Influencer Marketing - How To Get Started
Editor's Note: This influencer marketing post has been updated with new links and content.
Original Publication Date: September 21, 2017
The dictionary definition of influencer marketing is “a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive your brand's message to the larger market.”
This definition is a little too black and white. There are many different types of Influencer marketing. In this post, for example, we'll be discussing the realm of themed and parody pages. Pages, in other words, that aren't connected to a specific individual's personality.
Defining the Objective of your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Before you get started, it's important to have a clear vision of what a successful campaign or experience looks like to you.
Although influencer marketing seems to be the silver bullet for some companies’ marketing stacks, optimization, just like any other marketing channel, is critical in this space.
Defining what a good CPM, CPI, or CPC is before you start will help tremendously when it's time to optimize.
You should have a good idea of who your ideal customer is by this point. A good rule of thumb is the more niche-specific a page is, the less reach it will have.
The balance between being specific enough in your targeting and choosing high-quality pages is the key.
Although there is a niche for just about any product you can think of, in some cases, there might not be a page for exactly what you're looking for. In that case, I would recommend using one that has a similar follower demographic to your ideal customer.
You’ll also need to decide which metrics are most important to you, as the "quality" of influencer marketing pages is measured differently across the big three social platforms:
- Instagram: Likes/Comments
- Facebook: Reach
- Twitter: Impressions
Engagements > Followers
The most common misconception when picking pages is follower count.
The number of followers is a very small piece of the puzzle. It's a good way to initially qualify a page but overall is mostly irrelevant.
For example, I've seen pages with one million followers outperform pages with eight million followers. It all depends on engagement.
Being able to decipher a good page from a bad page is a skill that takes time to build. This is a rough baseline to consider when you're considering influencers:
10% Engagement Rate: Excellent
5% Engagement Rate: Average
<5% Engagement Rate: Below Average
"Building Relationships" (Or Why No One Will Take Your Money)
The most surprising factor when it comes to working with themed pages is the challenge of actually getting them to reply.
It's not easy to explain, so I'll put it very simply. The majority of page owners, or "pubs," are nice and willing to communicate.
Keep in mind, however, that most of them are under 20 years old and have more income than most people that age know what to do with.
If you suspect someone is being rude, it's probably because you're talking to a 15-year-old who doesn't want to be your friend and doesn't care about the $100 you want to send.
Photo of an average influencer circa five years ago.
It's a harsh lesson, but this will save you a lot of time when it comes to "building relationships." Keep things transactional in the beginning, and if the person wants to connect socially, save that until after you've established (or abandoned) your working partnership.
Pro Tip: The most effective influencer marketing pages, alas, are the hardest to get a response from.
Regardless of what channel you're communicating on, the person you're talking to is likely getting a ton of messages. The goal should be to communicate the most while using as little words as possible.
The more messages it takes to get things figured out, the more likely the pub will pick someone else to run with. Keep it short and use emojis ????.
Where to Message
Instagram: Kik > DM > Email
Facebook: Email > Messages
Twitter: Direct Message account owner (Usually you have to know a guy who knows a guy.)
Influencer Marketing Payments
Influencer Marketing is like the wild west of marketing. It's not uncommon that an influencer forgets to post, posts the wrong link, or scams you all together.
Because of this, it's important that you use PayPal or another secure vendor for all of your transactions to ensure you have a way to get your money back if something goes bad.
Also, ask for bulk discounts, and don't be afraid to negotiate. If a price is too high, let them know and ask them to come down a little.