Have you ever considered using influencer marketing to promote your product of business? What is influencer marketing?
In essence influencer marketing is social media marketing that endorses certain products and services. It is working with another person on social media, who will have a larger audience and similar brand values to market your product.
Influencer marketing can be a mystery to many of us, so I wanted to find out how to work with influencers.
So I was thrilled to have Donna Jackson, the influencer behind The Curious Mummy, and founder of Suped Up Social a digital marketing service for small businesses, startups and creatives as a guest on my podcast to answer all my questiosn about how to work with influencers.
Donna offers a unique double perspective on influencer marketing, as an influencer herself. And also as an advisor to businesses looking to work with influencers. This meant she was an absolute gold mine of knowledge, and Donna kindly shared some of the reasons why you could consider working with an influencer, and what this might look like.
1 A bigger reach.
Whether your influencer is a micro influencer (1K – 100K followers on Instagram), macro influencer (100k – 1 million followers), or mega influencer (1 million plus followers, think celebrities and personalities like Mrs Hinch) they will give you a bigger reach.
You are going to reach their audience, and that is getting your product in front of a large number of new people.
2 Social Proof
When you’re browsing a website and see a product review, when you see something in a bestsellers chart, that is social proof. Essentially, it’s using third-party influence to sway potential customers.
If you are just starting out, it is likely that you haven’t had many customers or reviews. So how do you create this social proof?
An influencer can help you leapfrog this tricky stage, by using and showcasing your product.
This then will help build loyalty and trust for your brand, particularly if you go on to have a long term relationship with your influencer.
3 Increase traffic to your website
Working with an influencer can increase traffic to your website.
Ultimately we are using social media to drive traffic to our website for people to make that purchase.
An influencer can include links to your website in their stories or bios, and help drive that traffic.
4 Talk directly to your audience
One of the most important components of influencer marketing is that it allows you to talk directly to your audience.
For years there was no direct way of speaking to the audience unless you were spending thousands of pounds on radio, Tv and over above the line marketing methods.
Now you can use influencers to directly connect with your audience, and they are much more affordable!
5 Drive sales
Ultimately your main aim with all marketing is to drive sales.
And if you have got working with an influencer right, it will increase your sales.
What are some of the ways that you can work with influencers?
1 Sponsored Posts
This is where you gift your influencer a product and pay them a fee. The key is to find the right influencer for you, and ensure your brand values align.
You may ask your influencer to be authentic as possible and create their own content featuring your product.
Or you could give more a creative steer, asking for the product to be styled in a certain way, specifiying that some of your brand values are mentioned in the copy. One thing to consider is that you can expect to pay more if you would like more creative input.
You can gift an influencer your products to offer in a giveaway or competition for their followers. This usually results in reposts, so access to a wider audience.
One point to note is make sure that you do not use #giveaway or #contest in your hashtags. Recently this has led to some problems with accounts being cloned by rogue accounts on Instagram who then contact all the competition entrants as part of a scam, and can result in your account being shut down.
3 Affiliate Programs
Affiliate programs work well with influencers who have a website and blog.
Firstly you need to ensure you have all the right backlinks set up on your website. Then when the influencer features your product or service on their stories or blog, and people click on the link to go to your website, the influencer earns a percentage.
Fashion influencers in particular do this very well, and very successfully.
4 Supply discount codes
If you’ve had an influencer post something of yours in the past, you might want to say thank you for sharing that, and give them and their followers an exclusive discount code.
This is a great way of making the influencer feel valued and driving people to your website.
5 Ambassador / Brand Rep programmes
You could post our a post on social media saying I’m looking to work with a group of parents or influencers, whatever works best with your brand. This small group then become your brand reps or ambassadors.
You gift them your products to use and showcase over an extended period, through different seasons and product launches, and your ambassadors will repeatedly post your product on their platfom. Essentially it is gifting with a longer term strategy behind it, and is a great way of developing long term influencer relationships.
6 Paid social access
If you have worked with an influencer for a while, you can consider paying for social access to promote some of their old posts that feature your product through Facebook Ads.
It’s a really good way of reaching their audiences, not only on Instagram, but also on Facebook, and more and more brands are starting to use it.
As with any kind of ads they’re costly and they do take time.
If you are a small brand, it might not be where you want to put your investment straight away.
However if you have a product that you’ve created, in mass and need to sell really quickly then Facebook ads and paid social access is a great way to do that
I am so grateful to Donna for sharing her extensive knowledge, and making a compelling case for working with influencers to market your product.
Will you now be exploring ways to work with an influencer? Do have a listen to my podcast, there is lots more information there, including ways to find the right influencer for you, how to approach them and what you can expect to pay.
Let me know how you get on!