Social Media has revolutionized the marketing world for good. End of Story.
While old fashioned mom & pop stores may still choose to go the traditional marketing route of radio and newspaper ads, for the rest of us, those days have come to a harsh close. Once the internet came around, things changed. Once social media took the world by storm, this changed even more.
Nowadays, you can target your marketing towards a specific audience, easily. PPC (pay-per-click) advertising is an extremely cost effective to market to your target audience. If you’ve never run a Facebook ad campaign (or any other social media campaign) you can choose the exact demographic that you want to be exposed to your ad. That means choosing the age group, geographic location, interests, gender, and other things.
But what’s become even more common in recent years is influencer marketing. I typically define an influencer as someone on social media that has a powerful sway over their audience.
It’s become increasingly popular for start up companies to utilize influencer marketing when first starting or even in the long term. Typically a company will contact their desired influencer over the platform or other provided contact method. When they contact them they typically ask the influencer to post a picture that promotes their product. This is where things typically go wrong.
Things you’re doing wrong
You’re Employing them, Not working with them
When you ask an Influencer to promote a product of service for you, it’s important to remember they’re human! If you ask them to post something and they don’t find it interesting, they’ll do it for the money, but they’re not going to put a lot of effort into it.
When you message an influencer, imagine yourself as the influencer receiving a message from a random company who wants you to promote their product. What are you going want to read?
DO NOT USE THE WORDS OR SAYINGS cheap, saves money, faster, small, revolutionary, free, limited time offer, ect. The first thing that pops into your mind (at least mine) when people message me with those words, is scam. Either what they’re advertising is a total scam, or it’s actually a super crappy product. Your influencer doesn’t want to support or endorse a scam, they want to endorse something that matters.
Don’t even talk about your product necessarily in the first message, focus on your mission. Maybe it’s to provide softer clothing, more style options, raising money for rainforest conservation, or helping startups get of the ground. After you tell them what your about, THEN you can start talking about the product.
You want to build a relationship with them. Don’t treat them as a grunt worker and all you want from them is them to promote your product. You want more from them than just that, you want to work WITH them. You want to build a positive relationship between them and your company AND your product.
Once you have a good working relationship going with your influencer, and I cannot stress this enough, WORK WITH THEM! The influencers following will respond to posts by them, that include them, their opinion, and your product. The best thing you can do, is give the influencer free range as scary as that may sound. You want them to post a photo or video with them AND your product in it. You want the influencer to talk about your product AND your company. That way if their followers don’t necessarily like the one product, they may fall in love with your company’s vision.
If the influencer believes in your company and your vision, they’re going to create good content that matters because they want to. If you just approach them with an already created ad you want them to post and offer them money, they’ll do what you want, but your not going to get the same amount of engagement.
You’re using the wrong influencers
Choosing an influencer at first may seem easy and obvious. It’s as simple as choosing a person with a large following that focuses on your products field. For example, let’s say you’re a startup fitness accessory store and you want them to promote this awesome new yoga mat and easily adjustable weight set your company produces.
So naturally you go on instagram, search for fitness, and click on the top three influencers and message them about the promotion of your product. They end up liking your company, agree to it, and post it. The end.
Why aren’t you getting a whole bunch of new sales? What went wrong?
You’re using the wrong influencers. The most important thing to remember when choosing influencers to reach out too, is that a bigger following doesn’t mean better. An influencer can have 100k followers, but only get 750 likes and 300 comments because they have a low engagement rate. This could be because of a decline in the quality of their content, fake followers, or any other reason.
Engagement is what matters.
Maybe a person only has 3,000 followers but gets 4,000 likes on their photo. WHy? Because they have a meaningful following. The people who follow that person, trust them and enjoy their content personally and always engage. Engagement rates are super important, especially it your going to be paying thousands of dollars just because some has a lot of followers.
That being said, it’s also important to make sure you’re choosing these follows carefully and specifically on other fronts. If you’re promoting a yoga mat, get an influencer who focuses on yoga and has engagement. Selling weights? Weightlifter with high engagement. You can see where I’m going with this. Choose influencers as specific to your market as you can.
You’re not helping them
As I said earlier, don’t treat your influencer like an employee. Treat them like a partner. Just because you’re paying them to promote your content, doesn’t mean you should rely solely on them to do it.
Typically there is an enormous amount of pressure on influencers to make sure their paying clients content does well. If it doesn’t, it means that they lose any future sales with them and potentially damages their reputation.
So instead of just sitting idly by and expecting them to do all the work, you should help them too. Share their posts on your page, endorse them just like their endorsing you. It’s a win win for everyone. Always tag them in the content that you share that relates to them. It’ll make them know that you care about them and in turn will make them care about you.
Sharing is caring.
You’re demanding (and probably boring)
If you don’t get a response from an influencer, calm down. Don’t hit send. DO NOT bombard them with additional messages. It makes you seem desperate, demanding, and needy. Also if go have a deal with an influencer to promote your content and your not seeing them post or further promote it, don’t message them. They know what the agreement is and their probably actually taking time to create valuable content. It’s also extremely rude and condescending to tell someone you don’t think they’re doing their job. I’d recommend that it’s okay to send a follow up message in a week after the original message is you haven’t heard anything.
If it seems like your consistently getting ignored or rejected, news flash: you’re boring. Nobody wants to listen to you if you’re boring. You need to entice your potential influencers with good offers, products, ideals and overall charisma. Maybe you should offer to make a donation to the charity of their choice. Better yet, ask them to interact with you. Ask them for an interview, a podcast, to make a video together, or even just to review your product. People are more likely to respond to a request where they actually get to participate and put their two sense in.
There’s no Rules
Typically, I hate rules.
But sometimes, you need them. When you start working with a new influencer, I would seriously consider laying down some ground rules, especially if the price they’re quoting you seems to good to be true. Often time influencers will give you a low price for your products promotion because they’re going to ‘sneakily promote it’.
For example, they’ll wear your product, but won’t put a link in the description, they’re bio, or even talk about it. Or better yet, they’ll only tag your company in the photo. NO ONE clicks on photos anymore to see who’s tagged in it. So if that’s what your influencer plans on doing to offer you a good price, you might as well not do it. It’s very important that you specify that you want a link in the description of the post or a link in their bio.
Remember influencers are human. They’ll respond to what you’d respond to, nothing less. If you avoid the above mistakes I mentioned, I can guarantee you’ll have a better influencer marketing experience. Most importantly, never be boring.