What is influencer marketing, and how can I use it?

Did you know that influencer marketing delivers 11x ROI  than traditional marketing? And that 94% of marketers who have utilized influencer marketing truly believe it works?

The statistics are crazy, but they’re true - influencer marketing is the way of the future, and if your brand hasn’t adopted an influencer marketing strategy, now is the time.

What/who is an influencer?

An influencer is anyone that has a voice on a social media platform. Someone who has a highly engaged audience that trusts them. This may be a famous Youtuber with a million subscribers, or a stay-at-home mum who has 1500 followers on Instagram.

At the end of the day, choosing your influencer shouldn’t come down to how many followers they have. In a world where followers, likes and overall engagement can be purchased, you really do have to invest time in finding the right influencer for you.

My choice will always micro-influencers, which are people that have between 1K-30K followers. Their engagement rates normally sit around 3-5% (which is high for social media), and they’re more invested in showing a ‘real’ side to themselves. 

They’ve built up a loyal, real following that listens to their every word and genuinely follows their recommendations. Did you know 74% of people now turn to social media for product recommendations? It makes sense - rather than watching a boring tv advert, if you see your favourite blogger genuinely talk about a product they love, you’re much more likely to invest.

It’s important to note exactly who the influencer’s audience are. I always like to go through their comments and likes, and see who these people are. You can tell straight away if an account is spam due to it’s weird name and mismatched photos. They’ll likely be following thousands of people and only have a small amount of followers themselves.


How can I talk to them?

I’m asked this question all the time, as people seem quite intimidated at even the thought of approaching said influencers. Here’s the low-down, they’re just like you and me. In fact, I do a bit of influencer work myself on my own platform on Instagram (@livewithelle) and LOVE it when a brand approaches me. 

Most will have their email addresses on their social media, and if not, take the initiative to have a bit of a Google search for it, or otherwise send a direct message to their page via your brand’s page.

The biggest mistake people make when trying to engage an influencer is not doing their homework. Don’t EVER send a generic email that offers product in exchange for posts, as this tactic won’t work most of the time.

If you’re expecting an influencer to invest their time in getting to know your product and potentially featuring it, then it is only fair that you invest time in getting to know their profile, audience and making it an attractive business venture for both parties.

When you send an email, firstly introduce yourself and your company and what you’re all about. Then explain why you think your two brands could be a perfect match, and what you’re envisioning for a partnership/collab. You need to make it clear that you’ve done your research, so feel free to add in screenshots from the influencer’s profile and say you love their work and want to do something similar.

Never, ever try and negotiate in the first email (e.g. I’ll send you a product for 4 posts). It doesn’t work, it’s rude and influencers don’t take kindly to being told what to do within the first email. Mention you’d love to chat further with them and would love to know their conditions for working with you.


Should I pay them?

Again, this is a question that is asked more times than I can count, and the answer varies for each individual case. This is where product worth ($$) comes in v. influencer worth ($$). A lot of people think it’s incredibly easy for an influencer to take a photo of one product and post it, but what they don’t understand is the influencer didn’t just come into this audience from nowhere. They’ve spent years building up and engaging with this audience, and that is something that not a lot of brands appreciate.

If you’re working with an influencer of 5K or above, I’d always keep payment as a figure in the back of your mind. Again, they’ve built up this audience, can clearly create beautiful content and are essentially advertising YOUR product on their feed. They’re using their trusted, authentic and honest voice to recommend your product. 

Payment shows that you’re serious about the partnership, and willing to work with the influencer. All photos take time to take, style, edit and then comes the planning of how to integrate a clearly branded shot into a natural, non-branded Instagram. If you’re ever not sure of paying someone, please reach out to me and I can advise. 

With 71% of marketers believing that ongoing partnerships with influencers are highly effective, it’s little wonder that so many brands are now implementing an influencer marketing strategy into their yearly budgets.

If you’d like any help with social media planning or management, influencer marketing or blog writing/copywriting, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at hello@livewithelle.com.

All statistics from https://www.tapinfluence.com/influencer-marketing-statistics/