Steps to Take Before Approaching Influencers
January 4, 2019
Influencer marketing is huge, especially across social media channels, and 2019 is projected to bring in bigger and brighter results for this style of marketing. Currently, more than 80% of online brands across the United States have plans to try or continue influencer marketing this year, and with more than 1.5-billion dollars spent annually in this area, why not?
So, what exactly is influencer marketing and how does it work? An influencer is somebody who has a lot of online followers, is popular, or a celebrity. Basically, anybody with the potential to influence other consumers toward your product or service is considered an influencer. These individuals make names for themselves on social media, vlogging, or blogging, and wrack up millions of views every week.
Imagine you see a catchy YouTube video about a product you’ve heard about. The video is hosted by a well-known vlogger, and as you watch, the counter increases to 100K then 500K then 1M views. Each of the individuals viewing this video have the ability to like, comment, and share the content with others on their social media, who in turn can share on their social media and so on. Now, what if that product was yours? Your product or service could be seen by millions in the span of a day. That’s more than most ads garner in a month through conventional methods.
So, should you consider influencer marketing for your business? If this is a possibility for you, and you’re able to correspond with a big-name influencer then absolutely! However, before you start drawing up proposals and sending out contracts, here are a few steps you should take.
1. Make a Game Plan: Before you approach an influencer, big-name or otherwise, you should have an idea of what you’re looking to accomplish. Obviously, you want to increase traffic and revenue, but is there a reason for the sudden interest in a new marketing method? Perhaps you’re about to launch a new product or you wish to promote a new service? Maybe you’re new to your industry and trying to draw some awareness to your brand. Whatever the reason, having a goal in place will help dictate the way that you design your influencer relationship. For example, if you’re launching a new product, your influencer could help market it with a review and coupon code through his or her channel. Similarly, if you’re new to your industry and simply trying to gain brand recognition, your tactic could be to have your influencer create and promote a hashtag for your brand which links consumers to a contest of some sort.
Not only will having a plan in place help you organize your strategies, but it also gives you a better understanding of the results you see later. Traffic coming from your influencer vs. traffic coming from alternative marketing processes will make better sense if you have a plan for each of these outlets.
2. Decide on the Type of Influencer Your Brand Needs: Not every influencer will be suitable for your brand. Even a hugely popular YouTuber could have trouble selling your product if he or she is marketing to the wrong demographic. The best way to coordinate your brand with an influencer is to take notice of the type of followers he or she has. Do you sell mainly to men aged 40-60? Then you’re not going to have much success partnering with a 20-something makeup vlogger. Similarly, if the majority of your consumers are women aged 18-40, a social media expert who posts about engine repair and supercars isn’t going to see much action with your standard demographic.
Hiring the right influencer for the job will see that your brand is advertised to the right market, thus increasing shares and traffic to your website. Of course, any influencer can help, it’s just the amount of help they’re able to give which will be governed by the followers they have.
3. Choose the Right Channel: It’s not just a potential influencer you need to scout for, it’s also about the type of platform he or she uses. If you partner with someone who works primarily on YouTube, but most of your customers are on Facebook, this could cause a problem. You’ll have to do a bit of sleuthing to determine where your consumers like to spend their digital day and whether there’s a corresponding influencer who could help on that platform.
Some types of content work better on some platform vs. others as well. Infographics, images, videos, vines, blogs, etc., all appear differently depending on the platform you use. Choose an influencer who can partner with you seamlessly and who you know your consumers will be able to access and understand easily.
Create a Budget and Stick to It: The influencer you work with may be determined by budget. Some influencers are happy to have new content based solely on a partnership with your brand in return for products, samples, special discounts, etc. If you choose an influencer who also enjoys your brand you’re more likely to get great rates on their inclusion in your campaign. Many influencers will ask for a piece of the profit. Paying your influencer based on how well a campaign does is a good way to guarantee its success. Your influencer will be working harder to see results if their pay depends on the outcome.
However you choose to pay for your partnership, be sure it’s in your budget and discussed ahead of time.
2019 is going to be a great year for influencer marketing due in part to all the new up and coming influencers on the internet. Get into this game early to race the competition and find a great partnership that works for your brand.