Influencer marketing is a great idea for promoting your products. I’ve had mixed success with using influencers to market my chunky knit throws (and my soy candles when I make those on special occasions). I've put together some handy hints to help you find the right influencer to boost your brand presence.1) Expect to pay
Gone are the days when you could send a social influencer a bunch of stuff and expect them to post about it for free. Preparing content, taking pictures and answering enquiries is a J.O.B. for influencers and you should be prepared to pay for the service.
Rates differ, and will vary depending on the influencer, on how many posts you expect your product to be included in, and across how many different channels (Facebook, Instagram and the influencer’s blog). Have a dollar figure in mind, and work to a budget - as you would for any other marketing or media.
When you contact the influencer ask for a media kit/rate card, which will give you an idea of how much you can expect to pay for the influencer to promote your product/s, and will reduce the risk of you low balling an offer and offending the influencer.2) Check the engagement
Don’t be blown away by a big number of followers and race to sign on the dotted line - check the engagement rates. As the name suggests, you want an influencer who actually influences their audience.
You want to see at least 1% of the influencer’s liking their posts (3-5% is better), but not only that, you want to check who is engaging. Some social media users join comment pods and agree to comment on each other’s posts.
Check and see if likes and (especially) comments are from general users or from other influencers or bloggers. Engagement from other influencers isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but checking this helps make an informed decision.3) Make sure your audiences align
When you approach an influencer, make sure their audience consists mainly of your target market. An influencer should be able to easily provide the location, gender and age bracket of their followers.
It goes without saying, that if your target market is females 25-34 based in New Zealand, that an influencer with an audience of males 45-54 based in UAE might not bring the best ROI for your business.
Remember to check who the engagement is from. With a few quick clicks you should be able to see if the people dropping likes and leaving comments are the kind of people who will follow your page and buy from you.
4) Be aware of the other brands the influencer is working with
For me, my handmade, ethically sourced product doesn’t align with mass produced items of questionable origin, and so I am hesitant to work with influencers who encourage their followers to shop at retailers who are well known for such items.
Check if the influencer is already working with or has worked with brands that you consider competitors. If you produce mid-range natural skincare and the influencer has been promoting low price natural skincare, this might not be a great fit.
If an influencer has sworn loyalty to a competing brand in the past, their promotion of yours, while potentially genuine, may come across as inauthentic to their audience. There's also the risk of brand dilution if your soy candles are the fourth that the influencer has promoted in as many weeks.
5) Find a way to capture the ROI
Set up your analytics so that you can see where your traffic is coming from, even better if you can track conversions. You can offer a discount code for the influencer's followers to use, or arrange an affiliate link. Likes and follows are one thing, but sales is where it really counts.
Back links from an influencer's blog earn bonus points, the more content about your business on the world wide web, the better Google will think you are. A keyword rich blog with a link to your website is a great idea, and more bang for your buck with longer term traffic.
Establishing a relationship with an influencer (or influencers) is a good idea. Finding one who will speak highly of your brand and recommends your products or services outside of their agreed post schedule will make them a valuable member of your marketing and promotions team.
If you want to have a chat about your brand, and how you could be working with influencers, get in touch for a free fifteen minute chat
. I promise to give you my honest and unbiased opinion about who would work well with your brand.