Building an influencer marketing program isn’t as difficult as it seems. Brands that establish themselves with thought leaders of the internet are experiencing explosive growth. Keep reading to learn tips you need to know to be successful with your influencer marketing.
If you have worked with influencers, you know the story… You stumble across the PERFECT influencer to promote your brand. You’re immediately filled with ideas about how to incorporate your brand with their audience.
You reach out, filled with excitement about how great the collaboration is going to be, then….crickets, you hear nothing back. If you’re lucky, the influencer will message back with some insanely high price or an overly complicated media kit that you don’t have time to read.
If you’ve been doing this for a while, this story will sound familiar. You’re in luck because there are plenty of good resources in place so you don’t have to worry about the tedious stuff. After all, there’s no shortage of people on social media with a decent sized audience that are interested in promoting your brand.
Below are some things to consider when building an influencer program to ensure that you’re priorities are structured properly.
Protip: don’t burn time on processes that can easily be automated using a software. If you know the value of your time, these decisions should be easy.
“Frequency is the number of times a person must be exposed to an advertising message before a response is made and before the exposure is considered wasteful.”
Here’s an infographic comparing two realities:
You want your audience to see your content a lot within a fairly concentrated amount of time. This concentrated time is known as the “sales cycle”. If you have a product that people impulse buy, great. But that’s not the best way to build a brand that will eventually become semi self-sustaining.
You want people to see your brand consistently with quality content. Brand recognition will not only boost the effectiveness of your direct advertising spend but it also helps with organic search traffic which costs nothing. If you exhaust your audience with the exact same content, people will subconsciously block it out and ignore it.
This is where influencer content comes in handy. Once you have a solid portfolio of influencer content, you can distribute that to specific audiences to ensure your customers don’t subconsciously ignore your posts.
Build a Brand Not an Offer
Two common routes businesses take online are to either rapid test products and ride trend waves, or investing in building a brand that becomes self-sustaining. With enough credibility and proper distribution, people buy your products because they want to, not because you’re asking them to.
Think of a brand image like a bank account. If you’re constantly cashing out, you can never leverage your savings. If you’re relying too much on paid ads, you’re at risk of down months (Banned ad accounts, new competition driving auctions up, audience fatigue, etc).
A lot of people do well and build medium-sized businesses this way. The issue is they never stop paying for customers and miss out on organic growth.
Social Proof = Gold
Social proof is one of your best friends when it comes to selling anything online. You can generate social proof by using endorsements, reviews, testimonials, post engagements, etc. The #1 way to do this is by featuring your product with other people. AKA: Influencers.
Doing this will give your brand more credibility and it makes getting content for your social media a lot easier. If you have influencers on deck, you can double dip and recycle a lot of the content they produce as long as it’s outlined in the brief.
Influencers Crafting Your Content
There are thousands of micro-influencers on Instagram and Youtube that will do brand collaborations in exchange for FREE products. I am NOT saying to reach out to the hottest fitness influencer and ask them to promote your product for free. Instead, start your Influencer marketing program by finding smaller influencers with 10-150K followers and send them products in exchange for a post on their social account. There is more to this!
Ask the influencer if you can use their content for your ads and or social media. 99% of the time they are happy to do it because it validates them and gives them exposure.
PS: Influencers are people too. This is a relationship game so don’t reach out to them like you would a customer service department asking for help. Be courteous and respect their time.
The Big Picture
With Facebook ads, you’re banking on generating more from a customer than you do to acquire a customer. The post appears > some people convert > then it’s gone. When you’re using influencers, you can leverage the collaboration to boost the effectiveness of other marketing channels.
Rather than spending $100 on a creative to be made then paying $100 for an influencer to post, send a micro influencer your product in exchange for a post and content rights.
Protip: Don’t be greedy here. Even if it’s someone with 20k followers you’re still going to get a ton of value.
Here’s where it gets fun. Let’s assume an influencer post a pic using your product and it drives 500 clicks to your site, you’ve now received the following…
- 500 retargetable visitors
- Social Proof to all of their followers
- Content to post on your social media
- Content to use in your ads
- Whatever they’ve generated in sales
*Not bad if you’ve only sent them $50 worth of product.
Step by Step
Building an influencer marketing program doesn’t have to be difficult. To get started, follow the directions below:
- Determine what types of influencers will be most effective for your audience
- Start building a list of influencers that fit your customer demo with contact info and pricing info
- Begin reaching out asking if they’re interested in a potential collab. Click How to Build a Brand and Maximize Value Using Influencers for tips on reaching out to Influencers
- Use contracts and brief templates to streamline conversations
Resources For Influencer Marketing
- Ad Leaks Blog: For optimizing outreach messages
- Influencer Marketing Facebook Group: A community of 9000+ brands and influencers to help with influencer marketing programs
- CloutHQ Chrome Extension: For analyzing Instagram influencer accounts
What do you guys think? Any tips or suggestions you would like to share? Comment below and Happy Hunting!