In our latest RSM University Webinar, we were joined by Social Media Specialist Brooke Biasella. Brooke led our most recent RSM University session and shared what influencer marketing is and how you can fit it into your marketing strategy.
What is influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a social media marketing method that uses individuals with larger social media following and engagements to promote products. These influencers share products and services with their audience in exchange for monetary compensation or free products.
These influencers are masters of their craft, and it isn’t just food or fashion; it’s niche audiences that influencers have created content around their passion.
Emma Chamberlain started on social media as a nonchalant vlogger. Her videos weren’t an incredible cinematic experience but rather an insight into her day-to-day experience. Now, she is one of the most recognized influencers today and has reached celebrity-level status.
Audiences are seeking influencers because they desire to learn more about these people’s lives. In this experience, they often seek to know things like the products they use or the services they integrate into their life.
How Do Businesses Find These Influencers?
When you are looking for people to represent your brand, you need to ask yourself three different questions:
- Who am I trying to reach?
- Is there an audience that I am targeting?
- Can they relate with us?
If you sell bikinis, your target audience will likely be young women between the ages of 15-35. With this being said, an ideal influencer would be a young woman who more than likely lives somewhere warm/near the beach or who loves to travel.
Offering them clear expectations helps ensure you don’t sound like a spam message.
In addition to finding the correct demographic for your audience, you also need to see whether or not they relate to your brand. For instance, if your company sold bikinis specifically designed for surfing, you might want to find a coastal influencer who surfs or spends time outdoors.
How Many Followers Should My Influencer Have?
There are four different types of influencers based on the following counts:
- Nano-influencers: 1,000 to 10,000 followers
- Micro-influencers: 10,000 to 100,000 followers
- Macro-influencers: 100,000 to 1,000,000 followers
- Mega-influencers: 1,000,000 and beyond
Many people might think the most important aspect of an influencer is their following count. This isn’t necessarily true. Nano and Micro-influencers have high engagement rates, typically because they have a more intimate relationship with their audience.
Of course, people with a higher following have more reach, so it’s important for you to find the sweet spot of your business’s needs, whether engagement or reach.
So, How Much Is This Going To Cost Me?
Brooke shared that this is the million-dollar question regarding influencer marketing. Some influencers will be okay with exchanging products for posting; however, others might expect monetary compensation in addition to the product.
While navigating a price for someone to post about your company can feel challenging, you have to remember that these people are professionals. They know their audience and can tailor content that drives their followers to your brand, which is worth the price.
For a ballpark estimate, the higher following likely means more money, but at the same time, an influencer with a smaller following count but high engagement could also expect a high payment.
Brooke suggested that if you were to run a campaign with about 5-10 influencers, you should set aside roughly $5,000-$7,000 to give space for various following ranges. It depends entirely on the influencer, but this allows a cushion to negotiate.
How Do I Connect With Influencers?
Finding influencers can be easier said than done. As a business owner, you know the value of your product or service, but it isn’t always as easy to communicate that to an influencer. Brooke shared a couple of tips on how you can connect:
- Make your messaging casual, comfortable and easy-going.
- Try emailing first before sending a DM (most influencers will have their email available on their social profiles)
- Engage with their content, like, comment and reshare. Show you care.
- Make it personal, use your name, and establish yourself as someone they can come to with questions.
Influencers are in contact with many different people daily. Offering them clear expectations helps ensure you don’t sound like a spam message.
What Should I Ask Of Influencers?
So, you’ve found the perfect influencer, contacted them, and now you’re wondering what you ask them to do. Brooke mentioned thinking about them as a vendor relationship.
While they are representing your brand, they have their own social identity and brand strategy. They are experts, so while you can set guidelines for your expectations, trust they know the best content for their followers.
Influencers rely on social media as their career and value their audience. Understand that it’s okay to expect certain content and timelines, but allow them to express creative freedom.
Brooke broke down a couple of different things you might do and ask for, such as:
- Set expectations and deliverables
- Tracking links and hashtags
- Provide Guidelines for your influencer to stay within
- Ask for logistical things like tax forms, payment types, and addresses for sending products
Brooke’s Number One Advice: Let Go!
There’s a reason someone can make a living out of social media: they’re good at it. It’s important to understand that something might not make sense to us, doesn’t mean it won’t make sense for an influencer’s audience.
Brooke mentioned Emily Zugay, a TikTok influencer who has created a mass following for her “redesigns” of popular brands’ logos—where she will actually create a horribly low-quality and poor logo design, completely intentionally.
It may seem unconventional to outsiders, but her audience loves her comedic response to companies. And companies that engage with her have reaped numerous benefits, such as increased engagement and followers. Some brands even switch their logos to her design, including the Detroit Lions.
Trusting influencers has proven itself to lead to great success, and these individuals can create a huge benefit for your business.
When Will I See Results?
You likely won’t see insane results overnight. However, tracking links are a great way to see what you gained from working with an influencer. Sometimes, working with an influencer, you might gain more followers or have more people visiting your website.
Learning what you gain from influencer marketing can help you set guidelines with future influencers.
Do You Want To Learn More About Influencer Marketing?
No matter your business, influencer marketing could be a great step in your marketing strategy. Brooke took a deep dive into influencer marketing in one of her more recent blogs, “A Complete Guide to B2B Influencer Marketing”.
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