The global influencer market is set to reach $16.4B in value in 2022 and has therefore never been more relevant for businesses than today. In this blog post, you'll learn everything there is to know about influencer marketing and how to approach the right influencers for your brand.
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In the last few months, I have supported a client with influencer management and during that work, I have noticed a lot of similarities in how businesses approach influencer marketing and what mistakes they make. Since I have seen both sides of the coin, I have gotten quite a good idea of where the difficulties of each side lie and how to best overcome them. In this blog post, however, I want to focus on the business that is planning an influencer campaign side of things.
Before we get into things:
I use the term "influencers" because most business owners will know what I mean by that. You can obviously refer to them as “content creators” instead if you want.
1) Assuming that the influencer will post for free:
Newsflash: your product is not payment. Products don’t pay bills.
While smaller influencers might agree to post only for products, the larger influencers (in terms of account size, that is) won't accept product-only collaborations.
Like with many things in life: you get what you pay for.
To you, it might seem like an influencer is just taking a photo or video and posting it but there is so much more work involved. First of all, this person has spent years building a loyal audience and they have invested time & resources in building their brand to where it is now. They might also have a team that, at the front end of things, you might not see but that makes sure that everything looks professional and runs smoothly. An influencer is a business in itself and as such, they should also get paid for the service they provide.
Another important point that I need to mention here is the fact that when you are willing to invest more into something, you also get to have a bigger say in the final result. If you are willing to pay the influencer fair compensation, they will not only make sure the collaboration is successful but they'll also let you give your input when it comes to the look & feel of the final product.
2) Not having a plan for your campaign:
Before you even start to approach influencers to propose a collaboration, you need to have a few things mapped out:
1. What is the goal of this campaign?
Do you want to promote a specific product? Are you launching something? Are you just wanting to increase followers on your profile?
You need to know what the goal is – otherwise the influencers will have a hard time translating that into content which will make your campaign rather unsuccessful.
2. How do you measure if you have reached this goal?
Once you have your goals mapped out, you need to determine some KPIs that will help you measure if your campaign was successful and if you have reached your goal. For example, if your main goal is driving traffic to your website, you could track link clicks or website visitors. If your goal is to sell a specific number of products, then you can track products sold, ideally, by using something like a promo code so that you can attribute each sale back to an influencer. This is important because you want to be able to evaluate which influencer was worth it for future collaborations.
3. Who is your ideal client that you will reach with this campaign?
You also need to map out your ideal client that you want to reach with this campaign. Most of the time it will be the “regular” ideal client that you target already anyways but if you’re launching a new product that is designed for a different target audience, you might need to go over it again.
4. What will the campaign look like?
And lastly, you should already have a vague idea of what the campaign should look like in terms of what you are wanting the influencers to post. Is it going to be stories only? Or feed posts and reels? What will the topic be?
This will be important when you pitch to influencers because they will want to evaluate if they should agree to collaborate or not. The more info you can already give them, the easier it is for them to make a decision. Then, once you start talking more to each other you can work together on what the final result will look like. It’s essential to give them some ideas but then you should make sure to give them enough creative license as well because they know what works best for their audience.
All in all, what I want you to do before you approach anyone is have a clear idea of what you want and your main goals.
3) Not properly researching influencers before you approach them:
Before you start reaching out to influencers, you need to research who would be a good fit.
A few things that you should take into consideration are:
Relevance: are they relevant to your audience? Are you relevant to their audience? Are they a KOL (=key opinion leader) in your niche?
Account size & engagement: even though you can't see all of their insights, the size of the account should give you an idea of how many people they are likely to reach with their content. You can use a free tool called NotJustAnalytics to find out more about their engagement rate.
Are their followers loyal, engaged and do they trust this person?
Does their feed aesthetic match yours?
Are they promoting stuff all the time or do they only promote products that they really love?
What brands have they collaborated with in the past?
4) Outreach mistakes:
Depending on the size of the influencer, they might prefer being contacted by email or even via their management rather than via DMs. I would always recommend sending an email because it is just a little more professional and it will make you stand out from the brands that just send a quick DM.
If you don't find their email address on their profile, send them a quick DM asking for it. This is very professional and shows them that you are serious about this collaboration.
In your email, I want you to include a few things:
Their name (spelled correctly): Please don't use their Instagram handle (yep, I have seen that happen already).
Introduction: You want to introduce yourself and your brand so that the other person can already evaluate if you would be a good fit. Keep it short & to the point.
Explain WHAT would be in it for THEM: For example, your products could be the answer to a problem that their audience has. A collaboration between a brand and an influencer should be mutually beneficial. See it like this: if the influencer promotes a product that helps their audience with something, they strengthen their relationship with their followers and you get more reach - a clear win-win.
A general idea of the campaign: what are you expecting them to do?
5) Not setting up a formal agreement:
You don’t necessarily have to get a lawyer to draw up a formal contract – although I would recommend that - you could also just write down an agreement yourself. What’s important to mention in this agreement are things like, compensation (How much do they get? Is it a flat fee or is it on commission-basis?), time frames & deliverables. Deliverables include things like the actual posts or stories, and anything else you’d like, for example, any insights from the posts or a de-brief report with some results. You could also pin down terms of usage and exclusivity.
6) Not analysing & evaluating your campaign afterwards:
After your campaign, it is crucial to do a de-brief to see what worked and what didn't. This will help you to understand who to work with in the future and what you need to improve next time.
If you need support with influencer outreach or planning social media content for a launch, get in contact today! This is something that I can offer you assistance with.