One of the questions I get asked about quite a lot from the kids’ brands that I work with is how they can start approaching influencers to work with them. So I thought I would put together some tips on how you can do this. Here we go.
What is a Social Media Influencer?
First of all, I think it’s important we look at what an influencer actually is, especially on Social Media. Let’s take a look at the following definition from PixLee it states:
“A Social Media Influencer is a user on social media who has established credibility in a specific industry. A social media influencer has access to a large audience and can persuade others by virtue of their authenticity and reach.”
So when looking at the above it’s identifying a person who has built an authentic, engaged audience in a specific niche i.e. it could be being a parent blogger who also shares insight into their lives on Social Media. Example of this is Anna from Mother Pukka or Clemmie from Mother of Daughters.
But what are the things you need to keep in mind when thinking of working with an influencer and what are the myths behind it all?
This can often be the biggest myth and key thing to look at. Popularity doesn’t always equal influence. You might see huge follower numbers there, but as we also know with our business accounts you can get any Tom, Dick or Harry following you sometimes and they’re not always our target customer, so imagine how many of these may also be following your influencer of choice. What you should be looking at over Follower numbers is, that’s right you probably guessed it, engagement!
You need to look at how much interaction their posts get and this is beyond likes, what is the engagement? You might find someone has 20K followers and a post that gets 561 likes and 5 comments. Look at this when you are considering who to approach and potentially work with for your brand or business.
Working with an influencer is like anything else in business, it’s about the relationship you both have. Now, of course, this will take time, but if you are wanting to create a sustainable relationship that can not only work for you and your business initially but long-term and generate sales this is what you need to consider.
So find the influencers who are right for your business. Don’t just target the ones based on their numbers (as point above). You want to work with someone who has the same values as you and your business, would be a great fit for your product or service. You find that when a product really works and suits the influencers life and their values they talk about it in a much more natural and authentic way too.
A great way to start building these relationships is to identify who, then start interacting and engaging, if you generally like them and like what they’re about this wouldn’t feel like work either, it will feel natural. Then when you want to approach them they may already recognise your name and know about your business, ice broken.
Another great idea is to see how you could both work on some content together, maybe a guest blog post on your site or a joint interview perhaps.
3: Measuring ROI
Depending on how you decide to work with an influencer it could be via gifting a product or a paid post/story etc you need to make sure you are measuring the ROI on this work. I don’t just mean via likes and comments or more followers for you – we all know this a vanity metric at times and people can just jump on a follow wagon through influence, it needs to attribute back to sales – money in the bank for your business.
4: Decide your terms
This is a relationship and you need to state exactly what each party expects and will be delivered. So think about what you will be giving, whether that a product or you’re paying, the value of those things and then think about what you expect. Make a list of what this includes i.e.
X number of mentions
1 x post on feed including these tags and hashtags, links
2 x mentions in Stories including these tags and hashtags and swipe up links
You can then reach an agreement with the influencer on what is going to happen so you both know what is expected from each of you. You then have metrics you can measure for your ROI by looking at your analytics, see where there has been website traffic to your store from the day the post/story went out and look at that monetary conversion.
5: Does it fit in with your bigger picture?
Working with an influencer is the same as any marketing activity you have planned, asked yourself does it fit? It is right for where you want to go with the business, does it work with your other activities you have planned? It should ideally fit in with your other strategies and ideas – remember all the marketing cogs work as one.
*A new term on the block*
Nano-influencers. These are accounts with roughly 1000-5000 following (remember to take a look at their followers too and see if they align with your target audience) and they are now having quite high engagement on Instagram due to lower following and closer relationships with their followers. So it could be worth looking at this type of influencer and how this might work for your business.
The New York Times published an article on this just recently. Take a look here.
I hope this blog has helped you think about how you can work with influencers in your business, what to look for and more importantly what to ask when working together.
If you want to look at what a good engagement rate is and what that looks like here is a handy selection of tools from Influencer Marketing Hub.