We all have heard about influencers and how they can help promote your business to their followers in a more authentic way. But how do you find the 'perfect match' for you? How do you reach out to them? How much should you pay them? And importantly... what should the ad say or do to achieve your business and marketing objectives?
Our team have put together a no-nonsense 'How-To' Influencer Marketing Guide that any business can use to leverage this powerful lead-gen tool.
If you have any unanswered questions at the end, just email us and one of our team would be delighted to speak to you further about building a plan tailored specifically for your brand.
Why invest in influencer marketing?
70% of millennial consumers are influenced by the recommendations of their peers in buying decisions.
30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger.
Facebook is the most influential social channel. 19% of consumers purchase decisions are influenced by Facebook posts. 18% of which are influenced by YouTube.
Men are 2X more likely to be influenced by a blog post when shopping in store.
49% of consumers depend on influencers for product recommendations.
Influencer marketing budgets are on the rise. 39% of marketers plan to increase their spend in 2018, whilst ROI measurement is still a challenge.
Instagram is the most important social platform for influencer marketing.
The majority of marketers will spend anywhere from £25,000 - £100,000 on influencer marketing per calendar year.
Some pretty compelling stats if you consider that this can be one of the cheapest forms of marketing available online.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is the practice of building relationships with people that can build relationships with prospects on your behalf.
By leveraging the ‘trust’ that the influencer has already built up with their audience, you are able to:
(i) Spend less time increasing trust and credibility for your brand;
(ii) Gain more trust and credibility from a third party recommendation.
Types of social accounts
There are two types of influencer accounts: (i) Content pages; and (ii) Influencer pages. Content pages are those not run by a specific person. Like 'Funny Pets', 'Quotes' or 'Vegan' pages, they house and share content from a variety of similar content sources. Influencer pages follow the lives and interests of a singular person, duo or family.
More often than not, influencer pages can have a stronger influence/persuasion with their audience, because followers have a more emotional connection to that person.
Step 1: Finding the perfect influencer for your product or service
The best way to search for influencers, is to do a general search for pages that contain the keywords you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for influencers to advertise your lipstick brand, typing ‘beauty’ or ‘makeup’ is one way of seeing the top accounts relevant to you.
Another way, is by searching for hashtags relevant to your product or service, and seeing which accounts are ranked most favourably.
There are also dedicated influencer companies (such as HYPR) that allow you to refine your search based on location, interests, followers etc.
Take a note of all relevant pages, and you can refine that list later.
Step 2: Checking the authenticity of the accounts
Once you have narrowed down which influencers you would be interested in working with, it is important to check the authenticity of the accounts.
Basically, have the influencers built a successful organic following of people that genuinely like and engage with their content, or has the account paid for fake followers to give the appearance of popularity?
Things to watch out for!
(i) Rapid increase in follower numbers
One way of checking their authenticity is through checking out their follower numbers/increases over time. If there has been a rapid increase in followers on a specific day, the chances are that they have paid for them.
(ii) Follower pictures
Another way of checking the authenticity of a page’s followers is by looking at their profile pictures. If an account has a lot of followers with missing profile pictures, the chances are that they have been ‘bought’ rather than earned through quality content.
(iii) Follower comments
Have a look at the ‘comments’ section of an influencers post. If there are lots of generic comments such as ‘great!’, ‘amazing’, ‘keep posting!’ or ‘nice pic’, the chances are, that this engagement has also been bought. Instead, you should see longer comments from followers, questions, friends tagged etc. The comments should be specific to the post, diverse and authentic.
(iv) Engagement levels
It is also important to see the engagement level percentage of the account you are looking to follow.
Overall, over 2% engagement is ideal. So if you have 100,000 followers, there should be 2,000 – 4,000 likes per post. Phlanx offers a social media engagement calculator to help ascertain the engagement percentage for your targeted accounts.
(v) Influencers that have their own product/service
It is also important that you steer away from contacting influencers that already stock their own products in your niche. You are likely to be wasting your time as they will not be looking to promote competitors.
Step 3: Contacting influencers
The next step is to contact the influencers that you have narrowed down based on their authenticity, followership and relevance.
The first thing to check is an email ID present on their social channel. If they do not have an email ID, you will need to direct message them. If you are not ‘connected’ on social media, you will appear in their ‘message requests’. Ensure that your message stands out from the rest. ‘Influencer Business’ or ‘Paid Opportunity’ are good keywords to use at the very beginning of your message, to capture their attention in amongst other messages that they inevitably receive daily.
If you do not receive a response after 2-3 attempts, remove that account from your line of enquiry.
Step 4: Paying the influencer
The next step is to progress your dialogue with the influencer and negotiate a promotion fee.
If they ask you for your ‘budget’, try to instead get their ‘cost per post’.
If they say that their fee is £250, say that you usually pay £150 each for three posts one week after the other, and see how it goes.
You also want to negotiate the time your post is up before they post again (minimum of 4 hours). And it goes without saying that a shout-out is not complete without a link in the description and bio to your website or promotion.
Rough fee estimates
The below aims to give you an indication of what you should be spending based on the number of followers an influencer has:
50,000+: $15 - $25
150,000+: $25 - $45
300,000+: $45 - $70
500,000+: $70 - $150
1,000,000+: $150 - $250
Step 5: Building the perfect influencer ad
And finally, the ad itself!
Remember, you will be crafting the content for the influencer, and so you want to give really clear and concise instructions to them, and ensure the messaging is compelling enough to encourage a consumer to purchase. Emoji’s have also been proven to increase engagement of a post.
Here are several ad types that you can opt for
Standard information: Simply put, an influencer will show an image or video of the product, and they will give a candid (favourable) account of the product.
Offer: Another way of speeding up the path to purchase, is by offering a limited time sale deal or announcing the scarcity of the product (e.g. "Only 20 left in stock at this low price").
Free products or samples are also a great way to entice customer product trials. However be very clear about anything that would have to be paid for in this instance (e.g. shipping).
Creating the perfect landing page from the influencer ad
No matter how convincing the influencer’s post is, if you do not provide a relevant and clean landing page for customers to click through to and continue their journey of discovery, you will have wasted your time and money.
If your influencer is posting about your new skincare product, make sure you provide them with the correct link so a consumer can go straight to the shopping cart of that product and purchase.
Step 6: Ensuring you stay on the right side of the law!
The Advertising Standards Authority are responsible for enforcing the strict influencer advertising guidelines in the UK.
Simply, the guidelines state that:
(i) Ad disclosure must be visible (not hidden in truncated text or labelled in language audiences would not understand e.g 'spon'/'sp')
(ii) The ad must not contain misleading or untrue claims.
See the ASA full website for more information, or email us today to find out more about how we can keep you safe from legal action when engaging in influencer marketing.
Want help implementing your Influencer Marketing strategy? Envie Digital Marketing have got you covered. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +447725844846.