Influencer marketing is a real phenomenon that is on the rise, and will become a staple of marketing strategies in the coming years.

In the age of social, we’re more in touch with celebrities, bloggers and thought leaders on a daily basis than ever before, following them on Instagram, Snapchat and other social platforms.  We can see their life in real time, we know what they had for dinner, the parties they are at and peek at their holiday snaps.

In the same way TripAdvisor reviews have always worked to influence purchase decisions, we trust the views of real people.  Some of the biggest influencers have millions of followers, and they’re all poised to purchase the latest ‘must have’ item that is recommended to them.  If Jennifer Aniston finally spills on the conditioner she uses, I’m bulk buying.

The influencer has already built trust with their audience, and you can leverage this for your business:  

1. Start With Research
You can just do a good ol’ search in Instagram to find influencers who would be a good match for your business.  You can also use sites like Hypr to find the best fit for you, but make sure you check the accounts are genuine and trustworthy.

It’s not hard for someone to build a fake following, so it’s something to watch for when approaching influencers.  There are various tools you can use to check for spikes in user growth and low engagement rates which flags the account as fake – drop us a message if you need help with this.

2. Get in Touch With Them
Once you have your list of influencers, try emailing them on the contact info in their Instagram bio.  Some will have contact details for their agents, but if you don’t hear back within a couple of days, try a DM on Instagram that cuts straight to the point so it isn’t missed.  Sending something like ‘do you sell shoutouts’ should do it – this way it will stand out in the message previews.

3. Negotiate a Price
Sometimes influencers aren’t willing to negotiate on the price, however, try to squeeze as much as you can out of the deal.  For example you could negotiate a post, an Instagram story feature and a bio link for a set amount of time.  Make sure you get that bio link if you can, as you can’t add a link to a post shoutout, you’ll only get a tag to your page. 

All influencers have a different pricing structure, so make sure you contact a few in your niche before you settle on a deal.  Some will have a higher value to your business than others, only you can be the judge of this.  Also don’t be afraid to ask smaller influencers for free shoutouts – you could offer something in return, for example a share to your pages.

4. The Campaign
Make sure you really think about your audience’s expectations and the path they will follow after seeing the influencer’s ad.  For example, if they are promoting a weekend sale, make sure you keep that urgency on the sale page you link to with a countdown clock.

Also, have Facebook/Instagram remarketing ads in place to keep the momentum going once they’ve clicked through.  It’s also worth having some related Adwords keywords running, as people may Google to find you in the days around the campaign.  Offer a great deal where you can, for example free shipping – get them to purchase once, and you’ll make the shipping cost back on future purchases.

Video is a great format for influencer marketing.  If you can get the influencer on screen with your product, it can go viral.  You can also (with their permission) share that content to your own pages to further increase credibility.  One of the biggest influencers in the UK on Instagram at present is Gemma Collins from The Only Way is Essex – take a look at her feed for examples of collaborations with Boohoo and Boombod, plus many more! 💰💰💰

The power of celebrity brand backing may be seen as a big expense, but it can have a huge impact on your business.  If you have any doubt in the power they have, Kim Kardashian has helped a woman get released from prison this week with a campaign that started as a simple shared Tweet!!  Appeals were previously rejected in the White House and have dragged on for years, but Kim’s involvement has really demonstrated how much clout influencers can have.

The barriers between influencers and their followers are lower than ever – find the right one to help promote your business and the results can be phenomenal.

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