Influencer marketing continues to grow and seems like it will be here for a long time. More and more businesses are working closely with people of influence as a tool for their online marketing, which can have endless benefits for their sales and brand awareness. As influencer marketing grows as a concept, the incentive to utilise it grows too; so we’ve put together a simple guide to lay out the basics when you’re delving into it.
Why is influencer marketing so beneficial?
Influencers tend to gain a significant amount of trust from their followers considering they are constantly publishing regular content across many platforms, meaning they can often have huge persuasive power when encouraging purchases. With influencer marketing you can specifically target a niche set of followers who are likely to buy your products; meaning essentially everyone that sees the content is a potential purchaser. Take a look at Audible; they’ve grown massively due to sponsored videos and affiliate programmes created by a range of Youtube influencers, whilst the content still appears genuine and tailored specifically to the individual.
Ways you can work with influencers: an overview
Before we get into the more detailed guidelines, it’s useful to know some of the different ways you can utilise influencer marketing. In short, this can be in the form of sending samples (and even further than this requesting a review of the samples), offering some products to host a giveaway with, or a competition, allowing an influencer to post guest posts on your social platforms, or paying influencers to create sponsored posts or videos, to name a few. It is worth noting that you can’t expect influencers to post positive content if your products don’t work for them - which is why it is crucial you have quality products, and choose the correct influencers as well.
Deciding on a project
Once you’ve decided what sort of content you’re after, as well as the platform and demographic you wish to target, you need to narrow down the project to make sure everything runs smoothly. Firstly, decide your budget as well as the amount of products you can afford to send to the influencer, as this will partly dictate who you’re going to be choosing as the influencer to begin with. You can never be totally sure of what individual influencers earn as so many factors play into this, but the easiest way to find out is asking for their ‘rates’ for the type of post you want - if this is out of your budget then potentially you misjudged their earnings and need to look for a slightly smaller influencer.
You also need to set out a relevant time scale, if you want the content for specific events or deadlines. For example, if you’re wanting influencers to help boost sales for a new product launch, they need to have their content ready to be posted before and during the launch, else the marketing will be ineffective.
Finding the right influencers for you
This has been touched upon slightly, but it’s worth looking at in more detail. You can’t really just choose random influencers for your project, as they need to have a genuine interest as well as understanding of why it would benefit their followers in order for their content to appear genuine. This is why it is so crucial to define your target audience. If an influencer has good interest in your brand as well as good incentives to work with you, they will remain proactive in promoting you. If you’re struggling to find influencers organically (searching for them yourself), you can also turn to influencer marketing agencies to assist with the selection process as well as the interaction from that point onwards.
Working effectively with influencers
As mentioned, you need to ensure the benefits of working with you are clear to the influencer, so that you both gain the most out of the project. Letting influencers have some aspects of creative control can often mean you receive the best content with a lot of effort behind it - after all, influencers enjoy creating this sort of thing and it’s what they do best.
Make sure you lay out the specifics of the job as well as the time frame from the beginning - although it is fine to have some slight tweaks as the process develops, influencers may find it difficult to work with you when you’re constantly changing your mind about the content or making them change things due to not laying it out clearly from the get-go. If you manage all this, your experience will be far more pleasant and stress free.
Following the rules
Perhaps one of the most nerve wracking parts of influencer marketing in 2019 is following the rules and regulations. Although it might seem daunting at first, there are a few basics which you can follow to ensure you’re covered. First of all, everything needs to be disclosed properly and visible to the viewers (so you can’t have #ad hidden amongst other words to try and disguise it). Although you may think customers are put off by sponsored content, they certainly will be less impressed if they realise you’ve hidden a sponsored post from them.
A simple way to ensure the guidelines are followed is to check all you influencers’ posts beforehand to ensure no disclosure is forgotten about, and perhaps check through some of their older posts to see if they’ve followed everything effectively in previous work.
Once you’ve got this all sorted, your experience working with influencers should be hassle-free and push your business to those who are truly interested. We think influencer marketing is going to be around for a while, so jump on board now to start taking advantage as soon as possible. If you’re feeling up to date with this new marketing trend and want some advice on how to make sure your site is the best it can be for all your new customers, get in touch to see how we can take your business to the next level.