Influencer marketing is here to stay, and like more than 70% of brands, you may well have considered working with an influencer to promote your product and drive traffic from social media to your Amazon product listings and brand Stores. So how do you know where to start?
Many brands have jumped into an influencer campaign without really thinking it through – and this applies to many global household names, as well as smaller businesses. The key is to have a strategy in place way before you even start looking. There are more than 500,000 influencers on Instagram alone, and now that TikTok has a strong footprint this is likely to hit the millions.
So what should you do first?
Think about what you’re looking for
For some brands this may mean revisiting your value and brand proposition. Do you have a clear view of your values, your tone of voice, your non-negotiables? Is your brand focused on sustainability, on luxury, or do you appeal to a high-end consumer? Map out the areas that you need to make sure align with an influencer who represents you.
Create a persona
Brands often create audience ‘personas’ when considering their ideal customers, assigning attributes to fictitious people in order to understand who they are and how best to target them. This is a great tool when thinking about an influencer you may wish to work with too: note down their age, gender, style, tastes.
Do your research
Now it’s time to start having a look at who’s out there. Depending on the platform you’re hoping to run a campaign on, spend some time searching for #’s that are associated with your industry and see who comes up. A Google search for ‘experts’ in your field could bring up some links, articles and images. There are tonnes of influencer networks, but try finding someone who catches your eye before scanning the networks as you may be able to reach out yourself.
Stamp of approval
Once you’ve whittled it down and are thinking about approaching an influencer, it’s worth doing some final sense-checks. Whoever you choose is going to be deciding how they will be portraying your brand (as the key is authenticity), so make sure your values align and the person in question will represent your products in the best light. Make sure they have credibility in the industry you’re in, and check their engagement is consistent across unbranded and posts marked #Ad or #Gifted.
If you’ve found someone who you feel confident will do a great job for your brand, now might be the time to reach out. Have an idea of your overall budget and then reach out with the aim of finding out their usual cost structure. Some nano, and even micro influencers may post in exchange for the product, but it’s likely there will be a fee. Discuss the number of posts, additional content such as Stories or Reels, and the option to reuse the content in the future. You can research the average cost per post x no. of followers to get an initial idea of your investment.
One of the main things to remember is that influencer marketing is best when done authentically, so spend time considering your needs and doing your research before diving in.