Have you ever seen a sponsored clothing haul on YouTube? Maybe an Instagram post sponsored by Nike? Or perhaps you’ve seen an Instagram Live video all about a celebrity’s “favorite” new skincare line?
Yep, those are all probably byproducts of influencer marketing. Just like celebrity endorsements or word-of-mouth referrals can skyrocket the growth of a business, influencer endorsements are becoming the next big thing on social media. If you’re considering influencer marketing for your business, you’re probably on the right track. Just make sure you’re ready to go forth and make it happen, starting with this guide for your Instagram.
Why hire an influencer?
Whether you have a robust marketing department or a team of 1, it may be hard to wrap your mind around paying an influencer to promote your product when you can just do it in house. Here’s why: Influencers have a giant following, and their followers trust and love their opinions. When an influencer puts out a video or blog post raving about your company, you’re immediately getting in front of the eyes of all of their followers. Which could mean more cha-ching for your business.
Picking an influencer to sponsor
Start by deciding what kind of influencer you want to promote your brand. By sponsoring their post or video, you’re associating with this person. Think of it as a partnership. If you’re not proud of this influencer or their work, you may not want to reach out.
You’ll also want to consider the size of their following. Some businesses start small, with a nano- or micro-influencer representing their products at first. The rationale is that it’s lower risk. They have fewer followers, so it’s not a big deal if the partnership fails. Plus, they usually charge less money per post because they’re not a hot commodity yet. If you want to jump right into it, you may opt for a macro- or mega-influencer. You’ll get your content in front of more eyes, but it comes with a price. Pros and cons, people!
Getting in touch with influencers
Once you’ve decided on an influencer (or several), it’s time to get in touch with them! (We can take care of this for you if you don’t have the time to do it on your own.) If you choose to reach out to influencers on your own, here are a few steps to follow:
Pick a platform… or pick a few.Unless you’re working with a company that has impressive contacts, you’ll need to reach out directly via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or email. Our recommendation? Pick one social platform and always send a second message via email. Instagram is typically the #1 way to get in touch with influencers because — let’s face it — they’re on it all day.
Introduce yourself quickly.When you’re trying to get in touch with an influencer, keep in mind that you’re not the only one. You need to stand out amongst the sea of messages their getting — especially if you’re contacting a mega-influencer. Make sure the account or email address you’re using clearly describes your company. For example, a handle like “supermonkey123” won’t establish credibility or accurately represent what your company does. Give a quick intro about your position, your company and why you’re reaching out.
Pitch the project.When influencers read your message, they’re looking for two things: the scope of the project and the price. They want to be sure this is a good investment of their time. Explain the details of the project, including how many posts you’d like them to produce, what you’d like them to sell, and how much you’re willing to pay.
Ready to go?
If you’re not quite sold yet, take a look at your favorite YouTuber’s account. You’ll probably see a fair share of sponsored posts. And guess what? They work. Try it for yourself — you won’t regret it.