Influencer Marketing 101: five tips for a successful partnership
Influencer marketing has become such a huge trend in the last few years, yet the same misunderstandings and problems are continuing to crop up, time and time again. It is prevalent that the main problem is that most people really don’t know how to approach the new marketing space. Read on to discover our top five tips for beginning a successful relationships with bloggers, creators and influencers...
Influencer marketing is not really something that is taught in marketing degrees and for marketing professionals influencer outreach is usually an extra when it comes to a campaign, but if done right (and within the CMA influencer guidelines) it can often become a really important and beneficial tactic for businesses in the internet space.
As influencers begin to become more mainstream they are often recognised as the celebrities of this generation, with many having massive book deals, brand collaborations and even being on TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing. Generation Z specifically are looking to influencers for recommendations and advice, something brands could really benefit from. Many brands are making the most of influencer marketing such as L’Oreal, In The Style and Glossier, while others are missing a vital opportunity to use influencer marketing and the rise of online celebrities to their advantage.
One of the main problems is due to a lack of understanding, both of how beneficial influencers can be to a brand and how to go about outreach. Some influencers are reaching an audience of millions with each and every post they put out across all their social channels. When Instagram influencers such as Lorna Luxe post about products on their social channel, some sell out within minutes of posting the links - showing that the power of influencers is impressive, if not slightly intimidating.
That is why some brands should be jumping on the bandwagon, but those who aren’t often just don’t know how to, so here are a few little tips for marketers looking to get into influencer marketing, but not quite sure how to.
Picking The Right Influencers
A main problem brands fall into is just reaching out to anyone with a following. You have to make sure there is a similarity between the brand and the blogger you would like to collaborate with. If they blog about beauty then contacting them about a restaurant opening probably isn’t going to work out well or if they have a food Instagram account, you are probably not going to get much from them if you are a fashion brand. This is because most influencers stick to their niche: it’s what they enjoy, it is what their audience looks for and they are good at it. If a brand contacts a fashion Instagrammer about a restaurant opening, sure they might go along but their followers are looking at what they are wearing, not what food is on their table.
Personalisation Goes a Long Way
If you are getting in touch with an influencer know their name, at the very least, start the email with “Hi [name],” not “Hello influencer/lovely/sweetheart” (yes, I have received emails with each of those as the greeting and they did not work). Influencers want to feel like you reached out to them for a reason, that you like and trust them, that you at least have read their blog, checked out their Instagram or watched a YouTube video or two. Show them you are interested, know their name, if anything big has happened in their life that they have posted on social media mention it “Happy engagement, the ring is beautiful”, “Congratulations on graduating, you looked amazing!”. Let them know you have actually looked into them and know their content, comment on a recent post from their blog or Instagram, let them know you love their content and be specific.
Yes be professional, it is a professional transaction, an exchange of work in return for something, but also be conversational. Chat about the nice weather, anything that’s recently happened in their life. Most influencers are unlikely to respond to an email that reads like a press release, show personality. It allows them to feel more confident talking to and working with you and the brand if you can hold an enjoyable conversation. Being overly professional can make it feel like you are talking to a customer service autobot and no one enjoys that.
One of the biggest pet peeves with influencers is brands who lie. If you don’t have a budget let the influencer know, if your budget is small, be honest, if you have a budget but are focusing it elsewhere, let them know the budget is restricted for this campaign. Influencers talk and if you are paying one but telling others there is no budget you will get caught out and it often breaks the relationship between the brand and all influencers because you become untrustworthy as a brand. Being honest and professional is all influencers expect from the brands they are interested in working with.
Do Your Research
With influencer scandals taking place every couple of months it is hard to figure out who are the good eggs and who to avoid, but it is possible. Be careful of who you work with and do your research. What other brands have worked with this influencer? Check out their SocialBlade ranking, are their numbers not quite adding up? Sometimes it is the micro-influencers, those with a smaller following number getting the highest engagement with their content, so make sure those you are chosen to work with align with your brand and not just because their follower numbers are higher.