Don’t know what a social media influencer is or how you would use it in your business – no problem, this is the perfect post for you!
Have you ever seen someone you follow on social media talking about a specific product. Then immediately head to their website to buy one for yourself?
If you’re anything like me then you will do this ALL the time, but why?
Well, marketing has changed a lot over the last few years. And if there is one buzzword that is being thrown around more often than not, it’s influencer marketing.
Whether or not you’ve heard of influencer marketing before, or you’re a complete novice. I want to help you understand more and then develop your own influencer strategy for your business.
So, what is Influencer Marketing?
With recent research carried out by Twitter showing that 49 percent of people seek purchase guidance from social media. It’s no wonder everyone wants to know what this can mean for their business and how they can maximize on it.
As an extension of word of mouth marketing, influencer marketing simply places its main focus within influential people on social media. Either paying them a fee or offering them free products in return for a feature on their social channels. Which then could result in more buzz around your business.
…and how Does it Work?
By working with influencers that people know and trust, people are likely to make purchasing decisions based on the products they’re sharing. The strategy is particularly beneficial to businesses whose audience are extremely active on social media. Arguably it can create more of a meaningful connection with them than traditional advertising does.
WIth big-time influencers such as Zoella and micro influencers like Hannah Gale regularly selling out clothes from ASOS, Primark and H&M. It’s easy to see that influencer marketing does work.
So, how do you get a slice of the action? Here’s my six steps to influencer marketing.
The Six Steps to Influencer Marketing
Although it may seem like it is a long, difficult and expensive process, (it is rumored that Zoella can earn up to £120k per Instagram snap!). However, as long as you are not looking for Zoella to feature your product or service, the steps to influencer marketing are easier than you think. Once you know what you’re looking for.
Define your goals
The first step when it comes to working with influencers is to define what you want your end goals to be. Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Encourage sales? Increase your followers? Knowing this from the get go will make the whole process a lot easier, especially when it comes to finding the right influencer for you.
Decide on the message you want your influencers to convey and what hashtags you want them to use, the begin your search…
Finding the Right Influencers for You
When you’re looking for influencers to work with, the best place to start is by considering who your target audience are. If their followers fit the profile of your perfect customer then you’re probably onto a winner.
But how do you find this person to begin with?
Well, there are a number of different places you can search for influencers, but here are a few of my favourites:
Use influencer talent management companies – If you’re looking to work with the likes of Zoella and her partner Alfie, you will have to go through their management companies (and have a massive budget!). These are usually talent management agencies, however their representatives should be easy to get a hold of. It’s important to bear in mind that if you’re looking to work with a high ticket influencer, depending on the budget you have available, you may not be able to guarantee you’d be featured on their platforms.
Use an Influencer agency – On a much smaller scale, you can find an array of influencer agencies that work with micro influencers – who have a smaller following but a more direct connection to their followers. They will charge a fee, but will be able to put you in contact with the right people to fit your brief.
Search Instagram hashtags – If you want to go it alone and find your own influencers, one of the best places to start is Instagram. Using relevant and popular hashtags you can find the people that are most influential in this area, as well as seeing examples of their work upfront. You can then reach out to them directly through Instagram or using the contact detail on their profile.
Put a shoutout on Twitter – Influencers and bloggers use Twitter regularly, so this is a great place to put a shout out to say you’re looking to collaborate with people. Invite them to get in touch with you for more details and hopefully you’ll end up with a list of people that are already interested in working with your brand. Use popular hashtags like #prrequest, #bloggerswanted and #influencers to reach them directly.
Post in Facebook groups – There are lots of different Facebook groups for both bloggers and influencers. So if you’re looking to reach a large portion of them in one go you could try posting a call out for influencers in one of these. Popular ones include Official UK Bloggers and UK Blogging Opportunities.
Which is more Important, Engagement vs Followers?
When it comes to choosing the influencers, people often believe that the more followers someone has, the more influential they are.
Well, this isn’t always the case.
The people you should be looking for are people with high engagement in relation to followers. This is easy to tell just by looking at their social media accounts, such as Instagram, for example. If their following is in the hundred thousands but their content is only receiving a couple of hundred likes, it could be possible their audience is not fully invested in their content, or that they have bought fake followers.
In a world where influencer marketing is as popular as it is, it has meant there are lots of ways around building a following coming to light. One of the most common ways is buying a following. For as little as £5, influencers can buy thousands of followers to help them appear more influential.
It’s not always easy to tell but doing some research into engagement before you collaborate is highly recommended. If you want to work with someone with an audience that trusts them and makes purchases based on their recommendations.
How to Approach an Influencer with a Collaboration Idea
Once you have decided who you want to approach, the next step is to get in touch with them to find out if they are interested in a collaboration. The best way to do this is by email.
There are a couple of things to bear in mind when approaching an influencer, including:
- Make sure you make the email personal, rather than a bulk send to several influencers
- Address them by their name at the start of the email.
- Show you have done your research. What is a particular post of theirs that you have loved?
- Introduce yourself and why you’re getting in touch straight away – don’t beat around the bush.
- Make it clear what you are offering them in the initial email.
- Let them know what you want in return and how much creative freedom they have.
- Detail and guidelines or deadlines for the campaign early on.
To help, I have put together an example email you could send.
I hope I have caught you at a good time, how are you?
My name is Sophie Jones from Sophie’s Flowers, a weekly flower delivery service that has just launched in North London.
I noticed you had done some work with both Bloom & Wild and Freddies Flowers, so I was wondering if you would be open to collaborating with us on our launch. We’d be looking for 2 Instagram posts in your usual style during our launch week (24th April – 1st May) in return for a months free subscription – that’s four tailored bouquets of flowers in one month!
If this sounds like something you would be interested in please let me know before the 1st April.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Compensating Influencers and Bloggers: What is Their Worth?
Influencers could be Instagramers, celebrities, bloggers and other people who have managed to build a good following on social media. Working with each of these can be incredibly different in terms of costs to your business. So it’s important to know the ROI each of them can offer when you approach them.
Some influencers will ask for a fee as well as the free product, however this will depend on the amount of followers they have. The general rule of thumb is if their followers are nearing double figures, a payment may also be required. This tends to start of small (£50) and leads all the way up to the thousands for high profile influencers.
This is obviously down to your personal discretion and the ROI they can deliver. But in most cases it is worth paying the fees as influencers pay much more care and attention to campaigns that are paid.
Proven Influencer Marketing Strategies you can Implement Today
Now that you have found your perfect influencers and they’ve agreed to work with you, it’s time to carry out your campaign!
There are lots of different things you can do when working with influencers, so I thought I’d share some of the most common with you.
You could host a competition on their social media.
Have them review your products.
Get them to feature you on their Instagram or Instagram Stories.
Get them to join your affiliate scheme.
Have them takeover your social media accounts or get them to share exclusive offers and discounts for your products.
These are all commonly used within the influencer marketing industry, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box too.
Now that you have an idea of a campaign and who you might reach out to, what’s stopping you from starting your influencer strategy today?