11 Things You Need to Know About Working with Influencers
If you’re running a brand or a business, chances are you’ve noticed that, while the number of advertisements are at an all time high, consumer trust of said advertisements is at an all time low. This level of distrust has created a form of backdoor advertisement that we now know as influencer marketing. This type of marketing happens when a company hires an influential social media personality and pays them (in product, perks, money, or all of the above) to market the brand to their large following. As Forbes explains, “[Influencers] have the power to make that audience trust the message it receives. This is huge, as trust is something that advertising just can’t buy.”
As a brand, aligning yourself with an influencer who is active in your industry can mean an increased visibility and a boost in sales. You may be wondering how you can find an influencer to work with.
Finding the perfect influencer
- Do some digging on social media. Search hashtags that are relevant to your industry and, from there, found out who the most active influencer/posters are. This will take a substantial amount of time and effort but will give you so much insight into your industry.
- Set Google Alerts for keywords pertaining to your industry and your business, then see who pops up the most.
- If you have a chunk of money to spend, you can hire companies like MuseFind, or Instabrand to connect you to influencers.
- Or you can join Hubba’s community and save yourself all this work. Hubba helps like-minded influencers find your business and vice versa.
Remember to think about is what kind of influencer it is that your business needs. Seek out influencers who are really passionate about your industry and by extension will be passionate about your products (and hopefully your brand). The last thing you want is to hire someone who has no interest in what you do, who posts with no genuine tone, cashes the check and walks away. Customers are attracted to honesty so if you’re adding an influencer to your marketing strategy, you need that to come across from them and their posts.
A mistake many businesses make is not checking into an influencer’s engagement numbers. To protect yourself, you must be sure that the influencer you want to hire has a good follower number to engagement ratio. Unfortunately, many influencers “buy” followers to appear more established than they really are. Check out the influencer’s posts – how many likes do they get per post? Are their followers commenting? These are all things you can check to ensure their following is real and that, if hired, they will extend the reach of your brand or business by promoting you to their following.
Once you’ve targeted four to five influencers, your best course of action is to reach out to each and request media kits. If they don’t have one, it’s a good indication that you should move on. However, if they do, you’ll get a better sense of what they’ve done in the past and what to expect out of your partnership. Once you’ve come to an agreement, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty.
Questions to ask before working with an influencer
- What’s their rate? Can you pay them in product? Will they only accept cash or can you make it a mix of both?
- What’s the plan?
- When will the plan roll out? It’s important to have specific dates and times for each segment of the roll out.
- How will the plan roll out?
- What are the hashtags they should use?
- What does the influencer expect to gain (aside from payment)?
- What do you expect to gain?
The last two questions are extremely important and you should be able to answer #7 before you even start looking for an influencer. If you’re looking for more social media followers, you should know how many. If you’re looking for more emails for your newsletter, you should have a ballpark number. In order to be able to quantify whether the campaign was a success or not, you need to know what goal you want to achieve going in. You must cater to each other’s strengths. Chances are you don’t understand social media as well as your chosen influencer does, and they probably don’t know your brand’s vision as well as you do. Work together to create the best strategy possible.
After the logistics are ironed out, get the details on paper and in the form of a contract. That way there’s no room for interpretation. If the cost of hiring a lawyer to draft a legal document is too much, you can create a “deal memo”. A simple one-page agreement outlining the key points (cost, timeline, expectations), signed by both partners. The contract can also stipulate how the influencer will relay to their followers that this is a paid advertisement. The FTC has begun sending letters to influencers to ensure that they’re disclosing paid advertisements so it’s incredibly important to follow these guidelines in any hired influencer campaign.
Statistic via poll of marketing professionals conducted by Tomoson
Managing expectations is something that is often overlooked when a business and an influencer partner up. As a business, you need to understand that hiring one influencer is not going to make your brand become successful overnight. Realize that this partnership is part of a larger, overarching marketing campaign. As mentioned above, knowing what you want to gain from the partnership from the beginning is crucial. This way, you can form a plan that caters to those goals and measure your ROI much easier. Simply hoping things “go well” or “run smoothly” is a recipe for disaster.
The impact an influencer can have on your business varies, but for the most part you will gain something from the partnership. According to our research, 84 percent of consumers purchasing decisions are influenced by recommendations from someone they trust, be it friends, family or social influencers they consider experts. With the help of the right influencer, you can take advantage of this and take your brand to the next level.
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