Social media influencers are the new celebrities of the digital age. These people aren’t scouted on streets or through talent recruitment — they’re selected to be the faces of products and services because they have managed to stand out from the crowd. And all that is only possible because they made themselves a brand.
Influencer marketing isn’t only about choosing people with the highest number of followers on social media, nor is it about looking at people’s face value. Rather, it’s about handpicking people with a substantial number of followers who actually engage with them because what they’re doing leaves an impact on others.
If you want to use influencer marketing to grow your business, you’ll need people who not only look the part but can act the part too. So it’s not enough to rely on whose videos become viral overnight, especially because the entire goal of influencer marketing is to create long-term customer relationships and not just one-time purchases.
That said, much like any marketing strategy and campaign, you’ll have to properly plan your approach because otherwise, all your efforts may become futile. If you don’t know where to begin planning your strategy for influencer marketing, here’s a quick overview of how you can start:
Find Ambassadors for Your Brand
You should never enter the battlefield unarmed. And in this case, your gear will come in the form of information, which you can gather through ample research. Before you approach any potential influencers, you must first know what social media platform you’re focusing on for your brand.
It’s important to find out which platforms your business and industry are being talked about because that’s how you can strategize your marketing approach properly. For instance, if your business is within the cosmetic industry, then you might want to choose either Instagram or YouTube as your starting point.
Of course, you can always expand to other social media platforms later on, but it might be better to focus on one platform first. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by everything you’ll need to track and prepare for the campaign. Doing so can also help you find your potential brand ambassadors.
Ideally, you’ll want someone with an established brand and online presence to represent your business. But as mentioned earlier, you can’t rely on the number of followers alone. Instead, you should look at their creative skills, audience reach, engagement with followers, and overall personality to see if you can work with them.
Make the Partnership Agreement
In this line of work, it will be difficult if you’re tagged as someone who’s exploitative because of poor compensation. That’s why you have to set a realistic budget before you go around scouting for influencers online. If you’re not familiar with the usual rates paid to influencers, consider doing more research for good measure.
Once you have a budget and know what to pay your ambassadors, the next step will be creating the partnership agreement. You must understand that you’re not only giving free goods and exposure to your influencers so that they can say nice things about your products; rather, you’re in a mutually beneficial partnership that needs to be defined.
That’s why you’ll need to make a contract that contains the details of your partnership. For example, it can include how often the influencer needs to post about your products on social media. And it can also include the amount of compensation they’ll receive for each post, story, subscription, etc., that they’ll make for your brand.
This will be just like any business transaction that you have. However, the biggest difference is that you’ll be working with individuals and not companies. After finalizing all the partnership details, you’ll need to put that in a legally binding contract. You can use a contract delivery service to send the documents and freebies to your influencers so that your relationship is off to a good start.
Track the Success of Campaigns
Your job doesn’t end after signing the contract and sealing the deal. In fact, it only marks the beginning of your long-term marketing campaign with your new influencers in tow. This means that not only will you see to it that your influencers are holding up their end of the bargain, but you’ll also track the success of your social media campaigns.
For this, you can use social media analytics to collect data and crunch the numbers to see if you’re making progress. After all, the whole point of collaborating with influencers is to increase your overall sales and raise awareness for your brand. So, if you think that your existing strategies aren’t working, regroup with your team and strategize another approach to achieve your goal.
Working with influencers is easily one of the most effective and efficient ways to reach customers in the digital age. This is because almost all consumers have access to the internet and social media, which means there’s no other strategy that’s more perfect for building your brand than influencer marketing.