

Think about the influencers you’re recruiting as an extension to your marketing team, they need to fit with your brand’s ethos and personality.

A large following is great, but it’s the micro-influencers (5k-100k followings) who tend to have an engaged audience who are far more trusting of their opinions. Look for those who are either customers already, or fit with one of your buyer personas.

UNDERSTAND HOW THEIR FOLLOWERS INTERACT WITH THEM

When it comes to influencers, it’s not all about Instagram followers, and there are multiple ways to understand how effective a person is at ‘influencing’. If they have a blog be sure to check their Domain Authority (DA). You’ll want to see a number close to 30. 

In an era of bought followers, likes and comments, it’s important to be discerning about what’s real & fake. Check how many likes and comments the influencer gets on each post and most importantly, who is commenting. If it’s a load of obvious bot comments*, then their audience is not engaged.

Most influencers have a platform that works best for them and it’s important you understand what that is. Some are massive on YouTube, but don’t have a correspondingly big following on other platforms– this should tell you where you’re most likely to see results. Be sure to do a full stalk of who you’re working with! Although bot comments are often the result of hashtags, not the influencer.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT CHANNELS

Instagram is one of the most popular channels for influencer marketing but again it’s important to know your consumer and the platforms they are using – where does your target customer spend most of their time online?

If you’re a beauty brand targeting an 18-35 consumer then an Instagram influencer will be your best bet, but there are multiple platforms with influential content creators  (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest…) you should consider before deciding which one is best for you.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE

It’s important to understand what exactly you want from working with influencers. Is it brand awareness? Is it direct sales? Different goals mean different considerations and it is important to create your brief around the individual rather than product.

Something to consider, if an influencer isn’t verified (blue tick) and has less than 10k followers on Instagram they won’t have access to the swipe-up function in Instagram, which means there’s more friction when telling followers to click on a link. However, as mentioned in tip 2, these smaller influencers still have a valuable role to play in your marketing plan.

CULTIVATE A GENUINE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE INFLUENCERS YOU WANT TO WORK WITH

Brands big and small have awoken to the power of influencer marketing, which means influencers are often inundated with offers, gifts and paid opportunities. If you choose to send your products as a gift, there’s no obligation for promotion (regardless of how incredible they may be) and paying brands will always take priority.

However, one way to compete against bigger marketing budgets is to invest time and effort into building a long-term relationship with those you want to work with. Build a community and keep in regular contact – show them the same love you’d like to get from them.
This also helps with the authenticity of posts when they do occur – genuine appreciation for your company and product will shine through!

RUN THOSE NUMBERS

Once you’ve finished your campaign, it’s really important to go through the results. If you are using trackable links, it’s easy to track the content that does the best for your brand but if not there are other ways of measuring success. If it is a paid campaign you can use the Paid Promotion feature on Instagram & Facebook, if it’s not, you can ask politely… this is where relationship building is important.

It’s essential to find who’s working well for you and who’s not so you can spend your money efficiently. Influencer marketing is popular because it’s seemingly low-risk and high-reward, and can be accessed by brands of all sizes. However, there’s a level of due diligence and planning that needs to be done beforehand to ensure it works for you. Treat it as seriously as any other partnership and marketing initiative, and the time & monetary investment will pay off!