We all know about the power of word of mouth. Looking to start a new show on Netflix? Text a friend. Unsure of what to order on the menu? Ask the waitress. While the influence of marketing collateral—from printed material to web content—has delivered proven results, nothing will beat the authenticity of hearing from a fellow human being. After all, the modern consumer doesn’t pay attention to billboards along freeways; now, people are much more receptive towards what others are saying on their most active platforms.
That’s where influencer marketing comes into play.
What’s an influencer, and why should my brand work with one?
Put simply, a social media influencer is one who influences. They can be as famous as Kim Kardashian, or simply an Instagram user with 10,000 followers. Typically, influencers are active social media users who promote brands by sporting their message and products in creative ways. They exist in a variety of niches, from food to fashion, so it’s critical to partner with an influencer that’s most relevant to your business.
Influencer marketing is skyrocketing, and if your brand isn’t accounting it into its current strategy, it’s time to start. Here are a few statistics that point to the power of influencer marketing:
- “71 percent of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference”
- “11.7 percent of US marketing budgets is devoted to social media, up from 3.5 percent in 2009”
- “On average, businesses generate $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing”
Convinced yet? Take note that talking to an influencer about your brand shouldn’t be such a colloquial process; it’s critical to approach them as a business person, too. And if you’re planning on contacting multiple influencers at the same time, you could do it with the help of outreach tools instead of doing it manually. Here are our top 4 tips for collaborating with social media influencers:
How to Talk to an Influencer About Your Brand
No. 1: Have some courtesy.
Influencers are more than social media users. They treat their role as an influencer seriously, just as you treat your own job. Therefore, it isn’t appropriate to treat your partnership as a casual exchange of messages. It especially isn’t appropriate to leave an email unresponded to simply because you no longer want to work with the influencer.
Treat each conversation as a formal one when speaking with an influencer. Whether you choose to move forward with a collaboration or politely decline, all emails deserve a response. Abandoned emails only signal to the influencer that your brand lacks professionalism.
No. 2: Show some respect for their job.
Business isn’t a one-way street, so expect to compensate for the publicity the influencer is giving you. Influencers typically charge $5 to $10 per 1,000 followers. For instance, if an Instagram influencer has 15,000 followers, the lowest you can expect to pay for a sponsored post is $75. How much they charge per thousand should be dependent on their engagement rate.
While free products and social media exposure are always nice, they don’t pay the influencer’s bills. Social media influencers are just as valuable as (if not, more than) paid advertisements. Their fans hold plenty of respect and trust for them, so it’s no surprise that they mimic the influencer’s interests. By appropriately compensating the influencer for exposure, you’ll receive a social media post that reaches thousands, in turn, generating an exponential amount of sales.
No. 3: Be realistic about your expectations.
It’s likely that influencers have full-time jobs outside of the social media sphere. Instead of putting too much pressure on an influencer, be flexible about deadlines and posting times. Also, take into account that taking a photo with a product isn’t as easy as many people might think. An ideal influencer photo has the perfect lighting, product placement, pose and other detailed criteria.
Furthermore, know the proper time to nudge an influencer. It’s likely that their inboxes are filled with emails, and when you put that on top of their outside careers, it’s difficult for an influencer to respond as quickly as you want them to. Wait a couple of days if you need to follow up with an influencer about your collaboration.
No. 4: Allow them creative freedom.
Influencers have a following for a reason: they’re creative, unique and social media experts. Quite simply, they know what they’re doing. Avoid taking full reign over how an influencer posts your product. Providing them with strict guidelines and pre-written copy will only make their post seem inauthentic, and their followers will be able to tell. It’s a lose-lose situation.
Instead, give your influencer a few details you’d like them to incorporate.
Overall, influencer marketing is one of the most authentic ways to drive profits. Consider partnering with influencers to reach more potential consumers, add humanity to your brand and generate site traffic.