The growth of digital advertising and particularly social media has meant that influencers are becoming a core part of many brands’ marketing strategies; so how do you make it a win-win relationship?
First, let’s discuss exactly what an influencer is. According to the influencer marketing hub, an influencer is defined as someone who has:
- The power to use their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship to affect the purchasing decisions of others within their audience.
- A sizable audience in a distinct niche, with whom they actively engage. The size of the audience depends on the size of the topic or the specific niche.
The difficulty for a brand is determining whether the influencers really have power. Do you look at followers, views, engagement or another metric? In truth, there are a few things to look at. When selecting someone for a brand, you first must look at their engagement. It’s crucial to evaluate how much of a community they have to bring exposure to your product.
There is a website called Phlanx that has a free tool to check Instagram post engagement. The rule of thumb is look for an engagement rate between 4-6% for micro-influencer (those under a 10k following) and for larger mid-level influencer (up to 100k following), look for 3-5%. The larger the following the lower you should expect the engagement.
Kim Kardashian, for example, is a super-influencer with a 161m followers, but only 2.2% engagement. However, when you do the math, 2.2% of 161m followers is still 3.5m people who listen to everything she says. For Facebook there are fewer tools available, but you can look at likes and, more importantly, shares.
YouTube is becoming more difficult to gauge as people can hide their subscriber number. But, look at average views across their recent videos and consistency in posting. Also, it’s helpful to consider video quality as well as the type and content of comments. Remember, quality is king, but consistency is queen.
So, now you have found an influencer, but how do you make sure it’s a good fit? First of all, expect to get some no’s; a good influencer will only collaborate with a brand if it’s a good fit for their audience. If you get a no, talk to the influencer as to whether it was that specific campaign or does your brand not align with their followers? This is great information to have and use.
Then, we think about payment. Are you doing product exchange, paying for the content, are you contributing an ad budget? These are important things to work out upfront and there are plenty of options here. You can propose a number upfront but you may overpay some and underpay others. It’s helpful to create a google form with the campaign info and ask influencers to fill it out with their bid if you are paying for the content.
Once the bids are in, look at following and engagement and decide based on the campaign whether you feel the brand will see the value from it based on the campaign objectives. Don’t forget you have the ability to counter. Make sure you set out expectations clearly – how many posts, what type of content, due dates and etc. But, make sure you have it in writing with agreements from both of you; it doesn’t need to be a huge legal contract, just have it in an email and get the influencer to agree. There are also platforms like IZEA who will manage it for you if you get stuck.
Now, the content is up and your influencer used the branded content tags; consider putting ads behind the content. It will extend the reach for both parties and a small budget of $10 can go a long way on one piece of content if it’s targeted well.
Finally, be sure to wrap up with the influencer; find out the performance stats of the content, evaluate whether that code or link was used and how much revenue you generated. Also, let the influencer know if it didn’t perform. A good influencer will appreciate constructive feedback use it learn how they can improve.
Alexandra is an award-winning blogger, influencer, industry consultant and content production expert; the Hedgehog Hollow has multiple award-winning platforms, award winning subscription box and video production studios. Previously in global business and banking she has bought her expertise to the craft industry doubling in size every she started.