One of the most important things when it comes to your customers is trust. If your audience doesn’t trust you, why are they going to give you their information or pay for your products or services? There’s no question that trust is crucial to your customer relationship. The real question: how do you gain their trust? As much as you tell potential buyers how great your business is, it’s always better for them to hear it from someone else. In comes influencer marketing. Influencers are people with a strong online following who will share information about your products and company for a price. Since influencers have a pre-existing connection with their followers, the audience already trusts their opinion and is, therefore, more likely to invest in your product.
There are several aspects to look at when deciding on influencers for your company. It is crucial that you work with the right people – if a brand deal isn’t genuine, followers will see right through it.
Work with influencers whose brand aligns with your own to ensure that their audience will be interested in your product. Your company should be a strong fit for the “type” of influencer they are, whether they focus on fitness, fashion, or anything in between. Look at their posts to see if they have used or discussed something similar to your product before, or if you can solve a problem they’ve encountered.
When you consider an influencer’s audience, it should easily fit into your own. Are the people liking their posts the kind of people that purchase your products? Consider the demographics of the audience – age, gender, and lifestyle. Make sure you do your research on each influencer you want to work with. If you are going to align your brand with a particular person, be sure that there aren’t skeletons in their closet that you don’t want to be associated with.
Connecting with Influencers
So you’ve found the perfect influencers for your business – how do you get connected with them? There are several ways to get in contact but consider each influencer individually to decide the best method for reaching out to them. Some influencers have email addresses on their profiles, others have websites with contact information. If all else fails you can send them a direct message (DM) via platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Gifting and Product Reviews
By offering your products to influencers for free, you’re almost guaranteed that they’ll agree to give it a try. That being said, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will post about it. To improve your chances of winning a coveted spot on their feed, be selective about which influencers you reach out to. Look for influencers who align well with your brand, and who have a devoted following. Don’t consider the size of their following to be a huge factor. It’s more important to have an engaged, interested audience that will be a good fit for your brand. Another aspect to consider to make your brand stand out is the entire process of working with the influencer. Make sure they have a positive experience with your company and the person who is cultivating the relationship.
A perfect example of an influencer who gives product reviews is Youtuber Casey Neistat. Casey receives tons of mail to his office and on occasion will open it during “mail time”. People who send him technology products like electric skateboards and other interesting products usually receive product reviews. Just make sure your product is thoroughly tested and you provide simple instructions otherwise you might receive a bad review.
If you want to guarantee an influencer post about your company, you can consider sponsoring a post or story. Sponsored posts involve a company paying someone to feature a product or brand in one of their photos or stories. You can reach out to the same influencers as you would with a giveaway, but now you have a stronger bargaining power by offering money rather than just free products.
Be sure to discuss the guidelines for the post you pay for – any specific points to address, length of the post/feature, amount of posts, and other aspects that will affect the impact of the post. Also check on FTC guidelines, which will require the influencer to disclose that the post is sponsored. We also recommend that you sign a contract with influencers so you can be assured that you what you pay for is what you get. The costs associated with influencer marketing vary and could range from a couple hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands. It all depends on how many followers the influencer has and what exactly you are paying for.
Below is an example of a sponsered instagram post. Your will notice the #ad in these kinds of posts.
Giveaways are another great chance to engage an influencer’s audience. A giveaway may also make the influencer more likely to work with you because who wouldn’t want free stuff. Choose a gift that will be both a great representation of your brand and exciting enough to create some buzz around the giveaway. Make the entry process simple so no one is deterred from entering by complicated rules. If you can include a rule that involves tagging friends and following profiles, you’ll be able to extend the reach of the giveaway. Even though there’s only one winner, a giveaway is a great way to establish influencer relationships and increase your brand awareness.