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Influencer Marketing: Everything You Need to Know About Working with Influencers

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Has your organization considered working with influencers, yet? Believe it or not, ~70% of marketers in the United States will use influencer marketing strategies in some way this year. But if you’re not one of them, we’re here to guide you through the WWWHW (just maybe in a slightly different order).

The Fine Print

Before we get ahead of ourselves, there are a few fine line items necessary to understand and comply with the rules set forth by the Federal Trade Commission

Bottom line: Influencers must identify sponsored posts. Disclosure guidelines and agreements must be taken seriously and be included in your influencer plans.

Hootsuite shares some key things to consider from the FTC for influencer marketing campaigns:

  • Video reviews must include both written and verbal disclosure of the partnership. It must be within the video itself (not just the description).
  • The built-in tools on social media platforms alone are not enough, but you should still use them. Instagram says that any branded content on the platform must use the Branded Content tag to identify the relationship, which adds the text “Paid partnership with [your brand name]” in the post header.
  • Adding the hashtags #ad and/or #sponsored are great for disclosure. There are some influencers that may not like putting #ad or #sponsored, but it needs to be highly visible and not buried in a chain of hashtags.

Designing and executing an effective influencer marketing strategy requires you to speak to the right people using the right tools—and the right influencers. It’s time to dig in to identify these opportunities for successful influencers campaigns.

The What:

First, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page with what we’re talking about… According to Hootsuite, an influencer is someone who can influence others. Simply put.

Taking that a step further, influencer marketing is when that influential person collaborates with a brand to promote something using their social media feeds to spread the awareness of an organization’s product or service.

The Why:

Introducing influencers into your marketing strategy elevates your brand to reach new customers—specifically, an influential user with capabilities to reach your organization’s desired consumers. Here are a few reasons why influencer strategies work:

  • Content that is created by influencers you partner with works like user-generated content (UGC). Instead of a sponsored ad from the brand’s social channels, it’s comparable to a testimonial from someone who enjoys your organization’s products or services. 
  • There are opportunities to take it further than social media posts, asking influencer partnerships to create blogs or vlogs on their sites mentioning your organization and it’s products or services improving SEO. This helps more consumers organically find your organization.
  • Influencers can help increase your sales by turning prospect customers into reoccurring ones by simply talking about their experience with your products or services.

Basically, if you aren’t tapping influencers in your marketing strategy at this point, you’re behind, but not for long. It’s simple to get an influencer strategy underway with a little research and understanding of best practices.

The Where:

Not every platform is suitable for every organization to have a presence. It purely depends on your industry, the demographics of your consumers, and the platforms these users choose to spend their time online. That’s why it’s crucial to determine the where of your influencer strategy to ensure your influencer dollars and efforts are reaching their maximum capabilities.

One thing to consider when deciding on the right place(s) to invest influencer marketing strategies is the saturation of influencers across platforms. For example, Instagram and TikTok remain the platforms of choice for social influencers, and where social selling is exploding. But – is it the right platform for your current and prospective consumers? Food for thought.

The How:

Let’s address the how by focusing on your organization’s budget for influencer strategies here. All in all, payment structures vary by tiers of how much reach each individual influencer has. Higher reach = higher compensation. However, it’s not always about dollar signs. Sometimes, free products or services might work with smaller groups like nano-influencers.

With that said, it’s important for your organization to consider what type of payment structure makes sense for your KPIs while keeping in mind the influencers’ desires. One popular payment structure that influencers prefer are affiliate or commission-based structures through affiliate links or specific promo codes.

Below is the most common pricing formula for influencers’ compensation:

$100 x 10,000 followers + extras = total rate

Pro tip: Micro-influencers and nano-influencers will have more flexible payment terms.

To get more information on how to compensate influencers within your marketing strategies and campaigns, visit this Hootsuite article.

The Who:

This one might seem simple, but it can easily get a little complicated depending on your goals of working with influencers on social media. A gut check for your search is looking for the trust the influencer has built with his/her/their following, but how? Engagement. Seeing larger numbers of views, likes, comments, and shares confirms this influencer has a loyal following. Which means new customers for your organization can most likely be found within this group. Cha-ching!

Here are a few steps you should take when thinking about the who for influencer marketing:

  1. Define your organization’s target audience.
  2. Research which platforms these users frequent and ensure your organization has a presence where these consumers are.
  3. Define a budget for influencers in your marketing strategy and know which type of influencers (nano-influencer, micro-influencers, macro-influencers, or mega-influencers) will help your organization reach its KPIs utilizing an influencer strategy. This is especially important because not all influencers are celebrities, and the different categories of influencers are populated with users who have engaged and dedicated followings, just the number of followers and reach differ. Below are the tiers of the different types of influencers and their follower counts:
    1. Nano-influencers have 10,000 followers or fewer.
    2. Micro-influencers 10,000 to 100,000 followers.
    3. Macro-influencers have 100,000 to 1 million followers.
    4. Mega-influencers have 1 million+ followers.
  4. Determine which users run the top influential accounts within your organization’s industry and if these accounts are relevant to your target audience.
  5. Once you’ve selected the influencers who will reach your target audiences within your budget, begin engaging with these accounts starting with interacting organically with their posts, for example, liking their content or comment when appropriate. It’s important to be appreciative, not salesly. And when you feel ready to suggest a partnership, feel free to send the user a personalized direct message (DM) or email depending on the information available on the user’s profile.
The When:

If we’re being honest, and not trying to be cliché, the time is now. Influencer marketing has grown exponentially over the last few years, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing businesses into digital marketing versus traditional marketing tactics.

If your industry is just beginning to enter the influencer realm, this is an opportunity for your specific organization to break into this type of marketing and set industry standards.

We Can Help!

Ready to initiate or enhance your influencer marketing strategies? We’d love the opportunity to help grow your organization through influencer campaigns. Send us a message today!

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