With brands increasingly turning to social media influencers to promote their products and services, influencer marketing is becoming incredibly popular. There are more influencers on social media than ever before, which means that just about any brand can harness the power of influencer collaboration to grow exponentially.
If you are looking to collaborate with influencers to grow your brand but need a quick, comprehensive guide on how to do this, you’re at the right place.
In this article, we shall discuss:
- Why you need to collaborate with influencers
- Benefits of influencer collaboration
- Steps to collaborate with influencers
Who are Influencers?
So, you keep hearing about influencers. But, who exactly is an influencer?
An influencer is a content creator on social media with credibility in a certain niche who works with a brand (or multiple brands) to promote their products and services.
So, if you have a fashion business and want your brand to be promoted, you would ideally want an influencer in your the fashion niche to promote your brand.
While celebrities are thought to be the originals in the world of influencer marketing, you can find many people with sizable followings on social media in different niches who work as influencers. There are different types of influencers:
- Nano influencers (less than 10,000 followers)
- Micro influencers (10,000 to 100,000 followers)
- Macro influencers (100,000 to 1M followers)
- Mega influencers (1M+ followers)
Why Should You Collaborate With Influencers?
Just about every business you can think of went online following the pandemic in 2020. Since then, businesses had to resort to social media marketing, email marketing, SEO, etc., to gain traction.
However, what differentiates influencer collaboration from other forms of marketing is that it serves as social proof. Social proof is vital if you want to drive sales and engagement.
Influencer collaboration is vital for the following reasons:
- It helps establish credibility and trust. Influencers have sizable followings, and these followers care about the opinion of their influencers. If their favorite influencer recommends your brand, they will at least take the time to check out your brand.
According to Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations.”
- It helps you increase your brand awareness. You’re bound to have more traffic and engagement come your way because of increased exposure. Even nano influencers have sizable followings, which means you can tap into markets you previously could not.
Benefits Of Influencer Collaboration
Here are a few ways in which influencer collaboration can help you:
- They’re Already Endorsing You
Let’s face it, your target audience has tons of options to choose from, so much so, that they’re often unsure which option to go with. Collaborating with an influencer can help you get an edge over your competition. Remember – people take the opinions of the influencers they are following very seriously.
So, if an influencer recommends or endorses your product, people will feel secure about giving your product or service a try. Social proof is critical in this day and age.
- Boost Your Word-Of-Mouth Marketing
Word-of-mouth marketing is still an integral part of marketing your product, service, or brand. This ties into the previous point because an influencer will be able to get his or her followers to check out your brand because they’ve established their brand, and in turn, credibility over time.
- They Know What They’re Doing
After having worked hard to build their authority online, influencers know what works and what doesn’t work. Following their advice will save you heaps of time, money and effort in marketing to different groups and segments of your target audience. Influencers can help you diversify your content, adjust your budget and content strategy for different social media platforms, and so forth.
- They Have Their Own Following
This should go without saying but influencers have their own following. They’ve spent many months, if not years, building and nurturing a loyal fan base. Besides having access to different content strategies for multiple platforms (as mentioned above), you have access to the audience you want.
This is important for two reasons:
- Firstly, you’re looking for quality not quantity. You want people in your space or niche who are looking for what you have to offer. You want a loyal fan base, not hordes of random followers who aren’t particularly interested in your brand, products, or services.
- Secondly, you get to reach out to new groups of people. These are potentially groups you may have never thought you could reach. Since influencers are constantly engaging with their followers and fans, they know the nuts and bolts of your niche – demographics, pain points, and a host of other critical factors.
You can use an influencer marketing platform to track various parameters from the time you start the campaign and gain insights. You can track parameters like reach and engagement, Return on Investment (ROI), website visitors, sales, Influencer Engagement Rate (IER), and continually optimize your campaign based on your results.
With influencer marketing becoming popular each day, you can find influencers of all sizes everywhere on social media. However, a significant chunk of them are not authentic. Many of them are considered influencers but they often do not have the authority to promote your products or services. Several influencers have fake or purchased followers. There are multiple tools that will help you analyze influencers to check if they are real or not.
Steps To Collaborate With Influencers
Now that we’ve established what influence marketing is and why it is important, here are a few steps you can take to collaborate with influencers:
- Have Clear Goals
It all starts with what you want. What is your niche? Do you want more followers? Increased visibility? More conversions? More traffic? If you want to get influencers to help you with your marketing efforts, defining your goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is paramount.
Once you’ve figured out what your goals and objectives are, you can start looking for influencers in your niche. You can either look for them on different social media platforms and use hashtags to zero-in on your results.
Reach out to them via Direct Message (DM) or email. Influencers generally include their contact information in their profile bios for collaborations so contacting them should not be an issue. Be sure to follow up multiple times if you do not get a prompt reply.
An excellent way to find influencers is by using an influencer marketing platform. Influencer marketing platforms are typically SaaS platforms that help you reach out to different types of influencers.
You can use an influencer marketing platform:
- To search for your ideal influencer
- For demographic analysis
- To track engagement rate and influencer score
- Be Collaborative
Once you decide you’ve found the perfect influencer to work with, it’s time to be…collaborative. In other words, establish a collaborative relationship and be easy to work with. Identify and communicate your goals and the influencer’s role in achieving these goals.
You can make presentations, catalogs, promotional templates, and a host of media like photos, videos, etc., to let the influencer know what you want, and the influencer can take it from there.
- Encourage User Generated Content (UGC)
UGC refers to content created and posted on social media by your target audience. Encourage your target audience to like, comment, and share your content on their social media. You can offer rewards, discounts, and much more to incentivize participation. Let influencers share this user generated content to increase your visibility.
- Build A Brand Community With Branded Hashtags
When you’re running a campaign, it can help to use a specific hashtag to generate more visibility and engagement. Influencers are excellent with hashtags and you can count on them to promote these hashtags on their stories and social media feed. The more clicks these hashtags get, the more posts (with these hashtags) your target audience will be exposed to.
Success Rate & ROI Of Influencer Marketing
While influencer marketing has become increasingly mainstream, many businesses are still skeptical and would rather focus on traditional digital marketing and performance marketing. However, the ROI on influencer marketing is huge. Here are some insights to support this:
- According to Influencer Marketing Hub, Influencer Marketing Industry is set to grow to approximately $16.4 Billion in 2022.
- According to TapInfluence, Influencer marketing content delivers 11X higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing.
- BigCommerce says that 89% of marketers say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
So there you have it – how to collaborate with influencers in 2022. Probably not as daunting a task as you probably thought, we reckon? Influencing marketing is here and bigger than ever before. If you want to accelerate your growth and bring your products to the masses, you must employ every marketing strategy you can think of – including influencer marketing.
If you haven’t tried it, this article should help you get started. You can thank us later 😉