Influencer Marketing: How to Partner with the Right Influencers
According to Demandsager, a staggering 4.9 billion out of the 8.1 billion people worldwide use social media. It’s no understatement to say that social media dominates the daily lives of most people—as of 2022, the average person spends over 150 minutes per day on social media sites. Consequently, influencer marketing has emerged as a powerful strategy for brands. This marketing approach uses the influence of people who have a loyal and engaged following on popular platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or TikTok. But how to partner with the right social media influencers?
1. Set Clear Goals for Partnering With Influencers
Setting clear partnering goals in influencer marketing is the first step for success. Just like getting ready for a road trip, you need to know where you’re going and what to do once you get there. Otherwise, your trip won’t live up to your expectations, leaving you feeling disappointed.
Similarly, you’re partnering with influencers to reach a specific place—your marketing objectives. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, boosting engagement, driving conversions, or a mix of these, you need a clear roadmap. Without well-defined goals, you risk wasting your resources.
Let’s look at a real-life example. Say you’re a restaurant owner planning to promote a new menu. You might set goals such as increasing foot traffic by 20%, generating a 30% rise in social media mentions, and increasing sales by 15%. These specific, measurable goals can guide your influencer campaign effectively.
In essence, setting clear partnering goals helps you stay on track and make the most of what you have.
2. Identify Your Audience
The second step is to identify who your target audience is. This knowledge ensures that the social media influencers you partner with have followers who align with your brand.
Imagine you’re a fashion brand wanting to get noticed more on the Internet. Your aim could be to make more young people know about your brand. So, you’d pick a fashion influencer who’s famous for sharing stylish stuff and has a young audience.
Moreover, decide on the budget you’d like to put behind your influencer campaign. This way, you can automatically qualify influencers who fall within your means.
By knowing your audience, you’re creating a guest list that perfectly fits your brand’s niche. This ensures that when the influencers start sharing your product, it’s in front of the right crowd who will appreciate it and might become loyal customers. Being more precise not only makes it more likely that people will buy your product but also makes your campaign work better overall.
3. Evaluate Their Authenticity
Let’s be real: not all influencers are created equal. You certainly don’t want to partner with non-credible influencers. The reality is that it has become popular to buy followers, likes, and even comments. There are even dedicated sites that provide this kind of shady service. Here’s how to check if your influencer is genuine.
First, dissect their content. Do their posts always look and sound similar? Do they mainly focus on things that match your brand? Authentic influencers stay true and honest online.
Second, examine engagement. High engagement rates show that an influencer connects well with their audience and can sway them. To decide the authenticity of their socials, compare it to industry benchmarks, like a recent report stating engagement rates normally range from 0.95% for accounts with over 100K followers to 4.21% for accounts with under 5K followers.
Third, research their history. Investigate their previous collaborations and campaigns. Check for genuine enthusiasm and a natural fit with the products or services they’ve promoted in the past.
Lastly, trust your instincts. Does the influencer’s content feel sincere, or does it seem forced? Authenticity shines through in their storytelling and passion for the subject matter.
4. Assess Engagement and Reach
In the previous step, we touched on how engagement can help sort genuine influencers. Now, let’s dive deeper into the importance of both engagement and reach in the process of partnering with the right influencers.
Engagement measures how actively an influencer’s followers interact with their content, including likes, comments, and shares. On the other hand, reach relates to the size of their audience.
When assessing engagement, it’s important to look beyond the follower count. Take micro-influencers, for instance; they have smaller but highly engaged followings, usually ranging from a few thousand to around 100,000 followers. Despite their modest numbers, they often boast high engagement rates. The best part? Partnering with them won’t break the bank.
Consider the influencer’s reach as well. While a vast following can be good for broader reach, you should focus on engagement over sheer numbers. A highly engaged audience is more likely to respond positively to your brand’s message and offerings.
Keep in mind that the ideal balance between engagement and reach may vary depending on your campaign goals. Some campaigns may benefit from micro-influencers with niche audiences, while others may require a broader reach of macro-influencers.
5. Partnering & Formalizing With Influencers
The final step in partnering with influencers is negotiating and formalizing. During negotiations, brands and influencers should engage in open discussions, considering factors like compensation, content expectations, posting schedules, and campaign goals. Flexibility is important as both parties work together to find common ground that serves their interests.
Once the terms are agreed upon, the partnership will be formalized through a written contract. This agreement should completely detail the scope of work, deliverables, payment structures, deadlines, and any specific conditions or requirements. Both parties should carefully review and approve the contract before moving forward.
Content creation and approval procedures must be clearly outlined, addressing creative guidelines and review timelines. Additionally, compliance with legal and regulatory obligations, such as FTC guidelines, should be addressed to ensure transparency in sponsored content.
Payment arrangements, including compensation type (flat fee, commission, or product & service exchange) and payment milestones, should be established. Communication expectations throughout the campaign, reporting structures, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure success should also be clarified.
Collaborating with influencers has revolutionized marketing. To master this game, you need a strategic approach to find your perfect match. With that said, with our guide, you can confidently choose the right influencer for your campaign.
In conclusion, influencer marketing isn’t just about numbers; it’s about authenticity and connection. By following these steps, you’re not only partnering with social media influencers but creating meaningful stories that engage and inspire.