When looking for potential ways to expand exposure and reach this year, many turn to influencer marketing. Defined by investing in influencers with large social media followings rather than in targeted advertisements, many find that the results are stronger with influencers simply because of the trust they’ve established with their audience.
In fact, nearly 90% of marketers report that influencer marketing has a higher ROI than other marketing avenues. Where can these marketers get stuck? Finding the right influencers for their product and helping them craft the ideal advertisement. Some influencers aren’t open to advertising on their accounts, some appear to be influencers due to vanity metrics but don’t have the engagement to boot, and some have ambiguous audiences.
Here are a few noteworthy ways to find credible influencers that are aligned with your brand and craft conversion-worthy posts with them, so that you can take full advantage of influencer marketing this year.
1. Work With An Agency
If you don’t have a ton of extra time to search for influencers, consider finding an influencer marketing agency or talent agency. These agencies represent people with large followings, whether they built them themselves or appeared on reality shows. There’s a benefit to going this route even if you did have the time to research on your own: you have a higher chance if getting a response.
Since these agencies already have relationship capital with their talent, going through them nearly guarantees a response. It’s harder to reach major influencers on your own when they get so many cold emails and direct messages on a daily basis. Some are full service, too – according to Influencer Marketing Hub, “many influencer marketing agencies…help brands through every stage of the influencer marketing process, from influencer discovery, through influencer management, assisting with content creation, to analyzing and reporting on a campaign’s success.”
2. Encourage Creativity In The Influencer’s Approach To The Advertisement
Janelle Kao (Freya Fox) influencer marketer and esports consultant, shared with me that influencers are going to be, and should be, as creative as they can in approaching how they advertise your product. “Remember that this is not traditional advertising,” she advised. “So, giving the influencers free rein to put their own twist on how to advertise is essential, while also maintaining open communication about the main points you need emphasized.”
The more creative the influencer is, the more it will resonate with their audience because the audience is likely to recognize the influencer’s flair. “It will feel less like an advertisement, and more like a natural puzzle piece of what the influencer is already doing,” Kao said. For this reason, it’s important that your team likes and feels a resonance with the current creative direction of the influencer’s accounts.
3. Add In Incentives On Top Of The Marketing Fee
In addition to offering the standard fee for a sponsored post, it may be a good idea to add in an incentive, especially if you’re working with several influencers. Allee Williams, founder of Leia Rising and social media strategist, noted that a company she once worked with did just that. “They emailed all their influencer partners on Black Friday and told us that whoever had the most conversions from their unique link would be flown out to headquarters for a tour, spa day, and three night stay in Southern California,” she shared. “They blew up on social media that day because we all wanted to win that trip!” she laughed.
If a trip isn’t a good fit for your company, add a financial incentive, such as – “If you sell X amount of products in the first week, we’ll give you an extra $X.” This will motivate the influencer to be more diligent in crafting their post, and to perhaps send it directly to people who would be interested in your product.
Once you get started with influencer marketing, your brand will gain enough exposure and recognizability to start gaining credibility with other influencers. It can take off from there. Expand your brand reach this year by putting these influencer marketing tips to work.