Do influencers really have the power to improve your brand’s engagement, reach, website traffic and brand awareness?
Engaging in influencer marketing can be a daunting journey – gaining traction for your business can be robust as it is. Most brands or businesses would rather do it themselves than trust an agency. So how is trusting influencer marketing any different?
Put simply, your own reach can only go so far and if that’s the case – then teaming up and working with an influencer is a guaranteed approach to maximise your reach. Finding an influencer that shares your ethics, goals and brand message can help your business grow, learn and maximise on their audience.
Let’s rewind to the basics - what is an influencer?
Well, It’s not all celebrities and flashing lights! Influencer marketing is about turning heads and someone who creates a social presence strong enough to put brands, like yours, in the forefront of potential customers and audiences. Most commonly, you will hear of influencers on social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, Twitch gaming, or YouTube for example, or where they can have the most influence.
So, is that all it takes?
Sorry, #notsorry – it’s not that easy! Like any brand strategy, it’s important your influencer has been well-researched, briefed, and is the right fit. As mentioned above, their interests need to align with you and your brand’s key messaging. It’s vital that when approaching an influencer, you are looking past the millions of followers and focusing on if they can increase your engagement and following with a genuine audience who will convert because your product is relevant to their interests.
As an example; the larger the audience the less engaged it will be with influencers – a micro-influencer with a following between 10-30K tends to be the sweet spot, especially for the e-commerce, retail, and beauty industry.
Additionally, if you are paying the influencer rather than a product exchange for reviews and user-generated content then ~please~ politely ask for their audience insights.
What’s the benefit here? You might be a dutch vegan skincare brand that is looking to work with Nikkie De Jager aka @nikkietutorials for influencer marketing. You might assume Nikkie will appeal to a local dutch audience, as she is Dutch herself. However, upon asking for her audience insights, you notice that over 90% of her audience is actually UK based. So despite the great engagement and following, Nikki would not be the right fit if your target audience were dutch.
Okay let’s break down the details - how are you going to find your influencers that are relevant to your business?
Enter all the social media platforms you have. This might be Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and every other influencer-heavy platform. Head to the search bar and start adding some hashtags or keywords that are relevant to your brand. For example, if you sell men’s skate clothes you could search for ‘male skater’, or similarly in the fashion industry, you could search ‘skate fashion’. Amongst your search results, there will be a lot of aspiring influencers who may not get you the return you want however the accounts who have a reactive following will stand – pretty obvious tip: look for influencers who not only have a high following but also a high engagement rate.
How to quickly define who has good engagement? Take a peek at their comments. Are there lots or only a few? What are people commenting on? Take the time to read a few comments – you will be able to decipher fast if the influencer has an audience that wants to buy what they are wearing or using in their life or if it’s simply a bit of adoration without conversion. Also, take note if they create content that has a purpose beyond the product. Is it in line with the platform trends? For example; Instagram now highlights and places pages that post Reels (Video content) rather than static feed imagery higher and more often in the algorithm.
Do you feel that you are now an expert on what an influencer is? Great, dandy, we’re so pleased.
So here's why you should work with them - in case you were still hesitating.
Like any new set of eyes on a project, an influencer will bring a fresh perspective to your product. When reviewing it, they might mention a feature you never thought to highlight or they may style your product with an outfit you did not think was cohesive. Placing your product with an influencer, whose experiences and decisions differ from yours can bring light to the product in ways you have not thought of.
From this, when an influencer is authentic about their reviews or use of your product, it then creates credibility for your brand or business. Often an influencer will have a very large following – duh, you want their great exposure and reach. An audience that trusts and listens to an influencer is your biggest win. By teaming up with a credible source with full transparency, your own brand or business credibility rises– plus remember that reach and exposure? Guess what– influencers want and need it too! The influencer you are working with wants access to your own following too. Influencers are their own brands too. It’s a win-win in our opinion.
Are you over the line yet? Can we help you start the conversation around influencer marketing?
Well, there is actually no rule book for this – but here are some tips.
You know your brand, what you are able to spare in the product, your marketing budget, or what your ultimate BHAG is. Because of this, it’s worth trialing a few methods with a few different influencers. Dependent on factors such as if they are independent or have management, their audience expectations such as the way of their following, and so on. Once the conversation has begun with your influencer, you will have a pretty quick understanding of how they work – but it’s not only up to them.
You have goals too. So, if that means you can only gift products then stick with that. If you have aligned yourself with an influencer who would genuinely use and appreciate your product, it usually is no issue. By gifting an influencer, they will generate exposure by sharing your brand with their wide realm. It’s always best to reach out first and give a little background into your company and why you are doing what you do. The more transparent you can be with your approach the better.
If gifting isn’t suitable, you could also try a giveaway or competition-style collaboration. This is especially fun for influencers who have a niche following. For example, you may be an author and you want to work with an influencer who promotes books they have read – your competition could be a giveaway of your signed book. It is similar to gifting, but rather than solely offering a product to the influencer, you are speaking to their audience and involving them. A giveaway or competition will always be a more direct marketing tactic, as it encourages a following to interact to win the product and create a ‘push and shove’ for a product they haven’t ever had before – which is never a bad thing!
Not ready for a competition or to tackle an audience directly?
Why not explore creating content with your influencer instead? Chances are, they have done it before and will have loads of ideas of how to cross-promote both of your identities. This is where the platform YouTube is increasingly popular. With your influencers’ help, you could produce a creative video that promotes you in a unique, exciting, and entertaining way. Did you know there are almost 5 billion videos viewed and uploaded to YouTube every day? Yeah, you could be part of that number! Just find a YouTuber you resonate with and drop them a message – it’s really this easy tip: they will often have the equipment if you can supply the product! Ah, we’re back to winning again.
While you’re on YouTube, you can also explore sponsored social media posts – it’s not as scary as it sounds! Just as you would on a social platform such as Instagram, seek to find an influencer that not only has a large following but high engagement. As mentioned above, all your alarm bells should start jingling if you see an account with 400,000 followers but only 19 likes and no comments per post -Spoiler alert: this “influencer” has most likely bought their followers – yep, it’s a thing.
When you find the influencer that is right for your brand, begin to create a campaign that can release multiple content forms appealing to a very broad audience. It’s a sort of testing phase, where you can work out what content works best for which types of audiences and then go from there for future collaborations. What could the influencer do? You can ask them to take a video or photo demonstration of your product or a review of your service. It’s dependent on what you are selling but the influencer will have ideas and again, a fresh set of eyes will always get you the best results.
It’s pretty evident that Influencer marketing is here to stay. As a business, you need to be able to change with the times and play dynamic. Influencers can really boost your social media game and convert audiences into customers.
A really important tip to remember is that it is about having fun and doing some research (aka the good ol’ online stalk). Once you can target some influencers you align with, you can start to build relationships with them – you might even engage and follow them for a while before you open the conversation to collaborate. Once you are really going for it, you can experiment with different platforms, gifting, paid promotions, and track what works best for you and your brand.
Interested in influencer marketing and want assistance with your strategy? Contact Capture Content for a virtual coffee.