According to Jeff Bullas, a leading digital marketing blog, “In 2017, 86 per cent of marketers said that they used influencer marketing, and 39 per cent of them intend to increase their budget for it in 2018.”
These days, everyone wants to work with social media influencers in order to improve their brand’s reach and reputation. On this blog, we’ve already covered how to sort the real influencers from the fakes; now, we’re going to help you connect with them.
If you want to reap the benefits of working with influencers, there’s a few factors you’ll have to think over before you start. Read on to find out how to create the strongest possible influencer marketing strategy.
Communicatto’s guide to influencer marketing:
- Do your research. While you may already have potential influencers in mind, make sure to backup your decision with hard data. Tools like Followerwonk and Buzzsumo are great for identifying influencers in any given industry. Also, make sure that the influencers haven’t augmented their follower counts with fake followers – sites like TwitterAudit can provide a glimpse into how “real” an influencer’s following actually is (but don’t expect 100 per cent accuracy).
- Know what you want. Are you looking for a few backlinks? Product or service promotion? A collaboration? Knowing exactly what you’re looking for will help inform your influencer selection. Look for someone who has a good track record in the types of influencer marketing you want to invest in.
- Keep brand standards in mind. Your ideal influencer’s style, personality and values absolutely must align with that of your brand’s. Any influencer you work with will have an impact on your brand’s reputation – you want a collaborator that you respect and can stand behind.
- Have a budget. For social media influencers, giving product reviews, crafting social media posts and working alongside brands is all part of a day’s work – and they deserve fair compensation. Whether you’re looking to sponsor an influencer or simply have a symbiotic trade-off (like free swag), know what you’re willing to give before getting in contact – and keep in mind, the more followers an influencer has, the more you’ll have to pay.
- Have a strategy in mind. Before reaching out to influencers, you should have a general idea of what success looks like and what kinds of content you’re looking to create with them (hint: focus on what your target audience wants). Look before you leap – otherwise, you might end up going in circles.
- Reach out. If your chosen influencer provides an email address on their profile page, go ahead and email them (or their agent – believe it or not, some influencers have one). If no contact information is available, you can always resort to direct messages (or even the comments section as a last resort).
- Get to the point. Upon reaching out, don’t beat around the bush when it comes to key issues. When talking compensation, let the influencer know exactly what you can pay them. Also establish your expectations around the amount of social media posts, which platforms you’d like them to post on, and how much creative control the influencer will have. These are all major factors that influencers will use to decide if your brand is right for them.
- Be open to suggestion. There’s so much value in connecting with influencers because they’ve got a great handle on this whole social media thing – take the opportunity to learn something from them. Any influencer worth their keep knows what works for them and what doesn’t; make sure to get their input when finalizing your strategy. Stay true to your brand, but be open to exploring new social media marketing avenues – and have fun!
- Get it in writing. Once the terms of your partnership are decided on, make sure to draw up a contract. This will protect your business and keep your expectations crystal clear. Influencer Marketing Hub created a free template that covers all your bases.