Today, influencer marketing is more accessible and measurable than ever before, and more marketers report finding it effective in achieving their goals. It grew from an ancillary marketing tactic to a $5-10 billion dollar industry.
In spite of this, many small businesses remain uncertain about influencer marketing and how to invest in it as a channel.
Does this sound like you?
5 Steps to Reach out to Influencers
Step1: Set your business goal
There are numerous goals that can be achieved through an influencer marketing campaign, including increasing brand awareness, reach and engagement or generating revenue and leads. The goals you set will enable you to plan and measure your campaign successfully, by understanding the key metrics you’ll use to assess your performance.
If your goal is to increase brand awareness, reach or engagement you should measure the impressions, likes, comments and shares. This will give you an idea of the number of people who have seen and engaged with your content.
If your goal is lead generation, influencers can be asked to share the link to your brand, product or service. Based on the number of leads generated from their link, you can find out the cost per lead and calculate your ROI.
Step2: Identify your target audience
Along with setting goals for your campaign, you should determine your target audience. This is often overlooked yet is vital to creating a successful influencer strategy.
Strategising your campaign will be much easier once you have a clear idea of who you’re targeting. It’s important to take lots of factors into consideration when developing your target audience.
You should think about their age, demographics, interests, locations, and more, to help you make sure that your campaign reaches the right people. This will also help you find the right influencer for your brand as you can search for influencers whose followers have similar interests.
Step3: Research and engage with influencers
Before cold-messaging an influencer, follow them on their various social media channels and blogs (if applicable). Like, comment on, and share their posts, and engage with their audiences. Show familiarity with the influencers’ posts and an interest in what they do. This will make opening a conversation with them that much easier.
Plus, be sure to carry out thorough background research on influencers and their social media profiles before working with them. You can easily check their average engagements per post and use this to calculate their engagement rate. It’s also worth checking to see if they’ve worked with any recognised or reputable brands in the past.
Fake influencers buy followers, likes and comments to inflate their follower count and engagement. This is in order to attract brands who will pay them for ineffective sponsored content. Partnering with such influencers can result in a loss for your brand because there’s no ‘real’ audience to engage with.
Step4: Contact influencers
Many influencers are busy professionals who field a lot of offers and solicitations. When messaging them, be clear, honest, and brief with your proposal. In your pitch, ask influencers about their own goals, and what they may be looking for in a business relationship. Look for ways in which your brand might be able to help them on their journey.
Businesses shouldn’t ask influencers to promote goods or services for free. Influencer marketing is a $1.7B industry on Instagram alone and top influencers can make seven figures per year. Successful influencers will lose interest if you try to get them to post for free, trade for product, or try to negotiate too heavily. If an influencer is too expensive, look to find smaller, lower cost influencers interested in working with your brand.
Remember to communicate enthusiasm about your brand and product or service, as well as the potential relationship with the influencer. Influencers want to be a part of interesting projects and exciting collaborations.
Step5: Build long-term influencer relationships
Whilst one-off sponsored posts may be what immediately comes to mind when you think of influencer marketing, you should focus on building longer-term relationships with influencers.
Long-term influencer relationships are beneficial to both parties. As a brand, it means that the influencer is more invested in you, trusting you to produce high-quality content. For influencers, long-term brand relationships show that the brand trusts them completely, and opens up new collaboration opportunities.
Try to think about how you could work with an influencer in the long-term. How they could help explore new avenues such as account takeovers, brand ambassadorships or product collaborations. By aligning your brand with select influencers for the long-term, you’re more likely to tap into their influencing power.
5 Top Influencer Platforms
Grin capitalizes on the genuine influence of influencers. Its philosophy is that influencer marketing is marketing to the influencer – brands need to build a trusting relationship with potential influencers.
Grin customizes its pricing to match its clients’ needs. Companies of all sizes use the software, though Grin focuses on eCommerce businesses with integrations into the major shopping platforms.
CreatorIQ relies on its tech software to simplify the influencer marketing process and also solves some of the problems that have long plagued the industry as a whole, e.g., follower fraud, inflated reach metrics, and inauthentic/mercenary influencers. The company was named the Best Influencer Marketing platform at the 2019 MarTech Awards.
Upfluence analyzes nearly 3 million influencers with a collective reach of 82 billion followers. The software indexes and updates all their profiles in real-time, with every piece of content analyzed for reach and engagement.
A new tool, Live Capture, attempts to find the best influencers for your brand. It assumes that your customers are the best advocates for your brand and can become ambassadors to promote your products.
NeoReach uses an algorithm that mines the social web for data and indexes it for search through the software. The NeoReach database features more than 3 million influencers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Every client receives custom pricing based on the number of users and a few other factors. However, its target customers are large companies with large marketing departments.
The heart of the NeoReach software is data. It features a mind-boggling array of information for each influencer in its database.
Post For Rent is marketplace software that describes the process of influencer marketing in its name. It serves all sizes of brands and has plenty of room for agencies and talent managers, as well.
Post for Rent offers a range of pricing levels, with four different rates for brands/agencies and three rates for talent managers. Their pricing model can be seen as a way to try and be all things to all companies.
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