Influencer marketing delivers as much as 11x more ROI than other media when done well. So you want to work with influencers to help build brand awareness and increase sales but where do you start ?
Set goals and objectives
You want to make sure that before you decide why to work with an influencer or thought leader you consider what you want them to do for you and what is the desired outcome. It maybe that you want to work with them to collaborate on a new brand launch, create a joint white paper, conduct a product review, help you generate ticket sales for your conference, host an online panel, have them as a guest on your podcast. Or it could be to create social buzz and engagement.
Do your research
Before you reach out to an influencer there is a lot of research to do. You want to know who is talking about your brand and or target message online and on what platform will this be on Linkedin, Twitter or Instagram for example. You can simply look at google and hashtag searches of your keywords and see who is coming up. You can start with building up lists of influencers that resonate with your brand by what their content looks like. You'll need to know a lot more about their audience to determine their relevance. For example, you may see a great female fitness influencer with 200k followers on Instagram but her audience maybe 80% men that has no value if your product is targeting women Equally if you had a Vegetarian restaurant in London, and that a chosen influencer had 80% of his audience in South America that would be irrelevant. It's not as easy to get such detailed analytics on the follower base on all social platforms. When it comes to B2B influencers there are influencer platforms that enable you to source influencers much more easily.
Once you have done your research on the type of influencers you want to work with then you can contact them directly through direct mail although some of them are managed by talent agencies Be aware that a high percentage will reject direct email or social media direct messaging and you may get zero response. Influencers have worked hard to develop an engaged audience and they will only work with brands that resonate with their brand values or add value to their community in some way. I always suggest those you want to work, start commenting or liking their content, show you are interested and when you do approach them do so with knowledge of what they are doing already. This will have a far greater impact In this direct approach make it crystal clear as to the purpose of the collaboration and what you see as a benefit for you both. You may want not to share everything in this message, ie prick their interest. Fundamentally you want to start the foundation of a relationship.
My name is Gordon, it’s a pleasure to e-meet you. I am the chief marketing officer for an exciting new fashion brand and noticed your engaging content. We pride ourselves on creating great working relationships with influencers and we see it as a core part of our marketing strategy We are looking to run a campaign in the coming months and would like to work with you on a paid partnership if this is of interest. Let me tell you a bit more about who we are
We are a lifestyle fashion brand targeted mainly at women between 18-40. We will be promoting our summer collection and like to consider a series of photos, videos, stories in different styles. Typically we would like 2 stories and 2 Instagram posts over the campaign.
We would need this content by the 28th May. We would provide you with a discount code and will need usage rights for one year from the start of the campaign. Here is the website for you to check out www.abc.com and our campaign hashtag is #fashionlabel
Can you quote for the above campaign.
Please do ask if there is anything further you need from us
*Influencer marketing strategy, Kogan Page
Working with an influencer platform
A lot of the research is made substantially easier by working with an influencer marketing platform that will help you search influencers against set criteria, and you'll be able to see an influencer credibility score often ie the quality of the audience demographic is very important. Some of the full-service platforms will have contracts built-in, influencer payment models, campaign management, and full analytics.
Working with influencer agencies
There are many social media and marketing agencies but influencer agencies are dedicated to this space and know how to guide clients through this process. Influencer marketing is a skill and you'll find its very easy to make mistakes which is why I tell my clients to work with experts if they are serious about investing in the media.
There are a number of influencer apps on the market that enable you to put briefs into a platform and then influencers put proposals back to you so you can see which individuals you want to work with. This allows you to see different types of content before you have contracted an influencer There are other apps that are event focussed and the company will deliver influencers to your event for a set fee
Going to events
Networking at events can be a good way to meet people face to face or online and potentially build up a relationship and then when the opportunity comes the likelihood of a successful collaboration may work better
Word of mouth
Never forget to talk to colleagues and friends because they may know suitable candidates too and therefore this will broaden your catchment area.
To get the right people takes time so invest in research after all they are future ambassadors of your brand and the goal has to be to build a longer-term relationship
If you are serious about investing in the sector, might be worth considering an influencer platform or agency to help you, I am happy to share some suggestions
Measure the success of your campaigns because inevitably you may get different successes and learn from these for future influencer outreaches
Gordon Glenister is the author of "Influencer Marketing Strategy" and host of Influence the global podcast that shines a spotlight on the influencer marketing.
By Gordon Glenister
Keywords: Social, Marketing, Sales