If you have an account on Instagram, TikTok, or any other social media platform, you’ve likely seen influencers at work. Whether they’re promoting a competitor’s product or just sharing a day in the life, you might wonder how someone on the internet can help your business reach new customers. Influencer marketing works by placing your product or service right in front of the audience that’s most likely to make a purchase decision. Influencers spend years cultivating a following and relationship with their followers, so when they share a new product or service, their followers are likely to trust their opinion, leading to new customers for that business. Today, we’re sharing three tips on how to get started with influencer marketing for your business.
This is probably the most important step because choosing the right influencer will affect how your product is perceived by their audience. Look for influencers in the same niche as your product or service.
Some popular niches include: fashion and beauty, tech, food, lifestyle and travel, etc. To find influencers in these niches, spend time researching popular hashtags and if you’re trying to find an influencer in a specific geographic area, try searching the name of your city followed by ‘influencer,’ for example, #winnipeginfluencer. The better you can align your business with an influencer in that particular niche, the more likely a partnership will occur.
Part of your research is to ensure the influencer you’re interested in working with has a genuine relationship with their audience. For every influencer who has spent years growing a following, there are dozens who purchase followers and likes and rely on fake numbers rather than genuine relationships with their followers.
The best way to protect your interest is to ask to see metrics from some of their past campaigns. Although a large number of followers and likes might look like an influencer has great engagement, what you’re looking for as a business owner is how many shares, saves and comments they get on their posts. Shares indicate that their followers are sharing the influencer’s content with their audiences, saves mean that their interest has been piqued and they might go back to the post later when they’re ready to purchase, and positive comments can show you that the influencer has genuine rapport and relationships with their followers.
You can use these metrics as an “insurance policy” to ensure the product you're sending or service you're gifting to the influencer will be seen by an engaged audience. If an influencer refuses to share these metrics treat that as a red flag and look for someone else to work with.
Influencer marketing has become a lucrative business and many do it full-time. This means most influencers with large followings aren’t likely to work for “free,” even if sending your product or gifting your service entails a monetary value. Large influencers want to be paid for the work they do and aren’t likely to accept a product in exchange for a post anymore. Setting aside a separate budget for influencer marketing within your overall marketing budget will open the door to working with more influencers, especially those with larger audiences. A ballpark figure we recommend aiming for is usually a couple of thousand dollars if you’re interested in engaging with multiple influencers.
If a budget isn’t possible right now, consider looking for “micro-influencers,” those who have followings under 10,000 and might just be starting out. Oftentimes they have very engaged followers because they get a smaller number of messages and comments and can spend the time replying and engaging with their audiences.
Navigating influencer marketing can be tough, but we’re here to help. We’ve worked on influencer campaigns with businesses ranging from Fortune 500 companies to local small businesses and we’re experts at understanding the ever-changing landscape of influencer marketing. In an upcoming post we’ll discuss how to create a successful influencer marketing campaign, but in the meantime, if you’re looking to get started with influencer marketing for your business contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
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