A go-to guide for brands new to Influencer Marketing
In this section we have accumulated a number of things to consider when engaging with influencers. Of course, if you have any more questions or need help with anything specific - don't hesitate to get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org or the live chat on our site.
1. Managing your Expectations
If you're a relatively small brand, or a new up and coming brand it's important to be realistic as to who you approach. Don't expect to approach influencers with millions of followers in return for a free post. Prevent all disappointment by approaching influencers who will benefit from collaborating with your brand. It's a two-way street. Influencers are wising up and are partnering with brands that can offer a specific relevance to their audience. The collaboration needs to be beneficial for both your brand and the influencer.
2. Picking the Right Influencer(s)
- Match them with your genre. Whether this is fashion, beauty, travelling, food and so on.
- The influencers you choose should match your brand on a deeper level, their lifestyle, overall style, feel and aesthetic should line up with that of your brand’s.
- There needs to be a mutual interest between the blogger and the brand and a link between the bloggers audience and your brand's potential customers.
- Review which brands they've already worked with. If they've worked with any of your competitors, and how many collaborations they've done. You want to see that they collaborate well with brands but you also don't want to see too many too often, as the influencer may come across as not being authentic.
CONSIDER ENGAGEMENT AS MUCH AS REACH
Once you've established what kind of reach you want your influencer to have, after also considering your budget, look at their engagement.
- An influencers engagement rate is how much their followers are actually engaged with the content they post. Engagement is a better indicator than reach, it translates into real customers, which is what it all comes down to. On ZINE engagement rates are displayed to make it easier when comparing influencers of similar style and reach.
3. Forms of Compensation
Compensation typically falls into three categories, in exchange for a post you can offer gifting, events and payment.
- Product ('Gifting'): you offer something (most commonly an item from your brand) to the influencer in exchange for a social media post or credit. Please ensure you clarify with the influencer that you are expecting something in return for the item. Often free products are seen as 'Gifts' with no strings attached.
- Event: you invite the influencer to participate in an event you are hosting.
- Paid: a sponsored post - you offer the influencer to pay for the promotion.
Generally most influencers won't say no to getting paid. But they will to events and products. Make sure when you approach influencers you understand what they accept.
On each influencer's ZINE profile, in the top right corner, you can see what type of compensation they accept. Payment can be anything from 25 pounds to thousands, depending on reach. Make sure your budget is up for it before approaching an influencer - some influencers have their price list on their media kits for reference.
Unsure about what to expect and how to budget? Get in touch via email@example.com for some advice.
4. Making Clear What you Expect in Return
It's important to make clear what you're offering and also what you expect from them. Don’t assume that they’ll write a blog post on your products, when you’ve only agreed on an Instagram post. If you want more than one post on more than one social media platform make it clear and adjust your compensation offering accordingly.
5. Being Professional and Making them Feel Special
Make sure you’re communicating directly to them. Authenticity and communication are hugely important in influencer marketing and in any relationship. Just because you’re contacting them through we assume, ZINE, doesn’t mean you should lack professionalism in your messages. Approach them as if you would when writing them an email. Tailor and personalise your messages, add their name to the start of the email and maybe mention a post of theirs you found particularly interesting. No excuses, all that information is displayed on their ZINE profile. Bear in mind that you are dealing with an individual, not a corporation.
6. Making them Think You're Special
Start looking for your influencer weeks before you actually need them to promote your product. This way they have more time to learn about you, your brand and actually start to share your love for it and create an authentic enthusiasm towards it. The secret here is to let them fall in love with your product before you ask them to give it a twirl. Their passion will come across in their content they produce for you. It’s contagious, so their audience is bound to fall for your brand just like they did!
7. How to Structure your Message
Your first message to them should be clear and concise. It should include enough information so they know why you're contacting them, and what sort of brand you are.
The structure should be something like:
We Really like your profile here at [Brand X] and the post you did on XXXX
Your content is very relatable to our market and we were wondering if you would be interested in creating a sponsored post' (= paid promotion) with our brand [Name of brand]
[Add 2-3 lines about brand & link to website]
We believe that [Brand X] fits well with your style and would love for you to help spread the word though your [instagram/ twitter/facebook/blog].
We noticed that you accept [payment/gifting/event] so it would be great if you could let us know what your fee would be for a [instagram/ twitter/facebook/blog].
Let me know if you are interested and if you have any questions.
Looking forward to hearing from you
8. Allowing them to be Creative
The whole point of using influencers to promote your brand, is to let your product connect with their audience, in a way that you couldn’t have otherwise. You probably have a vision of how you want the campaign to go; but remember that the influencer is taking your product to their own audience. They have to present your product in their own voice, in a way their audience already knows, understands and relates to. The influencer knows their audience better than anyone and by now their audience may very well, be able to pick up on the influencer’s forced and unnatural content as being fake. Let go, otherwise you’ll end up with a frustrated influencer who will probably not want to work with you again and an unengaged audience who won’t buy any of your products. So although you should give clear guidelines and requirements, remember not to be too strict and controlling.
9. Building a Long-Lasting Relationship
It’s about the relationship, not the social media post. Influencers want to build a relationship with your brand and so should you. Focus on fostering real relationships with influencers which would last beyond the campaign. Influencers are more likely to talk about your brand in real life, it pushes them to go above and beyond for a brand they're truly fond of and feel as though they're a part of.
10. Request Verified Media Kit
On our Browse Influencer catalogue, we have verified and not yet verified users.
Verified users have confirmed their statistics, analytics, demographic information and added their accepted forms of compensation. Non-verified users haven't yet done so, so some of the information we have on those influencers may not be as accurate.
On the right hand side of each media kit, under the messaging box, you are able to see whether or not the influencer is verified. For non-verified users you will have the option to select "request XXXX verified media kit" under the messaging box.
If you choose to work with a non-verified users, select the box alongside your written email, to receive their up to date stats, allowing them also to confirm their accepted forms of compensation.