How to Work with Influencers

Businesses make $6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing campaigns.*

Influencer marketing is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways for brands and businesses to reach potential customers of their products and services. People are looking to their favorite content creators, social media personalities, and celebrities for guidance and recommendations on purchasing decisions. Engaging with industry influencers is becoming a core essential if you want to have an effective marketing strategy. So let’s tap into how your business can work with influencers.

Who Are Influencers?

When you hear the word “influencer” you may automatically think of a celebrity or a big-name internet personality but they can also be everyday people with a social pull. An influencer is simply someone who has the power to “influence” or someone with the authority to affect the purchasing decisions of others. They obtain authority due to their relationship with their digital audience and their knowledge of their industry.

Over the last few years, social media has grown rapidly along with the rise of influencers. Companies partner with influencers to promote their products because people trust people more than they trust brands. Don’t believe us? According to Hubspot, 90% of people believe brand recommendations from friends. Working with influencers can help your business generate sales, increase exposure, gain trust, drive traffic (online and in-person), improve SEO, and more!

Which Type of Influencer is Best for Your Business?

The key difference between the different types of influencers is the number of followers they have. A small business probably won’t work with the same influencer a big brand or large enterprise is working with.

For small businesses, connecting with a micro-influencer is usually your best bet. A micro-influencer is someone who has fewer than 10,000 followers. These are regular, everyday people who have become well-known for their knowledge about a certain niche or industry. Though they don’t have a massive following, they do have major reach, higher levels of engagement than big influencers, and they are an authority in their specific niche.

A typical influencer is someone who has anywhere between 10,000 and 250,000 followers. Macro-influencers are anyone with over 250,000 followers. These influencers typically are celebrities, industry experts, social media stars, and public figures. Though they have a larger following, their engagement rate tends to be lower and they usually come with a high advertising cost! According to Social Media Today, the average cost for a post by a micro influencer less typically less than $200 whereas the average cost of a post by a macro-influencer is over $250,000! That’s for one single photo on Instagram!

Where to Find Influencers for your Industry

Influencers are everywhere! Here are our top five ways to locate influencers to work with.

  • Facebook: Locate and join influencer & blogger Facebook groups. These groups can help you connect with influential people in your industry plus provide you with advice, and more! Search for groups by including your industry type and terms like “bloggers”, and “influencers”.
  • Industry-related hashtags: Searching through the top Instagram posts of specific hashtags can help you to identify who is a thought leader in your industry. When searching for relevant hashtags, make sure they’re not too broad like #food. Try something more distinct such as #neworleansfood or #neworleanseats.
  • Influencer Marketplaces: They’re basically matchmakers for brands and influencers. Marketplaces are typically paid online databases where you can assess information to connect with the perfect person for your brand. They contain advanced demographic information, interests, location, previous brand affiliates, and more. Some examples of popular marketplaces are Tap Influence, WOW Influence, and Tribe.
  • Google Search: Though it can be more time consuming than the others, a simple Google search can help you locate popular people in your niche.
  • Social Listening: Use social listening tools to find public, online conversations that contain select keywords and/or phrases. “Listen” to and analyze them for key insights. It’s similar to searching through industry-related hashtags but instead, you’ll be monitoring mentions of your brand, similar brands, products, and industry keywords.

Do I Have to Pay Influencers?

A friend will tell you all about a great restaurant in town or their new favorite pair of jeans for free, but an influencer will need some form of compensation to do the same. These are the top four ways an influencer is typically compensated for promoting your products or services.

  1. Cash: The more followers someone has, the more they will charge. You can negotiate whether you will pay them per post or pay them per engagement (comments, likes, shares) on the promoted post.
  2. Referrals links: If your product or service can be bought online, create a referral link for the influencer to share with their followers. Offer them a percent of the money made from any purchases made through their unique link.
  3. Freebies: Send them your product or service for free to try. Have them share their thoughts on your product in posts and on their social media accounts.
  4. Giveaways: Partnering with an influencer to host a giveaway can be mutually beneficial. Giveaways can help your business generate leads, increase exposure, and liven up your community. For influencers, they get to give back to their fans and grow their network!
  5. Discount Code: Discount codes help to track your influencer’s promotion efforts, whether they mention it in a live video stream or include the code in a caption of a photo. You can also partner the discount code with a unique referral link.

What happens next?

After locating and contacting the perfect influencer to work with, negotiate on the scope of the project and the payment rate. Once you’ve agreed on terms of the campaign, make sure to review the posts for quality, compliance, and make sure the posts & captions contain all the elements you agreed on. Once the content is live on their social media, track and measure how it’s doing. Are their followers liking it? Are people engaging with the content acknowledging your products or services? For any successful posts, plan to work with this influencer again in the future and enjoy the mutually beneficial relationship for years to come!

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