By now almost everyone has heard of influencer marketing, but many aren’t quite sure what it exactly entails. Who exactly are influencers, and how can they help your business?
Influencers used to only be people with massive audiences, like celebrities. Now, the term is used to include people with a loyal following on social media platforms such as Instagram & Tik Tok. Brands and businesses work with them by leveraging their social media to showcase a certain product, service, or brand message. In short, it’s the newest form of advertising.
For example, I’ve worked with Google & Levi’s to help promote a tech jacket they created. They sent me the jacket to try out, and I had a photographer take pictures of me in the jacket which I then posted to my social media channels. My followers then saw the jacket and learned how the tech worked inside of it, which meant that thousands of my followers now knew about this new jacket. It’s basically word-of-mouth on a much larger scale.
So how does it work? As a brand or business, the first step is finding the right influencers for your business. This one is crucial and a lot of factors can come into play. You want to keep in mind their niche – for example, if your business sells maternity services, then focusing on mom bloggers is a good place to start. You can also find local influencers if your business is specific to a certain area.
You can find these influencers through influencer programs online (those can get pricey so are usually used by larger businesses), or searching hashtags such as #mombloggers, or have a specialist help you find them (shameless plug: we do this at Royal Horizon Media)!
Word-of-mouth marketing works exponentially better the more people you have talking about a business. So it’s often a good rule of thumb to have a lot of smaller (nano or micro) influencers rather than just 1 larger influencer (unless they’re a huge celebrity). You will also want to set aside a marketing budget to pay your influencers, as with any advertising strategy.
It’s also important to think about the platforms you want the influencers to post on. If you’re a restaurant, for example, Instagram & Tik Tok are all the rage right now.
Once you’ve decided which influencers are best for your business, you will want to send them each an individual email (not a DM or comment). In your email you can introduce your business, include a short campaign brief about the product or service you’d like to promote, the deliverables you’re looking for, and ideally let them know the budget you have for these deliverables, as well as the due date.
Once you’ve agreed to deliverables, timeline and payment, you can send them a contract, full campaign details, and ship out products once signed. You can follow up with the influencers before the due date to see if they received their products. If you have affiliate codes you can send those to the influencers also.
Next steps are to track the influencer posts and mark when an influencer has met their deliverables. You can keep track of links for each one if you have time to do so, and if you want, you can collect analytics from your paid influencers to see the impressions, shares, saves, and clicks.
If you’re using affiliate codes, you can look at those to see who sold the most, but keep in mind influencers are not only about immediate sales. They are about creating widespread brand awareness, consistently and over time, so that their audience is more likely to become a customer at some point in the future. The more you get the word out about your business, the better. Someone may see an influencer post, and it creates a spark of interest. Maybe they then make their purchase the next time they see your product in stores, or when they next need your services. The key is to keep your business top of mind more than your competitors, and influencers are one key to that larger marketing strategy!
Have more influencer questions or want us to run your influencer campaigns? I’d love to chat and see how we can help! Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org