WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?
I read an online article last year from the New York Times that talked about the power of influencer marketing. It stated, “Influencers are the new celebrities.”
After reading this statement, I thought about all of the accounts on Instagram that I stalk on a daily basis. For a few examples, I give you Payton Sartain -the funniest human being alive who speaks to my existence, Michelle Carigma -the envy of all athleisure addicts, and Jeannette Ogden –serious mom and smoothie goals.
If I saw any of these Instagram women in person, I’d probably poop my pants.
So I think you can see why I agree with the New York Times and the power of influencer marketing.
WHAT EXACTLY IS AN INFLUENCER?
An influencer is anyone who has a following, a community, or a similar group who believes in what they are saying and doing.
You know, those accounts on Instagram that always pop up first on your feed or the people you’d buy anything from if they started wearing, using or promoting a certain product.
Those, my friends, are influencers, and they come in all shapes and sizes. An account doesn’t have to have 100,000 followers to be an influencer as they can range from 1000 followers to millions. They also don’t have to be on social media either. If you have a group of people (big or small) that believes in what you are doing, then you’re technically an influencer.
Nowadays, companies are using influencers to grow their following, build their brand, and gain more clients than they ever thought possible through a tactic called “influencer marketing” –and, it’s definitely working.
SO WHAT IS INFLUENCER MARKETING?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing in which the focus is placed on the influential people (influencers) rather than the target market. It identifies the individuals that have sway over potential buyers, and directs marketing efforts around these influencers.
In my experience working on both sides of the spectrum, it’s a form of marketing that really works…if done appropriately. So whether you’re a company wanting to work with influencers or vice versa, I wanted to give you my insight on how to do it correctly.
TIPS FOR INFLUENCERS WANTING TO WORK WITH COMPANIES…
- Have a media kit! Download your FREE template here. Media kits are a great way to showcase your accounts, outline your audience, and give companies an idea of your price range.
- Make sure the companies you want to work with are a good fit. For example, a vegan company wouldn't necessarily be a good fit for an influencer who is a hunter or meat eater. Make sure the brand's values, mission, aesthetics, and vibe are all in line with your.
- If you only want to work with brands and fill your feed with ads, you’re in it for the wrong reasons. Social media isn't just about making money or gaining followers. If you only want to do sponsored posts, you shouldn't be doing it at all.
- Stay true to your style. Don't stray away from things you normally do in order to please a brand. If you curse, use curse words! If you like to write long captions, write long captions. Stay true to you and your social media style.
- Be realistic with what you require for your content. If you have never worked with companies or brands before, don't expect to get paid much money when you start out. Also, don't do too much for "free" posts. A mention here and there in your story or one post on your feed is more than enough.
TIPS FOR COMPANIES WANTING TO WORK WITH INFLUENCERS…
- Make sure the influencers you want to work with are a good fit. If you're a company who stands behind certain values, you HAVE to make sure the influencer you're reaching out to agrees. Audiences don't respond well to inauthenticity, and even though it's "just Instagram" it definitely matters.
- Make sure you get to know the influencer before you reach out. Drop the influencer a DM to say hi and introduce yourself, make sure you're following them, and always interact with them on their posts. This shows the influencer that you're not just out there to make a business connection.
- Reach out to the influencer in their main form of communication. If the influencer rocks it at Instagram, make sure to send them a DM. If they like Facebook better, send them a Facebook message. If you don't hear from them after one week, then try and send them an email or write on their blog. This shows the influencer you are active on their preferred platform.
- Don’t be afraid to pay. Influencers really are the new celebrity, so their audiences will follow them to the grave. Since you are wanting a real, genuine post from them don't be afraid to offer cash as payment instead of free product.
- Develop a relationship before you ask for content. It's "social" media for a reason. Let's try and keep it that way.