One of the most pressing and exciting marketing trends of the modern business landscape is utilizing sponsored advertisements alongside influencers. Not only are these individuals often quite happy to gain a form of income to promote something they believe in, but you can also enjoy the prolonged reach and credibility associated with them.
No longer do you have to invest in a celebrity for a competitive spot to gain a product promotion deal, as there are many influencers out there with followers and listings and a social profile worth paying attention to.
But finding the right influencers to sponsor and market through can be a hard job. Of course, you should view them as more than mere pawns in your business game. This is a two way relationship, and so looking for ‘the cheapest person’ is going about the entire consideration wrong. Of course, someone with ten thousand followers will likely be offered less than someone with one million, but use your best social judgement here. Finding the right influencer to sponsor and market through can be an extremely worthwhile consideration.
Yet how can you go about finding the right people? Let us consider:
It might be that a certain influencer is popular, and able to rally their audience when needed. This might seem like an ideal candidate. But the issue here is that you need to truly understand how they gauge their entire social media presence, and how they represent it. Let’s say you wish to sell your body products, and thus consider a fitness social media personality, or someone associated with health and fun. Then, through carefully searching through their Twitter or Instagram, you notice that they are big into presenting their gun purchases and shooting targets.
Of course, this is their right, and it is not something for them to be judged on, at least by you as a firm. But it could be that despite their popularity, this won’t reflect well on your firm. Who’s to say that another post displaying this might not be seen only centimetres away from your sponsored product placement? This can be a worrying trend. For this reason, it might be that stipulating this in the sponsorship contract beforehand, and vetting the client and their approach thoroughly beforehand can have a very large impact. Often, the more positive the vibes, the better.
A long-term relationship
There are more elements to a potential relationship with an influencer than simply giving them money for an ad with product placement. You might decide to help them become an ambassador of your product by providing them free products as well as an appropriate recompense. For example, allowing a fitness guru to use your protein powder will likely be seen as a friendly and appropriate move, and you can offer this lifetime supply of products as part of the deal. But more than this, seeing them as an individual and not simply someone with a large follower count is important.
Consider their needs, and who they are. Try to help them frame your advertisements or products in the most natural light, rather than throwing a script at them and telling them to read it. A little human touch here can help them actually want to work with you, rather than having them feel obligated to pay their bills. This way, they will feel as though they have been treated fairly. You never know, if they get even bigger, they might remember this positive treatment, and wish to work with you further. But the genuine human connection is key.
It’s easy to just throw a product at an influencer, a bag of cash and a request for them to suggest sponsored content to their audience. But why not get them more involved? Perhaps you are attending an expo this summer to show your latest product. Why not bring them along and provide an opportunity for them to present one of your panels, or perhaps help educate the audience as to their own knowledge?
Getting an influencer on board with more than just the exploitation of their social media profile can be a great boon to both of you, but it’s best not to simply ask them to dance to your tune. Provide context, and let them shine. There’s a reason you were interested in marketing through this influencer. While guidelines can of course be set, sometimes allowing them to do what they do best can help that initially value that impressed you shine through and through.
Opt for an agency
An influencer marketing agency will often be the most reliable service possible to help match you to the right person. Not only can this help you frame the potential business relationship in the best means possible, but it can help you format the exchange in a much more uniform manner. This can also help you actually contact influencers, rather than have to beat back the hordes of companies wishing for that competitive space. These services often have an eye on who is upcoming and rising to the top, potentially allowing you to follow the trend before it even inevitably begins.
Also, because of how new this process is, it might be that marketing through an individual like this is confusing. It’s not always the case that businesses knock it out of the park, and the same can be said for the influencers. This means having the professionals at your side to guide you through using their experience can help you save plenty of time, and will help you avoid a limited or tepid first impact.
Don’t rush things
You might not find a suitable influencer to begin with. It might take time to find an individual you consider to be worthwhile for your products, and vice versa. Give it time, and again, search for an individual, not a follower count. This way the results will likely be more wholesome, and worthwhile to you as a brand.
With these tips, you’re sure to find the best influencers for your marketing outreach.