What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer Marketing

If there is one marketing trend that has accelerated this year, it’s influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is working with individuals who have a large following and high engagement to help spread your brand’s message. It’s a form of third party referral that has audiences everywhere paying attention.

In fact, 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on a social media reference.

That is exactly why brands should consider influencer marketing when planning their social media strategy. So, how do you do that?

Find Influencers

It starts with finding the influencers. Start by searching industry hashtags on Instagram or Twitter. You can also use a number of social media listening tools. Then create a spreadsheet or use a CRM to track their names, handles and number of followers by platform.

Build a Relationship with Influencers

Once you have identified potential influencers, start to build a relationship with them. Connect on each social media platform and be sure to like and comment on their posts. Remember, by being "social" on social media, you can build long-term relationships.

Partner with Influencers

After you have built a relationship with an influencer, reach out to them via direct message or email, to inquire if they would be interested in partnering with you. Working with influencers around a product launch or for general brand awareness are both tactics to increase organic reach.

When partnering with influencers, be sure they are aligned with your brand messaging. Influencers should be like-minded individuals who’s following will find value in your product.

How Much Does it Cost?

Not all partnerships are paid, but many are. The more “influence” or following, an influencer has, the higher their fees may be due to demand. Celebrities endorsements are a great example of needing a higher budget, whereas, working with a micro-influencers, (someone with a smaller but engaged audience), could possible trade product for a post.

Establish your budget and amount of product you can dedicate to sending influencers before reaching out to your list.

Create Guidelines

Be sure to create guidelines for your influencer partnership. The FTC has strict endorsement guidelines to show transparency in sponsorship. For that reason, Instagram recently released new Branded Content Tools which allows brands and influencers to communicate sponsored posts and track analytics. We recommend requiring the use of these tools for any influencer marketing campaigns on Instagram.

Interested in working with influencers for your brand but not sure how to start or manage the process? Work with us and gain access to our Influencer Marketing Database.