Are you ready to discover how influencer marketing can elevate your brand?
If you haven’t hopped on the influencer marketing train yet, now is the time to do so.
An influencer’s opinion is held highly by many, with 49% of people basing their purchase decisions off of influencer recommendations.
And a recent survey found that 80% of consumers in the US and UK report consuming more online content during COVID-19.
With many people being stuck at home during the pandemic, they’re spending more time online than ever before…which means they’re more likely to see content from influencers.
But influencer marketing is a delicate process. If you don’t go about it in the right way, it can actually damage your business image.
That’s why we’re here to walk you through the basics, so you can feel more confident as you get started on your own campaign.
Let’s jump in!
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing involves paying an influencer to personally endorse your brand, typically on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or Twitter.
Influencers are popular on social media, typically have a large audience, and are viewed as experts within their industries.
People trust influencers. So when influencers endorse your products and services, it adds credibility to your brand. And increased credibility means that people are more likely to buy from you.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to find influencers for your campaign.
Where to Find the Right Influencers
1. Social Media
Some of the top social networks used by influencers are Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. TikTok and Twitch are also growing in popularity.
Look around social media to see if anyone might already be talking about your brand. The best influencers to work with are the ones who already support your brand, without being paid to do so.
Try using clever and creative hashtags to attract attention to your products – but also keep your hashtags simple, so people can easily find your content. And don’t go too overboard with hashtags. Using too many of them can distract from your product and brand message.
BuzzSumo has an influencer marketing tool that you can use to explore influencers in your business niche. It also helps you interact with your selected influencers in a way that helps your brand get noticed by the influencers.
It has a 30 Day Free Trial, so you can try it out risk-free before you commit to anything.
You can use Followerwonk to find influencers on Twitter, and to analyze their followers – to see if the influencer’s followers match the target audience for your brand.
The find feature is free for connecting 1 Twitter profile. To access the analysis feature, you’ll need to pay at least $29 a month (possibly more, depending on if you’d like to connect multiple Twitter profiles).
Upfluence features a huge database of over 4 million influencer profiles across all social media platforms.
You can use advanced search options to find influencers who are the best fit for your campaign.
The startup plan starts at $795 per month and includes the advanced search engine, a Chrome extension, access to over 4 million influencers, an influencer relationship management dashboard, and live capture.
Tips for Working with an Influencer
1. Define Your Brand’s Goals
Before you start working with an influencer, you should have a clear sense of your own objectives.
You don’t want to hire an influencer without having a specific idea about what you’d like them to achieve.
Develop a complete understanding of your business mission, so you can choose an influencer who is well-suited for your brand’s image.
2. Research Influencers Thoroughly
This tip is the most important one.
The influencer you work with is going to be the voice of your brand. Make sure you’re only reaching out to influencers who are a good fit for your image.
Also, make sure to research their integrity. Understand their history and lifestyle. Look at other products they’ve sponsored in the past. Do they apply ethical judgment in their sponsorship of those products?
Don’t be tempted to confine your search for influencers to celebrities. It can be more effective to work with people who are less well known but more well respected in your niche.
Your goal should be to work with people who believe in your product, not just people with a lot of followers.
3. Reach Out in a Unique Way
Influencers receive hundreds of requests for partnerships. They are quite specific about the businesses they sponsor.
Think outside of the box on a creative way to connect. You want to do something that will catch their eye and stand out.
Emails or Direct Messages are likely to get lost among a flood of other requests. Try going for something a little more personal – like a hand-written note or a personalized gift for a special occasion.
4. Be Willing to Give Up Creative Control
The more authentic your influencer is when sharing about your brand, the more successful your marketing campaign will be.
Trust the influencer to talk about your business in their own unique style. The last thing you want is for them to sound scripted.
If the post is not in their voice, it can hurt their reputation with their followers, and you’ll lose credibility with your customers.
You can suggest a few hashtags you’d like the influencer to use, but otherwise, it’s best to let them take the reigns.
5. Build a Relationship
Influencer marketing is only effective when you take the necessary time to build a transparent connection with the influencer. Here are some suggestions for the partnership.
- Be genuine. Communicate why you chose them over other influencers – identify their special qualities and the things you appreciate about them.
- Trust their judgment and allow them to tell you what type of content resonates with their followers.
- The relationship should be mutually beneficial. They shouldn’t just be writing reviews for you – you should be doing just as much for them. Send them free products and gifts. Offer them a commission. Invite them to events where they can network.
6. Set a Budget
When you’re venturing into influencer marketing for the first time, it’s exciting and easy to go overboard on spending.
But it’s important to set a small budget initially, so you can try different strategies and see what works best. Then, once you lay the groundwork for your campaign, you can increase your budget.
For an idea of how much money businesses are spending on influencer marketing annually, check out this report.
The Rewards of an Influencer Marketing Campaign
At the beginning of your campaign, it can take some time, research, and spending up front to ensure you’re starting off on the right foot.
But the rewards of a successful campaign are well worth your investments. Influencer marketing has the power to deliver 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of marketing.
In one study, 81% of advertisers who did an influencer campaign reported that the results were effective. Influencer marketing increases awareness of your brand, boosts your credibility, drives conversions, reaches your target audience and gives you new ideas for fresh and engaging content.
Don’t forget to measure the results of your campaign. There are a lot of methods available to track metrics such as web traffic, engagement rate, conversions to customers and direct sales.
Best of luck to you on your influencer marketing campaign!