Many brands and marketers want to work with influencers, but aren’t sure where to get started.
And this is why “how to work with influencers” is one of the most asked questions related to the influencer marketing domain.
This post is aimed at guiding you through the process of working with influencers.
Before you know how to work with influencers, you should understand what is influencer marketing.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing, at its core, is a social media marketing technique in which social influencers or content producers are used to gain access to the target audiences, boost sales and brand awareness.
The endorsement of an influencer or content creator is an important part of any social media marketing strategy, as their recommendations and endorsements provide social proof for your company.
Due to the influencer’s trust factor, influencer marketing is considered among the most promising social media marketing strategies.
In fact, 90% of marketers believe that influencer marketing is effective, and 62% of them plan to increase their spending on it.
Image via Influencer Marketing Hub
Given this trend, more and more companies would want to work with influencers. In such a competitive space, how can you get the best out of your influencer marketing spend?
Let’s find out how to work with influencers.
How to Work with Influencers?
Here is a step-by-step process on how to work with influencers:
1. Determine Your Goals
For most marketers, the primary goal of an influencer campaign is to simply reach new customers, not necessarily to make a sale right away. In fact, sales are the third most common objective of influencer campaigns.
Image via Advertiser Perceptions
It's logical because an influencer campaign extends your reach to influencers’ followers.
However, your goal for the influencer marketing campaign doesn’t necessarily have to be reaching a new customer base. It can simply be generating more sales or getting product feedback from the customers.
Depending on your marketing strategy, you should pick your objective.
Pro Tip: The thing to note here is to be clear about your goals so that you can measure results afterward.
2. Pick the Right Social Platform
After choosing your objective, the next step is to pick the platform you should run your influencer marketing campaign on.
The ideal social platform for your influencer marketing campaign will be the one that has your target audience.
And, considering that your ideal customer base is not present on every social media channel, you must devise a plan to work with influencers on the right platform.
You can start by describing your ideal customer profiles and identifying which social media platforms they use.
Creating audience personas is a wonderful way to ensure that your marketing efforts are inclined towards your ideal customers. Whether you want to reach a bigger portion of your current audience or a totally new group, developing personas will help you do just that.
Based on your buyers’ profile, you can pick a suitable social media platform to work with influencers.
For instance, a report by Upfluence revealed that Instagram and YouTube are the most popular influencer marketing platforms for the fitness and nutrition niche.
Image via Upfluence
Once you’ve identified the right social media platform to work on, the next thing is to find a matching set of influencers on those particular platforms.
3. Select the Ideal Influencer Type and Niche
Social media influencers are of several types based on their follower count and niche. Picking the right influencers among the pool is only possible if you stick to your goals.
To provide you a brief, influencers are of four types in terms of their follower count:
- Nano Influencers (1K-10K Followers)
- Micro-Influencers (10K-100K)
- Macro Influencers (100K-1M Followers)
- Mega Influencers (1M+ Followers)
Here, nano and micro-influencer tend to have high engagement and conversion rate. It is because influencers with fewer followers tend to have stronger bonds with their audiences than those with millions of followers.
Image via Statista
So, if the goal of your influencer campaign is to drive sales or traffic to your website, you should work with nano or micro-influencers.
On the other hand, macro and mega influencers tend to have a huge following. This means that they’re ideal for campaigns that are targeted to drive more reach.
Also, macro and mega influencers’ charges are comparatively higher than nano and micro-influencers. So, you only choose to work with them when you have a high budget.
Another decision criterion for choosing to work with the right influencer is to identify the ideal niche. Most popular influencer niches are the following:
- Sports Stars and Athletes
- TV or Movie Stars
- Lifestyle Bloggers/Vloggers
- Social Media Sensations
Depending on your market niche, you can pick the right influencer to work with.
Also, when selecting who to work with, consider how much your audience respects and trusts that individual. Without the trust component, any outcomes will be superficial.
So how do you make sure that the influencer is the best fit to work with?
You should check their authenticity via engagement score.
4. Check the Authenticity of Shortlisted Influencers
Considering that 67% of marketers are concerned about influencer fraud, it’s essential for you to check the authenticity of the influencer you want to work with.
You can tell the authenticity of an influencer by looking at their engagement levels, specifically the number of views, likes, comments, and shares. Also, these should be from the same follower segments you're trying to reach.
An excellent engagement rate also suggests a trusted following rather than a fake, inflated follower count bolstered by bots and scammers.
But how do you know the ideal engagement rate to avoid influencer fraud?
Consider referring to the Statista engagement rate data shared previously and compare the influencer’s rate with the average of their type.
5. Reach Out to the Influencers
When you first connect with a potential influencer to work with, start slowly by engaging with their content. Appreciate their posts instead of just messaging them the offer directly.
Start your partnership suggestion with a direct message or an email if you can find the recipient's address. However, don't send a mass email or a generic DM.
Of course, it’ll take more effort to write a specific email, but this will show your seriousness to partner with them.
Also, make sure you provide as much information about your brand as possible so that the influencer understands how they will benefit from the campaign other than their paycheck.
Pro Tip: Avoid calling them ‘influencer.’ Instead, address them as ‘creators,’ influencers like to be addressed with this word.
6. Decide on the Campaign Type
Influencers who have carefully built their personal brands aren't likely to agree to a deal that compromises their image. After all, influencers are content creators.
Consider allowing them to showcase their skills for the best value. You should provide some guidelines about what you want, of course.
However, don't expect to control the entire operation. Instead, you can suggest the following types of collaboration:
Influencer marketing campaigns that are sponsored are more likely to fit the description of simple and ‘classic.' Here, you ask influencers if they are willing to promote one of your products or services in this case.
Check the following example where the influencer has posted sponsored content featuring brand products.
Image via Instagram
In most cases, the brand begins these campaigns by sending the influencer a campaign brief that specifies certain guidelines, instructions, and demands.
However, the best approach to work with influencers is to allow them some freedom of imagination.
In a review influencer campaign, the brand gives the influencer their product or service for free, and in exchange, the influencer posts a review.
If you've ever watched an ‘unboxing' video, this is what drives it. In these review videos, the influencer has never experienced the product before. They share their initial thoughts with their audience right on the camera.
Similar to sponsored content, brand-defined partnership guidelines can be used to establish this type of work partnership.
Here is an example of a first-impression review video posted by Mrwhosetheboss in partnership with Samsung to promote the launch of the brand new Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Image via YouTube
Competitions and Giveaways
It's always nice to give away something for free. These tactics can benefit your brand, your influencers, and their audiences in multiple ways.
For your brand, this means that your target audience can try your product; for influencers, it means that there will be a high engagement rate; and for the audience, freebies don’t hurt.
That’s why this approach is a popular one among brands who work with influencers.
Following is an example of an influencer offering a giveaway of a newly launched book.
Image via Instagram
What’s interesting in this example is the rules for the giveaway. They are meant to increase the influencers’ following, engagement, and post reach.
Product and Content Collaborations
Instead of creating straightforward campaigns and asking influencers to post, some brands work closely with influencers to co-create products or content.
In the beauty and fashion industries, for example, influencers often create their own line of apparel, accessories, or beauty products for the brand.
For example, dbrand recently launched The MKBHD Collection in collaboration with Marques Brownlee.
Image via dbrand
Here, the influencer does share the smartphone cases and skins of his edition on his YouTube channel, which means more sales and brand awareness for dbrand.
Note that this strategy requires a significant level of brand involvement. Hence, use this only if you are manufacturing the items yourself. Otherwise, there are other ways to work with influencers.
Long-Term Brand Ambassadors
A long-term brand ambassador is an influencer who works with your company for an extended period.
You can envision them as being an ‘image' for your company in the same way that celebrity endorsements take place in traditional advertising campaigns.
If you want to work with influencers this way, it requires a comparatively big investment. Still, it’s worth considering because it can drive greater results:
- Repetition of posts keep your brand on top of your influencer’s audience
- Long-term relationship between your brand and influencer means their audience will start trusting you
- The longer span of relationship allows you to experiment with versatile marketing communication and promotional offers
Take a look at the following fitness trainer’s post on celebrating three years of relationship with a nutrition company, Science in Sport.
Image via Twitter
‘Takeovers’ on Your Social Handle
Influencers showing up on your platform are the focus of this tactic, rather than your brand showing up on theirs.
With a takeover, the brand allows the influencer to use its social media handles for a predetermined amount of time. Normally, a takeover lasts a day, but some last up to a week for special occasions or celebrations.
One example of this is having the influencer take your audience through your operations. This way, your followers will enjoy behind-the-scenes or ‘day-in-the-life’ photos and videos created by the influencer.
The biggest issue with this tactic is that you have to provide the influencer with your account credentials. Hence, you must maintain a high level of trust and a contract with them.
7. Measure Results
67% of marketers measure the ROI from their influencer campaigns to see what works and what doesn’t, and so should you.
However, when you're planning an influencer marketing campaign, you might be tempted to focus on several metrics, such as likes and comments.
But, using a large number of likes as an indicator of success for a sales-oriented campaign may be a little distracting if your influencer has a larger following than you do.
Hence, to evaluate the success of an initiative, you must consider its return on investment.
For starters, you can use UTM links to track the visitors the influencer sends to your website and how many of them convert.
Allocating each influencer their own unique links with UTM codes will provide you with a clear picture of the results. That will allow you to assess the consequences on your revenue.
Alright, now it must be clear to you how to work with influencers.
The process we discussed was a manual one. But there are several tools that can help you work with influencers.
Let’s know them.
Top Influencer Marketing Tools that Help You Work with Influencers
Following are the top five influencer marketing tools you can use to work with influencers of your choice:
- Ninja Outreach
The list of top influencer marketing tools extends to two digits. We’ve recently compared all of them, and you can get insights of that here: Influencer Marketing Tools
Based on your marketing scale, you can pick an influencer marketing platform of your choice.
Q1. How to work with influencers?
A. Following is the step-by-step process to work with influencers:
- Determine your goals for influencer marketing
- Select the most suitable social media platform
- Pick the right influencer type and niche
- Verify the authenticity of the shortlisted influencers
- Reach out to the selected influencers
- Pick the right campaign type and content strategy
- Measure the results and improvise
Q2. What are the objectives of an influencer marketing campaign?
A. Most marketers state the following reasons for working with influencers. The most popular ones are at the top and the least at the bottom.
- Discover new target customers
- Increase product consideration
- Drive sales
- Build long-term brand equity
- Drive purchase intent
- Communicate brand values/purpose
- Build short-term brand mindshare
- Build customer loyalty
Q3. How much does influencer marketing cost on Instagram?
A. The average rate of Instagram influencers per post is the following:
- Nano-influencers: $10–$100 per post or free gifts.
- Micro-influencers: $100–$1,000 per post
- Macro-influencers: $1,000–$10,000 per post
- Mega-influencers: $10,000+ per post
Note: The rates vary depending on the engagement rate of the particular influencer. Hence, do negotiate the rate with the influencer you want to work with.
Q4. What different types of content does an influencer post to work with a brand?
A. In order to work with brands and help them achieve their marketing goals, influencers generally post the following content types on their handles:
- Sponsored content
- Product reviews
- Product collaboration posts
Depending on the platform, the form of content can change.
Q5. What are the top 10 influencer marketing platforms I can use?
A. The following influencer marketing platforms help you work with influencers effectively:
- Fourstarzz Media
Q6. What is influencer marketing?
A. Influencer marketing is a strategy of working with social media celebrities and other content producers who influence diverse communities. This collaboration usually involves co-creating content or promoting the brand to the influencer's community.
Q7. What is the average ROI of influencer marketing?
A. For each dollar spent on influencer marketing, businesses earn an average of $5.78 in promotional publicity. Although 25% either lose money or just break even, some companies gain up to $18 EMV for each influencer dollar spent.
Q8. What is an influencer?
A. A social media influencer is someone with a strong following due to their knowledge and experience in a particular subject.
These influencers regularly post on that subject on their preferred social media channels and draw in large audiences of engaged, committed people.
Influencers are one of the best ways to promote your products or spread awareness today, whether they are micro-influencers or mega-influencers.
Pop-up ads can be blocked, TV ads can be skipped by switching channels, and banners can be ignored. However, influencers have their audiences' complete attention.
Now that you know how to work with influencers, you can start by creating a strategy to increase awareness, drive sales, and gain customer loyalty.
If you’re looking for a managed influencer marketing service, feel free to have a look at our offerings.