Digital marketing recently welcomed the era of social media influencers. For people in my line of work, this was nothing short of a godsend. This promising career option has risen to the forefront in record time. I notice these exemplary individuals with sky-high follower counts everywhere, be it Instagram, Facebook or even TikTok. However, despite this ubiquitous presence, finding the right influencer for your campaign still needs a bit of homework. Since they come in so many different shapes and colours, how does one go about striking the right deal?
I’ll walk you through everything you’ll need to take into account before you lock an influencer marketing deal. We’ll take a look at the nuances of influencer marketing from a 360-degree perspective, for complete clarity. I’ll start with the basics, keeping all of you in mind!
A digital influencer is an individual who uses their stature and following on a particular social media handle as an influencer marketing platform. Put simply; it’s about furthering the reach of a campaign by getting popular individuals talking about it, generating buzz amidst their followers. An influencer has the power and sways to influence public opinion online.
As with many other careers, there are various subgroups to this line of work. One obvious way to classify them is based on the number of followers their brand has on a particular page. This is a rough measure of their “clout” on a platform. After all, more followers mean more engagement and better campaign stats!
However, follower counts aren’t everything! Many factors have to be taken into account when choosing the right influencer to engage with. It’s challenging to pool everything in and come up with a concise classification. On a broader scale, however, we can classify influencers as:
● The celebrities: These influencers are the true public figures. They hold stature and fame in society. To them, social media is an influencer marketing platform that they use to develop their influence and brand. Celebrities are easily recognizable to the public, and somewhat hard to get on board unless you have considerable influence yourself. Actors, musicians, sportspersons all fit into this category.
● The opinion-shapers: Though not public figures per se, these people gold considerable sway over the digital world too. These influencers are usually experts in a particular niche. On top of this, their influence comes from having built up credibility among their audience over time. Reporters, social activists and CEOs all fit within this category.
● The standard influencers. This class of influencers has witnessed a surge in numbers recently. Their claim to fame is the sizable following they have built up from day 1 of their page launch. These influencers are more of a personal brand. They choose to specialize in whatever they please, even multiple niches at once. Even you could become such an influencer!
Aside from this, another simple classification of influencers is the type of content they choose to make. These are relatively easy to discern.
● YouTubers: People who make videos for YouTube, growing their subscriber community.
● Art influencers: People who specialize in graphic design posts and other fine arts.
● Mixed bag: These influencers post a variety of content based on whatever they feel would be right at the moment.
Now that we have a clearer picture of social media influencers and what they do let’s dive deeper into the selection process.
Finding The Right Influencers
To know which influencer would be right for your platform, it’s essential that you chalk out your campaign goals first. What do you hope to achieve by getting influencers and influencer marketing tools onboard your plan? To answer that, we have to think of the core pillars of a campaign. Based on that, we can structure our influencer search. It’s essential because even a mid-level influencer can boost your conversion rates by 20%!
– Target. This forms the crux of any social media campaign. It also dictates the elements of the campaign. When I say target, I mean the end goal the campaign is shooting for as a whole. Think follower campaigns, awareness campaigns and the like.
Naturally, the influencers you pick out will also have to be adept at serving this goal. I’m not going to pick a niche expert influencer with a mediocre follower count for a follower campaign! Ideally, I would want to pick an influencer who is known for engaging with his or her audience effectively, with a sizable follower base.
Similarly, for an awareness campaign, I would pick the influencer with expertise in his niche, as they specialise in informative content. Talk to them before striking up a deal for any campaign. Make sure they see eye to eye with you on the campaign goal, and that they are willing to bring their A-game to the fore!
– The Niche Method. Next, you’ll have to think about what form the campaign’s content will take. In my experience, I usually notice that the most common method of content creation for campaigns is creative posts, videos and occasionally, blogs. You want to hunt for influencers whose creativity stands out from the rest. Before locking a deal, take a look at their communication method of choice and assess how efficient it is. For example, a popular YouTuber is the perfect pick for you to promote a new offering, such as a streaming service. Through them, you’ll also have to account for the audience you are reaching for. Is it the target demographic you want to address? Evaluate thoroughly before you strike up a deal with the influencer.
– Money Matters. Last but not least, your target influencer, and you need to settle on an indefinite amount! Influencer marketing is by no means free. Depending on their clout, the influencers will name their price accordingly. You both must lay your respective cards on the table in terms of financials. Before starting out with anything, decide a standing payment amount, which you can add to or subtract from as the campaign progresses. Not all influencers will fit your budget!
Primarily, you will need to focus on these three aspects before settling on a partnership with an influencer. With these concepts in mind, you should have a clearer perspective on how to approach deals with social media influencers.
The Screening Tools
Now that we have a basic idea of approaching the desired influencers let’s go a little in-depth into the metrics by which we can get a clear picture of their performance. Ballpark estimates and first impressions are excellent, but we also have to account for the cold hard stats, right?
Like with every marketing aspect, influencer marketing platforms also have their own tools to monitor and assess influencer standings. On top of this, influencer marketing tools are also commonplace in the digital marketing field nowadays. On a broad spectrum, we can say that it’s easy to evaluate influencers based on their follower count and engagement track record. However, influencers like me are defined by more than just numbers on a screen!
You’ve heard of how Google Analytics works for page performance evaluation. Similarly, there are a number of digital tools that you can use to “assess” digital influencer’s marketing potential. The icing on the cake is that a sizable number of them are free to use! Let’s get acquainted with a few of them.
● TweetDeck. If you’re a social media marketer, you’ve heard of TweetDeck! You’d be surprised to know that TweetDeck is an influential influencer scout in and of itself. TweetDeck’s multifaceted interface lets you scan Twitter for the most recent and trending hashtags and tweets on specific topics. It also enables you to take note of specific metrics such as list occurrences and follower notifications. For Twitter, these are valuable stats to take into account when considering suitable influencers. AS you’d expect, TweetDeck is free to use for all!
● HypeAuditor. This is a tool tailor-made for the world of Instagram and its influencers. It can also be applied to search for popular YouTubers as well. The hype around HypeAuditor is because of how comprehensive it is. You can filter content based on specifications like age, gender, category and even accurate metrics like engagement and brands involved. HypeAuditor gives you access to over 10 million active users on Instagram, with the ability to search for influencers with pinpoint precision.
● BuzzStream. This influencer marketing tool is one of the newer kids on the block. It’s making heads turn, however, because of the ease of collaboration it offers. BuzzStream gives you hands-on experience in viewing an influencer’s full online performance report, with follow-up email provisions in place to contact them. All your influencer info can be stored on a common platform or databank for easy access for you, anywhere.
These are just a handful of tools for you to get in touch with the influencer marketers that you’re looking for. New tools are popping up by the day, some of them free, some of them paid. I think the best way for you to discover them is to dive in yourself and get a feel for it!
Social Media Influencer Marketing: Connection
Arguably the most crucial step of influencer marketing is reaching out to the individual. Think about it; if I don’t make a convincing pitch to them with an excellent first impression; all my background check work is wasted! The task of pitching a campaign (whether to a client or an influencer) is a delicate art that you master over time. In this section, let’s explore how to pitch and get an influencer on board your campaign.
● Traditionally, you’d reach out to influencers by email. I say go with what works. Check which platforms they regularly frequent, contact them there and then follow it up with a memo for a personal touch.
● Speaking of own, I advise you to keep the tone conversational when interacting with social media influencers. That way, you get their attention.
● In your pitch, cut straight to the chase and start explaining your campaign concisely. Don’t beat around the bush or butter them up. In other words, talk business!
● Highlight the portion of the memo that specifies their incentive. This is what they will skim for when they read through your pitch. Statistics show that almost 75% of online influencers expect to be paid monetarily for their efforts. Some influencers can’t be won over with tidbits like shoutouts.
● Summarize the pitch in crisp points for them to get the gist of it. Time is money in the digital world. Make sure they can easily find out how to reach you if they’re interested.
● Lastly, make them an offer they can’t refuse. Time-tested golden marketing guideline!
With these points in mind, you’ll be ready to target the influencer of your choice to pitch for your campaign. What happens next? We monitor their progress with our campaign.
Influencer Campaign Process
Since you’re paying the influencer, you want to make sure you’re getting every penny’s worth. How can you guarantee that? By working closely with them throughout the process.
● Stay in the loop with them on what they plan on doing next in the campaign. This helps build trust.
● Run an analysis of their efforts so far. I’m sure you know all the bells and whistles that help you monitor social media performance!
● Run regular status reports with them at different intervals in the campaign. That way, you can make sure you both are on the same page in terms of goals.
● If you see a speed bump in the process, talk to them about it so they can address it. Remember, you have to help them help you!
● Stay one step ahead in terms of performance analysis. After all, it’s your campaign, so you have to stay in control.
Follow these tips for a smooth influencer campaign across different situations.
So what have we covered in this article about the influencer marketing platform? You learnt the basics of why influencer marketing works. You also picked up how to go about approaching influencers for campaigns, right from doing your homework about them to actually working with them. The bottom line is, there are myriad ways to go about it. Whichever (and whoever) you choose, don’t lose sight of your goal though!
Let us know your thoughts!