Influencer marketing has become a crucial part of your business strategy. Whether you’re looking to raise brand awareness or drive sales, the influencer space is one of the best ways to reach your target audience at scale.
However, as with any marketing channel, there are challenges with influencers that can impact your campaign’s success.
Influencers have goals—getting paid for content creation, and social promotion isn’t always enough motivation to work with brands on their terms.
To do it right, you need to understand what makes an influencer tick so that you can play by their rules and make them want to play with yours instead.
The following are effective ways to negotiate with an influencer.
Set Your Marketing Goals
Before negotiating with an influencer, you need to define your marketing goals. When planning any marketing campaign, it’s essential to have a clearly defined goal in mind—otherwise, your strategy will be all over the place and not particularly effective.
To determine what kind of results you want from a social media campaign with an influencer, ask yourself:
- What do I want to achieve?
- Why do I want to achieve it (i.e., why does this matter)?
- How will we measure the success of this campaign?
- What will we do if we don’t see the desired results from our efforts?
Though you may feel how exactly this is going to help me negotiate with influencers, here’s how: knowing what you want will help you figure out what you can expect out of an influencer.
Do Your Research
After setting your marketing goals, the first and most important step in negotiating with an influencer is to do your research.
You need to know who you are dealing with, their influencing style, and how they build relationships with their audience.
Here are some things you should consider:
- Researching the influencer’s content
- What type of content does the influencer post?
- How often does it update its page?
- Do they post enough content for a campaign on their account?
- Does the influencer have a large enough audience interested in your product/service?
Before negotiating with the influencers, you should do in-depth research.
Develop A Good Relationship With Influencers
The crucial step to successfully negotiating with an influencer is developing an authentic relationship with them. This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s the most important thing you can do to ensure that your deal will succeed.
The first step in building this relationship is getting to know them and their interests. For example, they primarily produce content related to fashion. In that case, their audience might not be interested in your new travel app that helps users find hotels near landmarks worldwide.
By understanding the topics they tend to post about, you’ll better understand how best to approach them when getting them involved in an upcoming project or campaign.
Once you know what types of content are likely relevant for their audience — this will give insight into how comfortable they might be sharing other people’s work on their channels too!
Craft a Personalized Pitch
Influencers are busy, so your pitch should be short and to the point. The first step is to identify the influencer’s strengths, then compose a pitch that speaks directly to those strengths.
Here are some general guidelines for crafting an effective pitch:
Be specific and personalized to them. Don’t be generic or promotional.
Write in the active voice — not the passive voice. For example: “I spoke with other freelancers who were happy about my services” rather than “Other freelancers were happy about my services.”
Don’t worry about being perfect; just do your best!
Set Budget Based on What They Offer
Match the budget to the influencer’s value. If you want to offer money, ensure it’s enough for the influencer to take action on your behalf.
Offer something valuable. Money isn’t everything when creating a successful campaign with an influencer, so make sure your proposal is worth their time and effort by offering value in addition to the monetary compensation.
Most importantly don’t offer too little or too much. If you try to lowball an influencer and pay them less than they need, they may feel like they’re being taken advantage of and turn down your offer.
The problem with offering too much is that you’ll end up exhausting your marketing campaign budget and the next time you get to work with them the costs are going to be the same (HIGH).
Offer Perks and Incentives
If you’re negotiating with an influencer and want to show them that you value their time, consider offering perks or incentives.
If a brand can offer something relevant to the influencer, it shows that they understand the influencer’s needs and wants.
For example, an influencer passionate about traveling might appreciate a gift card to one of their favorite airlines or hotels.
Let Influencers Thrive In Creativity
Influencers thrive off of creating content that speaks to their audience and makes them feel like they’re a part of the process.
If you’re too strict about what images or text can be used, it will likely be evident that you’re not being genuine, and genuine is what influencers do best.
Be open-minded and flexible when negotiating with an influencer by asking questions like:
- How would you like to proceed with the campaign?
- Are there any ideas or references that work best for the brand?
This shows them that you are open to working together in any way possible, which means more flexibility in your negotiations later on!
Be Aware of What You’re Going To Offer
Before you start sending out emails and making calls, you must cover all your bases. You don’t want to lose the opportunity over something that could have easily been avoided.
Ensure you are clear on what you are offering and what you expect in return. This will help ensure the influencer is aware of your expectations from the beginning. It also allows them to negotiate or adjust their price if they feel they can’t meet those requirements.
Consider their needs as well as yours. Think about whether they want more than just payment for this product placement opportunity (such as free ad space) or other things, such as exclusivity agreements or product discounts on behalf of their audience members/followers/subscribers.
Re-collaboration is a great way to build relationships. If you have a good relationship with an influencer that has worked well for both of you in the past, then it makes sense to re-collaborate.
It’s important to remember that the influencer will always be looking out for what’s best for them, so don’t assume that just because they collaborated with you once before means, they’ll collaborate again.
Try messaging them and asking if they’d be interested in working together again. You could see if there’s something different or exciting about your product/service this time that was not present before.
You can also find other templates to outreach to influencers here.
Set Clear Terms For The Contract And Usage Rights
Make sure you and the influencer understand the terms of the contract.
Ensure you understand what you are getting in return for your investment.
Establish how long the contract will last and what happens at each term’s end.
Use Mixed Value Offers
The best way to get influencers to do what you want them to is by offering them something that has value. You can provide complimentary products or services, even partnerships with your brand.
Influencers work hard and are very selective about the opportunities they choose. To successfully negotiate with an influencer, it’s important that they feel that what they are being offered will benefit their personal brand and overall goals.
Emphasizing What We’ve Discussed
When negotiating with influencers, several things need to be considered:
- What is the value of your product/service?
- Is it something that fits well within their niche?
- How can you create additional value by promoting other products or services on this platform?
- Ask for the influencer’s opinion.
- Ask for their opinion on your product or service.
- Ask for their opinion on your campaign, especially if it’s new and you’re still trying to improve it.
- Ask for their opinion on your brand, strategy, or marketing style.
- Ask for their opinion on any aspect of your business that they feel strongly about (and can contribute something unique).
Most of these tips you can learn by understanding how influencers work.
The same things that make influencer marketing lucrative also make it tricky. Understanding where your influencers are coming from will help you to anticipate market moves, and be better-prepared to negotiate with them.
Most importantly, it will enable you to get what you want while still keeping them on board, which is key to ensuring that everyone wins.