Influencer marketing is one of the most powerful ways to get your brand name out into the world and in front of your chosen customer base. Influencer marketing is such a new marketing tool though, many brands assume it’s to difficult or confusing, so here’s everything you need to know.
What is influencer marketing?
It is a strategy that takes the idea of celebrity endorsement and places it into a modern-day content-driven marketing campaign.
Ultimately, it’s all about influence. In the world of social media dominance, influencer marketing has become much more prevalent thanks to social influencers and celebrity accounts with huge followers. Brands leverage these people to influence consumer behavior towards their product.
Influencer marketing in real life: TJ Swim founder spills her secrets
We spoke to Tara Jane, the founder, and designer of TJ Swim, who successfully grew her brand on social media thanks to social media influencers including Olivia Harco and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Here are her top 5 tips on putting together a successful influencer marketing strategy:
Engagement is more important than follower count
It’s easy to get sucked into obsessing over follower numbers on social media, and we often forget about what a potential influencer’s engagement ratio is like. There is so much more to a successful influencer than just followers; check out the engagement and compare it to the follower count. There are many tools available to help you see if influencers are actually authentic or mostly fake, so make sure you investigate before you invest, including working with a PR firm to help.
Tara suggests starting with less famous influencers to help with budgets and become familiar with communicating with influencers:
“Micro influencers are just as valuable as larger influencers, and will be more willing to collaborate on a ‘contra’ deal (product in exchange for post).”
Look for influencers who have the same target market as your brand
When it comes to working with influencers, you need to be specific. You’re going to have to do some research to ensure that their followers match your brand’s target market.
Tara says: “When selecting an influencer, have a look at the people who like and comment on their posts to see if these followers would be interested in your product/service. No matter how many followers the influencer has, if their followers are not your target market then the collaboration won’t be as effective.”
It’s also important to ensure the influencer’s personal style and theme of their page is aligned with your brand image.
These influencers do become ambassadors for your brand and you all need both of your brand images to be in sync with each other.
Reach out to as many influencers as possible
There is no golden number when it comes to the number of influencers you should contact.
Tara suggests: “Collaborate with as many influencers as possible. A lot of influencers won’t respond, but don’t sweat it because the ones that do will have a genuine interest in your brand and will provide you with the best content.
The goal is to build a relationship with these influencers, so they also become raving fans of your products or services. Once you start working with influencers and the word spreads about your product, you will find that influencers will even start contacting you to work with you.”
Don’t be afraid to bargain or negotiate a price
It’s important to note; not all influencers are going to be able to do a contra deal so you will need to consider having a budget put aside to spend on working with influencers (advertisement payment). Negotiation can be tricky, so it’s a great idea to start by knowing your budget and asking what they can do with it.
Tara says negotiation is an important part of the process: “When asking influencers to send you their current rates, you may get a surprise; sometimes they’re lower than you think, but sometimes they’re much higher. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a lower rate. If the influencer is genuinely interested in your product, in most cases they will be willing to negotiate.”
Build an ongoing relationship with influencers
Once you’ve had your first response from an influencer, you’re on your way – Congratulations! Now you’ll need to build a foundation so you can have a lasting relationship with the influencer.
Here are Tara’s top tips:
- Don’t be pushy; working with influencers can be time-consuming and can sometimes take a while to organize, so just be patient.
- Start by offering to gift them your product to test and ask for their feedback
- If the influencer loves your product and provides positive feedback, ask them if they would be willing to share a photo of your product with their followers. If they love it, they will usually be more than happy to do so.
Working with influencers is just like working and networking with other business owners; you want to create and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with them for future work together.
Now it’s time to get out there and find your favorite influencers!
To find out more about TJ Swim or to check out their collections, visit their website at www.tjswim.com