Working with influencers can be a really effective way to get your product, brand, campaigns and messages in front of your target audience. Of course, this is only valuable if you ensure you work with the right people that have a truly engaged audience that aligns with your brand. Here’s some advice and guidance on working with influencers:
Set clear objectives for your influencer campaign
Before you even begin looking for influencers to work with, ensure that you have set clear objectives of what your campaign is aiming to achieve, as ultimately, this will define the type of influencer that you look for. For example:
- If you want to promote and encourage sales of a particular product, you ideally need to go for influencers with a 10,000+ plus following to allow them to add swipe up links to their Instagram stories and directly send people to a specific page. This feature is only available to people with 10,000 followers or more.
- If you’re wanting people to attend an event, it’s ideal to have a location in mind first. This doesn’t essentially need to be a specific place, but choosing a region or a city will help to define which influencers you outreach to.
- If you don’t have the budget for paid activity, and looking to gift product in exchange for a post, you’ll need usually need to opt for micro or mid-tier influencers – ideally who don’t yet have an agent as this can drive up costs.
It’s also crucial that your budgets are set, or at least discussed, before outreaching. This will determine whether you will choose one campaign with a top-tier influencer or if you will outreach to multiple micro/mid-tier influencers.
Make sure the influencer partnership is genuine
Consumers are getting increasingly savvy on social media and can generally spot a fake partnership a mile off. This can prove problematic as followers may question the content and call influencers out for posting something that doesn’t seem like a genuine partnership, which many people are noticing with the influencers they follow. You want the partnership to feel authentic as this ultimately will lead to more positive engagement.
You also want to work with someone who is enthusiastic about the product or your brand to further a genuine partnership. The last thing you want is for it to seem as though they are just posting for the sake of a paid job. It’s worth taking some time to ‘get to know them’ and look at the type of things they talk about in their content to see if they’d be a good fit for your brand.
Research them to ensure they support your brand ethos
Following on from establishing a genuine partnership, it’s also worthwhile making sure they not only like your product and are a good fit but that they also support your brands ethos and what you want to be known for. There’s no shame in digging deep into potential influencers social media channels to see the type of content they post and like. For example, if you’re a vegan brand also encouraging positive change in the environment – you need to ensure the influencer you pick upholds these same beliefs too.
Also look at how they engage with others online and the type of topical conversations they discuss. Ensure these are positive and also relatable to you to further support a genuine partnership.
Set up a contract with them
When you have chosen your influencers, it’s always a good idea to set up a contract with them that both you and them have agreed to and signed. This ensures there’s no margin for error from either parties and that the requirements of posting are agreed, offering security and peace of mind for yourself if you are sending them products or paying them a fee. It also means you can, if you wish, have the final say/input into the content that they produce in terms of the styling of the photo etc.
It’s also crucial that you and the influencer are clear on the ASA’s guidelines to ensure that the legal requirements are met. This details advice on the terms ‘ads’, ‘gifted’ ‘paid partnership’ and the correct way to identify social posts. Ultimately it is as much the brand’s responsibility to ensure that any paid partnership is highlighted as such – it’s not just down to the influencer. Brands can face large fines if they do not stick to these stringent guidelines.
Track their ‘influence’ before partnering with them
Assessing someone’s ‘influence’ should really be measured beyond their amount of followers, so make sure you check their organic engagement by seeing how many genuine likes and comments their posts are getting. Also, don’t be afraid to ask them for their social stats for things such as previous campaigns, average daily views, average weekly engagements – this will help you to determine their influence.
Of course looking at the amount of followers someone has is worthwhile as this gives them their status as an influencer. However, make sure you check that they haven’t bought followers and that there audience is genuine, as this will ultimately impact the amount of engagement they get.
Influencer outreach become a major part of integrated campaign planning and can be a really beneficial way to create great content for your brand, promote products, reach your target audience and can generate direct sales and help reach your marketing goals. It’s therefore crucial that you ensure you work with the right influencers and following this guidance can help you to do just that!