What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is everywhere nowadays. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Influencer marketing is defined as word of mouth style marketing that is delivered through social media most of the times. Influencer marketing is a very powerful form of P2P (Peer-to-Peer) suggestions that help your ecommerce business tremendously.
Similar to traditional marketing, influencer marketing can also have different goals like getting sales, brand awareness, promoting quality content, and/or combination of any of these. You need to figure out your objectives before you partner up with an influencer to make sure that you get your money’s worth from the campaign.
We have compiled this detailed influencer marketing guide to provide general instructions for entrepreneurs and commerce business owners who are new to influencer marketing. It’s an all-inclusive guide that will help you be more successful with your campaigns.
What is an influencer?
An influencer is just a regular guy/girl that have amassed a sizeable following on social media by posting quality content be it funny, helpful, or informative. They can have anywhere from thousands to millions of followers. They regularly drive discussions about any particular topic or niche.
Most of their followers often look up to these influencers and often rely on their recommendations before buying any products or services.
Influencers are often divided into three categories depending on their follower size.
- Micro influencers
- Macro influencers
- Power influencers
- Micro influencers:
Micro influencers have a very dedicated following, but a low follower count somewhere around 10,000 or less. They do have a small follower count, but these are intensely dedicated followers. Micro influencers also focus on a single niche which makes it easier for you to run campaigns since all of their followers are dedicated to that specific niche.
Micro influencers are much more affordable and provide higher levels of engagement.
- Macro influencers:
Macro influencers have an audience ranging from 50,000 to 300,000 on a specific social media channel.They have a more broad audience and often focus on more than one industry. However, they are still dedicated to some kind of passion.
Macro influencers expand their interests and cover many related topics to their core niche. They are also very likely to have experience working with a sponsor/brand already.
- Power Influencers:
Power influencers are the big fish or the whales of the ocean that’s social media. These influencers are the digital celebrities of their respective social media platforms. Their subscriber/follower number ranges from 500,000 to millions of people.
The potential reach of power influencers will dominate that of micro and macro influencers. However, do note that such a high reach also comes with low engagement rate and very high costs.
Know Your Audience
You should get to know your target audience first before you try to research any influencers. Be completely clear about who you are targeting. This is highly important if you are selling products that appeal to a more diverse audience.
Facebook Audience Insights is an amazing tool that allows you to quickly laser target your passionate audience. Here’s how you can use the Facebook Audience Insights tool to find the most passionate buyers.
Once you know your market, jot down their social info and key demographic in a doc. What’s their age? What’s their educational background? What online sites do they visit? etc.
How to Find Relevant influencers for Your Brand
If you made it this far, then you should already have identified your key audience and chosen the best social media for your influencer marketing campaign.
Now, you need to determine which influencers you want to work with.
Discovering the perfect influencer to target your key audience is the most important step of each influencer campaign.
Influencers are not a promotion machine. They are people just like you; you need to invest in a relationship with them and ultimately with your audience.
Here’s what an ideal influencer should be able to do:
- Engage your audience.
- Be Perfectly aligned with your business’ mission and core values.
- Be able to promote your brand authentically in a natural way.
Look into your existing followers/customers
The ideal influencers are often sitting right under your nose. Before you go out on your influencer hunt, you should take some time to look into your existing followers and customers.
Ask yourself these questions, who’s talking about you on Facebook? Who’s reviewing your products on YouTube? Who’s tagging you on Instagram? Etc.
The people who are already talking about you without any relationship are the most loyal to your brand. Start nurturing those relationships with them.
Go through your followers and identify those individuals that are talking about your products. Check out their social profiles to see if they have a decent following. You should definitely consider approaching them for collaborative efforts.
Search social media platforms
If you do some savvy social media searches, then you can find potential influencers easily.
For example, if you want to run a Facebook influencer campaign then explore the posts by searching for your relevant keywords. If you’re going to run a campaign on YouTube, enter queries that you think your target audience would be searching for, then take a look at the popular channels covering those topics.
There are tools out there that will let you find the most relevant content on social media. These tools provide you with in-depth stats and analytics regarding your keywords and the content you are looking for.
Here are some tools to get you started with your research on social media.
- FollowerWonk – In-depth analysis of Twitter followers for social growth.
- Websta – Provides complete details about all the top hashtags used on Instagram.
- Buzzsumo – Lets you find the most shared content on social media.
Influencer marketing tools
There are numerous influencer marketing research tools that can help streamline your search and management of campaigns. However, most of them do overlap in terms of functionality and features, so you better check them out individually to see which one you prefer depending on your platform, budget, niche, and campaign type.
Start with the following tools:
SocialBlade: SocialBlade is a great online tool where you can check the engagement levels of any influencer from a multitude of social media networks. It supports YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Twitch and more. You can check if your potential influencers actually have a decent engagement or not. You will also be able to see other stats that will help you make a decision.
HypeAuditor: This is a great tool for finding any fake followers and likes on Instagram. If you have chosen Instagram as your preferred influencer marketing platform then HypeAuditor will help you filter out any fake followers from your potential influencer profiles. This way you will be able to only approach influencers who actually have high engagement rates.
Phlanx: Phlanx is also another Instagram influencer auditing tool that lets you know how much engagement a particular influencer gets on Instagram. This way you can actually figure out how much you can pay an influencer for a shoutout or sponsorship.
Followerwonk: This is a Twitter influencer research tool that lets you go through entire Twitter profiles to see who’s following you, who are the popular influencers in your niche, and how you can approach them. Compare different Twitter accounts to find new influencers and how much they overlap with your interests.
How to contact influencers
By now, you should have a decent list of all the potential influencers you want to work with. You should know their stats, engagement rates, number of followers, etc. So, now comes the real part, Outreach.
You need to reach out to these influencers and make them an offer they can’t refuse (No severed horse heads please). Focus on the following aspects:
Build a relationship
You don’t just want to reach out to a potential influencer without any prior engagement. You need to build a relationship by engaging with them on social media, sharing their content, etc.
This way when you do reach out to them you can quote your previous interaction or any content of theirs to break the ice. You don’t have to work on it like it’s a “Romantic relationship” just engage with the content they share.
Initial contact on social channels
You should start by contacting the influencers on social media directly. They are most active on their social media accounts, so a direct message would quickly make it to their eyes.
This is NOT the pitch, so you should use the first contact to talk about their content, why you love them, and that you would like to talk about some further engagement.
Just try to connect with them on a personal level and tell them there’s more to come. Just keep them interested in your upcoming offer.
Send them something along the lines of,
I love your Instagram/Facebook/Twitter feed and love your [XYZ] post. Your posts are always entertaining and helpful. You have a great style, and I honestly think you would love my new [Product].
Keep an eye out for my email, I’d love to connect for a joint business opportunity.
This is going to be your ice-breaker. Now, the influencer will be excited for your offer. You can craft your pitch and send them the offer. Here’s how you can do that.
There are numerous suggestions and advice available for creating the perfect pitch for influencers. However, you should keep in mind that one size doesn’t fit all.
Every pitch is different. If you want to look at a pre-made pitch template, then that is fine, but don’t think of it as a copy/paste thing.
Modify every pitch and customize it to cater to the specific audience. I recommend you tailor each pitch according to the individual influencer. Personalize it.
Never start your pitch with “Dear blogger/Instagrammer/youtuber” because that sounds very spammy and will mostly be ignored by 99% of influencers out there.
Also, don’t go around rambling about yourself or your company. Just focus on building a relationship with the influencer. It’s a great idea to reference one of their videos, posts, etc. that you liked and how that post of their led to your decision to contact them.
Follow the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid)
The offer should be clear and your expected outcome should be included as well. Be upfront about everything including what the influencer needs to do. Don’t beat around the bush, they are busy people.
The simpler your pitch, the better response you will get.
Finally, follow proper email etiquette:
- Short and to-the-point.
- Don’t send mass emails.
- Don’t kiss their a$$.
- Explain why you want their endorsement.
- Tell them the benefits of your product for their audience.
The first email pitch you write is often terrible. You are often confused about what to write so you end up writing too much or too little.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some email templates you can download and personalize according to your potential influencers.
How much should you spend on a campaign?
This varies with industry, platform, influencer, content type, etc. You can’t just expect a single number for multiple influencers. Even if two influencers share the same number of followers, they will still have wildly different rates for their shoutouts.
So far, you know how to do proper research on influencers. Using the tools mentioned above, you can figure out the engagement rates for each influencer. The engagement factor should be the main factor when deciding on rates.
The influencers will often quote you a higher price then they are actually worth. This is where your negotiation and research skills come into play.
Tell them how much you are willing to pay and reference their engagement rates wherever necessary.
Here are a few things to consider when you are making an offer:
- The number of followers. Someone with 50k followers on a social media platform will definitely expect more than someone with 5k followers.
- The influencers with a large number of followers are not necessarily better than those with a smaller number. There can be fake followers, bots, and little to no engagement on their content.
- Check their top posts and see if they are relevant to your niche. If they have posts relevant to your niche with a high engagement rate then that’s a great sign.
- What do you want in return? If you want a shoutout, a video, and a sponsored blog post across different channels, then you definitely need to pay up more.
- What’s your budget? How much are you willing to spend? Be generous, but don’t go around offering more than you can actually afford. Offer free products if that helps save you from paying cash.
Influencer marketing can bring in the best results for your ecommerce business. Influencers can help you share your stories, put you in front of the right audience, and even increase sales on your store. However, you need to be ethical with your marketing efforts and be professional when dealing with partners.
We hope this influencer marketing guide helps you in our journey to kickstart your successful campaign. If you still need any help with your influencer campaign then don’t be afraid to get in touch with us. Comment below to let us know!
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