How To: Collaborate With Influencers 101
With the unstoppable popularity of TikTok, Instagram, and many other social media platforms, there’s no denying that influencers are a force to be reckoned with. And whether you’re new on the scene or have been around for years, collaborating with influencers could be the next big move for your brand.
But with the thousands of influencers out there, how do you know which ones are the best match for your products or services? And once you identify them, what’s the best way to approach them? Well, you better read on because we’re about to dive into an in-depth guide on how to collaborate with influencers!
Why Work With Influencers?
Alright, but why should brands even consider working with influencers in the first place? Is marketing on social media really that important?
The answer is a resounding YES! And here are a few reasons that might convince you:
They Drive Traffic to Your Site
While paid ads on Facebook and Instagram can potentially bring people to your site, they aren’t guaranteed. And even if they do, you’re not sure if those people are actually interested in what you’re offering.
However, when you work with influencers, you’ll have the chance to tap into their already-existing fan bases and followers. This means you’ll be able to drive traffic directly to your site, and most of these people will probably have an interest in what you’re offering!
According to Influencer Marketing Hub’s 2020 report, brands earn an average of $5.78 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing. And that number is only expected to rise in the coming years!
This is because, unlike traditional marketing techniques, influencer marketing is extremely targeted. Furthermore, you’re free to negotiate the actual cost of partnering up with influencers, depending on their engagement rates and follower counts.
They Can Enhance Your Brand Recognition
Apart from their existing followers, popular influencers are familiar faces to the people in their niche. And when they share content about your brand, it becomes more visible to those people and allows them to familiarize themselves with what you have to offer.
It’s Gives Your Brand’s Marketing a More Personal Touch
70% of YouTube users in their teenage years said that they find influencers more relatable than your average celebrities or TV personalities. This is because influencers can easily connect with their followers on a more personal level, as they share similar experiences and thoughts.
This allows brands to market their products in a way that feels more natural and personal, as opposed to the traditional hard-sell approach. Consequently, this also makes your brand image more likable and relatable to potential customers.
Finding the Right Influencer
Now that you understand the importance of working with influencers, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty details and find out how you can identify the right ones for your business. Here are a few things you should take into account when conducting your search:
The first thing you want to look at is an influencer’s engagement rate. Simply put, this metric measures how often people interact with their posts. A high engagement rate means that their followers are regularly liking, commenting, and sharing their content.
To calculate an influencer’s engagement rate, divide their total engagements (likes, shares, comments) per post by their total number of followers and multiply that number by 100. So for example, an influencer with 30,000 followers and 5,000 engagements would have an engagement rate of 17%.
Their Niche or the Community They’ve Created
The influencer you’ll be working with has to be relevant to your brand and the products or services you offer. This is because you want their content to appeal to the same target audience as your own.
An influencer’s niche is the particular topic or industry they focus on. This can be anything from fashion and beauty to travel and food. And the community they’ve created is the group of people who are regularly engaged with their content.
To get an idea of an influencer’s niche and community, you can visit their social media profiles or blogs. You could also consider using a tool like BuzzSumo to find influencers who share and post content that your niche audience relates to.
How They Can Connect With Your Brand
How influencers connect with your brand is not only defined by their niche and audience, but also their personal advocacies, values, and branding. For example, if your brand focuses on sustainability, you’ll want to partner with influencers who regularly showcase eco-friendly products and practices. You want their content to be in line with your brand’s overarching message.
The Type of Content They Produce
On which platforms do you want your brand to be featured? Do you prefer images, videos, or blog posts?
The type of content an influencer produces will be one of your main considerations when evaluating them. It will help you gauge whether they’ll be able to meet your expectations and provide the type of content you need for your brand. You should also pay attention to the way they create their content. Are they highly polished, fun, or more casual? Do they regularly post professionally produced videos and photos, or do they share more user-generated content?
How Do You Exactly Work With Them?
So you’ve found the perfect influencer for your brand. Now it’s time to start working with them. But how exactly do you go about doing that? Here are some things you should keep in mind:
Set Your Priorities Straight
What exactly is your goal for working with an influencer? Do you want to increase brand awareness, improve your SEO efforts, or promote a new product launch? Once you know what you want to achieve, it will help you define your priorities, so that you can clearly communicate these to the influencer and determine whether they’re the right fit for your needs.
Choosing Between Micro & Macro-Influencers
When evaluating your priorities, it’s also worth considering the type of influencer you want to work with. For example, if you want your brand to be seen by as many people as possible, then you’ll want to focus on macro-influencers. These are influencers with a large following (usually over 100,000 followers). However, they’re often harder to reach out to and you’ll probably have to pay them a hefty sum for their services.
On the other hand, micro-influencers are often more flexible and easier to work with. They have a greater following than a typical user but a smaller one than popular celebrities. Nowadays, a lot of brands prefer to work with micro-influencers because their content tends to be more relatable and their followers are often more engaged.
Draft a Proposal
No, your proposal doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out document. In fact, you should keep it short and simple. Just lay out the details of the campaign or project and clearly outline your expectations in terms of when you need it done, what kind of content they’ll be posting, and what platforms they’ll be using. You should also highlight how working with your brand can benefit them and what they’ll get out of it.
Reach Out in a Friendly Way
Before you shoot off that email or direct message, take a moment to read through their blog or social media profile. See if they’ve worked with brands in the past and get a feel for their personal advocacies. Mention something you have in common or a recent project they worked on that you enjoyed. This will help you better connect with them and make your outreach feel more personal.
Take Note of the Channels Where They Accept Proposals or Invitations
Some influencers accept partnership invitations through their dm’s (direct messages) on social media. Others list their requirements on their website or blog. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to check out an influencer’s contact page or do a quick Google search to find out where they usually take in partnership requests. You don’t want to waste your time sending a pitch to an influencer only to find out that they don’t even read their dm’s!
Negotiate the Deal
Once your chosen influencer has agreed to work with you, it’s time to start negotiating the terms of the deal. This is where things can get a bit tricky, especially if you’re working with a macro-influencer. Here are a few things you should keep in mind when negotiating:
Set Your Expectations From the Get-Go
Be upfront about what you’re willing to offer and what you expect in return. For example, how much increase in engagement do you need on their posts to make the partnership worth it? You need to be realistic about your expectations and make sure that they align with the influencer’s goals.
Set a Clear Deadline for Their Deliverables To Be Published
This is important to avoid any miscommunication about when the final product should be published. Make sure to agree on a date or timeline so that both parties can be held accountable. You can even craft a content calendar together so that the influencer can plan out their posts in advance.
Get Everything in Writing
This is what will save the both of you from any headaches down the line. Once you’ve agreed on the terms of the partnership, get it all in writing. How much will you be paying them, what are their responsibilities, where will the content be published, and who owns the rights to it? Having everything in writing will help avoid any misunderstandings or conflict further down the road.
Deliver What Was Promised
It’s easy to go into a partnership with the best of intentions, but sometimes things don’t always go according to plan. If you promise your influencer a certain number of products, make sure to deliver on that promise. The same goes for their payment—don’t leave them hanging! If you have any problems or delays, let them know in advance. This will help ensure that you both work together well and maintain a good relationship.
Some Tips on Collaborating With Influencers
By now, you probably have a good idea of the best practices in working with influencers. However, if you’re still feeling a bit lost, here are some general tips that can help you navigate the world of influencer marketing:
Always Be Transparent
Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts or cut corners. Remember that working with influencers is all about building relationships. Your reputation as a brand hinges on this.
Remember That It’s a Collaborative Effort
The key to creating an effective campaign with an influencer is to be a team player. Don’t try to dictate everything to them, but also be careful not to hand over the reins entirely. Ultimately, you’re both working towards the same goal—to promote your brand.
Let Them do Their Thing
You have to trust that the influencer knows their audience better than you do. After all, they’ve spent years building up a relationship with them. Allow them some creative freedom and give them the space they need to create great content.
Look for Long-Term Partnerships
If you’ve found an influencer that you click with, don’t let them go! Working with the same influencer on multiple campaigns will help create a deeper relationship and produce better results.
Create a Win-Win Situation
The main goal of your influencer marketing campaign should be to bring value to both you and the influencer. Whether it’s through better exposure for their brand or monetary compensation, you both need to feel like you’re getting something out of the partnership.
That’s a Wrap!
And that’s it! Collaborating with an influencer can be a bit daunting at first, but following these best practices will help ensure that your campaign is a success. Just remember to be transparent, set clear expectations, and treat your influencer with the respect they deserve. You’ve got this!
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