The use of influencers is becoming a vital part of any social media/digital marketing campaign and is actually now seen as an industry-standard in terms of building a brand’s visibility and overall audience.
I’ve recently spent a lot of time contacting, working with and negotiating terms with influencers for a number of different clients and I believe, although very common, many marketing managers are still in the dark of what they should expect from an influencer or what their approach should be to get the best out of their chosen influencer.
So, before you go ahead and contact that huge database of influencers you’ve spent weeks building up, here are a few things to consider to make sure you get the most out of your efforts!
Personalise Your Emails And Subject Lines
This may sound like a really simple one but if you’re planning on contacting a large number of influencers – you’ll thank me. It can be really tricky keeping track of who is who and which part of the process you’re at with each influencer. Create a generic subject line for each person + their name and personalise the email accordingly.
A simple thing like this can save you a headache when you get 30 replies all at once!
Ask For Their Track Record – Conversion, Impact, Reach & Engagement
For the large amount of influencers I’ve contacted, very few of them actually know their own conversion rates, average impression per post, average engagement and generally don’t have anything that can prove impact.
Many influencers are judged based on their large followings – this used to be an acceptable way of justifying impact but the market is competitive and if you’re marketing budget is tight, you need to know that you’re going to get a good ROI for your buck.
Before you agree any costs, keep it simple and ask the question – If we’re going to pay you X amount, what can we expect to get back? If they’ve got these stats to hand then you know you’re potentially working with a winner.
Find Out Their Target Audience
This one is quite simple – you’ve got a brand and you know their target audience and you think influencer X fits the bill but are you 100% sure their audience is right for your brand?
Ask them to delve into their Instagram/Facebook analytics and dig out what age/demographic their average fan is. You might find they don’t fit your brand as much as you thought they did.
Ask For Prices For All Of Their Services – Not Just The Ones You Want
Although you’ll go in thinking, “I need one Instagram post and one tweet from this influencer”, it might be worth asking if they have any other platforms with a good following. You’ll probably find that they have a blog that has a larger audience than their Instagram account and actually works out better value for money.
It’s quite common for an influencer to have a YouTube channel, blog and website. Make sure you do your research and find out all of their channels. There’s loads of potential out there.
Consider Offering An Incentive
If your budget is tight and negotiating isn’t an option, it’s always worth offering them some kind of incentive. This could be a free product from your business or even something like free vouchers.
Some influencers will be delighted with freebies but not all of them – this is fair enough considering the more expensive ones are looking to make a living out of their platforms but it’s always worth a try!
Find Out If They Work With Similar Brands (And When)
The last thing you want is your product to be crammed in with multiple other posts showcasing products from the same sector as you. This might work in retail, for example, if the influencer is wearing your designer glasses but is also showcasing a pair of boots at the same time but if their schedule is packed full of different sunglass designers throughout the month it’s going to be hard to make yours stand out.
Simply ask about their schedule and make sure you’re not crammed in among all of your competitors.
Try And Get The Backlink (If Applicable)
If you’ve agreed a blog post with your influencer, ask if they can include a link to your website in the post somewhere. Influencer blogs tend to have huge audiences and may also have some domain authority in their sector which is the perfect place to get a backlink from.
Make sure you ask the question or you may be missing out on an easy SEO win!
Find A Way To Track The Impact
When you’ve finally come to an agreement and a price that suits both parties, you now have to find a way to track the overall impact of your influencer campaign. There are a few ways of doing this such as:
- Generate a unique discount code for specific influencers
- Give the influencer a custom link that can be traced back through your analytics
- Ask if the influencer has any way of tracking success – they may already have this set up for you!
Once you’ve found a good way of tracking your campaign, make sure you stay on top of the results. If it’s not working, ask if there’s anything else your influencer can do (within budget of course) that can help turn things around.
Make A Good Impression
No matter what happens, whether you end up working with the influencer or not, make sure that you make a good impression. You never know when you might need to work with this person again in the future.
Always remember – you went to them for business. They’ve already impressed you in some way so don’t ruin your chances of working with a really great influencer by getting caught up in arguments about price or quantity.