By now, it’s no secret that influencer marketing is one of the best ways to promote your brand. In fact, in 2019, 89% of marketers said the ROI on influencer marketing is just as good as or better than that of other channels.
And the best part? It’s not just for big businesses with massive budgets. Any size company can participate and profit from this strategy. In order to help your brand, whatever it may be, we’ve outlined the things to keep in mind when you want to find influencers for your social media collaborations.
State your objectives
Before you start searching for influencers, it’s important to define the objectives of your campaign. Some common objectives of influencer marketing campaigns are:
- Boost traffic by a given %
- Improve your positioning relative to a specific keyword
- Grow your brand’s visibility in a certain country or region
- Drive sales through the use of a coupon
Ensure that these objectives are realistic and clearly defined. Influencer campaigns often hope to generate a high number of sales, but know that this takes time to achieve. To reach any of these goals, it’s crucial to collaborate with an influencer who’s well-aligned with your brand and who reaches your target audience.
Find the perfect influencer
Searching for and selecting the right influencer for your campaign can be a tricky task. There are many things to take into account during this process, especially:
- Category: Which industry or niche are you targeting? Influencers oftentimes cross categories, meaning they have expertise in more than one defined area. For example, Cosmetics influencers probably also know about Skincare, or the same influencer may be trusted in the Fitness and Vegan categories.
- Followers: This is one of the most important metrics to consider when searching for influencers, especially because it largely determines the price of the collaboration. If you’re a large company who wants to reach millions of people around the world, a mega influencer with 1M+ followers may be right for you. But if you’re a smaller business looking to have a localized impact, nano or micro influencers (up to 100K followers) can serve you perfectly.
- Engagement: Engagement is the level of interest an audience has in an influencer’s content, calculated based on likes, comments and other types of interactions made possible by social media. Engagement is perhaps the most important metric when choosing an influencer, as it’s the best indicator that their audience trusts them. And if the audience believes in the influencer, they’re more likely to believe in your brand.
- Audience Demographics: It’s usually relatively easy to look at an influencer’s profile and learn about their location, age and interests. The more complicated part comes when you want to analyze their audience. But it’s critical to make sure that the influencer’s audience lines up with your target audience with respect to demographics like age, gender, location, language and interests.
Although you can determine these metrics manually on social media, the collection and analysis of data usually takes a while. A much more efficient way to gather this information is by using an influencer marketing platform, which facilitates your search and provides you with the metrics analysis necessary to decide on the right influencer for you.
An influencer marketing platform analyzes engagement and compares an influencer’s metrics to those of their peers.
Analyze their content and past collaborations
Metrics are important, but another necessary part of choosing an influencer is analyzing their work through the visual and emotional lenses. Does their content fit with your brand aesthetic? Does the influencer’s voice sound like one that could transmit your brand’s message? Take a thorough look at an influencer’s content and ask yourself these questions before arranging any collaboration.
In addition, check out their past collaborations. Have they worked with brands in the same industry as yours? Was there good engagement on those posts? Be wary of influencers who take on too many collaborations. If an influencer works with brand after brand, they may start to lose credibility, as their audience might feel like their account has become an advertising display case. Search for influencers who maintain authenticity and transparency with their followers, as this will lead to better visibility and communication of your brand.
Binny Shah-Patel (@binnysfoodandtravel) is a London-based food and travel influencer with 16k followers. She’s collaborated with restaurants in the London area.
Reach out and negotiate
Once you’ve selected an influencer, reach out to offer them a collaboration. Like any working relationship, an influencer collaboration should be solidified by a contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the agreement.
You can find an influencer’s contact information on their social media profile or through an influencer marketing platform. When you reach out, explain your brand, your campaign goals, and why you want to work with that influencer. Develop the contract, making sure to include the following:
- Campaign Timeline: Outline the start and end dates of the campaign. If your chosen influencer is also working with other brands, you may have to be flexible when scheduling the dates with them.
- Publication Requirements: Decide the number and type of posts, as well as any hashtags or mentions that you want them to use. Give influencers creative freedom to create their own content, but outline any guidelines you want them to follow.
- Economic Compensation: If you’re planning to pay the influencer a fee, define the quantity and payment terms. If you’re compensating the influencer with your product, service or experience, explain what that consists of and when you’ll deliver it.
- Contract Termination: Here you can include any reasons for which the company may terminate the contract.
While negotiating, keep a friendly tone but be clear and upfront with the influencer. Once you’ve both agreed to the terms, sign the contract and get your campaign going!
Launch and track the campaign
As soon as you launch your campaign, start tracking its success. If you see that you’ve achieved some long-awaited results, maintain cordial contact with the influencer. You can hopefully build a long-lasting relationship and repeat the campaign again at some point in the future.
If, however, your campaign results are not as expected, don’t get too down on yourself. Analyze your results to find out what didn’t work well so that you can avoid making the same mistakes again in the future. The influencer can also provide you with the metrics they’ve obtained through their social media profile, and this will help give you better insight into any missteps.
Successful influencer campaigns require a blend of thoughtful analysis, clear communication and hard work. Assess and define your objectives, perform a comprehensive influencer search, and analyze their metrics. Negotiate technical and monetary terms and outline them in a contract. And throughout the entire process, maintain open and friendly communication so that you can build a lasting relationship to benefit both parties in the future.