INFLUENCER MARKETING TIPS FROM AN INFLUENCER!
As a brand starting out navigating the influencer marketing pathway it can be both overwhelming and draining! But, it is well worth the planning when you find influencers and collaborators who gel with your brand and represent your ideal target markets.
I found an influencer below who was willing to give us some insight into what it's like working with brands from a collaborators point of view. This account has over 16 thousand followers and she was able to shed some light on some very important points. Make sure you read to the end to get her top six tips when approaching and working with influencers:
When you’re deciding to work with a business or particular product is there anything that you are specifically looking for?
Businesses that have items which I would genuinely use in my day to day life, for example - when I was heavily focused on fitness I only engaged with brands that I had tried, tested and would recommend to one of my girlfriends.
Do you know how the companies you work with have found you or your IG account?
There are lots of great tools to connect influencers and brands eg. Tribe, The Right Fit, Vamp. For those that proactively reach out generally it’s through searching hashtags or looking at tagged photos of similar brands.
Would it be common for businesses you work with to supply written agreements for the collaborations or promotion? Or do you usually organise a contract?
Usually this is supplied by the businesses, I feel much more comfortable when we are both aligned with expectations and deliverables. I've heard a few horror stories where influencers have not held up their end of the agreement so think it's always in best interest to have something drafted.
Have you noticed any trends in the way that followers interact with you when you are working as part of these campaigns? DMs, story replies, comments on your feed? What outcomes are you usually working to benchmark against to get results for the brands?
It truly depends so much on the campaign and whether it’s something that is specific to a niche audience or something that a wider group will get excited about. New products generally get a great response as people may not have seen it before or have been on the fence about purchasing. It also works really well for customer education if there is a disrupter entering the market (hello new teeth whitening kits).
Outcomes usually link to a referral code and subsequent purchase if the brand is looking for pure ROI. If it’s an awareness campaign they'll look at link click-throughs (over 10,000 followers) or clicks on tags (under 10,000 followers).
Campaign objectives can vary from brand awareness to market research, increasing traffic to sales conversions. When companies reach out to you do they often discuss their main objective of your partnership and if so what do you find is usually highest on their priority list?
It's usually not disclosed, you can often determine this yourself by looking at which metric they'd like to focus on and subsequently content created can be tweaked to help achieve that objective but more often than not it's not something brands communicate.
How do you ensure that your followers know that your sponsored posts are authentic even though it’s part of a paid ad?
This is the hardest balance, especially working with brands that have a LOT of influencers engaged eg. a certain popular cleaning product or meal kit. I found these brands brought in LOTS of story replies with many people sceptical of whether it really worked or we just said it did.
Some people will always automatically assume you have posted just because you're getting paid. At the end of the day it comes down to your ethics and in my eyes it is so important to be true to yourself and not ever recommend something you wouldn't tell your family or friends to buy regardless of the money.
Do companies usually follow up in regards to engagement levels and post reach for campaigns once they’re completed?
Most do but surprisingly some don't! Generally those that don't are only working with influencers for brand awareness.
Do you usually work with companies on a once off basis or more of an ongoing brand ambassadorship?
It depends on the brand, if there's a synergy and the opportunity to continue work it's a great way to share the message about something you love. There is a point where both sides need to be aware of brand fatigue (we all know that one person that posts every week about the same brand.)
What has your favourite collaboration been to date?
My first 'household name' collaboration, it was completely unexpected and they approached me ... I was over the moon that my little account had gathered the attention of such a large brand.
If a brand was looking to work with a specific influencer what tips would you give them when reaching out to make a lasting impact?
- Do your research, some influencers get hundreds of messages and requests a day.
- Send them an email with a note that genuinely shows you know who they are and why you think they'd be a perfect fit for their brand
- Include links to your product in the email
- If you are doing a paid deal and they are interested in working together ask for their media kit and pricing. (Media kits should always include analytics on their followers and breakdown - you can also ask for screenshots of this instead)
- If you are ever unsure ask if they have a reference you could reach out too, or see if you have any contacts at brands they've previously posted sponsored content with
- Make sure you are cautious with spend, with algorithms changing all the time social media reach is becoming more and more unpredictable - sometimes a well targeted paid facebook ad will give you a much better return than working with an influencer