Influencer Marketing, a beginner’s guide

Influencer marketing has grown to be an essential part of most brand’s marketing strategies and is now even more effective than traditional display ads.

Having your product endorsed by an influencer in an authentic way, to an engaged online community of 1000’s, will not only spread your brand message to a new, wider audience, it will build brand credibility, increase your SEO presence with relevant backlinks on blogs and grow your own social following.

Influencer Marketing is all about getting your brand’s message out to a larger market by inspiring key influencers to get the word out for you. It’s the modern day face of PR.

What is an influencer?

Putting it simply, someone with influence…. yes really (!) and the reason they have influence is because they have a big audience.  Influencers, in the digital marketing world, mainly means bloggers, vloggers and social influencers – so someone with a following on social media – Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, etc.

Collectively, these influencers have HUGE volumes of loyal and engaged followers and an endorsement from them will promote your brand message to your target audience in a much more organic and natural way than traditional methods ever could.  

How to start?

It can be intimidating to lots of brands to start doing influencer marketing, but the key is just to find the right person and the right product to promote. This article will give the most important steps on how to get started with influencer marketing. Before you get started, you will need to ask yourself a few important questions.

What are your objectives?

What are you ideally wanting to get out of the collaboration? Some good backlinks to your product on a blog post? Increase your own social media followers? Subscribers to your email newsletter? Buzz around your product through social comments and shares? Perhaps you want to sell a particular product at 50% off?

Media Channels

Select the media channels for the campaign that are the most beneficial to you and your business. (Blog, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube etc).

What sorts of collaboration can I do?

Next you want to identify what you’re willing to spend or give to the influencer. Do you want to do a sponsored post? Gift the influencer a free product to promote? Perhaps a competition for their followers? (or all of the above!) Typically the more you offer here, the bigger the influencer you will attract, which in turn will lead to a bigger audience reach.

Here is a list of ways you can work:

  1. Paid / sponsored posts – where you pay someone money to feature your product.
  2. Product reviews / gifts – you give someone a product to keep so they can take photos and/or write about the product.
  3. Giveaway – you give someone a product(s) to give away as a competition prize to their audience.
  4. Reciprocal promotion – you write / post about an influencer and he/she writes a post on you in return. This only tends to work when you have more followers than the influencer you are talking with and so is not particularly common.
  5. Unpaid posts – you ask someone (nicely) to write about your product.  This used to be very easy but now, as the influencer economy is becoming more sophisticated, it is increasingly hard to get unpaid coverage on social channels as increasing amounts of brands are prepared to pay for posts – so you need to compete with them.

Tip – often the most successful collaborations happen when you give the influencer room to brainstorm creative content ideas that suit their own community, so that they can promote your product in a really authentic and genuine way. In your collaboration alert description, why not encourage influencers to message you with their own creative ideas.

Don’t forget, regulations on sponsored content varies around the world. Use #sponsored or #ad to disclose sponsored Instagram post.

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