If you’re ready to take the step of working with an influencer, check out this section or our companion article: How to Get Started With Influencer Marketing
1. Identify the Perfect Influencer for You
Now that you have a clear idea of why brands are relying on influencer marketing, it’s time to take the next step. This means identifying the perfect influencer.
Malcolm Gladwell once said: “The success of any kind of social epidemic is heavily dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.”
He identified three types of influencers:
These are the people responsible for the creation, communication and connection of all messages.
Mavens look to consume and share what they find with others acquiring insights on trends. Salesmen are persuaders who possess incredible charisma. But Connectors build a network filled with a wide range of people and therefore possess a byproduct of exceptional reach. They are masters of word-of-mouth communication.
Influencers combine all three characteristics, but think about what your company needs. If you have a tech-forward product, or sell avante-garde fashion, you’ll probably want to find an influencer that’s a maven. Salesmen might be good if you’re selling an online course and need someone who’s going to convince their following in a forward, not subtle, way. Connectors are great for products that make your life easier or fulfill an existing needs — products directed at making parents’ lives easier are often shared on these networks.
So here are the big considerations when choosing an influencer for your brand:
1. Social Media Reach
An influencer is only an influencer if they can actually influence others. Makes sense, right?
Simply put, the larger the reach, the larger the number of people who will see your product or service. An Instagram user with 1,500 followers may be able to generate some results, but an IG user with 150,000 followers can really push your message to your audience.
Of course, bigger is not always better. You should also take into consideration past engagement, as this helps you understand if the person’s audience truly listens to what they have to say.
Sticking with Instagram, you may find that a person with 15,000 followers receives an average of 500 likes on each update. Conversely, a person with 30,000 followers may only receive an average of 100 likes per update.
While the person with more followers will put your brand in front of more people, the update may not receive as much engagement. This is a balancing act with a trial and error component.
Depending on your budget, and the level of engagement per follower you want, you may want to look into a micro-influencer, or an influencer with a smaller (usually up to 10K) audience in a specific niche. Again, a macro-influencer may promote you to millions, but how many are really listening? Are they really willing to engage the way someone specifically in your niche would?
How much do micro-influencers charge?
Sponsored blog posts
- 96% charge $1000 or less per post
- 87% charge $500 or less per post
- 96% charge $500 or less
- 90% charge $250 or less
- 96% charge $200 or less
- 90% charge $150 or less
2. Influencer Audience Segment
One of the primary mistakes among influencer marketers is chasing after personalities with a large following and nothing else. As noted above, a large reach is a good place to start. But again, it’s not the only point to consider.
You must make sure that the person’s audience matches your brand. For example, a swimsuit model with 100,000 followers could be the perfect target if you are selling women’s apparel. But would this person be able to do anything for your software business? Probably not. This influencer’s audience is not interested in software.
3. A Natural Approach to Marketing
There are two sides to influencer marketing: brands and influencers.
On one side, companies are willing to pay influencers to push their product or service to their audience.
Conversely, influencers are willing to push the product or service as long as they get paid a tidy sum for a small amount of work.
But here is the catch: some influencers take this one step too far. It seems that every update they make is some type of product plug. Over time, their audience takes notice and the effectiveness begins to wear off because, as with traditional marketing:
Align yourself with people who take a “natural approach” to influencer marketing. They are willing to partner with some brands, but are selective about who they partner with.
Brand + Influencer: Make It Mutually Beneficial
Just like any relationship, influencer marketing should be a two-way street. If your brand is the only party that benefits, you won’t be long for this strategy. You will eventually find that nobody wants to partner with you.
According to a study by Group High, 44.44% of influencers feel that brands/marketers aren’t providing them with fair compensation.
If a person is willing to share positive and natural reviews about your brand, they should be rewarded accordingly. Here are some of the many ways to compensate your influencers:
Cold hard cash. According to the same Group High study, 69.74% of influencers prefer monetary compensation for their posts.
Among influencers charging brands for sponsored content, most of them (42.07%) charge between $200 and $500, 37.28% charge less than $200, and the remaining 20% charge more than $500 per post.
Based on this information, paying your influencers should be your first choice. The only caveat with this is that the person may not be truly invested in your brand and therefore doesn’t put their heart into the project. This can be a downside to using this strategy, but if your company can swing it, the data confirms that this is one of your best options.
But what if you’re a small company or startup don’t have the capital to compensate an influencer with money?
Free product or discount. Why not offer somebody a free product or discount in exchange for a shout out? This doesn’t have to be the only arrangement, but it is a good way to build a relationship. Over time, you may phase this out and opt for another form of payment.
Commission. This is a win-win, as both parties have skin in the game. You pay the person to share your brand with their audience and any sale they generate will result in a commission paid to the influencer. As long as you are fair with the commission structure, this is one of the best arrangements.
Creative Freedom. Crowdtap ran a survey of 59 influencers, asking them what persuaded them to work with brands more than once:
- 77% said that creative freedom is important to them
- 49% said that they loved working with clients who understood their interests, and sent relevant opportunities
- 47% said that they loved working with brands whose message aligned with their own values
With a mutually beneficial arrangement, your influencer marketing campaign will thrive.
Set a Budget, Track Your ROI
Last but not least, it’s important to set a budget.
Keep in mind that a poll by influencer marketplace Tomoson shows that for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, businesses are generating $6.50 in revenue.
Maybe you have a particular dollar amount in mind. Or maybe you are measuring this based on the time it takes to connect with influencers. It’s easy to go overboard with influencer marketing, as every opportunity will appeal to you in some way, so it is your job to stick to your budget and only spend money when it makes sense to do so.
To do this, you’ll need to track your ROI. Not only does this show you what is and is not working, but it also puts you in position to tweak your strategy and increase your budget in the future.